Funding opportunity

Funding opportunity: EPSRC UK Catalysis Hub phase III

This funding is to consolidate capacity in catalysis research and widen stakeholder engagement to empower this community to deliver integrated and ambitious programmes of collaborative and adventurous catalysis research that address UK net zero and sustainability priorities.

The full economic cost (FEC) of your project can be up to £12.5 million (including £2 million capital equipment). EPSRC will fund 80% of the FEC on resource and up to 100% FEC on capital (see details).

The funding duration must be 84 months.

Who can apply

The UK Catalysis Hub is invited to apply for funding from 2024 to 2031 (seven years) but will be required to engage across the UK catalysis community in developing the bid. This funding opportunity is by invitation only.

You must be based at a UK research organisation eligible for EPSRC funding, for further information on individual eligibility, please check EPSRC’s eligibility page.

International applicants

Under the UK Research and Innovation (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.


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

Find out more about EPSRC’s resubmissions policy.

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


We seek to support the UK Catalysis Hub with a new phase of funding that builds on achievements to date and convenes the UK catalysis research community in addressing relevant priorities set out in the EPSRC Strategic Delivery Plan, in particular:

  • engineering net zero – given the critical role catalysis must play in the transition away from traditional chemical feedstocks, and catalytic elements to more sustainable alternative approaches
  • physical and mathematical sciences powerhouse – given the benefit accelerated catalysis discovery would have on future industrial sustainability, and societal benefit


The UK Catalysis Hub 2024 to 2031 will deliver high quality, inter or multidisciplinary catalysis research that underpins relevant engineering net zero priorities.

It is expected to:

  • increase the visibility and engagement of catalysis research across the UK and internationally with academics, industrialists, and other stakeholders, facilitating effective advocacy for fundamental and applied catalysis research
  • broaden its areas of focus and facilitate a step change in bringing multidisciplinary communities together to enable new and novel catalytic methodologies that underpin net zero. This includes drawing in relevant communities who are typically funded by other councils other than EPSRC
  • deliver a core programme of internationally leading and inter or multidisciplinary research that delivers novel and enhanced capabilities with the potential to transform the UK’s catalysis science and technology portfolio
  • invest up to £2 million in state-of-the-art strategic equipment, infrastructure or technique development that addresses an identified community requirement that enhances world-leading catalysis research. The location(s) of this investment should be chosen to maximise its impact
  • implement a flexible fund to create strategic advantage by supporting feasibility studies for high-risk ideas and collaborations that have the potential to lead to radically new and disruptive approaches

The exact balance between these elements is for the applicant team to decide, but the rationale behind the chosen split will need to be justified and informed by open engagement with the broad catalysis community. This includes with communities not currently represented by the current catalysis hub.


In addition, the UK Catalysis Hub is required to:

  • develop a vision for UK catalysis research, through inclusive and effective community engagement, building on success to date, to facilitate researchers in:
    • thinking creatively, and innovatively about research gaps, challenges, and potential impacts of catalysis research
    • exploiting existing facilities within the UK (This could include developing capabilities to make facilities more accessible or relevant to wider communities)
    • navigating and responding to relevant cross-UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) priorities and emerging funding opportunities
  • have a senior leadership team, proportionate to the scale and ambition of the hub, that is responsible for ensuring that responsible research and innovation, equality, diversity and inclusion, succession planning, and the development of future research leaders is well addressed. Other roles also need to be adequately resourced and integrated into the hub, for example; hub manager, communications manager, and stakeholder engagement manager
  • coordinate and explore synergies with existing relevant UKRI critical mass investments across the national landscape ensuring greater impact for the ecosystem than the parts could achieve separately
  • support the careers and development of staff, with a particular focus on:
    • early-career and mid-career researcher development, including postdoctoral research associates (PDRAs) and Research Technology Professionals (RTPs)
    • developing the future leadership for the UK Catalysis Hub and community
  • consider and prioritise environmental sustainability throughout the hub aims, operation, and research practice
  • promote and embed equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) within all hub operations, and activities and seek to consistently apply good EDI practice. This should take into account the specific EDI context and challenges within the hub’s research area and community
  • collaborate with users across the UK to co-create research collaborations that maximise leverage (cash or in-kind), relevance and potential impact
  • have a robust and effective governance structure, management and monitoring arrangements that includes key performance indicators (KPIs) and a risk management strategy. There will be an independent advisory board to provide advice and recommendations on the strategic research direction, activities, hub management, and to offer guidance and reflect upon feedback to the UK Catalysis Hub from the wider community. There must be a clear plan for how the flexible funds will be utilised, reviewed, and allocated

It is expected that the application will propose a core team of researchers, key collaborators and plans for an initial research programme, that may evolve over time as informed by advances in the hub and in the wider community. Adaptations must be underpinned by clear evidence and advice solicited via the hub’s advisory structures.


The duration of this award will be seven years.

The proposed start date must be after the end date of the current UK Catalysis Hub funding.

Funding available

Funding is available to support a single award to the UK Catalysis Hub, the full economic cost (FEC) of which can be up to a maximum of £12.5 million.

EPSRC will fund up to a maximum of £10 million of this amount and the host organisation(s) must agree to find the balance.

Up to £8 million is available for core hub research, community building activities, and a flexible fund.

Up to £2 million is available for strategic equipment or infrastructure, and instrument or technique development (including VAT, if payable).


The £2 million available for equipment can be used to:

  • invest in equipment valued less than £400,000. This would normally only be requested through a strategic equipment funding opportunity. The provision here is included to reduce bureaucracy and increase the potential impact of the hub. These funds will be awarded at up to 80% of the FEC
  • invest in strategic infrastructure valued over £400,000. This would normally only be requested through a strategic equipment funding opportunity. The provision here is included to reduce bureaucracy and increase the potential impact of the hub. These funds will be awarded at up to 100% of the FEC. However, contributions from host organisation(s) and other external sources are encouraged
  • request up to 100% of the full economic cost of capital items for instrument development where the aim is the construction of a novel instrument. However, contributions from host organisation(s) and other external sources are encouraged

Instrument development can occur in a variety of ways. It might involve the construction of a wholly new instrument from its basic components, or it might involve the substantial modification of an existing instrument. Finally, it might involve the integration of two or more existing instruments into a new combined one. In this latter case the proposed integration would need to be technically non-trivial and lead to a capability significantly beyond that of using the component instruments independently. Please follow the guidance below on what constitutes instrument development, if unsure you should approach the office to discuss the potential instrument development prior to submitting the application:

  • the instrument development flow chart will help you decide if your project will qualify as instrument development
  • we will check that the equipment or instrument being proposed corresponds to UKRI’s definition of instrument development. If it does not, the application may be rejected

The application must demonstrate a clear community need for the proposed equipment, and it’s siting should be chosen to maximise its impact.

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.

What we will fund

Organisation of activities

Funding can be requested for costs involved in running activities such as:

  • networking events
  • expert working groups
  • debates
  • online discussion forums
  • lectures
  • seminars
  • problem-solving workshops
  • flexible funds to distribute small-scale funding for projects or feasibility studies to enable cross-disciplinary, foresight, speculative or risky early-stage research, or other projects
  • other activities

You are encouraged to think creatively about the range of activities that could support the delivery of the hub’s goals. Please get in touch if you would like to discuss your proposed activities with EPSRC ahead of submission.

Flexible commissioning fund for small projects

You are expected to use part of the funding to develop and run agile high risk-high reward opportunities for the community that contribute to delivering the hub’s aims and objectives. These opportunities are expected to provide an important way of bringing individuals and organisations together and growing connections, particularly with new researchers. These opportunities can run at any time, but their timing should be considered and justified, for example; there could be several funding opportunities over the lifespan of the award.

The flexible funding is expected to be used to enable an agile response to requests for the support, of feasibility studies or similar small level projects, and activities. These funds must be distributed externally to the grant team via open competition. For illustrative purposes only, the projects or activities supported could include:

  • scoping new collaborative research partnerships and projects
  • proof of concept original research or technique development

This size of the flexible fund should be clearly identified in the application costings, with the balance between the proposed activities indicated. You must define and justify the objectives for the flexible fund and outline how it will be operationalised, governed, and, where appropriate, distributed through a competitive process. You should ensure that funds genuinely enable new work, and that activities funded through the flexible fund engage with the wider programme of hub activity and report progress and outcomes to the leadership team.

Environmental Sustainability

On behalf of UKRI, we expect programmes to embed careful consideration of environmental sustainability at all stages of the research and innovation process and throughout the lifetime of the grant.

In particular, for this funding opportunity programmes should ensure that environmental impact and mitigation of the proposed research approaches and programme operations, as well as the associated project outputs and outcomes, is considered. Programmes must also seek opportunities to influence others and leave a legacy of environmental sustainability within the broader operations of their academic and industry partners.

The research supported by the hub will inherently seek to deliver more sustainable approaches through for example optimising earth abundant catalysis. However, it will be important for the hub to explore where lab practices could be made more sustainable. Recent publications, such as the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Sustainable laboratories report and other publications, may be useful to consider in this context.

What we will not fund

We will not fund:

  • applications out of the scope of the funding opportunity. Any proposals that EPSRC staff deem to be out of remit or out of scope may be rejected without reference to peer review
  • PhD studentships or associated costs may not be included in the costs sought from EPSRC. However, students funded from other sources can be incorporated into the broader project plan if the PhD students’ work is not part of the critical path of the hub’s research

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.

How to apply

We are running this funding opportunity on the new UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Funding Service. 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

You can only apply for this funding opportunity if we have invited you to do so. The start application link will be provided via email.

  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)
  • 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:


EPSRC must receive your application by 30 May 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. 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 funding 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.

EPSRC, as part of UKRI, may share the application and any personal information that it contains across UKRI as part of any possible pre-assessment or consideration.

Publication of outcomes

EPSRC as part of UKRI, will publish the outcomes of this funding opportunity.

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 may make this summary publicly available on external-facing websites, so 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:

  • the hub vision, aims and objectives
  • its context
  • the challenge(s) the project addresses
  • its potential applications and benefits
  • the partnership working

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))
  • researcher co-lead (RcL)
  • specialist
  • grant manager
  • professional enabling staff
  • research and innovation associate
  • technician
  • visiting researcher

Only list one individual as project lead.

The hub will need to identify a senior leadership team. The director will be listed as the project lead and remaining leadership team will be listed as project co-leads.

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

Application questions

Vision and Approach

Create a document that includes your responses to all criteria. The document should not be more than 16-sides of A4, comprising eight-sides for the vision and approach, and eight-sides for a technical annex.

This document should be single spaced in paper in 11-point Arial (or equivalent sans serif font) with margins of at least 2cm. You may include images, graphs, tables.

For the file name, use the unique Funding Service number the system gives you when you create an application, followed by the words ‘Vision and Approach’.

Save this document as a single PDF file, no bigger than 8MB. Unless specifically requested, do not include any sensitive data within the attachment.

If the attachment does not meet these requirements, the application will be rejected.

The Funding Service will provide document upload details when you apply.


What are you hoping to achieve with your proposed work?

What the assessors are looking for in your response

For the Vision, explain how your proposed work:

  • aligns strategically to the funding opportunity aims and scope
  • demonstrates a coherent strategic vision and establishes clear outcomes
  • is of excellent quality and importance within or beyond the field(s) or area(s)
  • has the potential to advance current understanding, generates 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

Within the Vision section we also expect you to:

  • identify the potential direct or indirect benefits and who the beneficiaries might be
  • identify key communities and future hub members
  • identify how the hub will provide an inclusive environment with a strong ethos of skills development for hub members


How are you going to deliver your proposed work?

What the assessors are looking for in your response

For the Approach, explain how you have designed your work so that it:

  • will deliver against the expectations outlined in the funding opportunity
  • is effective and appropriate to achieve your objectives
  • is feasible, and comprehensively identifies any risks to delivery and how they will be managed
  • If applicable, uses a clear and transparent methodology
  • where applicable, summarises the previous work and describes how this will be built upon and progressed
  • 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

Within the Approach section we also expect you to:

  • describe how the hub will be a leader within the landscape or a UK centre of excellence, while having reach into England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, and regions thereof, noting that there is a separate ‘Organisational support’ section where detail should be provided
  • outline an exciting, multidisciplinary and innovative core programme of research that advances strategic research capabilities underpinning our future catalysis science and technology portfolio, noting that there is a separate ‘technical annex’ where detail should be provided
  • demonstrate access to the appropriate services, facilities, infrastructure, or equipment to deliver the proposed work, noting that there are separate ‘Strategic equipment’ and ‘Facilities’ sections where detail should be provided
  • demonstrate genuine, substantiative partnerships with co-creation, co-delivery and embedded partnership working within all the hub activities, noting that there is a separate ‘Co-creation and leverage funding’ section where detail should be provided
  • explain how you will identify key opportunities for future research, innovation and growth in relevant sectors, support knowledge transfer and accelerate impacts (economic, social, and environmental), noting that there is a separate ‘Added value’ section where detail should be provided.
  • also, within the ‘Added value’ section, provide clear plans for how you will:
    • network relevant communities and stakeholders including how you will support and build equitable, diverse, inclusive, and accessible communities
    • build links between government and policy stakeholders, and research communities (academic or industry), supporting two-way communication and collaboration
    • engage with other strategic investments in the wider landscape such as programme grants, prosperity partnerships, infrastructure initiatives such as Physical Sciences Data Initiative, Supergen hubs, circular economy hubs, health technology hubs, as well as other key investments in the UKRI portfolio
  • explain the use of the flexible fund to commission feasibility studies or other activities, noting that there is a separate ‘Flexible fund’ section where detail should be provided.

Organisational support

Word limit: 1,500

Provide details of support from your research organisation(s).

What the assessors are looking for in your response
  • provide a statement of support from your research organisation(s) detailing how the hub fits within the wider interest and strategies. 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 panel will be looking for a strong statement of commitment from your research organisation(s)
  • we recognise 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

Strategic infrastructure (only use this section if you are including strategic infrastructure in your application)

Word limit: 750 (per item of strategic infrastructure)

Why is this infrastructure needed, and why should EPSRC support it?

What the assessors are looking for in your response

Enter ‘N/A’ in the text box and do not upload an attachment for this section if you are not applying for strategic equipment with this funding opportunity.

Explain how the infrastructure sought will:

  • meet national needs by establishing or maintaining a unique or world leading activity, or both
  • enhance and complement the existing regional or national research capability
  • evidence the strong demand and community need from a diverse and inclusive user base
  • meet the strategic aims of the funding organisation

Describe alternative plans for how the research would be achieved should the equipment not be funded. The plans should reflect:

  • host organisation strategies for this infrastructure
  • institutional commitment to the infrastructure landscape
  • how the infrastructure sought is different from what is already available in the wider research landscape


Word limit: 1,000

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

Enter N/A in the text box if not applicable to your proposed work.

Co-creation and leverage funding

Word limit: 1,000

How have you co-created and designed your research programme to maximise the impact and to leverage funding?

What the assessors are looking for in your response

Explain how you have designed your research programme so that it:

  • has been co-created and will be co-delivered in partnership with relevant stakeholders, identifies and embeds clear, realistic and proportionate pathways to maximise translation of outputs into outcomes and impacts of all types
  • drives added value as a core focus of the programme by demonstrating synergistic connectivity between partners, and disciplines
  • is positioned at the forefront of your chosen research area, displaying leadership and advocacy on a national scale
  • describes the leverage funding from the project partner(s) and the plans to increase this over the lifetime of the hub

Added value

Word limit: 1,000

What is the added value that this hub will enable that would not be possible otherwise?

What the assessors are looking for in your response

Demonstrate how the hub will achieve the following:

  • create new interdisciplinary research communities and topics
  • broaden engagement with stakeholders to identify new areas of common ground and increase the impact of existing investments
  • provide a critical mass of researchers with a range of expertise and experience
  • promote mobility between academia, industry and other sectors
  • achieve sustainability of impacts beyond the funding requested

Flexible fund

Word limit: 1,000

Question: how will you use and manage the hub’s flexible fund?

What the assessors are looking for in your response

Explain how you will use and manage the flexible fund so that it:

  • supports the hub’s objectives
  • distributes funding appropriately across a diverse range of activities
  • where appropriate, distributes funding through clear, transparent, competitive and inclusive processes
  • builds new capacity in key fields and career stages
  • ensures appropriate processes for monitoring, reporting and governance of funded activities

Applicant and team capability to deliver

Word limit: 2,000

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 service.

The word count for this section is 2,000 words; 1,500 words to be used for R4RI modules 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.

UKRI has introduced new role types for funding opportunities being run on the new Funding Service. For full details, see Eligibility as an individual.

Leadership, governance and management

Word limit: 1,500

How will you manage the hub to successfully deliver its objectives?

What the assessors are looking for in your response

Explain how the hub will be managed, demonstrating how it:

  • will be effectively governed, including details about advisory groups
  • will be effectively and inclusively managed, demonstrated by a clear management plan which includes a project plan with Gantt chart, associated risks, milestones, and deliverables, and includes consideration of how the flexible fund will be managed
  • if applicable, has a credible plan for prioritising access and maximising usage of strategic equipment and infrastructure. This should include any application and assessment processes and an estimate for the balance of users from the host institution, academics from external institutions and industrial users.  Consideration should be given to an appropriate cost recovery model, and the training and development of specialist technical staff
  • has a plan for data management and accessibility
  • has clear leadership team roles and responsibilities
  • will manage and encourage partnerships with non-HEI organisations across government, industry and civil society
  • has plans for monitoring progress against Key Performance Indicators, as well as self-evaluation throughout the lifetime of the award
  • will embed creativity and agility into the programme in order to respond to a changing landscape
  • will develop and progress the careers of all team members, including investigators, research assistants, any aligned students, technicians and other non-academic staff
  • has embed consideration of equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) within the context of the hub at all levels and in all aspects of the programme

Please identify the percentage of time the director and leaders team will be spending on managing the project. Time to do research team for the leadership team will need to be additional to this.

You must create a document that includes:

  • a project plan including milestones and timelines in the form of a Gantt chart or similar (additional two-page A4)
  • a detailed and appropriate plan for how you will acquire and manage data (additional one-page A4)

This document should be single spaced in paper in 11-point Arial (or equivalent sans serif font) with margins of at least 2cm. You may include images, graphs, tables.

For the file name, use the unique Funding Service number the system gives you when you create an application, followed by the words ‘Project plan & Data management plan’.

Save this document as a single PDF file, no bigger than 8MB. Unless specifically requested, do not include any sensitive data within the attachment.

If the attachment does not meet these requirements, the application will be rejected.

Embedding environmental sustainability

Word limit: 1,000

How will you embed environmental sustainability within all the hub’s activities?

What the assessors are looking for in your response

Explain how the hub will:

  • centre and embed environmental sustainability throughout its aims, objectives, operations, and research outcomes, in accordance with the context of specific research area(s)
  • ensure that environmental impact and mitigation is explicitly considered at all stages of the research lifecycle and throughout the lifetime of the award
  • demonstrate leadership in environmental sustainability by carrying out hub operations in an environmentally sustainable way, with consideration of how to minimise the negative environmental impact of running the hub
  • seek opportunities to influence others and leave a legacy of environmental sustainability within the broader operations of your academic and industry partners, including upskilling the community to support the embedding of sustainability and circularity across the research and innovation lifecycle

Environmental sustainability may include consideration of such broad areas as:

  • reducing carbon emissions
  • protecting and enhancing the natural environment and biodiversity
  • waste or pollution elimination
  • resource efficiency and circular economy

Environmental sustainability is complex and there are often conflicting drivers. The UK Catalysis Hub will need to take a whole systems approach to enable consideration of the trade-offs, risks and mitigations associated with different approaches and ensure research outcomes are used to support industry and government partners to make informed choices and mitigate unintended consequences.


Word limit: 1,000

List the references you have used to support your application.

What the assessors are looking for in your response

Include all references in this section, not in the rest of the application questions.

You should not include any other information in this section.

We advise you not to include hyperlinks, as assessors are not obliged to access the information they lead to or consider it in their assessment of your application.

If linking to web resources, to maintain the information’s integrity, include persistent identifiers (such as digital object identifiers) where possible.

You must not include links to web resources to extend your 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

Word limit:10

Upload a single PDF containing the letters or emails of support from each partner you named in the Project partner section.

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

Save letters or emails of support from each partner in a single PDF no bigger than 8MB. Unless specially requested, please do not include any sensitive personal data within the attachment.

For the file name, use the unique Funding Service number the system gives you when you create an application, followed by the words ‘Project partner’.

If the attachment does not meet these requirements, the application will be rejected.

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.

Resources and cost justification

Word limit: 1,500

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
  • resource allocated to the flexible fund
  • all resources that have been costed as ‘Exceptions’

For strategic infrastructure (if requested), provide justification of:

  • the cost of the proposed infrastructure, and any associated procurement costs
  • any resources (for example staff or maintenance costs) associated with the infrastructure
  • the nature and level of contributions from your organisation or partner organisations if applicable

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

This resources and cost justification should not simply be a list of the resources requested, as this will already be given in the costs table. Costings should be justified based on the full economic costs (FEC) of the project, not just on the costs expected from UKRI. For some items we do not expect you to justify the monetary value, rather the type of resource, such as amount of time or type of staff requested.

Where you do not provide adequate justification for a resource, we may deduct it from any funding awarded.

Additionally, where relevant you should explain:

  • support for activities to either expand the user base for equipment, increase impact, for public engagement, knowledge exchange or to support responsible innovation
  • support for preserving, long-term storage, or sharing of data
  • support from your organisation or partner organisations and how that enhances value for money
  • evidence that environmental sustainability has been considered and reflected in your proposed resource and justified appropriately

Reviewers and panels may acknowledge the impact of university support but will not consider the level of matched university funding as a factor on which to base funding recommendations.

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

Additional sub-questions (to be answered only if appropriate) will be included in the Funding Service. These will ask about numbers, species or strain and justification about:

  • genetic and biological risk
  • research involving the use of animals
  • conducting research with animal overseas
  • research involving human participation
  • research involving human tissues or biological sample

How we will assess your application

Assessment process

We will assess your application using the following process.

Peer review

We will invite experts to review your application independently, against the published criteria (areas of assessment) for this funding opportunity.

You will not be able to nominate reviewers for applications on the new UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Funding Service. Research councils will continue to select expert reviewers.

We are monitoring the requirement for applicant-nominated reviewers as we review policies and processes as part of the continued development of the Funding Service.

You will be given 14 days to respond to reviewers’ comments if your application gains enough support.


If your application gains enough support from reviewers, three representatives from the applicant team will be invited to be interviewed by an expert panel, who will have access to your application, reviewers’ comments, and response. Using this information, and the interview the panel will score your application against the assessment criteria (areas of assessment). The panel will then make a funding recommendation.

All assessment criteria are of equal importance, and panel members will be guided to take account of every assessment criterion when making their recommendation for funding.

EPSRC will make the final funding decision.


We expect interviews to be held in September 2024 (subject to confirmation). You will be notified of decisions in October 2024 (to be confirmed).


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 criteria

The criteria we will assess your application against are:

  • Vision
  • Approach, which includes consideration of the following sections:
    • “Organisational support”
    • core research programme as detailed in the “technical annex”
    • “Strategic infrastructure” and “Facilities”
    • “Co-creation and leverage funding”
    • “Added value”
    • “Flexible fund”
  • Applicant and team capability to deliver
  • Leadership, governance and management
  • Embedding environmental sustainability
  • Resources and cost justification
  • Ethics and responsible research and innovation (RRI)

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.

You can also find information on 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

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.

This is the website for UKRI: our seven research councils, Research England and Innovate UK. Let us know if you have feedback or would like to help improve our online products and services.