Funding Opportunities for KEI

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

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

Supporting knowledge exchange throughout the research lifecycle

Below are the current open calls for knowledge exchange, public engagement and research impact activities at LSE. Contact the KEI Integrated Service for details or if you have a KEI project proposal you'd like to discuss.

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

KEI Fund for PhD students

What is the KEI Fund for PhD students?

The Knowledge Exchange and Impact Strategy Group (KEISG) has a budget to support opportunities for knowledge exchange at any point throughout the research life-cycle – not just exploitation and dissemination at the end of a project.

LSE PhD students may apply for up to £2,000 of funding for KEI activities. Projects must be complete by 31 May 2021. 

Application form and procedure

The application submission deadline is Monday 11 May 2020. Allow at least a month to develop your proposal with the guidance of the KEI Integrated Service. You will need to complete and submit the application form to us with support from your PhD supervisor. 

Download the application form

The application process is managed by the KEI Integrated Service. Contact to discuss your proposal and budget with the Senior Communications Manager (Research and Knowledge Exchange), Hayley Reed and the KEI Awards Manager, Marie Copperwaite

You will be informed of the outcome of your application within a month of submission to KEISG. Funds will be allocated to your Department’s KEI budget, and costs will need to be signed off by the Department’s PhD Administrator or other nominated member of staff.

Selection criteria

Bids will be assessed on the clarity and feasibility of objectives; the clarity of anticipated benefits to non-academic groups, organisations or individuals; and the effectiveness of the engagement plan. See the KEI Guide for ideas. 

Essential prerequisites are:

  • Projects must be complete by May 2021

  • The maximum budget is £2,000

  • The project or activity must focus on non-academic engagement or benefits

  • Thinking broadly and creatively about who you want to engage (beneficiaries), how you want to engage them (methods and activities), and how you will know about and measure the effects of your engagement activities (metrics and indicators)

  • You must explain why the project or activity cannot be funded from other sources

  • The project must have the support of your supervisor

Contact us

Please get in touch with to discuss your KEI project.

KE funds for Departments

In June 2019 £10,000 was awarded to each LSE academic Department, for use to support any form of knowledge exchange with non-academic audiences during 2019/20.

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 2018/19 included:

  • Events held at LSE for non-academic audiences
  • Social media campaigns
  • 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.

Projects must be completed by 31 July 2020. A short report setting out how funds have been spent is required to be sent to in August 2020.

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.