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Research Strategy Office


VC and PVC Research support letters

Sponsors may request a letter of support from the Vice-Chancellor or Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research to be submitted with the application for funding. In order to allow sufficient time for the review and signing of letters under current circumstances, from 1 April 2020 requests and draft support letters must be submitted to the Research Strategy Office ( (twenty) working days ahead of the sponsor's deadline. The VC or the PVC Research will reserve the right to refuse to sign support letters which do not meet this submission deadline.

If the call doesn’t require a signature by the VC / PVC Research, normally the Head of School or Department can sign the letter.

When submitting the request to the Research Strategy Office, please:

  • Review and address the funder requirements for the support letter in the draft.
  • Submit the draft support letter, a link to the call document and the outline of the proposal.
  • Make sure that where a page limit is mandated by the funder, a one page letter contains no more than 500 words, and a two page letter no more than 850 words. This is to allow for headers and signatures. No letter should be longer than 850 words.
  • Fill in and submit the form (at the right-hand side of this page), which confirms the institutional contribution included in the bid and that it has been approved by the relevant Head of Department, Head of School and the School Finance Manager. The signatures of the holders of these posts must be included. If no financial or in-kind contributions are specified in the letter, the support form is not needed.
  • In the case of a multi-institutional proposal, please make sure that the costing and institutional contribution from all participating institutions has been agreed before submitting the draft letter.

The support letter should include the following information:

  • Title of the proposal
  • Institutions participating in the application
  • Vision and aims of the proposal
  • Particular strengths and expertise that the researcher(s) are bringing to the proposal
  • Strengths and expertise of relevant research centres / departments and divisions, links to their research strategy and / or key themes
  • Links to the University's strategic research initiatives and networks (where applicable)
  • What support / commitments can be offered (where applicable and relevant), e.g. allocation of space, allocation of studentships, facilities, staff time etc. All financial commitments specified in the letter, whether in cash or in kind, should also be itemised in the Support Letters Form (see right-hand side of this page) and signed off on the form by the relevant Head of Department, Head of School and the School Finance Manager.
  • Anything else that you feel would strengthen the support to the application.

To request a letter, please complete the below support letter template and form and send it to the Research Strategy Office: