Small Research Grants

RSE Small Research Grants are designed to support personally conducted high-quality research.

The awards are available to cover eligible costs arising from a defined research project. They are designed to encourage high-quality research and academic innovation and, where possible, to integrate with the overall programme of awards such that successful applications may lead to future bids for RSE Research Collaboration Grants or act as preliminary investigations for other larger research awards.

Applicant eligibility

  • The awards are open to applications from Principal Investigators from all academic disciplines and all career stages who are eligible as one of the following:
    • a full or part-time academic in any academic discipline and are tenured and/or salaried staff of a  higher education institution (HEI), further education institute (FEI), research institution (RI) or cultural institution (CI) where the main offices and facilities are located in Scotland. Applicants must be on open-ended, continuing, or fixed-term contracts which extend three months beyond the end date of the envisaged award period. The RSE award cannot be used to extend an applicant’s contract.
    • a retired academic in any academic field who retains demonstrable links with a Scottish HEI, FEI, RI or CI with a demonstrable commitment to teaching and research within that institution.
    • a full or part-time practitioner or research-active member of staff in any academic field employed by a Scottish Cultural Institution with a demonstrable commitment to teaching and research within that institution.
  • Applicants on short or fixed-term contracts should ensure their contracts extend for at least three months after the end of the proposed project. Early career researchers on staged contracts to permanent lectureship positions are eligible but must be in contract for the duration of the award.
  • Collaborations may be between Scottish or overseas (UK and overseas) HEIs and/or practitioners, policymakers, Research Institutions and Cultural Institutions provided that: the lead applicant is based in Scotland; the key principles of the awards scheme are recognised, and the application is interdisciplinary.
  • Applicants may add up to two co-applicants. Co-applicants may be based in or outwith Scotland (UK and overseas). However, they must fulfil the rest of the eligibility criteria for the Principal Investigator. Co-applicants are expected to carry the same status as the Principal Investigator. The award payment will remain between the RSE and the institution to which the Principal Investigator belongs.
  • A new application will not be considered when a report on a previous RSE award is overdue.

Project eligibility

  • Applicants may submit only one proposal to each scheme (Small Research Grants or Research Collaboration Grants). If an applicant applies to more than one scheme, the applications must be for different projects. Applicants submitting to more than one scheme should ensure that they detail how they will manage their time on all projects if each is successful. Applicants should apply to the scheme best suited to the proposed project.
  • RSE Small Research Grants can be held in any discipline or subject area.
  • RSE Small Research Grants are funded for up to 12 months.
  • Successful applications should have a start date between 1 September 2024 – 28 February 2025.

Application process

This award is now closed and will open again for the autumn call between 5 September – noon 24 October 2024.

The online application link below will become live when the award is open. Please follow these steps to apply:

  1. Create a profile or log-in here.
  2. Once into your profile, access and complete the online application – access to the application form is only available if you are logged-in. Google Chrome is the recommended browser.

Resources for applicants

Small Research Grants terms and conditions

RSE Research Awards general terms and conditions

What makes a good RSE application?

Contact us

For more information regarding the award, please contact the Research Awards team at

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