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World Rugby Research Funding Application Process

The application process for research funding from World Rugby has three stages:

All applications must be made in English and budgets submitted in pounds sterling.

From 2016 onwards, the assessment of projects starting in a particular calendar year will be assessed in the previous calendar year.

World Rugby reserves the right to fund a study in its entirety or only part thereof.

Initial concept approval

This stage provides World Rugby with a general overview of the project proposed. It should take the following form (Arial 9, single spaced) and provide details on the following aspects of the project:

This initial concept document will be assessed against World Rugby’s current research priorities by the members of the World Rugby Scientific Committee.

Full project plan assessment

If the project is deemed to be appropriate for further evaluation then the applicant(s) will be asked to submit a detailed project plan. This will be required to be submitted on the World Rugby Project Plan Assessment Form which must not exceed a total of 12 pages. This page count does not include supporting appendices and tables that are submitted with it.

This ‘Full Project Plan Assessment Form’ application will also be reviewed and assessed by the World Rugby’s Scientific Committee. Invitation to submit a full project plan does not guarantee a successful funding application.

Failure to comply with these guidelines will result in the Funding Application being returned.

Ethical Approval

Projects involving research using human or animal participants must have achieved ethical approval from an Institutional Ethics Committee. This committee should be at the applicant’s institution or in the area where the research is to be conducted if away from the applicant’s institutional ethics committee jurisdiction. The World Rugby Institutional Ethics Committee (IEC) can be used to achieve ethical approval if multiple countries are involved or if there is not an appropriate ethics committee as noted above. If the IEC is to be applied to, the relevant section of the Full Project Plan Assessment Form should be completed. If ethical approval has been, or is being, sought from an external institutional ethics committee then a copy of the application and the approval received must be submitted as part of the project plan.

In instances where ethical approval is not deemed to be required justification for this opinion must be provided as part of the application process.

A sample of the consent form which must be completed by all human participants must be submitted with any ethical approval application.

Submission timeline

The timeline for submission of applications for projects commencing in 2017 is:


Initial concept applications submitted to research@worldrugby.org



Response to initial concept applications will be distributed by World Rugby

Date of submission


Full project plan submissions to research@worldrugby.org

Date of receipt of notification


Final response to full project plans will be distributed


Information on closing dates for applications for projects commencing in 2018 will be indicated in early 2017, these are expected to be along similar lines as those indicated above for 2017 projects.

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