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EPSRC standard research grant

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Standard research grants are for researchers at UK higher education institutions, research council institutes, UKRI-approved independent research organisations and NHS bodies.

We encourage:

  • collaboration with other researchers, industry, the public sector and other relevant partners
  • high-risk and high-return research into new concepts and techniques.

Projects can range in size from small, short-term grants to multi-million-pound research programmes lasting several years.

There is no limit on the size of the grant or length of the project.

We will award 80% of the full economic costs of the project, and your organisation must agree to find the balance.

Who can apply

Research grants are open to UK higher education institutions, research council institutes, UKRI-approved independent research organisations and NHS bodies with research capacity.

Find out more about institutional eligibility.

You can apply if you are resident in the UK and meet at least one of these criteria:

  • are employed at the submitting research organisation at lecturer level or equivalent
  • hold a fixed-term contract that extends beyond the duration of the proposed research project, and the host research organisation is prepared to give you all the support normal for a permanent employee
  • hold an EPSRC, Royal Society or Royal Academy of Engineering fellowship aimed at later career stages
  • hold fellowships under other schemes (please contact EPSRC to check eligibility, which is considered on a case-by-case basis).

Holders of postdoctoral level fellowships are not eligible to apply for an EPSRC grant.

Clinical applicants must be employed or be on a fixed-term contract longer than the proposed project at an NHS trust, hospital, board, primary care trust or general practice.

Find out more about individual eligibility.

We will not accept uninvited resubmissions of projects that have been submitted to UKRI or any other funder.

This funding opportunity is also subject to our policy on repeatedly unsuccessful submissions.

What we're looking for

You can apply for a standard research grant at any time in any field of research relevant to our remit.

There is no limit on the value or the length of the grant.

Two or more eligible organisations can submit linked proposals that together make a coherent project.

We also encourage collaboration with industry, public sector and other organisations.

We support excellent research in:

  • digital economy
  • energy
  • engineering
  • global uncertainties
  • healthcare technologies (see our dedicated healthcare technologies investigator-led funding opportunity)
  • information and communication technologies
  • living with environmental change
  • manufacturing the future
  • mathematical sciences
  • physical sciences
  • quantum technologies
  • research infrastructure.

Find out more about our research areas and themes.

We expect the majority of your research to fall within our remit. We encourage you to contact us first to discuss your proposal if you believe your research may cross research council boundaries.

See our remit query form.

We fund a wide range of projects ranging from small, short-term grants to multi-million-pound research projects including:

  • high-risk/high-return research embracing new concepts or techniques
  • feasibility studies
  • instrument development
  • project-specific equipment
  • collaborative projects that cross different disciplines.

Read more about EPSRC’s approach to equipment funding.

We will fund 80% of the full economic costs of your project. You may request funding for staff costs, equipment and other items required to carry out the project, costs related to impact, and travel and subsistence.

How to apply

You must apply using the Joint Electronic Submission system (Je-S). We are always open for applications for standard research grants.

When adding a new proposal you should select:

  • council: EPSRC
  • document type: standard research
  • scheme: standard
  • on the project details page, you should select ‘none’.

Your application should include the following attachments:

  • case for support: eight pages, with two on your track record and six on the scientific case
  • workplan: one page
  • justification of resources: two pages
  • CVs: up to two A4 sides each only for named postdoctoral staff, researcher- co-investigators (research assistants who have made a substantial contribution to the proposal and will be employed on the project for a significant amount of time), and visiting researchers
  • letters of support from all project partners included in the Je-S form: no page limit
  • quotes for equipment above £25,000: no page limit
  • equipment business case for any items of equipment or combined assets with a value above £138,000: up to two pages
  • technical assessments for facilities listed as requiring one in the Je-S guidance: no page limit
  • cover letter: optional attachment, no page limit, not seen by peer review.

You should attach your documents as PDFs to avoid errors. They should be completed in single-spaced 11 font Arial or similar sans serif typeface.

We recommend you start your application in good time. You can save completed details in Je-S at any time and return to continue your application later.

When you submit the application, it will first go to your host organisation for review. You should hear the result of your application within 26 weeks of submission by your host organisation.

See the Je-S handbook for full advice on completing applications.

Find out more about completing your application.

How we will assess your application

Your application is assessed by peer review. It will be sent electronically to at least three reviewers, including at least one nominated by you. You will have the opportunity to respond to reviewer comments if your application gains enough support.

The proposal, reviewers’ comments and your response will then go to a panel that will score it against our assessment criteria and rank it with other proposals. Panels are organised by theme and meet at different times of the year.

Your application is assessed first and foremost on quality (primary), followed by national importance (secondary major). It is also assessed on applicant and partnerships (secondary) and resources and management (secondary).

Find out more about the assessment process.

Contact details

For general queries about standard research grant applications, please contact grants@epsrc.ukri.org, tel. 01793 444120

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