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Researcher's Toolkit: C3 - Finance, funding and resources

This researcher's toolkit has been developed to offer you practical advice and suggestions to help you design, carry out and write up a research project.

Research Bids - Applying for research and enterprise funding

The 2020 vision states that 'we should expect the University of Suffolk to have increasingly diverse income streams, based on a wider, high quality range of collaborative academic and other partnerships. In addition to conventional student recruitment we should expect to build on and complement strengthening links with local and regional stakeholders, not least in relation to training, research and consultancy facilitating the prospect of enhanced investment in the University’.

All academic staff are encouraged to engage in income diversification activities in order to bring benefits to themselves personally, developing their academic profile and career as a researcher, and contributing to the development of the research environment here at University of Suffolk. Many postgraduate students may also be seeking funding for projects and the same principals apply.

Each funder for research and enterprise will have different funding priorities, policies, schedules, terms and conditions. It is important for you to identify the most appropriate opportunities for you at your career stage (early, mid, advanced) and develop a clear understanding of the requirements of different funding bodies. Research and Enterprise Services can assist you with that and help you produce a quality bid. We will engage in horizon scanning and target communications appropriately but in order to do so there needs to be a clear understanding of your research expertise and needs. Research and Enterprise Services can also provide core information for bids which may support you in making funding applications where statements regarding institutional eligibility and general policies (e.g. Equality and Diversity policy) are required. 

Training for staff and students on how to apply for research and enterprise funding is provided through a series of presentations and workshops, to lead you through the process of writing a successful funding proposal. The Researcher Development Programme offers workshops that cover all the key elements needed to write a successful application including choosing the right funding stream, framing your research question, using the appropriate study design, stakeholder involvement and building a suitable research team. The participants are introduced to all the support systems in place at University of Suffolk and provided with costing guidance.

All bids for external income must be recorded by the Research and Enterprise Services team. Each application must contain accurate costings provided by Finance and to undergo a quality, ethics and research governance review. Also, any contractual issues need to be resolved, institutional authorisation (where relevant) must be obtained, and funder's guidelines checked. A record of all bids is maintained by the office. As soon as you decided to make an application for funding you should contact the Research & Enterprise Office to arrange a suitable time to discuss a realistic timescale for preparation and submission. You will receive a unique University of Suffolk reference number which identifies the bid through the costing and approvals process – please reference this number within any correspondence relating to a particular bid.

The Funding Application Process (see PDF link below) flowchart suggests how you might go from having an idea about a research project, through getting approval, costing your project and getting the necessary sign offs.

You should check the initial viability of an idea before proceeding with putting an application together using the Initial Viability Checklist (see PDF link below). It is important that you discuss your idea with your line manager before proceeding. 

Once you are sure that the project idea is viable, and you have a funder that you wish to apply to, the Project Development Checklist (see PDF link below) may be helpful to you are you put your proposal together.

You must also ensure that your project has been properly costed using the University of Suffolk Costing Tool

Once your project has been put together and you are almost ready to submit your application to the funder, you should use the Final Bid Checklist to make sure that you have correctly completed the documentation and have supplied all the required information.

The final step before submitting your application is to secure signoff from your Head of School and from Finance. If the full economic cost of your project is over £100,000 you will also need the signature of the Provost.

The following research grant flowchart is intended as a general introduction to the grant application process. Variations to the process may occur with particular funders.

Any queries should be directed to the Research and Development Manager via

Useful Funding Links

Sherpa FACT – Find out if a journal has policies that comply with a particular funders’ pre-existing Open Access requirements. It helps researchers get a simple answer to the question “does this journal have an open access publishing policy compliant with my funder’s open access mandate?

Sherpa/Juliet – Gain up-to-date information on research funders’ policies on open access

Sherpa/RoMEO – Lists publishers’ conditions so that authors can ensure they are compliant when making their papers open access 

Recent advice on funder’s requirements and mandates for research data management - blog post

Meeting the requirements of the ESRC research data policy

Funders data plan requirements
In terms of what researchers and institutions are required to do to meet other funder mandates, the Digital Curation Centre has decent guidance on data management planning.

More about open access and funding

External Funding

Securing funding for research and enterprise projects

University of Suffolk guide to securing funding

Research and Enterprise Services can assist you to search for and secure funding for your research and enterprise projects. Securing funding for your idea can often be a time consuming and complex activity and Research and Enterprise Services can assist you so that you can concentrate on the project itself.

University of Suffolk subscribes to Research Professional where a large proportion of national and international research funding opportunities are collated. Staff and students can set up their own accounts to access this facility.  We would encourage you to subscribe directly to disciplinary specific funders' news feeds.

Research and Enterprise Services also send funding opportunities regularly to Heads of Department and to academic staff directly. Please arrange a 1:1 meeting with a member of Research and Enterprise Services to discuss your funding needs.

Charity Commission UK provides a searchable database of registered charities in England and Wales.

The main source of funding for research funding in the UK is via the Research Councils.  University of Suffolk will become eligible to access funding from the Research Councils once established as an independent University.

Research Councils UK (RCUK)

Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) 
The AHRC supports both arts and humanities research, through a variety of funding mechanisms such as research awards, postgraduate scholarships, and numerous knowledge transfer awards. For information go to the AHRC’s funding opportunities.

Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)
The BBSRC supports research into biosciences, through a variety of funding mechanisms such as research grants, fellowships, postgraduate studentships and research experience placements, schemes to enable international collaborations and special opportunities through calls for applications through specific initiatives. For information go to the BBSRC’s funding opportunities.

Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)
The ESRC is the UK’s largest organisation for funding research on economic and social issues. They support independent, high quality research which has an impact on business, the public sector and the third sector through a range of funding opportunities, including schemes, competitions and initiatives.For information go to the ESRC’s funding opportunities.

Engineering and Physical Sciences (EPSRC) 
The EPSRC supports research into engineering and physical sciences, ranging from physics, chemistry and mathematics to materials, computing, engineering and high value manufacturing through funding mechanisms such as research grants, fellowships and studentships. For information go to the EPSRC’s funding opportunities.

Medical Research Council (MRC)
The MRC supports medical research ranging from research to understand fundamental science (without having specific health questions in mind) to tackling some of the most pressing health issues facing society. The MRC funds research through a range of grants, calls, highlight notices, studentships and fellowships.  For information go to the MRC’s funding opportunities.

Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)
NERC is the UK’s main agency for funding and managing research, training and knowledge exchange in the environmental sciences through a range of research grants, fellowships, postgraduate studentships and knowledge exchange funding schemes and undergraduate research experience placements. For information go to the NERC’s funding opportunities.

Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)
The STFC offers grants and support in Particle Physics, Astronomy and Nuclear Physics and Facility Development. It also provides support for research infrastructure, training, knowledge exchange and activities through research grants, fellowships, knowledge transfer partnerships and postgraduate studentships. For information go to the STFC’s funding opportunities.

External funding can also be sourced via public sector and central government departments

British Council 
Through their worldwide science network, the British Council builds partnerships and encourages links and networking between scientists, engineers and research managers. For information about policy and potential procurement opportunities, go to their website.

Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS)
BIS is the UK government department for economic growth. The department invests in skills and education to promote trade, boost innovation and help people to start and grow a business. For information about policy and potential procurement opportunities, go to their website.

Department for Education (DfE)
 The DfE is the UK government department with responsibility for infant, primary and secondary education. For information about policy and potential procurement opportunities, go to their website.

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA)
DEFRA is the UK government department responsible for policy and regulations on the environment, food and rural affairs. For information about policy and potential procurement opportunities, go to their website.

Department for International Development (DFID)
DFID is a government department promoting sustainable development and eliminating poverty. DFID’s main programme areas of work are the promotion of education, health, social services, water supply and sanitation, government and civil society, economic sector, environmental protection, research and humanitarian assistance. For information about policy and potential procurement opportunities, go to their website.

Department of Health (DoH)
DoH provides strategic leadership for public health, the NHS and social care in England. The DoH remit is to improve England’s health and well-being. For information about policy and potential procurement opportunities, go to their website.

Natural England (NE)
NE is an Executive Non-departmental Public Body responsible to the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. Its purpose is to protect and improve England’s natural environment and encourage people to enjoy and get involved in their surroundings. For information about policy and potential procurement opportunities, go to their website.

Home Office
The Home Office is the lead UK government department for immigration and passports, drugs policy, crime, counter-terrorism and policing. For information about policy and potential procurement opportunities, go to their website.

Ministry of Defence (MOD)

Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC)
The Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC) is a membership organisation of the leading medical and health research charities in the UK. They are a good starting point for researching the broad range of charities in the UK that support medical research. For further information of current funding opportunities, go to their website.

Alcohol Research UK (AR)
The AR is dedicated exclusively to fund work that improves understanding of what causes excessive drinking, how it can be prevented and the best ways of tackling the problems it causes. AR provides a wide range of grants. For further information on current funding opportunities, go to the funding pages of their website.

Alzheimer’s Research UK
Alzheimer’s Research UK is the UK’s leading dementia research charity specialising in finding preventions, causes, treatments and a cure for dementia. Alzheimer’s Research UK has a large number of different grant schemes. For further information on current grant schemes, go to the funding gages on their website.

Arthritis Research UK
Arthritis Research UK is the leading UK funder of research into the cause, treatment and cure of arthritis. Arthritis UK funds research grants into all types of arthritis and related musculoskeletal conditions; from laboratory-based science through to multi-centre clinical trials through funding mechanisms such as research grants, fellowships, Postgraduate studentships and various clinical studies grants. For current funding opportunities, go to their current funding website.

Breast Cancer Campaign (BCC)
BCC funds innovative research into breast cancer causes and treatments in the UK & Ireland through project and pilot grants, Postgraduate studentships and fellowships. For current funding opportunities, go to their current funding website.

British Heart Foundation (BHF)
The BHF is a charity that aims to prevent people from dying from heart diseases through funding research into the causes, prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the heart and circulation. To find out more about their current research grants and fellowships, go to their current funding website.

Cancer Research UK (CR)
CR is the UK’s leading cancer research charity, funding individual biomedical scientists, clinical researchers and research leaders. CR also supports research through their multiple centres of excellence in cancer across the UK, via their core institutes, and through their involvement in partnerships and networks both in the UK and internationally. Further details are available from the funding pages of their website.

Multiple Sclerosis Society MSS  
(MSS) The MSS provides support and advice to those living with and affected by multiple sclerosis. MSS is the biggest charitable funder of MS research in the UK. They fund research grants into the cause and cure of MS, as well as symptoms relief and the services which MS suffers need to improve the day-to-day effects of MS. For more information, go to the funding pages of their website.

Stroke Association(SA)
The SA is a UK charity, which works to prevent stroke and to support everyone touched by stroke. Research funded by the SA has the ultimate aim of making stroke a preventable and treatable disease, and improving the quality of life for people affected by stroke through fellowships and programme grants. For more information, go to the funding pages on their website.

Wellcome Trust (WT)
The WT is a global charitable foundation dedicated to achieving extraordinary improvements in human and animal health through a wide variety of funding schemes, including investigator awards, fellowships and strategic awards, and through the support of major initiatives. For more information about their current funding opportunities, go to the funding pages on their website.

NON-PROFIT - Non-Medical

British Academy for the humanities and social sciences (BA)

The BA supports and champions excellence in the humanities and social sciences large and small research grants, various fellowships and the BA/Wolfson professorships call. For current funding opportunities, go to the funding pages of their website.

Esmée Fairbairn Foundation (EFF)

The EFF is one of the leading independent grant-making foundations in the UK. For further information, go to their website.

Fulbright Commission (FC)

The FC aims to foster cultural understanding through educational exchange. Their US-UK Fulbright Awards Programme offers opportunities to study, lecture, or pursue research in any academic field. For more information go to their Fulbright Award pages on their website.

Gatsby Charitable Foundation (Gatsby)

Gatsby is a foundation set up by David Sainsbury to realise his charitable objectives, focusing support on six programme areas (Plant Science, Neuroscience, Education, Africa, Public Policy and the Arts). For more information on possible funding opportunities go to their website

Paul Hamlyn Foundation (PHF)

PHF is an independent grant-making organisation focusing on the arts, education and social justice through their UK Open Grant Scheme. For more information, go to their funding website.

Henry Moore Foundation (HMF)

The HFM is an arts charity established by the artist Henry Moore to promote sculpture in general and Henry Moore’s work in particular through small grants. For more information, go to their website

Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC)

JISC promotes the innovative application and use of information systems and information technology in further and higher education through research programmes. For further information, go to their funding pages on their website.

Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF)

The JRF is a British social policy research and development charity that funds a UK-wide research and development programme. It seeks to understand the root causes of social problems, to identify ways of overcoming them, and to show how social needs can be met in practice. For more information, go to their funding pages on their website.

Leverhulme Trust (LT)

The LT was established at the wish of William Hesketh Lever and makes awards for the support of research and education. The trust emphasises individuals and encompasses all subject areas through research grants, fellowships, studentships, research leadership, visiting professorships and international network awards. For more information go to LT’s funding pages on their website.

Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art (PMC)

The PMC is an educational charity set up to promote and support the study of British art history and architecture and to disseminate knowledge through publications, exhibitions and education through fellowships and grants. For more information please go to the funding pages on their website.

Nuffield Foundation (NF)

The NF is a British charitable trust, which tries to improve social well-being by funding research and innovation in education and social policy. It also aims to increase the proliferation and quality of research and professional skills – both in science and social sciences – through its capacity building programmes. For more information on funding opportunities, go to the funding pages of their website.

Royal Academy of Engineering (RAE)

The RAE is the UK’s national academy for engineering and they bring together the most successful and talented engineers from across the engineering sectors for a shared purpose: to advance and promote excellence in engineering. The RAE runs a comprehensive programme of awards and schemes to encourage engineering research and facilitate closer contacts between the industrial and academic worlds. For funding opportunities, go to their funding pages on their website.

Royal Astronomical Society (RAS)

The RAS encourages and promotes the study of astronomy, solar-system science, geophysics and closely related branches of science through awards, medals, prices as well as research grants. For current funding information, go to their website.

Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851 (RC)

he RC offers major awards to scientists and engineers for research, development and design. It aims to support education for the benefit of productive industry and full details of its awards are on its website.

Royal Society (RS)

The RS is a fellowship of the world’s most eminent scientists and is the oldest scientific academy in continuous existence. The RS provides a range of grant schemes to support the UK scientific community and foster collaboration between UK based and overseas scientists. For more information go to the funding pages of their website.

Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC)

The RSC is the largest organisation in Europe for advancing the chemical sciences, with its activities spanning education, conferences, science policy and the promotion of chemistry to the public. The RSC funds prizes and awards and for more information on these, go to the funding pages on their website.

Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE)

SCIE is a UK charity, set up by government and funded by the UK Department of Health. SCIE identifies and disseminates the knowledge base for good practice in all aspects of social care thought the United Kingdom social care. For funding information and potential procurement opportunities, got to their website.

Sir Halley Stewart Trust (SHST)
The SHST assists innovative developments in research, social & development, and medical fields in the UK and Africa through salary grants. For more information on these salary grants please go to the funding pages on their website.

Wingate Foundation (WF)
The WF supports research into Jewish Life and Learning, Performing Arts, Music, Education & Social Exclusion, Developing Countries and Medical Research through grants to charitable organisations. For more funding information, go to their website.

Wolfson Foundation

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Research Professional Database

Research Professional Database

University of Suffolk subscribes to Research Professional which is an online database of research funding opportunities and source of news about research policy and practice. Members of the University with a current University of Suffolk email address can register for free.

Research professional includes:

  • Thousands of open calls from global funders
  • Customisable alerts to ensure you do not miss a funding call
  • Tools to help you share information with your colleagues
  • Tools to help you keep ahead of funding deadlines
  • Tools to help you find news articles that interest you
  • User friendly search options


You can register for free to use the service at and click ‘register’. Research Professional provides videos on the process of self -registration and a quick start guide.

Accessing the site

You can start browsing from any computer on campus. To access the site from elsewhere, you will need to sign in with a personal account.

Searching for funding

Click on the Funding tab on the top toolbar. You have two ways of searching for funding:

  • Simple Search
  • Advanced Search

Create an email alert

If you create an email alert, you will receive an email every Friday containing any new funding opportunities that match your search criteria.

If you have any questions

Please contact Research and Enterprise Services at

Also relevant:


All images included in this guide are available through Creative Commons licensing CC-BY-2.0