funding opportunities

Read the latest calls for funding

deadlines approaching

The Grand Challenges family of initiatives fosters innovation to solve key global health and development problems. Each initiative is an experiment in the use of challenges to focus innovation on making an impact. Individual challenges address some of the same problems, but from differing perspectives.

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Application deadline: Various - refer to specific Challenge

The FTI scheme is a collaborative programme for industry driven, innovative concepts that can be market ready within 3 years.

Are you looking for partners that can help you with a fast go-to-market of an industry-driven, innovative concept that has strong potential to make your company grow and scale-up?

Do you see co-creation or open innovation as ways to advance your innovation cycle and enter the market within three years?

Substantial funding available to test, validate and demonstrate innovations with users before full commercial roll-out, potentially via a spin-off company or a joint venture.

European Innovation Council (EIC) 

Next application deadline: 23 May, 2019. Multiple cut-off dates through 2020.

current opportunities

Shell launched the Shell LiveWIRE Smarter Future Programme to support young, innovative entrepreneurs like you to meet the ever-increasing energy and resource needs of a fast-growing population.

The award is open to any entrepreneur aged 16-30 years who has been trading for less than a year, or is looking to start trading in the next 12 months, and has an idea that addresses the UK's future transport, energy, or natural resource challenges, or makes our urban environments cleaner and more sustainable places to work and live in.

Each month a prize of £5,000 is awarded to young entrepreneurs looking to implement innovative business solutions that meet the energy and resource needs of a growing population. 

Ensuring sufficient supply of resources will pose considerable challenges.  At the same time it presents a fantastic opportunity for the next generation of UK entrepreneurs.  

The Shell LiveWIRE Smarter Future programme consists of: 

  • Start-up funding of £5,000 to one monthly winner
  • Access to exclusive Shell events and workshops.

Shell LiveWIRE

The Competition shall run from 00:00 on the 1st day of each month until 23:59 on the last day of each month until 31st July 2019.

At the end of each month, up to five shortlisted entrants are asked to submit an 'elevator pitch video' (max 1 minute long) to go up for a public online vote.

Prizes are awarded approximately one month after candidates are named in the shortlist (i.e. those who apply for April awards will be notified that they are on the shortlist the first week of May, and the winner will be announced the first week of June).

Application deadline: Monthly until 31 July, 2019

This award is aimed at those interested in animal genetics, aimed at allowing people to attend meetings and undertake study tours or projects, it can also be used to bring animal geneticists to UK meetings. 

Applications should reflect areas of current or future interest that will advance research and education in the application of genetics to livestock production. 

Around £1400 is available annually, although a proportion of these monies may be held over to allow more funding to be available in years when the World Congress in Genetics Applied Livestock Production, to fund attendance of that conference.  

Alan Robertson was a population geneticist and a major influence in the widespread adoption of artificial insemination of cattle and on estimating genetic effects that influence quantitative traits. Robertson spent most of his working life based at the National Animal Breeding and Genetics Research Organisation in Edinburgh as a member of the Unit of Animal Genetics.  


Closing date:  to be announced - this is normally approximately three months before the WCGALP.  

In years when the WCGALP is being held (every four years, 2018, 2022, 2026...) an additional application period will be added as notified by the society.  

This scholarship is open to both members and non-members of BSAS.

EUREKA is the leading platform for innovative entrepreneurs in Europe. 

If you are a small company in need of public funding for your innovative idea, participation in a Eurostars project can bring you a passport to growth, further innovation, an opening to new global markets and even greater business success.

Eurostars is the only European funding programme specifically dedicated to support R&D-performing SMEs in their innovative R&D projects. With its bottom-up approach, it stimulates international collaborative research and innovation projects that will be rapidly commercialised. 

Assistance is available for pan-European near-market, collaborative R&D projects which lead to the development of advanced products, processes or services. Assistance may include help with finding partners and the lowering of likely barriers to commercial success.


Application deadline: 12 September, 2019

cALlS with no closing date

This scheme enables potential follow-on funding applicants to secure small amounts of funding to carry out preliminary commercial activities.


No deadline

A range of research and knowledge exchange funding opportunities throughout the year, across all livestock and crop areas. 

Research and development is essential to improving practice, increasing knowledge, resolving issues and developing innovative approaches to address concerns within the industry.

Supports close-to-market activities, with the aim to give a strong boost to breakthrough innovation with a market-creating potential. Highly innovative SMEs with a clear commercial ambition and a potential for high growth and internationalisation are the prime target (any topic).  €500,00- €2.5 euros. 

Horizon 2020

Various application deadlines throughout the year

Scottish Enterprise research and development (R&D) grants help projects that will lead to innovative new products, processes and services to:

  • Improve company competitiveness
  • Benefit the Scottish economy

Scottish Enterprise

No deadline

Funding for Industry Collaborations

The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) is  one of seven Research Councils that work together as Research Councils UK (RCUK). Funded by the Government's Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS).

BBSRC provide a range of funding opportunities to enable individuals and groups to pursue world-class bioscience research. This includes joint opportunities with other Research Councils and organisations.  

The Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) is a new five year £1.5 billion resource funding stream, announced as part of the 2015 spending review, to ensure that UK research takes a leading role in addressing the problems faced by developing countries.

The GCRF will deploy the UK’s world-class research capability to address the challenges faced by the developing world. 

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), through the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) Collective Programme, has announced investment of up to £8.5 million to support interdisciplinary proposals that seek to work across the food system to reduce the global double burden of malnutrition.

This programme aims to consolidate existing evidence and synthesise new evidence for sustainable, multidisciplinary approaches that address the challenge of chronic global malnutrition.

Application deadline: 17 May, 2019 

The BBSRC Grants Guide covers all aspects of research grant funding, including: eligibility, research equipment and application procedures. 

If you can't find what you're looking for please contact: 

Research grant submission: t: 01793 444164 

Grant eligibility: 


The Knowledge Transfer Network is Innovate UK’s network partner and also provides innovation networking for other funders in line with its mission to drive UK growth. 

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs) accelerate business innovation by supporting knowledge exchange with academic institutions. KTP operates through an open call which includes the entirety of BBSRC's remit. 

As part of a UK-wide programme, these partnerships serve as a mechanism to transfer knowledge and to develop graduate and postgraduate personnel for industrial careers.Each partnership, lasting between 1 and 3 years, employs 1 or more high-calibre KTP Associates (early-career researchers) to work on an innovative project within industry.

Associates are jointly supervised by the participating industrial and academic partners. Government support is delivered through a grant to the academic partner. In addition, a contribution from the participating company fully covers an HEI’s cost of participation.

BBSRC seeks to promote KTP in industrial sectors that are able to benefit from the UK's excellent bioscience research base and encourages the appointment of KTP Associates at post-doctoral level. 

Applications are particularly welcomed from:
  • Small and medium sized biotechnology companies requiring access to advanced technology
  • Academic partners who have received BBSRC support

How to Apply:

Contact your local KTP Adviser or Office or call +44 (0) 300 321 4357.

A KTP can last between 12 and 36 months depending on the project and the needs of the business. It is part-funded by a grant. The amount businesses need to contribute is different for SMEs and larger companies.

2019/20 close dates for submission are aligned with Innovate UK’s sector and open competitions.

UK Research and Innovation is a new body which works in partnership with universities, research organisations, businesses, charities, and government to create the best possible environment for research and innovation to flourish. Operating across the whole of the UK, working with many partners to benefit everyone through knowledge, talent and ideas, with a combined budget of more than £7 billion.

Innovate UK is part of UKRI, a non-departmental public body funded by a grant-in-aid from the UK government.

As the UK's innovation agency, Innovate UK works with people, companies and partner organisations to fund business and research collaborations to accelerate innovation and drive business investment into research and development and realise the potential of new ideas that grow the economy, including those from the UK’s world-class research base.

The government’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund brings together leading research and business to tackle the big societal and industrial challenges today. 

The fund is a core pillar in the government’s commitment to increase funding in research and development by £4.7 billion over 4 years to strengthen UK science and business.

It will invest in the world-leading research base and highly-innovative businesses to address the biggest industrial and societal challenges today and is designed to ensure that research and innovation takes centre stage in the government’s Industrial Strategy.

National Phenotypic Screening Centre (NPSC) is a collaborative centre of excellence in phenotypic screening applied to human, animal and plant health. Assays run within the consortium are sourced from academia and fully funded through assay development, screening and hit validation.

Currently there are open calls for assay proposals in several different therapy areas.


No deadline


The Royal Society of Edinburgh Enterprise Fellowships enable promising science and technology researchers to grow into successful entrepreneurs.

Fellowships funded by Scottish Enterprise comprise the bulk of the programme. These awards are designed to encourage and enable the development of a new business based in Scotland around a technological idea developed by the Enterprise Fellow, either individually or with others, and within which the Enterprise Fellow would be expected to play a leading, though not necessarily the leading, role.

The Royal Society of Edinburgh

Awards are twice a year. Closing dates are generally May and October.

The next fund deadline to be announced.

TRAIN@ed is an ambitious new postdoctoral fellowship scheme providing researchers from around the world the opportunity to develop their career in one of the world’s leading universities. Each Fellow will take part in a dedicated skills development programme designed to help the Fellow establish a sustainable career in research.

TRAIN@Ed Fellowships have a focus on collaborative research with industry, the creative arts or third sector organisations. Fellowships will normally be 3 years long.  Training, mentoring and career development of the Fellows are major features of the TRAIN@Ed programme. 

TRAIN@Ed is a Horizon 2020 Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions COFUND scheme. It will act as a new innovation tool at the university employing people as joint industry-academic fellows that can work to deepen collaborative partnerships. The aim of the “experienced researcher” programme is to facilitate recruitment of international postdoctoral Fellows.

The TRAIN@Ed project will recruit 25 fellows from around the world, with the first cohort starting in early 2019. 

University of Edinburgh

Calls are open to researchers who are eligible for Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions Experienced Researcher Schemes and satisfy the mobility requirements of the COFUND scheme i.e. no more than 12 months spent in the UK in the last three years.

Application deadline: 30 April, 2019


PhD and MScR opportunities are available at The Roslin Institute and Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies.

A number of studentships for taught and research postgraduates are offered each year.

PhD and MScR opportunities are available at The Roslin Institute and Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies.

A number of studentships for taught and research postgraduates are offered each year.

AHDB fund a wide variety of PhD students to support the increase of new talent and ideas into our agricultural and horticultural sectors.

Requests for further information should be sent to indicating to which sector(s) your question is addressed. 

AHDB PhD Studentship Programme


New funding calls will be added regularly so please Bookmark this page for the latest additions and those with deadlines approaching. 

Future and Emerging Technologies is part of the Excellent Science pillar of the EU's programme for research and innovation, Horizon 2020. It focuses on research beyond what is known, accepted or widely adopted and supports novel and visionary thinking. Funding is available for collaborative research projects to open up new and promising fields of research, technology and innovation (various topics).

Next Application Deadline: 3 September, 2019

There is up to £3 million of funding available from the Department for International Development (DFID) for early stage feasibility studies, mid stage industrial research and late stage experimental development. Projects must work on agri-tech and food chain innovations with partners in eligible African countries.

Opens: 1 April, 2019

The Biomedical Catalyst (BMC) is a unique partnership between the MRC and Innovate UK, providing responsive and effective support to the most innovative life sciences opportunities regardless of scientific approach.

The BMC aims to de-risk innovative science and commercialise ideas arising out of academia and industry helping UK SMEs to develop into competitive and sustainable organisations. This accelerates the progress of novel products to market, facilitates onward investment and bridges “the valley of death”.

MRC supports academically-led feasibility research through the Confidence in Concept which is open to institutions but not individual researchers. Academic-led applications for Early and Late Stage awards are primarily administered through the Developmental Pathway Funding Scheme (DPFS).

Since BMC launched in April 2012, the scheme has awarded more than £250m funding, matched by £150m of private finance, to over 300 projects seeking to develop a wide range of therapies, diagnostics and devices.

Deadline: DPFS is an ongoing scheme, with outline deadlines every 4 months.

Further details of open and future DPFS deadlines can be found on the submission deadlines page for the scheme.