The next GKEF calls deadline is 11am, Tuesday 14th May 2024.

Glasgow Knowledge Exchange Fund

The Glasgow Knowledge Exchange Fund (GKE) is an internal investment fund established by the University to support research staff to deliver high-quality knowledge exchange activities and impact generation from UofG research.

The fund has five broad aims:

  1. To support an informed and collaborative approach to the development, implementation, adoption and exploitation of research outcomes, leading to the development of technological, economic, policy, community, creative, or health and wellbeing impacts;
  2. To support researchers to build sustained and strategic relationships of co-creation and knowledge exchange with non-academic partners, including, for example, laying the groundwork for future collaborations, applications to collaborative funding schemes, or helping to leverage funds from the private or public; 
  3. To provide early-stage investment in technologies destined for commercialisation (i.e. technical proof of concept and commercial proof of market) by supporting the  de-risking of these opportunities; 
  4. To support research-based community and public engagement initiatives, locally and globally, to drive mutually beneficial interactions around research and the creation of strong, well-evidenced impact; 
  5. To nurture a sustainable pipeline of new impact case studies and success stories from across the University. 

With the arrival of a full suite of Impact Acceleration Accounts, the GKEF has adapted a little. We now have 4 funding streams; GKE Flexible Fund, GKE Enabling Fund, GKE Impact Acceleration Fund and GKE Small Grants. The Flexible Fund and Enabling Fund are aimed at supporting activity that is not eligible for IAA funding and award grants of £2,000-£30,000 and £2,000-£15,000 respectively. The GKE Impact Acceleration Fund supports activity that overlaps with IAA and awards grants of £2,000-£30,000. The GKE Small Grants Fund awards grants of less than £2,000. 

The first set of awards for GKE Flexible, Enabling and Impact Acceleration Funds will be in late spring/early summer with a call for the Flexible Fund and Enabling Fund in Spring. A second set of awards and calls will be held in Autumn (if funding allows). Precise call dates are announced 6-8 weeks prior to close. Note: Funds awarded must be spent by 31st July of the FY in which awards are made (end of the financial year in which funds are transferred to budget holders). 


Support for the GKE schemes

We want ALL applicants to engage in a pre-application conversation with the Knowledge Exchange & Impact team in Research Services prior to submitting their application. This conversation should help strengthen applications, however it will also allow advice on scope, eligibility, costing, letters of support and the submission process.

Applicants should contact Gordon or Rose-Marie at to discuss their project in good time prior to submission. We will call on the appropriate College or Professional Services contacts (depending on the focus of the project, e.g. commercialisation, public engagement, etc) to be part of these conversations, if the applicant has not contacted them already.

Eligibility - GKE Flexible Fund


Eligible Activities

Eligible Costs


Projects funded by the GKE Flexible Fund are expected to cost up to a maximum of £30,000 and to last for 6 months, although both upper limits may be reassessed at the discretion of the GKE panel (if partners are predominantly based overseas, for example).

Funded projects will be expected to start within 2 months of the funding decision. We recognise that some projects may be looking for approval to start planning for an event beyond this period or to enable them to attract further matched funding. All project leads will be expected to provide regular short updates on progress against a pre-determined work-plan.

Projects must have a clear link to underpinning University of Glasgow research. The GKE does not fund research.

Applicants should discuss their project with their College Impact Acceleration Account (IAA) manager. If the project is in scope for IAA, then applicants should apply to the IAA rather than GKEF.  

Eligible Activities

The journey from research to impact is complex and varies across the broad range of disciplines represented at the University of Glasgow; the GKE panel welcome the creativity of our research and knowledge exchange community in proposing projects for funding. Whilst not an exhaustive list, some examples of eligible activities are provided below:

Secondments/Placements of post-doctoral researchers, and PhD students between the University and a non-academic partner organisation, company or agency from any sector. Secondments/Placements can be part-time or full-time and range in duration from weeks to months. Secondments/Placements of permanent staff may also be considered.

Fellowships and internships to concentrate on specific knowledge exchange projects. Staff buy-out may be considered in exceptional circumstances.

De-risking of research outputs/outcomes for commercial uptake, including market assessments, toolkit development, prototype and demonstrator development, proof-of-concept activity and application-focused feasibility projects.

Engagement with policy-makers and practitioners at any stage of the research-impact cycle, for example through events, knowledge exchange workshops, collaborative toolkit development, collaborative activity to co-produce evidence, and/or mechanisms to ensure the uptake of that evidence.

Engagement with partners in private, public or third sectors to foster innovation, new collaborative relationships, or to deepen/broaden existing relationships.

Engagement with particular communities to pursue new research agendas, to increase the uptake of relevant research outcomes, and other public engagement initiatives, provided they are structured in a way that supports the creation of strong, well-evidenced impact.

Initiatives designed to support engagement with underserved or marginalised communities or groups are particularly welcome.

Eligible Costs

The funding is designed to be flexible and can cover items such as:

  1. Staffing costs, e.g. RA's -- note that reimbursement for UofG permanent staff time is not permitted as knowledge exchange and engagement are assumed to fall within their existing remit. All requested funding for staff costs should be justified in the ‘detail’ text box
  2. Consumables
  3. Small equipment
  4. Travel
  5. Workshops and seminars
  6. Specialist sub-contract work

The GKE does not fund Estates and Indirect costs.

A GKEF award is made to a UofG General Funds accounts. The Budget Holder should be able to hold a General Funds account. Local finance contacts can advise about eligibility in this regard.

For collaborative projects with non-academic organisations, we are looking for evidence of partner commitment to the project. This may come in the form of a contribution to the project costs (cash and/or in-kind) - particularly with private sector partners. In-kind contributions could include partner organisation staff time, provision of access to equipment, materials, data or other items. Partner contributions should reflect the role of the partner in the project, their appreciation of its potential value, and their willingness and ability to contribute.

For collaborative projects, including secondments, a collaboration agreement will be required before funding is released to agree the arrangements for IP and the terms and conditions for staff. Applicants are encouraged to speak to their local knowledge exchange/impact team for support in discussing these issues with their partners at an early stage.

External collaborators are expected to have seen and approved the application, workplan and budget prior to submission. Applicants will be asked to confirm this arrangement.

Eligibility - GKE Enabling Fund

Eligibility and suitability 


Eligibility and suitability 

The fund is open to all postdoctoral research staff who are at an early stage in their research independence or staff who hold an academic lectureship.  

* Research independence will be assessed on whether the applicant is holding an external fellowship or is a lead investigator on an external research grant. 

The lead academic on the project should have ongoing research activity (conducted primarily at the University of Glasgow) underpinning the project. RAs, technicians, professional staff, and PGRs are eligible to be co-investigator(s) on the application.  

Applicants should discuss their project with their College Impact Acceleration Account (IAA) manager. If the project is in scope for IAA, then applicants should apply to the IAA rather than GKEF. If an application to IAA is not possible, applicants should contact the GKEF team.  

The call will accept applications for projects with maximum costs of up to £15,000 and a maximum duration of 6 months. (Note that, as with Flexible Fund, all funds would be required to be spent by 31 July 2025, with no possibility of extension.) 

A broad range of knowledge exchange and engagement activities are eligible and fundable. These are the same as the GKE Flexible Fund. 


A suitable internal mentor must be identified, and their role briefly described in the application. This could include but is not limited to providing disciplinary or sectoral guidance to formulate the engagement activity(s) of the project, sharing/developing contacts and networks, or coaching the mentee for career-related next steps during/after the end of GKEF project. The mentor would be expected to commit to 3 meetings with the mentee.  

Eligibility - GKE Small Grants Fund

The GKE Small Grants Fund supports the same activities and costs as the other GKE Funds, but to a maximum limit of £2,000. Reporting requirements will be amended in line with the sum requested.

Eligibility - GKE Impact Acceleration Fund

The GKE Impact Acceleration Fund does not hold open calls for applications. Application to this funding stream will be via referral only by IAA (Impact Acceleration Account) managers in the Colleges, and with the recommendation of College IAA panels. Applications to IAA which were judged to have been good quality, fundable projects that could not be funded by the IAA can be referred. More information on Impact Acceleration Accounts across the University is available here.  

Applicants will be required to revise their application in line with any recommendations from the IAA reviewers prior to submission to GKEF.

Applications will then be submitted to GKEF reviewers so that applications across different Colleges can be compared. 

How to apply

GKE Small Grants - contact the KE & Impact team in Research Services to find out how to apply. (Please note that GKE Small Grants is now closed for the year 2023/2024 and will reopen 1st August 2024, with applications accepted from 1st July 2024.) The GKE Small Grant submissions are assessed on a rolling basis through the financial year, dependent on extent of remaining funds, with applications decided at the end of the month in which they are submitted. 

GKE Flexible Fund and GKE Enabling Fund

The GKEF Privacy Notice_February 2024 explains how the University will process your personal data. 

  1. Applicants should draft their application in the WORD form below. This should then be uploaded to the Qualtrics portal for final submission.
    • The application form is available here: GKEF Application Form in Word_2024
    • The Qualtrics portal is accessed via this link
    • In addition to the WORD application form, you will need the following information when submitting to the Qualtrics portal:
      • You must have read the privacy notice above
      • External partners will need to have seen and approved the application, workplan and budget
      • A note of the external contributions (cash and in kind)
      • Every applicants College, email address, and employee number
  2. It is the responsibility of the applicant(s) to ensure that all proposed activities are in accordance with the University’s Code of Ethics, and other standards and guidelines.

  3. Applicants will be expected to have completed the Equality and Diversity e-learning module in accordance with University policy.
  4. Letters of support from external collaborators and from applicant’s Head of School are expected. If your application has a commercial aspect, then we would expect a letter of support from the IP & Commercialisation manager supporting your College. ONLY letters of support should be submitted via email to the Knowledge Exchange & Impact team at

  5. Applications will be assessed by the GKE fund reviewer pool and panel.
    1. The reviewer pool comprises UofG academics from a range of career stages and disciplines drawn from across the whole University, with additional insights from relevant Professional Services staff.
    2. The Panel comprises:

Professor Chris Pearce, VP Research & KE

Professor Gerard Graham, Dean for Research, MVLS

Professor Graeme Roy, Dean of External Engagement, CoSS

Professor Dauvit Brown, Dean for Research, CoAH

Professor Margaret Lucas, Dean for Research, CoSE

Application deadline

This first call for the 2024-25 GKE Flexible Fund and GKE Enabling Fund will close at 11am Tuesday 14th May 2024.

Assessment criteria

The applications will be scored on the below criteria: 

  • Clarity of link between underpinning research to the engagement activities.  
  • Visibility of any external partners in the project, including evidence of their commitment to the project via in-kind or cash support, role in work packages, if applicable, and in the potential for sustainability and further development of the collaborative relationships. (Note that any external organisation collaborating on the project will need to have seen/reviewed the application.) 
  • Immediate- and longer-term vision for potential impact generation, and how the proposed project outcomes might enable next steps towards that goal.  
  • Construction of the workplan, including any risks and mitigation steps, and probability that the project will deliver on its objectives and Fund aims. 
  • Quality of evaluation plan and next steps -- a sustainability plan that should capture outcomes and provide a step forward or step-up to generating long-term envisaged impact.  

For the GKE Flexible Fund and Enabling Fund, assessment will consider but not score on the criteria below: 

  • Contribution the project would make to your career development and the development of any UofG project team members (only applicable to the Enabling Fund scheme). 
  • Consideration of good practice in creating equitable/ethical partnerships, awareness of working ethically and sustainably; working towards Responsible Research & Innovation (UKRI guidance) and environmental sustainability (UofG policies). 
  • Potential to secure or leverage additional funding or generation of impact. 
  • Value for money and effective mitigation of risk. 
  • Alignment with the University’s Research Strategy priorities 
  • Alignment with the University’s Equality Diversity and Inclusion Policy (see the UofG policy and the EDI unit site). 


  1. Award recipients will be required to submit a report detailing expenditure, activities, outputs and outcomes after the conclusion of the project.
  2. An in-project monitoring meeting will be arranged to check projects are progressing at the pace laid out in the workplan.
  3. Additional audit may be conducted at further intervals after the conclusion of projects to track impact leverage over time.
  4. All reporting requirements will be confirmed on award of funding
  5. Except in situations of commercial sensitivity, the University will retain rights to project applications and reports in order to appropriately promote the outcomes of the funding