Application process

Applications to the John Fell Fund are made via an online system.

This is a two-part process:

  1. Complete an online application form for Part 1.
  2. Upload a Part 2 case for support template in PDF format. If you are applying for a category (f) award (strategic investment in research assets), please also complete a business case pro-forma following the guidance note, and contact your division to discuss well in advance of the submission.

A project (plain English) summary and financial breakdown are also required. Please note that your department/faculty/unit administrator or finance/grants officer or equivalent may wish to do a formal costing of the proposed project (typically through the University’s X5 costing system, which has a costing template for the John Fell Fund).

Applications are automatically submitted to the relevant department. Subject to departmental approval they are then considered and ranked by the division(s) before being received by the John Fell Committee.

Submission deadlines are in week 2 of each term. Please check internal deadlines with your department/faculty and ensure you allow time for the approval process.

Michaelmas Term 2023

noon, Wednesday 18 October 2023

Hilary term 2024

noon, Wednesday 24 January 2024

Trinity term 2024

noon, Wednesday 1 May 2024

Non-divisional applications

Applications received from units other than the four academic divisions (eg GLAM, OUDCE) must be submitted to one or more of the academic divisions for comment on the academic case.   

Cross-divisional applications

Only main award applications (ie bids for more than £10,000) may be considered 'cross-divisional'.

For an application to be considered as ‘cross-divisional’, two or more divisions must agree that the project is of strategic importance to their division. Projects which involve collaboration between co-applicants in different divisions would not normally be considered as ‘cross-divisional’, unless the other division(s) involved has/have a major strategic interest in the application.

If the department considers an application to be cross-divisional, they should contact the relevant divisional officers to discuss their application as soon as possible, and no later than two weeks before the relevant termly John Fell application deadline. If insufficient notice is given, the division(s) may recommend that the application be deferred to a subsequent application round. Details of divisional officer contacts are given in the 'Advice' tab of the FAQs.

By highlighting applications that have been agreed to be 'cross-divisional' the John Fell Committee aims to strengthen support for major interdisciplinary research initiatives at the University. Examples include a project that seeks to foster a new culture of cross-divisional research collaboration in a given area, such as digitisation; the development of a research centre or network that aims to promote new collaborative research initiatives extending beyond a single division; or a project that has a strategic focus, for instance in terms of engagement outside the University, that will have an impact on a range of subject areas.

In all these cases, the departmental approver should indicate on the approval tab of the online application which division(s) they would wish to review and rank the application.

Resubmissions of previously unsuccessful applications will not be accepted, unless explicitly invited by the John Fell Fund Committee or Divisional JFF Sub-committee.

Invited resubmissions will be reviewed alongside the other proposals received in that round.

Completing the form

Expand All


  • Start and end dates are required for every project. If the project is entirely for equipment, please give expected start/end of delivery/installation. The same date for start and end may be given if appropriate.
  • The start date should be at least three months after the application closing date.
  • The project end date must be before the expiry date of your post, if applicable.


Applicant who is in the early stages of their research and within their first five years in post as an independent researcher. For more details see FAQs.

Please attach a one-page CV.


Researcher Co-Investigators (RCo-Is) are named researchers working on JFF projects who are providing significant intellectual input to the development of the research proposal and management of the project.

The RCo-I’s details should be included in the ‘Researcher Co-Investigator’ field on the Investigators section of the online application form.  

Any salary costs requested for the Researcher Co-Investigator’s time working on the project should be included as a Directly Incurred cost within the Financial Details section of the application form.  Please also indicate in the description field of the costing table that the staff costs requested are for an RCo-I. 

A supporting statement from the PI/department to include details of the contribution by the RCo-I to the design and management of the project, as well as any mentoring arrangements that will be provided, and expected next steps following the JFF project, should be attached to the Part 2 Case for Support section of the application (additional to the usual page limit).   A 1-page CV for the RCo-I should also be included.


Normally matching funds, usually in the form of a contribution towards a proposal that is about to be submitted to an external sponsor in order to enhance the chances of success. In such cases any award will be contingent on the success of the external bid.


If your project requires ethical review you must obtain a CUREC number before your project can start. If you have a CUREC number approved for this project already, please provide it on the relevant section of the application form. For further information see the CUREC webpages.

Applications that do not supply the information requested, or that exceed the page and word limits and/or where the format of the application template has been amended, may be declined.

Please contact email with any queries about the scope of the scheme or application procedure.

The division will in a separate statement give a list of all bids for main awards in order of divisional priority for funding irrespective of category, and comment on how each application dovetails with the division or other unit's five-year plan. It is expected that divisions will give particular priority to applicants in the early stages of their research careers.


Technical issues

Application process

Contact your departmental administrator in the first instance.

Further help is available from divisional contacts: