The GKE Flexible Fund is now closed. The GKE Small Grants Fund 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 2023-24 is now open. 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). 


Support & Eligibility - The GKE Flexible Fund


We want ALL applicants to engage in a pre-application conversation with the GKEF team prior to submitting their application. We hope this conversation will strengthen applications however it will also allow advice on scope, eligibility, costing, letters of support and the submission process. Applicants should contact Gordon Meiklejohn or Bhoomi Gor in Research Services to discuss their project in good time prior to submission. We will call on the appropriate College or Professional Services 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.



Projects funded by the GKE Flexible Fund are expected to cost up to a maximum of £30,000 and to last for 6 months, although both upper limits may be reassessed at the discretion of the GKE panel (if partners are predominantly based overseas, for example).

Funded projects will be expected to start within 2 months of the funding decision. 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.

Projects must have a clear link to underpinning University of Glasgow research. The GKE does not fund research.

Applicants should discuss their project with an Impact Acceleration Account (IAA) manager. If the project is in scope for IAA, then we would expect applicants to apply to the IAA rather than GKEF unless there is good reason why this is not possible.



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/Placements of post-doctoral researchers, and PhD students between the University and a non-academic partner organisation, company or agency from any sector. Secondments/Placements can be part-time or full-time and range in duration from weeks to months. Secondments/Placements 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 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 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.

Eligible Costs

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

  1. Staffing costs, 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
  2. Consumables
  3. Small equipment
  4. Travel
  5. Workshops and seminars
  6. Specialist sub-contract work

The GKE does not fund Estates and Indirect costs.

A GKEF award is made to a UofG General Funds accounts. The Principal Applicant should be able to hold a General Funds account. Local finance contacts can advise about eligibility in this regard.

For collaborative projects with non-academic organisations, we are looking for evidence of partner commitment to the project. This may come in the form of a contribution to the project costs (cash and/or in-kind) - particularly with private sector partners. In-kind contributions could include partner organisation staff time, provision of access to equipment, materials, data or other items. Partner contributions should reflect the role of the partner in the project, their appreciation of its potential value, and their willingness and 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.



Eligibility - GKE Small Grants Fund

Eligibility – GKE Small Grants Fund


The GKE Small Grants Fund supports the same activities and costs as the Flexible Fund, but to a maximum limit of £2,000. 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

GKEF Privacy Notice explains how the University will process your personal data. 

  1. Applications should be made using the online form found on the Wellspring-Sophia pages here. Login using University of Glasgow Single Sign-On -sophia login location The GKEF application form is found on the right hand side task bar. Note; we are piloting a new submission portal. Any problems with logging in, please contact Gordon or Bhoomi. Guidance for applicants can be found GKEF guidance mar23 
  2. The application questions can be downloaded GKEF FF Questions mar23. Please draft your application in word and cut and paste the final version into the submission portal. The submission portal is being piloted in this round: please ensure you retain the word version of your application in case we run into any issues with the portal.  
  3. 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.

  4. Applicants will be expected to have completed the Equality and Diversity e-learning module in accordance with University policy.
  5.  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

  6. Applications for the GKE Flexible Fund will be assessed by the GKE fund reviewer pool and panel.
    1. The reviewer pool comprises UofG academics from a range of career stages and disciplines drawn from across the whole University, with additional insights from relevant Professional Services staff.
    2. The panel comprises:

Professor Chris Pearce, VP Research & KE

Professor Gerard Graeme, Dean for Research, MVLS

Professor Graeme Roy, Dean of External Engagement, COSS

Professor Dauvit Brown, Dean for Research, COA

Professor Margaret Lucas, Dean for Research, COSE


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 (we do not expect that that potential will be realised within the project term, but applicants should have a long-term vision and be able to articulate at what stage the project is at within that long-term vision and what reasonable next steps might be)
    • The clarity and construction of the workplan, and its probability of delivering on the project objectives and 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 quality of the evaluation plans and ability to capture and demonstrate activities' outcomes and impact
    • The potential to secure or leverage additional funding or step-up generation of impact
    • Value for money and effective mitigation of risk
    • Alignment and support of the University’s research and impact priorities
    • Support and development of the University’s Equality Diversity and Inclusion Policy (see the UofG policy here and the EDI unit site here )
    • Awareness of working ethically and sustainably; working towards Responsible Research & Innovation (see UKRI guidance here) and environmental sustainability (see UofG policies here).

Application deadline

The 2023-24 GKE Flexible Fund will close on Tuesday 9th May at 11am.

Small Grants is open with a rolling deadline. 





  1. Award recipients will be required to submit a report detailing expenditure, activities, outputs and outcomes after the conclusion of the project.
  2. An in-project monitoring meeting will be arranged to check projects are progressing at the pace laid out in the workplan.
  3. Additional audit may be conducted at further intervals after the conclusion of projects to track impact leverage over time.
  4. All reporting requirements will be confirmed on award of funding
  5. 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