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:

For the OPEN Peer-Mentoring scheme please see here.

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

Public Policy Challenge Fund

Awards of up to £50,000 are available to support researchers with a passion for improving public policy, enabling them to collaborate with policymakers, deepen their understanding of how research can inform policymaking, and improve access to the best available evidence and expertise from across the University.

Applications for this opportunity are currently closed. Please join OPEN to find out when this opportunity will be available again.  

See the previous call guidance here

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 or watch this video to hear from a past award winner.

Applications for this opportunity are currently closed. Please join OPEN to find out when this opportunity will be available again. 

See the previous call guidance here

OPEN Leaders Scheme

The OPEN Leaders scheme offers awards of up to £8,000 to researchers willing and able to help drive an inclusive, supportive culture of policy engagement among staff and students at the University of Oxford. The Award will allow recipients to take a leading role in the development of the OPEN network and advocating for, designing and delivering initiatives that enable one or more departments or faculties to:

  1. Improve access for the policymaking community to the best available research evidence and expertise;
  2. Deepen understanding of how researchers can contribute to policymaking, and develop skills to do this effectively; or
  3. Broaden and deepen relevant networks, creating and developing more opportunities for engagement.

Watch this video to find out more.

This opportunity is currently open for applications. Closing date 12:00 BST, 16 November 2023.

Find out more about the call and apply here 

OPEN Seed Fund 

In collaboration with the UK Civil Service Policy Profession, the University's Research & Public Policy Partnership Scheme offers awards to support partnerships between researchers at Oxford and policymakers.

This call offers support for partnerships between researchers at any department or faculty at Oxford and policymakers in and outside the UK.

Watch this video to find out more.

Applications for this opportunity are currently closed. Please join OPEN to find out when this opportunity will be available again. 

See the previous call guidance 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.

Future calls will be advertised here.

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

Future calls will be advertised here.