Funding opportunities by type

There are many different types of research funding available in the UK, from small and large grants, to fellowships and bursaries.

If you already know what you're looking for, our whistle-stop tour of the most popular schemes, below, lists set and open deadlines.

Early career grants

The Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Research Grants Scheme has an early career route that shares the same aims as the standard route, but has been introduced to help new researchers get experience of managing and leading research projects. It's not for sole researching, though – you're expected to have a co-investigator. Applications can have a full economic cost between £50,000 and £250,000 and last for up to 60 months. No closing dates.

Wellcome Trust Investigator Awards are for anyone who holds an established post. You'll be considered according to your career stage and experience. You can apply for money to cover the direct costs of research (but not salary costs; these must be provided by your host institution). Awards can be typically up to £3 million, and last up to seven years. Deadlines: July and November.

The Engineering and Physical Sciences (ESPRC) Research Council's First Grant Scheme is capped at £125,000 and has a maximum duration of two years. No closing dates. 

Fellowships and professorships

The AHRC Leadership Fellows Scheme provides time for research leaders, or potential future research leaders, to undertake focused, individual research. They'll expect you to think about collaborative activities which will potentially have a significant impact on your subject area. Full economic costs of between £50,000 and £250,000 are available, with funding lasting anywhere between six to 18 months. No closing dates.

Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellowships provide career development opportunities if you're at an early stage of your academic career, but have a proven record of research. The Trust will contribute 50% of each Fellow's total salary costs up to a maximum of £24,000 per annum for three years. The balance is to be paid by the host institution. Deadline: March.

The Royal Society/Leverhulme Senior Research Fellowship is designed for you if you're taking a break from teaching and administrative duties. You can get a full teaching replacement if you work in life and physical sciences, including engineering but excluding clinical medicine. Deadline: usually towards the end of the year.


The AHRC Research Networking Scheme supports discussion and exchange of ideas on a specified thematic area, issue or problem using a short-term series of workshops, seminars, networking activities or other events. Full economic costs up to £30,000 for a period of up to two years are available. If you're involving international activity, a further £15,000 is available. No closing dates.

Major grants

The AHRC Research Grants Scheme standard route accepts proposals with a total full economic cost of between £50,000 and £1,000,000, lasting up to 60 months. The bid must have a co-investigator as well as a principal investigator. No closing dates.

Leverhulme Trust Research Project Grants are for large projects in any discipline area other than medicine and education. You can hold a grant for up to five years for a maximum sum of £500,000. Deadlines: outline applications are welcome at any time, full proposals due in September, December or March.

Economic and Research Council (ESRC) Research Grants may suit you if you have an excellent idea for a research project. The best way to seek funding for it is through the research grants open call. Awards range from £350,000 to £1 million at full economic costing. No closing dates.

Small grants

British Academy/Leverhulme Small Grants support primary research in the humanities and social sciences. Applications will not be considered for less than £500. The maximum grant is £10,000 over two years. Deadline: usually two calls a year in May and October.