Shape future priorities: building a pipeline of great ideas

UKRI is committed to developing the best ideas wherever they are found. By engaging with stakeholders, we aim to ensure that our future priorities are inclusive, innovative and in touch with our communities, government and society as a whole.

To achieve this, each of UKRI’s research councils run ideas processes to engage with the research and innovation community and beyond.

The aim is to identify exciting, adventurous and potentially transformative ideas within their disciplines. Ideas that will spark creativity and attract the enthusiasm of researchers, the public, industry and government and potentially shape the next generation of research and innovation priorities.

Recognising that truly big ideas will often require working across disciplines and sectors. UKRI’s research councils work together to:

  • identify potential synergies across remits
  • develop ideas in a connected and agile way.

How you can get involved

Find out how each research council has developed initiatives to identify adventurous and exciting ideas that have the potential to be transformational.


AHRC’s ‘Where Next’ pilot scheme for funding ambitious new ideas is currently being evaluated.

‘Where Next’ pilot scheme and the projects funded during the pilot phase.



BBSRC’s vision is to push back the frontiers of biology to deliver a healthy, prosperous and sustainable future.

BBSRC’s big ideas pipeline.



EPSRC’s vision is to identify and champion bold new research challenges at the cutting edge of engineering and physical sciences.

EPSRC’s big ideas pipeline.



ESRC’s big ideas pipeline.


Innovate UK

Innovate UK’s ‘Smart’ open grant funding programme supports the best game-changing and commercially viable innovative or disruptive ideas.

Future rounds of the Smart grant will be focused on supporting proposals from UK based innovative businesses that are destined for early, successful commercialisation, growth and exports.

Check if you are eligible for a Smart grant.



MRC’s vision is to transform the health research landscape and help to achieve the strategy outlined in their 2019 MRC delivery plan.

MRC’s big ideas pipeline.



NERC’s webpage for funding ambitious new ideas is currently being reviewed.

NERC’s strategic research.



STFC’s webpage for funding ambitious new ideas is currently being reviewed.


Last updated: 25 July 2022

This is the integrated website of the seven research councils, Research England and Innovate UK.
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