Research Council funding


Operating across the whole of the UK, UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) brings together the following seven research councils, as well as Innovate UK and Research England.

UKRI provide a range of funding opportunities to enable individuals and groups to pursue world-class research and innovation – see their current opportunities.

Arts and Humanities Research Council

The Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) funds cutting-edge and innovative research in the arts and humanities. The AHRC oversees a diverse range of subject disciplines, from history to literature, design to dance, and linguistics to archaeology. Full details of the AHRC’s subject coverage and list of primary research areas can be found on their funding remit page .

Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council

The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) funds research in plants, microbes, animals (including humans), tools and technology underpinning biological research. The BBSRC funds research from the level of molecules and cells, to tissues, whole organisms, populations and landscapes. More details about the scientific remit of BBSRC can be found on their portfolio page.

Economic and Social Research Council

The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) funds research and related training on social and economic issues. Current ESRC national research priority areas for investment include climate change, innovation in health and social care, trust and global governance in a turbulent age, mental health, housing, productivity, and understanding the macroeconomy; more details can be found on the ESRC research priorities page. See the ESRC discipline classifications  for information of the research areas (by subject and topic) that fall with ESRC’s remit. 

Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council

The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) funds research and training in engineering and the physical sciences. Current themes within the ESPRC portfolio include digital economy, energy, engineering, global uncertainties, healthcare technologies, information and communication technologies (ICT), living with environmental change, manufacturing the future, mathematical sciences, physical sciences, quantum technologies and research infrastructure. See the full A-Z list of all EPSRC research areas.

Medical Research Council

The Medical Research Council (MRC) supports research to improve human health across the biomedical spectrum, from fundamental lab-based science to clinical trials, and in all major disease areas. MRC gives high priority to research that is likely to make a real difference to clinical practice and the health of the population. See full details of the MRC science areas and cross-cutting themes.

Natural Environment Research Council

The Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) funds basic, strategic and applied research, survey and long-term environmental observation and monitoring of the whole Earth system. NERC supports discovery science - driven by curiosity - and strategic research which helps society benefit from natural resources, build resilience to natural hazards and manage our changing environment. NERC’s remit includes terrestrial, marine, freshwater, science-based archaeology, atmospheric and polar sciences, and Earth observation. More details can be found on the NERC research areas page.

Science and Technology Facilities Council

The Science and Technology Facilities Council (SFTC) supports research, innovation and skills development in astronomy and space scienceparticle physics and particle astrophysics, and nuclear physics . SFTC also operates and provides access to large-scale science and engineering research facilities. Find out more about SFTC’s science facilities .


European Research Council

The European Research Council (ERC) encourages the highest quality research in Europe through competitive funding and supports investigator-driven frontier research across all fields, on the basis of scientific excellence. Find out more about the ERC’s mission and aims.

UK Research Office (for Europe)

The UK Research Office (UKRO) is a European office of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI). UKRO delivers a subscription-based advisory service for research organisations and provides National Contact Point services on behalf of the UK Government. UKRO aims to maximise UK engagement in EU-funded research, innovation and higher education activities.