UK Funding Bodies

UK Funding Bodies

UK Funding Bodies

The UK Government currently allocates £4.5bn to research. This is distributed to Higher Education Institutions and Research Organisations through a dual support system. Approximately half of this money is allocated according to the outcomes of the UK Funding Councilís (HEFCE, HEFCW, SFC) periodic assessment of research quality in HEIs. The last such assessment was REF2014 which was submitted by HEIs in November 2013. The other half is allocated to researchers through a competitive, peer-review process managed by seven Research Councils, each representing a broad subject area. Details of the Research Councils and their subject remit can be found here.

Most Government Departments will have their own research budget, as they require research to be undertaken on their behalf in order to meet their strategic aims and develop their policies. For some departments much of this research is undertaken by pre-identified agencies or organisations, but some make open calls for proposals to which HEIs can respond. Details of these departments can be found here.

There are also a number of non-departmental public bodies (NDPBs) which fund research in some fashion. One of the most significant of these is†Innovate UK†(previously the Technology Strategy Board) which promotes, supports and invests in technology research, development and commercialisation. Although its focus is business-led innovation and much of its funding is directed at business, it is also involved with a scheme that promotes partnerships between business and universities: Knowledge Transfer Partnerships. A fuller list of NDPBs that provide possible funding opportunities can be found here.

Many UK Charities, large and small, fund research. The Charities Commission is a searchable register of all UK registered charities by subject area which gives contact details and information concerning the charities' remit, which may be useful if you are looking for specific funding. There are, however, a number of both medical and non-medical charities which are significant and more general funders of research.