LSE Urgency Grant Scheme


Applications must meet the two evaluation criteria of excellence and urgency.

The scheme aims to fund world-class research activities by LSE academic, research and policy staff for unexpected and transient opportunities created by unpredictable, discrete and abrupt events such as pandemics, conflicts, environmental impacts and abrupt policy change.

The Vice President and Pro-Vice Chancellor (Research) has worked with LSE Research and Innovation to allocate limited resources available to the Research Development Panel (RDP) from the School’s funds, to fund activities up to £100,000 per year. This fund will be allocated by RDP on an as-needs basis.

The scheme is open to all disciplines and research ideas but must meet the two evaluation criteria: excellence and urgency. Excellence will consider the originality, quality and significance of the work. Urgency applications are permitted if conforming to the available funding opportunities would result in a missed opportunity to undertake research of high importance. Urgency grants can be up to 12 months in duration and are expected to focus on the urgent data collection and essential initial analysis only. A clear strategy for taking the research forward once the urgent phase is completed is required.

The RDP will particularly welcome exceptional applications from Assistant Professors and Assistant Professorial Research Fellows. 

Eligibility requirements

The scheme will not be used to displace external funding, nor for applications covered by STICERD grants (Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines) or other funding sources available within the School.

The following activities are NOT eligible for funding in this scheme:

  • Collection of data to inform urgent policy or national or international decision-making, or to respond to arising publication or collaboration opportunities
  • Events where planning could have allowed support through other existing funding opportunities. This can include data collection related to seasonal, frequent or periodic events (such as extreme weather conditions or policy events) that are expected to be imminent but haven’t yet happened.


  • All projects should fit within 12 months of the start date
  • Applicants must be able to start work with immediate effect following notification
  • Projects must be able to spend their budget by their end date.


  • A limit of £20,000 per project
  • Applicant and co-applicant salaries are ineligible costs
  • We will fund 100% of other direct costs, including the cost of hourly-paid research assistance, the purchase of data, conducting surveys, etc.
  • We will not fund collaborators or partners’ costs
  • We will not fund institutional overheads.


All academic staff (NAC and non-NAC), research career track (NRSC) staff, other postdoctoral researchers including LSE Fellows, research and policy fellows, and research officers are eligible to apply. Applicants may not hold more than one urgency grant at a time.



Application deadline


Applicants notified 

Within 2 weeks of submission

Projects to end by

12 months from start date

Application process

Contact your Head of Department/Centre Director for their support.

Staff must speak with their Research Development Manager (RDM) to prepare the application and must consult them for preparing their budget. Staff who do not request support from their RDM are likely to experience delays in their decision and start-up. 

Applications should include:

  • A case for support of two (2) sides of A4 in Arial (or similar) with font size 11. The case should contain: Aims/objectives; Context; Methods; Workplan, Outputs and outcomes
  • CV of the lead applicant (max 2 pages)
  • A budget and brief narrative justification of your resources (max 1 page) in addition to the case for support (using the template provided by your Research Development Management)
  • Head of Department/Centre Director approval email or letter explaining their support for the project (max 1 page).

Applications including all the above in one WORD document must be submitted via email to

Applications will be checked by the Research Development Team to ensure that costs and applicants are eligible. The Research Development Team will revert any questions on the costs and eligibility back to the applicant to correct. The applications will then be passed to the Research Development Panel for selection.


Further guidance