U21 Researcher Resiliency Fund


Enrolment status Currently enrolled students
Student type Domestic students, International students
Level of study Higher Degree by Research
Study area All study areas
HDR funding type Grant
Scholarship value US$5,000
Opening date 29 May 2020
Closing date 22 June 2020


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 badly hit by the reduction of research funding and the cessation of travel opportunities.
These international opportunities would traditionally have assisted this cohort in forming their own
essential international research networks and career development links.

U21 is launching 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. It will allow this
cohort to take advantage of the global partnership in the U21 network, thereby enhancing their
research and international collaborative capabilities and their personal effectiveness in a rapidly
changing future.

U21 is offering awards of US$5000 (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, 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.


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

The U21 Researcher Resilience Fund will make awards of up to US$5000 per project that enhance
researchers’ capability and capacity to work digitally or virtually within the U21 network. 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 institutions before you apply.

Applications are closed.

Before you get started

If this scholarship has rules, download and read them.

How to apply

Visit the U21 website and follow the instructions.

Selection criteria

Proposals must meet the following criteria:

  • Demonstrate collaboration between U21 member universities, with a partnership comprising 2 or more U21 members from at least 2 countries.
  • Demonstrate an innovative approach to research practice.
  • Deliver tangible outputs within twelve months (maximum) of receipt of funds.
  • Outputs must be accessible to all university members of U21 and will be shared via the U21 website or internal U21 e-learning platform, Totara.

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. 6 - 9 months).
Applications are closed.


Connie Wan, Researcher Engagement Manager
Applications are closed.

Terms and conditions

Partnerships of researchers from two or more U21 member universities, across at least 2 countries, can apply for this fund.  Please check that all partners on your application are based at one of the U21 institutions before you apply.

At the time of the award, all doctoral candidates named in the application must be active in a doctoral programme. 

Applications are closed.