Universitas 21 launches Researcher Resilience Fund

15 Jun 2020
The Researcher Resilience Fund

Supporting the development of PhD and early career researchers in a post-COVID world.

Universitas 21 (U21) has launched 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.

How the Researcher Resilience Fund works

The current COVID-19 pandemic is changing the higher education landscape in general, and the research environment in particular. Many of those at the start of their research careers are particularly affected by the reduction of research funding and the cessation of travel opportunities. These international opportunities would traditionally have assisted this community in forming their own essential international research networks and career development links.

U21 is offering awards of US$5,000 (with a total of US$100,000 available) to enable researchers in the U21 network to collaborate and build their digital capacity with the aim of developing global perspectives on problem-solving and cross-cultural and interdisciplinary working practices. Building resilience will enable U21 researchers to anticipate and adapt to imminent social, economic and environmental change, allowing them to plan for a more sustainable future without forfeiting the integrity of their research.

The deadline for submissions is Monday 22 June 2020.

Who is eligible to apply?

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 two countries, can apply for this fund. It is expected that these examples will be shared within the U21 network as examples of best practice.

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 U21 member 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. six to nine 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 program. Early career researchers are considered those who are at the beginning of their career, i.e. within eight years of their PhD being awarded.

The deadline for submissions is Monday 22 June. For further information please contact Katrina Stuve, International Liaison Officer, International Affairs. Please be in touch should you wish to apply and work together with our fellow U21 members.