The UK’s independent authority set up to uphold information rights in the public interest, promoting openness by public bodies and data privacy for individuals.

I am a student hoping to research data protection for my dissertation as part of my degree course. Am I eligible to apply?

Unfortunately we are unable to provide funding for students undertaking research that is linked to a course of study. This includes postgraduate studies.

I have an app in development and I am hoping to source funding to bring it to market. Am I eligible?

The purpose of our Grants Programme is to facilitate solutions to data protection concerns facing UK consumers and business. There must be a clear public benefit outcome to your project and you will be required to demonstrate this in your application. All grant holders will be required to publish information and outputs under open licence such as the Open Government Licence and Creative Commons.

How much funding is available?

The minimum award is £20,000 and the maximum £100,000. There may be exceptional cases where additional funds may be made available but this will depend on any existing demands on the programme budget.

Can I request funding towards the cost of specialist services needed to carry out my research?

We are able to fund the cost of specialist services such as surveys, interpreters or other specialist outsourced services, provided this is integral to your research project and the requisite capacity/skills do not exist within your research team. If you require assistance with this you must provide evidence of your costs in this area.

How will my proposal be assessed?

Proposals that meet the scheme eligibility criteria will be put forward for review by an internal ICO panel. The panel will then assess applications against the criteria set out in the Applicant’s Guide. A second panel which includes external peers will then conduct a further review of applications. Applicants will be notified of the outcome following this review.

Are there any aspects of the assessment criteria that are more heavily weighted in favour of a successful application?

All assessment criteria have equal weighting and each will count for up to 20% of the total marks awarded by the review panels. You should ensure you cover all criteria in your summary proposal and application. This will demonstrate a good all-round application and provide your proposal with the best chance of success.

I have applied for funding elsewhere for my project but do not yet know the outcome, can I still apply?

Yes. You may apply but you should provide full details of any other funding applications or awards granted. Funding received from other organisations will not prevent your application from being successful under this programme. We will not provide funding where this has been allocated to your project by another provider if there is a risk that this will lead to duplicated funding. ICO grants may not be utilised to make a profit from funding.

We would like to carry out a joint project with another like-minded organisation, are we able to collaborate on projects? If so, do we need to make separate applications?

You may collaborate with other organisations on projects. Only one application is required as there is space on the form for you to add details of other applicants. All applicants will need to be eligible to apply for funding.

I am a joint applicant with another application, am I able to make another application in my own right in the same call for proposals?

You may make another application in the same round as long as you are not seeking funding for the same proposal as your joint application. You may only make one application as lead applicant in each funding round. Please be aware that in order to ensure our funding is distributed widely, we may decide to award a grant to another applicant who has not received funding from us. This may be the case even if their application receives similar scores from both review panels.

My proposal has not been successful in this round, can I submit my application again when the next round of funding opens?

Provided your application meets the scope of the current funding round you may submit your application again. We recommend that you consider the feedback provided to you in the previous round prior to submitting your application. This should give your application the best chance of success.

Is there a funding cap or is it against full economic costs?

Funding will be provided for expenses/costs directly incurred in a project. We would consider full economic costs subject to the excluded items set out in the Applicant’s Guide.

What impact would match funding have against the ‘value for money’ assessment?

Your project will be assessed on its overall value for money. It is not a requirement that you are able to secure funding from elsewhere but we would take this into account if you had.

Can my project support marginalised, minority or vulnerable groups?

If you are able to demonstrate the importance of the group within the UK and can show a clear public benefit, you are welcome to apply.

You have set a word limit on the summary proposal, is there any word limit on other sections of the application form?

Although there is no specific word limit, we do ask that you keep your answers brief whilst providing enough information to enable us to make an assessment of your application. Also there is no requirement to attach CVs to your application.

We may struggle to meet the deadline of 10 March 2020. Is there any way that we can have an extension to this?

The programme has been to a strict timetable so that we are able to make the first grant payments as soon as possible. If we were to extend the deadline for applications, this would have a knock-on effect on the whole timetable and could affect the timing of those grant payments. For this reason we are unable to agree any extension to the deadline for applications in this funding round. However, it is likely that there could be further opportunities to apply in later application windows. This would be subject to demand and budget constraints.

Are charities eligible to apply?

Charities are able to apply provided organisations meet the eligibility criteria and proposals are in line with the research themes.

Can I use another contract rather than the funding agreement provided?

No. Please note that the Research Grants Programme is run in accordance with the UK government’s Functional Grant Standards and as such we are obliged to use the funding agreement provided here as these are the standards required when allocating public funds to grants schemes. Please see the template agreement for further information. Further details on the requirements can be found at Grants Standards - GOV.UK.

Do I need to complete the grant agreement as part of the application?

No. This is provided to give information; should an application be successful the ICO will provide a completed copy to your organisation for agreement.