Research Funding


Click here for our key message to those thinking about applying for research funding 

The sooner we can start working with you the better – we only need rough draft to start with!

Please contact the Strategic Funding Manager and the Grants and Contracts Officer for your College as soon as possible to let them know about your intention to submit an application. As well as ensuring that you meet funder/institutional requirements, we want to help you submit the highest quality proposal possible including all sections of the application, not just the case for support. 

RKE can also provide advice on the potential fit of your proposal to the funder and identify any specific funder requirements that you need to be aware of when making an application.  We can also comment on an early draft of the application, liaise with Finance re costings and make recommendations re internal peer reviewers. As part of the University's planning to address the financial challenges posed by COVID-19, we have adopted a more active approach to managing our research bids, covering both volume and financial parameters – this is another area where RKE can provide advice.

Aston University Pre-award Processes for Research Funding and Research-Related Funding*

The University Research Committee and Executive Academic Group have approved a Governance Framework that covers all aspects of the pre-award workflow for research funding. This includes the University’s Peer Review Policy and Processes, Policy for Approval of Industrial Funders and Donors, Matched-Funding Policy, costing of bids, key decision-making points, expert support from Professional Services (RKE, Finance and DARO). 

Academics and researchers are asked to familiarise themselves with the framework, and to work within the policies and processes that are set out. Our objective is to support all applicants in order to ensure that bids are developed to the highest possible standard, due diligence is completed and costings are completed appropriately. 

Guidance is provided for funding under three headings, with key contacts set out in the table below: 

  1. Competitive Research/Research-Related Funding 
  2. Industrial Funding of Research 
  3. Research-Related Donations  

*Research England and HESA only permit us to class income as ‘research’ if it conforms to the Frascati definition of research (Frascati Manual 2002). This is the internationally recognised methodology for collecting and using R&D statistics. It defines research as follows: Research and experimental development (R&D) comprise creative work undertaken on a systematic basis in order to increase the stock of knowledge, including knowledge of man, culture and society, and the use of this stock of knowledge to devise new applications. This includes Basic Research, Applied Research and Experimental Development. Capacity building funding schemes such as Research England’s E3 and Strength in Places are normally categorised as research-related, not research. Similarly, Centres for Doctoral Training and Doctoral Training Programmes are also categorised as research-related.

 Executive DeanAssociate Dean Research(s)Strategic Funding Manager (RKE)Grants and Contracts Manager (RKE)(Finance)
College of Business and Social Science Professor George FeigerProfessor Nicholas O'Regan (ABS) and Professor Phillip Mizen (SHH)Ronni LittlewoodSuzi HaymanMatt Cooper, Cassie McKenna and Asia Edwards
College of Engineering and Physical SciencesProfessor Sarah HainsworthProfessor Patricia ThornleyDr Purbani ChakrabartiDr Angels Odena Cassie McKenna, Hafsa Ghuman and Asia Edwards
College of Health and Life SciencesProfessor Anthony HiltonProfessor Roslyn BillDr Jen WhaleDr Karina Tveen JensenMike Jones and Asia Edwards
EU Bids (not ERDF)As aboveAs abovePaul KnobbsOn College by College basis as aboveOn College by College basis as above
ERDF bidsOn college by College basis as aboveOn college by College basis as abovePaul KnobbsOn College by College basis as aboveDaniel Piggott, Roshan Dandiker and Mike Stubbs
Innovate and KTPOn college by College basis as aboveOn college by College basis as aboveJohn RichardsInitial contact with John RichardsOn College by College basis as above
Direct industrial fundingOn college by College basis as aboveOn college by College basis as aboveJohn RichardsOn college by College basis as aboveOn College by College basis as above
Research-related bids (competitive)*On college by College basis as aboveOn college by College basis as aboveDr Angela JefferyOn college by College basis as aboveMatt Cooper
Research-related DonationsOn college by College basis as aboveOn college by College basis as aboveFor donations from an individual or a Foundation contact College SFM (as above).
For donations from industry contact John Richards
Copy Christiane Dickens (DARO) for all donations

*Colleges will be formally operational from 1 August 2020