Funding opportunity

Funding opportunity: Technologies to enable independence for people living with dementia

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Apply for funding to develop a NetworkPlus focused on the use and development of novel tools and technologies to enable people to live independently with dementia.

Networks should be multidisciplinary and embed people with lived experiences of dementia.

We are looking to build capacity and bring together new communities across engineering and physical sciences, and health and care, to tackle challenges in dementia research.

You must be based at a UK research organisation eligible for EPSRC funding.

The full economic cost (FEC) of your project can be up to £2,000,000. EPSRC and NIHR will fund 80% of the FEC.

Your network can last up to 36 months.

Who can apply

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

Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) standard eligibility rules apply. For full details, visit EPSRC’s eligibility page.

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

For full details, visit Eligibility as an individual.

International applicants

Under the 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


The National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR), Alzheimer’s Society and the healthcare technologies theme at the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) would like to support ‘NetworkPlus’ grants to allow the development of research and communities focused on the use and development of tools and technologies to enable people to live independently with dementia. Networks should include work to explore and identify the pathways and barriers to implementation of these tools and technologies in the health and care system. Networks should also explore how technologies can be integrated into the home and join up care with carers and health and social care professionals, where appropriate.

Why are we focusing on dementia?

Dementia is a major growing challenge in the UK and globally, and as the population ages and people live longer it has and will become an even greater issue to tackle. There are currently around 900,000 people in the UK living with dementia with the number expected to rise to 1.6 million by 2040. Dementia is a major priority for the UK and government, in January 2023, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) announced that it will be publishing a Major Conditions Strategy covering six conditions including dementia. On the 14 August 2023, DHSC published an initial report ‘Major Conditions Strategy: Case for change and our strategic framework’ which sets out a plan for developing the final strategy.

Engineering and physical sciences research can play a major role in tackling dementia, and we have recently launched a new health technologies strategy where we aim to support engineering and physical sciences to enable people to live healthier lives.

This funding opportunity builds on previous joint funded work by EPSRC and NIHR. In 2022, we funded 14 multidisciplinary projects to develop technologies to help people to transform their care and health to be more independent at home. Building on our collaboration in this area, in June 2023 the NIHR and EPSRC held a workshop to identify opportunities for engineering and physical sciences research in dementia, across a range of themes and identifying where progress has already been made. A major theme which was identified through the workshop was around the need to support people living with dementia to remain independent in the home (including residential care) for longer. A large proportion of people with dementia are living at home and an Alzheimer’s Society survey revealed 85% of people said they would want to stay at home for as long as possible if diagnosed with dementia so developing tools and technologies to support independence in the home environment is vital.

Therefore, we are looking to support ‘NetworkPlus’ grants to allow development of research and communities focused on developing tools and technologies to enable people to live independently with dementia.

Some examples of NetworkPlus grants which EPSRC have previously funded can be found here: Rank Ordered List Panel.

What does it mean for someone to live independently with dementia?

Tools and technologies may assist people living with dementia and their carers to support functioning, management of symptoms and health issues, and enable social connections including outside of the home. The progressive nature of dementia means that consideration needs to be given to how technologies could adapt to people’s changing needs. The inclusion of people with lived experience of dementia in networks to develop an understanding of what living independently means to people living with the disease, and their carers, will be central to this work. You should consider how research, tools and technologies can be co-designed with people with lived experience throughout the network’s lifetime.

What are we looking for with networks?

Building collaborations

EPSRC, NIHR and Alzheimer’s Society are looking to fund a balanced portfolio of networks which will lead to new interdisciplinary collaborations and the development of existing networks. Networks should involve a range of expertise, experience, facilities, and resources.

Multidisciplinary teams (including people with lived experiences)

Networks should establish multidisciplinary teams and include clinical experts and people with lived experiences to ensure that technologies are developed with the clinical context and user needs in mind. This will be particularly important when exploring how tools and technologies can work in synergy with health and care professionals. Networks are also encouraged to include health economics expertise to understand the economic cost of tools and technologies, including to produce the economic data to enable possible implementation in the health and care system.

The expertise of networks supported by EPSRC and NIHR will draw significantly on (but not limited to):

  • engineering
  • medical sciences
  • healthcare professionals
  • social care professionals
  • social care researchers
  • social scientists
  • patient and public involvement and engagement coordinators/professionals
  • people with lived experience such as those living with dementia and their carers
  • health economists
  • physical sciences
  • information and communications technologies
  • mathematical sciences

Reducing health inequalities and public and patient involvement and engagement (PPIE)

While life expectancy continues to improve for the most affluent 10% of the UK population, it has either stalled or fallen for the most deprived 10%.

All projects should consider health equity in their network and embed equitable, diverse, and inclusive patient and public involvement and engagement (PPIE).

To ensure we support high quality research where research outcomes can benefit users, have maximum impact in the health sector, and tackle health inequalities, we are looking for clear evidence of genuine co-creation, co-delivery, and embedded engagement with patients, people with lived experience, and health professionals from the outset of the network and throughout the research and innovation process. We are looking for engagement with people from different and diverse backgrounds, including those from deprived, under-served, or underrepresented populations. Diverse and creative routes should be taken to engage relevant partners.

For more information, see the EPSRC impact and translation toolkit.

Novel research to enable people to live more independently

Networks will be expected to set a collaborative research agenda and fund small scale proof of concept studies and other relevant activities flexibly over the lifetime of the grant in line with their central vision.

A substantial proportion of the research within your application should focus on the advancement and development of novel engineering and the physical sciences, therefore some of the focus of the application should be on innovative tools and technologies. However, some of your application can also focus on translating or adapting existing tools and technologies developed for other areas to enable use in dementia and the health and care system.

We are particularly interested in applications focusing on the following areas:

  • exploring the use and development of novel tools and technologies to support people with dementia and their carers to live independently at home. The development of technologies in this area could include innovations in assistive technology, artificial intelligence and wearables
  • investigating the feasibility, implementation and use of existing technologies and tools that have been successfully developed and produced for other areas at low cost or at scale and successfully used and implemented in the health and care system, but their benefits could be extended or adapted to support people to live independently with dementia and support their carers
  • supporting people to live well beyond the home and in their communities, enabling them to remain part of neighbourhoods and communities and maintain a good quality of life. This may include technology to make public spaces, including transport and workplaces, more inclusive and not disabling
  • developing technology that helps create a system that evolves with people’s needs, and seamlessly connects them to the support they need, ensuring technology is not burdensome or ineffective to the user. People living with dementia have evolving needs from receiving a diagnosis, adjusting to living with dementia, needing greater support with care, hospitalisation, and end of life care. Networks should consider technologies throughout this life cycle and explain which specific scenario(s) or stage(s) the research and technologies will tackle and how the technologies that are developed will be adapted for users, carers and health and care professionals
  • developing tools and technology to facilitate and work synergistically with health and care professionals when supporting someone to live independently at home and outside of the home
  • developing research methodologies that involve the end user and can support rapid and efficient implementation of tools and technologies and implementation at scale. Networks should explore and identify the pathways and barriers to implementation of tools and technologies in the health and social care system

Please note we are taking a broad interpretation of the meaning of home to include any home or residential setting, including private residence, care, and nursing home, sheltered accommodation and social housing.


The networks will lead to new collaborations, excellent research applications and inform ideas for future research themes. They will provide a foundation for addressing future research within dementia, with the aim of improving independence for people living with dementia.

To be successful, there needs to be a clear vision, understanding of the wider context, and demonstration of the added value arising from the network. Networks should set the research focus in the UK health and social care system context, with a particular interest in how tools and technologies could be realistically implemented into the current health and care system.

We expect the funded networks to be collaborative and not competitive, that is, they should work together where appropriate (for example, joint events, sharing learning and challenges). The networks should cover a range of approaches and aspects in the topic of enabling people with dementia to live independently.

The role of the network is to nurture research ideas between its members and to facilitate the transfer of knowledge to a broader community. Networks are encouraged to work with a range of project partners and collaborators.

By the end of the funding period, we would hope to have improved capacity and coordination of researchers and stakeholders working in dementia research and tackling the challenge of enabling people to live independently with dementia.

The NetworkPlus will be expected to establish and maintain appropriate links with relevant NIHR, Alzheimer’s Society and UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) investments, to achieve its aims of increasing collaborative working across disciplines and connecting the research landscape. This will include working with existing activities across funding portfolios in dementia to create shared opportunities.

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


The duration of this award is a maximum of three years.

Funding available

The FEC of your project can be up to £2,000,000.

EPSRC and NIHR will fund 80% of the FEC.

What we will fund

Applications can seek costs for building interdisciplinary research communities including but not limited to:

  • investigator salaries
  • travel and subsistence
  • organisations of different types of workshops or engagement events
  • summer schools
  • part-time coordinators
  • administrative support
  • support for public and patient involvement and engagement
  • feasibility studies and small-scale research studies

Patient and public involvement

Please itemise and describe fully the costs associated with patient and public involvement. These are likely to include individual travel, out of pocket expenses, payment for time and any relevant training and support costs.

If voluntary, charity or community groups are supporting the research via activities such as facilitating contact with potential participants, contracting research activities or providing advice, an adequate budget must be included to compensate for their time and resources.

For more information on budgeting for involvement, please read the NIHR Payments Guidance for researchers and professionals.

Equipment over £10,000 in value (inclusive of VAT) is not available through this opportunity. Smaller items of equipment (individually under £10,000) should be in the ‘directly incurred – other costs’ heading.

Full economic costing for feasibility study funding

The ‘plus’ of NetworkPlus is that the grants include funding for feasibility or proof of concept studies. The network will be expected to distribute the funds to test approaches to research challenges identified by the network. Each study will typically be in the region of £50,000 to £100,000. A feasibility study may help to inform preparation for a larger project application to EPSRC or NIHR.

EPSRC does not stipulate whether the funds for proof-of concept or feasibility studies must be transferred at 80% of the full economic cost or at 100%. However, the normal grant arrangements apply and funds in the grant to the lead institution will be awarded at 80% full economic cost.

All costs for the feasibility studies need to be shown on the application form under ‘Directly Incurred other costs’ at 80% FEC.

The costs should cover support for a series of feasibility projects to advance research projects.

These feasibility funds should be intended to support development of research ideas, generation of proof-of-concept data and identification of clinical or industry support for example.

The costing should be based on the numbers of projects you are proposing to fund, and the staff resource required to develop the research.

You will wish to check with your research office, before applying, about the transfer of funds and how you can ensure that costings and arrangements will be transparent for any recipient universities.

There are some restrictions in that feasibility studies can only be the kind of research that EPSRC funds through its research grant route. So that, for example, the recipient organisation should be eligible for EPSRC funding.

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

UKRI is committed in ensuring that effective international collaboration in research and innovation takes place with integrity and within strong ethical frameworks. Trusted Research and Innovation (TR&I) is a UKRI work programme designed to help protect all those working in our thriving and collaborative international sector by enabling partnerships to be as open as possible, and as secure as necessary. Our TR&I Principles set out UKRI’s expectations of organisations funded by UKRI in relation to due diligence for international collaboration.

As such, applicants for UKRI funding may be asked to demonstrate how their proposed projects will comply with our approach and expectation towards TR&I, identifying potential risks and the relevant controls you will put in place to help proportionately reduce these risks.

Further guidance and information about TR&I, including where you can find additional support, can be found on UKRI’s website.

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

Expression of interest

To help Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) plan for this funding opportunity, you are requested to submit an expression of interest by 11 July 2024 at 4:00pm UK time. This will not be assessed and will be used to help us identify panel members with appropriate expertise.

Information you provide in the expression of interest stage can change prior to submission of the full application.

Submit your expression of interest.

Full application

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

Select ‘Start application’ near the beginning of this Funding finder page.

  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:


Applications should be self-contained, and hyperlinks should only be used to provide links directly to reference information. To ensure the information’s integrity is maintained, where possible, persistent identifiers such as digital object identifiers should be used. Assessors are not required to access links to carry out assessment or recommend a funding decision. You should use your discretion when including references and prioritise those most pertinent to the application.

References should be included in the appropriate question section of the application and be easily identifiable by the assessors, for example (Smith, Research Paper, 2019).

You must not include links to web resources to extend your application.


EPSRC must receive your application by 4:00pm UK time on 10 September 2024.

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 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, will need to share the application and any personal information that it contains with NIHR and Alzheimer’s Society so that they can participate in the assessment process. For more information on how NIHR uses personal information, visit: NIHR Privacy Notice. Find out more about how Alzheimer’s Society uses personal information.

Publication of outcomes

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:

  • context
  • the challenge the project addresses
  • aims and objectives
  • potential applications and benefits

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.

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 6.5 sides of A4, 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. You can have an additional page for a diagrammatic work plan.

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 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 (specifically people living with dementia), the economy or the environment

Within the Vision section we also expect you to:

  • demonstrate how the proposed work aligns strategically to the funding opportunity aims and scope
  • demonstrate a coherent strategic vision and establish clear outcomes for the NetworkPlus
  • identify the potential direct or indirect benefits and who the beneficiaries might be
  • identify key communities and future network 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:

  • describe how the work will deliver against the expectations outlined in the funding opportunity
  • provide clear plans for:
    • networking and collaborating with a range of relevant communities and stakeholders including how you will support and build equitable, diverse, inclusive and accessible communities
    • building links with and between health and social care professionals, other users of research, people with lived experience and academic communities, supporting communication and collaboration
    • utilising flexible funds to award small grants or other activities, including details on commissioning and ongoing governance to ensure correct usage and reporting
    • management of all relevant work packages, including a dedicated grant manager with appropriate expertise as a core member of the team
  • provide a project plan including milestones and timelines in the form of a Gantt chart or similar (additional one-page A4)

References may be included within this section.

Added value

Word limit: 500

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

What the assessors are looking for in your response

Demonstrate how the NetworkPlus will achieve the following:

  • provide unique contributions to dementia research and enable people to live more independently
  • create new interdisciplinary research communities and topics
  • provide a critical mass of researchers with a range of expertise and experience in an outlined area of need
  • embedding people with lived experience of dementia, a range of experts,
  • achieve sustainability of impacts beyond the funding requested through collaborative working

Applicant and team capability to deliver

Word limit: 1,650

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 multidisciplinary skills and expertise to cover the proposed work
  • the appropriate leadership and management skills to deliver the work and your approach to bring together and develop others
  • the appropriate approach to manage and monitor the progress of the programme, including consideration of how the flexibility of resources will be managed
  • 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 Funding Service.

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.

References may be included within this section.

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

Programme leadership and management

Word limit: 500

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

What the assessors are looking for in your response

Explain how you intend to:

  • manage and monitor the progress of the programme, including consideration of how the flexibility of resources will be managed
  • embed creativity and agility into the plans for the programme to respond to a changing landscape, particularly via the involvement of those working in the health and care system and individuals with lived experience of dementia

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.


Word limit: 250

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,34.9KB)
  • proposed usage or costs, or costs per unit were 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 limit: 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
  • costs for PPIE
  • all resources that have been costed as ‘Exceptions’
  • flexible fund uses

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 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 UKRI Funding Service. These will ask about numbers, species/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 samples

How we will assess your application

Assessment process

We will assess your application using the following process.

Any applications that do not fit the remit of the opportunity will be rejected prior to assessment. Please note that the application must focus on building a research community, not a research project.

This opportunity will use a two-stage assessment process.

Expert panel

We will invite experts to review your application independently, against the specified criteria for this funding opportunity. They will then rank it alongside other applications at a panel meeting.

You will have the opportunity to respond to experts’ comments at the interview panel discussion.

Interview panel

For successful applications, an expert panel will conduct interviews with applicants after which the panel will make a funding recommendation.

We expect interviews to be held in December 2024.

EPSRC and NIHR will make the final funding decision.


We will give feedback at the expert panel stage if you are invited to interview. All applicants at the interview stage will receive 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.

Sharing data with co-funders

We will need to share the application (including any personal information that it contains) with NIHR and Alzheimer’s Society so that they can participate in the assessment process.

For more information on how NIHR uses personal information, visit  NIHR Privacy Notice. Find out more about how Alzheimer’s Society uses personal information.

We reserve the right to modify the assessment process as needed.

Assessment criteria

The criteria we will assess your application against are:

  • vision of the project, and approach to the project
  • capability of the applicant or applicants and the project team to deliver the project
  • resources requested to do the project
  • ethical and responsible research and innovation considerations of the project
  • added value of the NetworkPlus
  • programme leadership and management

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 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 application 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.

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


NetworkPlus information

A NetworkPlus is a strategic investment which brings together new research communities and identifies, prioritises, and develops future research challenges.

Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) has had considerable success from previous NetworkPlus investments which focus on academic research challenges. These NetworkPlus investments have developed a rich body of outputs, including:

  • new collaborations
  • grant applications
  • new research methods
  • horizon scanning reports
  • new policy
  • feasibility studies

Lessons learned from previous NetworkPlus activities include:

  • a clear, well-defined topic for the network is needed to focus plans and activities
  • the portfolio of grants needs to be regularly reviewed
  • sufficient administrative and host university support for the network is vital, in order to support activities such as small projects and dissemination activities
  • the amount of funding for small projects may be variable, and should depend on the research topic or discipline
  • different scales of study may require different assessment processes to reflect the value that is being requested
  • expectation and arrangements for full economic costing of network activities need to be clear across all parties
  • advertising of events needs to be included in the budget
  • long-term plans for the legacy and sustainability of the network need to be considered early on
  • a NetworkPlus should coordinate and complement existing research in the area, rather than compete or replicate work

Webinar for potential applicants

We will hold a webinar on 5 July 2024. This will provide more information about the funding opportunity and a chance to ask questions.

Register for the webinar.

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

Dementia workshop report (PDF, 159KB)


  • 30 April 2024
    Expression of interest link corrected in the 'How to apply' section.
  • 30 April 2024
    Dementia workshop report added to the 'Additional info' section under 'Supporting documents'.

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