Sêr Cymru Phase – Tackling COVID-19 Call for Proposals

The Welsh Government Office for Science invites universities in Wales to submit bids for funding for novel research proposals that could contribute to or boost the advancement of research that impacts COVID-19.  This fund is intended to help pump prime research work and where relevant, lay the foundations for larger bids into other funding streams.

Applications could cover areas including (but not exclusively) virology; immunology; immunity; diagnostics; behavioural science; mental health consequences; environmental issues; underpinning research such as assays or animal models; or essential infrastructure/equipment. 

Proposals could address either the current threat or future scenarios but all applications must have the ability to successfully deliver the project despite current working restrictions.

This funding will be available for this current financial year (2020/2021) only, so successful applications will need to be timely, be able to start quickly, and enable early and valuable research outcomes to be established.

The expectation is that applications will be for developmental/pilot/proof of principle type studies.  However, the value of grants may vary according to the needs of research project.  As with previous rounds of Sêr Cymru funding, applicants will need to provide a strong case for support, a clear justification of resources requested and demonstrate value for money. Eligible costs will include consumables, equipment purchases, publishing costs, essential travel costs (if/when travel is possible) and researcher salary costs.  Full project costs will be provided but match funding (either in cash match or in kind costs) from the host institution is encouraged.

Applications should be in the form of a four page case for support that includes the following information:


Title of Project

Summary: A short summary or abstract of the work that will be done


Aims, Objectives and vision of your research: Describe your vision and the plans for your research and how this will be developed through the award.

Research Methodology: Provide an overview of the type of research and innovation activities proposed. Also include here a justification of the costs requested and attach a completed financial table to your proposal.

Include ethical considerations if relevant.

Research Environment: Give evidence of the track record and expertise of researchers and the environment in which the research will be carried out.

Originality: Explain the contribution that the project is expected to make to advancements within the project field.

Describe any novel concepts, approaches or methods that will be employed.

Impact: Describe any likely impact that may be achieved from this research e.g. possible advances in science, or implementation of new technology.

Describe how this research will help you to apply for further funding from organisation such as UKRI etc..

Describe how you intend to disseminate your results and any public engagement activities you would like to undertake.


Applications should also include short CVs (2-3 pages) for the Principle and Co-Applicants, highlighting each investigators four best papers

Proposals will be considered according to the following criteria, taking into account the advice of an independent peer review committee:

  • Past scientific success of the applicants and their potential for future success
  • Demonstration of research linkages
  • The quality, breadth and strategic relevance of the future scientific successes that will be enabled by the research
  • Any potential to generate data for future external funding applications and/or to accelerate impact of the research
  • Value for money - including the efficiency and affordability of running and access costs, and discounts on capital purchase costs etc.
  • Potential to produce significant benefit in the fight against COVID-19
  • Synergy or links to other work or policy related to COVID-19

Applications should be submitted to sercymruII@gov.wales by 1st July 2020.  If you have any questions or would like to discuss this call further, please do not hesitate to contact the Sêr Cymru team at that same address or Delyth Morgan at delyth.morgan@gov.wales