Small Grants Call 2022

How to apply for funding for projects starting January 2023.

Key Dates

Stage One Short Proposal Deadline 20 May

Stage Two Collaboration Workshop 29 June 

Stage Three Funding Application Call Open 01 July-15 Sept 

Funding Decision 19 Oct 


The Small Grants Award is an open call providing pump-priming funds for collaborative, targeted research into high-priority areas, new challenges, and pressing concerns in policing. Collaborative – Small Grants are collaborations between academics, police, and other stakeholders. They have relevance for policing and independence of research conclusions. They produce findings for policy and practice, peer-reviewed research, and bids to external research funds. Targeted and high priority – Small Grants address specific gaps in knowledge, evidence, and analysis, where research is likely to be of the greatest benefit. This page covers:

  • The 2022 Call – overview, dates, themes, deliverables, IP;
  • Guidance – Stages one, two and three;
  • Documentation – application forms, letter template, full guidance as pdf

2022 Call

The total value of the fund is £100,000. It is expected this will fund 4 projects. Projects will start Jan-Feb 2023 for 12 months.

The call has three stages.

At Stage One, one-page proposals are invited from police and academics at N8 PRP institutions.

Proposals will be shortlisted for development at Stage Two, the Collaboration Workshop, where police and academics will be able to find research partners and shape collaborative projects.

The projects developed at the Workshop can then be submitted at Stage Three, when a funding decision will be made.

Stage One Proposals and Stage Three Applications should be sent to Helen Gordon-Smith by the given deadline, using the forms below. 


Stage One Short Proposal

08 April-20 May Call Open
10 June Shortlist announced

Stage Two Collaboration Workshop

08 April-23 June Registration
29 June Collaboration Workshop

Stage Three Funding Application

01 July-15 Sept Call Open
19 Oct Funding Decision


This is an open call, and there is no restriction on the area of policing research or practice for submissions. Applicants are invited to consider the following:

  1. The Beating Crime Plan sets out the government’s priorities for policing. Critical interrogation of the priorities and/or the tactical approaches could be the basis of a research question. The priorities are:
    1. Cutting homicide, serious violence and neighbourhood crime
    2. Exposing and ending hidden harms
    3. Building capability to deal with fraud, cyber and online crime
    4. Governance and accountability
  2. Other major priorities for police and policing research are:
    1. Vulnerability
    2. Legitimacy
    3. Proportionality
    4. Equality, Diversity & Inclusion
      1. Representation
      2. Institutional bias
  3. Innovative ideas – this could be an area you think has high potential for academic and practical impact but is not considered above. This may be a traditional or novel area of policy and/or practice, or an entrenched or emergent crime, security, or policing problem.

Applicants should review previous Small Grants, noting that originality is an essential selection criteria.


Final report
4-page summary report, which will be publicly available on the N8 PRP website. This will act as a briefing of the project and its key findings for non-academic readers. 

Researchers are asked to present a webinar following the completion of the project. This will be arranged and promoted through N8 PRP.

The Award Letter will identify deliverables that have been outlined in the proposal. They are not a condition of funding and can be changed with approval of N8 PRP.

Intellectual Property

Authors retain Intellectual Property rights.

N8 PRP has the right to publish, share, and use the 4 page summary report.


Stage One

Short Proposals

Proposals are invited that outline a project for development at the Collaboration Workshop. Projects should be sufficiently developed to meet the selection criteria below, so they can be used as the basis for developing a full application. 

A Stage One Proposal must have been shortlisted in order to submit a Stage Three Funding Application. If you cannot attend the Collaboration Workshop, please contact Helen Gordon-Smith and alternative arrangements will be made. 

Proposal Forms should be submitted to by 4pm, 20 May 2022.


Proposals are invited from police and academics at N8 PRP institutions

Police-led Proposals should identify and approach appropriate N8 university academics and agree a research lead prior to submission. To find an academic partner, please contact your institution’s N8 PRP lead, refer to the Experts List, or contact Helen Gordon-Smith.

Police, academics, and other parties who are not part of N8 PRP can contribute to proposals as Co-Investigators or Research Partners.

Selection Criteria
  • Intellectual Rigour, Originality, and Significance;
  • Potential for impact on police policy and practice;
  • Feasibility;
  • Potential for development at the Collaboration Workshop.

Applicants should review previous Small Grants, noting that originality is an essential selection criteria.

Proposal Form

The Stage One Workshop Proposal is a one-page summary of a project for discussion and development. It briefly summarises the aims, significance, and plan for the project, and the expertise of the research team, demonstrating the selection criteria listed above. 

Formatting Requirements

Complete the application in single spaced size 11 Calibri (Body) font. Please adhere to the word count limit for each question. Do not exceed one page.

Intellectual Property of Proposals

Authors retain the intellectual property of Stage One proposals. Stage Two applications that draw on the core project plans and ideas of a Stage One Workshop Proposal must be submitted with the inclusion, knowledge, and consent of the relevant presenter, or it will be rejected.


Stage One Workshop Proposals will be shortlisted by the N8 PRP Steering Group, adjusted to account for conflict of interest (see below).

Proposals will be anonymised and the N8 PRP Steering Group will score the proposals according to the selection criteria.

Qualitative feedback will be provided to unsuccessful proposals on request. Those who are not invited to present are still encouraged to attend the Workshop and participate in discussions, whether as a potential contributor or to develop and find possible research partners for their own proposal for another call.

A summary of shortlisted Proposals will be advertised in advance of the Collaboration Workshop.

If there are more proposals that meet the shortlisting criteria for presentation than can be accommodated at the Workshop, either an alternative date will be arranged or N8 PRP will facilitate a meeting between the author of the proposal and potential research partners.

Conflict of interest

If a member of the Steering Group, a close colleague (i.e. line manager), or close relative, submits a Stage One Workshop Proposal, another representative from their organisation will be asked to participate in the shortlisting process in their place.

N.b. Submission of proposal by a member of the same organisation does not in itself constitute a conflict of interest.


Stage Two

Collaboration Workshop

At the Collaboration Workshop, proposals will be developed with potential research partners to support the development of Small Grant applications with a strong collaborative design.

The Collaboration Workshop is an opportunity to explore ideas, make connections between research interests and areas of practice, and broaden your professional network. Participants will be supported to establish a research team, shape the aims and scope of a project, and develop pathways to impact.

Registration & Venue

Register to attend the Workshop.


Alan Turing Building, University of Manchester, 29 June 2022, 11am – 4pm. Refreshments and lunch will be provided. 

If you cannot attend the Collaboration Workshop, please contact Helen Gordon-Smith and alternative arrangements will be made.


Police, academics, and other stakeholders are invited to attend the Workshop as a potential research partners for shortlisted projects. There is no requirement to be a member of an N8 PRP organisation to attend the Workshop. 

Please register using the link above.

Attendees should reclaim expenses from their organisations. If you do not have access to expenses, please contact Helen Gordon-Smith to see if assistance can be arranged.


Summaries of shortlisted proposals will be published ahead of the Workshop. 

At the Workshop, each project will have been assigned classroom space. After a brief introduction, attendees can circulate to discuss ideas, experience, and opportunities for collaboration. After lunch, attendees can work on the most promising collaboration opportunities in more detail. All attendees will then reconvene for a wrap-up and the chance to ask any questions. 

The N8 PRP Central Team will be on hand throughout the day to facilitate discussion and answer any questions. 



Attendees are encouraged to follow up on discussions held at the Workshop to finalise the proposal and submit an application to the Small Grants Award (see Stage Two guidance).


Stage Three

Funding Application 

Projects that were shortlisted at Stage One are invited to apply for funding. The application will give a developed and more detailed view of the significance, feasibility, and originality of the project. In addition it will include the project’s collaborative approach, pathways to impact, and requested funds. 

Application Forms and Letters of Support should be submitted to  from 1 July 2022 until 4pm on 15 September 2022.


Only proposals shortlisted at Stage One are eligible to submit a Stage Two Funding Application.

The Principal Investigator must be the Grant Holder, and must hold an academic post at an N8 university. 

Each proposal must also include a minimum of one N8 PRP police partner as a research partner. Parties who are not part of N8 PRP can contribute as Co-Investigators or Research Partners.

Selection Criteria


  • Intellectual Rigour, Originality, and Significance;
  • Feasibility;
  • Potential for impact on police policy and practice;
  • Potential for academic development – i.e. Small Grants investment will create external funding opportunities;
  • Collaborative approach to research, including a good level of cross-police collaboration.


  • Cross-N8 University collaboration
Application Overview

The Stage One Workshop Proposal form is a six-page summary of the proposed project which will be the basis of the funding decision. It comprises the project summary, academic and practical significance and pathways to impact, project plan, supporting context, and costs. Guidance for each section is below. 

Formatting Requirements

Complete the application in single spaced size 11 Calibri (Body) font. Please adhere to the word count limit for each text box. Do not exceed the space allocated to each text box. Text within images must be legible. 

Significance and Pathways to Impact

This section can refer to the Project Aims, the Strategy for Collaboration, and Deliverables.

Academic significance  

Applicants should briefly outline the theoretical foundations and significance of the project, demonstrating intellectual rigour, originality and significance. References can be attached as an appendix.

Applicants should also outline why the project is an appropriate use of Small Grant funds – i.e. how internal investment will enable the research team to apply for subsequent funding, and what this will contribute to the wider field of policing research.

Practical significance

This section should outline the potential for impact on policy and practice. Applications will be judged by the significance of the impact, potential for development, and the strength of the pathways to impact, not immediate geographical reach.

Practical impact can be:

  • Conceptual – changing how a topic is thought about;
  • Educational – changes to training;
  • Evidential – addresses a gap in knowledge;
  • Developmental – trialling existing ideas in new contexts;
  • Procedural – changes to processes like record-keeping;
  • Other – this is not an exhaustive list; if your application has the potential for another kind of practical impact, please include it.

Significant practical impact is change that results in improved outcomes and/or understanding.

Pathways to impact

Pathways to impact should show how project-specific deliverables and strategy for collaboration will enable the impact to be achieved.

Academic pathways can include publications, conference papers, funding bids, etc.

Applicants are encouraged to be as specific as possible (e.g. ‘develop a 3 year ESRC Research Grant application’, rather than ‘bid for funding’).

Example of a Pathway to Impact 

A project has practical significance for procedure -> the report will recommend changes to current procedures -> these will be presented to relevant decision-makers (as identified by research partners) with a plan for implementation.

Project Plan

Methodology and Deliverables

Deliverables should be project-specific; the Final Report and Webinar (p.2) should not be included.

Strategy for Collaboration and Research Co-Production

N8 PRP Small Grants Award supports collaborative projects. Please consider how your research partners will be included in the project, from design and delivery to dissemination and pathways to impact.  

Please also consider the breadth of collaboration. Applicants are encouraged to establish Advisory Groups for the project (see below), and proposals that collaborate across N8 universities are encouraged.

Advisory Groups

To increase police collaboration within the analytical scope of a 12 month grant, we encourage proposals to form Advisory Groups made up of representatives from 4 or 5 N8 PRP police forces. The research team can consult with the Advisory Group on project design, deliverables, and findings. This makes use of the wide range of experience at N8 PRP forces, increasing the applicability of findings and opportunities for impact.


A table or chart may be inserted, within the allocated space. Text is included in formatting requirements.

Panel Review and Funding Decision

The review panel will be approved by the Steering Group after the submission deadline to avoid conflicts of interest (as defined under Stage One Guidance, ‘Shortlisting’.). It will include representatives from N8 PRP police and academic partners.

The panel will assess applications according to the selection criteria specified on p.2, and make a funding recommendation to the Steering Group, who will review the panel’s recommendation and make the final funding decision by majority vote.

Qualitative feedback will be provided to unsuccessful proposals.

Supporting Context


When considering the feasibility of the project design, please take into account that the Grant Holder (Principal Investigator) will be responsible for arranging Data Sharing Agreements, ethical approval, participant recruitment, and adherence to all associated policies as per the rules of their institution.

Data Sharing Agreements

It is not possible for N8 PRP to provide a DSA. Applicants should discuss the necessity of any DSA with research partners as early as possible in the development process.

Contingency Plans

Innovative projects may include aims or strategies that are at relatively high risk of failure. Applicants should show how they intend to mitigate these risks/respond to undesired outcomes so the project will still create practical and academic value.


Funding will be awarded at 100% of eligible costs. 

The grant-holding institution must retain control of the budget and will be responsible for submitting a final expenditure report to N8 PRP. 

Eligible Costs

Directly Incurred costs. This covers: 

  • Directly incurred staff costs
  • Travel and subsistence
  • Consumables
  • Payments to project partners*

Directly incurred staff must be employed by the grant-holding institution. 

Ineligible Costs

  • Overheads
  • Indirect staff costs (e.g. investigator time. 
  • N8 PRP police partner contributions (these can be listed as in-kind-contributions)
Letters of Support

All research partners must commit to undertaking all reasonable efforts within the scope of their contribution to ensure successful delivery of the project.

N8 PRP police partners are expected to provide additional commitment to supporting and recording the impact of the project, by:

  • Ensuring findings and recommendations are presented to those in relevant leadership positions;
  • Reporting on the impact of the project at the force through the force’s N8 PRP lead;
  • Where practical and required, participating in dissemination and impact activities.

A Letter of Support is required per research partner organisation, including N8 PRP partners. This must be signed and dated on headed paper, and outline the commitment to the project. A template is available alongside the application form. 

Award Schedule

Invoices will be paid in three equal instalments, on acceptance of the following milestones:

  1. Signed acceptance of award letter and signature of subcontract by all research partners.
  2. Interim report and expenditure statement at 6 months.
  3. Final report and expenditure statement at 12 months.

The Grant Holder must contact the N8 PRP central team as soon as possible to inform them of any delays or major changes to the project, and for any changes are be approved by N8 PRP in advance.



Stage One

Stage Three

Letter of Support

Small Grants 2022/23