Early Career Conference Grants

Grants for early career researchers at member universities to attend and take part in conferences.

Conference Attendee

Applications are now closed for 2023/2024.

Early Career Conference Grants help to ensure that emerging researchers – and the universities that employ them – can benefit from the valuable opportunity of attending and taking part in in-person conferences in Commonwealth countries. 

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. 

What does the grant include? 

​Grants are a maximum of GBP 2,000 which can be used to cover: 

  • Conference registration fee 
  • Flights 
  • Accommodation 
  • Visa costs 
  • Travel and health insurance 

How to apply 

Applicants must: 

  • Be an early career researcher/academic at an ACU member university. 
  • 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. 
  • Identify a conference that they would like to attend in a Commonwealth country, taking place between August 2024 and February 2025. 
  • Review the FAQs/Application Guidance.
  • Submit an application through the online application form. 
    • If you do not already have a MyACU account, please ensure that you first register for an account here, then follow the instructions in the registration email to log in to the system before accessing the application form when applications open.

Applicants cannot: 

  • Have previously travelled for work purposes (including conferences) outside of their region of employment since the start of their academic career.
  • Be a previous recipient of an ACU Early Career Conference Grant (previously known as Early Career Academic Grants).

Meet Previous Grantees

Dr Rui She

Dr Rui She

The Chinese University of Hong Kong

Dr Rui She is a postdoctoral researcher at CUHK'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

The University of Nigeria

Chioma Agatha John-Nsa lectures in urban and regional planning at the 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

The University of the Free State, South Africa

Dr Ugwuanyi is a Research Fellow at the University of the Free State 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

The University of Aberdeen, Scotland

Dr Kara Layton is a lecturer in Marine Biology at the University of Aberdeen. 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

The University of Education, Ghana

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

Cardiff University, UK

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.