Potential Funding Sources for Research

If you are aware of funding sources not currently included, please let us know via the form on this page

UK Funding

Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)

EPSRC is the main UK government agency for funding research and training in engineering and the physical sciences, investing more than £800 million a year in a broad range of subjects - from mathematics to materials science, and from information technology to structural engineering.

EPSRC website

Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council

We are one of seven research councils that work together as Research Councils UK (RCUK). We are funded by the government's Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

We invested £469 million in world-class bioscience in 2016-17. We support around 1600 scientists and 2000 research students in universities and institutes across the UK.

BBSRC website

British Council (Newton Fund)

Newton Fund activities need to demonstrate that they are aiming to contribute to a reduction in poverty, and aim to further sustainable development (development that is likely to generate lasting benefits for the population of the country to which it is provided) or improve the welfare of the population of Newton Fund countries.

Newton Fund website

Defence and Security Accelerator (dstl)

The Defence and Security Accelerator focuses on innovations which can provide advantage to defence and national security to protect the UK from its adversaries.

It will fund the development of suppliers’ innovative ideas and provide support through to potential application. The Accelerator will also fund innovations for defence and security which support economic growth and prosperity in the UK.

Defence and Security Accelerator website

Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)

We are the UK's largest organisation for funding research on economic and social issues. We support independent, high quality research which has an impact on business, the public sector and civil society. Our total budget for 2017-18 is around £202 million. At any one time we support over 4,000 researchers and postgraduate students in academic institutions and independent research institutes.

We are a non-departmental public body (NDPB) established by Royal Charter in 1965 and receive most of our funding through the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

ESRC funding webpage

Health and Care Research Wales

Our vision is for Wales to be internationally recognised for our excellent health and social care research that has a positive impact on the health, welbeing and prosperity of the people in Wales.

Health and Care Research Wales webpage

Health Foundation

The Health Foundation is an independent charity committed to bringing about better health and health care for people in the UK. Our aim is a healthier population, supported by high quality health care that can be equitably accessed. We learn what works to make people’s lives healthier and improve the healthcare system. From giving grants to those working at the front line to carrying out research and policy analysis, we shine a light on how to make successful change happen.

Health Foundation funding opportunities

Higher Education Academy

The Higher Education Academy (HEA) is the national body which champions teaching excellence. We work with governments, ministries, universities and individual academics in the UK, and around the globe. We provide value to the HE sector by focusing on the contribution of teaching as part of the wider student learning experience.

Higher Education Academy funding opportunities

Leadership Foundation for Higher Education

A company limited by guarantee and a registered charity, we are committed to developing and improving the management, governance and leadership skills of existing and future leaders of higher education. Wherever the opportunity arises we shall work in partnership with a range of organisations within and outside of higher education.

LFHE funding opportunities

Leverhulme Trust

Since 1925 we have provided grants and scholarships for research and education; today, we are one of the largest all-subject providers of research funding in the UK, distributing approximately £80m a year.

We award funding across academic disciplines, supporting talented individuals in the arts, humanities, sciences and social sciences to realise their personal vision in research and professional training. As well as substantial grants for research, we offer fellowships for researchers at every stage of their career, grants for international collaboration and travel, and support for the fine and performing arts.

Leverhulme Trust website

National Institute for Health Research

We are funded by the Department of Health to improve the health and wealth of the nation through research. As the most integrated clinical research system in the world, we drive research from bench to bedside for the benefit of patients and the economy under a number of themes by:

  • transforming research in the NHS
  • increasing the volume of applied health research for the benefit of patients and the public
  • driving faster translation of basic science discoveries into tangible benefits 
  • developing and supporting the people who conduct and contribute to applied health research
  • attracting investment by the life sciences industry through our world-class facilities for health research.
NIHR funding opportunities


The National Health Service (NHS) is the public health services of England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.

NHS funding

Scottish Funding Council

We invest around £1.6 billion a year in Scotland’s 19 universities and 25 colleges for learning and teaching, skills development, research and innovation, staff, buildings and equipment. We also provide funding so that colleges can offer bursaries to students.

Scottish Funding Council funding


SIMUL8 Corporation sponsors PhD research work that is of direct relevance to our research and development needs.

SIMUL8 Corporation fund all PhD costs including enrolment and tuition fees and living expenses. Students can apply for funding under this scheme at any time. There is no schedule or deadline. Once we have your application we will tell you when it will be considered, this will depend on current demand.

SIMUL8 funding

UK Department for International Development (DFID)

The Department for International Development (DFID) is a ministerial department which leads the UK’s work to end extreme poverty. We are tackling the global challenges of our time including poverty and disease, mass migration, insecurity and conflict. Our work is building a safer, healthier, more prosperous world for people in developing countries and in the UK too.

DfID funding

Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)

NERC funds excellent, world-leading research across the environmental sciences.

Our innovation funding brings researchers together with research users, to harness the best people, skills and information to address business and societal needs.

We invest in the large research infrastructure, equipment and skills that keep the UK at the cutting edge of environmental science, support long-term science, and enable emergency response.

NERC funds postgraduate training that sustains the flow of top talent and skills for UK science business and government.

This section contains information about the various funding mechanisms by which we do all this, as well as guidance on how to apply for them.

NERC website

Research England

The Higher Education and Research Act 2017 established Research England as a Council of UK Research and Innovation and alongside the other existing Councils (the seven Research Councils and Innovate UK).

Research England is responsible for funding, engaging with and understanding English higher education institutions (HEIs). As autonomous and diverse organisations, HEIs play a distinctive role in the research and innovation system, justifying a Council which challenges them to deliver to national agendas and supports them in achieving that. The diversity of individual university strategies, shaped by their many partners, will complement the level of strategic direction provided by UK Research and Innovation.

Research England is formed of the Research and Knowledge Exchange functions of the former HEFCE. This includes oversight of the Research Excellence Framework (REF) and the UK Research Partnership Investment Fund (UKRPIF).

Research England website

Medical Research Council (MRC)

The MRC’s mission is to:

- encourage and support research to improve human health
- produce skilled researchers
- advance and disseminate knowledge and technology to improve the quality of life and economic competitiveness of the UK
- promote dialogue with the public about medical research

Our work ranges from laboratory research, for example on genes and molecules, right through to research with people, such as clinical trials and population studies. Our science is split into six broad areas of research: infections and immunity, molecular and cellular medicine, neurosciences and mental health, population and systems medicine, global health and translational research.

Medical Research Council website

UK Industrial Funding

The Data Lab

Established with an £11.3 million grant from the Scottish Funding Council, The Data Lab will enable industry, public sector and world-class university researchers to innovate and develop new data science capabilities in a collaborative environment. Its core mission is to generate significant economic, social and scientific value from data.

The Data Lab website

Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)

EPSRC is the main UK government agency for funding research and training in engineering and the physical sciences, investing more than £800 million a year in a broad range of subjects - from mathematics to materials science, and from information technology to structural engineering.

EPSRC funding webpage

Innovate UK

Innovate UK is the UK's innovation agency.

Innovate UK is an executive non-departmental public body, sponsored by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy.

Innovate UK funding opportunities

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTP)

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships is a UK-wide programme that has been helping businesses for the past 40 years to improve their competitiveness and productivity through the better use of knowledge, technology and skills that reside within the UK Knowledge Base.

A Knowledge Transfer Partnership serves to meet a core strategic need and to identify innovative solutions to help that business grow. KTP often delivers significant increased profitability for business partners as a direct result of the partnership through improved quality and operations, increased sales and access to new markets. Social enterprises see improved results, too.

Knowledge Transfer Partnership webpage

Royal Academy of Engineering

The Academy runs a series of fellowships that support aspiring and current world-leading individuals who are delivering high-quality engineering research.

Royal Academy of Engineering grants

Royal Society

The Society’s fundamental purpose, reflected in its founding Charters of the 1660s, is to recognise, promote, and support excellence in science and to encourage the development and use of science for the benefit of humanity.

The Society has played a part in some of the most fundamental, significant, and life-changing discoveries in scientific history and Royal Society scientists continue to make outstanding contributions to science in many research areas.

Royal Society grant schemes

European Funding

European Commission

The European Commission is the EU's politically independent executive arm. It is alone responsible for drawing up proposals for new European legislation, and it implements the decisions of the European Parliament and the Council of the EU.

European Commission funding pages

European Space Agency

The European Space Agency (ESA) is Europe’s gateway to space. Its mission is to shape the development of Europe’s space capability and ensure that investment in space continues to deliver benefits to the citizens of Europe and the world. ESA is an international organisation with 22 Member States.

ESA Funding pages

Horizon 2020

Horizon 2020 is the biggest EU Research and Innovation programme ever with nearly €80 billion of funding available over 7 years (2014 to 2020) – in addition to the private investment that this money will attract. The goal is to ensure Europe produces world-class science, removes barriers to innovation and makes it easier for the public and private sectors to work together in delivering innovation.

Horizon 2020 webpage

International Funding

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

We work with partner organizations worldwide to tackle critical problems in four program areas. Our Global Development Division works to help the world’s poorest people lift themselves out of hunger and poverty. Our Global Health Division aims to harness advances in science and technology to save lives in developing countries. Our United States Division works to improve U.S. high school and postsecondary education and support vulnerable children and families in Washington State. And our Global Policy & Advocacy Division seeks to build strategic relationships and promote policies that will help advance our work.

Gates Foundation Website

Malaria Eradication Scientific Alliance (MESA)

The Malaria Eradication Scientific Agenda (malERA), published in 2011, identified critical gaps in malaria elimination and eradication research.  MESA's grant-making program funds research in these areas in an effort to move this agenda forward, and achieve impact on malaria elimination programs around the globe.

MESA grants


Nesta is a global innovation foundation. We are a UK charity but work globally, and always in partnership. The kinds of big challenges Nesta tackle include the pressures of an ageing population, stretched public services, and a fast changing jobs market.

Nesta funding

Research Council of Norway

One of the Research Council’s objectives is to promote and support international cooperation among researchers. We also take part in efforts to realise governmental and ministerial objectives and ambitions for stronger international research collaboration and implement international strategies in research institutions and companies.

RCN funding

The Global Fund

The Global Fund is a 21st Century partnership organisation designed to accelerate the end of AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria as epidemics. Founded in 2002, the Global Fund is a partnership between governments, civil society, the private sector and people affected by the diseases. The Global Fund raises and invests nearly $4 billion a year to support programs run by local experts in countries and communities most in need.

The Global Fund opportunities

US Air Force Office of Scientific Research

As a part of the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), AFOSR’s technical experts foster and fund research within AFRL, universities, and industry laboratories to ensure the transition of research results to support USAF needs.

To accomplish this task, AFOSR solicits proposals for research through various Broad Agency Announcements (BAAs), educational programs, and special programs.

US Air Force OSR funding

Wellcome Trust

We’re a global charitable foundation, both politically and financially independent. We support scientists and researchers, take on big problems, fuel imaginations and spark debate. Our funding supports over 14,000 people in more than 70 countries. In the next five years, we aim to spend up to £5 billion helping thousands of curious, passionate people all over the world explore ideas in science, population health, medical innovation, the humanities and social sciences and public engagement.

Wellcome Trust scheme finder