International collaboration

UK Research and Innovation aims to make it simpler for UK researchers to collaborate with their preferred research partners around the world, by supporting and enabling activities and reducing barriers.

A potential barrier to international collaboration is ‘double jeopardy’, the risk that a proposed joint project will be approved in one country but not in another. UKRI works with funding partners overseas to overcome this issue and has developed a range of funding mechanisms to fit a variety of interactions which build partnerships from first contact to large collaborative programmes. Examples of funding mechanisms include:

The UKRI Councils also support international collaboration through their grant funding, including:

  • support for travel and subsistence to allow UK researchers to travel overseas to undertake relevant work at a partner’s institution or laboratory, fieldwork, and to support networking activities specific to the grant
  • helping promote Pathways to Impact - international collaboration can make an important contribution to the generation of impact
  • basing equipment overseas so long as ownership is retained by the UK research organisation. This may be used for items of equipment that are to be used at international facilities, for example the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF) or CERN
  • funding can be requested for researchers from overseas who are of acknowledged standing, to visit and work in the Principal Investigator's institution.

UK Research and Innovation supports a number of schemes ranging from developing research links to funding international research collaborations. Details of these schemes can be found in the international funding opportunities section.