We offer many funding opportunities to support international collaboration. These include:
- travel and subsistence grants for UK researchers to work abroad
- exchanges and networking schemes for doctoral students and researchers
- schemes to support international research collaborations between the UK and partner countries
- innovation support for businesses working with overseas partners.
What to apply for will depend on:
- where you’re based, whether in the UK or another country
- what you want to do
UK researchers who want to do research outside of the UK
Although the UK has left the EU, UK-based researchers can continue to take part in many EU funding programmes.
The UK agreed a deal to associate to Horizon Europe on 7 September 2023. UK researchers can now apply for Horizon Europe funding, certain that all successful UK applicants will be covered through the UK’s association (or through the guarantee) for the remainder of the programme.
Find out more about participating in EU-funded projects.
International researchers who want to do research in the UK
Many of UKRI’s funding opportunities are open to international researchers.
Eligibility is different for each funding opportunity. For example, for some grants the principal investigator must be based in the UK, but you could be part of the bid as a co-investigator or another team member.
If you want to come to the UK to work on a research project or fellowship, you’ll usually need a visa before you can start. Find out about getting a Global Talent visa to do research in the UK.
Check funding opportunities to find out if you’re eligible for opportunities from UKRI.
UK and international researchers who want to work together
UK and non-UK based researchers may be able to apply for joint funding. UKRI does this through several opportunities.
Lead agency opportunities
Some of our collaborative opportunities are run as lead agency opportunities.
Lead agency opportunities are jointly funded by UKRI and its partner funders around the world. They involve an agreed framework for the review of funding applications, with each funding partner responsible for awarding the successful applications in their respective countries.
The process for applying varies between opportunities. There is specific guidance for:
- the US National Science Foundation (NSF), see lead agency opportunity with the NSF
- the Research Council for the State of São Paulo (FAPESP), Brazil, see collaborate with researchers in Brazil
- Fonds National de la Recherche (FNR), Luxembourg, see collaborate with researchers in Luxembourg
- other council-specific lead agency agreements
This guidance will need to be read in addition to the specific funding opportunity that you are applying for.
To find an opportunity with UKRI and our councils, search funding opportunities.
Some international collaborative opportunities are funded solely by UKRI. These opportunities will be listed on our funding finder as and when they are available. See for instance money follows cooperation agreement with Research Council Norway.
Some research councils also include general policy on international co-investigators as part of their grant awards, including:
- Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC): see embedding international elements into research proposals
Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC): see inclusion of project co-leads (international) on applications
Medical Research Council (MRC): see check if you’re eligible for funding – co-investigators
Individual research councils’ international opportunities
You can find out more about the international opportunities of UKRI’s research councils:
- Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)
- Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)
- Engineering and Physical Science Research Council (EPSRC)
- Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)
- Medical Research Council (MRC)
- Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)
- Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC).
Last updated: 15 September 2023