Eligibility of organisations
UKRI has standard organisational eligibility requirements. Check your organisation’s eligibility to apply.
Eligibility of individuals
UKRI is introducing new role types for opportunities being run on the new Funding Service from 22 May 2023. For full details, see eligibility as an individual.
Investigators must be academic employees – lecturer or equivalent – of an eligible organisation and must be resident in the UK, except under specific conditions, set out in the co-investigator section. Any fellows holding fellowships aimed primarily at the postdoctoral level are not eligible to apply.
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) fellows, Royal Society fellows and Royal Academy of Engineering fellows holding fellowships aimed at later career stages are eligible to apply.
Holders of fellowships under other schemes should contact the EPSRC to establish eligibility. This may be given on an individual case by case basis rather than as blanket eligibility for all fellows under any scheme.
As long as you are employed by an eligible UK institution and satisfy EPSRC’s current regulations on investigator eligibility you are eligible for research grant or fellowship funding, regardless of your nationality or ethnicity. Within some EPSRC funding opportunities co-investigators based in Norwegian institutions are permitted, further details of this policy are provided in the co-investigator section.
Investigators may have an association with multiple organisations that are eligible to receive funding from UKRI’s constituent councils. However they will be considered eligible provided that both of the following apply:
- the employing organisation is eligible to receive funding from UKRI
- they are the subject of a formal written agreement between the employing and submitting organisations stating that the submitting organisation will provide the investigator with infrastructural and management support equivalent to that provided to an academic employee (lecturer or equivalent) and that Transparent Approach to Costing (TRAC) methodology will be employed in the recovery of all costs by the employing and submitting organisations.
The submitting organisation is accountable for the conduct of the research, the use of public funds and for ensuring the proper financial management of grants.
Principal investigator (project lead)
Principal investigators should normally hold a permanent post but fixed-term employees may be eligible provided that the EPSRC can be satisfied that the host research organisation is prepared to give the individual all the support normal for a permanent employee and that there is no conflict of interest between the investigator’s obligations to the EPSRC and to any other organisation or employer.
The term of employment of a fixed-term employee must extend beyond the duration of the proposed research project.
Co-investigator (project co-lead (UK))
Co-investigators are expected to meet all the eligibility criteria for principal investigators except for the requirement to hold a contract that extends beyond the end date of the proposal.
Co-investigators (project co-lead (international)) can be employed by Norwegian institutions, subject to the conditions in the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and Research Council of Norway (RCN) money follows cooperation agreement. A Norway co-investigator is an individual employed by a research organisation in Norway. They must fit the normal definition of a co-investigator on a research project, assisting the grant holder in the management and leadership of the project. The international research organisation must be of comparable status and standing to a UKRI-recognised UK institution eligible for UKRI funding.
There may be some EPSRC schemes and funding opportunities that will not allow a Norway co-investigator (project co-lead (international)), if this is the case it will state this in the funding opportunity guidance.
Emeritus or honorary staff who have a contract with the research organisation but are unpaid can be listed as a principal or co-investigator however with zero salary costs.
Researcher co-investigator (researcher co-lead)
Post-doctoral (or equivalent) research assistants who are not eligible to apply for a grant in their own right, but who merit appropriate recognition for making a significant contribution to developing the grant proposal and/or whose input is essential to its successful outcome, may be identified as a researcher co-investigator.
Research staff that may qualify as researcher co-investigators include postdoctoral research assistants and research technical professionals or equivalent roles.
A researcher co-investigator must be:
- a named researcher employed on the project and seek their salary as directly incurred costs up to 100% FTE
- based at the research organisation (RO) of either the principal investigator or any of the co-investigators
- given intellectual ownership (for example, through corresponding authorship) and grant management duties in relation to the ensuing research.
The expectation is that a researcher co-investigator will be working on the grant for at least 50% of their contracted hours over the lifetime of the award. However, this is not a mandatory eligibility requirement. Where this is not the case, further justification as to how the post will be significantly contributing towards the proposal and research should be provided in the justification of resources.
There is no requirement for the researcher co-investigator to be employed at the RO prior to the start of the project. However, it is expected that there is previous collaboration with the principal and/or co-investigators due to the nature of the researcher co-investigator role.
All investigators must ensure that they are registered on the Joint Electronic Submission (Je-S) system to submit proposals before trying to submit their proposal.
An individual that holds a permanent post or fixed term contract (which is longer than the proposed project) at an NHS Trust, hospital, board, primary care trust or GP practice is eligible to be an investigator on an EPSRC grant. The proposal must fall primarily within EPSRC’s remit; if unsure whether the research is appropriate please use the remit query process.
The host organisation must be registered on the grants submission platform (Je-S) before a proposal is submitted to EPSRC.
To find out if the organisation is registered for EPSRC funding, you can contact any of these:
- the local trust’s Research and Development Office
- Department of Health Research and Development Finance team
- Je-S helpdesk
Telephone: 01793 444 164
Please note that it can take up to six weeks to register a new organisation.
EPSRC will only pay for the research costs associated with the proposal. We will not pay for the associated NHS support costs or NHS treatment costs – these should be covered by the appropriate authority.
Find out more about eligible NHS costs.
Certain schemes or funding opportunities may have specific eligibility criteria, and prospective applicants should confirm their eligibility for a scheme before submitting their proposal.
The best way to see if you are eligible is to look at the individual funding opportunity that you want to apply for.
Last updated: 23 May 2023