How to apply
Important note: For data analysis purposes, we ask applicants not include the words ‘Cov-19’, ‘Covid-19’ or ‘Coronavirus’ in the Summary or Title sections unless the application relates to proposed research in this area.
Potential UK Research and Innovation applicants should refer specific questions about the applications process to the relevant Research Council or Innovate UK.
Guidance for business and academic organisations on what funding they can get to test ideas and develop innovative products and services can be found at:
Information about the research application processes for each Research Council can be located at the following:
Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)
Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)
Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)
Medical Research Council (MRC)
Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)
Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)
See also: Research England
Applications should be made to the relevant Research Council, using the Joint Electronic Submission System (Je-S). The "areas of research page" provides a broad indication of which Research Council is likely to be the most appropriate funder.
Read more about:
- the Research Councils' joint approach on peer review.
- how to request Equipment on research grants (PDF, 237KB).
Programme Managers from each of the individual councils will also be able to advise applicants who feel their application may cross the boundary of two or more councils. The same application should not be submitted for consideration by more than one research council at any one time.
For information of Innovate UK opportunities see:
We also host a list of key funding opportunities across our councils.
Each of the research councils maintains a web page advising of funding opportunities/funding calls. Please see the links below:
- BBSRC: Special Opportunities, Responsive Mode Deadlines
- NERC (related RSS feed)
Declarations of Interest for Research Council Grant Applicants
The Research Councils' Code of Conduct and Policy on the Governance of Good Research Conduct outlines the expectation that applicants for Research Council funding are expected to observe the highest standards of integrity, honesty and professionalism and to embed good practice in every aspect of their work. As part of this, any private, personal or commercial interests relating to an application for funding to the Research Councils must be declared in a covering letter included as an application attachment.
Additional questions on the use of overseas animals
If the research involves the use of animals overseas rather than in the UK, then the Research Councils expect that the welfare standards are equivalent to those in the UK. To aid in ensuring this, applicants must provide a written statement, uploaded as a letter of support, which confirms that all applicants understand the requirements. This statement must be signed by all Primary Investigators, UK based and overseas, to ensure that:
- They will adhere to all relevant national and local regulatory systems in the UK and overseas
- They will follow the guidance laid out in the “Responsibility in the Use of Animals in Bioscience Research” and ensure that the work is carried out to UK standards
- Before initiation of the proposed research, appropriate approvals from institutional and/or central animal ethics committees will be obtained for experimental protocols to be adopted in their projects. (Please note that successful projects may be expected to provide copies of these permissions before funding is released.)
- Details are provided to indicate where the animal research will take place and through which funder the resources are being sought.
In addition, the National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research have produced checklists for specific species. These checklists have been produced to assist in the evaluation of welfare standards so that applicants can more easily determine the UK standards for a given species.
Current checklists can be found at: https://www.nc3rs.org.uk/use-animals-overseas
If the research will use these species then please complete the relevant form(s) and attach as a letter of support in Je-S.
Research Council Pathways to Impact
In making your research council application you will have to demonstrate the pathways to impact for your research. You can find more guidance and resources to help you complete this part of the process.
Gateway to Research
Explore projects funded by the Research Councils and Innovate UK. Examine research funding data on the Gateway to Research.