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CAPE Collaboration Fund

At a glance

Funding for collaborative projects between academics and policy professionals

Up to £25k available

Eligible to academic & research staff at CAPE University partners


What is the CAPE Collaboration Fund?

The CAPE Collaboration Fund supports academic researchers and policy professionals to co-develop and deliver policy work in response to policy demand.  

Activities that could be funded by the scheme include but are not limited to:

We welcome other approaches to co-production and co-creation with policy stakeholders, including experimental, innovative, and exploratory approaches.

Applications could also use funding to cover training, time buy-out, research support, or expert services for example as long as these fulfil the co-production brief.


When to apply

This scheme operates as an open call with quarterly deadlines. Deadlines for academic year 2021/22 are as follows:

Please note that the funding call will be managed to encourage balance of funding available across the award scheme lifecycle.

Applications are encouraged from all 5 partner universities within CAPE. Submissions to the funding call will be overseen by the CAPE Project Manager to track number of applications from each partner university. The funding process and selection criteria is designed to be fair, practical and to support competitive applications from across the CAPE partnership.


How to apply

Application must be made via the application form below and must be developed with the named policy partner(s), clearly setting out the role of all applicants in the delivery of the proposal.

A panel of CAPE staff and advisors will assess the application. We aim to respond to applications within 21 working days of submission. We may invite the applicant to discuss the application with the panel as part of this process, as well as seeking input from other members of the CAPE team.

All applications must meet the eligibility criteria and be in line with our terms and conditions.

  • Applicants must be from a CAPE partner university but we welcome encourage proposals which include Co-Investigators from other universities
  • All applications must include (a) a named policy contact / partner and (b) a letter of support from the policy partner
  • PI applicants must be an academic / research member of staff at a CAPE university partner with an employment contract in place at the point of application that covers the duration of the project
  • Postdoctoral researchers may be named as PI if they meet the above criterion and have approval from their line manager and head of unit
  • Professional services staff may apply as CO-I on a project
  • Applications will be scored by the following:

    Quality and feasibility of co-production (25%)
    Assessors will be looking for clear evidence of the quality and feasibility of the co-production approach. This could include an articulation of how the two (or more) parties will work together, ways in which the project will be jointly developed, or methods of engagement. Potential for developing new partnerships and/or deepening collaborative relationships with policy makers should also be indicated.

    Project benefits (20%)
    Assessors will be reviewing the quality of the proposed engagement, looking for clearly articulated benefits, defined beneficiaries, and generating policy related impact. They will be looking for clear evidence of the importance, timeliness and relevance of the engagement and the strength of the activity being proposed. This might include an articulation of the policy area and policy window, the degree of benefit to CAPE institutions and policy stakeholders, the current relationship and access to relevant information and expertise, and any contribution the project may make to increasing diversity in policy engagement.

    Evidence of need / demand (25%)
    Assessors will be looking for clear evidence of policy need and demand and assessing the degree of co-production evidenced. This could include a letter or support and/or resource in kind provided.

    Measuring success (20%)
    Assessors will wish to see clearly defined objectives and a statement of how the activity will be evaluated.

    Project costs (10%)
    Assessors will consider both the costs of the activity (eg are they reasonable, are the costs comprehensive and are estimates based on sound rationale), and also has any other funding been sourced. Costings provided must be proportional to the intended delivery outcomes.
    All applications must provide a costing. Please ensure that you discuss your application with your departmental finance contact / pre-award before you apply. If you are planning on applying for external services (eg. Video editing, podcast production, graphic designer etc) please base your costings on quotes from contracted and approved suppliers at your institution.
    1. No transfer of this grant to another organisation is possible.
    2. Project activities should be initiated within a month of being awarded
    3. Funds may only be used for direct costs described in the application for the project awarded however the proposal itself may be part of a larger ongoing project. Any changes to funded projects (extension requests, reallocation of funds) must be authorised by the CAPE Team. Please submit any requests for consideration to [email protected] with a revised budget
    4. The following costs / activities cannot be covered:  

    5. - Conference attendance (unless exceptionally the project has developed a strategic, targeted intervention to take place during the event aimed at establishing or strengthening a non-academic relationship).  
      - Co-production activities which do not involve a two-way exchange of knowledge (e.g., one-way dissemination or broadcast).  
      - Indirect, estates, and generic administrative costs.  
      - Costs associated with patents or the protection of intellectual property  
      - Equipment unless a clear and specific contribution to policy engagement will be made 
      - Travel may be covered in cases where it is integral to the success of the award (for example in cases where the PI and policy partner are not co-located). All travel must have clear justification in the application.
    6. It is the responsibility of PIs to monitor the expenditure and budget. The day-to-day management of the funds and any overspends in expenditure outside the funds awarded will be the responsibility of the PI’s department. CAPE is not responsible for the day-to-day management of the funds.
    7. Funds should be charged directly to CAPE following the financial processes at the awardees institution.
    8. Project participants will be required to contribute to CAPE dissemination materials including case studies, interviews, podcasts, and blogs
    9. PIs must provide interim and final reports on the award including details of spending progress and follow-on activities at regular intervals as requested by CAPE
    10. The PI is responsible for ensuring that an appropriate collaboration agreement is in place with any partners, where applicable. This must be arranged via your Department’s Research Contracts Manager.
    11. The PI is responsible for ensuring any person engaged, employed, or who may volunteer to work on this project (including students, postdoctoral research assistants, sponsored researchers, etc.) complies fully with the UK legislation on right to work throughout any time they are participating on the project. Please check with your university HR department.
    12. All projects will have a start and end date. No commitments can be made outside these dates. After the end date, departments will have 3 months to charge any remaining costs to the grant. Any unaccounted costs or underspends will be reclaimed for re-use within further calls.
    13. All projects must be concluded by September 2022.
    14. Awardees will be required to acknowledge Research England & CAPE support in any published outcomes (including media communication) associated with the award.
    15. As this is a new funding approach, CAPE reserves the right to adapt the funding scheme as appropriate based upon internal demand and ongoing learning
    All staff are required to recognise and disclose activities that might give rise to actual, perceived or potential conflicts of interest and to ensure that such conflicts are properly managed or avoided. Applicants must be able to confirm that they are in compliance with their university policy on Disclosure of Conflicts and Declaration of Interest and that disclosure of any potential conflicts of interest has been made on the relevant system. Failure to comply with the published policy will result in disqualification from the award process or withdrawal of any awarded funds.
    If successful you will be required to take part in monitoring and reporting processes associated with CAPE. This information will be shared with CAPE partners, on the CAPE website and in CAPE reports. The Transforming Evidence Hub (CAPE’s evaluation team) may wish to follow up for in-depth evaluation for which you will be expected to participate. CAPE will endeavour to promote events and activities relating to awards throughout the project life.

    Contact us at [email protected] for an informal chat about your application