The Policy Leeds Rapid Response Fund aims to support researchers to respond quickly and tactically to urgent policy opportunities. This will contribute to our ambition to strengthen the influence and impact of University of Leeds research on policy, by being able to respond when it matters. 

Requests can be made for up to £3,000 to cover policy engagement activities such as:  

  • Supporting building relationships and networks with policy professionals to maximise routes to impact and facilitate coproduction of future research  
  • To deliver or participate in knowledge exchange activities with policy professionals  
  • Supporting the translation, application and utilisation of existing research findings for policy, for example via a rapid evidence synthesis or compiling a report in response to a policy need  

The rapid response fund is intended to work in concert with other funding opportunities, such as Impact Acceleration Accounts, and will focus on time-sensitive opportunities that require rapid action.  


Applications are welcomed from researchers at PhD level and above, or professional staff whose role involves engaging policy actors with research evidence. Post-graduate researchers and staff should be contracted at the University of Leeds for the duration of the anticipated activity.  

Eligible costs

Rapid response funds can only cover directly incurred costs associated with the award (i.e. does not cover Full Economic Costs) and cannot be used for purchase of IT or other equipment.  

Eligible costs may include the following:  

  • Reasonable travel, accommodation and subsistence costs.  
  • Consumables other than IT or equipment, such as registration costs at events, production of professional materials, room bookings, catering etc.  
  • Other costs such as external consultancy fees may be eligible, but require prior approval. Please discuss with Policy Leeds prior to submitting your application.
  • Directly incurred staff costs will only be permitted in exceptional circumstances. Please discuss with Policy Leeds prior to submitting your application.  

This fund is designed to support delivery of impact from existing research, rather than delivery of new research. Primary data collection would only be accepted in exceptional circumstances, and only where it is essential to deliver the anticipated policy impact. 

Applicants should provide costings and justification for the budget requested on the application form. If this application has workload implications above those factored into your normal duties or other projects, please complete costings in consultation with your Faculty Research & Innovation Office and get sign off from your Head of School. 

Application and awards process

There will be no deadline for rapid response fund applications, and applications will be assessed on a rolling basis by Policy Leeds. As a limited amount of funding is available each year, the number of awards will depend on the size of requests already granted. 

To apply for the Rapid Response fund, please complete the application form and return it to Juliet Jopson at

Applications will be assessed based on the likely effectiveness and targeting of the proposed policy engagement, deliverability of the outlined activity, and potential to lead to research impact.  

We will aim to give feedback on the result of the assessment within one week of application where at all possible. 

For small requests, such as travel or catering arrangements for a policy meeting, Policy Leeds will administer the award. For larger grants, we will look to set up a Faculty account for project costs, please note that this may take one or two weeks from confirmation of the award.  

Reporting requirements

A short evaluation will be requested one month after the end of the supported activity to enable us to monitor the effectiveness of the funding stream.