Research Strategy Fund


Please note a number of revisions to the conditions have been introduced for the start of 2015/2016.

The Research Strategy Fund (RSF) provides small scale funding of up to a maximum of £5k for academic staff at Royal Holloway. The RSF is a flexible internal funding source primarily focused on supporting or facilitating large scale external funding applications as well as impact focussed projects.

Applications for RSF funds may include the costs of:

• initial research to support a substantial external grant application,

• preparation and submission of a large multi-partner grant, e.g. travel and subsistence, short term teaching replacement,

• attendance at a networking event designed to find research partners (as distinct from a conference: conference attendance is not covered by RSF funds),

• support for other activities to strengthen the College’s REF submission, e.g. impact activities.

In all cases, applications must demonstrate how the proposed funding will contribute to the research related aims and KPIs in the University’s 2013-2020 Strategy. 

Condition of awards

Applications must be endorsed by the relevant HoD and your HoD must commit to a departmental contribution of at least 25% of the total costs, this is a cash contribution and not an in-kind contribution. Therefore, an RSF application for the maximum amount of £5,000 must have a departmental contribution of at least £1,250 with the maximum contribution from RSF funds being £3,750.  

In accepting an RSF award you are agreeing to the below terms;

  1. A simple report will be proved to R&I within three months of the RSF project end date and you will provide a cost report from Agresso confirming the spend on the project. The report should not focus on the research undertaken but on the deliverables in terms of external grant applications or impact. If the deliverable has not been achieved at this point a subsequent report will be required.
  2. The grant will not be used for any other purpose than that stated in the application e.g. not on a follow on project, albeit related, or conference attendance.
  3. RSF account codes will be closed two months after the stated RSF project end date, any unspent funds will be returned to the RSF budget and Dept proportionately. RSF funding periods are not automatically extended. 
  4. Any unspent funds will be recovered and reinvested into the RSF budget. Any follow-on or additional activity must be applied for separately and approved by the RSF panel.
  5. The College Research Committee will be updated on both the project expenditure and the outcomes of the RSF awards to regularly monitor the effectiveness of the fund.
  6. If, in the opinion of the College Research Committee, insufficient steps have been made in any RSF award towards the stated strategy up to 50% of the funds may be recovered from your department.
  7. Failure to submit a final report or to complete the promised deliverable (typically a bid for RCI) will preclude the grant holder from having any further RSF proposals considered for 24 months following the previous end-date.
  8. A PI will not be awarded more than one RSF at a time. New proposals will be accepted once the final report and deliverables are in place. 

Application and Decision Process

  1. From August 2015 all RSF applications will be reviewed by a RSF panel comprised of the Associate Deans for Research from each Faculty and R&I.
  2. The RSF panel will meet once a month during term time and RSF applications will go to the earliest possible meeting so please be aware there may be a delay of up to a month to receive a decision.
  3. In order to make best use of the limited RSF funds, each panel meeting will have a budget cap so proposals will be ranked. Applicants are advised that slimmer bids, requesting less than the maximum are more likely to fit within the panel limit.
  4. Smaller proposals of up to £500 will be fast tracked and considered outside of monthly meetings. Small applications will still be submitted on the standard application form with clear deliverables but the decision will be outside of the formal ranking process.
  5. Unsuccessful bids may be rejected or if they are deemed worthy of funding but below the cut-off point for that panel would be placed on a 'pending' list and carried forward to the next meeting where they will be reconsidered if funding allows.
  6. The decisions of the RSF panel will be communicated to RSF applicants by R&I including, when required any requests for clarification or amendments.
  7. Completed application forms can be submitted at any time by email to R&I

Application and final report forms

Click here to download the RSF application form.

Click here to download the RSF report form.

 Useful Links