University College London is offering new unorthodox research grants for its staff without peer review, deadlines, directives, or milestones. The funding, which is open to any UCL employee, is in in the ballpark of £100,000 ($150,000) per year for at least three years for each awardee, according to UCL visiting earth sciences professor linkurl:Don Braben,; the scheme's brainchild and the founder of Venture Research International, a company that raises funds for blue skies research projects.
Unlike most lengthy grant proposals, initial applications are meant to be short -- less than 500 words long -- to detail only the research problem, its significance, and the resources needed. Successful first-round applicants will then sit down with Braben and UCL vice-provost for research linkurl:David Price,; who will make recommendations to UCL provost linkurl:Malcolm Grant,; who has the final say. The grants "will go to UCL researchers whose ideas challenge the norm and have...

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