Research and Development Enabling Fund

Are you an ICE member looking for funding for a research project?

If so, an ICE R&D Enabling Fund grant could help. The fund was set up more than 20 years ago to help civil engineers develop new and innovative ideas and tackle problems in design or construction. It is managed by ICE’s Research, Development and Innovation towards Engineering Excellence Panel.

The fund is open to any ICE member at any level of their career (including associate members/AMICE). You can apply at any time during the year, and there are no application deadlines.

What sort of projects will the fund back?

Applicants must be current ICE members. The R&D project applied for must also be of benefit to the ICE membership.

The panel is particularly interested in civil engineering ideas that:

2 routes to secure funding

Route A

Applicants who have endorsement from 2 ICE Fellows.

Route B

For applicants that may not have access to ICE Fellows. These applications will be sent to ICE members for endorsement.

You can indicate your preferred route when completing the application form.

How much funding can I apply for?

Funding is limited to a maximum of £25,000 in the first instance unless exceptional circumstances can be demonstrated to relax this limit. Where appropriate (e.g. where findings from initial work demonstrate a clear need), additional funding can be applied for with an absolute maximum for a R&D programme being £50,000.

There are a small number of Terms & Conditions for successful applicants.

How can I apply for funding?

The application form asks a series of questions and explains what information the panel requires. Applications are then assessed based on the whether they answer the current calls and the likelihood of project delivery.

The fund’s panel will assess each application (there are no deadlines to apply) and aim to make a decision within one month of submission.

If successful, funding will be released when key project milestones are met.

Please read the below documents thoroughly before applying, and get in touch if you have any questions:

Spotlight on a project funded by the Research and Development Enabling fund

An excellent example of work co-funded by the Research and Development Enabling Fund is Useful Project’s recently published research on maximising social value.

This report - Maximising Social Value from Infrastructure Projects – outlines an array of changes required to ensure such projects are creating additional social value and deliver wide-ranging, socio-economic benefits for individuals, communities and local economies.

These findings show that infrastructure should go beyond basic functionality and work to improve socio-economic inequalities, create jobs for previously unemployed people and provide broader benefits for communities based on local needs.

Read more about the report and the wider topic of social value in infrastructure via Jo Dobson’s Civil Engineer blog.

Download the report: Maximising Social Value From Infrastructure Projects

  • Panel chair: Professor Chris Rogers Eur Ing, BSc, PhD, CEng, MICE, FCIHT, SFHEA

    Research and Development Enabling Fund

    Chris Rogers spent three years in the civil engineering industry before returning to academia to research pipeline soil-structure interaction. He lectured at Nottingham and Loughborough Universities before taking up his current position at the University of Birmingham in 1998. His research portfolio is dominated by two primary, necessarily interrelated, themes of infrastructure engineering and urban sustainability, resilience and liveability.


Other panel members

Panel member name Employer
Adrian Long Queens University Belfast
Ian Nicholson Building Research Establishment
Mark Bew UK Government BIM Task Group
Mike Forde University of Edinburgh
Minna Karstunen Chalmers University of Technology - Sweden
Neil Loudon Highways England
Patricia Carrillo Loughborough University
Roger Venables Venables Consultancy
Richard Giffen ARUP
Sarah Toy Sarah Toy Consulting
Tim Embley Costain

Further information

To find out more about the Enabling Fund contact:

E: [email protected]