Check if you are eligible for research and innovation funding


Eligibility as an individual

Your eligibility to work on a project as an individual will depend on whether you’re applying for:

  • a funding opportunity for an individual person (for example, a fellowship)
  • a role in a project team (for example, principal investigator or project lead)

Fellowships and other opportunities for individuals

Some funding opportunities are for a single person only. These include research fellowships and Innovate UK’s Women in Innovation and Young Innovators Awards.

If you’re interested in applying for one of these funding opportunities, the first thing to do is to check its specific eligibility criteria.

For example, some fellowships will require you to be in a specific career stage or situation, such as returning to research after a career break.

Find out more about fellowships and other funding for researchers.

Roles on project teams

You usually need a certain level of experience or job status to be eligible for particular roles in UKRI-funded projects.

For example, to be a principal investigator or a project lead you might need to:

  • hold a PhD or equivalent qualification
  • be a permanent employee or treated as one throughout the proposed research project, see eligibility as an organisation for more information
  • devote a set amount of your working hours to delivering the research project

Eligibility varies. You should check the specific criteria of a funding opportunity before applying.

Search funding opportunities

You can participate in UK-based projects if you are a researcher based outside the UK. Find out more about getting funding for international research.

Selecting roles for team members when applying

The role types for your team members are different depending on:

  • the service you are using to apply to a funding opportunity
  • when the funding opportunity opened for applications

When you apply, you are only able to select from the roles relevant to that opportunity.

The responsibilities and eligibility criteria for roles are the same in both the UKRI Funding Service and the Joint Electronic Submission (Je-S) system.

UKRI Funding Service roles

Names for role types in this service have changed for opportunities that open on or after 22 May 2023.

To help you assign roles to members of your team, see guidance on role eligibility, responsibilities and costings.

For opportunities that opened on or before 21 May 2023, you should follow the guidance for the specific funding opportunity.

Je-S roles

The existing roles listed in Je-S are not changing.

For more information on roles in Je-S, check the guidance for different types of proposals given in the Je-S Handbook.

Why there are new role names in the UKRI Funding Service

UKRI is creating a new Funding Service that is easy to use and supports everyone involved in research funding.

We have harmonised the set of 35 roles previously used on applications to a set of 12 consistent role types.

The role names have changed to better reflect the wide range of people supported on applications for UKRI funding. These changes are currently applicable to funding opportunities from the seven research councils only, not for Innovate UK and Research England.

For further information, contact the Funding Service helpdesk.


Last updated: 3 May 2024

This is the website for UKRI: our seven research councils, Research England and Innovate UK. Let us know if you have feedback or would like to help improve our online products and services.