Research Innovation Enterprise

Researcher Development Fund 2019/2020 – Apply now!

The Research and Innovation Office is happy to announce that it is again launching the Researcher Development Fund for the academic year 2019-2020.

The Researcher Development Fund Competition has been established to support researchers who are pro-actively identifying their own development needs and that of the research community and culture.

Funding is available for initiatives which support personal, professional and career development for researchers.  Awards are intended to enable doctoral students and early career research staff to initiate, design, manage and deliver new professional development activities for their peers which will in turn develop the skills and experience needed to progress their own careers.

The fund is NOT designed for funding research projects directly nor to support travel to a Conference or attendance at a Conference.

How to apply?

Researchers are invited to apply for up to £1,500, and must be:

  • Registered on a Doctoral Degree at Edinburgh Napier University


  • Post-doctoral researchers who hold a current contract of employment to conduct research at Edinburgh Napier University.


  • Hold a current contract of employment as a member of academic staff at Edinburgh Napier University at Lecturer level.

Interested applicants need to complete the fund application form, and return it to Alisdair Stapley in RIO by 5pm Friday 1st November.

For more information on the fund and how to apply, contact Alisdair at

Fund Guidelines | Application Form

How has the fund been used before?

Winners from the 2018-2019 Fund were invited to give some feedback on how they found using the funding last year:

When I was a new PhD student my supervisors advised me to collaborate with people who have more expertise than I do. This inspired me to apply for funding with two colleagues who are both doing cutting-edge research using visual methods. I wanted to learn more about this fascinating field which I had very rudimentary knowledge of going into the project. The highlight was listening to ten dynamite speakers (5 external, 5 internal) who have incorporated visual methodologies into their research.
Running the project was interdisciplinary in every way. The three organisers come from highly diverse backgrounds—Tourism and Hospitality, Marketing and Intercultural Communication, and Applied Linguistics. We had never done any kind of collaborative work before so I was a bit hesitant because I did not know if there was going to be good working dynamics between us. Well, we turned out to be the ‘dream team’. I truly enjoyed working on the project with my colleagues.
The funding was primarily spent on accommodation and transportation for the external speakers from different UK universities. Part of the funding was also used for networking events and meals after the seminars. These networking events proved to be very fruitful in that they provided the opportunities to exchanges ideas about visual methods and ethnography as well as to brainstorm ways to take the learning from the series forward.

Mabel Victoria, Business School. Visual Methods and Ethnography in Interdisciplinary Research.

I received RDF funds to organise a collaborative workshop on the topic of the evolution of institutions. This topic is of growing interest to people working in several disciplines,such as computer scientists, biologists and economists. Despite the important benefit of cross discipline work, the development of this topic is also limited by its interdisciplinary nature.  Thus we decided to bring together practitioners from different fields in order to discuss the key questions and main answers in this area.

The workshop was successful with the participation of 13 researchers over 3 days.  Between animated debates and long discussion, a large number of new ideas were discussed. We transcribed the discussions of the workshop and started drafting the outline of a position paper summarising our conclusions. The work on this future paper continues and we aim to publish it within the year.
Personally, the workshop was a challenging but rewarding experience. First, it provided me with an essential experience in organisation. I believe the RDF provided a very good opportunity to start organising events on a relatively small-scale before moving to bigger projects later on.
Second, this workshop was a wonderful chance to discuss many passionate and unique research ideas with different researchers. For many of the participants, including myself, it was a mean to test our views, learn about previous work and build new ideas. This experience is very motivating because it shows that research does not have to be a lonely experience but rather can be a collaborative journey.
Third, a unique element of this workshop was to include researchers from different disciplines. It was particularly interesting to have researchers from different disciplines being in the same place and with time to discuss together. It was as challenging for them as for myself, because they had to communicate despite different scientific language and understand each other’s approach. At the same time, it taught us important skills in how to work across disciplines in the future.
To conclude, this workshop was a very important experience and step in my journey of PhD student.  It resulted in a collaborative network, symbolised by work and discussion which continues. I would advise anyone to organise such events and participate in their own research culture.

Cedric Perret, Research Student. Workshop of the evolution of institutions.

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