Area of investment and support

Area of investment and support: International Science Partnerships Fund

The International Science Partnerships Fund (ISPF) will support collaborations between UK researchers and innovators and their peers from around the world.

It will support close working with international partners to address global challenges, build knowledge and develop the technologies of tomorrow.

Partners involved:
UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), Medical Research Council (MRC), Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC), Innovate UK

The scope and what we're doing

The International Science Partnerships Fund (ISPF) is an ambitious long-term approach to international research and collaboration. It is a Department for Science, Innovation and Technology (DSIT)-led fund. It was announced by the Science Minister on 14 December 2022.

The fund aims to foster prosperity by solving shared global research and innovation challenges. This will be done through working closely with international partners to:

  • support research excellence and build the knowledge and technology of tomorrow
  • strengthen ties with international partners that share our values
  • enable researchers and innovators to cultivate connections, follow their curiosity and pioneer transformations internationally, for the good of the planet

UKRI is one of the partner organisations delivering the fund. For more information see the International Science Partnerships Fund on GOV.UK.

Why we're doing it

International collaboration is integral to the UKRI strategy and has a key role in delivering our six strategic objectives as set out in the UKRI International Strategic Framework.

The scale of the challenges we face globally, whether from tackling and adapting to climate change or ensuring we are ready for the next pandemic, requires strong global partnerships. International collaboration is vital to addressing these questions. It is also critical to maintaining the UK’s position as a world leader in research and innovation.

The International Science Partnerships Fund (ISPF) will help the UK strengthen existing global partnerships, and build new ones.

Through the ISPF, we will support UK-based researchers to:

  • address key research questions globally and collaboratively, delivering even better impact than we could do alone
  • build and develop relationships with global talent, facilities, research communities and markets to swiftly move ideas forward
  • develop new connections and strengthen their international networks

Opportunities, support and resources available

Funding opportunities

ISPF funding opportunities are aimed at UK-based researchers and innovators.

To apply, please visit the individual funding opportunity page.

Please note that eligibility to apply may differ between funding opportunities depending on their nature and what they are trying to achieve.

Make sure that you read the funding opportunities in full before submitting an application and refer to our ‘How to apply for research and innovation funding’ page for more guidance.

Previous funding opportunities

Some examples of programmes with international partners funded under ISPF include:

Asia-UK programmes
North America-UK and Australia-UK programmes
Europe-UK programmes

Direct funding

Some partnerships with the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) are not open to applications as they are activities with specific partners involving very large infrastructures.

The outcomes of these activities, delivered as part of ISPF, will benefit UK and international users of STFC’s facilities.

Partnerships include:

  • India-UK Technology and Skills Partnership programme 
  • US-UK Artificial Intelligence for Realistic Science
  • US-UK Collaboration in Quantum Science & Technologies
  • US-UK Extreme Scale Computing and AI for Powerplant Engineering (ESCAPE)

Other delivery partner opportunities

Aside from UKRI, there are several other organisations delivering ISPF funding.

For information on their funding opportunities, see International Science Partnerships Fund on GOV.UK.

Who to contact

Ask a question about this area of investment

UKRI ISPF team

Email: ispf@ukri.org

Please include ‘ISPF Investment & Support Enquiries’ in the subject line. We aim to respond within five working days.

General enquiries

Email: international@ukri.org

Last updated: 19 February 2024

This is the website for UKRI: our seven research councils, Research England and Innovate UK. Let us know if you have some quick feedback or help us improve your experience by taking three minutes to tell us what you think of the UKRI website.