Funding opportunities | University of Oxford

Funding opportunities

Are you looking to deliver a policy relevant and policy engaged project, project component, partnership or event? The University of Oxford provides funding for policy engagement work. We also provide details of available external funding opportunities.

To discuss any of the funding opportunities please contact the Policy Engagement Team at:

Click to expand the current and upcoming funding opportunities, below:

Research & Public Policy Partnership Scheme 

Are you passionate about public policy being powered by the best available research evidence and expertise?

In collaboration with the UK Civil Service Policy Profession, the University is offering awards of up to £5,000 to support partnerships between researchers at Oxford and policymakers (in or outside the UK) that will enable partners to improve public policy responses to COVID-19 – mitigating impact, supporting recovery, or both – through the sharing of evidence, experience and expertise.

Deadlines: 17:00 GMT, 1 February 2021 and 17:00 GMT, 18 March 2021. 
How to apply: Applications are to be made on IRAMS
Further information: Research & Public Policy Partnership Scheme

OPEN Leaders Scheme

The Oxford Policy Engagement Network (OPEN) brings together researchers, doctoral students and professional services staff from across the University, who share a vision of public policy powered by the world’s best available research evidence and expertise, enabling members to share knowledge and expertise with the policymaking community so that, together, they can contribute to better policies that protect what is valuable and change the world for the better.

This pilot scheme is offering awards of up to £8,000 to an initial cohort of at least five OPEN Leaders – researchers willing and able to take a leading role in the development of the network, advocating for, designing and delivering initiatives that enable one or more departments or faculties to improve access for the policymaking community to the best available research evidence and expertise; deepen understanding of how researchers can contribute to policymaking, and develop skills to do this effectively; or broaden and deepen relevant networks, creating and developing more opportunities for engagement. 

Deadline: 1700 GMT, 22 February 2021
Further information and how to apply: OPEN Leaders Scheme

Unlocking data to inform public health policy and practice

National Institute for Health Research

The PHR programme is seeking proposals to better understand the availability and potential of routinely collected administrative and service activity data to support decision making in local authorities to improve the health within their local populations, or across multiple local authorities, and reduce inequalities in health. Specifically, we are keen to explore what are the organisational and technical barriers to increased data utilisation, how to overcome them and facilitate the building of regional and national partnerships that make optimum use of data for policy and decision making.

Deadline: 13.00 GMT, 07 January 2021
Further information:

Bennett Prospect Policy Prize for Early Career Researchers

Bennett Institute for Public Policy, University of Cambridge The Bennett Prospect Prize for Public Policy is awarded by the Bennett Institute for Public Policy at the University of Cambridge and is held in partnership with Prospect magazine. The goal is to encourage early career researchers and policy professionals to enter a short essay or film that explores creative solutions to a pressing public policy question of our age.

This year's question: "Is it possible to govern well in the age of populism?" Is it possible to govern in the age of populism? Entries can be submitted in a 2,500 word essay or film.

Deadline: 23.59 GMT, 31 January 2021
Further information: 

OPEN Fellowships

OPEN connects researchers across the University with opportunities to engage with the policymaking community locally, nationally and internationally.

Since 2018, OPEN Fellowships have enabled Oxford researchers with a passion for improving public policy to:

  • understand better the relevance of their research to local, regional, national and international policymakers;

  • work with policymakers to identify and explore mutual interests;

  • and develop and leverage networks and other resources to generate benefits to research, policy and the wider world.

Previous OPEN Fellows have worked on policy challenges ranging from climate change to conservation; from regional development to international maritime security, and from smart energy to smarter healthcare. Their partners have come from local authorities; central government departments in and outside the UK; and intergovernmental organizations. You can meet some of our OPEN Fellows here.

Future OPEN Fellowships calls will be advertised here.

ESRC Impact Acceleration Account

Managed by the Social Sciences Division’s Research & Impact Team, the IAA provides flexible funding options for a wide range of Knowledge Exchange (KE) activities with the intention of enhancing the impact of excellent social science research. We also encourage collaboration with our O2RB regional partners: Oxford Brookes, Reading, and Open Universities.

Offering £2,500 to £25,000 for academic-led impact and knowledge exchange projects, these awards support engagement with all sectors, activities at every stage of development, and researchers at any point in their career.

How to apply: Applications are to be made on IRAMS 
Further information:

Expression of interest: emergency route for time-critical COVID-19 research

This is a rarely awarded emergency route for exceptional circumstances. Up to £80,000 is available for projects that support short term time-sensitive collection of data or samples or rapid turn-around research or analysis to either: i) inform urgent policy or national decision making, or ii) secure data for future research use. Projects should last between 3 and 6 months.

NB There are strict criteria for this funding call. Only proposals that fully meet all of the criteria will pass the expression of interest stage. For advice and guidance on this call and policy demand please feel free to get in touch with

Deadline: No closing date
Further information: Expression of interest: emergency route for time-critical COVID-19 research 

Research Fellowship Scheme: linked justice and education data Administrative Data Research UK (ADR UK)

ADR UK has launched a funding call for applications to conduct research using the Ministry of Justice (MoJ)-Department for Education (DfE) linked dataset, which is the result of a data sharing agreement signed between the two departments in September 2019. Grants are available for a maximum of £130,000 over 12 months. These Fellowships will enable funded researchers to be some of the first to demonstrate the potential of this pioneering dataset to understand links between childhood characteristics, educational outcomes and offending, informing policy and practice in this area.

Deadline: 30 March 2021
Further information: Linked justice and education data Research Fellowships

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