The GKE Flexible fund application is now closed. The GKE Small Grants funding is open. 

Glasgow Knowledge Exchange Fund

The Glasgow Knowledge Exchange Fund (GKE) is an internal investment fund established by the University to support research staff to deliver high-quality knowledge exchange activities and impact generation from UofG research.

The fund has five broad aims:

  1. To support an informed and collaborative approach to the development, implementation, adoption and exploitation of research outcomes, leading to the development of technological, economic, policy, community, creative, or health and wellbeing impacts;
  2. To support researchers to build sustained and strategic relationships of co-creation and knowledge exchange with non-academic partners, including, for example, laying the groundwork for future collaborations, applications to collaborative funding schemes, or helping to leverage funds from the private or public; 
  3. To provide early-stage investment in technologies destined for commercialisation (i.e. technical proof of concept and commercial proof of market) by supporting the  de-risking of these opportunities; 
  4. To support research-based community and public engagement initiatives, locally and globally, to drive mutually beneficial interactions around research and the creation of strong, well-evidenced impact.; 
  5. To nurture a sustainable pipeline of new impact case studies and success stories from across the University. 


The scheme operates via two streams; the GKE Flexible Fund, for grants of £2,000-£30,000, and the GKE Small Grants Fund, for grants of less than £2,000.

The GKE Flexible Fund 2022-23 now closed. The GKE Small Grants Fund is open. 

There will be 2 Flexible Fund calls each year. One will close in May and the other in November. Precise call dates are announced 6-8 weeks prior to close. Note: Funds awarded must be spent by 31st July (end of the financial year in which funds are transferred to budget holders). 

The GKE fund pre-application workshop recording is available to watch that covers how to build a strong application including some of the common errors or omissions that applicants lose points from, the type of activity that is eligible, the formation of a project scope, developing a workplan, eligible costs and more.

Eligibility - The GKE Flexible Fund

  1. Projects proposed to the GKE Flexible Fund are normally expected to cost up to a maximum of £30,000 and to last for a maximum of 6 months, although both upper limits may be reassessed at the discretion of the GKE panel (if partners are predominantly based overseas, for example).
  2. All projects will be expected to start within 2 months of the funding decision. However, we recognise that some projects may be looking for approval to start planning for an event beyond this period or to enable them to attract further matched funding. All project leads will be expected to provide regular short updates on progress against a pre-determined work-plan.
  3. Projects must have a clear link to underpinning University of Glasgow research.
  4. Eligible Activities

The journey from research to impact is complex, and varies across the broad range of disciplines represented at the University of Glasgow; the GKE panel welcome the creativity of our research and knowledge exchange community in proposing projects for funding. Whilst not an exhaustive list, some examples of eligible activities are provided below:

  • Secondments/Placement of post-doctoral researchers, and PhD students between the University and a non-academic partner organisation, company or agency from any sector. Secondments/Placement can be flexible; part-time or full-time, ranging in duration from weeks to months. Secondments/Placement of permanent staff may also be considered.
  • Fellowships and internships to concentrate on specific knowledge exchange projects. Staff buy-out may be considered in exceptional circumstances.
  • De-risking of research outputs/outcomes for commercial or uptake in other sectors, including market assessments, toolkit development, prototype and demonstrator development, proof-of-concept activity and application-focused feasibility projects.
  • Engagement with policy-makers and practitioners at any stage of the research-impact cycle, for example through events, knowledge exchange workshops, collaborative toolkit development, collaborative activity to co-produce evidence, and/or mechanisms to ensure the uptake of that evidence.
  • Engagement with partners in private, public or third sectors to foster new collaborative relationships, or deepen/broaden existing relationships.
  • Engagement with particular communities to pursue new research agendas, to increase the uptake of relevant research outcomes, and other public engagement initiatives, provided they are structured in a way that supports the creation of strong, well-evidenced impact.
    Initiatives designed to support engagement with underserved or marginalised communities or groups are particularly welcome.
  • Targeted training for individuals or groups of researchers in a functional unit, who have identified a local training need, for example, in business planning for a particular sector. (Wherever possible, RIS will support groups in developing and implementing activities.)

5. Eligible Costs
The funding is designed to be flexible and can cover items such as:

  • Staff e.g. RA's -- note that reimbursement for UofG permanent staff time is not permitted as knowledge exchange and engagement are assumed to fall within their existing remit. All requested funding for staff costs should be justified in the ‘detail’ text box
  • Consumables
  • Small equipment
  • Travel
  • Workshops and seminars
  • Specialist sub-contract work

6. The GKE does not fund Estates and Indirect costs.

7. The GKE does not fund research.

For collaborative projects with non-academic organisations, particularly with private sector partners, the panel will expect a significant contribution to the project costs (cash and/or in-kind) from the partner organisation. In-kind contributions could include partner organisation staff time, provision of access to equipment, materials, data or other items. The scale of contribution should reflect their role in the project and their ability to contribute. 

For collaborative projects, including secondments, a collaboration agreement will be required before funding is released to agree the arrangements for IP and the terms and conditions for staff. Applicants are encouraged to speak to their local knowledge exchange/impact team for support in discussing these issues with their partners at an early stage.

External collaborators are expected to have seen and approved the application, workplan and budget prior to submission. Applicants will be asked to confirm this arrangement.

The University has a number of aligned funding schemes such as the Impact Acceleration Accounts. Pre-application consultations with R&I and College IAA managers will establish which funding scheme is most appropriate for their project, and whether there is any prospect of co-funding.

Eligibility - GKE Small Grants Fund

Eligibility – GKE Small Grants Fund

The same activities and costs are eligible for funding under the GKE Small Grants Fund, but a maximum funding limit of £2000 will be applied. Reporting requirements will be amended in line with the sum requested.

How to apply

How to Apply

    GKE Small Grants - contact OR OR to find out how to apply. 
    GKE Flexible Fund (closed)
    GKEF Privacy Notice explains how the Univeristy will process your personal data.
  2. GKEF application questions document provides an outline of the questions on the online application form. 
  3. We recommend you to refer to the  GKE Fund Guidance 2022-23 before completing the form. Applicants are expected to take into account the impact of COVID-19 and demonstrate risk mitigation strategies for their proposed project.  
  4. It is the responsibility of the applicant(s) to ensure that all proposed activities are in accordance with the University’s Code of Ethics, and other standards and guidelines.
  5. Applicants will be expected to have completed the Equality and Diversity e-learning module in accordance with University policy. 
  6. Letters of support from external collaborators and from applicant’s Head of School/Institute are expected. If your application has a commercial angle, then we would expect a letter of support from the IP & Commercialisation team. ONLY letters of support should be submitted via email to  
  7. Applications for the GKE Flexible Fund will be assessed by the GKE fund panel at specific panel meetings, shortly after the deadlines published on the GKE webpage. The panel comprises:

-> Professor Chris Pearce, VP Research & KE

-> Professor Gerry Graham, Dean for Research, MVLS

-> Professor Graeme Roy, Dean of External Engagement, COSS

-> Professor Dauvit Broun, Dean for Research, COA

-> Professor Margaret Lucas, Dean for Research, COSE

7.  Applicants will normally be notified of the decision within 10 working days of the panel review meeting. Decisions are final and not subject to appeal.

8.  Applications for the GKE Small Grants Fund will be assessed with the aim of notifying applicants of the decision within 10 working days.

9.  Pre-application conversations are advised, to maximise the quality and eligibility of submissions. Applicants are strongly advised to contact Gordon Meiklejohn or Rose-Marie Barbeau in R&I to discuss their project in good time prior to submission. R&I will call on the appropriate College or R&I contacts (depending on the focus of the project, e.g. commercialisation, public engagement, etc) to be part of these conversations, if the applicant has not contacted them already:  

College of Arts 

College of MVLS 

College of Science and Engineering 

College of Social Sciences 


Assessment Criteria

  • Applications for the GKE Flexible Fund and the GKE Small Grants Fund will first be assessed for eligibility, and then considered according to the following criteria:
  • The underpinning University of Glasgow research and its potential for generating impact 
  • The clarity and quality of the work plan, with a clear explanation of how resources will be used to address one or more of the scheme’s aims 
  • The visibility of public, private or third sector partners in the application, including evidence of their commitment to the project via their  in-kind or cash support, role in work packages, if applicable, and in the potential for sustainability and further development of the collaborative relationships. 
  • The potential to secure or leverage additional funding  
  • Value for money and effective mitigation of risk, including COVID-19 mitigation plans  
  • Clear evaluation plans and ability to capture and demonstrate impact  
  • Fit with School and College research and impact priorities 
  • Alignment with the University’s ‘inspiring people’ strategy which makes equality a focus for the University community.  
  • Impact of COVID restrictions and strength of contingency plans 
  • Where projects have a community and public engagement element, applications will be assessed for eligibility and then considered against the following additional criteria: 
    • The underpinning research and its potential as a platform for meaningful and high-quality public and community engagement
    • Potential for the planned initiatives to increase engagement with underserved communities or groups 

Application deadline

The 2022-23 GKE Flexible Fund is closed. Small Grants is open with a rolling deadline. 



  1. Award recipients will be required to submit a GKE Project report detailing expenditure, use and outcomes (for recipients and users) within 4 weeks of the conclusion of the project.
  2. Additional audit may be conducted at further intervals after the conclusion of projects to track impact leverage over time.
  3. Except in situations of commercial sensitivity, the University will retain rights to project applications and reports in order to appropriately promote the outcomes of the funding.
  4. The end-of-project report is to be completed and submitted online, the report form can be accessed on here. Download the PDF version of GKE end-of-project report which provides an outline of the questions on the online application form.