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How to apply for research funding

Research funding is awarded on a competitive basis, using independent expert peer review.

Potential applicants should refer specific questions about the applications process to the relevant Research Council.

Information about the research application processes for each Council can be located at the following:

Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)
Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)
Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)
Medical Research Council (MRC)
Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)
Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)

Applications should be made to the relevant Research Council, using the Councils Joint Electronic Submission System (JeS). The "areas of research page" provides a broad indication of which Research Council is likely to be the most appropriate funder.

In May 2000, Research Councils agreed a joint approach on the peer review of research proposals at the interface of Councils’ remits. This statement was updated in 2013 and can be found here.

Programme Managers from each of the individual Councils will also be able to advise applicants who feel their application may cross the boundary of two or more Councils. The same application should not be submitted for consideration by more than one Research Council at any one time.

Funding Opportunities

Each of the Research Councils maintains a web page advising of funding opportunities/funding calls. Please see the links below:

Declarations of Interest for Grant Applicants

The Research Councils’ Code of Conduct and Policy on the Governance of Good Research Conduct outlines the expectation that applicants for Research Council funding are expected to observe the highest standards of integrity, honesty and professionalism and to embed good practice in every aspect of their work. As part of this, any private, personal or commercial interests relating to an application for funding to the Research Councils must be declared in a covering letter included as an application attachment. 

Guidance on providing declarations of interest can be found here .

Pathways to Impact

In making your application you will have to demonstrate the pathways to impact for your research. You can find more guidance and resources to help you complete this part of the process here.


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