Graduate Collaborative Research Awards

U21's Graduate Collaborative Research Awards are designed to be flexible and encourage doctoral candidates, with the support of their supervisors/advisors, to think innovatively about how their research could benefit from engagement with other members of the U21 network. 


Basic outline 

Icon of bags of cash on an orange background
GCRA Awards
  • Projects can be in any discipline or cross-disciplinary and should aid the development of transferable skills for doctoral candidates, allowing them to work independently, as well as in teams, on activities that benefit their doctoral research.
  • These projects aim to give doctoral candidates a global view of problem-solving and group work, and facilitate cross-cultural working practices.
  • Publically accessible outputs are expected from each project; the form of the outputs will depend on the nature of the project.
  • At least 3 U21 member institutions — from at least 2 countries — must be involved in each project; there must be at least one doctoral candidate from each U21 member involved in the project. 
  • The total allocated budget for the awards is US$30,000. It is expected that several projects will be supported from this budget.  


IMPORTANT UPDATE: In light of COVID-19 and the impact it is having on international travel, proposals featuring virtual and digital solutions for collaboration will be prioritised. We advise not to include travel and accommodation in applications due to the uncertainty around global mobility over the next 12 months.

The Awards fund research projects that involve doctoral candidates from at least three U21 universities (see our members here), in at least two countries (normally from different global regions). Each project must result in publicly available outputs. These may take the form of peer-reviewed publications, exhibitions, patents, products, performances, etc. It is expected that all projects will include a training component.

Applications may be led by doctoral candidates but must be formally supported by a supervisor/advisor, and signed off by the appropriate staff member, at the lead institution. The budget allocated to the 2020 call is US$30,000; candidates can apply for up to US$5,000 per project. It is expected that several projects will be funded. Funding will be limited to 12 months, starting from 1 November 2020, although the projects may extend beyond that year.

Only U21 member universities are eligible for the 2020 application round. Click on the button below to check that all doctoral candidates on your application are based at one of these institutions before you apply.



The deadline for applications to the 2020 awards have been extended to the following dates:

  • Deadline for applications: Friday 7 August 2020 - EXTENDED DEADLINE: FRIDAY 28 AUGUST
  • Decisions announced by: Monday 14 September 2020 - EXTENDED DATE: WEEK OF 28 SEPTEMBER
  • Funding to be transferred to the lead institutions Graduate School by Friday 2 October 2020 - EXTENDED DEADLINE: FRIDAY 23 OCTOBER 2020


Contact Details

Dr Connie Wan, Researcher Engagement Manager