Funding Opportunities

Grant-funded research

STFC operates the following grant-funded research programmes:

  • Astronomy Research Grants - which are awarded for research in the areas of astronomy, cosmology and solar system science.
  • PATT Travel Grants - which are awarded for the travel and subsistence cost of observing trips to recognised telescopes, including STFC telescopes.
  • Particle Physics and Particle Astrophysics Research Grants - which are awarded for research in areas of experimental and theoretical particle physics and certain aspects of particle astrophysics.
  • Nuclear Physics - grants, which provide funding in support of the UK nuclear physics programme.
  • Project Research and Development (PRD) Scheme - which are to intended to develop the capabilities needed to underpin UK science and technology leadership in future STFC projects. The programme includes an opportunity for industry to apply directly to the STFC for funding for research and development that will benefit STFC's science programme.
  • Major New Projects (PPRP) - focus on major new projects that are considered to have significant scientific priority in particle physics, nuclear physics, astronomy, particle astrophysics and solar system science. Examples of these include participation in new experiments or missions, the development of new instruments or upgrades to existing detectors. Applicants should submit a statement of interest in the first instance, and proposers may subsequently be invited to submit a full proposal to the Project Peer Review Panel (PPRP) for assessment.
  • 21st Century Challenge schemes (formerly the STFC Global Challenge Programme) - which provide funding to create new multidisciplinary research communities and to support small scale proof of concept projects to show that STFC expertise and technology can be applied to 21st Century Challenges.
  • Challenge Led Applied Systems Programme (CLASP) - which aims to apply STFC research to global research challenges in the four key areas identified in the Global Challenge programme i.e. energy, environment, healthcare and security.
  • Innovations Partnership Scheme (IPS) grants - which provides a maximum project value of £150k per annum, over a period not exceeding three years.
  • Follow on Fund - which is intended to provide financial support at the very early or pre-seed stage of turning research outputs into a commercial proposition.
  • Newton Fund – Official Development Assistance (ODA) funding - which is part of the UK’s official development assistance. Its aim is to develop science and innovation partnerships that promote the economic development and social welfare of partner countries.
  • Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) - which supports cutting-edge research that addresses the challenges faced by developing countries through: challenge-led disciplinary and interdisciplinary research; strengthening capacity for research and innovation within both the UK and developing countries and providing an agile response to emergencies where there is an urgent research need.

Public Engagement Funding

  • Small Awards - which provide funds for small, local or 'pilot' projects promoting STFC science and technology. Anyone can apply, including grant-funded research groups, STFC research facility users, schools, museums, etc. Awards range from £500 to £10,000 and the expenditure can go towards materials, salaries and travel & subsistence.
  • Large Awards - which provide funds for projects which are expected to have a significant regional or national impact. We offer awards from £10,000 up to £100,000. Almost anyone can apply but project teams must have strong links with STFC's scientific research community. We also encourage partnerships that may positively impact on the success of the project e.g. universities with science centres.
  • Public Engagement Fellowships - which are aimed at those with significant research experience with a demonstrated track record in outreach or communications work to act as champions or ambassadors for STFC's science, technology, engineering and mathematics ('STEM') work to schools, the media or public audiences.

Closing dates

  • When preparing a proposal for a STFC research grant, please take account of the closing date for the scheme for which you are applying
  • Proposals must be submitted by 4.00pm on the closing date
  • Closing dates will be strictly enforced

Science and Technology Facilities Council Switchboard: 01793 442000