OX|BER Research Partnership: short-term flexible funding

In the context of the OX|BER Centre for Advanced Studies, formed in 2020 to further the research partnership between the University of Oxford and the Berlin University Alliance (comprising Humboldt Universität Berlin, Freie Universität Berlin, the Technische Universität Berlin and the Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin), the University is calling for small-scale proposals to support the establishment of new research collaborations, or the continuation and advancement of existing collaborations, across the full range of disciplines covered by the five institutions.

The call is intended to provide seed funding for small projects, as well as for workshops and conferences, and for visits between Oxford and Berlin to enable researchers to work jointly with colleagues in the other location. The aim of the scheme is to build further on the considerable success, in terms of attracting third-party funding, enjoyed by joint projects undertaken within the earlier rounds of workshop and seed funding under the auspices of the Oxford-Berlin Research Partnership.

Applications should be made by Oxford researchers who have identified and gained the agreement of a research partner within the BUA (applications involving colleagues from more than one BUA institution are especially encouraged). The involvement of additional external principal investigators (from German, British or international research or government institutions or companies) is welcome, although they will be expected to cover their own expenses for the project in all but exceptional circumstances.

In general, Oxford applicants should be salaried members of faculty or equivalent (such as fully-funded postdoctoral fellows), who have the necessary institutional infrastructure to enable them to hold the award. An applicant’s position should be securely funded over the full course of the project.

Successful awards will generally be made using Oxford funding processes, but some flexibility in meeting expenditure claims in Berlin or for Berlin partners may be possible through the University’s German subsidiary company, Oxford in Berlin gGmbH.


Projects and proposals are expected to be within the range of £5,000 to £7,500, although some larger applications may be considered. As it will be difficult to extend the funding period into the Oxford 2022/23 financial year, activities funded by the grant should come to an end by 31 July 2022. 

If successful, recipients of seed funding will be required to abide by the policies and practices of their respective institutions regarding the ethical conduct of research and reporting, as well as with regard to any Covid-related restrictions that may obtain during the course of the award.  

A short report on activities funded will be required at the end of the award period.

Application documents

The application should include a narrative project description of no more than 2 pages addressing:

  • details of the planned activity (including budgetary costs) – pre-existing documentation (such as workshop timetables etc) may be submitted in support of the application
  • goals of the planned activity
  • benefits of the planned activity in relation to the applicant’s own research, the wider benefits to society, and to the Oxford-Berlin Research Partnership

Eligible claims

  • consumable costs (services needed or materials for prototypes)
  • travel, accommodation and other associated costs (for joint workshops or exchanges)
  • for larger awards, some personnel costs in Oxford (for example for identifying common interests and writing grant proposals) may be considered


All proposals will be considered by the joint academic committee (or a sub-section thereof) of the OX|BER Centre for Advanced Studies, taking into account:

  • a clear description of the proposed research topic, and of its impact, importance and timeliness
  • a coherent collaborative work or workshop programme, and an analysis of the added value of the collaboration
  • for larger awards, the potential to lead to further collaborative work, including joint grant applications to other bodies
  • the track record and competency mix of the principal investigators
  • considerations of gender and ethnic diversity, both for the named investigators and for the students and early and mid-career researchers taking part
  • as applicable, whether the proposals add value to research already under way as part of earlier funding rounds

Submission and reporting

  • application window: 10 November 2021 to 2021 to 10 December 2021 at 11:59pm GMT
  • outcome notification: 17 December 2021
  • funding activity: 1 January 2022 to 31 July 2022
  • a brief final report will be required at the end of the award period, or, if applicable, following a one-off workshop
  • payment of the grant: payment and post-award financial management will be administered through the University of Oxford or Oxford in Berlin gGmbH

The application should be submitted in English as a PDF via email to info@oib.ox.ac.uk. Any questions regarding the application process can be directed to Mr Alasdair MacDonald (alasdair.macdonald@admin.ox.ac.uk) or Dr Emilia Boehm (emilia.boehm@oib.ox.ac.uk).

Internal funding