Ignition Grants with the University of Sydney

Applications for the 2024-2025 round of Ignition Grants are now closed.

Details of the new round of funding will be available in 2025.

USyd-Glasgow Ignition Grant

Applications are now closed for the USyd-Glasgow Ignition Grants. Thank you to all of those who submitted applications this year. The applications will be reviewed and we will notify you of the outcomes in July.

The University of Sydney and the University of Glasgow have identified each other as strategic partners to foster deep collaborations in research and education. The Sydney-Glasgow Ignition Grants have been established to facilitate and support joint initiatives that will strengthen the two universities’ strategic priorities as well as develop multi-disciplinary innovative research to create academic and societal impact. 

In each round of the Ignition Grants, up to four proposals will be funded (each with two Chief Investigators; one from Sydney and one from Glasgow). Each successful proposal may receive up to the equivalent of £12,500 (AUD 25,000) from each university for a total of £25,000 (AUD 50,000). 

What are the Ignition Grants?

Ignition Grants were established to:

  • Facilitate and support joint initiatives that will strengthen the two universities’ strategic priorities,
  • Develop interdisciplinary cutting-edge research to create academic and societal impact.

Applicants are encouraged to submit funding applications for innovative and sustainable programs built around collaborative research linking the Universities of Sydney and Glasgow. Proposals for learning and teaching initiatives may also be considered if included as part of a larger collaborative research proposal.

Preference will be given to projects that involve staff from many levels, such as PhD or masters by research students, postdocs, Early and Mid-Career Researchers (EMCR) and researchers on sabbatical leave rather than just a one-to-one staff research project.

Projects which are multidisciplinary in nature are also encouraged. Proposals which seek to address the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals are highly encouraged.

Proposals should plan for long-term engagement that includes leveraging external funding and publication outputs.

Please note, projects addressing ‘Health Inequalities’ will not be awarded this round. The University of Sydney and University of Glasgow have a large existing collaboration in this area.

How to apply

Application submission

All applications must be jointly submitted by a Chief Investigator from University of Sydney and a Chief Investigator from the University of Glasgow. All applications will also require the endorsement of the relevant Head of School from both institutions.

Please send a note of interest or any questions to the International Affairs Team at externalrelations-partnershipfunding@glasgow.ac.uk

Application details

The proposal must address the selection criteria (Quality & Relevance, Execution, Impact) and include the following elements:

  • Project timeline (a timeline form is built into the online application)
  • Project budget (a budget form is built into the online application)
  • CV of the Chief Investigator of each university (maximum two pages in length).

All applications must be submitted online via the USyd Funding Schemes Site: http://sydney.edu.au/award-schemes

As the application software is based in Sydney, applications are initially opened by the Chief Investigator from USyd using their UniKey and password. Once this is done, Chief Investigators from Glasgow will be able to access and edit the applications following an invitation from USyd Chief Investigators to be a 'Member' of the bid.

Full details are available in the Ignition Grants - Guidelines for Applicants.

Eligibility, funding and reporting


Proposals are invited from academic staff from all disciplines at Universities of Glasgow and Sydney and their affiliated Research Centres and Institutes except projects addressing ‘Health Inequalities’. The University of Sydney and University of Glasgow have a large existing collaboration in this area. For projects focussing on Health Inequalites, please visit Health Inequalities Initiative

Chief Investigators must be employed on a full-time, part-time (appointed at least 0.5 FTE), fixed term or continuing basis. If on a fixed term contract, the end date must be beyond the funding period.

PhD students, masters by research students, post-docs, and research assistants/associates are not eligible to apply as Chief Investigators but they are welcome to join the applications.

Eligible grant activities

Activities that will be considered for funding include:

  • Airfares: Only travel on economy class will be considered. Applicants should indicate who is travelling, and their career stage, in the budget
  • Other travel expenses (e.g. train, rental car)
  • Costs for hosting seminars/conferences or workshops
  • Accommodation and subsistence
  • Consumables (a detailed justification of the consumables to be purchased should be included in the Supplementary Budget Information section)
  • Publications and printing costs.

Funding deadline

Please note, the project deadline for successful recipients is 31 July 2025.  All funding must utilised by this date.

Funding and reporting obligations

Further to the eligibility criteria and funding details, all successful Ignition Grant recipients will be expected to complete a final report by 1 November 2025 with an update to this report submitted before 30 November 2026. This is part of the financial and reporting obligations incumbent on successful recipients.

Previous recipients

 2023/2024 recipients 

TitleUofG CI
UofG College/School
USYD-Glasgow Biomedical Engineering Alliance: Revolutionising Cancer Immunotherapy with Triboelectric Nanogenerator (TENG)-Based Sensor Systems and zMovi High-throughput Cell Avidity Analyser Platform Dr Qingshen Jing   James Watt School of Engineering, CoSE
Smart metamaterials based skull replacement implants to improve  electrical brain interfaces enabled by additive manufacturing, electrical impedance tomography and machine learning Prof. Shanmugam Kumar   James Watt School of Engineering, CoSE
Unlocking the Earth’s hidden treasures: unravelling the influence of flat subduction dynamics on volcanism, overriding plate deformation and critical resource potential   Dr Antoniette Greta Grima School of Geographical and Earth Sciences, CoSE
The Triad of Performance, User Privacy, and Usability in Federated Learning: an Insightful Analysis and a Practical Solution for Medical Images Analysis  Dr Nguyen Truong School of Computing Science, CoSE
Enabling biological insights from histopathology images with artificial intelligence (AI) for precision medicine in cancer  Dr Ke Yuan School of Computing Science, CoSE
Towards sustainable aquaculture: Assessing priority diseases, diagnostic needs, and knowledge, attitudes and practices around vaccination in the aquaculture industry in Tanzania  Dr Taya Forde School of Biodiversity, One Health & Veterinary Medicine, MVLS
Development of Mid-Infrared Spectroscopy for blood-meal analysis of Culex mosquitoes Dr Francesco Baldini  School of Biodiversity, One Health and Veterinary Medicine, MVLS
Housing precarity for migrants and vulnerable households: a comparative perspective on policy challenges and opportunities Dr Anna Gawlewicz School of Social and Political Sciences, CoSS

2022/2023 recipients

TitleUofG CIUofG College/School
Policy Futures for the Digital Creative Economy for Cultural Transformations Prof Philip Schlesinger School of Culture & Creative Arts, CoA
Pre-Service Teacher Preparedness for Understanding Quality Inclusive Education Dr Ines Alves School of Education, CoSS
USYD-Glasgow Alliance for Mechanomedicine: translating mechanobiology concepts to healthcare innovation Prof Massimo Vassalli James Watt School of Engineering, CoSE
Quantum-enabled ultrasensitive and miniaturized magnetic sensors for room-temperature biomedical sensing Prof Hadi Heidari James Watt School of Engineering, CoSE
Sex and Health; Evaluating diagnosis, Risk factOrs and Complications in chronic Kidney diSease (SHE-ROCKS project) Prof Patrick Mark School of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences, MVLS
Multi-nutrient approach for assessing nutrition equity Dr Frederick Ho School of Health and Wellbeing, MVLS
Tracking the gut resistome: can we model the dynamics of antimicrobial resistance transfer in aquaculture using a synthetic gut simulator? Prof Martin Llewellyn School of Biodiversity Animal Health & Comparative Medicine, MVLS


The fund did not run due to COVID-19 travel restrictions.

2019-2020 funding update

TitleUofG CIUofG College/School
Self-assembling optical metasurfaces for ultrasensitive diagnostics  Dr Alasdair Clark School of Engineering, COSE
Returning missing people: addressing an international prevention problem Prof Hester Parr School of Geographical & Earth Sciences, CoSE
Shakespearean Echoes in Scottish-Australian Literary Culture Dr Richard Stacey School of Critical Studies, Arts
Quantum-enabled ultrasensitive and miniaturized magnetic sensors for room-temperature biomedical sensing Prof Hadi Heidari James Watt School of Engineering, CoSE

A blueprint for the equitable, resilient and ecologically sustainable development of Asia’s deltas

Prof Fabrice Renau School of Interdisciplinary Studies, CoSS
Maximising the academic and societal impact of novel health literacy interventions for chronic conditions through strategic research priority setting (Maxi-HL) Dr Katie Robb School of Health and Wellbeing, MVLS
Exploring Motion Sickness Mitigations for Mixed Reality (Passenger) Experiences Dr Mark McGill School of Computing Science, CoSE
Unions and the future of work in Australia and the UK: A comparative project Prof Melanie Simms Adam Smith Business School, CoSS