Funding Opportunities for KEI

Funds to support knowledge exchange activities based on LSE research and expertise

Funding comes from the Higher Education Innovation Fund (HEIF) allocation received by the School.

Supporting knowledge exchange throughout the research lifecycle

There are no current open calls for the KEI Fund, however you can still contact the KEI Integrated Service if you'd like to discuss any form of knowledge exchange and impact activity.

You can also subscribe to Research Briefing to receive a monthly update from LSE Research and Innovation.

*NEW* LSE Research Support Fund

This new fund combines some resources from UKRI that need to be spent this year with some limited resources available to the Research Development Panel (RDP). The fund will be allocated by RDP over the next few months. Application deadline: Monday 15 February 2021 

The aim of the fund is simple: to support world-class research at LSE by academic faculty and researchers. RDP will award up to £20,000 per project. This can include projects with a KEI focus or elements.

The fund is open to all disciplines and research ideas, but, due to the source of the UKRI resources available, we encourage research that is likely to have an impact on policy-making.

Priority will be given to research that is aligned with current LSE priorities, namely: environmental sustainabilityrace equity; and shaping the post-COVID world. Applicants are encouraged to become familiar with the priority themes before submitting. 

The fund will particularly welcome exceptional applications from Assistant Professors and Assistant Professorial Research Fellows. This is in recognition of the diminishing schemes available externally to support faculty and researchers at this level. We aim to provide at least 40% of our funding to staff at this level. 

There is no geographical limit on the projects, but, given the sources of the funding, we encourage projects with a focus on the UK or low-middle income countries.

Find out more including application information and criteria

KE funds for Departments

For the third year, £10,000 has been awarded to each LSE academic Department, for use to support any form of knowledge exchange with non-academic audiences during 2020/21. All funds must be spent by the end of May 2021.

Potential uses include - but are not limited to - activities supporting public and community engagement or the development of new relationships or partnerships with (for example) schools, local agencies, or the private, cultural and heritage sectors. They could also be used to develop colleagues’ KEI-related skills and capabilities.

The funds are intended to provide flexible, responsive support for departmental KE activities. The sorts of things they were used for in previous years included:

  • Events held at LSE for non-academic audiences
  • Social media campaigns
  • Films or animations based on LSE research
  • Design of reports or infographics
  • Seed-funding for larger KE activities
  • Travel to and/or from LSE to facilitate engagement with non-academics
  • Any other activity directly engaging with stakeholders and/or end-users of research
  • Matched funding for KE activities that have attracted external support
  • KE training events and/or materials to develop skills and capabilities within Departments

Departments are able to allocate the funds at their discretion, but are encouraged to support activities led by colleagues without previous experience of Knowledge Exchange.


Departments are free to allocate funds in whatever way they deem most conducive to supporting engagement with their research. The only stipulation is that the funds had to facilitate engagement with people or organisations beyond academia.

Each Department is required to nominate an academic contact to meet with the KEI Integrated Service to discuss effective KE and public engagement activities and what support for these can be provided centrally.  A Professional Services contact also has to be appointed to support the financial management of the funds. Funds can be used by anyone conducting research at the School, including PhD students.

A short report setting out how funds have been spent is required to be sent to in June 2021. 


REF Impact Fund

The REF Strategy Committee (REFSC) has a budget to support various aspects of the School’s preparations for the next REF, to take place in 2021.  Part of this budget has been set aside to assist individuals to enable them to produce 4* impact case studies who would otherwise struggle to achieve this. 

Applications up to £25,000 will be considered but smaller applications are also encouraged. REF impact support may take the form of:

  • Support for travel and subsistence in order to collect and/or corroborate impact evidence from research users;
  • Provision of research assistants including occasional research assistants to collect impact evidence;
  • Costs of undertaking impact evaluation where this can help to demonstrate the reach and significance of the potential impact case study.
  • Exceptionally, buy-out of academic time, using the School’s existing internal formula, with the agreement of the Head of Department.

All of the above must be genuinely expected to lead to the production of 4* impact case studies for REF 2021 which would otherwise be difficult for the individual(s) to produce and which are not already supported by other forms of funding.

Download the full guidance and application form.

Applications should be emailed as a Word document to Jo Hemmings.