Early Career Engagement Grant

SIRE welcomes applications from early career researchers including PhD students, postdoctoral research fellows and junior academics (this is broadly interpreted) to support high quality research that involves a significant element of engagement with a non-academic organisation in the public or private sector in UK or abroad.  

By way of examples, the research might involve:

  • spending time in some organisation such as the Scottish Government, HM Treasury or World Bank gaining some knowledge of the policy context behind research into certain policy initiatives;
  • spending time in a company or policy-making body accessing specialist data that is not publicly available;
  • setting up field experiments in conjunction with a government or NGO in a developing country.

The grant will cover the additional costs incurred by conducting research that involves such engagement, which, by way of illustration, could include:

  • travel costs;
  • additional maintenance costs – e.g. if applicant has to spend time away from home institution while still paying accommodation costs at that institution;
  • income replacement – particularly for PhD or postdoctoral students who are a teaching contract to earn money to support;
  • some research costs – e.g. costs associated with conducting field experiment.

There are no limits on the amount of time involved in such engagement nor on the total amount of funding requested, though SIRE may cap or decline to fund certain elements of funding that are requested.  SIRE will look more favourably on applications which have the potential to lead to a good quality publication and also might have the potential to generate future Impact. 

There is no application form, but applicants should submit free-form requests which set out

  1. the nature of the research (no more than 2 sides of A4);
  2. the nature of the engagement with one or more designated organisations;
  3. the costs for which they are seeking funding along with some brief justification. 
  4. The application must be accompanied by a written communication from the designated organisation confirming that they will host applicant for the claimed form of engagement. 
  5. There should also be a letter of support from the applicant’s home academic institution. For PhD students this should typically come from principal supervisor; for post-docs from their mentor; for academics from their Head of Department.

The grant will be paid to the applicant’s home academic institution who will be responsible for administering the grant. 

As is normal with SIRE awards, the applicant should submit an end of award report.

Anyone interested should send an e-mail with details covering points 1 to 5 as per list above to info@sire.ac.uk

Please note that incomplete information may delay the application process.

Download the flyer