Funding opportunity

Funding opportunity: Accelerating the Medicines Revolution Large Grants

Only applicants who were successful at the outline stage and have been invited to submit a full proposal can apply.

Apply for funding to revolutionise the development and manufacture of future medicines.

We will fund a diverse portfolio of projects that bring transformative ideas to solve bottlenecks across the pipeline, from discovery to deployment.

We encourage interdisciplinary and cross-disciplinary projects. You must consider manufacturability from the outset.

The full economic cost (FEC) of your project can be up to £2,500,000. EPSRC will fund 80% of the FEC.

Who can apply

You can only apply for this funding opportunity if we have invited you to do so following a successful outline application.

Before applying for funding, check the Eligibility of your organisation.

UK research and innovation (UKRI) has introduced new role types for funding opportunities being run on the new Funding Service.

For full details, visit Eligibility as an individual.

Equality, diversity and inclusion

We are committed to achieving equality of opportunity for all funding applicants. We encourage applications from a diverse range of researchers.

We support people to work in a way that suits their personal circumstances. This includes:

  • career breaks
  • support for people with caring responsibilities
  • flexible working
  • alternative working patterns

Find out more about equality, diversity and inclusion at UKRI.

What we're looking for


We are seeking high-quality proposals that will draw on novel multidisciplinary engineering and physical sciences to address key bottlenecks in the medicines manufacturing pipeline. From discovery to deployment, proposals will facilitate a revolution by delivering a step change in how future medicines are developed and manufactured.

EPSRC’s strategic delivery plan highlights an ambition for more sustainable, resilient and productive manufacturing solutions across sectors.

The new EPSRC strategy for health has identified specific priorities including resilient manufacturing through improving UK capability in developing and manufacturing new medicines and interventions, and delivering these more rapidly and sustainably. This encompasses:

  • research to accelerate the time taken from discovery to deployment of new interventions
  • scale-up technologies that allow future medicines to be manufactured in an affordable way that meets safety and environmental requirements
  • research to understand and address the manufacturing challenges for novel therapies from small molecules to cell or regenerative medicine therapies
  • processes that will be capable of cost-effective scale-up to enable mass production of medicines, for example, to tackle epidemics. It could also include processes that will be capable of scale-down to produce personalised medicines, such as regenerative therapies using patients’ own cells

This is one of two linked opportunities. There is a separate funding opportunity for smaller feasibility studies and translational projects. Together, the two funding opportunities will help us to support a diverse range of ideas and new collaborations.

Vaccine manufacturing is outside the scope of this funding opportunity.

Objectives of the funding opportunity

Proposals should address one or more of the following objectives:

  • create a more efficient translational pathway for medicines manufacturing
  • deliver new medicines more sustainably
  • accelerate the time from discovery to deployment
  • ensure manufacturability, including scale-up and the needs of users, is considered from the outset of the process of new medicines discovery
  • create the engineering and physical science knowledge, skills and workforce to take forward future breakthroughs in the medicines pipelines
  • be multidisciplinary programmes utilising expertise across disciplines that could cover multiple research areas in any parts of the pipeline from innovative chemistry to novel manufacturing techniques


We are looking for proposals to incorporate one or more of the below themes into the wider application:

  • new modalities:
    • sustainable solutions to scale up the production of new modalities
    • technologies to consider scale up of new modalities at the outset of drug design
  • discovery:
    • techniques to improve understanding of drug screening to ensure higher success rates for scale up
  • analytical capability:
    • analytical techniques for new modalities to predict performance in the clinic, scale up or both

We expect environmental sustainability to be a consideration in all projects.

Proposals are expected to have engaged with or considered an engagement plan with non-academic partners, for example, industry and regulatory authorities to facilitate upstream or downstream adoption where appropriate.

Funding available

We will fund research projects up to £2 million in this funding opportunity. Another opportunity linked to this funding opportunity which will fund smaller projects up to £150,000, including feasibility studies to test new ideas or translational projects to maximise the impact of prior research will follow the publication of this funding opportunity. There is a combined total of £12.5 million for both streams.

EPSRC reserve the right to manage allocated funding between this and the subsequent feasibility grants funding opportunity.

We will fund 80% of the FEC of your project. Our contribution may be up to £2 million.

We do not expect to see large changes in requested resources from outline to full proposal. Significant changes to the bid, and therefore the proposal that was invited in by the outline meeting, will be considered a new proposal and thus ineligible for the second stage. The full application should not differ from the outline by more than plus or minus 10%.

Start date

Grants may start from 1 April 2024.


Equipment up to £400,000 is available through this funding opportunity. All equipment should be fully justified and essential to the mission of the investment. Smaller items of equipment (individually under £10,000) should be in the ‘Directly Incurred – Other Costs’ heading. It is expected the majority of the funding will go towards research activities.

EPSRC approach to equipment funding.

For more information on the background of this funding opportunity, go to the Additional information section.


The duration of this award is up to three years.

Supporting skills and talent

We encourage you to follow the principles of the Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers and the Technician Commitment.

International collaboration

If your application includes international applicants, project partners or collaborators, visit UKRI’s trusted research and innovation for more information on effective international collaboration.

Find out about getting funding for international collaboration.

How to apply

We are running this funding opportunity on the new UKRI Funding Service. You cannot apply on the Joint Electronic Submissions (Je-S) system.

The project lead is responsible for completing the application process on the Funding Service, but we expect all team members and project partners to contribute to the application.

Only the lead research organisation can submit an application to UKRI.

To apply:

Select ‘Start application’ near the beginning of this Funding finder page.

  1. Confirm you are the project lead.
  2. Sign in or create a Funding Service account. To create an account, select your organisation, verify your email address, and set a password. If your organisation is not listed, email
  3. Answer questions directly in the text boxes. You can save your answers and come back to complete them or work offline and return to copy and paste your answers. If we need you to upload a document, follow the upload instructions in the Funding Service. All questions and assessment criteria are listed in the How to apply section on this Funding finder page.
  4. Send the completed application to your research office for checking. They will return it to you if it needs editing.
  5. Your research office will submit the completed and checked application to UKRI.

Watch our research office webinars about the new UKRI Funding Service.


EPSRC must receive your application by 4:00pm UK time on 10 October 2023.

You will not be able to apply after this time.

Make sure you are aware of and follow any internal institutional deadlines.

Personal data

Processing personal data

EPSRC as part of UKRI, will need to collect some personal information to manage your funding service account and the registration of your funding applications.

We will handle personal data in line with UK data protection legislation and manage it securely. For more information, including how to exercise your rights, read our privacy notice.

Publication of outcomes

If your application is successful, we will publish some personal information on the UKRI Gateway to Research.


Word count: 550

In plain English, provide a summary we can use to identify the most suitable experts to assess your application.

We may make this summary publicly available on external-facing websites, so make it suitable for a variety of readers, for example:

  • opinion-formers
  • policymakers
  • the public
  • the wider research community

Guidance for writing a summary

Clearly describe your proposed work in terms of:

  • context
  • the challenge the project addresses
  • aims and objectives
  • potential applications and benefits

Core team

List the key members of your team and assign them roles from the following:

  • project lead (PL)
  • project co-lead (UK) (PcL)
  • project co-lead (international) (PcL (I))
  • researcher co-lead (RcL)
  • specialist
  • grant manager
  • professional enabling staff
  • research and innovation associate
  • technician
  • visiting researcher

Only list one individual as project lead.

Find out more about UKRI’s new grant roles.

Vision and Approach

Create a document that includes your responses to all criteria. The document should not be more than 6 sides of A4, single spaced in paper in 11-point Arial (or equivalent sans serif font) with margins of at least 2cm. You may include images, graphs, tables. You can have an additional page for a diagrammatic workplan.

For the file name, use the unique funding service number the system gives you when you create an application, followed by the words ‘Vision and Approach’.

Save this document as a single PDF file, no bigger than 8MB. Unless specifically requested, please do not include any personal data within the attachment.

If the attachment does not meet these requirements, the application will be rejected.

The Funding Service will provide document upload details when you apply.

What are you hoping to achieve and how will you deliver your proposed work?

What the assessors are looking for in your response

For the Vision, explain how your proposed work:

  • is of excellent quality and importance within or beyond the field(s) or area(s)
  • has the potential to advance current understanding, generates new knowledge, thinking or discovery within or beyond the field or area
  • is timely, given current trends, context and needs
  • impacts world-leading research, society, the economy or the environment

Within the Vision section, we also expect you to:

  • Identify how the project will create a step change in the medicines manufacturing pipeline and who the beneficiaries will be

For the Approach, explain how you have designed your work so that it:

  • is effective and appropriate to achieve your objectives
  • is feasible, and comprehensively identifies any risks to delivery and how they will be managed
  • if applicable, uses a clear and transparent methodology
  • if applicable, summarises the previous work and describes how this will be built upon and progressed
  • will maximise translation of outputs into outcomes and impacts.
  • describes how your, and if applicable your team’s, research environment (in terms of the place, and relevance to the project) will contribute to the success of the work

Within the Approach section, we also expect you to:

  • demonstrate access to the appropriate services, facilities, infrastructure, or equipment to deliver the proposed work
  • provide a project plan including milestones and timelines in the form of a Gantt chart or similar (additional one-page A4)

Applicant and team capability to deliver

Word count: 1500

Why are you the right individual or team to successfully deliver the proposed work?

What the assessors are looking for in your response

Evidence of how you, and if relevant your team, have:

  • the relevant experience (appropriate to career stage) to deliver the proposed work
  • the right balance of skills and expertise to cover the proposed work
  • the appropriate leadership and management skills to deliver the work and your approach to develop others
  • contributed to developing a positive research environment and wider community

The word count for this section is 1,500 words, 1,000 words to be used for R4RI modules and, if necessary, a further 500 words for Additions.

Use the Résumé for Research and Innovation (R4RI) format to showcase the range of relevant skills you and, if relevant, your team (project and project co-leads, researchers, technicians, specialists, partners and so on) have and how this will help deliver the proposed work. You can include individuals’ specific achievements but only choose past contributions that best evidence their ability to deliver this work.

Complete this section using the R4RI module headings listed. Use each heading once and include a response for the whole team, see the UKRI guidance on R4RI. You should consider how to balance your answer and emphasise where appropriate the key skills each team member brings:

  • contributions to the generation of new ideas, tools, methodologies, or knowledge
  • the development of others and maintenance of effective working relationships
  • contributions to the wider research and innovation community
  • contributions to broader research or innovation users and audiences and towards wider societal benefit


Provide any further details relevant to your application. This section is optional and can be up to 500 words. You should not use it to describe additional skills, experiences, or outputs, but you can use it to describe any factors that provide context for the rest of your R4RI (for example, details of career breaks if you wish to disclose them).

Complete this as a narrative. Do not format it like a CV.

UKRI has introduced new role types for funding opportunities being run on the new Funding Service.

For full details, see Eligibility as an individual.

Ethics and responsible research and innovation (RRI)

Word count: 500

What are the ethical or RRI implications and issues relating to the proposed work? If you do not think that the proposed work raises any ethical or RRI issues, explain why.

What the assessors are looking for in your response

Demonstrate that you have identified and evaluated:

  • the relevant ethical or responsible research and innovation considerations
  • how you will manage these considerations

Resources and cost justification

Word count: 1000

What will you need to deliver your proposed work and how much will it cost?

What the assessors are looking for in your response

Justify the application’s more costly resources, in particular:

  • project staff
  • significant travel for field work or collaboration (but not regular travel between collaborating organisations or to conferences)
  • any equipment that will cost more than £10,000
  • any consumables beyond typical requirements, or that are required in exceptional quantities
  • all facilities and infrastructure costs
  • all resources that have been costed as ‘Exceptions’

Assessors are not looking for detailed costs or a line-by-line breakdown of all project resources. Overall, they want you to demonstrate how the resources you anticipate needing for your proposed work:

  • are comprehensive, appropriate, and justified
  • represent the optimal use of resources to achieve the intended outcomes
  • maximise potential outcomes and impact

Section: User engagement

Word count: 500

Question: How will you engage with non-academic partners to facilitate upstream or downstream adoption where appropriate?

What the assessors are looking for in your response

  • a clear and logical engagement strategy with relevant stakeholders that will facilitate adoption
  • evidence that the proposal has been written with the end user’s needs in mind and that manufacturability is a key consideration in the proposal design.

Project partners

Word count: 1000

Provide details of any project partners’ contributions, and letters or emails of support from each named partner.

What the assessors are looking for in your response

Download and complete the Project partner contributions template (DOCX, 52KB).

Each letter or email you provide should:

  • confirm the partner’s commitment to the project
  • clearly explain the value, relevance, and possible benefits of the work to them
  • describe any additional value that they bring to the project

Save letters or emails of support from each partner in a single PDF no bigger than 8MB. Unless specially requested, please do not include any personal data within the attachment.

For the file name, use the unique funding service number the system gives you when you create an application, followed by the words ‘Project partner’.

If the attachment does not meet these requirements, the application will be rejected.

The Funding Service will provide document upload details when you apply. If you do not have any project partners, you will be able to indicate this in the Funding Service.

Ensure you have prior agreement from project partners so that, if you are offered funding, they will support your project as indicated in the contributions template.

For audit purposes, UKRI requires formal collaboration agreements to be put in place if an award is made.

Do not provide letters of support from host and project co-leads research organisations.


Word count: 250

Does your proposed research require the support and use of a facility?

What the assessors are looking for in your response

If you will need to use a facility, follow your proposed facility’s normal access request procedures. Ensure you have prior agreement so that if you are offered funding, they will support the use of their facility on your project.

For each requested facility you will need to provide the:

  • name of facility, copied and pasted from the facility information list (DOCX, 35KB)
  • proposed usage or costs, or costs per unit where indicated on the facility information list
  • confirmation you have their agreement where required

If you will not need to use a facility, you will be able to indicate this in the Funding Service.


Word count: 1000

List the references you have used to support your application.

What the assessors are looking for in your response

Include all references in this section, not in the rest of the application questions.

You should not include any other information in this section.

We advise you not to include hyperlinks, as assessors are not obliged to access the information they lead to or consider it in their assessment of your application.

If linking to web resources, to maintain the information’s integrity, include persistent identifiers (such as digital object identifiers) where possible.

You must not include links to web resources to extend your application.

How we will assess your application

Assessment process

Applicants who were successful at outline stage (stage one) will have been invited by email to submit a full proposal.

We will assess your application using the following process.

Peer review

We will invite experts to review your application independently, against the specified criteria for this funding opportunity.

You will not be able to nominate reviewers for applications on the new UKRI Funding Service. Research councils will continue to select expert reviewers.

We are monitoring the requirement for applicant nominated reviewers as we review policies and processes as part of the continued development of the new UKRI Funding Service.


Following peer review, we will invite peers to use the evidence provided by reviewers and your applicant response to assess the quality of your application and rank it alongside other applications after which the panel will make a funding recommendation.


Feedback at this stage will be provided in the form of reviewer comments

Principles of assessment

We support the San Francisco declaration on research assessment (DORA) and recognise the relationship between research assessment and research integrity.

Find out about the UKRI principles of assessment and decision making.

Assessment criteria

The criteria we will assess your application against are:

  • Vision
  • Approach
  • Applicant and Team capability to deliver
  • User Engagement
  • Ethics and RRI
  • Resources and costs

Find details of assessment questions and criteria under the ‘Application questions’ heading in the How to apply section.

Contact details

Get help with your application

For help on costings and writing your application, contact your research office. Allow enough time for your organisation’s submission process.

Ask about this funding opportunity


Phone: 01793 547490

Our phone lines are open:

  • Monday to Thursday 8:30am to 5:00pm
  • Friday 8:30am to 4:30pm

Sensitive information

If you or a core team member need to tell us something you wish to remain confidential, email the Funding Service helpdesk on

Include in the subject line: the funding opportunity title; sensitive information; your Funding Service application number.

Typical examples of confidential information include:

  • individual is unavailable until a certain date (for example due to parental leave)
  • declaration of interest
  • additional information about eligibility to apply that would not be appropriately shared in the Applicant and team capability section
  • conflict of interest for UKRI to consider in reviewer or panel participant selection
  • the application is an invited resubmission

For information about how UKRI handles personal data, read UKRI’s privacy notice.

Additional info


As shown by COVID-19, the UK’s ability to respond to new diseases and health risks is largely dependent on the excellence of our science and the agility of our academic and industrial base.

Currently, the timeline for discovery of new medicines through to approval is too long, uncertain, costly and unsustainable to meet our future needs. Our ambition is to revolutionise the UK’s resilience to emerging health threats by transforming the manufacturing pipeline to deliver a step change in the supply of new medicines.

By ensuring a focus on manufacturability from the outset, and bringing together expertise from all stages along the pipeline, we hope to facilitate a much more efficient and sustainable pathway for medicines manufacturing.

Research funded through the funding opportunity will contribute to delivering EPSRC’s transforming health and healthcare priority, as described in our strategic delivery plan, which commits to enabling a more sustainable and resilient healthcare system, integrating manufacturing across scales.

The funding opportunity also contributes to the UKRI strategic themes in:

  • health, ageing and wellbeing: by advancing people’s health and promoting wellbeing
  • tackling infections: by accelerating new therapeutics
  • building a secure and resilient world: by enhancing national preparedness for risks and threats across the supply chain
  • building a green future: by delivering a more sustainable pathway to deployment for new medicines

Successful UK manufacturing sectors are fundamental to economic growth, prosperity and competitiveness. They also improve the resilience and security of UK supplies and are key to achieving environmental and sustainability targets. However, the sector needs to be innovative to compete on a global scale, including meeting UK net zero targets and addressing UN Sustainable Development Goals.

UK Research and Innovation’s environmental sustainability strategy further lays out our ambition to actively lead environmental sustainability across our sector. This includes a vision to ensure that all major investment and funding decisions we make are directly informed by environmental sustainability, recognising environmental benefits as well as the potential for environmental harm. As such, you should consider your approach and the potential impacts upon sustainability throughout the development of your programme of work.

Research disruption due to COVID-19

We recognise that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused major interruptions and disruptions across our communities. We are committed to ensuring that individual applicants and their wider team, including partners and networks, are not penalised for any disruption to their career, such as:

  • breaks and delays
  • disruptive working patterns and conditions
  • the loss of ongoing work
  • role changes that may have been caused by the pandemic

Reviewers and panel members will be advised to consider the unequal impacts that COVID-19 related disruption might have had on the capability to deliver and career development of those individuals included in the application. They will be asked to consider the capability of the applicant and their wider team to deliver the research they are proposing.

Where disruptions have occurred, you can highlight this within your application if you wish, but there is no requirement to detail the specific circumstances that caused the disruption.

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