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Universitas 21 – Researcher Resilience Fund

Research Admin Offices:


Funding Type:



$5000 USD (with a total of $100,000 available)


  • Health Sciences
  • Natural Sciences and Engineering
  • Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities


Internal Deadline:

June 8, 2020

Sponsor Deadline:

June 22, 2020


U21 is launching a Researcher Resilience Fund to support the development of the network’s PhD and early career researchers. This fund is designed to develop researchers’ capability and capacity to work digitally or virtually in order to adapt to life as a researcher post-COVID-19.

Additional Program Information:

Proposals must meet the following criteria:   

  • Demonstrate collaboration between U21 member universities, with a partnership comprising 2 or more U21 members from at least 2 countries.
  • Demonstrate an innovative approach to research practice.
  • Deliver tangible outputs within twelve months (maximum) of receipt of funds.
  • Outputs must be accessible to all university members of U21 and will be shared via the U21 website or internal U21 e-learning platform, Totara.


Researchers will work together to find innovative ways of transforming their existing skills in order to adapt to working in a virtual (alternative) domain. Doctoral candidates and early career researchers are eligible*. Partnerships of researchers from two or more U21 member universities, across at least 2 countries, can apply for this fund. It is expected that these examples will be shared within the U21 network as examples of best practice.

The U21 Researcher Resilience Fund will make awards of up to $5000 per project that enhance researchers’ capability and capacity to work digitally or virtually within the U21 network. Funding may be used for skills development and training, and technology set-up costs. It is possible that the funding could contribute towards:

  • Digital training workshops
  • Subscriptions for online platforms for network-building
  • Costs associated with developing a subject-specific support network for COVID-19

Note that the funding cannot be used to pay for fractional staff salaries or cover overheads/research office administration fees. Please check that all partners on your application are based at one of the institutions before you apply.

Preference will be given to proposals which 

  • Create examples of good research practice that can be easily shared and replicated by other researchers across the network.
  • Address current researcher needs shared by other U21 universities.
  • Demonstrate impact and a legacy beyond the initial proposal.
  • Produce shareable outcomes in a relatively short period of time (e.g. 6 – 9 months).


*Doctoral candidates include all those in a U21 institution who are undertaking a PhD or a named doctorate, including a professional doctorate. At the time of the award all doctoral candidates named in the application must be active in a doctoral programme. Early career researchers are considered those who are at the beginning of their career, i.e. within 8 years of their PhD being awarded.


Program site


Virginia Viscardi, ROADS