Funders and opportunities available to ARU researchers

Research and Innovation Development Office

Category: Research news

6 February 2018

Today I'm sharing more widely a session RIDO ran for FHSCE on topic of broadening your funding landscape. The presentation touched on funding to FHSCE, but there are two key messages for reader of any faculty.

  1. There are a wide range of funders out there which most will not necessarily be aware of! OK the funder that fits your research best may not offer the biggest grants, but keep on looking!
  2. Although these funders come from searching from a health, social care and education perspective, they could be interested in your work even if you're from ALSS, FSE, FMS or LAIBS. Investigate their broader remits or contact a member of our team if you want to follow up on the opportunity!

Below is a summary of some of the funding covered for the session, and I hope you find this advice useful.

Global Challenges Research Fund

GCRF is a £1.5bn investment by government to support the development of low-middle income countries (LMICs) through research, rather than simply through aid. Projects funded under GCRF must have their primary benefit in one or more LMICs, but can have secondary outputs in the UK, and work does not always require a partner overseas. GCRF calls are offered by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI)/ the Research Councils and learned societies. It complements the Newton Fund.

Newton Fund

Funding under this programme was doubled from £75m to £150m/year in the recent Government budget to fund international collaborative projects. These generally target specific countries, sometimes only one at a time, as they are generally co-funded by a local funding agency. Sometimes a broad range of academic fields can apply, sometimes the remit will be very narrow.

Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund

This £4.2bn ISCF scheme echoes the ambition of the Government Industrial Strategy to ensure UK is seen as an international leader on Research and Innovation and to address the economic challenges UK faces. The first four challenges will focus on artificial intelligence, clean growth, mobility. Areas where ARU could look for opportunities are related to our work on the ageing society, future mobility and AI. Over the coming months UKRI and Innovate UK will be announcing new funding opportunities in all our research areas.

Lesser-known charities

With a bit of digging, it's possible to turn up any number of small trusts and charities who may just provide vital funding for what your work needs. For example:

  • The Health Foundation
  • The Evelyn Trust (health)
  • Education Endowment Foundation
  • The Wolfson Foundation (care and independence)
  • The Varkey Foundation (USA-based, teacher focussed)
  • Anglo-American Group Foundation (sustainable livelihoods)
  • Canon Foundation (visiting fellowships in Japan)
  • Nominet (applying technology)
  • The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation (education, environment).

EU funding

Opportunities still exist for UK academics through the EU for the current H2020 programme and the most recent report shows the UK is still the second most successful recipient of EU funding. We have a steady stream of applicants for Research and Innovation Actions, Innovation Actions, and Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions. Vast amounts of research funding are still available, if you have the right project and network to access it. If you have an interest in this funding please note ARU is planning an event run by UKRO office on 1 and 2 March on H2020 funding, so keep an eye out for information on this event.

Funding from international sources

If you are interested in developing link with International collaborators, here are some potential funders to explore. There are vast number of UK-based funds to encourage international project, including from bodies such as the British Council and Research Councils. The other option, of course, is to seek out funding directly from your country of interest. For example, the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science funds researchers for working visits to Japan. The Chiang Ching-Kuo Foundation supports scholarly exchange between Chinese and European researchers. The International Social Science Council offers targeted calls around various issues, such as sustainability. Don’t forget, Research Professional is your friend in finding these calls, but do also get in touch with RIDO and we'll do our best to find you a funder!

Other tips

The FSHCE session also provided some excellent tips you may want to explore for your funding searches.

  1. Join relevant professional bodies if you can - they can offer small pots of money to their members at times.
  2. Examine the records of high-profile researchers in your field who have won prestigious grants. You might not compete for the same grants this year, but where did they apply to for money at other points in their career?
  3. Keep checking the Government departments of interest to your research field.


The views expressed here are those of the individual and do not necessarily represent the views of Anglia Ruskin University. If you've got any concerns please contact us.