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Future of Policing Research Grant

Research Activites | The new dealing to submit applications will be by 23:59 on Sunday 11th April 2021.

SIPR are seeking HEI partners from within the SIPR collaborative agreement, to support PhD studentship funding for two match funded PhDs*

As part of our ongoing strategic development SIPR has committed to jointly fund (50/50) two full time PhD studentships with collaborating HEI’s. For each successful application, SIPR will provide 50% of the studentship’s fees and stipend in line with RCUK rates (

These calls are open to any academic member of staff based at one of the 15 SIPR member universities ( We encourage interdisciplinary partnerships and proposals can be submitted by a single institution or across member institutions.

This funding is provided for PhDs commencing in autumn 2021.

Studentships sought should be in line with the current strategic research themes of SIPR ( which are:

• Policing & health, safety & wellbeing

• Technology and Digital Policing

• Policing system capability & resilience

These themes have been developed in collaboration with Police Scotland and the Scottish Police Authority, and align with policing priorities for Scotland (see the Joint Strategy for Policing 2020 and Strategic Police Priorities for Scotland).

Information for Applicants

• Prior agreement must be confirmed in writing (as a letter for support) from the host institution that they (or another funding body) will provide 50% of the fees and stipend along with the necessary funding and resources for the PhD studentship, including equipment, office space and institutional postgraduate support for the duration of the project.

• A letter of support from Police Scotland (or the relevant external body) should be sought where the project will require access to personnel or data, please ensure you make contact with Police Scotland’s Academic Research Team ( as soon as possible to ensure the project’s feasibility.

• The PhD should have practical outcomes which may influence policy, learning and practice therefore applications should outline what the expected impact is of this work including plans for dissemination.

• Successful studentships should then be openly advertised through the appropriate channels (e.g. Find a PhD). Host institutions will decide on appropriate candidates and be responsible for the selection decisions.

• Once successful studentships have been selected, the lead host institution will be required to enter into a funding agreement with SIPR. This agreement will set out the expectations of the host institution and the PhD candidate including advising annual plans, financial and reporting requirements, ethical conduct, and publication. Annual progress plans for each studentship will be sent to the SIPR executive committee.

• Students will be expected to acknowledge SIPR support in all reports and any publications resulting from the supported studentship.

Assessment Process

• Each application will be subject to a robust assessment process involving two review stages. The first stage will include an independent review panel consisting of senior Scottish and international academics, as well as police personnel. Each assessor will review and score all applications against the following criteria and make and recommendation to fund or not based on:

  • The strength of the supervisory scheme;
  • The project’s strategic alignment with SIPR research themes;
  • The project’s strategic alignment with Scottish Government and Police Scotland Policing priorities;
  • The project’s feasibility;
  • The project’s innovation; and
  • The perceived benefits and impact of the project.

All precautions will be taken to safeguard against conflicts of interest, including ensuring that no reviewer represents any of the applying host institutions.

All applicants will have the opportunity to submit a short rejoinder (maximum 500 words) in response to the comments from the first review panel. 

The applications with the highest scores from the first round will then be considered by an Awarding Panel. This panel will be chaired but a senior academic based in Scotland who is external to the SIPR Leadership Team and they will take into account both the reviewers comments as well as the applicants rejoinder.

In addition to the academic chair, the Awarding Panel will also consist of senior police officers and staff, senior members of the Scottish Police Authority, the SIPR Director and Associate Directors, and the SIPR Knowledge Exchange and Business Manager and potentially other senior academics including from the SIPR International Advisory Committee,. This panel will be responsible for choosing the two successful applications by majority vote.

For further details contact:

Monica Boyle – Knowledge Exchange and Business Manager (

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