The CIPR Research Fund awards grants to CIPR members conducting independent PR research at any stage of their careers in practice.

The aim is to support critical investigation into a wide range of subject matters relevant to the advancement of public relations (PR). All research projects should focus on advancing PR practice with practical outputs which are replicable and scaleable.

The maximum amount that applicants can apply for is £2,000.

Payments of grants from the CIPR Research Fund are made directly to individual members and not to organisations.

The fund does not support research conducted by students as part of their PR course.

The fund is not available for research which would normally be funded through the CIPR’s sectoral, regional, national or international groups.

The research project must be completed within six months of May 2021.

How to apply

Applications for 2021 are now closed.

If you have any questions about the application process or would like to discuss an idea for a research proposal first, please email

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.


The CIPR Research Fund is a new scheme that supports independent PR research. Applications are welcome from individual or pairs of CIPR members at any stage of their research careers.
In 2021, the maximum grant amount per application is £2,000.

Eligibility and selection

We welcome applications to support all areas of practice as long as the subject matter and final outputs are relevant to the advancement of public relations.

We actively welcome applications from PR practitioners from those groups which are currently under-represented in the industry.

Grants are made to individuals and not to organisations or commercial companies.

Funds are to be used towards costs associated with research and not in lieu of salaries (see ’Payment’ section below).

The following criteria will be used to select grant recipient(s):

1.    Clear demonstration of the originality and importance of the research topic.
2.    Demonstrate the potential impact on the profession.
3.    Evidence that the proposal is generally feasible and well planned, with consideration of how to mitigate risks and address eventual challenges.
4.    Research aligns with the CIPR strategy and Royal Charter
5.    Defined, measurable, and suitable outputs for the research proposal, e.g. a  webinar,  best practice guide, article for publication.
6.    Well-thought through and detailed financial expenditure forecast.

Applications are only open to full CIPR members (MCIPR) who are undertaking CPD.

An appropriate supervisor should be identified, selected for their broad understanding and expertise in the practice area. The supervisor must provide a brief progress report along with the researcher’s interim project update (see Payment section below). The role of the supervisor is to guide 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 Panel

Applications will be decided by up to four members of the CIPR’s Research Fund Panel which will consist of CIPR’s Director of Membership and Learning and members from CIPR’s groups (2), Council (2) and Board (1) alongside senior academic practitioners who are CIPR members (2) and an active researcher (1).


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 (CIPR Director or Professional Development and Membership, two CIPR reps (groups, Council, Board) and one academic/researcher.

A final list of CIPR Research Fund Grants for 2021 will then be agreed. After applicants have been notified the final list will be published on the CIPR’s website.


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.

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 £20 per hour.

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

Frequently Asked Questions

Find a list of our FAQs here.