All UK Higher Education Institutions are eligible to receive funds for research,
postgraduate training and associated activities. The higher education funding councils
for England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland determine whether an organisation
meets the criteria to be a Higher Education Institute.
Research institutes for which the Research Councils have established a long-term
involvement as major funder (listed
here) are also eligible to receive research funding, from any Council.
Other independent research organisations (IROs) may also be eligible if they
possess an existing in-house capacity to carry out research that materially extends
and enhances the national research base and are able to demonstrate an independent
capability to undertake and lead research programmes. They must also satisfy other
criteria related to their financial and legal status: these are set out in full
in the Research Councils' joint statement on eligibility, which can be viewed
The current list of eligible IROs can be seen
A list of the Research Council Institutes is available
Information for IROs on how to apply for eligibility
Any organisation wishing to apply for IRO status should contact the Je-S helpdesk
in the first instance. The Je-S helpdesk will then advise you of the process and
send the appropriate documentation to be completed. When e-mailing the helpdesk
for this purpose please include “Application for IRO Status” in the subject heading
and provide the full name and postal address of your organisation.
Details of how to contact the Helpdesk can be found in the contacts page.
Eligibility of TSB Catapult Centres
Catapult Centres do not currently meet the Research Councils’ eligibility criteria for Independent Research Organisations as they have been established by the public sector as detailed in the Research Councils' joint statement on eligibility. Organisations that are eligible to apply for RCUK research funding may work in partnership or collaboration with any other organisation, irrespective of its eligibility status, this includes Catapult Centres. This as a key way of ensuring academic-Catapult collaboration. Catapult Centres may be named contractors within research grants, and for some Research Councils, their staff may be eligible as Co-Investigators (See ESRC and MRC rules on eligibility for Co-Investigators).
To view the guidance that individual Research Councils are providing to their
communities, follow the links below:
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)