Researcher-led initiative awards

Would you like funding to design professional development here at the University of Exeter?

The Researcher-led Initiative awards are intended to enable postgraduate research students and early career research staff to be creative, proactive, and empowered, through the process of initiating, designing, managing, and delivering new professional development activities for their peers that will develop the skills and experience needed to progress their careers.

The Researcher Development team has an annual fund to support the development and cascading of personal, professional and career management skills by and for postgraduate research students and early career research staff across the University of Exeter.

The awards support short-term, well-defined initiatives that develop and deliver transferable skills training experiences and/or resources to the applicants’ peers across departments. Collaborative applications are encouraged. Applications will be reviewed on a case by case basis and all applicants will receive feedback after the awards have been allocated.

£15,000 is available for applications of up to £1000 per award.

We welcome applications that are broadly centred around one of the following themes:

  • Non-academic career development
  • Academic career development
  • Professional development of researchers in the Humanities and/or Social Sciences
  • Promoting the development of women in the sciences 
  • Enhancing discipline specific training opportunities
  • Establishing or enhancing early career research networks and research culture

Overview of criteria:

  • Lead applicants must be University of Exeter Postgraduate Research Student or University of Exeter staff on Research Only contracts, grades E, F or G
  • Activities should not replicate those which are already offered by the University
  • The proposed activities must directly benefit parties beyond the named applicants
  • Beneficiaries of the initiatives must be Postgraduate Research Students and/or University of Exeter staff on Research contracts on grade E, F or G.
  • Applications from Postgraduate Research Students must include other Postgraduate Research Students as beneficiaries and applications from Research Staff must include other University of Exeter staff on Research Only contracts on grade E, F or G as beneficiaries.
  • Proposals must outline how the lead applicant and all participants will benefit with regard to personal, professional and career management skills
  • Activities should be fully completed by the end of the current academic year
  • Funding must be used within the current university financial year (see guidelines)
  • Successful applicants must agree to fulfil the responsibilities outline in the Award Holder Responsibilities document.

Please note this is not an award for travel to conferences etc

How to apply:

Applications for this years RLI awards are now closed. 

Application Update: 

This year we received 35 applications and a total of £14,885 has been awarded across 23 initiatives, 13 to ECRs and 10 to PGRs. The successful applicants are well distributed across all of the University campuses and colleges. The RLIs make a significant contribution to the numbers of PGRs and ECRs who engage with the Doctoral College as well as enhancing many of the Early Career Research Networks.

Timetable/Key dates:

  • Friday 10th November 2017 - Competition opens for applications
  • Tuesday 16th January 2018, 23:59 GMT - Deadline for submitting applications
  • Wednesday 31st January 2018 – Deadline for announcing award winners
  • Thursday 1st February – Friday 6th July 2018 - Award holders prepare and deliver their initiatives
  • Friday 6th July 2018 – Deadline for completing the initiatives.