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Research can be funded by a very wide range of organisations. Their motivations vary, as does the extent to which different types of costs can be met.
For example, the income from companies commissioning research projects on a “fee” basis may cover direct costs, institutional overhead costs and produce a surplus. On the other hand, research funded through a grant from the European Regional Development Fund will cover eligible direct costs only.
The expectations of different research funders also vary. For example, it’s expected that the results of research funded by the UK Research Councils or the European Union will be widely disseminated and that 'impact' is demonstrated. A company commissioning research for its own purposes is more likely to want the results kept confidential.
It’s important that you are aware of the specific expectations and regulations of the organisation from which you intend to gain funding. Advice is available from the Finance Department (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Research Services (email@example.com).
The links which follow are to major public funders of research (and sources of information). Prospective clients for fee-based research are more likely to be found through your own external networks. In addition, a useful source of guidance about funding for research students is at: www.prospects.ac.uk/funding.