Research Pump-Priming Fund
The Research Pump Priming Fund has been set up to support research across areas considered to be of strategic importance through giving a small amount of money (up to £5,000) to enable researchers to develop proposals with the aim of attracting further funding from external sources. The funding is limited and allocated on an annual basis from the University strategic funds.
The scheme is open to early career researchers, i.e. academic or research staff within the first four years of their research career either in an academic position or as an independent researcher. Employment in a research position working on someone else's proposal does not count towards the four year limit. Staff whose previous role did not include research also qualify as early career researchers e.g. those entering the University at a more senior grade from industry or a professional background. Research assistants may also apply with the support of their School provided they will be in post for the full duration of the proposed project.
The fund can be used to supplement funding provided by Schools to support appropriate research projects, or to enable researchers to carry out data collection or undertake pilot studies, purchase items of equipment or pay expenses to meet collaborators so that bids for other funding can be developed. Applications for funding are expected to demonstrate a commitment to publication and to seeking external research income, and to set out clearly how the pump priming money will be used to take the research forward.
Funding has enabled a number of collaborative projects with other organisations, such as a study on domestic violence with the Metropolitan Police undertaken by staff from the School of Health Sciences. Another award enabled a member of staff from the Business School to develop a consortium to bid for European funding. A team in Economics received a £99,300 grant from the ESRC after carrying out a pilot study into the benefits and costs of knowledge and technology transfer funded by University Pump Priming. Projects have also led to approaches for potential collaboration and comparative studies have been made with research groups from other countries (e.g. a project on sign and spoken language interaction carried out by staff in Language and Communication Science).