The Bath Beacons initiative has been launched to empower our research community to build our research profile through tackling major research challenges; and in so doing to attract significant funding to enable large-scale, inter-disciplinary research activities.

As part of this initiative, we will be looking to support academic research teams to develop into Beacons. A successful outcome would be to identify and support research teams through the scheme to gain significant funding.

The Bath Beacons initiative seeks to:

  • increase the number of successful applications for large grants, particularly in the priority research themes of Digital, Sustainability, and Health and Wellbeing
  • propagate a culture of collaborative, interdisciplinary grant capture
  • consolidate academic leadership, in focusing multi-disciplinary communities to address grand challenges

Expressions of Interest

The Bath Beacons Steering Group wishes, therefore, to identify initiatives from the research community which have significant potential and intersect with both funder priorities and Bath’s research strengths (existing and emerging).

We want to build successful consortia crossing disciplinary boundaries that will be competitive in developing research funding applications at scale in the near-to-medium term.

We invite expressions of interest in developing Beacons which align strong leadership with Bath’s research strengths and funder priorities; we would like to see possible Beacons focussed on specific challenges within one or more of the identified thematic areas: Digital, Sustainability, and Health and Wellbeing.

Complete the Bath Beacons Expressions of Interest by 4pm 17 June.

Those proposals that are selected by the Steering Group through this first wave will be supported by a (limited) flexible financial resource to advance them towards submitting their first major funding bid, as well as by dedicated support from RIS.

The University expects that bids coming through this scheme would have a real chance of gaining external funding and emerging as successful core activities within the University research profile.


Key criteria that we will be looking for are evidence of:

  • potential to develop ambitious, high-quality, inter-disciplinary submissions to large funding calls
  • a research challenge which fits with one or more University theme areas (Digital, Sustainability, Health and Wellbeing) and which is aligned with identifiable funder priorities
  • commitment and credibility of the team, including leadership potential, development opportunities and diversity

From these Expressions of Interest submissions, we would expect to select a small number (2-3) for pre-application support from the University to enable further development. The next stages of the selection process will be determined according to the number of EoI submissions received at this stage. For example, the Steering Group may enter into further dialogue with leadership teams, invite pitches and/or ask for additional information.

It is important to note that this process is not a one-off opportunity to engage with the scheme but rather a first wave. We are also keen to receive feedback, comments and ideas from colleagues via the Bath Beacons Team site at any time. It is important to emphasise that nothing in the Bath Beacons initiative is intended to be a deterrent to those wishing to submit grants, nor the only mechanism for University support for grant development activities, large or otherwise.

Contact Dr Kate Charles, Head of Research Development, with your enquiries.