The British Geotechnical Association (BGA) is the principal
association for geotechnical engineers in the United Kingdom.

BGA Research Development Fund

The BGA Research Development Fund (RDF) invests in excellent, industry and academic investigator-led geotechnical research aimed at generating new knowledge, with long-term benefit to the United Kingdom (UK)

BGA Research Development Fund

The British Geotechnical Association (BGA) Research Development Fund (RDF) supports industry and academic investigator-led applied geotechnical research aimed at generating new knowledge, with long-term benefit to the United Kingdom.

Scope of the BGA RDF

The BGA RDF aims to drive innovation in research and knowledge exchange throughout industry and academia, the fund:

  • supports activities that generate new geotechnical knowledge, with a particular emphasis on delivering innovative and novel approaches.
  • supports collaborations between higher education providers, industry or business partners.
  • will cover the entire cost of projects but will look more favourably on research collaboration where part funding is required.
  • supports projects that clearly seek to disseminate key learning points to the geotechnical sector to enhance positive practice.
  • can provide seed funding and support activities that are unable to be supported through any other means.
  • supports innovations with a clear plan for sustainability.

Types of Proposals Supported

  • Funds will be allocated for the support of geotechnical engineering focused research projects.
  • Funds can be provided in either an academic or industrial setting.
  • All proposals funded must be consistent with the nature and objectives of the BGA RDF, to develop and promote geotechnical engineering in a sustainable manner throughout the UK.
  • The BGA RDF will only fund fully developed research proposals with tangible defined outcomes (MPhil, PhD, guidance note, book, publication, etc.). Whilst the RDF may fund highly speculative research, it is not designed to support scoping studies.

Access to the Fund

The BGA RDF is operated as a competitive fund. Thus, proposals for research will be sought in a responsive mode to enable potential projects to directly approach the BGA RDF for funding support at any time of the year. Please allow at least 3 months for decisions on funding outcomes when submitting a proposal.

The RDF is open to applicants that meet the BGA RDF eligibility criteria below:

  1. The Principal Investigator (PI) must be a member of the BGA.
  2. Applicants must be UK based researchers undertaking research to be carried out predominantly in the UK, although research can be carried out overseas if its nature demands it. Collaboration with researchers from outside the UK is encouraged and can be included in proposals but international partners are not able to receive direct funding support for their time, materials, equipment, travel or institutional costs.
  3. The maximum funding request is £5,000

If you meet the criteria and would like to apply for funding please download and complete BGA Research Development Fund Form (link below) and email the completed form to with the email title “RDF application”.

BGA Research and Development Fund Application Form

Governance, management and panels

Applications will be reviewed in line with the BGA RDF Term of Reference which will normally consist of a panel of two assessors. The assessors will be asked to consider the following criteria:

  1. Is the proposal of value to the geotechnical community as a whole?
  2. Is the request for funding reasonable and does it represent value for money?
  3. Is it likely funding could be obtained from other sources?

The recommendations will then be considered by the BGA RDF sub-committee who will make the final funding decisions. The sub-committee consists of at least four BGA committee members including the BGA RDF Chair, BGA Chair and Hon. Treasurer.

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