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Research Funding

UK Research Councils

Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC)

Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC)


The AHRC supports arts and humanities research through a variety of funding opportunities across its schemes.  From postgraduate studentships to large scale collaborative research grants, specialist training schemes, strategic programmes, fellowships and research networking.

Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)


BBSRC support strategic and applied research and related postgraduate training relating to the understanding and exploitation of biological systems.

Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)


The EPSRC funds research and training in engineering and the physical sciences, they fund a broad range of subjects from mathematics to material science and from information technology to structural engineering.

Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)


ESRC is the UKs largest funder for economic and social research, they promote and support research and related postgraduate training on social and economic issues.

Medical Research Council (MRC)

The Medical Research Council (MRC), part of the Research Councils, is a national funding agency dedicated to improving human health by supporting research across the entire spectrum of medical sciences, in universities and hospitals, in MRC units, centres and institutes in the UK.

Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)


NERC is the leading funder of independent research, training and innovation in environmental science in the UK.

Science & Technology Facilities Council (STFC)


Fund University research in astronomy, particle physics, nuclear physics and space science.

Innovate UK


Innovate UK allows you to apply for funding to test the feasibility of your idea and develop it. Innovate UK funding competitions cover the following industry sectors:

  • Emerging and enabling technologies
  • Infrastructure systems
  • Health and life sciences
  • Manufacturing and materials

General information about innovate UK.

Funding opportunities

Application Process

Innovate UK grant funding application process.


Innovate UK policies.

European Union/ Commission

Horizon 2020 is the next EU Framework Programme to follow the EU Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) 

Horizon 2020 will be the main source of European Research and Development funding and has been allocated a total budget of 70 billion Euros.

The funding mechanism for participating in trans-national research Projects has been simplified and in most cases participants will receive reimbursement of 100% of Direct Costs.   The Indirect Costs/Overheads will be reimbursed at the rate of 25%.

The proposed structure for Horizon 2020 will consist of the following 3 main pillars:

  • European Research Council (ERC)
  • Future and Emerging Technologies (FET)
  • Marie Curie (Mobility and Career Development Training for Researchers)
  • Research Infrastructures
  • Leadership in enabling and industrial technologies
  • Access to risk finance
  • Innovation in SMEs
  • Health, demographic change and well-being
  • Food security, sustainable agriculture, marine & maritime research & the bio-economy
  • Secure, clean and efficient energy
  • Smart, green and integrated transport
  • Climate action, resource efficiency and raw materials
  • Europe in a changing world:  Inclusive, innovative and reflective societies
  • Secure societies

EU Horizon2020 Programme (external link).

For further information, please contact: Deborah Clarke,

UK Charities and Trusts

Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC)

Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC)


Funder Overview AMRC

Funder Overview AMRC (PDF)

View the list of AMRC members.

British Academy


The British Academy’s research funding strategy is focused on providing support for individuals through the award of Fellowships and small-scale grant funding.

  • All awards are for scholars in the humanities and social sciences
  • All awards are for scholars at post-doctoral level
  • For most schemes, the Principal Applicant must be resident in the UK.
  • Generally the Academy’s awards are for support of ideas and individuals rather than large scale institutional projects.
  • Academy’s awards are generally non-directive
  • The Academy seeks to match its assessment procedures proportionally to the scale of funding being offered, for larger scale awards a two-stage assessment is used.
  • For all awards, the primary criterion for award is scholarly excellence.
  • Recommendations for award are made by relevant Academy Committees in light of the available budget for a specific scheme.

British Heart Foundation


The British Heart foundation plays a leading role in the fight against diseases of the heart and circulation by supporting vital, pioneering research into their causes, prevention, diagnosis and treatment through research grants.

British Heart Foundation Grants are given to

  • Support the use of animals in research.
  • Support the use of embryonic stem cells in research.
  • Support clinical (fellowship only) and non-clinical research positions.

Cancer Research UK


Cancer research UK supports research into all types of cancer, from understanding the biology and causes of cancer to investigating how to prevent, diagnose and treat the disease.

Leverhulme Trust


Leverhulme Trust provide grants and scholarships for research and education, they are one of the largest all-subject providers of research funding in the UK.

They fund across academic disciplines supporting individuals in the arts, humanities, sciences and social sciences. They give substantial grants in research, offer fellowships for researchers at every stage of their career, grants for international collaboration and travel, and support the fine and performing arts.



Sparks is a member of the AMRC. They are a children’s medical research charity that pays particular interest to funding research regarding rare diseases and premature births.

Studies that cover any combination of the following areas of rare disease research are particularly welcome.

Gene discovery to aid diagnosis and further define patient groups

  • Studies to aid diagnosis and improve understanding of disease
  • Development of treatments to improve quality and length of life of affected individuals

They also encourage grant applications that’s cover a combination of the following areas of research into premature birth:

  • Investigating the underlying causes
  • Prediction and monitoring of women at risk
  • Treatments and interventions that delay or prevent premature birth

Wellcome Trust

Wellcome is a global charitable foundation, both politically and financially independent. They support scientists and researchers in the following areas:

  • Biomedical science
  • Population health
  • Product development
  • Humanities and social science
  • Public engagement and arts projects
Application process

Once you have selected your scheme from the scheme finder link, the application details and guidance will be made available to you.

UK Health Funding

National Institute of Health Research (NIHR)

National Institute of Health Research (NIHR)

National Institute of Health (NIH)


The National Institution of Health (NIH) is the largest public funder of biomedical research in the world. NIH typically award grants to organisations, not individuals.

Funding opportunities

NIH Funding Opportunities

NIH offer parent announcements for investigator-initiated applications, they are open for up to three years. More information and deadlines for applications can be found on:

Application process

To apply for NIH funding you must be a registered user of the electronic grant application system, eRA Commons.

Detailed information and guidance on the NIH application process.


NIH Policy.