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Guidelines for Applicants - Cardiff University and the University of Waikato Collaborative Seed Fund

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1. Purpose

1.1. In November 2021, the University of Waikato (UoW) and Cardiff University (CU) signed an agreement to develop a partnership to promote innovative collaboration and co-operation in the pursuit of academic and professional excellence. Further details can be found in the Strategic Partnership Agreement.

1.2. This collaborative seed fund was established to support the development of the Strategic Partnership between CU and UoW.

1.3. This seed fund will support staff at CU and UoW to develop collaborative teaching and/or professional services projects as well as research projects that have clear outcomes and a pathway to develop and sustain the collaboration.

1.4. The seed fund aims to support and grow collaboration across teaching (all subject areas), professional services and research (all fields), between both institutions.

1.5. To support capability development, we particularly encourage proposals that are led by or include early career staff.

1.6. The aim of the fund is to support the outcomes stated in the Strategic Partnership Agreement. Priority will be given to high quality proposals that support one or more of the following strategic aims:

  • 1.6.1. Collaborative teaching initiatives that support the student experience;
  • 1.6.2. Exchange of academic and professional knowledge, including sharing of good practice;
  • 1.6.3. Research collaboration, including the promulgation of research outcomes;
  • 1.6.4. Acquisition of joint research funding;
  • 1.6.5. Joint centres of teaching/professional excellence/research;
  • 1.6.6. Exchange programs, including researchers, academic and professional staff,
  • 1.6.7. Joint activities, including meetings, seminars, symposia, lectures, workshops, and conferences; and
  • 1.6.8. Partnerships with industry in New Zealand and the United Kingdom.

1.7. Due to the ongoing effects of COVID-19 and New Zealand’s border restrictions, the initial call will be on the basis of a ‘no travel’ scenario only. Therefore, in the first round (March 2022) no funding will be provided for physical travel. This rule may be updated as the New Zealand border situation evolves and according to UK FCDO advice.

2. Eligibility

2.1. A lead investigator is required from both CU and UoW. Lead investigators must be staff on continuing appointments or fixed term staff whose contract extends beyond the term of the funding. Funding can be used to support the involvement/travel of PhD students.

2.2. Individuals may only be involved in up to two proposals per year, either as lead investigator on one proposal and associate investigator on another, or as an associate investigator on two proposals.

2.3. Lead investigators on projects funded in the previous round may not apply as a lead investigator in the next round. A current lead investigator may apply as an associate investigator as long as they are not already an associate investigator on an active project.

3. Value

3.1. The maximum value of each project is 10,000 GBP or 20,000 NZD total (or a combination of the two such that the overall value does not exceed the equivalent of 10,000 GBP or 20,000 NZD). Funding will not be transferred between organisations, so activities delivered at CU or at UoW will be funded by the relevant host organisation.

3.2. The total funding pool available for the seed fund in each round (with a maximum of two rounds per annum)  is 30,000 GBP from CU and 60,000 NZD from UoW.

3.3. Funding from each partner organisation does not need to be evenly matched. In some instances, it is anticipated that funding will be allocated from one partner only, for example to enable collaborators to join an existing well-funded initiative (e.g. funded research programme)

3.4. It is the intention that each call will fund projects in all three streams (research, teaching and professional services). The amount allocated to each stream will vary, depending on the submissions received and the priorities of the two universities.

3.5. Funding cannot be carried over outside the 12-month funding cycle (see key dates).

4. Applications

4.1.  There are two calls per year for applications to the seed fund.

March 2022 call

Applications open 14 March 2022
Applications due 18 April 2022
Peer review and funding panel May 2022
Applicants notified 6 June 2022
Project time June-December 2022
Reports due 13 February 2023

September 2022 call

Applications open 12 September 2022
Applications due 17 October 2022
Peer review and funding panel October-November 2022
Applicants notified 5 December 2022
Project time December-June 2023 (funding available January)
Reports due 14 August 2023

4.2. Head of School/Division sign off is required before the proposal can be submitted.

4.3. Applications can be made by completing the UoW/CU application form. This form contains details of any further information required (including CV and budget form)

4.4. The completed form should be emailed to, and

5. Seed fund budget

5.1. Applicants should provide a costing within their application. That costing should include a breakdown of the projected costs. This costing will inform the selection panel when awarding funding.

5.2. In the first instance the call for funding will be based on a ‘no travel’ scenario due to COVID-19 travel restrictions and the New Zealand border closure.  Applications must not include any requests for physical travel in the first round.

5.3. Project teams are advised to work with their Research Management Advisor/Line Manager (UoW) or School's research/finance office (CU) to prepare a realistic budget and complete the separate budget spreadsheet.

5.4. Eligible costs:

  • Research materials
  • Analytical costs
  • Fieldwork/data collection
  • Research assistance
  • Reasonable travel costs (including visas), accommodation and subsistence (for guidance see your institution’s policies)
  • Software access (for collaborative projects/benefit)
  • Costs associated with organising hybrid events/conferences/workshops
  • Costs associated with appropriate cultural support (for example, koha, kaumatua etc.)
  • Translation costs
  • Staff time (when the individual is already funded at FTE)
  • Overheads
  • Capital expenditure

6. Selection panel

6.1. Proposals will initially be assessed by peer review. Funding decisions will then be made by a joint committee made up of members from both CU and UoW (up to 6 from each side representing expertise in research, teaching and professional services) which will be chaired in rotation by the PVC-International and Student Recruitment (Cardiff University) or the Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor (University of Waikato). Funding will then be allocated from either/both universities.

Selection process

  • Proposals Submitted and Processed. Proposal submitted electronically via email
    Initial analysis to:
    • Map funds to stream (research, teaching, professional services)
    • Record overall funds requested vs budget, and by stream.
    • Assign peer reviewer after an open call
    • Data shared between CU and UoW
  • Proposals sent for peer review
    • Proposals sent for peer review with scoring forms and instructions
    • Peer reviewers (at least one CU and at least one UoW) per proposal assigned based on expertise.
    • Peer reviews received
  • Reviews received and scores collated
    • Ranking table per stream (research, teaching, professional services) compiled
    • Documents compiled and sent to decision making panel
  • CU - UoW Panel meets
    • Panel made up of senior representatives from CU and UoW meet to make funding decisions
    • Decision made based on proposal quality and budget.
    • Discussions led by members with expertise across the different themes.
    • Final decision made with an overarching consideration for the need for balanced support of teaching, professional services and research projects. Record if a proposal is deemed fundable irrespective of budget.
    • International Office teams allocate budget based on ranking
    • Applicants informed ASAP

7. Assessment criteria

7.1. Funding decisions will be made on a several criteria.

7.2. The assessment panel will allocate funding across the three streams (teaching, research, professional).

Criteria Score out of
Excellence 20
Novelty/innovation 20
Project impacts 25
Partnership impact 25
Reputation building / enhancement 10

8. Awarding

8.1. Upon confirmation from the International Office that an application for seed funding has been successful, applicants are free to commence their projects.

8.2. Please note that if a successful applicant cancels their project, they must inform the International Office immediately so that funding records can be updated.

8.3. At Waikato - the funds will be transferred to the principal investigator's existing Research Trust Account or set up as a project account in the project accounting system.

8.4. At Cardiff - The funds will be allocated from the International Office to the respective school/lead investigator.

9. Reporting conditions

9.1. The outcomes described in the application form will form the basis for measuring the project’s success.

9.2. Recipients of the seed fund are expected to provide a final report on the project within 2 months of completion of the project and there will be an additional follow up from the International Office within 12 months to capture outputs, next stage funding etc.

9.3. Any unspent funds will be recouped at the end of the funding period.

9.4. Please return completed reports to Cath Battersby (UoW) or Anne Morgan (CU) It should be noted that individuals will not be able to partake in applications to future rounds of funding if they have an outstanding report from a previously funded project.

Get in touch

For further information, please email Cath Battersby (University of Waikato) at or Anne Morgan (Cardiff University) at