Funding opportunity

Funding opportunity: STFC follow-on funding: Sep 2021

You can apply for follow-on funding if you are a researcher at an eligible research organisation. You will need to show how previous research funded by STFC can be turned into commercial applications.

Support is available for scientific and technical development, securing of intellectual property, market research, and exploration of licensing opportunities or joint ventures.

We will contribute up to 80% of the full economic cost of projects with a total value of £200,000 and lasting up to 18 months.

Who can apply

You must be employed at an eligible research organisation and have held, or hold, STFC funding from our core science programme of nuclear physics, particle physics and particle astrophysics, astronomy and space science, or accelerators and computing.

If you have received funding from the STFC core science programme but not as a principal investigator or a co-investigator you are still eligible for this scheme. This could, for example, include postdoctoral research assistants and PhD students. You must contact the STFC office with a grant reference number to confirm your eligibility.

You must be attached to an eligible research organisation and under contract for the duration of the award.

Eligible organisations are:

  • higher education institutions
  • approved research council institutes
  • approved independent research organisations
  • public sector research establishments (PSREs).

For more information on eligibility see our research grants handbook.

Not eligible? Find out about STFC’s other knowledge exchange schemes.

What we're looking for

We are looking to support very early or pre-seed stage ideas for commercial applications that follow on from STFC-funded research.

Our funding will support proof-of-concept research that demonstrates commercial potential to the market and could provide:

  • an opportunity for a spin-out or licensing opportunity
  • information needed to bid for our other knowledge exchange funding schemes, including the innovation partnership scheme or the challenge-led applied systems programme.

Projects should not exceed £200,000 and should last no longer than 18 months. We will fund 80% of the full economic costs up to a maximum contribution of £88,000.

Funding could be used for:

  • scientific and technical development of an idea
  • work to secure intellectual property for the host institution
  • market research into the opportunities for a new product or process
  • identifying potential licensees or opportunities for joint ventures.

You do not need to have industrial partners. However, we do welcome projects with industry, non-government or other academic partners where appropriate.

We do not require you to have funding from elsewhere, but we will look favourably on those applications that do have funding on top of that requested, for example from their host organisation.

See the full guidance for applicants (PDF 349KB).

How to apply

You should apply via the Joint Electronic Submission system (Je-S).

You should attach the following documents to your application:

  • Je-S pro forma
  • case for support (six pages, see the full guidance for applicants (PDF 349KB))
  • Gantt chart (one page)
  • data management plan
  • letter of support from technology transfer office
  • letters of support from organisations interested in the project
  • letters of support from any project partners
  • optional covering letter (covering letters will not been seen by external reviewers/the panel)
  • other (any document uploaded under “other” will not be seen by external reviewers or the panel).

We recommend you start your application early. 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. Please allow sufficient time for this.

The process from submission deadline to decision normally takes about five months.

Read more about how to apply in the full guidance for applicants (PDF 349KB).

How we will assess your application

Your application will be assessed by external reviewers and then reviewed by an independent panel made up of members from industry and academia.

You can nominate one reviewer who is not a current or previous collaborator, friend or family member, or based at your host institution.

You will have the opportunity to respond to reviewers’ comments before the panel meeting.

Your application will be assessed on the following criteria:

  • technical excellence
  • commercial potential
  • development plan
  • added value.

Contact details

Wendy Carr, Senior Programme Manager

Ed Mansfield, Programme Manager

Additional info

Find out more about STFC funding to help turn academic research into commercial applications in the STFC Knowledge Exchange.

Supporting document

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