Institutional small grants available for international PhDs/junior academics

Many universities already have a fund for small institutional grants to support their local PhD students and young researchers in developing various transferable skills (e.g., writing a project/project and financial management of own project), and in preparing future interdisciplinary, international, or cutting-edge projects. Such grants can be used to cover e.g. travel costs, attendance fees for conferences, extra publication, dissemination and science popularisation costs, extra fieldwork, extra lab costs/consumables, individual trainings, etc. Those grants could be offered also to international PhD students and young academics under the same conditions as their local peers.  Information on grants should be available in English and easily foundable on the institutional website. The information could be part of the welcome package.



Improved skills and knowledge Improved visibility

Basic information
Categories Institutional strategy Profesional & Academic Development
Mobility stages During mobility phase Upon arrival
Delivery schedule Continuous
Importance Important to have
Scale of organizational change
Target groups PhD student/Early career researcher
Types of contracts of researchers Full degree student Employee in training (interns, research fellows, postdocs)
Career stages of researchers Less than 6 months 6-12-months of experience 1-3-years of experience
Lengths of stays of researchers 6-12 months More than 12 months
Practice setup

When setting up/expanding the small grant scheme towards international PhD students and young researchers, the following needs to be considered:

  • Strong support by the top management

  • Identifying the source of funding (e.g. institutional resources, sponsorship, subsidy from public resources) and allocated amount; in case a well-operating scheme exists for local PhD students/young academics - it might be desirable to enlarge the available total budget to ensure realistic chances of support

  • Defining of the strategic priority you are going to support or goals the small grants shall achieve (interdisciplinary research projects, international research projects, start-up projects, cutting-edge projects, grants for female PhD students and young researchers, projects with social impact, science popularisation, citizens involvement)  

  • Appointment of a responsible person for the preparation and administration of the grant scheme

  • Design of the grant scheme - eligibility criteria (e.g. eligibility in terms of years of research experience after finishing studies allowing the researcher to enroll for PhD studies, calculated as full-time equivalent, or year of PhD studies), funding terms/conditions (including maximum amount of the financial support, total budget available per call, eligible costs), deadlines and periodicity for applications submission, time schedule of various steps: formal, eligibility and quality evaluation of applications - contracting - funding provision - implementation period - reporting schedule - assessment/review of results, call text preparation - in English, and/or other international languages

  • Preparation of necessary forms in English, and/or other international languages (application form, project outline form, project report template, declarations, etc), and guide for applicants; allow the submission of the applications in English and/or other international languages (without the requirement to submit it in a national language), contract/grant agreement, a guide for beneficiaries - both in English

  • Determining ways for application submission (electronic/printed, online system/email/office); in case an online system would be preferred, liaise with IT department on suggested options (operating in English), or look for available options via networks with local grant agencies

  • Preparation of a transparent selection procedure (including formal, eligibility and evaluation criteria)

  • Nomination of the selection committee members with a sound command of English and/or other international language and desirable expertise in various disciplines (based on clear criteria and preventing a conflict of interest - e.g. including also experts from outside your HEI, outside the academic community)

  • Ensuring various ways of promoting of the grant scheme (welcome package, institutional website, newsletter, intranet, emailing to supervisors, team leaders, etc)

  • Ensuring the predictability and repeating of the scheme annually with the same time framework



Cost of practice setup
Time required for practice setup
Personnel effort required for practice setup
Actors involved in practice setup
  • Research office
  • Doctoral school
  • IT support department
  • Rector's office / Vice-Rector for International Affairs
Partners involved in practice setup
  • Other HEI/research organisation in city/region
  • Local/national funding agencies
Indicators for evaluating progress/quality of practice setup
  • User procedure and manual designed
  • Relevant documents/forms prepared
  • Institutional grant scheme set up

Internal Actors

@ IT department - could provide consultations on the optimal solution for an online grant application system operating in English


External Collaborators

@Other HEIs/research organisations in city/region - the selection committee should preferably comprise various stakeholders including also experts from outside your HEI, outside the academic community in order to avoid a conflict of interest

@Local/national grant agencies/other HEIs -  can help with experience sharing (various aspects and phases of the institutional grant scheme setup procedure). 

External funding - local/national/EU subsidies opportunities, non-academic RDI organisations,

Practice delivery

  • Publish the Call for applications with all the relevant documentation in English at the relevant organisation´s website pages (choose the most appropriate place, where it could be intuitively searched for

  • Promote the grant scheme via various communication channels (welcome package, newsletter, intranet news) 

  • Support prospective applicants by providing information/counseling services in the application phase (e.g. a seminar/webinar held annually describing details of the grant scheme and application process, or individual consultations, IT support/helpdesk in case an online tool is used)

  • Secure a transparent selection process (formal and eligibility check and qualitative evaluation)

  • Ensure a fast and easy contracting process

  • Ensure suitable implementation conditions in cooperation with supervisors, heads of respective departments, team leaders, etc.

  • Instruct beneficiaries about the necessary implementation and financial rules (reporting duties, budget spending rules - purchase of goods, travel arrangements, publishing guidelines) (e.g. via a seminar/webinar for beneficiaries, booklet/leaflet/terms and conditions in a nutshell)

  • Promote and disseminate results via HEIs communication channels (newsletter, social media, press release)


Cost of practice delivery
Time required for practice delivery
Personnel effort required for practice delivery
Actors involved in practice delivery
  • IRO/welcome centre
  • Study department
  • Research office
  • Project management office
  • Incubator
  • Science park
Partners involved in practice delivery
  • Other HEI/research organisation in city/region
Indicators for evaluating progress/quality of practice delivery
  • Number of researchers involved in events annually

External Collaborators

@ Other HEIs/research organisations in city/region - if it is required by the nature of the research, the home institution/department should provide assistance in addressing external partners and guarantee its personal credibility as well as the relevance and correctness of the research, especially in cases when:

  • an interview/s is/are needed to be conducted as part of the research

  • samples need to be obtained

  • the research takes longer than initially expected

  • research infrastructure is owned by external partners

Examples of practice

EUBA Start-up grants for PhD students and Young Scholars

Start-up grant scheme for young scholars and early-stage researchers under 30 years of age is designed to provide much needed support to small research groups up to 5 members to carry out original research.

Small Grants Scheme for digital engagement activity

Small institutional grants of up to £1000 for research staff and academic staff at King's to deliver an online engagement activity.

Arts & Humanities Graduate Research Small Grants Program

The Graduate Research Small Grants Program is designed to enhance opportunities for graduate students in Arts & Humanities to conduct research by offering supplemental financial support on a competitive basis. The funding is not a substitute for other forms of funding that currently exist. Rather, it is designed to support research activities in instances where other sources are inadequate or unavailable in order to help fill gaps not met by current opportunities (travel to conduct research, purchase of research-related material, expences related to transcription of research material, etc).

Project grants for female postdocs from University of Bremen

The call in 2022 is exclusively addressed to female postdocs from Bremen and abroad who apply A) directly after completing their PhD or B) as advanced postdocs with the aim professorship. The offer is support in their scientific career and in the development of their own research profile. Postdocs in early stage right after finishing PhD receive the possibility to be responsible for and lead their own project.

Research support programme - project grants

The Masaryk University runs various grant schemes to support expenses linked with a preparation of exceptionally prestigious and significant projects of international providers, interdisciplinary research projects, support for integration of research after a career break.