Partnership Recovery and Resilience Fund 2021-2022 

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, in the 2020-2021 academic year, the University Research and Impact Strategy Committee agreed to pool and simplify funding across all HEIF funded pump priming schemes(1). This enabled these investments to be targeted more directly to work with partners to address large scale, global challenges, and the resultant funding scheme became the Partnership Recovery and Resilience (PRR) Fund.

For the academic year 2021-2022, the PRR fund will continue, with slightly revised challenge areas.


The aims of the scheme are to fund strategic projects to:

  • Work with partners to respond to the following significant global challenges;
    • Recovering from the COVID-19 crisis and building a more resilient future – overcoming social inequalities, health inequalities, cultural impacts, economic challenges and delivering business growth and impact
    • Working towards a net zero and sustainable future – projects focussing on technological, manufacturing, behavioural or policy solutions
  • And which deliver outcomes and impact:
    • Projects should have a clear route to developing larger scale collaborations with non-HEI partners, generating external applications, and bringing in further resources and funding to work with partners to solve these significant global challenges
    • Projects should be highly likely to lead to measurable impact creation, with projects designed to collect sufficient evidence to create future case studies for REF and KEF exercises.

Projects focussed at a local, northern/regional, national, European or global scale are welcomed and applications in both challenge areas from across the full spectrum of academic disciplines are encouraged.


Pump priming awards between £10-£40K are available that are focussed on chosen significant external challenges, which will likely have future external funding opportunities available. The foci for the 2021-2022 call are research collaborations with non-HEI partners to:

  • Recover from the COVID-crisis and build a more resilient futureovercoming social inequalities, health inequalities, cultural impacts, economic challenges and delivering business growth and impact. Projects should focus on working with partners to help accelerate economic recovery and /or address the health, social, environmental, economic, digital innovation, cultural, inequality and future policy challenges that have arisen due to the pandemic, in any area, be that on a local, northern/regional, national, European, or global scale.
  • Accelerate towards a Net Zero Carbon future and sustainable future – projects focussing on technological, manufacturing, behavioural or policy solutions that tackle the impacts of climate change, air quality and moving to a low carbon future at a global, national, northern/regional, or local level. We encourage approaches from a science, society and/or solutions perspective.

For these larger projects the core purpose is to “pump prime” activity to catalyse future grant applications. This will support PIs and partners to access additional resources to continue to do crucial work to respond to the challenges of Net Zero Carbon and sustainability, and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. We are looking for a level of ambition and seeking to measure this by a multiplier of at least 25 across the portfolio of projects i.e. £25,000 of external income generated for every £1,000 of pump-priming funding awarded. It is accepted that division between grant and other forms of return may vary amongst disciplines and as such projects would not be excluded solely on the basis of this desired outcome and a portfolio approach will be adopted.

What activities are eligible?

Projects can include any of the following activities, so long as the overall impact of the project meets the aims stated above: 

  • Impact development and acceleration
  • Secondment opportunities
  • Partnership development
  • Publicity and promotion
  • Market research / market assessment

How to apply

Please see the PRR Fund Guidance Application and Assessment Criteria 2021 22, for further details on eligible costs, guidance on completing your application form and details of the assessment process.

Please contact fund managers on with any general enquiries about the scheme. We strongly encourage you to discuss your activity / project idea with a member of the team prior to submission – please contact with a brief summary (max 100 words), and a member of the team will contact you to discuss further.

Application deadline

Applications are invited for projects costing between £10,000 and £40,000. There will be one round of applications.

The deadline for submissions is 5pm on Wednesday 1st September 2021.

Applications should be submitted to Applications will be reviewed by a Peer Review panel and those awarded funding expected to begin from 1st October 2021. Funded projects must be completed, and all funding spent, before 31st July 2022.

(1) Predecessor schemes include Knowledge Exchange, Impact and Public Engagement Voucher Scheme (KEIPE), the Industrial Strategy Pump Priming Fund (ISPPF), and the Industrial Strategy Travel and Quick Response Fund (ISTQR).