Funding opportunity

Funding opportunity: Research and partnership hubs for health technologies: full stage

Apply for funding to establish a large-scale, multidisciplinary research hub in an area of importance to the delivery of EPSRC’s strategy for health technologies with a focus of research and partnership working.

You may only submit a full proposal if you have been invited by EPSRC after submitting a successful application at the outline stage.

Proposals should address strategic, long-term research challenges and plans for partnership working.

We will fund four hubs with a possibility of additional funding.

We will fund 80% of the full economic cost (FEC) of each project up to £10 million.

Funding for each project will be awarded over six years.

Who can apply

You can only apply for this funding opportunity if we have invited you to do so following a successful outline application.

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

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

We have introduced new role types for funding opportunities being run on the new UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Funding Service.

For full details, visit Eligibility as an individual.


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

Find out more about EPSRC’s resubmission 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


This funding opportunity is to establish a number of large-scale, multidisciplinary research hubs, drawing on expertise across the engineering and physical sciences and health research community to build and develop strategic research capabilities of importance to one or more of the following health challenges:

  • improving population health and prevention
  • transforming prediction and early diagnosis
  • discovering and accelerating the development of new interventions

These challenges are described in more detail in the new health technologies strategy.

The hubs will support partnerships across the wider research and health landscape, bringing together complementary expertise to co-deliver advancement in their strategic research area.

A strategic research capability is that which builds on UK research strengths in areas of computational, engineering, mathematical or physical sciences to maintain and advance research capacity for future health technologies. It is your responsibility to advocate for how the research and partnership activities will help build important new capabilities needed to meet one or more of the health technology challenges.

Funded hubs will be expected to undertake the following:

World leading research programme in a health technologies strategic research capability

The hub research programmes should focus on advancement and development of novel engineering and physical sciences research to advance the strategic research capabilities underpinning the future healthcare technologies portfolio. Hub applications should address at least one of the three health technologies challenges.

It is expected that the initial submission will contain a core leadership team, key collaborators and plans for the initial research programmes, which may evolve over time.

Public and patient involvement and engagement (PPIE) and partnership working

PPIE is a key cross-cutting theme of the new EPSRC health technologies strategy. We expect all hubs to integrate PPIE at all stages of the research and innovation process.

To ensure we support high quality research where research outcomes can benefit users, industry and have maximum impact in the health sector, we are looking for clear evidence of genuine, substantiative partnerships with co-creation, co-delivery and embedded engagement with patients, people with lived experience and health professionals throughout all hub projects and activities.

Proposals will be required to provide a PPIE and partnership working plan as part of their submission.


As leaders in the community, hubs will be expected to develop a clear plan for translation and maximising impacts from the research outputs, products and technologies developed throughout their lifetime.


Hubs will have a strong vision and be leaders within the landscape, driving forward the research agenda in their area and connecting with other players in the community, including:

  • patients
  • industry
  • health professionals
  • policymakers
  • other public investments

The hub is expected to deliver added value (be more than the sum of its parts) by demonstrating strong connectivity between all hub partners and where appropriate the wider UK community and offering additional facilities, training and development than that which is already provided by individual institutions.

Hub partnerships and impact should span all scales, building on the successes of previous similar investments to deliver impact in regional economies while also playing a national role in an international context. Hubs should bring together the right people and organisations from places across the UK, to tackle the challenges relevant to their chosen research area.

Skills development

Hubs will provide supportive and inclusive environments with a strong ethos of skills development for hub members.

What is a hub?

A typical hub will include the following:

  • a physical or virtual centre, comprising multiple institutions but based around a lead institution
  • a hub director (academic) with a proven track record of managing large investments and excellence within their discipline or sector
  • a wider leadership team from across relevant disciplines and sectors with a track record of excellence within their field
  • a management team including a hub manager and administrative team as required to ensure efficient running of the hub
  • a named lead for each of PPIE and partnership working and translation and impact
  • research staff distributed across the project. Funding cannot be requested from these grants for PhD studentships or related funding. However, students funded from other sources can be incorporated into the broader project plan, provided that PhD students’ work is not part of the critical path of the hub’s research
  • appropriate advisory and governance structures including an independent advisory board

It is expected that management of hubs will require more investigator time (whether for the principal investigator or distributed across the team) than standard UK Research and Innovation grants.

Funding opportunity objectives

The hubs will:

  • deliver a programme of high quality, multidisciplinary research of importance to one or more of the challenges outlined in the EPSRC health technologies strategy
  • create a critical mass of research capacity in a particular area, driving forward the national research agenda to actively build a wider research and innovation ecosystem
  • act as UK leaders in the field on behalf of the wider research landscape. Hubs will be expected to engage with relevant research partners throughout their lifetime
  • embed PPIE throughout the hub aims, objectives and operations, considering the context of each hub’s specific research area
  • engage with a diverse range of relevant partners to ensure research is co-created and co-delivered with users
  • ensure a clear route to translation for research outcomes by developing a translation and impact action plan which considers the specific translation context and challenges within the hub’s research area and community

Due to the scale of these awards, significant collaboration and leverage (cash or in-kind) will be expected from project partners (for example, business, public sector, third sector).

Challenge areas

The aim of this funding opportunity is to fund a portfolio of health research and partnership hubs that collectively will make a significant contribution to the three high level challenges identified in the EPSRC strategy for health technologies.

Applications may cover more than one challenge area however you should indicate the primary challenge you wish to apply against. It is envisaged that not all hubs supported will be in a single research or geographic area and we will look to support a balanced portfolio from the highest quality proposals received.

Improving population health and prevention

This challenge focuses on the need for novel techniques that optimise health, eliminate and prevent disease. Prevention includes promoting wellbeing in a population, addressing the determinants of health as well as the causes of disease and enabling people to have a better quality of life.

Transforming prediction and early diagnosis

Addressing all aspects of health from physical, mental and environmental, this challenge focuses on the need for novel techniques that optimise patient-specific illness prediction, early and accurate diagnosis.

The aim includes reducing the incidence of disease, intervening before full symptoms develop, as well as reducing the impacts of multiple long-term illness and strengthening the ability to take exactly the right steps to combat disease at precisely the right time.

Scientific, mathematical, and other techniques, from biomarker identification, research into medical imaging and risk stratification to predictive modelling and real-time, evidence-based decision-making, will all play a role.

Discovering and accelerating the development of new interventions

This challenge focuses on the need to produce safer, more targeted treatments and interventions fit for the future. This challenge includes therapies, for example advanced therapies, as well as physical interventions such as provision of prostheses to surgery and radiotherapy, which is fundamental to tackling impairment by restoring function, repairing damage, and eliminating disease.

Developing novel treatments and therapies which could be personalised and designed for the setting in which they are being delivered for example, home, community or acute care is of key importance.

For more information on the background of this funding opportunity, go to the ‘Additional information’ section.


The duration of this award is six years.

Funding available

The FEC of your project can be up to £12.5 million.

EPSRC will fund 80% of the FEC.

Equipment costing £10,000 to £400,000 in value inclusive of value added tax (VAT) is available through this funding opportunity. Smaller items of equipment (individually under £10,000) should be in the ‘directly incurred other costs’ heading.

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.

Read more about EPSRC’s approach to equipment funding.

What we will not fund

We will not fund the following:

  • proposals must lie primarily within the remit of EPSRC and be within the scope of this funding opportunity. Any proposals that we deem out of remit or out of scope may be rejected without reference to peer review
  • while we do not fund clinical trials, that is studies that involve large numbers of animals or patients, costs may be requested for proof of concept (PoC) studies where initial data from a small number of tests is being gathered to validate and inform the continual development of the technology developed as part of the project. Read about PoC studies in healthcare

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 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 UK Research and Innovation (UKRI).

Full applications will be via the Funding Service and there will be a link to the relevant funding opportunity. That link will be sent by email to the potential applicants. We will provide further information about how to start an application in the Funding Service alongside the link.

Watch our research office webinars about the new Funding Service.


We must receive your application by 4:00pm UK time on 23 November 2023.

You will not be able to apply after this time.

Make sure you are aware of and follow any internal institutional deadlines.

We will not be returning applications for amendment. 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.

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


Word count: maximum 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:

  • hub vision and aims
  • context
  • the challenge the project addresses
  • aims and objectives
  • 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)
  • researcher co-lead (RcL)
  • specialist
  • grant manager
  • professional enabling staff
  • research and innovation associate
  • technician
  • visiting researcher

Only list one individual as project lead.

You must have the following named leads within your application:

  • PPIE and partnership working lead
  • translation and impact lead

These individuals should be named as project co-leads within the Funding Service. Please provide details of their named role in the application content.

Find out more about UKRI’s new grant roles.

Core questions

Vision and Approach

Create a document that includes your responses to all criteria. The document should not be more than nine sides of A4, comprising six pages for the vision and approach; two pages for the translation and impact plan and one page for a diagrammatic workplan.

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 UKRI 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.

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 and how will you deliver your proposed work?

What the assessors are looking for in your response

For the Vision, explain how your proposed work:

  • 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:

  • demonstrate why the research will help build and develop a strategic capability and is of timely relevance to the UK health systems and other identified stakeholders
  • demonstrate how the hub will provide an inclusive environment with a strong ethos of skills development for hub members

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

  • 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
  • if 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:

  • present the research in the context of the current state of knowledge and other work under way in the field
  • provide a project plan including milestones and timelines in the form of a Gantt chart or similar (one page A4)

Within the translation and impact section we expect you to:

  • provide a credible translation and impact plan which considers both the immediate and long-term impact needs of the research programme and the range of stakeholders to help ensure the hub achieves impacts across sectors and timescales (two pages A4)

Custom Section: Patient and Public Involvement and Engagement

Word count: 1,000

Provide details about your plans to embed patient and public involvement and engagement (PPIE) and partnership working into the hub

What the assessors are looking for in your response
  • details of your plan for engaging with users of the research, health professionals and patients or those with lived experience throughout the lifespan of the hub
  • evidence of genuine, substantiative partnerships with co-creation, co-delivery and embedded engagement
  • how PPIE will be appropriately integrated at all stages of the research and innovation process

Applicant and team capability to deliver

Word count: 1,500

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

The word count for this section is 1,500 words, 1,000 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.

We have introduced new role types for funding opportunities being run on the new Funding Service.

For full details, see Eligibility as an individual.

Research Organisation Support

Word count: 1,500

What support is being provided from the research organisation(s) in underpinning your hub?

What the assessors are looking for in your response

Use the text box to explain who you have engaged with in your research organisation(s) (name and role) and what they have said your research organisation will provide, covering for each research organisation involved:

  • how the hub vision and objectives fit within the wider interest and strategies of the university and department
  • what practical or financial support is being provided and how this improves the application


Word count: 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: contributions

Word count: 1,000

Provide details about any project partners’ contributions using the template provided.

What the assessors are looking for in your response

If you do not have any project partners, simply add ‘N/A’ into the text box, mark this section as complete and move to the next section.

If you do have project partners, Download and complete the Project partner contributions template (DOCX, 52KB) then copy and paste the table within it into the text box.

Ensure you have obtained prior agreement from project partners that, should you be offered funding, they will support your project as indicated in the template.

A project partner is a collaborating organisation that is contributing to the application and will have an integral role in the proposed research. Project partners cannot normally receive funding directly from the grant. Two exceptions to this are:

  • where a project partner is providing services or equipment that will go through a formal procurement process audited by the host research organisation
  • the project partner can receive small amounts of funding from the grant, such as for travel and subsistence to attend project meetings. These will need to be requested and fully justified in the application

Project partners: letters (or emails) of support

Word count: 10

Upload a single PDF containing the letters or emails of support from each partner you named in the table in the previous ‘contributions’ section.

What the assessors are looking for in your response

If you do not have any project partners, simply add ‘N/A’ into the text box, mark this section as complete and move to the next section.

If you have named project partners in the previous ‘contributions’ section, enter the words ‘attachment supplied’ in the text box.

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 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.

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, we require 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.


Word count: 500

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

If you will not need to use a facility, you will be able to indicate this in the Funding Service.

Resources and cost justification

Word count: 1,000

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
  • all resources that have been costed as ‘exceptions’

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

Ethics and responsible research and innovation (RRI)

Word count: 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

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

Within this section you can also demonstrate elements of your responses in visual form if relevant:

  • 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 8MB and in JPEG, JPG, JPE, JFI, JIF, JFIF, PNG, GIF, BMP or WEBP format

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 specified criteria for this funding opportunity.

You will not be able to nominate reviewers for applications on the new 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.

Applications with sufficiently supportive reviews will go to interview panel who will make a funding recommendation. You will have 14 days to respond to reviewers’ comments.


An expert interview panel will conduct interviews with applicants after which the panel will make a funding recommendation.

We expect interviews to be held on 18 and19 April 2024 (subject to confirmation)

EPSRC will make the final funding decision.

Portfolio balance

The interview panel will provide advice on the selection of a balanced portfolio ensuring a balance across the challenges and taking into account geographic diversity. The final decisions on the proposals to be funded will be made by EPSRC.


If your application was discussed by a panel, 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
  • PPIE and partnership working
  • applicant and team capability to deliver
  • research organisation support
  • ethics and responsible research and innovation (RRI)
  • resources and cost justification

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

For help on costings and writing your application, contact your research office. Allow enough time for your organisation’s submission process.

Ask about this funding opportunity


Phone: 01793 547490

Our phone lines are open:

  • Monday to Thursday 8:30am to 5:00pm
  • Friday 8:30am to 4:30pm

Sensitive information

If you or a core team member need to tell us something you wish to remain confidential, email the UKRI Funding Service helpdesk on

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 us to consider in reviewer or panel participant selection
  • the application is an invited resubmission

For information about how we handle personal data, read UKRI’s privacy notice.

Additional info


We have published a strategic delivery plan that sets out our strategy, priorities and what we will deliver between 2022 to 2025. This delivery plan is structured around UK Research and Innovation’s (UKRI) six strategic objectives.

We have eight cross-cutting priorities, which have been developed to deliver against the UKRI strategy, support research and innovation and address government priorities. These priorities aim to provide a balance across our portfolio, between discovery research, mission-inspired research, and an effective ecosystem to underpin them. Our new health technologies strategy links to many of our EPSRC priorities, for example net zero, but specifically aligns to our priority around transforming health and healthcare.

Research delivered through the health technologies theme aims to address the priorities we have identified in consultation with our community and will also contribute to the UKRI strategic themes, ageing and wellbeing and tackling infections.

Engineering and physical sciences research can have a huge impact on health, healthcare, and wellbeing, and can tackle many challenges faced by the health service.

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 (PDF, 223KB)
Previous research and partnership hubs for health technologies: outline stage (PDF, 267KB)

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