APEX awards

In partnership with the British Academy, the Royal Academy of Engineering and the Royal Society (‘the Academies’) and with generous support from the Leverhulme Trust, the APEX award (Academies Partnership in Supporting Excellence in Cross-disciplinary research award) scheme offers established independent researchers, with a strong track record in their respective area, an exciting opportunity to pursue genuine interdisciplinary and curiosity-driven research to benefit wider society.

Status: Closed Deadline: 13 November 2024
  • Open date

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The British Academy, Royal Academy of Engineering and Leverhulme Trust logos

About the scheme

The objectives of this scheme are to:

  • promote collaboration across disciplines, with a particular emphasis on the boundary between science, engineering and the social sciences and humanities
  • support outstanding interdisciplinary research which is unlikely to be supported through conventional funding programmes
  • support researchers with an outstanding track record, in developing their research in a new direction through collaboration with partners from other disciplines
  • enable outstanding researchers to focus on advancing their innovative research through seed funding

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 policies and processes to embed equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) principles in all aspects of the grant making process and ensure all talented applicants have an equitable chance to succeed as per assessment criteria. 
 
See below for details of adjustments we can provide for disabled applicants. 

What does the scheme offer?

This scheme provides funding of up to £100,000 for up to 24 months:

Funds can cover:

  • Costs to relieve the applicant and/or co-applicant from some of their teaching and administrative duties 
  • Up to 25% of the total award can be spent on research costs

In addition to the main APEX Award, successful award holders will be eligible to apply for an APEX Public Engagement Grant, to support public engagement activities around their interdisciplinary research project. Grants of up to £10,000 will be available for successful award holders, and further information and support will be available for applicants who are successful at the shortlisting stage. 

This scheme is for you if: 

  • You are a researcher with a strong track record as an established independent researcher (this can include engineering researchers, humanities and social sciences scholars and scientists)
  • You are based at a UK university or not-for-profit research institution for at least the duration of the project
  • The research in your application spans the remit of more than one of the Academies. Applications which are within the remit of just one Academy will not be permitted. Please see the breakdown of subject groups and areas supported by the Royal Society.

Applicants will be expected to collaborate with a research partner from a different discipline from their own or a different university in the UK.

Read the scheme notes for further information on eligibility.  Please ensure that you meet all eligibility requirements before applying. 

You will apply through our application and grant management system, Flexi-Grant®.

See the ‘Application and assessment process’ page for a general overview of the application and selection steps and see below for details specific to this scheme. Full details of the application and review process are available in the scheme notes. 

Assessment of your application will be overseen by the APEX Awards Panel

Following eligibility checks, applications are initially reviewed and assessed by two panel members who have the most appropriate scientific expertise.  A longlist is drawn up, with longlisted applications subject to independent review. Following completion of independent peer review, a shortlist is finalised with oversight of the Panel Chair. Shortlisted applications are then discussed at a Panel meeting where recommendations for funding are made. 

A webinar was held on 30 August 2023 with information on how to put together a high quality and competitive application to the APEX Award. You can watch a recording of the webinar on our YouTube channel. 

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 apex@royalsociety.org or +44 20 7451 2666. Adjustments can include, but are not limited to:

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

If you have further questions regarding the scheme, please contact the Grants team on apex@royalsociety.org or visit our contact us page.