31 October 2022

Applications sought for funding to research rural enterprise

NICRE Open Call

Academics are being invited to submit proposals for funding to research an area of rural enterprise and innovation.

The National Innovation Centre for Rural Enterprise (NICRE) is seeking applications from academics based at higher education institutions in England to expand its portfolio of research beyond its founding universities.

While applications that align with NICRE’s four cross-cutting themes of ‘productive rural’, ‘smart rural’, ‘engaged rural’ and ‘resilient rural’ are welcomed, the following topics are highlighted as priorities:

  • Skills and rural enterprise
  • Rural enterprise and Net Zero
  • Energy resilience and rural enterprise
  • Development of tools and toolkits for rural enterprise, business advisors and/ or policy makers
  • Investment zones
  • Institutional innovation and rural business partnerships with academia.
  • Post-pandemic patterns of working and enterprise.

Providing evidence to inform policy making

NICRE director Jeremy Phillipson, Professor of Rural Development at the Centre for Rural Economy at Newcastle University, said: “This is an exciting opportunity for academics to research an area of rural enterprise and help us to increase our knowledge and deepen our understanding.

“Given the acute challenges rural economies face such as with skill shortages and energy resilience, we’re keen to fund projects which delve into these contemporary issues and provide evidence to inform policy making and support for rural enterprise.

“We were delighted with the breadth of research projects undertaken following our first open call, and the network of academics we have built up in other higher education institutions, and we look forward to similar interest this time around.”

NICRE’s Research and Innovation Fund has £100,000 available and each project can seek up to a maximum of £15,000.

Successful applicants will be expected to produce a Research Report and contribute to wider communications and dissemination activities.

See NICRE Open Call guidance October 2022 for full criteria and details of NICRE’s cross-cutting themes. To apply, complete the NICRE Open Call application form. The deadline for applications is noon on 15 December 2022.