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Public Protection Network Research Grants 2021

Research Activites

The Scottish Institute for Policing Research (SIPR) is providing research funding to researchers based at SIPR member universities. These innovative and original research projects will contribute to SIPR Strategic Research Priorities overall but will focus on the challenges and emerging issues related to Public Protection.

There are increasing and changing demands on policing with evidence of increasing complexity for response, investigations and ensuring best practice to support the public and communities. The level and pace of change in policing presents both opportunities and challenges including:

  • Ensuring colleagues have the right skills, capability and capacity;
  • Supporting new and innovative approaches to operational policing;
  • Making the best use of data, analysis, evidence and insights;
  • Continuing to focus on equality, diversity, inclusion and human rights in policing practice and within the organisation;
  • Colleague wellbeing, safety and protection.

The Scottish Police Authority and Police Scotland are committed to development and support of our workforce, with a strategic outcome in the overarching Strategic Police Plan focused on supporting our people through a positive working environment to enable them to serve the public.  Applicants may also wish to consider how their proposals align with underpinning Policing research priorities in this area:

  • Improving colleague wellbeing and support
  • Improving recruitment and retention of officers and staff to better reflect the people and communities of Scotland
  • Prevention of violent incidents against our officers and staff
  • Understanding the culture of policing to support the development of confident, empowered leaders;
  • Improving personal development and learning approaches for officers and staff; and
  • Design, evaluation and understanding of approaches to reduce and prevent crime and vulnerability.

If you would like to discuss the suitability of your project idea to ensure it would be appropriate for the remit of this grant, please contact either:

Professor Lesley McMillan (SIPR Associate Director and leader of the Public Protection Network –, or Monica Craig (SIPR Knowledge Exchange and Business Manager (

Application and Award Process

Application Form

Applicants are required to complete the SIPR application form including the following information:

  • Description of team (detailing experience and expertise in the proposed topic including a CV (two pages max) per named investigator);
  • Details of the project including background, aims, objectives, partners/ collaborators, methodology, and timeline;
  • Proposed budget including a brief justification of resources required to undertake the project; and
  • Clear indication of the expected outputs and impact of the project, detailing the potential contribution of the project to the development of the public protection evidence-base, or of policy or practice related to the themes, and how you propose to capture and measure the impact of the project.
Applications must be submitted to Monica Craig ( by 23:59 on Friday 30 September 2022


Only one application is permitted from the same applicant for this call.  The PI can be included as a Co-investigator in one further application as long as the two applications are not linked.

Successful applicants will be required to enter into a funding agreement with SIPR. Funding will be provided on commencement of the project and again at each reporting milestone (i.e. interim research and finance report and at final research report). The final research report will be published by SIPR and SIPR will be acknowledged in all media and publications resulting from the project.

Applicants will also be required to report where SIPR funding has enabled the generation of external income as well as where SIPR funded research has been included as an impact case study.

Ineligible Costs

Project awarded under this grant will not cover the following costs:

  • Contributions to appeals;
  • Core funding or overheads for institutions (In principle, SIPR does not make awards on a full economic costing basis. However, consideration may be given to applications where limited overheads have been included.  Value for money is a key consideration however, so we do ask that overheads are waived where possible);
  • Endowments;
  • Individual items of equipment;
  • A shortfall resulting from a withdrawal of or deficiency in public finance;
  • Sites, buildings or other capital expenditure; and
  • Student tuition fees or stipends.

Letter of Support from Police Scotland

A letter of support from Police Scotland/ Scottish Police Authority (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 Research and Insight Team ( as soon as possible to ensure the project’s feasibility. Please be advised, Police Scotland will require at least two weeks’ notice for all requests.

Assessment and Rejoinder

All applications will be subject to a robust assessment process involving two review stages. The first stage subjects all applications to independent review through a panel which consisting of senior academics within Scotland, senior international academics, and senior officer from the policing system. No reviewers are selected from institutes where the prospective projects will be hosted.

Following assessment by the review panel, applicants will be provided with an opportunity to respond to the initial reviewer comments through the rejoinder process (please note scores will not be provided). This is not mandatory, but should you wish to provide a response to reviewer comments, your rejoinder will be considered along with the reviewer’s assessments of your evaluation.

The final stage involves assessment by the awarding panel who are responsible for selecting the successful grants. The awarding panel consists of an Independent Academic Chair (selected from a Scottish HEI), Senior Police Officers and Police staff; Senior members of the Scottish Police Authority; and members of the SIPR Leadership Team as appropriate.

Indicative Timetable

Below is an indicative timetable for key dates in the application, award and deliverable process. Please note these dates may be subject to change.

Download our Application Form

Funding call launched
Monday 3rd May 2021
Deadline to submit applications
Tuesday 31st August 2021
Applications sent to reviewers
Start September 2021
Reviewers return comments
Start October 2021
Reviewer comments provided to applicants for rejoinder
Start October 2021
Rejoinders returned from applicants
Mid October 2021
Applications sent to Award Panel
End October 2021
Award panel meet
Mid November 2021
Decisions announced
End November 2021
Latest start date for successful projects
1st May 2022
Latest completion date for successful projects
30th November 2023

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