Doctoral School

Researcher Led Initiative Fund

Our Researcher-Led Initiative (RLI) fund gives our researchers greater input into how they are supported and developed.

Call for Applications
We hope to open the next call for applications is August 2018- watch this space

About the fund

The fund is available to support our doctoral researchers and early career researchers (i.e. members of research staff whose role is primarily focused on conducting research) to organise activities that will enhance their professional and research skills. Initiatives must be for the benefit of groups of researchers across Schools (although applications for initiatives benefitting a broad group of researchers at School level will also now be considered). The fund aims to compliment the training provided through our Researcher Development Programme and across the wider university.

Types of activities

You may seek funding for activities which expand or build on current provision for researchers. Types of activity that might be funded include:

  • Career development forum
  • Networking event, or regular networking forum
  • An seminar or conference programme
  • Journal club
  • A workshop to address a specific development need (not already offered at Sussex)
What to consider?
  • How is the proposed activity intended to enhance the professional development of researchers?
  • How interdisciplinary is the proposed activity? How might the activity be opened up to other researchers?
  • How does the proposal address areas within the Vitae Researcher Development Framework (RDF)?

Funding will not be given for research projects, travel, course or conference attendance, or staffing costs. Funding will not be awarded retrospectively.

Award amount

We would normally expect applications to be for less than £1,000. If your application is successful, you will be asked to share the evaluation of your initiative with the Doctoral School.

All awarded funds must be spent by the end of the University financial year (1st July) and applicants should bear this in mind when organising their intiative. We require a statement of expenditure by 1st July. In each new year, it will not be possible to award funding for intiatives taking place after 31st July.

What RLI Fund recipients have said

"May we thank you for all your support this term. Not only financially but also the Doctoral School has been so encouraging with re-tweeting and promoting our events online and giving advice"

"Many thanks again for the RLI Fund support for this event, it was a very enjoyable and productive event"

"As an organiser, I learnt the academic event management in a tight time compartment and managing themes and scholars. This exposure proved a turning point for my own academic career"

"Both organising and attending this event were considered to be beneficial experiences for the Doctoral students involved in organising it. Key areas of development include communication with a range of audiences through a number of types of media, managing a budget, knowledge exchange, and networking with relevant researchers, policy-makers and academics. The task management required to organise and host this event presented a learning opportunity and encouraged the Doctoral researchers involved to explore communication and networking beyond the local network and engage with a wider audience."

"I improved my networking and team work skills, having to deal with people from many different places and be available to help people at all times during the event. This is something I find difficult as I’m quite a shy person, so this was really good for building my confidence."

You can check out the previous winning initiatives to find out the types of events that have previous been funded.

See also

Read advice from previous RLI fund recipients on how to organise your event.

Check out the previous winning initiatives that have previous been funded.

It is recommended that you read the guidance notes for applying.

Contact us

For more information about the RLI fund please contact Helen Hampson

T: 01273 873230


Doctoral School

T: 00 44 (0)1273 87 7767