FoNS Strategy Research Funding

The Faculty of Natural Sciences wish to support industrial collaborations to stimulate new research directions and to enhance our research impact, noting the requirement for REF impact cases. From February 2020 the FoNS Strategy Research Fund has allocated its limited resources to foster new initiatives to engage more effectively with external SME partners.

The Faculty is particularly keen to use the FSRF to support earlier career staff and will endeavour to award at least one proposal in each round to applicants below the rank of Professor. This scheme welcomes multi-disciplinary projects, but the Faculty will allocate its FSRF to support FoNS researchers only.

The Faculty Strategic Research Fund provides two schemes:

Criteria

SME Engagement Funding

This new initiative aims to encourage and support collaborative short term research projects with SMEs with a view to generating impact and to seeding longer term, fully funded collaborations with industry.

These projects should last no longer than 12 months and would be supported by up to £10,000 from FoNS to match a cash contribution from the SME partner.  To particularly encourage Early Career Researchers to engage with SMEs, FoNS will provide 3:1 matching funds, up to a limit of £15,000 from the Faculty for such projects.

The SME Engagement Funding Proposals will be evaluated using the criteria below:

  • Eligibility:
    • The lead applicant must be a permanent member of staff in the Faculty of Natural Sciences. Fellowship-holders are also eligible to apply for FSRF funding as long as the end date of the project falls within the fellowship appointment
    • Funding requested is up to a maximum of £10,000 matching funds (except Early Career Researchers who can bid for up to £15,000);
    • Proposals must have the support from the Head of Department
    • It must be a new collaboration or initiative with an SME;
  • Research quality: added value of SME/academic collaboration, innovation, feasibility and potential impact of the proposed research;
  • If the funding requested is cost effective;
  • Strategic value to the Faculty/College:
    • Potential for REF impact
    • Fit to the Department/College strategy;
  • Potential for these activities to secure longer term funding;

Travel grants to visit potential industrial partners

The aim of this scheme is to encourage members of staff (in particular Early Career Researchers) to engage effectively with industry by providing a small travel allowance for them and/or members of their research group to visit new potential funders. Travel Grants must not exceed £500. The Travel Grants proposals will be evaluated using the criteria below:

  • Eligibility:
    • The lead applicant must be a permanent member of staff in the Faculty of Natural Sciences. Fellowship-holders are also eligible to apply for FSRF funding as long as the end date of the travel falls within the fellowship appointment
    • Funding requested is up to a maximum of £500 for travel grants
    • Proposals must have the support from the Head of Department;
  • The funding requested is cost effective;
  • Strategic value to the Faculty/College:
    • Potential for REF impact
    • Fit to the Department/College strategy;
  • Potential to build engagment with stake holders;
  • Potential for these activities to secure longer term funding;

Please note that travel grants are open on a rolling basis. Applicants are welcome to submit an application any time.

Submission deadlines for 2019-2020

Round 1

Proposal submission deadline: 5pm on 17th October 2019.

Proposals will be reviewed at the Faculty Operational Strategy Committee Meeting on 30th October 2019.

Round 2

Proposal submission deadline: 5pm on 13th February 2020.

Proposals will be reviewed at the Faculty Operational Strategy Committee Meeting on 25th February 2020.

Round 3

Proposal submission deadline: 5pm on 14th May 2020.

Proposals will be reviewed at the Faculty Operational Strategy Committee Meeting on 26 May 2020.

How to apply:

  • Applicants should complete the relevant application form without exceeding  more than two pages: Appendix 1 for SME Engagement Funding and Appendix 2 for Travel Grants scheme to visit potential industrial partners;
  • Applicants should send the InfoED costing and letters of support with the two-page application form;
  • Completed forms should be submitted to fonsfundinghighlights@imperial.ac.uk indicating which specific funding they are applying for by the deadline for each round, as outlined below:

For any questions related to the FSRF funding, please contact Ester Buchaca-Domingo

FSRF Guidance Documents 2019-2020 (Word)