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Research Grants

This scheme is for scientists in the UK who are at an early stage in their career and want to purchase specialised equipment and consumables, or for academics to research the history of science.

Dr Hugh Tuffen used a Research Grant to investigate glasses formed in volcanic eruptions.

The scheme provides ‘seed corn’ funding for new projects of timeliness and promise. The objective of the scheme is to increase the availability of specialised equipment and essential consumable materials, and to support essential field research. The scheme also provides support for research in the history of science or to assist with publication of scholarly works in the history of science.

Am I eligible to apply?

The scheme covers all areas of the life and physical sciences, including engineering, but excluding clinical medicine. Applications within the history of science field will also be accepted.

For the life and physical sciences, you must:

  • hold a PhD or be of equivalent standing in your profession
  • be within the first 5 years of the start date of your first permanent or limited-tenured academic position
  • be holding a permanent position or a limited-tenure academic position at an eligible institution (or have been appointed to one of these positions)
  • be a UK resident at the time of application

Applicants must play a major part and take a leading role in the project and not make its fulfilment more than marginally dependent on the services of postgraduate/doctoral students.

Non-tenured researchers and retired scientists may apply for research support and publication support grants if the application is in the history of science field and the applicant works in association with an eligible institution.

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?

Life and physical sciences

The scheme provides a grant of up to £15,000 (incl. VAT) for the purchase of specialised equipment, essential consumable materials and services, and travel and subsistence for essential field research. The grant is for a maximum period of 12 months.

History of science

Within the History of Science category, the scheme provides support for either research in the history of science (up to £15,000 incl. VAT) or to assist with publication of scholarly works in the history of science (up to £5,000 incl. VAT).

What is the application process?

Applications should be submitted through the Royal Society’s electronic grant application system (e-GAP). Applications are initially reviewed by two members of the Royal Society Research Grants panel and then shortlisted. The shortlisted applications are reviewed by the Panel Chair and the final decision is made.