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International Exchanges

These schemes are for scientists based in the UK who want to stimulate collaborations with leading scientists overseas through either a one-off visit or bilateral travel.

This scheme is closed to applications

Map of locations of collaborators on International Exchanges SchemeLocations of collaborators on the International Exchanges Schemes (2011-2017).

Standard Programme

The Standard Programme is available for travel to/from all countries outside the UK. The funding available is dependent upon the length of the visit.

The Standard Programme includes the potential to also be funded through specific funds:

Royal Society - Yusuf and Farida Hamied Foundation International Exchanges Award:

Supported by the Yusuf and Farida Hamied Foundation, for collaborations with researchers in India. Further information can be found in the Standard Programme scheme notes. 

Royal Society - Sino-British Trust Foundation (SBFT) International Exchanges Award:

Supported by the Sino-British Trust Foundation (SBFT), for collaborations with researchers in China. Further information can be found in the Standard Programme scheme notes.

Cost Share Programme

The Royal Society also partners with the following bodies to co-fund International Exchanges awards through a Cost Share scheme:

  • Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Italy (CNR)
  • Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS)
  • National Science and Technology Council, Taiwan (NSTC)
  • National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC)

This entails the UK applicant submitting a proposal to the Royal Society for up to £12,000 and the overseas applicant simultaneously submitting a proposal for an additional amount up to/equivalent to £12,000 to the partner organisation, with whom the Royal Society has a funding agreement. Further information can be found in the Cost Share programme scheme notes.

Am I eligible to apply?

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. 

You can apply for this scheme if both you and the overseas co-applicant:

  • hold a PhD or have equivalent research experience 
  • hold a fixed or permanent contract at an eligible organisation for the duration of the project (ineligible organisations include industrial, private and commercial organisations, university spin-out companies and government bodies)
  • are based in the respective countries at the time of the application

Collaborations should be based on a single project and travel can only take place between the UK and a country where the overseas collaborator is based. In the case of cost share applications, a relationship between both parties should already be established prior to making an application.

What is the scheme’s value and tenure?

The funding available is dependent upon the length of the visit. You can request:

  • up to £3,000 for one-off travel lasting up to three months
  • up to £6,000 for multiple visits to be completed within one year
  • up to £12,000 for multiple visits to be completed within two years and cost share projects fixed at two years

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 International Exchanges Panel. 

You will be notified of the result of the application process four months after the closing date of the round you have applied for.

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.

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

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