Skip to main content

Discretionary fund for international activities

The Discretionary Fund supports collaborative projects with international partner institutions throughout the year.

Discretionary Fund

This fund will support international activity throughout the year.

About the Discretionary Fund

The Discretionary Fund supports any project activities with new or existing international partners, except PhD mobility. You may apply for small or regular awards.

For small awards, you could receive up to £500.

For regular awards, successful proposals could receive up to £2,000.

Award criteria

  • Proposals may be for projects in any international partnership activity
  • The proposal should not fall into an activity eligible for funding in the IRO International Funding Schemes, or there should be a compelling reason to apply for funding outside the call. The deadline for IRO Funding Schemes is in October each year and awards run from January to December. This year’s deadline is on 11 October 2019.
  • Preference will be given to proposals supporting the preparation of jointly-authored publications and/or external grant proposals
  • Projects are usually expected to be match-funded

The discretionary fund does not support doctoral research visits. Students interested in funding support for doctoral mobility may apply to the IRO International Funding Schemes (Strand 3) or contact the Doctoral College, for information on the Visiting Postgraduate Scheme (VPS) and other mobility opportunities.

Expected outputs

Applicants are expected to define and deliver project-appropriate outputs.

In addition, we expect the following outputs:

  • Submission of a final report
  • Awardees may be asked to contribute to University showcases for internal and external audiences, including, for example, a presentation, case study or blog


Decisions on regular awards will be made by a selection panel including the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (International and Doctoral), the Dean of the applicant’s Faculty or School, and the Interim Head of International Relations (IRO).

Decisions on small awards are made by the International Relations Office.


Applications for small awards are accepted on a rolling basis.

Applications for regular awards are accepted twice a year: 1 February and 1 May.

How to submit your application

Small awards

Applicants for small awards are requested to complete the discretionary fund application form. Completed application forms may be submitted throughout the year directly to the International Relations Office,

Regular awards

For regular awards, applicants are requested to complete the discretionary fund application form and secure approval by the Head of Department (HoD).

PhD students are further requested to secure approval by the PhD supervisor, who forwards the application to the HoD.

Completed and signed application forms should be submitted directly by the HoD to the IRO by 1 February or 1 May to the International Relations Office,