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International Collaboration Awards – International Science Partnerships Fund

This scheme provides support for newly independent researchers who are building their own research group in the UK to develop research collaborations with international partners. 

About the scheme 

The ISPF International Collaboration Awards will provide funding to enable outstanding emerging research leaders in the UK to develop research collaborations with international partners.   

The grants are open to newly independent researchers building their own group who are ready to lead and drive the research vision of an international research programme.   

The scheme aims to support the development of sustainable and mutually beneficial collaborative partnerships and growth of international research networks; generate original research; and build the capabilities of newly independent researchers and their groups to conduct, manage, share and apply high quality research through sharing of knowledge, skills and exchange of people. 

This scheme is currently available to collaborate with international partners in: 

  • Japan; 
  • Brazil or South Africa (plus Least Developed Countries) - ODA-eligible projects.  

It forms part of the International Science Partnerships Fund (ISPF) under the theme of “Tomorrow’s Talent – Nurturing talent to drive inclusion, research and innovation.”

Am I eligible to apply?

You can apply for this scheme if you: 

  • are a newly independent UK-based researcher building your own research group; 
  • have a newly independent collaborator based overseas building their own research group (in a country covered by the call); 
  • each hold a permanent or fixed term independent academic research post, or named independent research fellowship, for the duration of the grant; 
  • have a co-developed research proposal.

Research must be within the Royal Society’s remit of natural sciences, which includes but is not limited to biological research, chemistry, engineering, mathematics and physics. For a full list, please see the breakdown of subject groups and areas supported by the Royal Society. 

Applications for partnership with Brazil or South Africa must focus on ODA-eligible research.  

Before applying, please ensure that you meet all the eligibility requirements, which are explained in the scheme notes. 

What is the scheme’s value and tenure?

This scheme provides up to £75,000 per year for three years (up to £225,000). ODA-eligible applications which include Least Developed Countries can apply for additional funding. 

Funding can be used flexibly on any eligible activities that support the collaborative research partnership.  Requests can include: 

  • research expenses
  • travel and subsistence for the applicants or members of their team
  • contribution towards research assistance
  • technical and non-technical training

This scheme does not cover applicant salary or indirect costs. Further information on eligible costs can be found in our funding guidance for International Collaboration Awards.

What is the application process? 

Applications should be submitted through the Royal 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 International Collaboration 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 our 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 call +44 20 7451 2666. Adjustments can include, but are not limited to:

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

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

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