Working with universities

EPSRC invests the majority of its funds in UK universities, and as a consequence, we work closely with the university sector to deliver our strategies and portfolio of research.

Interactions take place via a range of mechanisms across the organisation, including thematic visits, regional meetings and events (supported by our heads of regional engagement), and engagement with our portfolio managers. We have strong links with universities through our advisory bodies and also engage closely with research offices in operational areas such as peer review policy and on specific schemes and activities.

We maintain strategic relationships with the top 36 universities in our portfolio. Membership of this group is reviewed every three years, with the fourth triennial review undertaken in 2020. The 36 universities are referred to as strategic partners, split over two tiers. The first tier contains the 20 universities with the largest EPSRC portfolios, and the second has the next 16. These universities collectively account for approximately 90% of EPSRC’s funding. Senior management in these universities have a one-to-one relationship with an EPSRC contact, at director, deputy director, or head of programme level.

The key objectives of engaging with our strategic university partners are to:

  • work together to achieve strategy and policy goals vital for engineering and physical sciences, including the aspirations of the UK’s research and development roadmap
  • increase our knowledge and evidence base to support strategic planning and demonstrate the impact of our investments
  • maintain our strong relationships with partners, built on mutual trust and openness.

We are committed to funding the best research and training in whichever university it is to be found, and to continue dialogue and information sharing with all universities.

Strategic partners

Tier 1
Cardiff University
Imperial College London
Newcastle University
University College London
University of Bath
University of Birmingham
University of Bristol
University of Cambridge
The University of Edinburgh
University of Glasgow
University of Leeds
University of Liverpool
The University of Manchester
University of Nottingham
University of Oxford
The University of Sheffield
University of Southampton
University of Strathclyde
University of Surrey
The University of Warwick

Tier 2
Brunel University London
Cranfield University
Durham University
Heriot Watt University
King’s College London
Lancaster University
Loughborough University
Queen Mary, University London
Queen’s University Belfast
Royal Holloway, University of London
Swansea University
University of Exeter
University of Kent
University of St Andrews
University of Sussex
University of York

Last updated: 2 November 2023

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