Finding Partners for Projects

This short guide will give you ideas how you can find partners to work with on a project.

If you are just starting out on project work, it can be a good idea to find partners who are already writing project bids and team up with them.

If you have an idea and need more people to join it, use this guide to find them.

Finding partners for your research project

Become a partner on a Horizon 2020 bid

wpid-ants-working-togetherIf you have not been involved in a Horizon 2020 project before, one of the best ways to get involved is to find organisations submitting bids and ask to join them as partners. UKRO has made a factsheet giving ideas of how to find partners for horizon 2020 projects.

It includes suggestions such as joining European Technology Platforms or linking in with the European Enterprise Network. UKRO Factsheet on Consortium Building, to see this document you need to use your UKRO username and password, or set up an UKRO account if you don’t already have one.

Joining a Horizon 2020 research project could provide you with a direct path to generate a 3 or 4 star rated REF output.

Using Research Professional

The University subscribes to the research funding search site

Things you can do with Research Professional:

  • Search for funding on a particular theme
  • Find out what grants a funding body has available
  • Get emails sent to you about particular funds
  • Find out the latest research news

Step by step guide on how to find funds using Research Professional

Research Professional provides a guide to  set up your own Opportunities Alert which highlight when funding in your research area comes up.

Request a Fund Search for your research idea

Staffordshire University subscribes to a website which can help find thousands of open funds for research projects. is free for all staff to use. However, sometimes you need a bit of expert help to get the right results. Research Services are able to help by providing bespoke searches for research funding.


The team will use their in-depth knowledge of research funding to identify one/or a collection of potential funds which may be suitable for your project. These will be sent for you to look through, and if necessary and one to one meeting can be arranged to discuss the options in more detail and make sure you are applying for the most suitable fund.


To access this service all you need to do is complete the form below to give us some details of what you want to do and email it to

Download Form for Fund Search Request 


Funding Database

Research Professionals funding database enables academics to search for research funding in all disciplines from sponsors in the UK and overseas. The database has an easy-to-use interface and powerful searching and customisation tools.

Staffordshire University subscribes to Research Professional. Use is free for all University members. From any computer within the University network, you can start searching directly by going to

Using the Database

The site has a quick start guide which can get you started on the help page. This can show you how to use the database, set up an account and customise your searches. There is also a video introduction.

Searches can be sorted by sponsor, or by discipline (as broad or specific as you choose), or you can run a multiple search combining various criteria at the same time.

To manage your searches more effectively, you need to open a personal account. This allows you to:

  • use the database from any computer – your office or anywhere else if you are travelling
  • create customised email alerts that will bring funding opportunities to your inbox
  • save the results of your searches and re-run them
  • store interesting funding opportunities, add notes and share information with your colleagues

Registration for a personal account is free, and takes about 1 minute to complete. To do this, use a computer within the University network and go to, click on ‘register’ and complete the form.

If you need any help with using the system email


Joining projects already being developed

Getting your foot in the door of European funding can be difficult if you do not already have European partners. A good way to resolve this is to look for organisations seeking partners to join their consortium.

The University subscribes to an organisation called UKRO. One of their services includes a partner search portal. To access it you need to set up an account using the create profile button. Once you are in, select the partner search tab. This brings up a list of organisations who are leading Horizon 2020 projects and looking or partners. It covers a range of subjects but is worth keeping an eye on.

Other ways you can find partners online can be to join the ERRIN Network ERRIN aims to strengthen regional Research and Innovation capacities by exchanging information, sharing best practice and supporting European project development.

There are also H2020 focused groups on Linked In. Within this there are themed sub groups relating to the H2020 priorities. People frequently use Linked in to look for partners to join their consortium so it is worth joining a group in your interest area and getting emails sent to you.


Research funding calls sent directly to your inbox

To be successful in applying for research funding it is important to know what funding is out there and when the application deadlines are.  To help, the university subscribes to a website called Research Professional

There are over six thousand research funding calls currently open on Research Professional. The site can be used to make a tailored search for your research project. You can filter your search in a range of ways. This includes discipline, what you want money for or which funders you are interested in.

After you have made the search, you can see which funds are open. Plus you can save the details and set Research Professional to email each time new funds open which fit your criteria. Using this tool can ensure you are always up to date on open calls in your research field.

You can download a step by step guide on setting up searches here: Using Research Professional

You will not need to set up an account to search on Research Professional, but you will need one to save your settings. Using a University email address when you create your account will let Research Professional know your subscription is already paid for.

You can speak you the External Projects Team to get further details on using Research Professional.


Support with European Funding


The University is also a subscriber to the UK Research Office (UKRO). This specialises in European funding and events. You can subscribe to get emailed when funding calls and events are open in your research area.

To join use this link and click on the option ‘If you do not yet have a profile’. The site will use your email address to identify you are a member of staff at Staffordshire University and give you free access to it. You subscribe to emails using the ‘My Profiles’ section at the top of the page.

If you want to visit the main UKRO website you can access it here:

Set up your own Specialised Funding Search with Research Professional

Research Professional provides an easy way to find research funding for your work. You can search by discipline, type of funding or a whole range of other search fields. You can set up an account to send you a weekly email on new funds that have been launched in your specialised research field.

The guide below take you through the step by step process of how to set up your account for fund updates. Staffordshire University pays a subscription to Research Professional, it can be accessed without a password from anywhere on campus please share it with your colleagues so we can get as much use from it as possible.

Further details:

Step by step guide on how to find funds using Research Professional

Research Professional provides a guide to  set up your own Opportunities Alert which highlight when funding in your research area comes up.