It was with great sadness that we heard of the untimely death of Professor Mick Marchington on 24 February 2021. Mick was an esteemed academic in HR and employment relations and a longstanding friend and source of inspiration, expertise and support for many at the CIPD. Over many years, he helped develop CIPD’s professional standards, qualifications and academic membership and was a lead examiner and quality panel chair accrediting CIPD centres. 

He championed research skills as part of professional development, and his learned yet practical writing argued for progressive people management that supports better working lives. Mick’s textbook, HRM at Work has long been a bestseller. His numerous contributions led to him being made a Chartered Companion of the CIPD in 2003 and his friendship with and active commitment to the CIPD continued right up to his death. Mick will be remembered for his insight, gravitas, warmth, humour and undimmed dedication to the HR profession and the world of work.


The CIPD Professor Mick Marchington Applied Research Grant (or Marchington Research Grant for short) will follow an annual cycle, with up to three research grants being awarded each year.

Awards will be up to £5,000 maximum per award as standard, with the potential to extend to £8,000 if justified and in an area of particular CIPD interest. The award can be used in conjunction with other sources of funding (for example from your host university) but must be used to cover activity which is not already funded.

Details of the award and submission process are given below. If you have any further questions, please email Research with the subject line ‘Marchington Research Grant’.

Research must both add to the body of knowledge and produce relevant and applicable outputs for practitioner or policy audiences. In this first year of the grant, proposals should address one of two areas that were of particular interest to Mick:

  • The changing focus and role of HR
  • The role of line managers in HR, L&D and people management practice.

The principal investigator (PI) must be an early-career researcher: please explain in your application how you meet this criteria. The PI should make up the majority of time applied for. Aside from the PI, there may be others in the research team; these should be named if possible, but we recognise that research assistants may not yet be recruited.

Costs may be used for any primary or secondary research activity, including researcher time and direct costs. Any research methods and activities are valid: for example, costs may be used to review literature, collect data, or conduct analysis. Eligible direct costs may include, for example, running a survey, transcription, travel, equipment or specialised software. All costs should be clearly explained and justified.

Note that while we expect practical outputs (see below), pure ‘knowledge exchange’ or ‘translational research’ activity aimed at disseminating existing research is not sufficient to be eligible.


Following approval, research reports will be published on the CIPD website. We also encourage applicants to propose other specific outputs that will meet the needs of different stakeholders or target audiences (for example policy briefings, practice guides, blogs, podcasts). These may be published by the CIPD where it aligns with current agendas or activity.

Research should be completed within a two-year period and research should be presented at the CIPD Applied Research Conference (ARC) after it is completed. We will offer to support academic publication in the sponsoring journals of ARC.

The deadline for submissions is 30 November 2020. Submissions should be emailed to Research with the subject line ‘Marchington Research Grant’. Submissions should comprise only: a written proposal; and a curriculum vitae with a list of publications. Written proposals should be a maximum of 1,500 words (excluding references) with the following sections:  

  • Project title 
  • Name, title, affiliation and contact details of principal investigator 
  • Abstract [max. 150 words] 
  • Research focus  
  • Rationale and practical importance of research 
  • Research questions or hypotheses 
  • Research methods 
  • Outputs  
  • Costs 
  • Timing. 

Submissions will be judged on the basis of rigour, relevance and clarity by a panel of senior academics and HR practitioners, chaired by the CIPD. 

The successful applicants will be announced at the 7th CIPD Applied Research Conference (ARC) on 27 January 2022. Appropriately this year, ARC will be hosted at Mick’s academic home, the Alliance Manchester Business School. 

Contracts will be with the employing universities with payment upon approval by the university ethics panel. At set-up, we will agree with the principal investigator a timeline of deliverables and check-in progress meetings at key points in the research.

Other than those described above, we do not offer associated benefits as standard. If additional support is required (for example channels to help recruit research participants), this should be specified and justified in the proposal. Requests will be considered on the basis of alignment with CIPD agendas or current activity.