Check if you’re eligible for funding - STFC


Eligibility of research organisations

There are three types of organisation eligible to receive grants: higher education institutions (HEIs), research institutes and independent research organisations (IROs).

Higher education institutions

All UK HEIs are eligible to receive grants. Find out more about higher education institution eligibility.

Research institutes

All research institutes are eligible to receive research grants. Find out more about research institutes eligibility.

Independent research organisations

IROs may be eligible to receive funding for research from UK Research and Innovation, if such research extends and enhances the national research base.

To be recognised as an eligible IRO the organisation must satisfy certain conditions.

Find out about the conditions IRO’s must meet.

Any IRO that is considering applying for eligibility with a view to seeking funding from STFC is advised to contact STFC Swindon Office in the first instance.

Find out about your eligibility


Potential applicants from eligible independent research organisations should also check the eligibility of applicants’ requirements and any additional eligibility requirements for the scheme (research grant or fellowship) to which they are applying. All organisations approved as an eligible IRO may apply to any of the research councils where they are also able to meet the remit eligibility.

NHS Trusts

NHS Trusts are also eligible to apply as lead applicants for all research councils.

Find guidance on eligible costs for NHS Trusts.


For STFC, in the case of CERN and ESRF applicants must be a scientist or engineer performing one of the following functions:

  • research, development or professional work including academic study and/or supervisory responsibility
  • leadership of research, development or professional work involving a wide range of academic study and/or strategic responsibility
  • responsibilities of the highest level of scientific and/or management complexity, originality and wide distinction

In addition, the following criteria must be met:

All applicants should provide a covering letter to their research proposal stating confirmation that they meet the eligibility criteria as set down above.

An applicant’s contract of employment must extend for at least the period of the grant for which they are seeking funds. The principal investigator need not be a UK citizen.

Where applicable, any collaborating organisation must have its research or manufacturing base in the UK.

All amounts requested should be given in pounds sterling.

Estates and Indirect costs will not be applicable. If the grant is awarded, STFC will pay 80% of the cost, excluding estates and indirect costs.

Public sector research establishments

A public sector research establishment is classified as an organisation that:

  • is sponsored directly by a government department or UKRI
  • has research and development capacity
  • has met UKRI criteria for public sector research establishments and is registered as being eligible for funding.

Research and technology organisations

The UK’s network of catapult centres are classified as research and technology organisations. There are nine catapult centres. No other organisation meets the definition for a research and technology organisation and you cannot apply to become one.

Last updated: 10 June 2022

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