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Funding opportunities

The ACU is committed to delivering educational opportunities that make a positive and lasting difference.

We provide a range of funding opportunities to enable university staff and students to pursue world-class research and innovation. Some opportunities are open to all, while others are available only for ACU members - find out if your university is part of the ACU.

View opportunities for university staff

View all opportunities for students 

If you have any questions about funding please contact us

The grants calendar below shows when funding opportunities are coming up for the year 2021-2022. If you would like further information on specific grants, please use the links on this page. 

ACU grants calendar 2021-22

For university staff

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Martha Farrell Memorial Fellowships

Fellowships for staff training and support for effective anti-sexual harassment initiatives at their home university. 

ACU Fellowships

Virtual fellowships for academic and professional staff of member universities in any country to promote the exchange of knowledge, skills, and ideas between members. 

Coventry University Fellowships

The Coventry Fellowships support collaboration at a distance by forging new research partnerships between Coventry University in the UK and ACU member universities in other countries. 


Gender Grants

Awarded to member universities in any country to support initiatives that will boost gender equity and equality. 

Commonwealth Climate Resilience Challenge Grants

Open to professional and academic staff at ACU member universities, these grants support collaborative work focused on the Commonwealth Climate Resilience Network’s priority themes. 

Commonwealth Peace and Reconciliation Challenge Grants

Open to professional and academic staff at ACU member universities, these grants support collaborative work focused on the Commonwealth Peace and Reconciliation Network’s priority themes. 

HR in HE Community Challenge Grants 

Open to staff at ACU member universities working in the area of human resources, the HR in HE Community Challenge Grants support the essential work of HR within universities and the aims of the HR in HE Community.

Early Career Conference Grants

Grants for early career researchers at member universities to participate in conferences. They can be used to support virtual conference participation. 

Higher Education and the SDGs Challenge Grants

Open to professional and academic staff at ACU member universities, these grants support collaborative work focused on the Higher Education and the SDGs Network’s priority themes. 

Early Career Research Training Grants

Grants for member institutions to provide training to their early career research students in essential skills to enable them to succeed in their careers, whether they remain in academia or utilise their skills in other professional fields. 

Medical Student Virtual Mobility Grants

The funding will enable UK medical schools to set up a virtual exchange for collaboration and shared learning between their students and those in other countries.

This is an opportunity for students, but can only be applied for by university staff.

Blue Charter Knowledge Exchange Training Programme & Grant Scheme

Early-career researchers in the field of marine and ocean sciences may be nominated to enrol in the Blue Charter Knowledge Exchange Training Programme to enhance their research dissemination skills. Those who complete the programme are eligible to apply for a bespoke grant scheme, designed to support researchers in the practical application of the skills they developed through training.

Virtual Mobility Project Grants

These grants provide funding for ACU members to deliver a virtual mobility project – such as an online summer school – in partnership with another ACU member university. 


For students 

Scholarships and international mobility

The ACU manages a number of prestigious international scholarship schemes, including the UK government’s three major scholarship programmes - Chevening, UK Commonwealth Scholarships and Fellowships, and Marshall Scholarships. 


Fully-funded scholarships to undertake any master's course at any UK university.

UK Commonwealth Scholarships and Fellowships

Commonwealth Scholarships and Fellowships are aimed at talented individuals who have the potential to make change.

Marshall Scholarships

Marshall Scholarships finance young Americans of high ability to study for a graduate degree in the United Kingdom. Up to fifty Scholars are selected each year to study at graduate level at a UK institution in any year of study.

Queen Elizabeth Commonwealth Scholarships

Open to applicants from any Commonwealth country, the scholarships provide a unique opportunity to study for a two-year Master’s degree at a member university in a low or middle income country.

The Turing Scheme

The UK’s global programme for studying and working abroad, offering once-in-a-lifetime opportunities for personal and professional development for students. The ACU was appointed as Capita's principal partner to lead on the assessment of applications and support with monitoring and evaluation. 


Routledge/Round Table Commonwealth Studentships

The PhD studentships provide funding for research projects on Commonwealth-related themes. 


ACU Global Grants

Funding for UK students to participate in summer schools hosted by member universities in other countries.  

ACU Summer School

The ACU Summer School provides a forum for students from every corner of the Commonwealth to discuss multidisciplinary issues of global importance. The School is hosted in a different country each year and explores a range of different themes. Previous years have spanned public health, building sustainable communities, big data, global food security and more.  

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