Programme grants - EPSRC


How to apply

We assess programme grants in a different way to standard grants.

Applicants must go through a pre-outline and outline stage before being invited to submit a full proposal.

Potential applicants must contact a programme grant contact to discuss their interest and suitability in applying for a programme grant and submit a pre-outline using our online form on the Engagement Hub.

At the pre-outline stage EPSRC will consider the pre-outline submission and make a decision on whether to invite the applicants to have a pre-outline discussion.

Invited outlines will be assessed at an outline panel specially convened by EPSRC. These panels assess outlines from across EPSRC and will be held three times a year with submission deadlines in January or February, May, and September. Outline panel dates can be found on the EPSRC website.

Invited full proposals will be sent to postal peer review for assessment by expert reviewers before prioritisation at a specially convened panel meeting, at which applicants will be interviewed.

From submission of a pre-outline, the whole assessment process can take up to 12 months.

We cannot guarantee applications going to specific panels. We reserve the right to modify the process to meet any requirements of the delivery plan.

Map of the process

These are the steps in the process.

  1. Pre-outline submitted through the online web form.
  2. Pre-outline discussion with EPSRC. If the application is not successful, the applicant may be advised to apply to a different scheme. Assessment of pre-outlines is not subject to demand management.
  3. If pre-outline discussion is successful, EPSRC will invite submission of a four-page outline. This must be submitted before the deadline.
  4. Outlines will be assessed by external outline panels. Outline may be rejected if it does not demonstrate its fit to the Programme Grant scheme.
  5. If outline is accepted, EPSRC will invite submission of full proposal. Applicants will have 10 weeks, from when they are notified, to submit.
  6. Full proposal will be postal peer reviewed, at least five reviews invited including one international. Unsupportive reviews will lead to rejection of application before it reaches the interview panel.
  7. Reviews will be shared with the applicant, who can provide a two-page response.
  8. Interview with one of the programme grant interview panels.
  9. Rank ordered list and funding decision.

EPSRC programme grant submission process flowchart

EPSRC programme grant submission process flowchart

View a PDF version of the process flowchart.

Deadlines and meeting dates

Table showing the deadlines and meeting dates
Outline deadline Outline proposal meetings Time given to write the full proposal Interview panel
January or February March 10 weeks from invitation Applicants will be advised when invited to the full proposal stage. Theme contacts may be able to provide an indicative date during the outline stage.
May July
September November

Further information on Programme Grants

Last updated: 19 October 2023

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