International agreements


Lead agency agreement with Science Foundation Ireland

EPSRC and Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) have entered an agreement to welcome, encourage and support research applications that cut across national boundaries, involving collaborative teams led by researchers from the UK and Ireland. The partnership supports joint research and technology development in all areas of EPSRC’s remit.

Under the lead agency agreement, a single joint proposal from applicants in both countries is submitted to EPSRC and processed according to EPSRC’s standard procedures. Successful UK-based research groups are funded by EPSRC, and Republic of Ireland (ROI)-based research groups are funded by SFI.

Joint applications to this programme are accepted at any time, and mostly follow the standard EPSRC format. However, there are additional specific requirements for applications under this agreement, as set out in the application process.

Submit an expression of interest.

Application process

Expression of interest

EPSRC accepts joint applications for standard research grants under the joint EPSRC-SFI at any time. But to enable EPSRC and SFI to ensure that you meet your respective funding organisation’s eligibility requirements, and that your proposed research falls within their remit, you must first submit an expression of interest. This should be done at least three months before your planned submission date.

Submission of joint proposal

Full proposals will only be accepted with prior agreement of EPSRC and SFI, following the submission of an expression of interest form.

Except where indicated otherwise, joint applications should follow standard EPSRC format. Additional pages are not permitted.

The title of all applications submitted under this partnership must begin ‘EPSRC-SFI’.

A single joint proposal should be submitted to EPSRC via the UKRI Funding Service, with the ROI applicants designated as project partners. Include the scientific case for both components of the project in your vision and approach section.

A section on the ROI applicants must be included in the applicant and team capability to deliver section.

The total direct costs requested by the ROI applicants from SFI should be included in the application as a cash project-partner contribution. A maximum request of €500,000 direct costs will apply to the total ROI budget. An additional contribution to overhead costs will also be made by SFI.

The resources and cost justification must include a section on the costs requested by the ROI-based research groups, making it clear which costs will be funded by SFI and which costs will be funded by EPSRC if the application is successful.

The SFI application form and associated documents described in the guidance documentation must be included in the submission as a single PDF attachment.

Further details of requirements for submitting a full proposal under this agreement may be found in the lead agency agreement guidance document on the SFI page: EPSRC-SFI joint funding of research.


Standard eligibility criteria apply to EPSRC applicants. To receive support from SFI, the ROI partner or partners must be based at an institution eligible for SFI support. Full details can be found in the lead agency guidance document.


Process-related queries:

Questions about SFI required documentation:

Last updated: 22 November 2023

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