The University of Aberdeen under the Aberdeen Grants Academy manages several internal funding opportunities to pump-prime research and knowledge exchange activities.

Deadlines are announced through-out the year for the various streams. Please feel free to ask questions at anytime.

Global Challenge Research Internal Fund: Pump Prime or Impact Accelerator Fund (GCRF-IPPF)

Global Challenge Research Internal Fund: Pump Prime or Impact Accelerator Fund

The Aberdeen Grants Academy is pleased to announce a call for application for Internal funds to support Global Challenge Research, either as a) Pump Priming Fund to help build new collaborative links, capture pilot data or B) as Impact Accelerator to help realise and accelerate the impact arriving from ODA-compliant research.

Applications are welcome (up to a maximum value of £10,000 per project) to:

  • build new collaborative links and consolidate existing partnerships with researchers and stakeholders active in international development, with a particular emphasis in LMICs, to provide a firm foundation for future ODA-oriented projects and to demonstrate the demand lead nature from stakeholders of proposals.
  • To enable researchers to capture pilot data and/or evidence to position research areas for future funding applications to the Global Challenge Research Fund.
  • To support other relevant activity directly related to the development of proposals to GCRF initiatives  
  • For Impact Acceleration, to achieve and/or to evaluate impact arising from ODA-compliant research, including GCRF and Newton.

The activities must align to the Official Development Assistance (ODA) guidelines; namely to promote economic development and welfare within Low and Middle Income Countries (LMICs) on the DAC list and must demonstrate ODA compliance.  More information can be found at ‘Is it ODA?’


An application form for GCRF-IPPF funding may be downloaded here. The deadline to submit applications is 28 November 2019.

New calls from different delivery partners are released regularly by RCUK and are available at the RCUK GCRF Page and all new funding opportunities are posted on the Research Councils UK Twitter account when they are announced. Information on previous calls can be found here.

All funds from the GCRF-IPPF must be spent/committed by end of the awarded financial year - 31 July each year.  Extensions will not be possible.

Useful link for external GCRF opportunities: UKRI GCRF Page and UKRI news.

If you wish to discuss an application, please contact Andrew Phillps or call 01224 273780.

For advice and for help with costing an application, please contact your pre-award costing accountant.


Applications will be reviewed by circulation. The panel will comprise of selected Heads of Schools, Deans of Research, School Directors of Research and the Director of Research & Innovation. The panel will be chaired by the Vice-Principal for Research and Knowledge Exchange. Further reviewers may be added as required for relevant expertise. The key assessment criteria for making awards will be on the potential to support excellent ODA-compliant research, to build and develop international partnerships to be competitive for GCRF funding. We aim to make a funding decision within 5 days of the deadline.


A report must be provided within a month of completion of the project. Guidance on reporting requirements will be provided to award holders at award stage.

Further Guidance

Further information about the GCRF calls and ODA compliance, please visit our GCRF webpage.

Wellcome Trust Institutional Strategic Support fund (ISSF)

Funding to support a range of strategic research activities that fall within the Wellcome Trust's remit.

Core Facilities Voucher Scheme

This scheme enables researchers (particularly early career researchers) to access institutional core facilities ( to enhance their existing line of research or develop new studies that could potentially lead to external funding. Up to £3,000 is available.

REF2021 Impact Support Award (RISA)

Pump priming (development) funding is available to support the development and evidencing of non-academic impact for REF2021 case studies. Applications relating to case studies not yet drafted, in early draft phase and those nearly finalised can be submitted.

Research Enhancement Scheme

Support (£3,000 - £5,000) is available for external grant applications that were highly graded by funding panels but remained unfunded, and for applications where internal peer review suggests specific actions for improvement.  Support for activities to underpin applications to fEC funders are strongly encouraged.