Staff news

Principal’s Prize for Innovation launches for research staff

A competition to enable researchers to unlock new funding streams for unusual and ground breaking ideas has been launched.

The Principal’s Prize for Innovation will give 10 winners each a prize of £10,000, to help develop their idea to a level where it will attract interest from funders.

The awards are open to all research staff, including post-doctoral research associates (PDRAs), and now has an extended submission deadline of 22 May 2020.

Guidance on entering the competition

  • This competition will help create and support largescale, new and radical ideas which could be aimed at ARPA and other funding sources
  • We encourage both single applicants and team applications from any academic staff member including PDRAs
  • All subjects and sectors are eligible, but those that align with the current University strategic priorities are appreciated
  • The application should consist of: One page; one diagram application outlining the proposal; the names of the academics involved; evidence of how it would fit the criteria of a program such as ARPA
  • Applications will be judged by a panel composed of the three Deans of Research plus Director of Edinburgh Research Office, CEO of Edinburgh Innovations and the Chair of Edinburgh Innovations
  • The prize will also include a package of support from Edinburgh Research Office/Edinburgh Innovations
  • Prize to be spent on proof-of-principle experiments, reports, buy out etc.
  • Applicants should inform their School or Institution leads of their participation in this competition, and discuss and gain support for the likely commitment required, but costings are not required for the initial application
  • A number of proposals will be short listed for the Prizes. These applicants will then be required work with Schools or Centres to develop outline costings, and then “pitch” their ideas to and answer questions from the selection panel
  • The decision of the panel will be final

The Principal’s Innovation award is an exciting opportunity for us to lend support to truly innovative ideas – ones that might struggle to gain support from more conventional funding methods. The 10 winners will each receive a range of practical support to help them develop their idea and take it to a level capable of securing multi-million pound support.

Dr George BaxterCEO, Edinburgh Innovations

All academic and research staff should receive an email with further details of this competition. Further information on how to enter the competition can also be found on the Edinburgh Innovations website.

If you have any questions, or what like to submit a proposal, email George Baxter via

Related links

Edinburgh Innovations

Research at Edinburgh