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APEX awards

In partnership with the British Academy, the Royal Academy of Engineering and the Royal Society (‘the Academies’) and with generous support from the Leverhulme Trust, the APEX award (Academies Partnership in Supporting Excellence in Cross-disciplinary research award) scheme offers established independent researchers, with a strong track record in their respective area, an exciting opportunity to pursue genuine interdisciplinary and curiosity-driven research to benefit wider society.

Logos for British Academy, Royal Academy of Engineering and Leverhulme Trust 

The objectives of this scheme are to:

  • promote collaboration across disciplines, with a particular emphasis on the boundary between science, engineering and the social sciences and humanities
  • support outstanding interdisciplinary research which is unlikely to be supported through conventional funding programmes
  • support researchers with an outstanding track record, in developing their research in a new direction through collaboration with partners from other disciplines
  • enable outstanding researchers to focus on advancing their innovative research through seed funding

Am I eligible to apply?

Your application must be within the remit of more than one of the Academies. Applications which span the remit of the British Academy and the Royal Academy of Engineering are encouraged.

You can apply for this scheme if you are:

  • a researcher with a strong track record as an established independent researcher (this can include engineering researchers, humanities and social sciences scholars and scientists)
  • based at a UK university or not-for-profit research institution for at least the duration of the project

Applicants will be expected to collaborate with a research partner from a different discipline from their own or a different university in the UK.

Before applying, please ensure that you meet all the eligibility requirements, which are explained in the scheme notes. Please also refer to the FAQs for further guidance.

What is the scheme’s value and tenure?

This scheme provides funding for up to 24 months:

  • An award of up to £100,000 
  • Costs to relieve the applicant and/or co-applicant from some of their teaching and administrative duties 
  • Up to 25% of the total award can be spent on research costs

In addition to the main APEX Award, successful award holders will be eligible to apply for an APEX Public Engagement Grant, to support public engagement activities around their interdisciplinary research project. Grants of up to £10,000 will be available for successful award holders, and further information and support will be available for applicants who are successful at the shortlisting stage. 

What is the application process?

Applications should be submitted through the Society’s grant management system Flexi-Grant®.

Your application will go through the process detailed on the Making a grant application page overseen by the APEX Awards Panel. 

The Royal Society recognises that diversity is essential for delivering excellence in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). The Society wants to encourage applications from the widest range of backgrounds, perspectives and experiences to maximise innovation and creativity in science for the benefit of humanity. We regularly review and revise processes to help ensure that all talented applicants have an equitable chance to succeed as per the assessment criteria. This includes ensuring all panel members are briefed on unconscious bias in decision making as part of the assessment process.

Support for applicants with disabilities

The Royal Society welcomes applications from scientists with disabilities and provides adjustments to ensure that they can participate fully in the selection process. If you need an adjustment when accessing the application form, attending interviews, or for any other part of the application process, please contact the Grants team on or +44 20 7451 2666. Adjustments can include, but are not limited to:

  • extension of the deadline
  • additional support to complete the application form

Further information regarding previous award winners can be found in the 2017201820192020, 2021 and 2022 press releases.

A webinar was held on 30 August 2023 with information on how to put together a high quality and competitive application to the APEX Award. You can watch a recording of the webinar on our YouTube channel

For more information regarding the scheme, please contact the Grants team on or visit our contact us page.

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