About the Enhancing Research Culture Fund

Improving our research culture is about ensuring that we acknowledge, choose and support the research related behaviours and actions we want to see in place and want to see transmitted and shared across the Institution.

We are delighted to receive our third Enhancing Research Culture (ERC) Fund allocation from research England to develop activities in response to the Governments R&D People and Culture Strategy, and our own Research Culture Action Plan. Following the success of previous years, we are making £140k available to support new and continuing research culture projects across the University.

Additional funding will also be made available through sandpits later in the year, alongside development sessions, talks, and other opportunities in line with our Research Culture Strategy. If you would like to share an idea for any of these activities, please contact Hayley Shaw, Research Culture Manager: hs2731@bath.ac.uk.

Enhancing Research Culture Fund Open Call

Staff are invited to submit applications for projects that aim to improve research culture at the University of Bath. Projects should align with the objectives of the ERC fund as identified by Research England, and with one or more focal pillars of research culture at the University of Bath (see below).

Pillar Aim
Career Development Diversifying recruitment, reward and recognition approaches at all career stages; Securing and supporting the careers of researchers and associated professions
Collegiality Tackling bullying and harassment
Open Research Furthering open research practices
Research Design Improving access to and participation in research, including postgraduate research study, for people from currently underrepresented groups; Creating routes for collaboration and exchange with businesses, third sector organisations and government; Delivering new approaches to public dialogue and community-led research
Research Ethics and Integrity Improving research conduct and reproducibility
Research Recognition Improving research leadership skills across all career stages; Diversifying recruitment, reward and recognition approaches at all career stages

Projects can apply for one of two funds:

  • New Initiatives Fund: We expect to award £100k in total to new initiatives and projects, and welcome applications of up to £15k.
  • Follow-on Funding: For those who were awarded funding in previous rounds, but who need a small amount of additional funding to (for example) scale up/ embed/ share their outcomes. We expect to award up to £50k in total, and welcome individual projects of up to £10k.

To find out more about the fund, you can:

  • attend the Research Culture Fund Launch from 12–2pm on 19 September to learn more about the projects funded last year, and develop ideas for this call;
  • attend a drop-in session to informally discuss your ideas or gain advice on the application process; or
  • email Research Culture Manager, Hayley Shaw, with any queries: hs2731@bath.ac.uk

Applications should be submitted to Hayley Shaw, Research Culture Manager in Research and Innovation Services (RIS), using the application form by 5pm Friday 27 October.


Projects should be able to start in December 2023 or soon after, and complete by 31 July 2024. We anticipate receiving a similar funding allocation next year, so whilst this application is for projects that will complete in this academic year (end July 2024), it may be possible to extend the work, subject to a successful application in the next financial year.

Assessment Criteria

A Review Panel consisting of the following members will review applications:

  • Associate Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research)
  • Research Culture Manager
  • Members of the Research Culture Working Group

The following criteria will be used to assess all applications:

  1. Clearly identified challenge that impacts the research culture at Bath. Clearly links to a specified pillar of research culture and has potential to generate impact both in the short term (following this funding) and the longer term, considering wider context. Scored from 1 to 10, where 1 is no evidence and 10 is excellent alignments with the aims of the scheme.
  2. Planned activities are realistic in the timeframe set and with the proposed team, involved stakeholders are comprehensive and span a range of relevant job families for this stage of development. Scored from 1 to 10, where 1 is no evidence and 10 is excellent and achievable delivery plan.
  3. Plans for evaluating the success of the project are relevant, comprehensive and achievable. Scored from 1 to 10, where 1 is no evidence and 10 is excellent plans for evaluating success.
  4. Plans to embed positive research culture principles within the delivery of the project are clearly expressed. Scored from 1 to 10, where 1 is no evidence and 10 is excellent inclusion of research culture considerations.
  5. Requested funding is well-justified and appropriate. Scored from 1 to 10, where there is no evidence, or funding request is non-compliant, and 10 is extremely well justified and appropriate use of funds.