Funding opportunity

Funding opportunity: EPSRC Core Equipment Award 2024

Start application

Apply for funding to purchase multi-user equipment:

  • at departmental, interdepartmental or regional scale
  • mainly enabling research
  • from £10,000 to £400,000 per item

This funding opportunity is invite only. You must be based at a UK research organisation eligible for EPSRC funding.

Applications must meet at least one of the following objectives:

  • benefit multiple users in one or more departments
  • invest to save activities
  • providing demonstrable benefit to early career researchers and doctoral training activities

EPSRC will fund up to 100% of the full economic cost (FEC).

Applications must have a start date of 3 January 2025 and a duration of 18 months.

Who can apply

This funding opportunity is only open to invited institutions. Invited institutions will have been informed in advance of this funding opportunity being published. Applications from non-eligible organisations will be rejected.

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

EPSRC standard eligibility rules apply. For full details, visit EPSRC’s eligibility page.

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 only open to invited institutions
  • Only one application per invitation is allowed. Joint applications are not eligible for this funding opportunity
  • These grants are issued as institutional awards and should be led by a project lead responsible for the institution’s equipment strategy. This role could be filled by a Research Technical Professional (RTP) if appropriate
  • We also strongly encourage the inclusion of RTPs as co-investigators where they have made a direct contribution to the preparation of the bid, are responsible for ensuring the successful delivery of some or all of the equipment requested, or both.

International applicants

Under the UKRI and Research Council of Norway Money Follows Cooperation agreement a project co-lead (international) (previously co-investigator) can be based in a Norwegian institution.

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


This funding is appropriate for when:

  • the equipment scale is departmental, interdepartmental or regional
  • the equipment nature is mainly enabling research
  • the level of funding is £10,000 to £400,000 per item

Further information can be found at EPSRC core equipment web page.


The duration of this award is 18 months.

Projects must start by 3 January 2025. Grant holders must contact us as soon as possible if the grant cannot be started on 3 January 2025.

Funding available

Funding in this funding opportunity has been allocated based on the historical performance of invited institutions in securing capital funding from our World Class Labs budget.

Each institution has been informed of the value of the block grant award and the expected payment profile within a separate letter.

Only capital funding up to the value of £400,000 per item is available from this funding opportunity. We will fund up to 100% of the FEC but host institution contributions are welcome.

Associated running costs and other resources such as technical staff costs, will need to be met by the institution.

Institutions may purchase equipment of a value in excess of the grant awarded (or the individual cap of £400,000) provided the application demonstrates why this equipment would fulfil the requirements of the funding opportunity. The remaining balance of the value of the equipment if higher than the value of the grant must be provided by the institution or other sources of support. All of these cases must be discussed in advance and agreed to by us prior to submission.

Laboratory refurbishment costs are only permitted where they are associated with the co-location of equipment as described in the objectives.

Only items of equipment over £10,000 (including VAT) can be purchased using the allocated block grant. Purchase of components (not consumables) in excess of £10,000 is permissible.

The total value of the application must not exceed that stated in the invitation letter.

Quotes for equipment do not need to be included in your application, but please retain quotes for equipment costing more than £138,000 as we may ask for these at post-panel stage before releasing funds.

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.

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.

View further guidance and information about TR&I, including where you 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.
  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)
  • files must be 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. You should use your 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.


EPSRC must receive your application by 4.00pm UK time on 19 September 2024.

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. If an application is withdrawn prior to peer review or office rejected due to substantive errors in the application, it cannot be resubmitted to the opportunity.

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

EPSRC, as part of UKRI, will publish the outcomes of this funding opportunity at Tableau tool web page.

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

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.

A research technical professional can apply as a project lead or project co-led, provided that:

  • their appointment is resourced from the central funds of their institution at the time of application
  • their level of responsibilities and duties is appropriate to a person with substantial research experience
  • their contract extends beyond the duration of the project

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


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

Application questions

Vision and Approach

Word limit: 2,200

What’s your institution’s strategy for the allocation and why should EPSRC fund it?

What the assessors are looking for in your response

Evidence of how your institution’s strategy and decision-making process for the allocation meet at least one of the three funding opportunity objectives:

  • core equipment that will benefit multiple users, enhance sharing, usage and collaboration in one or more departments (or institutions). The majority of research undertaken using the equipment should be directly relevant to the EPSRC research portfolio.
  • invest to save activities: upgrading and improving existing equipment to:
    • extend its lifespan through the replacement of obsolete or worn-out components
    • expand its capability to be of value to a wider range of users
    • improve efficiency of the equipment allowing for more productive use of staff time
    • enhancing environmental sustainability (for example, through recycling cryogenic cooling liquids)
    • includes capital costs incurred in co-locating existing or new equipment with the aim of providing enhanced sharing, usage and collaboration benefits to a wider research community are encouraged
  • providing capital investment with substantial and demonstrable, but not exclusive, benefit to early career researchers and doctoral training activities that they are involved in. Support early career researchers and a critical mass of doctoral training to promote a culture of collaboration, equipment sharing and maximising usage.

The strategic alignment should be up to 1,500 words and demonstrate that an appropriate decision-making process has been undertaken to decide the allocation of funding.

In this section, your response should also include a workplan of up to 500 words for:

  • details of the timescales for the procurement process, delivery, installation and getting the equipment fully functional
  • the expected lifetime of the equipment
  • when potential risks may occur

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.

Items of equipment and cost justification

Word limit: 1,650

What items of equipment does your institution intend to purchase and how are these justified?

What the assessors are looking for in your response

Provide for each item or group of items:

  • a brief description of the item(s)
  • cost of the item(s)
  • how the item fulfils one or more objectives of the funding opportunity

Where equipment is being purchased it is expected that the institution will have decided what items of equipment they intend to purchase ahead of submitting the grant.

For cost justification, 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

References may be included within this section.

Benefit realisation

Word limit: 1,650

What are your plans for identifying and realising the benefits and added value of the investment? To what extent are these plans realistic, measurable and deliverable and over what timescale?

What the assessors are looking for in your response

Evidence to what extent:

  • will this investment enable the institution to maintain and improve your world class lab provision and therefore facilitate the undertaking of high-quality research and training by your academic community?
  • this investment is in addition to any planned investments in capital equipment at the institutional level and is not used to replace planned investment. Please explain how you will demonstrate the added value of this investment. For example, how will this investment enable the institution to enable research that otherwise couldn’t be enabled?
  • will this investment develop anticipated benefits and justify how they will be realised:
    • what will success look like and how will you know it has been achieved?
    • what steps will be taken to identify, monitor and evaluate the benefits of this investment?
    • what activities will be put in place to ensure that your research community (including ECRs, PhDs and RTPs) benefit from the equipment.
    • for underpinning equipment:
      • how will you monitor the number and type of users, enhanced sharing, usage and collaboration?
    • for invest to save elements:
      • how will you quantify this in terms of money saved, staff time saved, increased efficiency or productivity?
    • for ECRs and doctoral training:
      • consider how you will establish a culture of collaboration, equipment sharing and maximising the usage of equipment amongst your ECRs and students.
      • what other benefits will ECRs/students gain? Examples of benefits could be but are not limited to: increased collaboration, greater productivity or a step change in science. How will you provide evidence of these benefits?

References may be included within this section.


Word limit: 1,100

How will this investment consider financial, user base, people, equipment and environmental sustainability to sustain research excellence?

What the assessors are looking for in your response

The EPSRC Research Infrastructure theme recognises the importance of considering the sustainability of research infrastructure investments from multiple perspectives. As part of the application process for the EPSRC Core Equipment 2024 funding opportunity research organisations are required to provide an Institutional Research Infrastructure Sustainability Statement.

In the statement, evidence to what extent has the investment realistically demonstrated:

Financial sustainability:

  • how have you established the lifetime costs of the equipment you are requesting? This may include the plan for charging model and recovery of running costs (maintenance, repairs, consumables, staff time) beyond the lifetime of the grant.
  • can you describe your approaches to making sure that equipment across your institution is operated to minimise the financial impact on the university?

Sustainability of the user base:

  • how will you sustain and evolve a diverse and inclusive user baser throughout and beyond the lifetime of the equipment?

Sustainability of the people:

  • what steps will you take to champion the visibility, recognition and career development of research technical professionals (RTP) and other technical staff that help sustain infrastructure capability across your institution?

Sustainability of the equipment:

  • how will you sustain the equipment in terms of maintenance, repairs, consumables, staff time throughout its lifetime?
  • what has been the institution’s track record of sustaining previous core equipment investments?

Environmental sustainability:

  • how will you improve your understanding of the environmental impact of these investments?
  • what steps will be taken at an institutional level to enhance the environmental sustainability of your research infrastructures?

References may be included within this section.

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 two 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 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.

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.

If you are collecting or using data, identify:

  • any legal and ethical considerations of collecting, releasing or storing the data including consent, confidentiality, anonymisation, security and other ethical considerations and, in particular, strategies to not preclude further reuse of data
  • formal information standards with which your study will comply

How we will assess your application

Assessment process

We will assess your application using the following process.


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

We may request amendments or clarifications on any issues raised by the panel via email before funds are released. We reserve the right to withhold funds, partially or entirely, if these amendments are not made.

EPSRC will make the final funding decision.


We aim to complete the assessment process within two months of receiving your application.


We will not be able to give feedback on individual applications but will provide generic feedback on the quality of all applications following the outcome of the panel.

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.

Assessment criteria

The criteria we will assess your application against are:

  • Vision and Approach
  • Items of equipment and cost justification
  • Benefits realisation
  • Sustainability

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 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.

Find out more about submitting an application.

Sensitive information

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

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


EPSRC defines World Class Labs (WCL) as the combination of excellent people working in the right places to undertake cutting edge research, using state-of-the-art fit-for-purpose equipment underpinned with well qualified, well-resourced technical support.

The majority of EPSRC’s capital budget is invested in WCL via Core Equipment, Strategic Infrastructure, National Research Facilities, capital investment in Digital Infrastructure (for example, Tier 2 computing) and equipment on research grants. We also recognise the value of smaller scale, core equipment that support the WCL investment in higher education institutions (HEI) across the country.

As a demonstration of our continued commitment to supporting investment in core equipment to assist the long-term competitiveness of its research portfolio, we are providing institutional block-grant funding from its capital budget to procure, upgrade and enhance the productivity of core equipment in invited research organisations.

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.

Webinar for potential applicants

We will hold a webinar on 25 July 2024. This will provide / provided more information about the funding opportunity and a chance to ask questions.

Register for the webinar.

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.

Supporting documents

Equality impact assessment form (PDF, 225KB)

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