Terms of Reference


Cass Business School operates a research pump-priming scheme which supports projects on new topics that have a high likelihood of being published in 3* or 4* journals, or projects that have genuine potential to attract external funding but are not yet sufficiently mature to attract mainstream funding.

The pump-priming scheme is operated by the School’s Research and Enterprise team, under the direction of Professor Bobby Banerjee, Associate Dean for Research and Enterprise.


Awards will be made on the basis of research excellence. All applications will be considered on their merits but are most likely to be supported if the application:

1. Is in line with School strategic developments, most notably, that the award will contribute to the School’s preparations for the 2020 Research Excellence Framework

2. Demonstrates a commitment to publish in 3* or 4* journals

3. Demonstrates a commitment to seek external research income

4. Is likely to lead to enhanced links with other institutions, business, community or public engagement

Assessment criteria

Applications are reviewed internally against the following criteria:

  • Research excellence
  • Need for funding. Do you have funds in your personal balance account?
  • Likelihood of meeting the aims and objectives
  • Significance or importance of the planned research
  • Clarity of proposal
  • Research timeframe and resources required to undertake the project
  • Overall assessment of the proposal and the case made for funding.

Who can apply?

Applications are welcome from all permanent academic and research staff. However, preference is given to staff who are either relatively new to Cass or to academia, and those who have not led projects before. In reaching a judgement about the added value any pump priming will bring, established researchers will need to pass a higher threshold than junior ones, also they will be expected to show clearly why no other sources of funding are available. An application may be submitted by more than one academic, with 1 person acting as the lead.


Pump-priming awards may be up to £5,000.Eligible costs include: the hiring of short-term research staff, purchasing of equipment, data or software. The scheme does not normally fund academic travel, except if it is needed for data collection. Pump-priming funding will not fund standalone travel and subsistence, conference attendance, networking costs, teaching-buy-out, writing of research papers, or the writing of grant applications.Funds awarded but not spent after 18 months, may be reclaimed by the School. Staff who are leaving Cass will lose access to the pump-priming funds previously allocated to them from the time when they hand in their notice to leave.

Length of award: It is expected that the project will be completed within eighteen months of being awarded the grant.


Successful applicants are required to submit a short report on expenditure and research outcomes, upon project completion. All successful applicants will be expected to have their City Research Online (CRO) profiles up-to-date before funds are awarded.

How to apply

Applicants need to download and complete the pump-priming application form

Applicants may also download the application Guidance Notes

Applications may be made at any time, subject to available funds. Completed applications should be submitted to the Research Support Manager, Daniel Fisher as an e-mail attachment. In some cases, an application may be referred to Cass Research Committee for a final approval.

The next deadline for pump priming applications is midnight, 9th April 2020. The earliest start date for pump priming projects will be 15th, May 2020.