EPSRC wants to support early career researchers to initiate or develop new international partnerships with researchers overseas. You and your international partners may have a previous relationship, but we do not expect you to have worked together extensively.
We expect the proposed collaborative project to present a balance between partnership building activities and direct research, as appropriate, considering the key objectives of the funding opportunity. The international academic project partners must also have an integral role in the proposed work.
You can request funding to support any eligible international collaborative activities, including (but not limited to):
- joint research activities: scoping, feasibility, or proof of concept studies
- travel and networking
- programmes of exchange visits or staff secondments
- impact-specific activities
As per standard New Investigator Award guidance, you can include co-investigators if the grant crosses disciplinary boundaries and it is demonstrated that they are from a different discipline to the principal investigator.
This funding opportunity has 2 parallel funding routes:
- open funding route
- international development funding route
This page details the requirements for the open funding route of the funding opportunity.
Find out about the international development funding route.
Applicants are permitted to only be involved with 1 application for this funding opportunity.
Proposed collaborations for this open funding route may involve international research partners from any country, this can include researchers in 1 or more lower middle income, low income, or least developed countries on the Development Assistance Committee list, where the focus of the research is outside the official development assistance compliance criteria.
Although the majority of the application should lie within EPSRC remit, multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary collaborations with international partners are welcomed.
EPSRC has up to £5,000,000 to spend on the 2 funding routes of this funding opportunity, including:
- up to £4,000,000 for this open funding route
- up to £1,000,000 for the international development funding route
You may apply for up to £200,000 at 100% full economic costs with a duration of up to 2 years.
All costs will be funded at 80% of full economic costs.
You can request funds for anything eligible under standard EPSRC rules. This includes but is not limited to funding available to cover:
- staff time
- travel and subsistence
- visiting researchers
- meetings or workshops
- resources to enable different approaches to building and sustaining collaborations, which reduce the need to travel
- ‘proof of concept’ research activities for UK researchers exploring new international partnerships
Support may be requested for international partners (both investigators and researchers). As per standard EPSRC visiting researcher guidelines, funding is limited to 12 months per individual international partner.
The UK research organisation should include estate costs and indirect costs for any visiting researcher regardless of whether the support being requested includes a salary contribution or is only travel and subsistence. You can also request costs associated with the international partners undertaking research activities in the UK, including consumables.
You can also request support for research activity related costs, including consumables, for UK researchers during any time spent overseas.
EPSRC will not support overheads, salary or research activity costs for overseas researchers during times that they are not working in the UK.
Sub-contracting costs can be claimed as an exception to bring in non-standard expertise and is relevant to research and help further the partnership but it needs to be distinguished from a co-investigator.
Read about support available on EPSRC grants for people with caring responsibilities.
Equipment over £10,000 in value (including VAT) is not available through this funding opportunity. Smaller items of equipment (individually under £10,000) should be in the ‘Directly Incurred – Other Costs’ heading.
EPSRC approach to equipment funding.
Trusted Research and Innovation
UK Research and Innovation (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 is a UKRI work programme designed to support cross-sector campaigns that protect all those working in our thriving and collaborative international sector.
Our trusted research and innovation principles set out UKRI’s expectations of organisations funded by UKRI in relation to due diligence for international collaboration.
You are encouraged to read these principles and should familiarise yourself with the resources referenced in our trust research and innovation guidance, including for example the guidance on trusted research from the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI), in order to get the most out of international collaboration whilst protecting intellectual property, sensitive research and personal information.
You are expected to work within the EPSRC framework for responsible innovation.