- What's included
- Application process
- Terms of award
- Forms and guidelines
- Online submission
- What's included
- Application process
- Terms of award
- Forms and guidelines
- Online submission
Research Incentive Grants aim to support short research projects, either of a stand-alone nature or in the form of an initial study that could be expected to lead to a more extensive project. The principal criterion for the award of a Research Incentive Grant is that the planned research is of excellent quality and is likely to be of benefit to one or more of the universities of Scotland.
The scheme is being introduced following a comprehensive review of the Trust's research funding schemes and replaces the Small Research Grants.
The Trust wishes to encourage Early Career Researchers and will give special consideration to applicants who are within 5 years (excluding breaks) of starting their independent academic career.
The next submission deadline is 15th March 2017, 5PM. Details of the scheme, information about eligibility and regulations are available under the different tabs.
NOTE: Learn more about the assessment process
1. The purpose of the Research Incentive Grants (RIG) scheme is to support, or make it possible for, the applicant to undertake, as the Principal Investigator, a short research project, either of a stand-alone nature or in the form of an initial study that could be expected to lead to a more extensive project.
2. The principal criterion for the award of a RIG is that the planned research is of excellent quality and is likely to be of benefit to one or more of the universities of Scotland.
3. The Trust will not normally support established lines of research, projects pursued from year to year over a period of time, or projects arising from previous pilot studies. Where a proposal does relate to a continuing research project, a clear case for additional support from the Trust must be made.
4. The application must specify the period, not longer than 12 months, within which the planned research will be completed (‘the award period’) and the way(s) in which the results of the research will be made known by publication or otherwise.
5. Special consideration will be given to applications in which, in addition to satisfying the main criterion (Reg. 2, above):
i. the applicant is within 5 years (excluding breaks) of starting his or her independent academic career (an ‘early career researcher’);
ii. the applicant is not an early career researcher, but the research will be undertaken with one or more early career researchers; and/or
iii. it is shown that, without the support of the Trust, the planned research would not take place or would be significantly delayed.
6. Applicants must be employed by a Scottish university on a contract consistent with their having the time and resources required to undertake the proposed research, and must, at the time of application, be planning to remain in post at that university for at least three months after the award period has ended.
7. A statement by the applicant’s Head of Department/School (or equivalent) must be submitted with the application, confirming: (i)support for the application, (ii)the applicant’s status within the university, and (iii) that the applicant will have access to such resources, facilities, insurance cover, etc. as may be required to undertake the proposed research.
8. Retired academics are eligible to apply for RIGs under the scheme, provided that they are actively engaged in research within a Scottish university and hold a recognised position there, which is expected, at the time of the application, to continue at least six months after the award period has ended. A statement by the Head of Department/School (or equivalent), providing the information indicated above (Reg. 7), must be submitted with the application.
9. RIGs are awarded to help with the costs directly incurred by, or on behalf of, the applicant while pursuing the planned research project.
10. Eligible costs include, but are not limited to, payments for:
i. travel, accommodation, and subsistence;
ii. research support staff;
iii. other technical/administrative staff;
v. laboratory consumables;
vi. minor equipment;
vii. costs associated with disseminating results arising from the project – through publication or presentation at specialist conferences;
viii. costs incurred in paying for illustrations (or coloured illustrations) to enhance the presentation of the research;
ix. other research costs, as deemed appropriate by the Trust.
11. The following costs are not eligible:
i. the applicant’s own time or that of dependants, or buy-out of their time;
ii. indirect overhead costs and bench/desk fees;
iii. insurance cover.
12. Awards wards will not be made in support of projects where the primary activity is attendance at, or the organisation of, conferences, symposia and similar meetings, including knowledge exchange or public engagement activities. However, applicants may request funding for additional travel, accommodation, and subsistence costs associated with research activities carried out in the same area, immediately before or after a conference.
13. The maximum award that can be applied for is £7,500 and the minimum is £500.
14. Applications must be completed electronically and submitted online. The form should preferably include a scanned copy of the applicant’s signature. By submitting an application, whether signed or not, the applicant accepts the conditions set out in these Regulations.
15. The application papers include a section to be completed by the applicant’s Head of Department/School (or equivalent) confirming the matters mentioned in paragraphs 6 and 7 above, with regard to the applicant’s status.
16. The closing dates for submitting applications are 15th September, 5PM and 15th March, 5PM. Results will be notified within 12weeks of the closing date.
17. Funds awarded by the Trust may be applied only to activities undertaken after the Grant has been formally notified to the applicant. Retrospective applications will not be considered.
18. The Trust will not consider more than one application from the same applicant at any one time. Nor will it consider more than two applications to this scheme from the same applicant over a period of five academic years.
19. It is possible to resubmit a revised proposal to a subsequent round of the Research Incentive Grants as long as the applicant(s) still meet the eligibility criteria. Applicants should also take into account the fact that the Trust will not entertain more than 2 applications from the same individual within a period of five academic years.
20. Applications will be reviewed by assessors selected by the Trust, who will be consulted by the Trust on the merits of the application. Information given to the Trust by assessors will remain confidential as between the assessor and the Trust.
21. Applications, together with the assessors’ comments, will be submitted to a Selection Committee established by the Trust. The Committee will recommend approval or otherwise on the basis of the criteria set out in these Regulations, within the overall level of funding allocated to the scheme by the Trustees.
22. The criteria upon which the proposal will be judged, in addition to those already mentioned, will include:
i. the originality and significance of the proposed research;
ii. its feasibility, in terms of the resources being provided and the time available;
iii. the suitability of the applicant to undertake the project;
iv. the level of support being provided by the applicant’s university;
v. the applicant’s career stage.
23. The final funding decision will be made by the Secretary on the basis of the Committee’s recommendation. Should any special issues arise, the Secretary will also consult with individual Trustees or the Chair of Trustees, as appropriate.
24. Applicants will be informed of the outcome of their application by electronic letter attached to an email. The Trust will not enter into correspondence with applicants or with any other person on their behalf which would involve, directly or indirectly, discussion of, or comparison with, other applications, whether successful or unsuccessful.
NOTE: Learn more about the assessment process
Terms of award
25. Should the Grant holder move to a different Scottish university, the Trust will permit the transfer of any remaining balance to the new institution, on receipt of a request in writing. This request must include confirmation from the new university that it would accept this transfer and the associated research commitments.
26. Should the holder move to a university outside Scotland, the Trust must be notified in writing. The Trust may require that any remaining balance of the Grant be repaid to the Trust.
27. A Grant made to one individual for a specific purpose cannot be transferred to another individual or be used for a different purpose.
28. Following notification of an award, a start date will be agreed between the Trust and the Principal Investigator. Any changes to this date must be approved by the Trust. The Grant will be withdrawn, should a project fail to commence within six months of the initially agreed start date.
29. All Grants will be paid to the Grant holder’s university.
30. Transferring funds between different budget headings is permissible without the Trust’s prior agreement when small sums are involved. Any significant transfers between budget headings should be discussed with the Trust in advance. Examples of such instances are listed in the Terms of Award document and on the Trust’s website.
31. The Trust does not currently impose any data-sharing or data-storage requirements on recipients of its Grants, but may reconsider its policy in this respect.
32. Any items purchased with funds provided by a RIG will become and remain the property of the university through which the award has been made, unless that university agrees that they should become the property of another university to which the Grant holder has moved.
33. The support of the Trust must be acknowledged in any publications or presentations arising from the Grant and the Trust should be given the opportunity to be associated with any publicity relating to the funding.
34. Within two months of concluding the research project, the Grant holder must complete and submit to the Trust an electronic copy of the Grant Report form (available on the Trust’s website), providing details of the work undertaken with the funds awarded and a summary of the results obtained.
35. Within two months of concluding the research project, the Grant holder's university must complete and submit to the Trust an electronic copy of the Statement of Expenditure (available on the Trust’s website), with details of the expenditure relating to the funded activities.
36. No new application will be entertained from a candidate who has yet to submit a report on a previous award.
NOTE: More information on the post-award grant management process can be found on the Managing a grant page.
Forms and Guidelines
Note: The online submission process will open around 1st February 2017 for the 15th March 2017 deadline.
There are two deadlines each year:
15th September 2017, 5PM, for projects starting after 1st January 2018
15th March 2017, 5PM, for projects starting after 1st July 2017
Late applications will not be considered.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. I am NOT an Early Career Researcher. Am I still eligible to apply?
Yes,academics at all stages of their research careers are eligible to apply. The applicant's career stage will be just one factor for the Committee of Assessors to consider. In practice when choosing between two projects of equal quality, preference may be given to applicants who are Early Career Researchers. This does not bar more senior researchers from applying.
Q. I am a Research Fellow/Post-doc whose position is funded by a grant awarded by a Research Council/Charity. Am I eligible to apply?
If your position is specifically supported as part of a project grant awarded by an external research funder, then, unless the funder indicates otherwise, it will be assumed your time is already committed to that project and that you would not be eligible for receiving Carnegie funding.
Q. What does the Trust take into account when determining an applicant's career stage?
To determine an applicant's career stage, we only take into account the years during which the applicant's position or positions was/were funded by a university directly. So years as a post-doc on another academic's grant are not taken into account. Career breaks and parental leave can also be excluded. Part-time positions are added on a pro-rata basis, so 3 years as a part-time academic working at 0.5 FTE equates to 1.5 years of full-time employment.
Q. I have made applications to the Small Research Grant scheme in the past. Do these count against the limit of 2 applications in a period of 5 academic years, or is the Trust wiping the slate clean under the new scheme?
Previous applications under the Small Research Grants will not count towards the 2 applications in a period of 5 academic years rule.
Q. I have had a grant from Carnegie in the past but I have not yet sent in the final report requested from the Trust. Can I apply for a new grant?
Applicants must meet the end of project requirements from a previous Carnegie grant (for a Small Research Grant, Larger/Collaborative Grant, Professorship, Illustration or Publication grant) before applying for a new grant. If the Trust has not received the end report from a previous grant, then a new application will not be accepted.
Q. What do you mean by "research is likely to be of benefit to one or more of the universities of Scotland"?
For the research to be of benefit to one or more of the Scottish universities, the applicant needs to be affiliated with a Scottish university, either as an academic member of staff or as a retired academic from a Scottish university with a recognised position with a Scottish university (e.g. Emeritus Professor, Honorary Research Fellow). In addition, the proposed research needs to be of international quality and include research outputs likely to be disseminated in the form of high quality academic publications.
Q. What kind of research projects is the Trust looking to support?
The Trust aims to support excellent research projects in any subject or field. The nature of the research activities will be determined by the academic field of the applicants and the topic of the proposals. Activities in support of the research study could include but are not limited to: field work, data collection, archive and library visit; development and testing of a new methodology or concept; surveys, interviews or focus groups; laboratory tests or experiments. Applications primarily seeking support for the organisation of conferences, seminars, workshops, knowledge exchange or public engagement events or networks will not be considered.
Q. I have been working on my project and need funding to complete it. Is it possible to apply to finish the project?
RIGs are for short research projects either of a stand-alone nature or in the form of an initial study that could be expected to lead to a more extensive project. The Trust will not normally support established lines of research, projects pursued from year to year over a period of time, or projects arising from previous pilot studies. Where a proposal does relate to a continuing research project, a clear and strong case for additional support from the Trust must be made.
Q. If I apply by the 15th September/15th March deadline, when can my project start?
Projects submitted by the 15th September deadline and awarded funding may start at any time after 1st January following the deadline. Likewise, projects submitted by the 15th March deadline may start at any time after 1st July following the deadline.
Q. What is the maximum length of the grant period?
The funding period can be up to a maximum of 12 months. All costs must be incurred during that period.
Q. I would like to conduct the project in collaboration with a colleague. Should we each put in an application or submit a joint application?
For a small scale project conducted in collaboration with a colleague, one application should be submitted for the project and one person should submit this as the PI. Section 2.e of the application form should include the name and affiliation of the collaborator and also a short paragraph on how he, or she, will contribute to the project, or what he,or she, will undertake as part of the project. A collaborator should have a clear role in the delivery of the project. It is not possible to put in two separate applications for the same project to increase the requested budget. Please view the FAQ on eligible costs relating to funding for collaborators.
Q. Does the Trust support applied or practice led research projects?
The Trust welcomes applied or practice-led research projects which are clearly informed by the intellectual underpinnings or concepts of a particular field and will result in high quality academic outputs, including publications. Projects that aim primarily to deliver a report, recommendations, or a product to a non-academic user group will not be eligible for support.
Q. Can I include costs for a collaborator's travel or research expenses in the budget?
If the collaborator is an academic employed at one of the eligible Scottish universities, then it is possible to include costs such as travel, research expenses etc. in the budget. For collaborators who are not academics at a Scottish university, it is only possible to include travel costs to attend project meetings. Any of the costs relating to their participation in the research are excluded. This means that, for example, funds cannot be requested to enable overseas academics to undertake the proposed research activities with the PI or to purchase access to research resources on behalf of individuals not working for a Scottish university.
Q. Can I apply for illustration or publishing costs, including Open Access charges?
Illustration costs, publication costs, including Open Access charges may be included as part of the requested budget within a limit of 20% of the overall budget (this is together with dissemination costs). Please note that this is not a target amount. In addition, these costs must be incurred during the lifetime of the grant. It is not possible to submit an application solely for publication/illustration costs or Open Access charges.
Q. Can I include dissemination costs in my budget?
Dissemination costs such as attendance at conferences or seminars to present the result of the proposed research and/or publication costs can be included as part of the budget within a limit of 20% of the overall amount requested (this is together with publication costs) by the applicant. Please note that this is not a target amount and requests for smaller amounts will be viewed more favourably. These dissemination costs cannot be included as planned expenditure once the grant period has ended, i.e. the costs must be incurred during the lifetime of the grant. Applications for conference attendance or publication of research funded through other means than a Carnegie grant will not be considered.
Q. Can I include the cost of a Research Assistant for this project?
Yes, the salary costs and statutory payments for a Research Assistant can be included in the requested budget. The role and responsibilities of the Research Assistant must be explained in the application. Stipends for undergraduate vacation scholarships are not eligible for support.
Q. My project requires access to specialist research facilities or specialised services (e.g. sign language interpreter, transcription services). Are these costs eligible?
Yes, access charges for specialist research facilities or services unavailable in the applicant's own university are eligible for support.
Q. What kind of outputs should I be aiming to develop as part of my project?
The Trust seeks to support excellent research projects that are likely to lead to high quality outputs in the form of academic publications. Your application should indicate where you plan to publish your research once the project has been completed. Outputs aimed at non-academic audiences may also be included, if relevant to the research topic, but should not be the sole or primary outputs of the proposed research.
About the submission process
Q. Why do I need to submit two applications, one in PDF and one in Word format?
The Trust needs a Word Document to be able to process the details of the applications received but, for security reasons, it is not advisable to included scanned copies of signatures in an unprotected Word document. As a result, we request both a Word document in which names of signatories can be typed, and a PDF including the scanned copies of the required signatures.
Q. Does my application require institutional approval?
Applications do require approval from 1) the applicant's Head of Department or School, a Depute Head or Head of Research and 2) from the applicant's Research Office. Both the Head of Department or School and the Research Office should check the application, confirm the applicant's affiliation and employment status and approve the budget by signing and dating the relevant sections at the end of the application form. Please allow sufficient time to obtain institutional approval before submitting your application.
Q. It's coming up to the deadline and I don't have the required institutional approval. Can I go ahead and submit the application and get the approval to the Trust later?
No. Applications submitted without institutional approval will not be considered. We recommend leaving plenty of time to obtain the required signatures.
Q. What is the success rate for this scheme?
The success rate varies between 27% and 34% depending on the number of applications received. Between 110 and 150 applications are submitted each round.
Q. Where can I find information about projects currently funded under this scheme?
Details of projects funded under this scheme can be found under our Award scheme pages.
Q. How are proposals assessed?
Proposals are reviewed by members of our Carnegie Research Assessors' pool whose scores and comments are then further considered by a panel of assessors. More details of the criteria used by the panel and the Carnegie Research Assessors can be found under the Peer review section of this website.