Catalyst Fund

(Cliciwch yma i’w ddarllen yn y Gymraeg)

The LCEE Catalyst Fund is designed to help researchers in Wales win research grants.

The fund provides small amounts of pump-priming funding to enable researchers based at Welsh universities to improve their chances at winning a specific research funding bid or building the collaborations needed to win funding in the future.

The initial call for applications is open until midnight Monday September 12th, 2022. We will take applications on a rolling basis after that to use up any leftover funds. All work funded by the catalyst fund must be completed and invoiced (with supporting receipts) by March 1st 2023.

Eligible activities

Examples of activities we would like to fund:

  • Domestic and international travel where it is essential to help form or develop consortiums
  • Networking events aimed as specific funding calls or building consortia around emerging issues
  • Bid-writing support
  • Part funding for teaching buy-outs to enable PIs to have time to bid into a large grant call
  • Short term employment or contract extensions where the employees will be solely working on a bid (without overheads)

All proposed activities need to be carbon-conscious, and where carbon-intensive activities such as travel are involved they must be justified.

The resulting research funding bid must have one or more Welsh university as a funding recipient, but the research does not have to be conducted solely in Wales. We are particularly keen to fund projects which involve collaboration across multiple Welsh institutions and/or linkages with external stakeholders in Wales.

The research must be focussed on one or more of the following topics:

  • low carbon energy
  • decarbonisation
  • the bioeconomy
  • nature based solutions to climate change
  • the nature emergency

All work funded by the catalyst fund must be completed and invoiced (with supporting receipts) by March 1st 2023.

Who can apply

To be eligible you must be either:

  • studying a PhD at a university in Wales
  • employed by a university in Wales as a researcher
  • employed by a university in Wales in an academic position at lecturer level or above

How to apply

Please submit your application using the form here.

The current call for applications is open until September 12th 2022. In the case that not all the funding is allocated in the initial call, there will be a call for rolling applications afterwards to use up remaining funds.

Responses will be sent by 26th of September 2022. The initial funding must be received by your university by 31st October 2022.


How will entries be judged?
Entries will be judged by a panel comprised of staff from the LCEE Research Network Wales and members of the steering group. Entries will be scored based on their fit for the remit of the LCEE research network (see focus topics, above), the potential return on investment, and the extent to which the project builds collaboration between Welsh research institutions and/or industry. Additionally, we will be looking for proposals that are both carbon-conscious and represent value for money.

What are the minimum and maximum funding limits?
There are no minimum values. We want to hear your most innovative and effective ideas for how to use this funding. The upper limit for each Catalyst Fund grant is £10,000 including VAT. All costs in your proposal must represent value for money.

What will I need to provide to the LCEE Research Network?
If you are successful in winning LCEE catalyst funding, we will ask you to work with us to publish a very short case study promoting the support you received and any success which came as a result. We will also include details of who we have financially supported in our report to our funders at the Welsh Government and Welsh Innovation Network.

Can my research funding bid include non-university partners or partners from outside of Wales?
Yes, as many as you like, but the recipient of the LCEE Catalyst Fund must be employed by a university in Wales. At least one university in Wales must be a funded partner in the research funding bid you are working towards.

How will I receive the funding?
As part of the application you must submit projected costs. You must then receive the initial funding sum from the catalyst fund by October 31st 2022. All work must be completed and invoiced by March 1st 2023, at which time you will invoice the catalyst fund (with supporting receipts of completed work) for the remainder of your costs.

Are employment overheads eligible costs?
No, employment overheads are not eligible in order to maximise the impact of the funds. Because the size of each catalyst fund is up to a maximum of £10,000 inc VAT, overheads would have a significant reduction on the length of employment the fund could support and therefore impact of the work. Your research and support services team can help with waiving overhead costs, with approval likely coming from your head of school/college or PVC of research.

Can I apply for retrospective funding for costs already incurred?
No, all work must occur after you have received notification of success and before March 1st 2023.

Who should I contact if I have questions?
Get in touch at if you have any queries

Where has this funding come from?
The LCEE Catalyst Fund has been supported by European Structural Funds through the Welsh Government and by the Welsh Innovation Network.