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SIPR Think Big Leverage Fund

Research Activites | Scottish Institute for Policing Research

The Scottish Institute for Policing Research (SIPR) is providing grants, to researchers based at SIPR member universities, aligned with our key strategic focus to support our member institutions and their researchers to acquire external research funding. In particular, we wish to support researchers to apply to larger, competitive research council funds (such as ESRC, EPSRC, Leverhulme, Carnegie, Horizon Europe etc.).

The purpose of this fund is to provide support (both financial and otherwise) to researchers applying for external funding. It builds on the European Research Support fund we ran previously, which provided small grants to offset non-recoverable costs involved in preparing proposals at pre-award stages (such as travel costs for bringing teams together to write applications etc). It also builds on current support mechanisms offered through SIPR such as providing letters of support, and dissemination resourcing (i.e., knowledge exchange events, briefing papers etc.)

SIPR is acutely aware that there are often considerable barriers academics face when applying for external funds and has devised this grant to ease the burden on both the applicants and their institutions. In addition to this, SIPR would like to add value to applications, ensuring they are high quality, and as competitive as possible.

The ‘SIPR Think Big Leverage Fund’ is a circa £20,000 per annum fund which will provide small grants to researchers or teams of researchers planning to  apply for external funding. Each application will be worth a maximum of £2,000 and several activities can be applied for in one application.

Some of the eligible costs within this grant may include:

  • Small proof of concept grants;
  • Teaching relief;
  • Travel grants, for example:
    • Bringing together national/international applicant teams to plan and write applications.
    • Funding travel to present at conferences (i.e to be included as added value within applications for external funding).
  • Pre-award support, for example:
    • Funding peer review and professional editing of applications;
    • Funding elements to support methodology including analysis software, fieldwork equipment etc.
  • Post-award support, for example:
    • Funding knowledge exchange/ dissemination events;
    • Supporting the creation of publications;
    • Innovative dissemination methods, including graphic design, creating training materials etc.

This list is not exhaustive and SIPR may be open to other activities which may support or add value.


Applications are welcome from any academic member of staff based at one of the 15 SIPR member universities who are planning and/or preparing applications for external funding.

We encourage interdisciplinary partnerships and proposals can be submitted by a single institution or across member institutions (and can include national and international academic and non-academic partners). Additionally, creative ideas which engage practitioners with research are particularly encouraged.


This year a total of £20,000 will be available, however, the maximum SIPR contribution per application will be limited to £2,000 (including VAT).


Applications are welcome throughout the year and there is no deadline. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis until the allocation of funding within this scheme is exhausted.

All applicants must complete the application form for “Think Big Leverage Fund”, which can be downloaded from the SIPR Website.


All applications will be considered by the SIPR Director and or/ representatives of the SIPR Leadership Team.

Each application will be assessed against the following criteria:

  • Evidence of institutional support from host/ administering organisation to apply for the funding;
  • The project’s feasibility, ambition, proposed value for money and return on investment);
  • The extent to which the proposed project is aligned with SIPR’s Strategic Research Themes and the priorities of the proposed funding body.

SIPR will aim to respond with an outcome to each application within 4 weeks of receipt.


Only one application is permitted per year 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 in full at the commencement of the project,

Applicants will be required to report once the application has been submitted to the external funding body and will further be required to report on the outcome of the application (successful or otherwise).

SIPR should be acknowledged in all outputs created as a result of the project. (where successful).

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;
  • A shortfall resulting from a withdrawal of or deficiency in public finance;
  • Sites, buildings or other capital expenditure; and
  • Student tuition fees or stipends.

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