- Applicant Eligibility
- Eligible costs
- Application process & closing dates
- Guidelines & regulations
- Reports from Previous Rounds
- Online applications
- Applicant Eligibility
- Eligible costs
- Application process & closing dates
- Guidelines & regulations
- Reports from Previous Rounds
- Online applications
The purpose of the Research Incentive Grants (RIG) scheme is to make it possible for an Early Career Researcher 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. Where a proposal does relate to a continuing research project, a clear case for additional support from the Trust must be made.
The principal criterion for the award of a RIG is that the planned research is of excellent quality, will enable the principal investigator to develop a new project or line of research and is likely to lead to high quality outputs and outcomes.
Research Incentive Grants are tenable between 1 and 12 months. The maximum award that can be applied for is £10,000 and the minimum is £1,500.
There are two deadlines each year: 15th September for projects starting after the 1st January immediately following the closing date and 13th March for projects starting after the 1st July immediately following the closing date. All research projects must start within 12 months of the date of award.
The following types of activity are excluded: the formation and operation of networks or similar discussion groupings; projects mainly directed at digitising, cataloguing or archiving existing data; projects centred on running conferences, workshops, seminars, summer schools or similar symposia; knowledge exchange projects; or projects that are directed at confirmation and dissemination of previously acquired research results.
The Principal Investigator must be an Early Career Researcher, 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.
For the purpose of the Trust, an Early Career Researcher is defined as a researcher who, at the time of applying (e.g. the closing date for applications) is either:
- Within 7 years of successfully completing their PhD (measured from the date of submission), OR
- Within 7 years of starting their independent research career (pro-rata for part-time staff and excluding breaks such as parental leave, extended sick leave, secondments outwith academia or periods of unemployment)
The applicant must demonstrate that, without the support of the Trust, the planned research would not take place or would be significantly delayed.
Submissions will not be accepted from applicants when a report on a previous grant is overdue.
RIGs are awarded to help with the costs directly incurred by, or on behalf of, the principal and co-investigators while pursuing the planned research project.
Eligible costs include, but are not limited to, payments for:
- travel, accommodation, and subsistence;
- research support staff;
- other technical/administrative staff;
- laboratory consumables;
- costs associated with disseminating results arising from the project – through publication or presentation at specialist conferences (up to a maximum of 15% of the requested budget);
- other research costs, as deemed appropriate by the Trust.
The following costs are not eligible:
- the applicant’s (and co-investigator’s, if applicable) own time or that of dependants, or buy-out of their time;
- stipends or scholarships;
- indirect overhead costs and bench/desk fees;
- insurance cover.
Application process and closing dates
Applications must be completed and submitted online through the Trust’s online grant portal.
Applications must be electronically endorsed by the Head of Department and Research Office at the Principal Investigator’s university. This approval process must be completed by the deadline for submission of applications. It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that sufficient time is available for the approval process to be completed prior to the closing date.
The closing dates for submitting applications are 15th September and 13th March. Results will be notified within 15 weeks of the closing date.
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.
The Trust will not consider more than one application from the same applicant at any one time. Nor will it consider an application from an applicant whole holds an existing active grant from the Trust. In the case of the latter if the Trust has not received an end report from a previous grant, then a new application will not be accepted.
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.
A Guide for Applicants is available to help applicants through the application process.
Applications will be reviewed by assessors selected by the Trust, who will be consulted by the Trust on the merits of the application.
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.
The criteria upon which the proposal will be judged, in addition to those already mentioned, will include:
- the originality and significance of the proposed research;
- its feasibility, in terms of the resources being provided and the time available;
- the suitability of the applicant to undertake the project;
- the level of support being provided by the principal investigator’s university.
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.
Unsuccessful applicants can request feedback on their proposals. The Trust reserves the right to disclose only information deemed appropriate.
All grants awarded will be on the basis of the published terms and conditions of award.
NOTE: Learn more about the assessment process
Guidelines and regulations
Frequently Asked Questions
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 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. I am NOT an Early Career Researcher. Am I still eligible to apply?
The Research Incentive Grants are restricted to Early Career Researchers as defined by the Trust. Academics who do not meet the Trust's definition of an Early Career Researcher are not eligible to apply.
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?
Eligible applicants must meet the end of project requirements from a previous Carnegie grant (for a Research Incentive Grant; 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 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.
Q. Are any types of research activities excluded?
The Trust will not consider applications primarily seeking support for: the formation and operation of networks or similar discussion groupings; projects mainly directed at digitising, cataloguing or archiving existing data; projects centred on running conferences, workshops, seminars, summer schools or similar symposia; knowledge exchange projects; or projects that are directed at confirmation and dissemination of previously acquired research results.
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/13th 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 13th 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. The relevant section 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.
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 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 15% 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 15% 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. Can I fund a stipend or fees for a student?
No, stipend or tuition fees for a summer vacation scholarship, postgraduate student or PhD student cannot be included in the costs.
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.
Outcomes & Outputs
Q. What kind of outcomes & 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. How can I apply for a Research Incentive Grant?
Applications are completed online and you can access the online application portal by clicking on the Online applications tab.
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 endorsing the application online through the Trust's online submission portal. Applicants will need to allow sufficient time for the institutional approval to be completed before the closing date.
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 120 and 160 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.
Reports from Previous Rounds
Reports from previous funding rounds are available to download.
The web application portal for the Sept 2018 has now closed. The next deadline is 13 March 2019 5PM. We recommend that prospective applicants reading the Guide for Applicants and eligibility criteria in full before applying.