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Read the Fell Fund guidance notes carefully and ensure your proposal meets the Fell Fund criteria. Use the headings given in the Fell Fund application guidance and case for support template.

Discuss your application with others (colleagues, Head of Department, Departmental Administrator or departmental research contact, as appropriate). The SSD Fell Fund Coordinator is willing to offer advice and read draft proposals before you submit your application, subject to workload. Please contact the Fell Fund Coordinator well in advance of the deadline (preferably 2-3 weeks before the deadline).

Write clearly for a non-specialist audience. Most of the reviewers will not have expertise in your field. Avoid jargon and abbreviations. It may be sensible to run your proposal past a colleague who comes from a different field.

Justification for support: Why the Fell Fund?

  • How does your proposal meet (at least one of) the Fell criteria? 
    (One of the criteria is relevance to departmental and divisional strategy. Find out more about the division's research strategy.)
  • Outline why you are applying to the Fell Fund and why funding cannot be sought from other sources (your department/college or an external funder).
  • What further funding will Fell funding enable? 
  • If you are seeking matching funding or underwriting, how does this funding relate to your application?
  • If you have already applied elsewhere and were unsuccessful, summarise any feedback you received and explain how you have addressed this. 
  • The more funding you are requesting, the stronger your justification needs to be – why is it important, what is the benefit to Oxford, what is the impact if the project does not go ahead?

Research objectives and proposed outcomes

What do you want to do? Why is it important? Why should it be funded? Why are you the best person to conduct this research?

Think about how to ‘sell’ your research project and expertise. Convey your understanding and enthusiasm for the project. What might appeal to a non-specialist audience?

Give enough background and literature context to show how your research will advance the field, but focus on what it is you want to do and the difference your research will make.

What are your research questions/objectives? How will you answer/deliver these (i.e. methods)? What is your timetable? Are there any ethical or technical considerations?

Outline your research objectives, methods and give an indication of the timescales for the various elements of the project and the proposed outcomes, with reference to the academic value of the research and how the research will be sustained beyond the Fell Fund support.

Feasibility: Be ambitious yet realistic. Show that you have thought through the practicalities and ethics of your project. If you are undertaking research in conflict areas or difficult to access areas, briefly state what you will do to mitigate the risks.

What will the outcomes/outputs be?
Be very clear about the outcomes of the research activities to be funded by the Fell Fund, in terms of publications and external research funding applications. Make sure these are proportional to the level of funding you are requesting.

If you intend to apply to an external funding body (subsequently or simultaneously), please indicate: the likely sponsor(s), when you expect to submit.


If you would like further support or have other queries, please contact the SSD Fell Fund Coordinator (tel: 01865 (6)14872).