Some research organisations and businesses are eligible for grant funding, while others can participate as non-grant claiming partners only.
Higher education providers
Higher education providers can apply for competitive research grants and funding for postgraduate training and other associated activities. Specific criteria apply for each opportunity.
Eligible higher education providers typically receive allocated block grants from one of the UK’s higher education funding bodies (Research England, Higher Education Funding Council for Wales, Scottish Funding Council or Northern Ireland’s Department for the Economy). These are institutions that take part in the Research Excellence Framework and receive recurrent annual funding. You should check within your organisation if you’re not sure if this applies for you.
Research institutes are organisations in which UKRI has made a long-term funding investment. They are eligible for many of our research grant funding opportunities.
UKRI research grants are open to NHS bodies with research capacity. This includes:
- the NHS board
- NHS Clinical Commissioning Group
- NHS Foundation Trust
- NHS Special Authority
- NHS Trust
- NHS Local Health Board
Grants can be used for research and development activities only, not treatment or support costs.
Public sector research establishments
A public sector research establishment is classified as an organisation that:
- is sponsored directly by a government department or UKRI
- has research and development capacity
- has met UKRI criteria for public sector research establishments and is registered as being eligible for funding
Independent research organisations
Organisations might conduct research and development activities and still not fit into one of the other categories for UKRI funding. These organisations can apply to become an independent research organisation and may become eligible this way.
Independent research organisations need to demonstrate:
- existing in-house capacity to carry out research that extends and enhances other research happening in the UK
- the capability and skills to independently undertake and lead a research programme
Research and technology organisations
The UK’s network of Catapult centres are classified as research and technology organisations. There are nine Catapult centres. No other organisation meets the definition for a research and technology organisation and you cannot apply to become one.
Some funding opportunities with Innovate UK are open to Catapult centres to get grant funding. Catapult centres can also be involved as collaborators on other council applications, for example, as named contractors within a research grant.
Catapult centres can also apply to become eligible for research grants on some UKRI funding opportunities.