Advice John Cairns

We are keen to build new collaborations between researchers in different parts of the department and to foster new synergies. To aid in this process, each year we make funding available to pump prime new initiatives.

We are looking to fund novel and innovative projects which would be difficult to get funded from external peer-reviewed sources because the project is too high risk or the data is too preliminary, or where a rapid decision is needed, or where there are concerns about confidentiality that make external peer-review unattractive.

Priority will be given to applications that initiate a new collaboration between researchers who have not previously worked together and who are based in different divisions of RDM (CVM, IMD,NDCLS, OCDEM and MRC WIMM). However, if well justified, applications will be also considered where a new collaboration is being established between researchers within the same division of RDM. Applications with non RDM co-applicants or non RDM collaborators will not be considered.

We anticipate funding up to two and possibly three awards, up to a maximum of £50k per award. Please note that any researcher based within RDM is eligible to apply for RDM pump priming funding (ie postdocs can be the PI on the application). The deadline for receipt of pump priming applications is noon, Thursday 3 May 2018. Applications should be emailed to Ruth McCaffrey (ruth.mccaffrey@rdm.ox.ac.uk).

The application should be a maximum of three A4 pages in length, and should contain the
following information:

  •   names of the two RDM researchers who will lead the project and their affiliation;
  •   proposed start and end dates;
  •   an abstract;
  •   a clearly stated hypothesis (except in cases of technique development);
  •   a description of the work to be undertaken;
  •   a clear account of what preliminary data will be generated by this work that could
  •   enable a subsequent submission of a grant application to an external funding agency;
  •   an explanation as to why pump priming funding is necessary;
  •   a summary of the funding requested with a clear justification of the costs;
  •  any other collaborators involved (if you are a researcher in RDM and not an RDM PI, then your PI should be listed as a collaborator);
  • any other relevant information.


Please note: If the PIs on the application are postdocs or fellows, then please attach a two page CV for each of them (this does not count towards the three page limit specified above). Funds can be used for consumables, equipment, animal costs, travel costs and personnel costs. Where possible, applications should not include a request to fund personnel who will be hired into a one year position, as we recognise the difficulties associated with such short
term hires.


Please ensure you inform your lead administrator if you are submitting an application and you must obtain, and include in your application, an X5 costing from your administrator if funds for staff are requested.
Applications will be reviewed by a committee composed of senior academics within RDM and
will not be sent for external peer review.


Any questions should be directed to Ruth McCaffrey (ruth.mccaffrey@rdm.ox.ac.uk).