Standard research - EPSRC

Standard research is for unsolicited research proposals submitted by anyone eligible to apply to EPSRC for funding. They can be submitted at any time and in any field of research relevant to EPSRC’s remit.

Flexible and wide ranging

Standard research grants are very flexible, with the scale of projects supported ranging from small value, short term grants to multimillion-pound research programmes.

A wide variety of activities are supported, including:

  • feasibility studies
  • instrument development
  • equipment to support a number of research projects
  • overseas travel grants
  • long-term proposals to develop or maintain critical mass
  • workshops
  • networks and visiting researchers

High-risk or high-return research proposals, embracing new concepts or techniques, are particularly encouraged.

Key features

The key features of standard grant funding are:

  • no closing dates – applications may be submitted at any time
  • no limit on the value or length of the grant
  • no constraint on the field of research, providing the majority of it falls within our remit but the research must consider the EPSRC portfolio that we are shaping – prominence is given to the project lead as the creative figure who determines the direction of the research
  • international excellence and national importance, as defined by independent peer review, are the main criteria against which proposals are assessed

We actively encourage the involvement of collaborators from industry, commerce or other organisations on research-based funding research proposals. However, funding from a third party is not mandatory.

EPSRC’s remit and funding across research councils

The majority of the research you are proposing should be within the areas of engineering and the physical sciences.

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We encourage research collaborations with business and the public sector, particularly where they can help research advances and the take up of results.

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If you want to work with another university, we are happy to receive proposals from two or more organisations that, when taken together, form a coherent project.

Find out about projects consisting of multiple proposals

How to apply

How to apply to the EPSRC standard research grant funding opportunity.

What happens next

When we receive your standard research proposal, we check that the documentation is complete and that the research proposed is within our remit. We then assign it to the most appropriate EPSRC theme.

The main criterion for assessing proposals is research quality as determined by independent peer review. We will send your proposal to at least three reviewers for their comments.

If there is sufficient support, your proposal will generally be considered in competition with others at a prioritisation panel.

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Contact us if you have any questions. We are happy to talk to you about your ideas for research projects, and can advise you about EPSRC’s remit and potential sources of funding.

If you’re planning to apply for funding for a large project, for example with a large consortium or more than one research theme, please talk to us before you submit a proposal.

Find the person to contact for your research area

Last updated: 28 July 2023

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