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In exceptional circumstances, the Trustees may consider an application for support for a large, institutional, perhaps interdisciplinary, programme of strategic value to the University for the promotion of education or research. This would normally be in response to the possibility of securing a major grant from an external funding body. In the period 2016-19, the Trust was able to support a larger number of major grants by mobilising excess reserves, but these have now been used up.  

Examples of the Trust’s recent Strategic Grants:

Our earlier Strategic Grants include support for major research centres such as the Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences and CRASSH.

The Trustees have now set a total annual budget of up to £500m for Strategic Grants. They will fund no more than one or perhaps two projects per annum and reserve the right not to make any awards in any given year.

How to apply

*If you are considering making an application in this category please contact the Director in the first instance.*

An approach may be made by Heads of Department/Faculty/Institute, Chairs of Schools, the Pro-Vice-Chancellors (individually or in combination as appropriate) for large, institutional, perhaps interdisciplinary, programmes or projects of strategic value to the University for the promotion of education or research.

Please note that

  • the Trust can sometimes be of help when an institutional contribution is required to help to secure external funding; but
  • given our modest resources, the Trust cannot normally be the primary provider of matching funds and other internal and external sources should be thoroughly investigated before turning to the Trust;
  • the Trust is unable to assist with contributions to endowments.

There is one round annually, with two stages:

  1. Preliminary applications should be submitted to the Director no later than three weeks before the March meeting of Trustees; this should follow the basic format of a Research Grants application, but only two sides of A4 are needed for the academic case, and no referees are needed at this stage. The Head of Department's form should be replaced by a letter from the supporting Pro-Vice Chancellor or Chair of School.
  2. Applicants whose cases are selected in the preliminary round will be invited to submit a full application in June for a decision at the July meeting.

COVID-19: Message from Director

We are exploring with the University and other major funding partners (such as the Leverhulme Trust) what possibilities exist to support our grant holders through this period of exceptional difficulty.  

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