RSTMH Early Career Grants Programme – Frequently Asked Questions 2024

The RSTMH Early Career Grants Programme provides more than 200 grants every year to those early in their careers to carry out their first piece of research into tropical medicine or global health.

Please read these FAQs before applying. 

Am I eligible to apply for an RSTMH Early Career Grant?

You are eligible to apply for a Grant if you are a researcher or global health professional early in your research career and working in or interested in tropical medicine or global health. You should not have received a research funding award of £5,000 or more in your own name before. Applicants can be of any nationality and based anywhere in the world. The programme aim is to encourage the next generation of global health leaders, innovators, and professionals to carry out projects that could make an impact on global health.

How do you define “early career”?

To ensure equity and fairness of opportunity, RSTMH does not use a definition focused on specific roles, qualifications held, or age; instead, it chooses to supply guidance around the profile of the applicant that may be suitable for an Early Career Grant. We expect candidates not to have received a research grant of £5,000 or more in their own name before. They should be to be able to:

  •  Carry out research under supervision 
  • Have the ambition to develop knowledge of research methodologies and discipline 
  • Have demonstrated a good understanding of a field of study 
  • Demonstrate the ability to produce data under supervision 
  • Use critical analysis, evaluation and be able to synthesise new and complex ideas 
  • Competently explain the outcome of their research and value thereof to colleagues

Applicants should meet the profile listed above. The applicant’s supervisor must verify this as part of the reference and application process.

The grants are for individuals only – you cannot apply as part of a pair, group, or as an institution. 

I am an experienced professional in the field of tropical medicine or global health, can I still apply for an Early Career Grant?

Although RSTMH anticipates that most applicants will be at the start of their careers, we recognise that some more experienced professionals may be new to research and may be eligible to apply for an Early Career Grant. There is a section on the application form where you can describe your experience.

What kind of projects can I do?

The programme funds projects across the research spectrum, including lab-based, translation, implementation, and policy-related research, either as stand-alone projects or distinct elements within a larger project. The Early Career Grants also fund research projects linked to PhDs, but do not fund tuition fees for PhD or MSC degrees.

The Early Career grants will not fund projects that use secondary data only. 

We will not fund projects retrospectively ie projects that have already started or are completed. 

How do I apply for an RSTMH Early Career Grant?

You must submit your application through our online Grants submission platform, Submittable. The link to Submittable where you can set up your account and submit your application can be found on our website.

What should my application focus on?

Your application can be on any area of tropical medicine or global health. Please note that when applying we cannot comment on the suitability of topic ideas. You can see the projects we funded in 2022 to get a sense of the range of topics our awardees cover here.

How much funding can I apply for?

The maximum amount you can request from RSTMH for an Early Career Grant is GBP £5,000 (including any relevant tax you pay for purchases). Your costs should be justified and appropriate for your proposed activities, and you need to provide a full breakdown of the items in your budget with a clear explanation for their cost. 

When do I have to submit my application?

The deadline for application submission is 12pm GMT on 22 April 2024, as advertised on our website. Your references must also be submitted by this deadline. 

What languages can I write my application in?

All applications must be in English. We regret that applications in other languages cannot be accepted at this time. 

I’ve already received an Early Career Grant from RSTMH, can I re-apply?

Unfortunately, you are not eligible for an RSTMH Early Career Grant if you have already received one in the past.

Can I submit more than one application?

Unfortunately, you can only submit one application per year.  

Can I submit the same or very similar application to another funder?

Yes, you can. However, you must state this on the application form and let us know immediately of the outcome of the other applications. Suppose you are awarded both an RSTMH Grant and an external Grant and wish to accept RSTMH In that case, you will have to withdraw or decline your other grant application.

What are the timings of the Grant programme?

The key dates for the programme are as follows: 

If you are not able to deliver your project or report to these timings (notwithstanding unexpected changes), then please consider whether you should apply this year.

Open for applications 22 January 2024
Deadline for applications 22 April 2024
Funding payments made September 2024
Projects start December 2024
Projects finish December 2025
Reports due By March 2026
What can I use the funds for?

The list below details the eligible costs under our Early Career Grants Programme. We do understand there may be exceptions to this guidance and would ask applicants to demonstrate and provide evidence for the need for higher costs as part of their budget description/table. The eligible costs are as follows: 

  • Consumables 
  • Fieldwork expenses, including reasonable per diems for staff standard class travel to, from and within sight(s)and accommodation 
  • International travel to carry out the research, total costs up to 50% of the overall budget 
  • Equipment, up to 50% of the overall budget 
  • Computers, tablets and phones, up to 20% of the overall budget combined
  • Training course, tuition or bench fees that are related to and directly relevant to the project, up to 20% of the overall budget 
  • Local dissemination costs, up to 20% of the overall budget 
  • Ethics approval costs, up to 10% of the overall budget 
  • Reasonable contingency costs 
  • Tax on purchases where relevant 
  • Supervisor stipends where reasonable, up to 10% of the overall budget
  • Data analysis and statistical expertise, where reasonable, up to 10% of the overall budget 
  • Translation costs, up to 10% of the overall budget 
  • Overhead costs for institutions are allowed, up to 10% of the overall budget  
  • Stipends for research assistants or community health workers, up to 10% of the overall budget
  • Stationery, up to 10% of the overall budget
  • Reimbursement for participants' time is allowed up to a maximum of £2 per person 
  • Reasonable travel reimbursement for participants is allowed
Do I need referees to support my application?

Yes, your application must be supported by two referees. One of your referees should be a senior member of the employing or an affiliated organisation. The other should be your supervisor for the duration of your project.

Your supervisor does not have to be based at the same organisation or location as you. However, your supervisor must be able to support you throughout the application process and the duration of your project (including at the point of completing your final report), and they cannot be changed at any point.

How do my referees submit their references?

Referees receive an email from Submittable to submit their references via Submittable. However, the referees will NOT be emailed until you click the "Submit" button at the bottom of the application form to complete the application process and submit your application. Therefore, you must submit your application before the deadline date with sufficient time to allow your referees to submit their references by the deadline date. 

Applicants are responsible for ensuring their referees submit references directly to Submittable before the deadline date and follow the Early Career Grant conditions. We cannot submit reference requests or chase referees for you.

Please note, you need your application and your two references to be submitted before the deadline. 

How is my application assessed?

Applications are reviewed by our Global Assessors and our Grants and Awards Committee who make the final decisions. The criteria used to assess applications for Early Career Grant applications are: 

  • Early career status 
  • Validity of the research question
  • Quality of the project design and methodology 
  • Feasibility of delivering the project outcomes
  • Accuracy and reasonableness of the budget
  • Impact of your research project 
  • Value for money 

If you are awarded a 2024 Early Career Grant

How are the Early Career Grants paid?

The Early Career Grants are awarded to individuals, and therefore awardees must hold a personal bank account which must accept a payment in GBP. RSTMH can pay awards to institutions in exceptional circumstances, with justification. You should inform us immediately if you are not able to accept the award into your own personal account.

When are the funds disbursed?

The funding payments are currently planned to be made in September 2024. Although, this may change because of the number of applications. Please indicate on the application form if you need to start your project before a certain time.

When does the research project need to start if I am awarded a Grant?

The project should start within 3 months of you receiving the funding, which should be between September and December 2024. It should be completed within a year of it starting. 

Please note only RSTMH’s members can be awarded a grant. Therefore, if successful, applicants who are not yet members will be asked to join the Society. Their membership fees will either be paid by one of our partners or will be deducted from the award itself.

Are there any Grant reporting requirements?

A report must be submitted to RSTMH within three months of the project being completed.

The report should contain the following elements: 

  • Results and outcomes of the project 
  • The impact of the project on your career, skills and networks
  • Any images that help to illustrate your research and outcomes
  • The budget expenditure against your project budget, with all receipts and proofs of payment for audit purposes 
  • Your current role and profile photo

Additionally, we will also be checking in with you every three months from March 2025 to December 2025 to track progress of your research project. If the Grant is provided by one of our funders, there may be additional reporting requirements. 

When preparing your RSTMH Early Career Grant final report, you must include your project budget and budget expenditure. The expenditure should include a brief breakdown of what was spent. The amounts should be in British pounds (GBP). You must keep all receipts related to the spend on your project for a period of 7 years as they may be needed for audit purposes.

Who should I contact if I have a query?

If you have any technical problems with filling out an application form, including issues with references, please email submittersupport [at] submittable [dot] com 

If you have a question about the scope and content of your proposal, please email sian [dot] tatbak [at] rstmh [dot] org