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Research Strategy Office


Cross-disciplinary research themes and funding calls, often addressing global challenges through large-scale collaborative efforts, are an increasing part of the research and funding landscape. Provided that there is strong academic leadership with clear goals, large cross-School thematic initiatives can be significant vehicles by which the University can address new research opportunities, raise its profile, attract leading researchers, encourage new collaborations and increase research income.

The University’s Research Policy Committee (RPC) recognised in 2009 that such cross-School initiatives may require some level of institutional coordination and support. The Strategic Research Initiatives (SRI) scheme was launched by RPC in 2010 and further SRI awards were made in 2011, 2013, 2017 and 2018. The scheme was the subject of a detailed report to RPC in 20151 and in 2016 the first SRIs graduated to become Interdisciplinary Research Centres (IRCs). There are currently 12 Interdisciplinary Research Centres, 4 Strategic Research Initiatives and 4 Strategic Research Networks.

In its meeting on 8 October 2020, the Research Policy Committee decided to announce a new call for the Strategic Research Initiatives. The initial award of SRI status is for 3 years, subject to annual review by RPC. The award includes funding of £55k p.a., which is normally expected to be used to support a coordinator role and some associated activities. This funding comes from a central Administered Fund under the stewardship of RPC.

Applications: The first stage of the application process is a brief Expression of Interest (EoI), which should be submitted to using the form provided. EoIs are reviewed by RPC and then the leaders of a small number of shortlisted proposals are invited to develop full applications.

The internal deadline for submission of Expressions of interest is 29 January 2021. Applications received after this date will not be considered.