Funding opportunity

Funding opportunity: Africa-UK physics partnership collaborative research projects

Start application

Apply for funding for collaborative physics-led projects addressing the challenges of climate change, energy, and capacity building, across African economies. You must be based at a UK research organisation eligible for STFC funding and have a project co-lead based at a research organisation in Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, or Uganda.

Projects must start by February 2025 and finish by March 2027. The total fund amount is £5 million. STFC will fund 10 to 15 projects lasting up to 24 months and will fund 80% of the full economic cost (FEC). STFC will fund 100% of the costs for international applicants.

Who can apply

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 UKRI Funding Service. For full details, visit Eligibility as an individual.

Who is eligible to apply

This funding opportunity is open to research groups working on collaborative projects between the UK and Africa. We:

  • encourage collaborative research with other UK and African research organisations from eligible countries
  • encourage applications from diverse groups of researchers
  • encourage applications from female researchers
  • welcome applications from individuals at any career stage, subject to STFC eligibility criteria

Read more about this in the STFC eligibility guidance for applicants.

Who is not eligible to apply

This funding opportunity is for collaborative projects we will not accept:

  • projects from a single research organisation
  • projects that include researchers from African countries outside of the six specified (Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda)
  • projects with a project lead from a non-UK research organisation
  • large infrastructure projects

International applicants

Project leads from non-UK organisations are not eligible to apply for funding for this opportunity.

Project co-leads based in research organisations in eligible African countries must be included in research grant applications.

At least one project co-lead based in an eligible African research organisation must be included in the application. Read the project co-lead (international) policy guidance for details of eligible organisations and costs.

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


STFC has launched the Africa-UK Physics Partnership (AUPP) Programme to build and sustain a skilled and talented cohort of early career African physicists. As an important component of this £10 million programme STFC is launching a funding opportunity to bring together physics researchers from the UK, and sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) to develop collaborative research projects, addressing challenges facing African countries across three themes:

  • climate
  • energy
  • capacity building in physics across African economies and societies

Researchers will work in partnership to address physics challenges with specific relevance to SSA, developing unique perspectives that enable the SSA physics community to participate in world-class research projects. The funding opportunity will help develop long-term partnerships with the UK and support African researchers to apply their scientific skills to address a wide range of challenges and priorities.


This collaborative opportunity welcomes proposals from across the breadth of STFC’s remit. Projects will be developed from equitable partnerships between a lead UK researcher based in a UK research organisation, and at least one project co-lead based in a research organisation in Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, or Uganda.  Research teams will build relevant research capability, utilise existing initiatives, networks and collaborations, promote equitable partnerships and gender inclusivity.  You are encouraged to connect with your physics research communities to promote mutually beneficial UK-Africa collaborations and enable African researchers to access UK facilities for their research.

Proposals must support collaborative projects between UK researchers and researchers in Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda working in collaboration on climate, energy, and physics challenges with specific relevance to Africa.  We aim to:

  • fund collaborative projects involving the UK and one or more institutions in eligible countries
  • fund projects which employ physics to better understand the challenges of climate and energy
  • fund projects which support collaboration and capacity building across the discipline of physics in eligible African countries
  • enhance existing and develop new sustainable, equitable partnerships between the UK and eligible SSA research partners
  • strengthen physics research capacity in the eligible SSA countries through research relationships
  • promote upskilling of researchers to benefit them and their home university
  • promote gender inclusivity, increasing the representation of women in physics
  • ensuring female physicists’ participation in research projects in line with UKRI’s wider EDI policies
  • develop early career researchers within physics
  • develop physics research careers in SSA

The research topic must be of primary relevance and benefit to researchers in eligible SSA countries.

This programme is funded by the UK Government’s International Science Partnerships Fund (ISPF). ISPF is managed by the Department of Science, Innovation and Technology (DSIT), and delivered by a consortium of the UK’s leading research and innovation bodies, including UK Research and Innovation(UKRI). The £337 million fund supports collaboration between UK researchers and innovators and their peers around the world on the major themes of our time: planet, health, tech, and talent.

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

Out of scope

Proposals out of scope of this funding opportunity are:

  • projects with attached studentships
  • fellowships
  • large scale infrastructure project
  • projects that include costs for equipment over £20,000
  • projects that are not ODA compliant


The duration of this award is a maximum of 24 months.

Projects must start by 1 February 2025.

Projects must be finished by March 2027.

Funding available

The total fund amount is £5 million and STFC is aiming to support 10 to 15 projects.

Eligible UK costs

Costs associated with the UK component should be costed on the basis of FEC. If the grant is awarded, we will provide funding on the basis of 80% FEC

Eligible international costs

Costs associated with project co-lead (international) (PcL (I)) employed by a university, other recognised higher education institution or other research institution based in the eligible institutions in the six African Countries should be included in the submission as Exceptions. The following costs may be requested for PcL (I)’s:

  • costs for PcL (I) and any locally employed staff, that is, percentage contribution of actual salary representing the proportion of each person’s time to be spent working on the project. These costs must be entered as Exceptions under the Staff costs (at 100% FEC)
  • travel and subsistence for PcL (I) must be entered as Exceptions under Travel and Subsistence (at 100% FEC)
  • costs charged by the overseas organisation and associated with the project, for example consumables, field work etc. should be entered as Exceptions under the Other costs (at 100% FEC)
  • a contribution towards Indirect and Estates costs at overseas organisation should be calculated as 20% of the overseas research organisation’s Directly Incurred costs (the total of the resources required for the three bullets above). This should be entered as an Exception under the Other costs (at 100% FEC)

As this funding opportunity includes partner countries on the OECD DAC list, STFC has removed the 30% cap on international costs as per the UKRI project co-lead (international) policy.

Ineligible costs

The following will not be funded under this funding opportunity in either the UK or SSA institutions:

  • any types of studentships
  • large items of equipment or other capital expenditure (anything costing £20,000 or greater)

What we will fund

We will fund:

  • collaborative projects strengthening relationships between UK and SSA researchers
  • projects that support gender inclusivity
  • projects that strengthen existing in-country partnerships
  • projects that support networking, capacity building, training and upskilling in physics
  • projects that strengthen existing in-country partnerships and support research-related knowledge exchange and impact activities
  • projects that address challenges specific to the African context

What we will not fund

We will not fund:

  • UK only focused projects. Projects must have in-country partnerships
  • development of large infrastructure
  • projects that are not ODA-compliant

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.

Trusted Research and Innovation (TR&I)

UKRI is committed in ensuring that effective international collaboration in research and innovation takes place with integrity and within strong ethical frameworks. Trusted Research and Innovation (TR&I) is a UKRI work programme designed to help protect all those working in our thriving and collaborative international sector by enabling partnerships to be as open as possible, and as secure as necessary. Our TR&I Principles set out UKRI’s expectations of organisations funded by UKRI in relation to due diligence for international collaboration.

As such, applicants for UKRI funding may be asked to demonstrate how their proposed projects will comply with our approach and expectation towards TR&I, identifying potential risks and the relevant controls you will put in place to help proportionately reduce these risks.

Further guidance and information about TR&I, including where applicants can find additional support.

How to apply

We are running this funding opportunity on the new UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Funding Service so please ensure that your organisation is registered. 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
    Please allow at least 10 working days for your organisation to be added to the Funding Service. We strongly suggest that if you are asking UKRI to add your organisation to the Funding Service to enable you to apply to this opportunity, you also create an organisation Administration Account. This will be needed to allow the acceptance and management of any grant that might be offered to you.
  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. Allow enough time to check your application in ‘read-only’ view before sending to your research office.
  5. Send the completed application to your research office for checking. They will return it to you if it needs editing.
  6. Your research office will submit the completed and checked application to UKRI.

Where indicated, you can also demonstrate elements of your responses in visual form if relevant. You should:

  • use images sparingly and only to convey important information that cannot easily be put into words
  • insert each new image onto a new line
  • provide a descriptive legend for each image immediately underneath it (this counts towards your word limit)
  • ensure files are smaller than 5MB and in JPEG, JPG, JPE, JFI, JIF, JFIF, PNG, GIF, BMP or WEBP format

Watch our research office webinars about the new Funding Service.

For more guidance on the Funding Service, see:


Applications should be self-contained, and hyperlinks should only be used to provide links directly to reference information. To ensure the information’s integrity is maintained, where possible, persistent identifiers such as digital object identifiers should be used. Assessors are not required to access links to carry out assessment or recommend a funding decision. Applicants should use their discretion when including references and prioritise those most pertinent to the application.

References should be included in the appropriate question section of the application and be easily identifiable by the assessors, for example (Smith, Research Paper, 2019)

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


STFC must receive your application by 17 September 2024 at 4:00pm UK time.

You will not be able to apply after this time.

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

Following the submission of your application to the funding opportunity, your application cannot be changed, and applications will not be returned for amendment. If your application does not follow the guidance, it may be rejected.

Personal data

Processing personal data

STFC, 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

STFC, as part of UKRI, will publish the outcomes of this funding opportunity on Board and panel outcomes – STFC.

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


Word limit: 550

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

We usually make this summary publicly available on external-facing websites, therefore do not include any confidential or sensitive information. 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))
  • specialist
  • grant manager
  • professional enabling staff
  • research and innovation associate
  • technician
  • visiting researcher
  • researcher co-lead (RcL)

Only list one individual as project lead.

Find out more about UKRI’s core team roles in funding applications.

Application questions


Word limit: 500

What are you hoping to achieve with your proposed work?

What the assessors are looking for in your response

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, or generate 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

You may demonstrate elements of your responses in visual form if relevant. Further details are provided in the Funding Service.

References may be included within this section.


Word limit: 2,500

How are you going to deliver your proposed work?

What the assessors are looking for in your response

Explain how you have designed your approach 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
  • uses a clearly written and transparent methodology (if applicable)
  • summarises the previous work and describes how this will be built upon and progressed (if applicable)
  • 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

You may demonstrate elements of your responses in visual form if relevant. Further details are provided in the Funding Service.

References may be included within this section.

Applicant and team capability to deliver

Word limit: 1,650

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

You may demonstrate elements of your responses in visual form if relevant. Further details are provided in the Funding Service.

The word count for this section is 1,650 words: 1,150 words to be used for R4RI modules (including references) 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.

References may be included within this section.

Contextual information

Please ensure that details of your African co-researchers are included in this section.

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 limit: 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

You may demonstrate elements of your responses in visual form if relevant. Further details are provided in the Funding Service.

Research involving the use of animals

Does your proposed research involve the use of vertebrate animals or other organisms covered by the Animals Scientific Procedures Act?

What the assessors are looking for in your response

If you are proposing research that requires using animals, download and complete the Animals Scientific Procedures Act template (DOCX, 74KB), which contains all the questions relating to research using vertebrate animals or other Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 regulated organisms.

Save it as a PDF. The Funding Service will provide document upload details when you apply. If this does not apply to your proposed work, you will be able to indicate this in the Funding Service.

Resources and cost justification

Word limit: 1,000

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’

We will not fund large items of equipment or other capital expenditure (anything costing £20,000 or greater).

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 impacts

Official Development Assistance (ODA): compliance eligibility

Word limit: 500

How does your proposed work meet ODA compliance eligibility?

What the assessors are looking for in your response

To demonstrate how your proposed work meets ODA compliance criteria, please explain:

  • which country or countries on the DAC list will directly benefit from this proposal
  • how your proposal is directly and primarily relevant to the development challenges of these countries
  • how you expect the outcomes of your proposed activities will promote the economic development and welfare of a country or countries on the DAC list
  • how the proposed activity is appropriate to address the development need
  • the approaches you will use to deliver development impact within the lifetime of the project and in the longer term, considering the potential outcomes, the key beneficiary and stakeholder groups and how they will be engaged to enable development impact to be achieved

This funding opportunity is part of the UK’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) commitment. This is government aid that promotes and specifically targets the economic development and welfare of developing countries as its primary objective.

Applicants should ensure that their proposal focuses on the challenges specific to the partner country or countries and not broader global issues, meaning those that are transboundary beyond low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). It is accepted that ODA-funded research may have benefits to the UK or other high-income countries, however, these should be secondary to be development objectives of the project.

Applicants should consider whether these countries are likely to continue to be eligible for the duration of the research, noting that ODA funding cannot be used to support research that does not promote a DAC list country. Please note there may be eligibility restrictions specific to the opportunity you are applying to; you and other applicants should refer to the Funding Finder to confirm eligibility before applying. When assessing whether an activity is eligible for ODA funding under this funding opportunity, STFC will consider whether projects satisfy OECD criteria on eligibility.

Applications will be assessed through a competitive panel process with ODA eligibility being a criterion for approval, i.e., projects must be fully ODA compliant to be considered for funding. Initial ODA compliance checks will be carried out by UKRI; proposals that do not meet the eligibility criteria may be rejected without reference to the panel. Panellists will also be provided with this guidance and asked to comment on ODA compliance and likelihood of significant development impact.

ODA Gender Equality Statement

Word limit: 400

How does your proposed work demonstrate sufficient consideration of gender equality?

What the assessors are looking for in your response

Provide a Gender Equality Statement that explains:

  • how measures have been put in place to ensure equal and meaningful opportunities for people of different genders to be involved throughout the project, including the development of the project, the participants of the research and innovation and the beneficiaries of the research and innovation
  • the expected impact of the project (benefits and losses) on people of different genders, both throughout the project and beyond
  • the impact on the relations between people of different genders and people of the same gender. For example, changing roles and responsibilities in households, society, economy, politics, power, etc.
  • how any risks and unintended negative consequences on gender equality will be avoided or mitigated against, and monitored
  • if there are any relevant outcomes and outputs being measured, with data disaggregated by age and gender (where disclosed)

All ODA funding must adhere to the International Development (Gender Equality) Act 2014. To meet this, all applications to UKRI ODA calls must provide a Gender Equality Statement. Read further guidance for applicants on writing Gender Equality Statements and how to consider gender within your research proposal.

For funding opportunities under the International Science Partnerships Fund (ISPF), all ODA funding must adhere to the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology (DSIT) Gender Equality Policy. For more information on this policy and the related guidance for considering gender equality in your research please see Gender equality in research and innovation Official Development Assistance (ODA).

STFC and expert reviewers will assess whether your proposal has demonstrated sufficient consideration of gender equality.

Your organisation’s support

Word limit: 500

Provide details of support from your research organisation.

What the assessors are looking for in your response

Provide a Statement of Support from your research organisation detailing why the proposed work is needed. This should include details of any matched funding that will be provided to support the activity and any additional support that might add value to the work.

The committee will be looking for a strong statement of commitment from your research organisation.

STFC recognises that in some instances, this information may be provided by the Research Office, the Technology Transfer Office (TTO) or equivalent, or a combination of both.

You must also include the following details:

  • a significant person’s name and their position, from the TTO or Research Office, or both
  • office address or web link

Upload details are provided within the Funding Service on the actual application.

Project partners

Add details about any project partners’ contributions. If there are no project partners, you can indicate this on the Funding Service.

A project partner is a collaborating organisation who will have an integral role in the proposed research. This may include direct (cash) or indirect (in-kind) contributions such as expertise, staff time or use of facilities.

Add the following project partner details:

  • the organisation name and address (searchable via a drop-down list or enter the organisation’s details manually, as applicable)
  • the project partner contact name and email address
  • the type of contribution (direct or in-direct) and its monetary value

If a detail is entered incorrectly and you have saved the entry, remove the specific project partner record and re-add it with the correct information.

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

Project partners: letters (or emails) of support

Upload a single PDF containing the letters or emails of support from each partner you named in the Project partner section. These should be uploaded in English or Welsh only.

What the assessors are looking for in your response

Enter the words ‘attachment supplied’ in the text box, or if you do not have any project partners enter N/A.  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
  • the page limit is 2 sides A4 per partner

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 Project partners’ section.

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

Data management and sharing

Word limit: 1,000

How will you manage and share data collected or acquired through the proposed research?

What the assessors are looking for in your response

Provide a data management plan that clearly details how you will comply with UKRI’s published data sharing policy, which includes detailed guidance notes.


Word limit: 500

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

Facilities should only be named if they are on the facility information list above. If you will not need to use a facility, you will be able to indicate this in the Funding Service.

Trusted Research and Innovation

Word limit: 100

Does the proposed work involve international collaboration in a sensitive research or technology area?

What the assessors are looking for in your response

Demonstrate how your proposed international collaboration relates to Trusted Research and Innovation, including:

  • list the countries your international project co-leads, project partners and visiting researchers, or other collaborators are based in
  • if international collaboration is involved, explain whether this project is relevant to one or more of the 17 areas of the UK National Security and Investment (NSI) Act
  • if one or more of the 17 areas of the UK National Security and Investment (NSI) Act are involved list the areas
  • is this application part of an experiment at an international facility? If yes, please indicate which facility

If your proposed work does not involve international collaboration, you will be able to indicate this in the Funding Service.

We may ask you to provide additional information about how your proposed project will comply with our approach and expectation towards TR&I, identifying potential risks and the relevant controls you will put in place to help manage these risks.

How we will assess your application

Assessment process

We will assess your application using the following process.


We will invite experts to assess the quality of your application and rank it alongside other applications after which the panel will make a funding recommendation.

STFC will make the final funding decision.


If your application was discussed by a panel, we will give feedback with the outcome of your application.

Principles of assessment

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

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

We reserve the right to modify the assessment process as needed.

Assessment areas

The assessment areas we will use are:

  • Vision
  • Approach
  • Applicant and team capability
  • Resources and cost justification
  • Ethics and responsible research and innovation
  • ODA Compliance
  • ODA Gender Equality Statement

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

If you have a question and the answers aren’t provided on this page

IMPORTANT NOTE: The Helpdesk is committed to helping users of the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Funding Service as effectively and as quickly as possible. In order to manage cases at peak volume times, the Helpdesk will triage and prioritise those queries with an imminent opportunity deadline or a technical issue. Enquiries raised where information is available on the Funding Finder opportunity page and should be understood early in the application process (for example, regarding eligibility or content/remit of an opportunity) will not constitute a priority case and will be addressed as soon as possible.

Contact details

For help and advice on costings and writing your proposal please contact your research office in the first instance, allowing sufficient time for your organisation’s submission process.

For questions related to this specific funding opportunity please contact

Any queries regarding the system or the submission of applications through the Funding Service should be directed to the helpdesk.


Phone: 01793 547490

Our phone lines are open:

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

To help us process queries quicker, we request that users highlight the council and opportunity name in the subject title of their email query, include the application reference number, and refrain from contacting more than one mailbox at a time.

For further information on submitting an application read How applicants use the Funding Service.

Sensitive information

If you or a core team member need to tell us something you wish to remain confidential, email

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


The Africa UK Physics Partnership (AUPP) Programme has been designed based upon work carried out by the Institute of Physics (IOP) in 2019. This analysis found that of over 4,000 projects across sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), only a small proportion (5.5%) involved physics.

A subsequent survey of 50 universities and research facilities plus focus groups including researchers from African nations found that support for a few key factors could make a big difference to the physics base and drive locally led physics innovation, especially in the fields of energy, climate and weather. Key areas for intervention identified were:

  • gender inclusivity
  • training and education
  • academic and staff capacity
  • innovation and commercialisation
  • collaboration and networks

The intention is to develop a cohort of talented and experienced African physicists, with networks and connections that link them to the UK, countries throughout the region and other scientific disciplines, contributing to addressing physics challenges specific to Africa.

Read the Institute of Physics’ AUPP Programme feasibility study report.

Additional disability and accessibility adjustments

UKRI can offer disability and accessibility support for UKRI applicants and grant holders during the application and assessment process if required.

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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