Institutional eligibility - BBSRC

Research organisations (ROs), research council institutes (RCIs), and approved independent research organisations (IROs) may apply for research grants.

Organisational eligibility for independent research organisations (IROs) and NHS bodies

Access to funding is generally limited to research organisations and research council institutes. Other IROs may also be eligible if they:

  • possess an existing in-house capacity to carry out research that materially extends and enhances the national research base, and;
  • are able to demonstrate an independent capability to undertake and lead research programmes.

They must also satisfy other criteria related to their financial and legal status. The eligibility framework for research council funding under which applications for IRO status are considered, together with a list of the current IROs, is available on the check if you are eligible for research and innovation funding pages. All IROs are subject to periodic review.

From 1 November 2016, any organisation currently approved as an IRO for one research council is eligible for all research councils. This covers both responsive and directive modes of funding. NHS bodies with research capacity (such as, the Board, NHS Clinical Commissioning Group, NHS Special Authority, NHS Trust, NHS Foundation Trust, NHS Local Health Board) and currently listed as an IRO are also eligible to apply to all research council funding opportunities. Read the check if you are eligible for research and innovation funding pages for further information.

Applications for IRO status may be submitted at any time on the standard application form available from and returnable to, the Je-S helpdesk. Email

Last updated: 28 September 2022

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