International Science Partnerships Fund International Collaboration Awards

These grants provide support for newly independent researchers who are building their own research group in the UK to develop research collaborations with international partners.

Status: Closed Opening: 30 April 2024
Career Stage: Early career
  • Open date

  • Close date

  • Decision by

  • Open date

  • Close date

  • Decision by

  • Open date

  • Close date

  • Decision by

About the scheme 

The ISPF International Collaboration Awards provide funding to enable outstanding emerging research leaders in the UK to develop research collaborations with international partners. The grants are open to newly independent researchers building their own group, who are ready to lead and drive the research vision of an international research programme. 

The objectives of the scheme are to:

  • Support the development of sustainable and mutually beneficial collaborative partnerships and the growth of international research networks
  • Enable newly independent researchers to generate new approaches to challenging research questions
  • Build the capabilities of newly independent researchers and their groups to conduct, manage, share and apply high quality research through sharing of knowledge, skills and exchange of people

This scheme is currently available to collaborate with international partners in: 

  • Japan
  • South Korea – co-funding with the National Research Foundation of Korea 
  • Brazil (plus Least Developed Countries) - ODA-eligible projects
  • South Africa (plus Least Developed Countries) - ODA-eligible projects

It forms part of the International Science Partnerships Fund (ISPF) under the theme of “Tomorrow’s Talent – Nurturing talent to drive inclusion, research and innovation.”

Please note that application rounds are currently open to selected countries and may be reopened or expanded in the future.

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?

Applications can apply to the Royal Society for up to £225,000 over three years (£75,000 per year). ODA-eligible applications which include Least Developed Countries can apply for additional funding. Applications with South Korea can apply for additional funding for the Korean side of up to 360 Mil. (120 Mil. per year) South Korean Won (KRW) from NRF.

Funds can cover: 

  • research expenses
  • travel and subsistence for the applicants or members of their team
  • contribution towards research assistance
  • technical and non-technical training

This scheme does not cover applicant salary or indirect costs. Full funding details can be found in the scheme notes and in the Funding Guidance for International Collaboration Awards specific to each call.

This scheme is for you if: 

  • You are a newly independent UK-based researcher building your own research group
  • You have a newly independent collaborator based overseas building their own research group in a country covered by the call
  • You each hold a permanent or fixed term independent academic research post, or named independent research fellowship, for the duration of the grant
  • You have a co-developed research proposal
  • Your research is within the Royal Society’s remit of natural sciences, which includes but is not limited to biological research and biomedical sciences, chemistry, engineering, mathematics and physics. For a full list, please see the breakdown of subject groups and areas supported by the Royal Society. 

Applications for partnership with Brazil or South Africa must focus on ODA-eligible research (please refer to the Royal Society ODA Compliance Guidance document).

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. 

Assessment of your application will be overseen by one of the two International Collaboration Awards Panels, the non-ODA panel and ODA panel. Following eligibility checks, applications are initially reviewed and assessed by two members of the International Collaboration Awards Panel who have the most appropriate expertise. Shortlisted applications are then discussed at a Panel meeting where recommendations for funding are made.

Further detail on the application and review process is available in the scheme notes.

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 call +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 or visit our contact us page