Funding opportunity

Funding opportunity: Healthcare technologies investigator-led grant

The submission deadline for proposals to the current healthcare technologies investigator led opportunity is: 16:00 on 31 March 2022.

Please note that applicants can apply to EPSRC for investigator led research at any time.

Please contact if you have any queries about the healthcare technologies investigator led opportunity.

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

We strongly encourage collaboration with relevant healthcare professionals, other researchers, industry, the public sector and other relevant partners.

We are looking for researchers in engineering, physical sciences, information and communications technologies (ICT) and mathematical sciences who want to apply their expertise to healthcare challenges.

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, Public Sector Research Establishments 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.

Applications from new investigators are welcome.

Find out more about eligibility for new investigator awards.

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

We are seeking a range of investigator-led proposals from researchers working in engineering, physical sciences, ICT and mathematical sciences who want to apply their expertise to a defined healthcare challenge.

We particularly want to encourage research projects in line with our strategies and in the under-represented fields of ICT, mathematical sciences and physical sciences.

We would expect strong proposals to be working with clinical, business, charitable or public sector partners.

Your application should be in line with the grand challenges of our healthcare technologies theme:

  • Developing New Therapies, focusing on the need to produce safer, more targeted treatments fit for the demands of the decades up to 2050 and beyond
  • Expanding the Frontiers of Physical Intervention, the potential to enhance established techniques and develop pioneering new approaches to such intervention that deliver high precision, minimal invasiveness and maximum impact
  • Transforming Health and Care Beyond the Hospital, meeting the need for novel technologies that enable timely interventions beyond hospital settings and help people manage their own physical and mental health
  • Optimising Disease Prediction, Diagnosis and Intervention, addressing both physical and mental health with techniques that optimise patient-specific illness prediction, accurate diagnosis and effective intervention.

Find out more about the healthcare technologies grand challenges.

Your application should also show how you will advance any cross-cutting research in:

  • advanced materials
  • disruptive technologies for sensing and analysis
  • future manufacturing technologies
  • medical device design and innovation
  • novel computational and mathematical sciences
  • novel imaging technologies.

We are particularly encouraging research projects that seek to:

  • transform community health and care
  • improve prevention and public health.

Find out more about our healthcare technologies theme.

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

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

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.

We recognise that the development of healthcare technologies is complex and can take longer than in other areas of research.

Your proposal should consider very carefully how you will maximise impact, and you are strongly advised to include a request for resources to support these elements of your work.

Find out more about our healthcare technologies impact and translation toolkit.

How to apply

You must apply using the Joint Electronic Submission system (Je-S).

We remain open for applications for investigator-led research projects in healthcare technologies. Proposals will continue to be batched until March 2022 when the current funding opportunity closes. Proposals submitted after this date will be processed in line with the new Investigator-led call criteria which opens on 1 April 2022.

When adding a new proposal you should select:

  • council: EPSRC
  • document type: standard research
  • scheme: standard, or new investigator if relevant
  • project details: healthcare technologies investigator-led research or, for new investigators, healthcare technologies investigator-led research (NIA)

Your application should include the following attachments:

  • case for support: eight pages – 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
  • host organisation statement (for new investigator awards only): no page limit.

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.

UKRI is implementing a standard method for inputting overseas costs on Je-S from 1 July 2021. This will enhance UKRI’s ability to report on overseas funding to:

  • BEIS
  • the Organisation for Economic Development (OECD)
  • HMG
  • other government departments.

It includes any costs incurred by organisations outside the UK, including:

  • staff salaries
  • travel and subsistence
  • equipment
  • overheads.

The ‘Other-DI Costs’ document is to contain the following data in the description box in this exact format: ‘Organisation; Country; Cost Category; Cost Description’.

For example: ‘University of Nairobi; Kenya; Other Directly Incurred Costs; Subcontracting of the production of samples’.

We remain open for applications for investigator-led research projects in healthcare technologies. Proposals will continue to be batched until March 2022 when the current funding opportunity closes. Proposals submitted after this date will be processed in line with the new Investigator-led call criteria which open on 1 April 2022.

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 the healthcare technologies theme and meet up to four times a year.

When applications are few in number, the healthcare technologies theme will work with our capability-themed panels to assess your proposal.

If your proposal does not clearly meet a healthcare challenge, it will be assessed in the same way as other standard research proposals by the appropriate theme.

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

Additional info

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