Who can apply to the research fund?
Any full member of the CIPR can submit a proposal to the research fund. 

Researchers should be individuals or pairs. 

We welcome applications from members in the UK and globally and we particularly encourage applications from applicants from under-represented groups.

The fund does not accept proposals from students conducting research as part of their PR course, commercial enterprises or any proposals which could be funded through the CIPR's groups, networks or panels.
What type of research can be funded?
We welcome applications to support all areas of practice.  The subject matter and final outputs must help the CIPR fulfil its Charter obligations in the advancement of public relations and must be of practical use to the industry.

Although applicants will need to provide a summary of their research in written form, the outputs of the research can be multimedia such as podcasts, infographics, videos, slide decks, webinars and more. We welcome creative responses to the research process.

Research proposals need to meet the following criteria:
  • Clear demonstration of the originality and importance of the research topic
  • Demonstrate the potential impact on the profession
  • Evidence that the proposal is generally feasible and well planned, with consideration of how to mitigate risks and address eventual challenges
  • Research aligns with the CIPR strategy  
  • Defined, measurable and suitable outputs for the research proposal, e.g. a journal article, a webinar, a best practice guide etc
  • Well-thought through and detailed financial expenditure forecast

How do I submit a research application?
Please read and complete the application form.  You will need to identify and name a supervisor for your research project and provide their membership number.

How do I find a supervisor? 
Any full member of the CIPR can be your supervisor. Your supervisor should be identified and selected for their broad understanding and expertise in the practice area. 

The role of the supervisor is to guide you as the applicant in carrying out the work to time, cost and quality, thus providing reassurance that the CIPR funds are put to good use. The supervisor must provide a brief progress report along with the researcher’s interim project update. 

If you don’t know anyone who could be your supervisor - our Fellows taking part in the Progress mentoring scheme, Group Chairs, Council members or other members, including Chartered Practitioners, may be able to help and are identifiable via the PR Register.

Who will make decisions about who gets the funding?
There will be a research panel consisting of representatives from CIPR’s governance committees, as well as academia and research, and the CIPR’s senior leadership team.

Members of the panel will review all applications. Shortlisted applications will be invited to have a short interview with members of the panel and following this funding will be granted to successful submissions.  Interviews will take place virtually in late March and early April 2024.

Due to the anticipated large number of applications, we regret that we are unable to give additional information to applicants beyond the feedback provided by the panel.

How are funding decisions made? 
All applications will be individually scored by the members of the Panel. This part of the process will not include any personal details about the applicants.
Proposals will be weighted with 40% to originality and impact, 30% to project planning (feasibility and finance) and 30% to outputs.
The Panel will then convene to create a shortlist of proposals. Applicants from the shortlisted proposals will then be interviewed online by up to four members of the Panel.
A final list of CIPR Research Fund Grants for 2024 will then be agreed. After applicants have been notified the final list will be published on the CIPR’s website.

Who holds the intellectual property (IP) rights to the research?
We will require a “licence to freely distribute” as part of your grant funding. This is in line with our charter aim to publish research of interest to the industry. You can retain the IP to your research, share it with the CIPR and or with any other funding partner but you need to outline this in your application.

Your holding of the IP to the original research does not preclude a future researcher building on the work but they would have to acknowledge your IP.

Who will publish the research?
The panel will review the completed research work and as long as they are happy that it meets the criteria in the application and the appropriate standards then CIPR will arrange for publication and promotion.

How much funding can I hope to receive?
The funding available is seed funding so the maximum award will be £2,000 - payable 50% in advance and 50% on completion. However, the actual amount awarded will be determined by the panel.

How big is the fund?
An initial sum of £10,000 has been allocated but this is subject to review should there be a high level of interest.

How is the payment of the grant organised? 
Payment of the grant will be made in two instalments: 50% in advance and 50% on completion.  50% of the funding will always be held until receipt of a satisfactory final project report, as deemed by the CIPR, following assessment by a specialist in the field.
The CIPR will require an interim project update to accompany the funding points in order to keep track of the recipient’s work.
Payments of grants from the CIPR Research Fund are made directly to individual members and not to organisations or commercial companies.
Funds are to be used towards costs associated with research and not in lieu of salaries. 

In certain circumstances, such as where an applicant is currently unemployed or self-employed, the grant may be used to cover payment for researcher time. This must be detailed in the proposal and at a rate of not more than £22 per hour.

Applicants should read the payment terms and conditions carefully. These are detailed in the Financial Information section of the application form.

How long do I have to complete my research?
The CIPR will require you to submit your research before your agreed deadline which will fall between December 2024 and March 2025. 

What happens if for some reason I can’t complete the research?
In receiving the funding for the research you are entering into a contractual obligation.

If for any reason you believe you will not be able to complete the research to the agreed timeline you must let CIPR know immediately. Where there are extenuating reasons for requesting a delay these will be considered by the panel.

If because of health reasons you will no longer be able to complete the research you will need to provide evidence to corroborate this.

In the case of an individual simply not having capacity to complete the research due to changing work circumstances then they would be required to return the 50% funding already provided in line with the CIPR’s Code of Conduct.

What free CIPR training place is available to me? 
Successful research fund applicants will also have the opportunity to undertake a CIPR training course to help refresh or develop their research skills and knowledge. 

Terms and conditions apply:
One free place is open to each successful Research Fund 2024 submission.
The free place is available on ‘Data Driven Communication’, view course details and dates. 
The place is non-transferable and cannot be exchanged for other training or CIPR services.
The course must be taken before 31 December 2024.
Standard training terms apply.

What are the key dates for the 2024 research fund?
25 January 2024: applications open.
22 March 2024 (10:00 GMT): deadline for applications. 
Late March to early April 2024: panel interviews to take place.
April 2024: confirmation of Research Fund grants awarded. 
December 2024 - March 2025: submission of research to CIPR (dates to be agreed with successful recipients).

What are the full terms that I agree to on submission of my application? 
The research project should be completed before the agreed submission deadline, unless there are extenuating circumstances.

If for any reason it becomes clear that the research will take more than this time to complete, the grant holder should inform the CIPR immediately indicating a revised completion date.

The final update must be submitted within one year of the original application to retain access to the grant. After one year, any unclaimed monies will be reinvested into the fund and made available to new applicants.

Please note that the final instalment (50% of the total grant) will only be released after a rigorous and critically reflective written output has been produced and judged satisfactory by the Panel. This should incorporate evidence of all outputs listed in the original application form.

The final report must be substantially in the form of the outputs detailed in the proposal. If it is not, the Panel reserves the right to reassess the level of financial grant associated with the report.

Grant holders should submit a brief update after a period of three months indicating progress to date and the approximate date of completion (this will be requested by the CIPR.)

The final update should be presented to the CIPR in readable and publishable form for publication on the CIPR website. Where final output is in alternative media format, the committee will expect to see supportive literature.

The researcher grants a "license to freely distribute" to the CIPR.

The final update, and any subsequent publications based on the research work should acknowledge the receipt of an CIPR Research Fund Grant.

For audit purposes the researcher should keep all receipts associated with the research until the project has been completed and published.

Who do I contact for further information?
Please get in touch with Claire Bloomer, CIPR Director of Operations, at [email protected]

Back to Research Fund webpage.