Elizabeth Blackwell Institute COVID-19 support scheme for early career researchers

This scheme is closed for applications.

About the scheme 

The Elizabeth Blackwell Institute invites applications for funding from early career academic staff working in areas related to health research in any of the six Faculties at the University of Bristol. The scheme aims to support researchers’ projects and their careers following disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The purpose of the scheme is to provide support addressing the impact of the pandemic on research, if the impact may cause career harm. 

The Institute recognises that reasons for research disruption vary and that these may be personal, for instance, relating to ill health, changes in caring responsibilities, changes in work duties, or other circumstances. We recognise that these are all valid reasons, and we ask that applicants do not explain these. Instead, we ask that applicants describe the disruption caused by these circumstances to research work and delivery. For instance, these might include disruption to data collection and analysis, disruption to grant writing, lack of access to facilities causing delay or pause, as well as other possible aspects of disruption. 

Through the scheme the Institute hopes to provide some support while acknowledging that our limited funding may not provide a complete solution. We expect that applications will largely request extension to existing research work rather than propose new research projects. We aim to support areas that are well justified and meet a need, for instance support can include time for project completion, writing up, next-step grant preparation or other aspects of need if well justified. We particularly invite applications from colleagues who did not receive support from other sources or who received only limited support.

Award amount

We have a finite pot of funding available to support early career researchers in all six Faculties eligible for this scheme. Please note that our total budget for the scheme is £320,000 and that we hope to provide a total of 8-16 awards. The Elizabeth Blackwell Institute may adjust the amount offered to successful applicants to enable sufficient awards to be provided. 

We do not specify a maximum amount that individual researchers can apply for in recognition of the fact that the requirements will be different for different cases. At the same time, we would ask that applicants use their own discretion when completing the application and consider our wish to support as many colleagues as possible within a fixed overall budget. 

Who can apply and terms of the funding scheme 

  • The scheme is open to all academic staff members at the University of Bristol from all Faculties who identify as early career researchers in areas in and related to health research and whose work has been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, including those members of staff who were furloughed. Areas related to health research cover research into life, health and wellbeing in a range of disciplines that include arts, humanities and social sciences, health/biomedical, engineering and science, among others.
  • Funds may be used to support: salary, training, equipment, consumables, staff time or other items if fully justified in the application
  • Applications may be made for aspects of planned projects that cannot be funded from elsewhere, for instance for a piece of equipment or software
  • Open access publication costs are not eligible and it is important that you read our information about Wellcome Trust’s open access policy if you are funded by this scheme
  • Applications must be complete at the time of receipt by the Institute, including signature of the applicant’s line manager or Head of School
  • Please do not include additional documents with your application as for reasons of fairness these cannot be considered
  • Funding needs to be fully spent by 30 September 2022
  • The funding for this scheme includes contributions from the Elizabeth Blackwell Institute Wellcome Trust Institutional Strategic Support Fund. Acceptance of an award entails acceptance of the Wellcome Trust Grant Conditions found at www.wellcome.ac.uk/funding/managing-grant/grant-conditions

Assessment process

Each application will be considered on its own merits by an expert panel. Each will be assessed according to the following criteria: 

  • Need: level of mitigation support received from other sources
  • Feasibility: likelihood of the funding enabling delivery of the proposed research
  • Outcomes: extent to which the funding delivers outcomes of value to the researcher’s career
  • Rationale: support requested 

Those applications that meet a threshold set by the expert panel after review of all of the applications, will be entered into a draw. The applications to be funded will then be selected at random until the total available budget has been used up. All applicants will be informed of the outcome by mid December. Due to the expected number of applications and nature of the scheme we regret that we will be unable to provide feedback on individual applications. Full details of the assessment criteria are included in Appendix I of the application form.


How to apply

This scheme is now closed for applications. The deadline to submit was 17:00 Tuesday 16 November 2021.

Further information and queries

If you require further information or have any other queries, please contact the EBI Funding Officer, Sarah Blackmore, by email ebi-health@bristol.ac.uk

Edit this page