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Research fund

APM offer two main types of Research funding: The research fund, which has an annual call and larger commissioned studies.

We are also open to collaborative research opportunities, therefore if you have any proposals that you feel would benefit APM’s members and the wider project management community please contact us using the form below.

Contact us

APM Commissioned Research

Commissioned studies seek to address emergent themes, knowledge gaps and to answer some of the big questions for the project profession. These studies are the flagship activity of APM’s research programme and are amongst the most downloaded and influential of all APM publications.

We do not currently have any open tenders, but they will be published here as and when they become available.

APM Research Fund

The APM Research Fund aims to provide funding for small-scale research projects or to provide seed funding for larger research projects.

How can the APM Research Fund help me?

In addition to funding, we can help provide access to data and research participants through access to its corporate members, amongst others, who wish to be involved in cutting edge research activities. By providing a platform for research at its events, publications and journals and through the use of its media channels, we can aid researchers with disseminating findings and help measure the impact of their work.

What is eligibility and level of funding available?

Lower tier proposals looking for seed funding will be typically funded at £5,000 each whilst larger higher tier submissions of a much larger scale, ambition and impact will be typically funded at £25,000. We are happy to consider match-funding or co-funded submissions.

Applications and proposals are open to all UK-residents (including: academics and researchers, students, the APM volunteer community and project practitioners etc.) and globally to academics and researchers at non-UK recognised Higher Education Institutions.

Both individual and collaborative proposals are welcomed as are interdisciplinary projects. The number of studies awarded funding will vary from year to year depending on the quality of submissions and priorities.

What should the proposal contain and what themes should it address?

Submissions should be received before the 31 January 2022 deadline focused around our research interests for 2021-22 which are:

  1. Re-evaluating the basics – application of project management tools and techniques in the digital arena: Projects and project environments are becoming increasingly more complex and challenging. Practice is experiencing conflicting objectives (more projects with higher standards but less money available), rapid development of technologies and issues in integrating project controls. The use of basic project management tools and techniques such as risk management or project controls changes in the new digital arena. This theme aims to revisit project management tools and techniques in the current project environment to provide practical solutions to project managers whilst exploring the talent and resources needed to deliver successfully. 
  2. Climate change and sustainability: Climate change and sustainability are two key challenges for projects. Project managers face the task of balancing requirements between staying competitive, driving innovation, and preserving the environment. The need to future proof projects and assess the impact of projects on the climate is accelerating. This theme aims to focus on the interface between projects and climate change as well as sustainability and approaches to manage this interface.

Other themes will also be considered for funding and applicants are encouraged to put forward innovative topics which will support the future delivery of projects and which address current challenges.

Full details including how to apply, assessment criteria and deadlines can be found in the Research Fund guidelines document.

Featured research

Sustainability: Inclusive storytelling to aid sustainable development goalsArtificial intelligence in project management

How to use AI technology in project management has had a lot of attention recently and the impact of AI has become a popular topic to debate when predicting the future of the project profession. AI has potential to become a significant tool for project professionals when delivering projects. Our report, led by the University of Southampton explores how professionals view the current state of AI in project management. This research aimed to study the general perception of AI and the ease of use of AI technology within projects. The scope of the report is to find common themes of AI in projects rather than to provide specific cases of AI in projects. The research developed three research and practice-oriented objectives to reach this aim. This allowed the report to include previous research to determine the current state of AI research in project management, and to suggest recommendations based on the current perception of AI among project professionals.

View research

Can artificial intelligence learn to be a project professional?Can artificial intelligence learn to be a project professional?

PwC reported that “Gartner forecasts that 80% of project management roles will be eliminated by 2030 as AI takes on traditional project management functions such as data collection, tracking and reporting.” What are the implications of this for human project professionals? On the one hand, it appears to be a loss of roles. On the other hand, association with AI could signal smartness and a future-facing attitude for an occupation and its practitioners. It may even increase demand for certain aspects of this class of expert labour. However, social scientists in the area of employment and the professions are cautious about a rush towards implementation of AI before we fully understand the interaction between occupations of expert labour and AI.

View research

Sustainability: Inclusive storytelling to aid sustainable development goalsSustainability: Inclusive storytelling to aid sustainable development goals

This study utilises an inclusive storytelling research method to explore the perspectives of sustainability practitioners about the ways they address the sustainability agenda. The research highlights the way in which inclusive storytelling is a central part of enacting such responses through collective identity around a shared understanding of sustainability and its goals and through formulating a future vision.

View research

Previous research fund studies

Eliminating modern slavery from projects

This research aims to raise awareness of modern slavery within projects and to understand how project practices need to change to eliminate it.

The wellbeing of project professionals

The awareness of mental health and wellbeing issues in societies is increasing. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)’s report shows the whole of Europe is struggling with the burden of mental ill health, which affects an estimated 84 million people – one in six.

Quantification of social benefits on public and third sector projects

This research project is a critical evaluation of current methods used by project planners and evaluators in the public and third sectors to quantify social benefits and costs.

How can we handover projects better?

How do we improve the transition of a project from the project team delivering in a project life cycle to the end users’ business as usual activities, to ensure the realisation of the benefits the project set out to achieve? 

Scaled Agile project management

A study on the practical adoption of agile methodologies this study aims to investigate the level of practical adoption of those programme and portfolio components addressed by Scaled Agile methodologies.

Strategies for dealing with difficult stakeholders

This research project focuses on the psycho-social aspects of project management and specifically on how project managers cope with difficult stakeholders.


How is systems thinking used in projects?

This study builds on the work used to establish the Systems Thinking SIG as they seek to identify the range of activities classified as systems thinking and how these are seen to add value to projects. 

Project leadership

This research has sought to draw out project leadership competences from the perspective of practising project leaders, aspiring project leaders, heads of profession, project sponsors and clients.

Understanding leadership in the context of transformation projects

This research aims to advance understandings of individual, team and organisation-wide leadership capabilities for successfully delivering transformation projects, and ways in which they can be fostered.

Capturing and evaluating individual and social factors that influence critical project decisions

The study seeks to increase project management knowledge in three interrelated areas; firstly, identifying how decision-makers actually make decisions in the complex situations they encounter during a project’s life. 

Women in major projects

This research project aims to address the representation of women in the leadership of major projects. It forms part of a broader action research programme (ARPL) on the leadership and delivery of major projects.