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Theo Murphy Blue Skies Award

This scheme provides exceptional, independent researchers with an exciting opportunity to pursue innovative, bold and potentially transformational research within The Society’s scientific remit.

The objectives of this re-launched scheme are to support:

  • Innovative research that will lead to preliminary or proof of concept data for unproven or novel and transformative ideas. 
  • Fundamental research in new and emerging areas or that have the potential to open up new areas of research. 
  • Original and bold research that may lack a sufficient evidence base in the literature and so unlikely to fare well in the normal peer review process and be supported by traditional grants schemes.

It covers all areas of the life and physical sciences, including engineering and mathematics, but excluding clinical medicine.

Researchers with an established track record in their own field that have identified an opportunity to develop their research in a new direction and into an emerging field of research are strongly encouraged to apply.

Am I eligible to apply?

You can apply for this scheme if you are: 

  • An independent researcher or principal investigator with a strong research track record commensurate with your career stage.
  • Based at a UK university or not-for-profit research institution for at least the duration of the project.

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

Applicants can only submit one application per round.

What is the scheme’s level of support and duration?

This scheme provides:

  • £50,000 to £150,000, dependent on the nature of the research proposed.
  • Consumables, equipment, collaborative travel expenses and if required, costs of a teaching replacement to relieve academic researchers from some of their teaching and administrative duties.
  • Support for 12 or 24 months.

All awards must start on 1 January 2017. 

What is the application process?

Applications should be submitted through the Royal Society’s electronic grant application system (e-GAP2). Applications will be reviewed by a broad scientific selection panel. Depending on the value of the award, shortlisted applicants may be invited to attend an interview with the selection panel at the Royal Society to discuss their application.

Further details about the award, including information on how to apply and the assessment criteria, can be found in the scheme notes.

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