Research organisation eligibility

All UK higher education institutions (HEIs) that receive grant funding from one of the UK higher education funding bodies are eligible to receive funds for research, postgraduate training and associated activities.

These bodies consist of Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW), Scottish Funding Council (SFC) and Department for Employment & Learning Northern Ireland (DEL).

Research institutes (RIs), for which research councils have established a long-term involvement as major funder as part of the national research base (and which are listed on the UKRI eligibility pages), are also eligible to receive research funding.

Other independent research organisations (IROs) may also be eligible to receive funding for research, if such research extends and enhances the national research base. The research councils will jointly consider eligibility of IROs for research funding, and eligibility may be restricted to certain research councils. The full eligibility criteria and application process is on the UKRI website - external link.

IROs are eligible to receive funding from a research council in its managed mode (NERC research programmes) or in response to a specific call for proposals. Unless specifically stated by an individual council, access to responsive mode (discovery science) funding is limited to HEIs and RIs. Organisations currently recognised as IROs are listed on the UKRI eligibility pages.

Organisations that are eligible to apply for research council funding may work in partnership or collaboration with any other organisation, irrespective of its eligibility status, subject to the conditions of any grant awarded.

In unusual cases, research councils may have requirements for the development of equipment or facilities, needed to pursue their research priorities, for which there is no capability in HEIs, RIs or IROs. In these specific circumstances, the research councils will issue a call for proposals and may fund organisations which do not otherwise satisfy the conditions for eligibility.

IIASA Co-Investigator Eligibility

NERC do not currently allow international co-investigators except for this change from 2020.

IIASA eligibility will apply to NERC funded calls announced after 1 January 2020, in line with the new funding for UK Membership of IIASA.  This includes Discovery Science Large Grants (Outline closing date 10 March 2020) and the July 2020 Standard Grant closing date.

Individual Announcements of Opportunity will name IIASA as an eligible co-I. IIASA will not be eligible for funding through some calls from UKRI funds.  An IIASA Co-I may not take over from the UK Principal Investigator. All IIASA funding will be go via the UK Research Organisation.

The following rules will apply to IIASA co-Investigator funding:

  • IIASA Co-Is can request a maximum of 30% of the full economic cost (FEC) of the grant application (NB not 30% of the maximum grant size by scheme) 
  • IIASA will be paid at 100% of the justified direct costs
  • Eligible costs are as follows;
    • IIASA co-investigator salaries
    • Directly incurred (DI) costs (e.g. Travel & Subsistence, consumables)
    • IIASA Research Assistants
  • Ineligible costs are;
    • Estates and other indirect costs
    • Capital costs
    • Equipment over £10k (anything under £10k can be requested under DI costs)