Early Career Conference Grants

Theme: Supporting research

For emerging academics, taking part in conferences can have a profound impact on their teaching and research. These events are a chance to share research, learn about the latest developments in an area of work, and build valuable professional networks. Researchers find themselves better informed and better connected with new knowledge that can be shared and multiplied among colleagues and students.

Early Career Conference Grants help to ensure that more emerging researchers – and the universities that employ them – can benefit from these valuable opportunities.

This year's grants are being offered for both virtual (online) and in-person conferences.

There are 25-40 grants available. The final number awarded will depend on the number of applications for each format (virtual/in-person).

Application opens: Application closes:
Tuesday 4 October
Monday 28 November
2022, 23:59 UTC

What does the grant include?

​For virtual conferences, the grants cover:

  • Conference registration fee of up to £600 GBP
  • A data grant of £50 GBP for successful applicants who do not have reliable access to Wi-Fi.
  • Free access to a half-day training session on how to deliver great virtual presentations

For in-person conferences, grants are a maximum of GBP 2,000 to cover:

  • Conference registration fee
  • Flights
  • Accommodation
  • Visa costs
  • Travel and health insurance
  • COVID-19 testing for travel

Who can apply?

Applicants must:

  • Be employed by an ACU member university with a job title of lecturer, post-doctoral researcher, professor, associate professor, or equivalent.
  • Be within 7 years of the start of their academic (research/teaching) career, with the exception of those who have had career breaks. A career break is a period of time out from employment for personal or professional reasons, including to care for children.
  • Not have previously travelled for work purposes (including conferences) outside their region of employment since the start of their academic career.
  • Not be a previous recipient of an ACU Early Career Conference Grant (previously known as Early Career Academic Grants)

Applicants must identify a specific conference before applying for the grant.

The conference must take place between 1 April and 30 September 2023. High quality conferences organised by universities or academic bodies of good standing will be prioritised for selection.

Before applying, applicants must research any border restrictions and COVID-19 vaccine/testing requirements of the country where the conference is being hosted to confirm that they would be able to travel to their chosen conference without being required to quarantine, if successful.

Application requirements

As part of the application form, applicants must:

  • Give details of their chosen conference, including a copy of their abstract.
  • State whether the conference is virtual or in-person (for hybrid conferences applicants must choose whether they wish to attend in-person or virtually).
  • Choose the Sustainable Development Goal(s) which relate most closely to their research and describe how their research can contribute to achieving these goals.
  • Explain the reasons for their choice of conference and how it links to their research interests.
  • Explain how participating in the conference will benefit their career and professional development.
  • Explain how they will share the knowledge gained by participating in the conference.
  • Provide a detailed letter or email of support from their head of department commenting on the suitability of the conference and how participating in the conference will be beneficial.
  • If applying for an in-person conference, give a breakdown of the costs for which they are applying for funding.

Successful applicants will be required to submit a report on the use of their grant by 31 October 2023.

How to apply

To apply for a grant, you will need a MyACU account. If you already have an account, you can start your application right away. 

If you do not have a MyACU account, please register. You'll then need to follow the login instructions in the registration email before starting your application.

Application deadline: Monday 28 November
2022, 23:59 UTC

Please email us if you require any information not provided here.

Start your application

Meet Previous Grantees

Dr Rui She

Dr. Rui She is a postdoc researcher at the Chinese University of Hong Kong's School of Public Health and Primary Care. Her research focuses on the mental and behavioural health of adolescents, aging population, and gender minority population. With the support of an ACU Early Career Conference Grant, she presented her research at the 17th European Congress of Psychology, held in Slovenia in July 2022. 

Mrs Chioma John Nsa

Chioma Agatha John-Nsa lectures in urban and regional planning, at University of Nigeria, where she is also studying a PhD in Environmental Management and Control. Chioma's research focuses on urban informality, sustainable city, climate change and urban management. She used the grant to attend  the 5th International Conference of Contemporary Affairs in Architecture and Urbanism in Alanya, Turkey, in May 2022.

Dr Christian Ugwuanyi

Dr. Christian Sunday Ugwuanyi is a Research Fellow at the University of the Free State, South Africa and a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Science Education at University of Nigeria. He specialises in educational research, measurement and evaluation. The grant enabled him to participate in The Learner Conference, at the University of Valencia in Spain, in July 2022.

Dr Kara Layton

Dr. Kara Layton is a lecturer in Marine Biology at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland. Her work focuses on the global biodiversity crisis and identifying the underlying ecological and evolutionary processes that generate this diversity. She is especially passionate about  combating the global biodiversity crisis. Her grant supported attendance at the European Society of Evolutionary Biology Congress in Prague, in August 2022.


Inuusah Mahama  is a Licensed Educational Psychologist and a lecturer at University of Education, Winneba, Ghana. His research focuses on informing policy and practice in teaching and learning with diverse learners. The grant supported his attendance at the Comparative International Education Society (CIESconference in Minneapolis, USA, in April 2022. 

Dr Ashley Lingle

Ashley Lingle lectures in conservation at Cardiff University, UK. She is also heading conservation at the tell site of Vésztő-Mágor, Hungary and previously headed conservation for the Çatalhöyük Research Project, Turkey. Ashley’s research focuses on the preservation of archaeological earthen architecture. She used the grant to share her findings at the 2022 Terra Congress, in Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA.

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Theme: Supporting research