Current external funding calls

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships

The Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) scheme helps businesses in the UK to innovate and grow. It does this by linking them with an academic or research organisation and a graduate.

A KTP enables a business to bring in new skills and the latest academic thinking to deliver a specific, strategic innovation project through a knowledge-based partnership.

Value: Approx 33% cost of a project to SME’s and 50% for Larger organisations.
Deadline: Runs continuously through the year with October, December, February and April application deadlines.


NERC Call for ideas for potential Strategic Priorities Fund programmes

ERC is seeking ideas that could form the basis of future bids to the Strategic Priorities Fund (SPF). The opportunity for NERC to bid for an SPF programme is only likely to arise following a spending review but ideas are being sought now to allow for early identification and development of potential programme proposals.

The Douglas Bomfort Trust travel awards for research
Value: £1500
Deadline: open

The Rank Prize Awards for international collaborations in crop, nutrition and optoelectronics
Value: up to £10,000 for early and mid-career researchers
Deadline: open, with January, May and September reviews



UKRI Pre-announcement: Healthy Longevity Catalyst Awards

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) will support bold new ideas for tools and technologies that improve our physical, mental and social wellbeing as we age, through the global Healthy Longevity Catalyst Awards. Established by the US National Academy of Medicine (NAM) and funded under the Healthy Ageing Challenge Fund, the Awards will support early stage innovation and stimulate interest in global opportunities.

Value: £50,000

Call Opens: Call is expected to open in January 2020


UKRI ESPRC Pre-announcement: Prosperity Partnership Fourth Round

To support existing, strategic, research-based partnerships between business and universities by providing an opportunity for co-investment in large-scale, TRL 1-3 research programmes which address EPSRC’s Prosperity Outcomes Framework and the strategies of the universities and businesses.

Value: Not specified

Call opens: 7th January  2020

ESPRC Interdisciplinary Circular Economy Centres

Proposals are invited for Interdisciplinary Circular Economy Centres, each conducting interdisciplinary research that accelerates understanding and solutions to enable circularity of a resource flow (materials, material systems, products and/or services), including consideration of (multi-) sector contexts. UKRI welcomes and encourages applications led by and involving any discipline – and not only disciplines within EPSRC’s remit.

Value: Up to £22.5 million (at 80% FEC) is available to support up to five Centres for up to four years from 1 October 2020

Deadline: 5th December 2019

GCRF AgriFood  Africa Innovation Awards

The Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN) is pleased to announce a call for GCRF AgriFood Africa Innovation Awards as a means to encourage UK research partners, including Universities and Research Technology Organisations (RTOs), to address AgriFood challenges in Africa. Up to £800k will be available to support a maximum of 20 awards, which will be committed over a series of competition rounds. The call for Round 1 is now open, with up to ten awards available.

Value: £40,000 per project (20 projects to be funded)

Deadline: 6th January 2020

GCRF AgriFood Africa PhD Studentship Placements

The Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN) is pleased to announce an opportunity for two PhD student Professional Intern Placements (e.g. Doctoral Training Programme PIPs) for a period of up to 3 months starting in 2020 based at either the KTN Edinburgh or London office. The competition for this placement opened on 29th November 2019 via a web-based application form. KTN will interview prospective students in January with successful candidates notified by 31st January 2020. Placements must have commenced before the end of 2020 with a preference for at least one placement to begin before the end of March 2020.

Deadline: 6th January 2020

Agri-tech catalyst round 9: Agriculture and food systems innovation

Funding is available from the Department for International Development (DFID) and the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) for early-stage feasibility studies, mid stage industrial research and late-stage experimental development. Projects must work on agri-tech and food chain innovations with partners in eligible African countries.  This competition is split into 3 strands:

Early stage feasibility studies

Mid-stage industrial research 

Late stage experimental development

Value: Up to £5 Million in total. See strand information via links for specific funding for each stage.

Deadline: 8th January 2020


UKRI AHRC GCRF Cultures, Behaviours and Histories of Agriculture, Food, and Nutrition Call 2

Proposals should build contextually grounded understanding of food systems,
bringing together expertise across disciplines in local cultures and food systems.
Specific attention should be paid in the planning and design of activities to issues of gender, equalities and diversity and to inclusive and ethical engagement with local communities/intended beneficiaries.

Value: £200,000 FEC

Deadline: 9th January 2020


UKRI NERC  Standard Research Grants

These support pure, applied, technology-led or policy-driven environmental research. Research should be driven by curiosity and must address clearly defined scientific questions.

Value: £800,000

Deadline: 14th January 2020


UKRI BBSRC Responsive mode research grants

Responsive mode priorities include: Animal health, Combating antimicrobial resistance, Food, nutrition and health, Healthy ageing across the lifecourse, Integrative microbiome research, New strategic approaches to industrial biotechnology, Reducing waste in the food chain, The replacement, refinement and reduction (3Rs) in research using animals, Sustainably enhancing agricultural production, Synthetic biology, Systems approaches to the biosciences, Technology development for the biosciences and Welfare of managed animals.

Responsive mode grants include:

Industrial Partnership Awards (IPA)

IPAs are academic-led with significant industrial involvement. Industry partner(s) contributes in cash at least equivalent to 10% of the full project costs. Additional in-kind contributions from industry are welcome but do not count against the industry contribution. Funding is only available for organisations eligible for BBSRC support.

New Investigator scheme

Assists early-career researchers – newly employed university lecturers, lecturer level equivalent fellows whose awards were secured in open competition, and researchers in Research Council Institutes at the unified Research Council Band E or its equivalent – to secure their first major element of research funding.

Stand-alone LINK

Supports collaborative research projects between at least one company and one academic partner. At least 50% of the full project cost comes from industry. Applications should be for pre-competitive research that would not be undertaken in this form without LINK support.

Value: Please see links for values where indicated

Next deadline for all BBSRC responsive mode research grants: 15th January 2020


White Rose ESRC Postdoctoral Fellowships

Aimed at those in the immediate postdoctoral stage of their career, to provide an opportunity to consolidate their PhD through developing publications, their networks, their research and professional skills.The posts may be based at any of the White Rose DTP partner universities (Leeds, Sheffield, York) and will be fixed term positions on either a one-year full-time or two year part-time contract. The Fellowship will include salary costs, and additional funds may be applied for to support research activities including travel, subsistence, conference attendance, training and fieldwork.

Value: Not specified

Deadline: EOI 16th January 2020

UKRI EPSRC Connected Everything Network+ Feasibility Study Proposals

Key thematic areas include Industrial Internet of Things, Cyber-physical systems, Data analytics and decision making, The future industrial worker, Service design and customisation and Design for future manufacturing.
CEII has added three new thematic areas, for which we are developing definitions and research challenges: Creativity and design, Sociotechnical data-rich systems and Regulations.
Proposals should address challenges at low TRLs (1-3) and be aligned with at least one of the thematic areas.

Value: Five projects of up to a maximum value of £60,000 at full Economic Cost (fEC), with funding to be awarded at 80% fEC.

Deadline: 20th January 2020


ISCF Future food production systems

Projects must create integrated, data-driven solutions to drive agricultural productivity as well as target net zero emissions. We will consider a broad range of technologies and systems. The project must aim to determine the transformation of future food production systems. It must be ambitious, multidisciplinary and systems-focused rather than dedicated to developing a single technology.

Value: Greater than £1 million but less than £10 million.

Deadline: 22nd January 2020

Royal Society Leverhulme Trust Senior Research Fellowship

The scheme seeks to provide opportunities for experienced academic researchers to focus on full-time research for up to one year, by relieving them of all their teaching and administrative duties during that period. Preference will be given to candidates who, as well as demonstrating scientific excellence, can show that such relief is particularly needed and timely. Applications from mid-career candidates are particularly encouraged.

Value: Salary cost of a teaching replacement and £2,500 expenses.

Deadline: 2nd February 2020


AHDB P1912329: Improving integrated pest and disease management in tree fruit

The focus of this call will be on building resilient integrated programmes which are able to control all the major tree fruit pest species. It is essential the control of an individual pest or disease is not studied alone but takes into consideration the control of other pests and diseases in a crop production system. Control for one pest or disease must not be at the expense of the control of another.

Value: £200,000

Deadline: 14th February 2020


ISCF Transforming Food Production science and technology into practice: Feasibility Studies

Funding to test the feasibility of solutions that can transform food production. The feasibility study must; evaluate the early stage feasibility of precision solutions to transform food production; work with end users, such as farmers and producers; evaluate, in practice, the potential of early stage ideas that address industry identified problems; consider both the technical feasibility and the feasibility of the business model; consider the route to adoption; enable decisions to be made on the future development of the solution.
The solution must have the potential to improve productivity and sustainability and contribute to the target of net zero emissions from agriculture by 2040. Lead organisation can be a research organisation.

Value: Between £75,000 and £250,000. (80% of full economic costs for a research organisation)

Deadline: 26th February 2020


ISCF Transforming Food Production science and technology into practice: Demonstrators

Funding to demonstrate solutions that can transform food production. The demonstration project must; Demonstrate the viability of combinations of precision solutions to transform food production; demonstrate solutions across different production environments, to encourage their widespread use; work with end users; produce evidence of technical feasibility and economic viability at commercial scale. The solution must have the potential to improve productivity and sustainability and contribute to the target of net zero emissions from agriculture by 2040. Lead organisation can be a research organisation.

Value: Between £400,000 and £4 million. (80% of full economic costs for a research organisation)

Deadline: 26th February 2020


UKRI AHRC UK Climate Resilience Programme – Living with Climate Uncertainty

Projects will raise awareness of what it means to work with uncertainty to build climate resilience in the real world and deliver useful knowledge (narratives, learning histories, case studies, film and other material) to further inform practices and behaviours that build confidence in practical approaches to living with uncertainty and community and environmental resilience building.

Value: £330,000 (at 80% FEC) each for at least 3 proposals

Deadline: 27th February 2020

UKRI NERC Landscape Decisions Fellowships

Applications are invited for three types of fellowships: Research Synthesis, Research Translation, and Community Engagement Research. The outcomes of activities undertaken during the fellowships are expected to lead to new and improved understanding from the synthesis of research from different disciplines, the uptake of research outcomes in policy making and applications, and new and innovative methods for participatory and inclusive landscape decision processes.

Value: Total funds of up to £1m are available for this call to fund at least 4-5 fellows. Fellowships will be funded at 80% FEC.

Deadline: 26th March 2020