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Independent Research Organisation Eligibility Criteria

Independent Research Organisations (IROs) may be eligible to apply for Royal Society funding if they possess an existing in-house capacity to carry out research that materially extends and enhances the UK research base and are able to demonstrate an independent capability to undertake and lead research programmes.

To be considered eligible for Royal Society funding, an organisation must provide evidence that satisfies all of the following conditions:

  1. The organisation must possess an existing in-house capacity to carry out research, in the field or discipline in which it wishes to be funded, and be able to demonstrate an independent capability to undertake and lead research programmes, as demonstrated by:

    1. Sufficient high-quality current research capacity. This requires:

      1. a minimum of ten researchers with a significant number of publications and/or other outputs that have been subject to the highest standards of peer review. 
      2. a track record of staff, while employed at the organisation, leading or co-leading innovative research projects in the previous five years, including directing other postdoctoral researchers and/or research students.
    2. Sufficient financial support for research at the organisational level to ensure the availability of essential infrastructure and the long-term sustainability of research activity, as evidenced by research income from independent sources averaging at least £0.5M pa over the previous three years.
    3. Evidence of the organisation having a strong track record of maximising the wider impact and value of its research to the benefit of the UK economy and society.
  2. The organisation must be a legal entity which is not:

    1. owned or operated (in part or full);
    2. established; or
    3. primarily (i.e. 50% or more) funded for research purposes
    4. by a business or the public sector (UK and Overseas governments), other than by a Research Council, Higher Education Institute, national museum/archive/botanical garden/observatory.
  3. Organisations which are (or constituent parts thereof):

    1. a charity registered with the Charities Commission; 
    2. associations which are eligible for exemption from Corporation Tax under section 508 of the Income and Corporation Taxes Act 1988; or
    3. organisations which are wholly owned subsidiaries of an association approved under section 508 of the Income and Corporations Taxes Act 1988, whose articles of association require that all profits are returned (gift-aided) to the association.