School of Chemistry

Funding opportunities

International Collaboration Awards

To support collaboration between research groups in the UK and overseas, with a view to support work on global challenges and problems facing developing countries. The aims are to:

  • Support the development of sustainable collaborative partnerships between researchers in the UK and research groups in developing countries to generate new approaches to the most significant and complex problems faced by developing countries;
  • Strengthen research capacity in developing countries through collaboration, sharing of knowledge and skills and exchange of staff;
  • Attract international scientists from developing countries and their teams to work with the UK’s universities and research institutions;
  • Support the research of the UK scientists working in fields relevant to the global challenges to formulate new approaches to global development problems.

Research must fall within the remit of the Royal Society, which includes natural sciences and engineering. Proposals must address questions related to equitable access to sustainable development, sustainable economies and societies.


Typically 10 awards, worth up to £75,000 per year for up to three years.


Forecast to open April 2021, typically one call per year.

Discovery Programme Awards and Foundation Awards

Programme Awards and Foundation Awards provide long-term support for broad, multidisciplinary research where the aim is to answer questions covering basic and translational research. Funding is available for independent academics at all career stages. The Awards can fund: 

  • Basic biological research relating to cancer;
  • Preclinical studies;
  • Biomarker research;
  • Imaging research;
  • Radiotherapy research;
  • The application of engineering and physical sciences to cancer.

Closing date: forecast September 2021.

New Investigator Research Grant - Molecular and Cellular Medicine

The Medical Research Council invites proposals for its new investigator research grant in molecular and cellular medicine. This supports researchers who are capable of becoming independent principal investigators and who are ready to take the next step towards that goal within the areas of molecular and cellular medicine.

Closing date: 5 May 2021

Research grants – Molecular and Cellular Medicine

The Medical Research Council invites applications for its research grants in molecular and cellular medicine. These support focused research projects that may be short- or long-term in nature.

Closing date: 5 May 2021

Strategic equipment, Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council

The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council invites outline applications for its strategic equipment call. This enhances UK scientific capability and supports a portfolio of high-quality, cutting-edge research of high priority by enabling researchers to purchase strategic equipment.

Closing date: 5 May 2021

Innovative Research in Cancer Nanotechnology

This call encourages applications promoting transformative discoveries in cancer biology and/or oncology through the use of nanotechnology. Proposed projects should address major barriers in cancer biology and/or oncology using nanotechnology and should focus on mechanistic studies to expand the fundamental understanding of nanomaterial and/or nano-device interactions with biological systems. These studies are expected to be relevant to the delivery of nanoparticles and/or nano-devices to desired and intended cancer targets in vivo and/or characterization of detection and diagnostic devices and sensors in vitro. Awards are expected to produce fundamental knowledge to aid future and more informed development of nanotechnology-based cancer interventions.

Closing date: 5 May 2021

EIC Pathfinder - Challenge Drive Call

This call supports early-stage development of new technology, with potential to create new market or to address global challenges. The research must provide the foundations of the envisioned technology and must have an interdisciplinary nature. Grants of €3-4m to support early-stage development of technologies of the future.

Closing date: 27 October 2021

HEI initiative: Innovation Capacity Building for Higher Education

The European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) has announced a Pilot Call for Proposals, inviting higher education institutions to design activities that will improve their entrepreneurial and innovation capacity.

Closing date: 25 May 2021

Leverhulme International Professorships

Applications are encouraged from universities seeking to recruit excellent research leaders of any nationality, currently working outside the UK, in order to fill strategically important positions in this country.

Closing date: 28 May 2021

Building Collaboration at the Physics of Life Interface, Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council

Apply for support for cross-disciplinary research between physics and the life sciences. The research must improve our understanding of biological systems, biomedical systems or both.

Closing date: 2 June 2021

Academic-Industrial Partnerships for Translation of Technologies for Diagnosis and Treatment

Funded through the National Institutes of Health (NIH, US), the aim of this call is to stimulate efforts to translate scientific discoveries and engineering developments into methods or tools that address problems in basic research to understand disease, or in applied research to assess risk, detect, prevent, diagnose, treat, and/or manage disease. The focus is on delivering new capabilities, technologies, and methods relevant to the delivery of care in pre-clinical, clinical and non-clinical settings, for conditions and diseases within the missions of participating institutes (National Cancer Institute, National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research).

Closing date: 5 June 2021

Investigator Awards in Science

Wellcome Investigator Awards enable independent researchers with a compelling research vision to tackle the most important questions in science. Note that this is the final round of this scheme.

Closing date: 1 July 2021

Challenges for Europe

The Volkswagen Foundation (VolkswagenStiftung) aims to stimulate basic research on issues affecting Europe and the EU, strengthening academic collaboration among European researchers in the cultural and social sciences, and humanities. Proposals should address challenges which cause frictions among European states and may be addressed collectively, such as economic crises, social inequality, migration, populism and nationalism, the erosion of democracy, disinformation, terrorism, and cyber security. Research consortia must involve 3-5 principal investigators, from at least 3 different European countries. The main applicant must work in a German university or research institution.

Closing date: 7 July 2021

Early Detection and Diagnosis programme awards

Cancer Research UK invites preliminary submissions for its early detection and diagnosis programme awards. These support long-term, integrated and renewable programmes of exceptional science to transform how and when early cancers and pre-cancerous states are detected. The remit of the awards includes:

  • Identification and validation of early detection and diagnosis markers and understanding of disease trajectory;
  • Identification of high-risk groups for early detection and diagnosis research and implementation;
  • Technology development.

The awards provide long-term support for broad, ambitious, multi-stranded programmes where the various work streams coordinate and integrate to address a central theme.

Closing date: 15 September 2021

ERC Advanced Grants

As part of the Horizon Europe programme, Advanced Grants are aimed at active researchers with a significant track record of research achievements, and provide support for innovative and challenging research projects.

Closing date: 31 August 2021

Alliances for Innovation

As part of the Erasmus+ programme, Alliances for Innovation aims to strengthen Europe’s innovation capacity by boosting innovation through collaboration among higher education, and the broader socio-economic environment, including research.

Closing date: 7 September 2021

Transition - Open Call

The European Innovation Council Transition scheme funds innovation activities that go beyond experimental proof of principle and supports maturation of novel technologies and development of business cases and models in order to transition towards commercialisation.

Closing date: 22 September 2021

Synergy Grants

The European Research council invites proposals for its ERC-2021-SyG synergy grants, which enable groups of 2-4 principal investigators to bring together complementary skills, knowledge, and resources in new ways, in order to jointly address research problems. Proposals will be evaluated on the sole criterion of scientific excellence, including outstanding intrinsic synergy, and there is no specific eligibility criteria for principal investigators.

Closing date: forecast 10 November 2021

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