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 and COVID-19 Response Schemes

The Aberdeen Grants Academy is inviting applications to three internal funding schemes to support ODA compliant research in DAC countries.  Applicants to all three schemes are encouraged to consider a wide range of activities in the delivery of their project, including but not limited to supporting PhD student stipends, Postdoctoral Researchers and the use of online technologies. The panel would particularly welcome creative solutions given the current restrictions on travel and face to face research. 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?’

Funding available through each scheme is indicated in the notes below, however, in exceptional circumstances the panel will consider higher value projects where sufficient justification is provided..

Covid-19 Response

Funding of up to £50,000 per project is available to support research activities as follows:

  1. Support the response to Covid-19 in DAC countries. These may be new projects or existing projects which can be repurposed and/or extended to meet the challenges of COVID-19.
  2. Providing additional support to existing ODA compliant projects which have been disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. These projects need not be tackling issues related to the pandemic themselves but will have experienced significant disruption to the planned research activities. Projects in this category will need to demonstrate the disruption caused and how additional funding will enable them to achieve the objectives of the original project.

Internal Pump Priming

Funding of up to £20,000 are invited. Projects should seek to:

  • Build new collaborative links and.or 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.
  • Enable researchers to capture pilot data and/or evidence to position research areas for future funding applications to the Global Challenge Research Fund.
  • Support other relevant activity directly related to the development of proposals to GCRF initiatives.

Impact Accelerator

Projects of up to £20,000 are invited. Projects should seek to achieve and/or to evaluate impact arising from ODA-compliant research, including GCRF and Newton.


Please complete the appropriate application form and return it to

An application form for GCRF-IPPF and Impact Accelerator funding may be downloaded here.

Those applying to the Covid-19 Response scheme should use this form. At present this is an open call and applications will be accepted on a rolling basis. It is expected the panel will meet from late May on a regular basis. 

Further information on the GCRF is available from UKRI where you will also find a list of current UKRI GCRF funding calls. You can also follow UKRI GCRF news via the UKRI News twitter account.

If you wish to discuss an application, please contact Wendy Rudland.

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. 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.


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.

Visit here for more information.

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.

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.