Glasgow Knowledge Exchange Fund

The Glasgow Knowledge Exchange Fund (GKE) is a commitment by the University to support University of Glasgow research staff to initiate high-quality knowledge exchange, engagement and impact generation.

The fund has five broad aims:

  1. To support an informed and collaborative approach to the development, implementation, adoption and exploitation of research outcomes, including processes, evidence-based policy, technologies, community impacts or creative outputs;
  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 applications to collaborative schemes such as Horizon2020 or Innovate UK, or helping to leverage funds from the private sector, Government Departments, Innovation Centres, Catapults and other regional development funds;
  3. To provide early-stage investment in technologies destined for commercialisation (i.e. technical proof of concept and commercial proof of market)  to support the  de-risking of these opportunities;
  4. To support research-based community and public engagement initiatives, locally and/or internationally, to drive mutually beneficial interactions around research and the initiation of robust impacts.
  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 Funding schemes 2021/22 are now open.  

Applications for the current round of the GKE Flexible Fund has now closed. Applications for the GKE Small Grants Fund can be submitted at any time while funds are still available and are normally reviewed and decided by the end of the month in which they are submitted.

Eligibility - The GKE Flexible Fund

 Eligibility – The GKE Flexible Fund

  1. Projects being 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. The Glasgow Knowledge Exchange Fund was established with the aim of promoting engagement and collaboration and driving impacts from ongoing or existing UofG research by UofG staff. (Note that PGRs can be named as co-applicants on bids for GKEF support as long as there is evidence of linked UofG-based research beyond their PhD.)

  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 of post-doctoral researchers, and PhD students between the University and a non-academic partner organisation, company or agency from any sector. Secondments can be flexible; part-time or full-time, ranging in duration from weeks to months. Secondments of permanent staff may also be considered in exceptional circumstances.
  • 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 uptake, 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 existing businesses/sectors to foster new collaborative relationships, or deepen/broaden existing relationships, including through attendance at key sectoral events.
  • Engagement with communities to pursue new research agendas, to increase the uptake of relevant research outcomes, and other public engagement initiatives, provided that they are structured in a way that supports the creation of strong, well-evidenced impact.
  • Initiatives designed to support engagement with underserved 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.)
  • Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund pump priming. We would like to catalyse applications to the ISCF by funding linked activity. These should be aligned with at least one theme the government has laid out in the Industrial Strategy. Activities might include; consortia building, proof of concept, market research, marketing.

4.  Eligible Costs

The funding is designed to be flexible and can cover items such as:

  • Staff
  • Consumables
  • Small equipment
  • Travel
  • Workshops and seminars
  • Specialist sub-contract work

The GKE does not fund Estates and Indirect costs.

The GKE does not fund research.

For collaborative projects with non-academic organisations, particularly with private sector partners, the panel will expect a 50% contribution to the project costs (cash and/or in-kind). In-kind contributions could include specific staff time undertaking part of the project, access to equipment, provision of materials or other items. For further guidance on the expectations around match funding/support, please speak to your local KE/Impact contact.

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.

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

  1. Applicants must use the online application form found here:
    GKE Flexible Fund (Now closed)
    GKE Small Grants Fund (On rolling basis)
    Privacy notice for the application can be found here (requires login with GUID).
  2. GKEF application questions document provides an outline of the questions on the online application form. Please note that the online form can be saved and returned to at a later time by clicking on 'Finish later' tab found at the end of each page of the online form.
  3. We recommend you to refer to the GKE Fund Guidance 2021-22 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. Email confirming support from Head of School/Institute and letters/emails of support from external partners confirming match contributions should be the ONLY documents submitted to 
  6. 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:

-> Mrs Bonnie Dean, VP Corporate Engagement & Innovation

-> Professor Chris Pearce, VP Research

-> 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. Decisions are final and not subject to appeal.

8.  Applications for the GKE Small Grants Fund will be assessed by the panel via correspondence, with the aim of notifying applicants of the decision within 5 working days from the end of each submission window (usually end of calendar months).

9.  Applicants are strongly advised to contact Gordon Meiklejohn or Rose-Marie Barbeau in RIS to discuss their project and application in good time prior to submission. All applicants should also take advantage of the knowledge exchange, engagement and impact expertise in their Colleges before submission to maximise the quality and applicability of their application:


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 and evidence of their commitment to the project via in-kind or cash support
  • The potential to secure or leverage additional funding
  • Value for money and effective mitigation of risk
  • Clear evaluation plans and ability to capture and demonstrate impact
  • Fit with School and College research and impact priorities
  • Where the fund is being used to organise an event or a conference, every effort must be made to embed good practice in equality, diversity and inclusion. adhering to UofG guidance in this area.

Application deadline

Applications for round 2 of the GKE Flexible Fund are now open and will close on noon of 3rd November. 

Applicants are expected to take into account the impact of COVID-19 and demonstrate risk mitigation strategies for their proposed project. The Panel will assess application including the credibility of these strategies.




  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.