International partnerships

Research is international and many challenges that we face are global. As well as maintaining the strength of UK research, we want UK researchers to be able to work with the best and most effective collaborators around the world. Our international partnerships and our global agreements are key to this.

International opportunities

Our funding initiatives aim to provide leading UK research groups with the opportunity to work in partnership with the best and most effective international researchers. We have funded two rounds of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) International Centre to Centre funding opportunity to deliver this initiative with over £30 million awarded. The objectives of these calls were to:

  • enable high-profile, best-with-best international collaborations focused on excellent research with impact
  • contribute to EPSRC strategy by supporting high-quality research collaborations which align with our research area strategies and address the priorities related to Delivery Plan objectives
  • further the UK’s strategic needs in international science and innovation partnerships.

Search for international funding opportunities in the funding finder.

Find out about the international costs you can apply for.

Official Development Assistance (ODA) funding

EPSRC supports cutting-edge research to address challenges faced by developing countries via the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) and the Newton Fund. These funds address the United Nations sustainable development goals and aim to maximise the impact of research and innovation to improve lives and opportunity in the developing world.

Partnerships

EPSRC works closely with colleagues across UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), including colleagues in our overseas offices, to develop and build partnerships with international funding organisations.

European funding

We work with our sister research councils, government and other UK public sector bodies, in particular the UK Research Office (UKRO) in Brussels, to provide input into EU funding policy for research and innovation funding. We also work directly with European funding mechanisms and networks in certain, specific instances. Check the UKRI funding finder for current opportunities.

UKRO

UKRO, which is sponsored by the research councils, is the UK’s leading information and advice service on European Union funding for research and higher education. It provides information to its subscribers on EU funding opportunities, and EU programmes and policies.

UKRO’s mission is to maximise UK engagement in EU-funded research, innovation and higher education activities by:

  • enabling sponsors and subscribers to participate confidently in EU programmes and fully exploit the opportunities available to them
  • supporting UK input into European research, innovation and higher education policy development, by informing, advising and liaising with the appropriate bodies both in the UK and the EU
  • delivering a set of unique, specialised services that are tailored to meet the evolving needs of sponsors and subscribers.

Horizon Europe

Horizon Europe is an EU research and innovation programme. It has a budget of €95.5 billion and runs until 2027. Find more information and guidance about Horizon Europe. Information is also provided for existing Horizon 2020 programmes and funding.

Science Europe

EPSRC is a member of Science Europe, an association of European research funding organisations and research performing organisations based in Brussels. Science Europe aims to strengthen the European Research Area through the promotion of the interests of its members.

Science Europe works with the European Commission and national governments in developing policy to ensure the greatest collaborative impact of current research, as well as liaising with non-European research organisations.

Science Europe does not support grant schemes.

As well as acting to further UK researchers’ involvement in EU research programmes, we work proactively with partners worldwide in targeted joint funding initiatives. We have particularly strong links to the USA, Canada, India and China, where UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) has established international offices to facilitate collaborations.

North America

We work closely with the UKRI North America office, established in 2007 to identify and facilitate new UK-US and UK-Canada research collaborations across the breadth of the research base. With their help, we have undertaken a number of joint initiatives with US funding partners, including the US National Science Foundation (NSF), US Department of Defence and the US Department of Energy.

Highlights of our work with the US include our lead agency opportunity with NSF.

India

We work closely with the UKRI India Office to enable strong research collaborations in areas of strategic importance to both the UK and India. Facilitated by the UKRI India Office, we have established a number of joint initiatives with the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and the Department for Atomic Energy (DAE) in India.

DST is one of three departments under the Ministry of Science and Technology, which supports research and innovation in science and engineering. DAE reports directly to the prime minister of India.

China

We work closely with the UKRI China office, established in 2007 to enhance research funding partnerships between the UK and China. The UKRI China office facilitates our interactions with our partner agencies in China. With their help we have undertaken a number of joint initiatives with Chinese funding partners, notably in energy and manufacturing research.

Agreements

EPSRC have international agreements with overseas organisations at various levels, including our lead agency agreements with funding agencies in the USA, Luxembourg and Brazil.

Find out more about our lead agency agreements.

Last updated: 19 April 2022

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