National Cyber Security Centre "Small Grants" Initiative

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The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has made funding call for small scale investments which will compliment the work of the Research Institute for the Science of Cyber Security (RISCS).

Proposals are invited for any relevant research projects, workshops, networking events, conferences, equipment purchases etc. Proposals should demonstrate a benefit to RISCS and its broad objectives to build the evidence base for cyber security.

Please send your proposals to ResearchOffice@GCHQ.GSI.GOV.UK

Rules and guidelines for submission of proposals are detailed below.

The first deadline for project submission is Monday 18th September 2017. Proposals may still be accepted after this date, depending on the outcome of the assessment and availability of remaining funding.

Assessment of proposals and announcements are planned to happen before the end of September.

Contracts to be issued throughout October.


All proposals must clearly be of benefit to one or more research areas identified by your Department, the NCSC, or the wider cyber security research community as a whole. In addition there must be a benefit to RISCS.


1) An individual proposal should not exceed £100,000 VATEX

When submitting your proposals, please quote prices including and excluding VAT and please ensure that you list the Net and VAT amounts on separate lines in your proposal and final invoice. Feel free to ask for any clarification at the above contact.

Experience from the ACE-CSR scheme has shown that successful proposals have most often been in the region of £1k - £30k with a few around £50k-60k. While you should not be put off bidding for higher amounts if you have a strong case to do so, the assessors have generally found it easier to justify investment in lower value proposals which nonetheless delivered clear improvements to your capability or benefits to the research community.

2) The activity MUST be completed before the end of the Financial Year (i.e. 23:59 on 31st March 2018).

3) You must be able to show some output (e.g. an initial report, a piece of research or a delivered workshop with outcomes to take forward).

As guidance, the types of activity which have been funded previously within small grant schemes have included:

  • Funding of mini research projects.
  • Purchase of research equipment, books, equipment and services.
  • Conference fees, travel and subsistence.
  • Travel and subsistence costs for visiting researchers.
  • Costs of organising a meeting/workshop on a specific research topic.
  • Sponsorship of a conference you may be organising.
  • Activities undertaken by the university students' computer science/cyber security society (please note that you must be able to provide a mechanism for paying the society, preferably through the university contracts office).

If a proposal is approved, a contract will have to be signed between GCHQ and the university before you any activity can begin so please leave plenty of time for this to happen.


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