Available to University staff and students, UK sources of funding range from government funded research councils; individual government departments; non-department government bodies; charities, trusts and foundations.
All significant UK research funders provide information about calls on their own websites - which are the authoritative source for details of funding calls and supporting information.
Some sites also provide other notification services for funding and news, including the use of social media, which may suit some users. Access to these is usually via registration on the funder’s main site.
University staff and students can also access further information in our supporting research: internal documents section.
Guides to major funders (internal staff and students only)
- BBSRC - Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
- NERC - Natural Environment Research Council
- EPSRC - Engineering Physical Sciences Research Council
- ESRC - Economic and Social Research Council
- AHRC - Arts and Humanities Research Council
- MRC - Medical Research Council
- Innovate UK
- Leverhulme Trust
- Wellcome Trust
UK Research & Innovation (UKRI)
Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC)
Biotechnology & Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)
Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC)
Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)
Medical Research Council (MRC)
Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)
Science & Technology Facilities Council (STFC)
Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF)
Visit this page for information and advice on the UK's £1.5 billion Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF).
Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF)
Visit this page for information and advice on the evolving Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund.
Charities and trusts
There are over 8800 grant-making trusts and foundations in the UK. The following are examples of some of the larger trusts
Alcohol Education & Research Council- provides a wide range of grants including research and development grants
British Academy- for the humanities and social sciences
British Council- helping to share British expertise and talent
Esmee Fairbairn Foundation- funds projects in four major strands arts, education and learning, environment and social change
Joseph Rowntree Foundation- provides research funding for housing, social care and social policy through specific calls
NESTA- (National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts) - innovation in the UK
Nuffield Foundation- improving social well-being through education, research and innovation
The National Lottery Community Fund - funds health and social research
The Leverhulme Trust- providing scholarships for research and education.
The Royal Society- the oldest scientific academy in continuous existence, funding various schemes open to the scientific community
The Wellcome Trust- supporting biomedical research and medical humanities.
The following are examples of government sourced or other statutory organisation funding schemes available.
Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB)- a statutory levy board with seven sector divisions with funding opportunities
Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS)- department for economic growth
Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA)
Department for International Development (DFID)
Department of Education for Northern Ireland (DENI)
Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF)
Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW)
Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA)
Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC)- UK's experts on digital technologies for education and research
National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR)- commissions and funds NHS, social care and public health research
Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA)
Scottish Funding Council (SFC)- promoting further and higher education
Research Professional is a comprehensive online research funding opportunities database and alerting service.