2021 ACU Early Career Researcher (ECR) Training Grants

Deadline: November 23, 2020.

Applications are open for the new ACU Early Career Researcher (ECR) Training Grants. 10 grants are available to fund staff at ACU member universities to organise and deliver training for their early career researchers, including Doctoral candidates. The training will equip researchers with essential skills to enable them to succeed in their careers, whether they remain in academia or utilise their skills in other professional fields. 


Research offices staff at ACU member universities, or any other staff member who leads on providing training for early career researchers, can apply. Universities can use their internal criteria of what defines an ECR, but this must include Doctoral candidates, and the training must be made available to ECRs from multiple disciplines.

Skills which are in scope of the training are:

  • presentation skills
  • networking
  • time management
  • public engagement and communicating with non-academic audiences
  • media training
  • social media
  • relationship/stakeholder management
  • grant writing
  • career training, including doctoral careers outside higher education


The maximum grant available is GBP 1000


As part of the application form, applicant institutions must:

  • Describe the focus and goals of the training to be delivered
  • State the target audience and the number of people who will benefit, including whether any training will be accessible by other ACU members
  • Give details of the training provider
  • Describe the training format and platforms to be used – if the format is to be an in-person event, applicants must also provide plans for a virtual alternative, and successful applicants who have applied for funding to deliver an in-person event will be required to provide evidence of a COVID-19 safety assessment before the funding is paid.
  • Provide a time plan. The training must take place within the period of February to July 2021.
  • State the planned outcomes
  • List the outputs – one output must be shareable with other ACU members
  • Explain how the training will be evaluated and how success will be measured
  • List the costs for which funding is to be claimed: these can include materials, trainer fees, staff time and data costs.
  • Provide a letter of support from the institution’s Executive Head or other appropriate senior university leader



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