Public Protection Network Research Grants 2021


The Scottish Institute for Policing Research (SIPR) is providing research funding to researchers based at SIPR member universities. These innovative and original research project projects will contribute to SIPR Strategic Research Priorities but will focus on the challenges and emerging issues related to Public Protection particularly within Scotland, but also internationally.

Public Protection encompasses a broad range of serious and complex issues related to the safety of individual and groups in any community. This may include: gender based violence; child abuse and sexual exploitation; gangs and youth violence; hate crime; homicide; missing persons; human trafficking; mental health; vulnerable adults; and the intervention, treatment and management of sexual and violent offenders.

If you would like to discuss the suitability of your project idea to ensure it would be appropriate for the remit of the public protection network, please contact either

Professor Lesley McMillan (SIPR Associate Director and leader of the Public Protection network - Lesley.McMillan@gcu.ac.uk, or

Monica Boyle (SIPR Knowledge Exchange and Business Manager – m.boyle@napier.ac.uk)

Information for Applicants


Applications are welcome from any academic member of staff based at one of the 14 SIPR member universities. We encourage interdisciplinary partnerships and proposals can be submitted by a single institution or across member institutions (and can include national and international academic and non-academic partners). Additionally, creative ideas which engage practitioners with research are particularly encouraged.


A total of £30,000 will be available, however, the maximum SIPR contribution per application will be limited to £15,000 (including VAT). Applications for smaller relevant projects are also welcomed as are proposals which include co-funding from other sources.


To ensure the excellence of all SIPR funded research, SIPR will subject all applications to a robust assessment process in two stages. The review stage will include assessment by an independent panel comprising of senior national and international academics, as well as policing personnel. Reviewers will be asked to score against predefined criteria including:

    • Suitability of investigative team (i.e. Principal Investigator and Co-Investigator’s experience and expertise in the field of study)
    • Feasibility (i.e. a project’s ambition and ability to deliver outcomes to budget and within timescales)
    • Innovation; (i.e. demand driven and/or meeting a gap in public protection knowledge, demonstrating value for money, as well as credible work plan);
    • Potential benefits/impact (i.e. project legacy and potential to influence police and practice); and
    • Longevity (i.e. preference may be given to applications which articulate an intention to build on the funding provided from SIPR by through attempt to attract larger grants from external funding).
Application and Award Process


Application Form

Applicants are required to complete the SIPR application form including the following information:

    • Description of team (detailing experience and expertise in the proposed topic including a CV (two pages max) per named investigator);
    • Details of the project including background, aims, objectives, partners/ collaborators, methodology, and timeline;
    • Proposed budget including a brief justification of resources required to undertake the project; and
    • Clear indication of the expected outputs and impact of the project, detailing the potential contribution of the project to the development of the public protection evidence-base, or of policy or practice related to the themes, and how you propose to capture and measure the impact of the project.


Only one application is permitted from the same applicant for this call.  The PI can be included as a Co-investigator in one further application as long as the two applications are not linked.

Successful applicants will be required to enter into a funding agreement with SIPR. Funding will be provided on commencement of the project and again at each reporting milestone (i.e. interim research and finance report and at final research report). The final research report will be published by SIPR and SIPR will be acknowledged in all media and publications resulting from the project.

Applicants will also be required to report where SIPR funding has enabled the generation of external income as well as where SIPR funded research has been included as an impact case study.

Ineligible costs

‘Public Protection Network Grant’ will not cover the following costs:

    • Contributions to appeals;
    • Core funding or overheads for institutions (In principle, SIPR does not make awards on a full economic costing basis. However, consideration may be given to applications where limited overheads have been included.  Value for money is a key consideration however, so we do ask that overheads are waived where possible);
    • Endowments;
    • Individual items of equipment;
    • A shortfall resulting from a withdrawal of or deficiency in public finance;
    • Sites, buildings or other capital expenditure; and
    • Student tuition fees or stipends.

Letter of Support from Police Scotland

A letter of support from Police Scotland (or the relevant external body) should be sought where the project will require access to personnel or data, please ensure you make contact with Police Scotland’s Research amd Insight Team (AcademicResearch@scotland.pnn.police.uk) as soon as possible to ensure the project’s feasibility. Please be advised, Police Scotland will require at least two weeks’ notice for all requests.

Asessment and Rejoinder

All applications will be subject to a robust assessment process involving two review stages. The first stage subjects all applications to independent review through a panel which consisting of senior academics within Scotland, senior international academics, and police personnel. No reviewers are selected from institutes where the propsective projects will be hosted.

Following assessment by the review panel, applicants will be provided with an opportunity to respond to the initial reviewer comments through the rejoinder process (please note scores will not be provided). This is not mandatory but should you wish to provide a response to reviewer comments, your rejoinder will be considered along with the reviewer’s assessments of your evaluation.

The final stage involves assessment by the awarding panel who are responsible for selecting the successful grants. The awarding panel consists of an Independent Academic Chair (selected from a Scottish HEI), Senior Police Officers and Police staff; Senior members of the Scottish Police Authority; and members of the SIPR Leadership Team as appropriate.

Indicative Timetable

Below is an indicative timetable for key dates in the application, award and deliverable process. Please note these dates may be subject to change.


Expected Dates

Funding Call Launched

Monday 3rd May 2021

Deadline to submit applications

Tuesday 31st August 2021

Applications sent to reviewers

Start September 2021

Reviewers return comments

Start October 2021

Reviewer comments provided to applicants for rejoinder

Start October 2021

Rejoinders returned from applicants

Mid October 2021

Applications sent to Award Panel

End October 2021

Award Panel meet

Mid November 2021

Decisions announced

End November 2021

Latest start date for successful projects

1st May 2022

Latest completion date for successful projects

30th November 2023