Funding opportunity

Funding opportunity: Pre-announcement: AHRC responsive mode: standard research grant

AHRC standard research grants support collaborative research projects that require leadership from more than one scholar.

You must include a principal investigator and at least one co-investigator jointly involved in the development and management of the project and co-authored research outputs.

You can apply for funding of between £300,000 and £1,500,000 (full economic cost) for projects of up to five years.

From 22 June 2023, you will apply via the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Funding Service system in consecutive submission rounds with defined opening and closing dates for applications.

The overall approach to assessment remains the same, but core assessment criteria and application questions will be updated to be more consistent across UKRI councils.

This is a pre-announcement and the information may change.

The funding opportunity will open on 22 June 2023. More information will be available on this page by then.

Who can apply

Before applying for funding, check the following:

Your proposal must include a principal investigator and at least one co-investigator. Each team member must contribute to:

  • the development of the research proposal
  • project leadership and management
  • joint publication of authored research

Principal investigators must be actively engaged in postdoctoral research and be of postdoctoral standing. This means you must have a doctorate or can demonstrate in your application that you have equivalent research experience or training. You must have a level of skills, knowledge and experience that is appropriate to your proposed project.

You must be either:

  • employed by the research organisation submitting the proposal
  • have an existing written formal arrangement with the research organisation confirming that you will be able to carry out the research as if you were an employee
  • scheduled to move to the research organisation before the proposed start date of the grant

For more information on eligibility read our research funding guide.

International applicants

We also encourage international researchers to participate as co-investigators.

Recipients of research council fellowships, who are initially supported as postdoctoral research assistants on research grants, are eligible to apply for new research grants but must complete their duties on the original grant before starting the new award.

Who is not eligible to apply

We do not support project studentships within open research grant funding opportunities.

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 and AHRC’s equality, diversity and inclusion policy.

What we're looking for


We’re looking for individual researchers with proposals for well-defined collaborative research projects. However, you may include elements of individual research if you can show how this will add value.

Collaborations can involve:

  • a single institution or a combination of institutions
  • researchers working in different research areas
  • disciplines within the arts and humanities, or between an arts and humanities discipline and another subject area. In such collaborations the arts and humanities element of the project should lead in shaping the research questions, methods etc.
  • researchers working in other sectors
  • researchers based abroad

The proposed collaboration should be appropriate for the specific needs of the research project.

We expect the principal investigator and any co-investigators to devote an average of at least four hours per week to the project.


The duration of this award is up to five years.

Funding available

The full economic cost of your project can be up between £300,000 and £1,500,000.

AHRC will fund 80% of the full economic cost.

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 Trusted Research for more information on effective international collaboration.

How to apply

UKRI Funding Service

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

If you have not used the Funding Service before, the first step is to create an account. This process is straightforward and quick and you will be able to do this as soon as the full funding opportunity is published on 22 June 2023.

Research support staff that have not already received an invitation to open an account should email

Core application questions

The application process across UKRI councils is being streamlined by simplifying and standardising the questions we ask you to explain your ideas. You will be asked to provide information about:

  • the vision of the project
  • the approach to the project
  • the capability of the applicant or applicants and the project team to deliver the project
  • the resources requested to do the project
  • the ethical and responsible research and innovation considerations of the project

Further details of the application questions and what assessors are looking for can be found on the UKRI website: how applicants use the UKRI Funding Service.

Further application form guidance will be published in May 2023.


During the initial phases of the Funding Service, the system will continue to develop in response to internal and external user needs. As an interim measure we will launch AHRC responsive mode funding opportunities as consecutive rounds with defined closing dates. Opening in rounds means we will be able to accommodate system developments and assess applications in a batch submitted under the same conditions.

Applications may be submitted at any time while a round is open; you do not need to wait until the closing date. AHRC will begin to process applications as soon as we receive them, so if an application is submitted early in a round we may be able to provide you with an earlier decision.

The first round on the Funding Service will open on 22 June 2023 at 9:00am UK time. The closing date for the first round via the Funding Service will be 14 September 2023 at 4:00pm UK time.

The second round will open at the end of September, details of the dates will be published in July.

You should ensure that you are aware of and follow any internal institutional submission deadlines that may be in place.

The proposed start date of your project must be at least nine months after the date of your application.

How we will assess your application

Proposals will be subject to three specialist peer reviews by members of AHRC’s Peer Review College, followed by a response from the principal investigator. The proposal, reviews, and the principal investigator response will be moderated by a review panel who will make funding recommendations to AHRC.

At the point of submission, each proposal will be assessed on the following criteria:

  • all applicants and named staff must be eligible under the scheme requirements
  • the proposal must meet the aims and criteria of the funding scheme
  • all application documents must be eligible under the scheme requirements

Proposals which do not meet these criteria will be rejected with feedback on why it could not proceed.

The assessment process usually takes around 30 weeks. We will contact you if it’s going to take any longer than this.

Principles of assessment

UKRI supports the San Francisco declaration on research assessment and recognises 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.

Contact details

Ask about this funding opportunity and get help with the Funding Service


We aim to respond to emails within two working days.

Phone: 01793 547490

Our phone lines are open:

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

Additional info

Archaeology project: carbon dating

AHRC provides funding to the Natural Environment Research Council Radiocarbon Facility (NRCF) to allow our research communities to make use of the facility. If your project requires radiocarbon dates you must request these from NRCF.

For more information read our research funding guide.

Supporting documents

Research funding guide

This is the website for UKRI: our seven research councils, Research England and Innovate UK. Let us know if you have feedback.