The Strategic Research Fund (SRF) was developed in response to Priority 10 of the University’s Strategic Plan 2018-2023 (‘To increase the scale and scope of our central research fund to increase our capacity to pump prime and to match fund major research initiatives’) and approved by Council in July 2019.
The SRF was created to increase the University’s capacity to make major transformative investments in researchers and research. Such transformative investments will be designed to help the University to remain globally competitive, to secure and nurture research leadership, to enter new research areas at scale, to address major research challenges that require multi-disciplinary and collaborative responses, or to capitalise on large external opportunities that are an increasingly dominant feature of the research funding landscape.
The SRF is funded from a range of internal sources, including returns to the University centrally from research commercialisation activities (such as licensing income and proceeds from the disposal of the University’s founder shareholdings in its spin-out companies). The amount of funding that the SRF will have available to allocate in any given year will therefore vary (as will the amounts awarded in any year), but the aim is that in steady state it will be in a position to allocate around £10 million a year on average. As the SRF was created to invest at a scale not possible within existing funding streams (such as the John Fell Fund) it expects to make a small number of investments (one to five) in any one year.