Shanghai Jiao Tong University-with University of Warwick seed fund

SJTU-Warwick Joint Seed Fund
Guidelines 2021/22


The purpose of the seed fund is to establish joint research collaboration leading to long term collaboration beyond the scope of the seed fund project.

The collaboration is intended to include and lead to:

  • Virtual activities within the first instance until travel restrictions have been lifted and then at least 1 reciprocal visits for staff and/or research students, (i.e. at least one visit by Warwick staff and/or research students to SJTU and one by  SJTU staff and/or research students to Warwick) (to be conducted within the duration of the award);
  • The submission of at least one joint co-authored publication (or equivalent output);
  • Targeting a suitable scheme for the submission of a joint application for external funding. 


Eligible research disciplines include (but are not limited to): Humanities, Sciences, Social Sciences and Low Carbon. N.B. While applications for technical engineering research projects will not be considered for support from this fund, applications for funding to support non-technical engineering research (e.g. policy-related or interdisciplinary in nature) are welcomed.


Funding will be provided jointly by Warwick and SJTU and will be comprised of 5,000 GBP from Warwick to the Warwick academic and 50,000 RMB from SJTU to the SJTU academic.

Funding will be provided for projects lasting no longer than 12 months and will be available for projects starting on the 1st August 2021 and completing no later than the 31st July 2022.

A final report is to be submitted within one month from the end of the initiative or funding period and will be reported to the joint Chairs of the selection panel for the fund. A template will be provided. Grants should be spent within the period indicated.

Each institution will provide funds to its own faculty members.

Eligibility Criteria

  • A minimum of two staff members from each university per application is required.
  • Lead investigators and at least one co-investigator on each side must be permanent or fixed-term academic staff of SJTU or Warwick. Adjunct/Honorary staff members whose home university is neither SJTU nor Warwick are not eligible to be lead-investigators but can be listed as further co-investigators.
  • Applications may typically include not more than one Visiting/Third-party Fellows (per proposal) whose home university is neither SJTU nor Warwick; they will not be considered as an applicant.
  • Each initiative will normally be eligible for only one round of seed funding.
  • Activities already fully funded via other sources are not eligible for support.
  • Applicants will be required to engage with dissemination of the outcomes of their initiative, including presenting at a colloquium or other event organised by SJTU and/or Warwick following the completion of the initiative as required.
  • Applicants must have met in full the conditions and requirements of any internal seed funding previously awarded to them by either university, including final project reports.
  • Lead Investigators who received funding from the inaugural round of the SJTU-Warwick Joint Seed may apply for top-up funding to continue their project. In such instances, applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis.


Typical activities supported by the Fund will include:

  • Initial planning meetings, network building and workshop activities;
  • Pilot research studies/fieldwork where this is important to enable a subsequent funding application and/or engagement with external parties such as government;
  • Visiting/Third-party Fellows (not SJTU or Warwick staff).
  • Postgraduate students attending academic conferences and research internships.


Eligible items for funding:

  • Funding to support and enable virtual activities at the time of continuing uncertainty and restricted mobility;
  • Reasonable travel and visa costs (up to £300 per person for Warwick staff). If travel restrictions are not lifted by the end of the project activity period, any unspent travel costs will be returned to the respective University;
  • Accommodation (it is expected that SJTU staff participating in activities located at the University of Warwick will stay in on-campus accommodation, subject to availability);
  • Reasonable event/workshop costs (it is expected that activities will take place using facilities on the main campuses of the hosting institution, a strong rationale will need to be provided for any proposal to use facilities at a third location or venues which incur substantial hiring costs);
  • Research support (e.g. access charges, consumables, transcription costs) not exceeding 20% of the total funding request;
  • Reasonable support towards the cost of participation by relevant third parties, where this would add significant value or potential to a project;
  • Conference registrations for students;
  • PhD salary expenditure, noting that any expenses other than travel and subsistence should not exceed 30% of the total funding request.


Items not eligible for funding:

  • Infrastructure and equipment;
  • Overhead/central support charges;
  • Salaries and honoraria;
  • Per diems/meals (unless catering for workshops, or where breakfast is included in the accommodation price on a B&B basis);
  • Car hire;
  • Conference registrations for staff members;
  • Travel/accommodation costs related to non-SJTU/Warwick events;
  • Intercontinental travel for non-SJTU/Warwick participants;
  • Website development (except where this will provide a direct platform for research collaboration);
  • Scholarships or course fees for students;
  • Costs of initiatives undertaken between the professional services of both universities;
  • Costs already committed or incurred prior to submission of the proposal.



Teams of researchers with one lead researcher from each institution should submit a single, bilingual application form to SJTU’s online application portal by Monday 10th May 2021.

Warwick lead investigators will also be required to complete and submit, at the same time as their application, the Warwick Requirements Form which includes a detailed budget breakdown and ethics check.



Selection criteria:

  • Technical merit: i.e. the importance/novelty of the project within its field or in terms of the challenges it seeks to address.
  • Strategic merit/alignment: The selection committee will be guided by these considerations:
  • How the project advances the interests of both institutions;
  • A clear case of complementarity/synergy between the proposed applicants (the whole project outcomes being greater than the sum of its parts);
  • Funding potential (the ability to produce a convincing roadmap for future funding)
  • Potential for the project to include relevant third parties (e.g. commercial, governmental and non-governmental organisations) for greater impact.
  • Joint capacity: i.e. the standing and track record of the academics involved, and the evidence of their shared commitment to achieving the aims of the project.



The lead investigators from Warwick and SJTU need to work together to prepare a single, bilingual application. The application needs to be submitted to only SJTU using their online application portal (link: Please note that this page can only be accessed by the SJTU lead investigator with a jAccount. A template of the Application Form is attached for reference and should be submitted along with the Warwick Requirements Form. Warwick lead investigators are required to submit a detailed budget breakdown of how funding will be used.



Applications open: Monday 8th March 2021

Applications close: Monday 10th May 2021

Advice to successful applicants: July 2021

Grants begin: 1st August 2021

Grants finish: 31st July 2022



Please email: (Warwick) and (SJTU)