Frequently Asked Questions


Q: What exactly is the Fund for? 

A:The money from the Fund covers the costs of you going on a short fact-finding trip to look into an aspect of policy or practice abroad that could be of benefit to consumers or users of services – or consumers of goods – in Scotland. The study trip should show how particular policies or practices abroad give people better access to or choice of services, better information, a simpler or more effective way of complaining or getting redress, fairer representation of their interests, improved safety or other standards for consumers or service users.

Q: What areas of study is the Trust interested in?

A: We are interested in funding a whole range of studies of concern to consumers and service users in Scotland – in such areas as, civil and criminal justice, education health, housing, freedom of information, services in rual areas, planning, public utilities, transport social care, etc. But we are open to ideas and suggestions in other areas of study.

Q: How much money is on offer?

A: The amount would depend on the requirements of the study and is expected to be to between £2,500 and the maximum of £4,000.

Q: What can the money be used for?

A: The money is mainly intended for paying reasonable travel, subsistence and accommodation costs for the trip. It may also cover incidental costs, for example, postage costs for sending materials back to Scotland, or other essential expenses. We would need to see receipts for all your costs.

Q: What would I have to do in return?

A: You would be expected to write a short report of between 1,000 to 2,000 words. We would also expect you to give an oral presentation of your findings to the Trust, and we may ask you - at our own expense - to be involved in other events to further publicise your work.

Q: How do I apply?

A: The Peter Gibson Memorial Fund is not currently accepting applications for grant

Q: What happens once I’ve made my application?

A: After the closing date, the Trustees will consider the applications we have received, and we may invite you to attend an interview to discuss your application. We will pay reasonable travel expenses for you to attend this. We would let you know our decision as quickly as possible.

Q: Will you discriminate in favour of people with disabilities or from disadvantaged backgrounds?

A: We welcome applications from people from all backgrounds, including disability groups, although each application will be judged on its intrinsic merits. If you have particular needs that could increase the costs of the trip, we would do our best to make sure that your essential costs can be met. Should this situation arise, we would discuss your particularneeds before the start of the study.

What support would I get from the Trustees before, during and after by period abroad?

A: We would give you whatever advice and support we can to get your study trip off the ground or completed in time, but you would be responsible for making your own travel, accommodation and other arrangements.

Q: Will there be formal training in research techniques and any other skills I may not have?

A: Although we will not be able to offer formal training, we may be able to advise you on how to carry out the work.

Q: What can I realistically achieve in terms of understanding an issue in just a few weeks?

A: We don’t expect a deeply academic study, but we do expect it to have been carried out to a reasonable standard. As part of the application process, and the support provided if your application is chosen, the Trustees will assess and discuss with you what our expectations are.

Q: What if my project doesn’t work out when I arrive in the country?

A: Then we would expect a report on why this was the case. However, Trustees would want to assess how much information gathered to date could be usefully built upon to further the work of the Trust.

Q: Who will own the research that I produce?

A: You will retain copyright of the report and be free to make whatever use of this report you think fit. The Fund will however be free to issue any reports or related publicity of its own arising from your study.

Q: Do I pay for things and then claim money back against receipts?

A: If you can. But if you need money up front we can pay something in advance, as long as we see invoices.

Q: Can I bulk out the money from the Trust with my own?

A: Yes you can.

Q: Can I extend my visit abroad using my own money?

A: Yes, of course you can.

Q: What if I call off – do I have to pay back everything?

A: Should you not be able to complete the study, or not within the period we have agreed with you, we may ask you to pay back part or all of the grant.

Q: Will I have to sign a contract?

A: Yes.

Q: Will I always have to travel on the lowest airfare and stay in the cheapest accommodation?

A: We’d expect you to be economical in your arrangements, but we won’t be unreasonable about it.

Q: Will you insure me and my trip for personal health and welfare and loss of equipment?

A: We cannot take out insurance on your own behalf, but we would be happy to refund reasonable travel insurance premiums as part of the essential expenses incurred by your trip.

Q: Will the Trustees pay for any innoculations?

A: The costs of any essential inoculations would be refunded as part of expenses of your trip.