Funding Bodies

Research Councils

Economic and Social Research Council

The ESRC offers a wide range of funding calls as well as two regular open grant schemes:

Research Grants Scheme:  If you have an excellent idea for a research project, the best way to seek funding for it is through our Research Grants open call. Awards ranging from £350,000 to £1 million (100 per cent full Economic Cost (fEC)) can be made to eligible institutions to enable individuals or research teams to undertake anything from a standard research project through to a large-scale survey and other infrastructure or methodological development.

New Investigator Grants: The call is open to high-quality candidates from anywhere in the world who have a maximum of four years’ postdoctoral experience and the support of an eligible UK research organisation. Grants ranging from £100,000 to £300,000 full Economic Cost (fEC) can be awarded.

Medical Research Council

Promotes research into all areas of medical and related science with the aims of improving the health and quality of life of the UK public and contributing to the wealth of the nation.

MRC research grants are suitable for focused research projects that may be short- or long-term in nature. In addition, they can be used to support method development or development and continuation of research facilities and may involve more than one research group or institution.

A research grant can be awarded for any period of up to five years, but those of two years or less are for proof of principle or pilot work only. The budget for research grant awards will not typically exceed £1 million.

Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council

Useful for grants relating to: Communications, computer science, user interface design, image and vision computing, human computer interaction, semiconductors, photonic and electronic materials and devices.


Charity Research Grants

Leverhulme Trust

No restrictions on discipline, but special weight on original projects and significance of the work. Provides research project grants, early career grants, and research fellowships.

Wellcome Trust

Funding supports biomedical research and the medical humanities, with the aim of improving human health. Offer a wide variety of funding schemes, including Investigator Awards, fellowships and Strategic Awards.

Age UK

Age UK commissions social, economic and health research, often by competitive tender, to generate evidence on issues that affect older people.

Alcohol Research UK

Research and other initiatives that increase understanding of alcohol-harm-causes, problems and solutions to influence policy and practice. More detail available on their website.

British Academy

Research activities focus on issues that affect humanities and social science (HSS) research. Fellowships and small research grants. See website for details of the latest Calls for Proposals.