The PCAN Fund is an integral part of the Place-Based Climate Action Network. The aim of the fund is to stimulate engagement in place-based action beyond the five platforms. It provides small grants to researchers and research users, thus opening the Network to a wider community.

The fund

The main features of the PCAN Fund are:

  •  total budget of £400,000 over five years.
  • an aspiration to award 20-30 grants in total, implying an average grant size of £20,000. The maximum grant size is £35,000.
  • grants will be awarded under open calls (that is, any proposals that are relevant to the objectives of PCAN) but there will also be some directed calls (that is, proposals on specific topics identified by PCAN stakeholders).

Applications can be made under five headings:

  • impact grants (e.g., co-production of decision-relevant knowledge)
  • engagement grants (e.g., events, secondments, campaigns)
  • research grants (aimed preferentially at early career researchers)
  • training grants (e.g. skill development)
  • innovation grants (e.g. seed-funding for new initiatives or products)

A new PCAN Fellowship for early career researchers was added in April 2020 as another element of the funding call.

Funding rounds

There are three funding rounds (previously four; two have been amalgamated). The first  two rounds were for £105,000 (in 2019; five awards) and £160,000 (in 2020; six awards) respectively. Details of the third round are below.

Call for proposals 2021

The third and final round of the PCAN Fund launches on 1 September 2021. It will be for £135,000 to fund five to seven projects, worth £5,000-£35,000 each.

Proposals may be submitted for a one-year PCAN Fellowship (early career researchers) or the project call. The call is for projects that address the following issues (other innovative proposals on place-based climate action in the UK will also be considered):

  1. Evaluating the impact of climate commissions
  2. Delivering climate action at the local level
  3. Exploring the co-benefits of climate action
  4. Place-based climate action in rural areas

The deadline for applications is 28 September 2021 and projects can start in or before spring 2022 and must be completed by November 2023.


Applications are invited from both practitioners (policy makers, businesses, NGOs, etc) and academic researchers. We particularly encourage applications that are co-produced by researchers and research users. The fund is open to the UK research and climate change community, including members of the PCAN network (but not core members of the PCAN team).

Different kinds of expenditure can be supported, depending on the design of the application. This may include money for research assistants, research expenses, travel expenses, events and publications. Where applicants require some compensation for their time on the project, it may be possible to pay an honorarium. Unfortunately we cannot provide core funding for basic climate commission work.

Apply to the PCAN Fund final round

A list of the application questions is also available offline in our FAQs - see next section.

Frequently Asked Questions

Got questions about the PCAN Fund? We've compiled a list of Frequently Asked Questions for applicants - download the FAQs from the link below.

Included with the FAQs is a list of PCAN's objectives (Annex A) and a list of the application questions for those who wish to first draft their responses offline (Annex B). Please note these are for information only; your application must be submitted using the online form.


A  webinar on 9 September, presented by Professor Sam Frankhauser (Co-Director of PCAN, Oxford Net Zero), Jamie Brogan (PCAN co-investigator, ECCi), Lina Brand Correa (previous recipient of a PCAN Fellowship) and Harriet Carter (PCAN's Operational Manager, LSE), provided an opportunity to ask questions about the PCAN Fund. Watch a recording of the webinar.

Previous recipients