Who can apply?

The Project Lead / PI must be based in OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) list countries (a list of DAC countries can be found at: https://www.oecd.org/dac/financing-sustainable-development/development-finance-standards/daclist.htm). Project Team Members / Co-Is can be based in DAC list or non-DAC countries, but, if based in non-DAC list countries, should not make up the majority of the project team.

The AHRC, the Rights for Time funder, requires some element of United Kingdom involvement in all funded projects. In the case of these small grants, this requirement can be satisfied by participating in the Rights for Time Digital Mentorship programme and seeking support from the Rights for Time team when necessary.

For funding purposes, the requirement for research to be based in an OECD DAC recipient country is judged by the organization at which the Project Lead / PI is based. There are instances where an organization, such as an NGO, might be based in one country, but operate in another. In this instance, the application needs to demonstrate:

  • where the majority of work is happening, including the work of the Project Lead / PI;
  • where the Project Lead / PI’s employment contract is held;
  • whether the organization is large, with considerable resources, or smaller, with limited abilities to operate beyond their normal parameters in the DAC list country where the project will operate.

The assessment panel will consider the composition of the project team, including previous skills and experience; capabilities to undertake the work proposed; and equality, diversity and inclusion. Applications including/led by early career researchers (ECR) are strongly encouraged as are applications led by individuals from groups that are under-represented in receiving research funding and by individuals who have not received research funding before. We welcome applications led by researchers, civil society organizations (large and small), educators, heritage sector professionals, activists and artists and encourage project teams that combine these roles and experiences.

In the case where a project is led by a non-academic organization (e.g., not a University) it will be important to demonstrate the organization’s capacity to lead and deliver research projects, bearing in mind the broad definition of research used by this call.

What kinds of activities are eligible for funding?

Awards can be for up to 9 months in duration. Projects can start from 1st December 2022 and must be completed by the end of December 2023. A grant may be used for any research and development related activity around humanitarian protection and our research themes.

Findings from funded activities should be disseminated in at least one output (see Section 1 for more information) to help build research knowledge and drive forward change, including humanitarian protection policy making and practice; peer reviewed articles of research findings published in international, as well as local and regional academic journals, with articles published in English as well as other languages and open access; accessible policy and practice briefing papers and concept notes developed for a broad audience in multimedia multiple language formats deriving from projects and shared widely; websites of network partners and key stakeholders; methodological papers reporting innovative methodological developments, such as participatory research methods, performances and creative arts; articles and opinion pieces in the trade press, targeted influencing events with decision-makers to share research findings and develop implementation plans; media engagement; blogs, vlogs and podcasts by partners, researchers and policymakers; innovative methods to support implementation (e.g. theatre, YouTube videos); and community events to ensure maximum engagement of citizens, organisations, and government.

Activities that are NOT eligible for funding include:

  • Activities that do not contain an element of new research or the development of new methodologies / pedagogies.
  • Fees for individuals to undertake university undergraduate or postgraduate courses.
  • Any application where equipment forms over 25% of the total budget.
  • Projects without a host organization – it is not possible for us to transfer funds directly to an individual. The project budget must be managed by a host organization at which the Project Lead / PI is based.

Which host organizations are eligible?

The host organization is the organization at which the Project Lead / PI is based. Each project must have a host organization.

The host organization must be based in an ODA low-and-middle income country. The application must be made through a host organization such as an NGO, University, research institute, community group, social enterprise, arts or cultural organization, where the appropriate authority (e.g., Director, Chief Executive, Head of School, Programme Manager, etc.) has agreed for the application to take place.

The host organization will need to agree to the criteria below if their application is successful. If you are interested in applying for funding but do not belong to an organization that is able to meet all these criteria, please contact the Rights for Time team as soon as possible using the rightsfortime@contacts.bham.ac.uk email address. We may be able to provide support to enable your organization to meet the criteria or consider other options.

Ability to deliver

The organization applying for an award should be able to:

  • demonstrate in-house capacity in terms of staff and infrastructure to support and lead excellent research programmes.
  • provide evidence of a commitment to maximising the wider impact and value of its research to the benefit of local communities, economies, and society.
  • demonstrate commitment to the principle of Open Access publication (recognising organizations may not necessarily be signed up to equivalent UK recognised standards).
  • have sufficient capacity to deliver research and/or other outputs that are appropriate to the wider aims of the Rights for Time Network Plus award and that can be meaningfully recorded and reported as such.
  • demonstrate an ability and commitment to provide appropriate leadership and support to those staff involved with funded research activity.

Governance and Control

The organization should be able to:

  • demonstrate good governance and control functions including policies and approaches to control risk and mitigate fraud and corruption.
  • have satisfactory processes for preventing, detecting, reporting, and responding to allegations of slavery, fraud, bribery and corruption.
  • have satisfactory processes in place that meet Research Integrity and Ethics requirements, including processes for dealing with allegations of misconduct.
  • be subject to appropriate levels of independent audit.
  • demonstrate an ability to support the effective collection, management, analysis, and dissemination of data.
  • have satisfactory processes to ensure that effective safeguarding policies and practices are approved, implemented, and monitored.

Financial Stability

The organization should be able to:

  • demonstrate that they are financially stable and have robust assurance around managing and accounting for grant funding.
  • have a bank account that is in its legal name and that can be reconciled to the appropriate finance management system.
  • have a basic finance management system that can be used to reconcile the bank account, to record all cash and payments ensuring that all transactions can be individually identified and provides suitable storage for supporting documentation.
  • have satisfactory procedures reimbursement of advances and/or expenses for approved activities.

Sub-contract Management

Where the project involves sub-contracting to third parties, the organization should be able to ensure there is a policy in place to sufficiently manage sub-contractors, ensure safeguarding, and address any associated financial or compliance risks.

Due Diligence

Where a project is chosen for funding, you will be required to evidence the above through the provision of appropriate policies, procedures, and audited financial statements as part of the University of Birmingham’s due diligence process. At application stage, we ask that you read the ‘Due Diligence Check List and Letter’ You are then required to sign the letter to show you are aware of these requirements and will provide evidence of the above if the project is successful. Again, if you need further guidance on what this entails or are not clear as to whether you are able to produce such evidence, please contact us now and we may be able to offer assistance. Please use the rightsfortime@contacts.bham.ac.uk email address for such queries.


AHRC Arts and Humanities Research Council: This is the funding body who have funded the Rights for Time Network Plus. You can read more about them here 

Co-IA Co-Investigator (Co-I) is a member of the research team on a project but is someone who is not responsible for the overall management of the project.

DAC Development Assistance Committee. The DAC is based within the OECD. It is the DAC who defines which countries are classified as DAC countries. A full list of DAC countries can be found on the OECD website.

Due Diligence The investigation or exercise of care an individual or organization is expected to take before entering into an agreement or contract with another party.

ECR Early Career Researcher. In an academic context this is someone who is within eight years of the award of their PhD, or an individual who is within six years of their first academic appointment. In a non-academic context an ECR can include anyone who is new to conducting research: there is no requirement for such a person to be a career researcher.

Full economic cost (fEC) The full economic cost (fEC) of a project is the full cost of undertaking the activity. This can include consumables, travel costs, facility access, staff costs, estates, infrastructure costs etc.

All applications that include UK Research Organisations (RO) must budget for  the UK RO elements on the basis of the UKRI full economic costs (fEC) model i.e. 80% fEC for UK Ros costs with the UK RO involved in the project contributing 20% fEC. If a grant is awarded, the UK RO must agree to find the balance of fEC for the project from other resources.

N.B. Organizations in DAC listed countries will be paid at 100% of costs and can request up to 20% of overheads on their costs – these must be included as part of the total requested budget.

GCRF Global Challenges Research Fund. The GCRF is a £1.5 billion fund provided by the UK Government to support research that address challenges faced by developing countries.

GovernanceGovernance is a framework or infrastructure that defines and controls the outputs, outcomes and benefits from projects and/or programmes. The mechanism whereby the investing organization demonstrate financial and technical understanding and control of their project.

NGONon-Governmental Organization. An NGO is typically a not-for-profit group or institution with a social or humanitarian aim, which operates independently from the government.

ODA Official Development Assistance. ODA is government aid which is awarded to DAC countries that promote and specifically target the economic development and welfare of developing countries.

OECD Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development

Open Access (OA) Publishing

OA is a set of principles and a range of practices through which research outputs are distributed online, free of cost or other access barriers, meaning anyone can access them.

PIA Principal Investigator (PI) is the person who will hold the money awarded with the grant and will be responsible for leading the research project.

SDGs Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). The United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, 2030 Agenda For Sustainable Development have developed 17 SDGs.  These SDGs are an urgent call for global collaboration to address poverty and deprivation the goals aim to improve health and education and climate change.

Research Ethics Review Board/Committee

A body within an organisation that is responsible for safeguarding the rights, safety, dignity, and well-being of all research participants. They will conduct some form of risk-benefit analysis to determine whether or not research should be carried out and then accept (or reject), monitor and review all research (especially that involving human subjects) being undertaken by the organisation.

Research question

A specific inquiry which the research seeks to provide a response to – a research question focuses on the research, determines the methodology and hypothesis, and guides all stages of inquiry, analysis, and reporting.

UKRI UK Research and Innovation.  A non-departmental public body sponsored by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). UKRI brings together the seven disciplinary research councils, Research England, which is responsible for supporting research and knowledge exchange at higher education institutions in England, and the UK’s innovation agency, Innovate UK.

UoB University of Birmingham