Paul Instrument Fund

This scheme is for scientists in the UK who want to design and construct a novel instrument to measure phenomena in the physical sciences.

Paul Instrument Fund Robert W Paul (1869-1943) was a renowned scientific instrument maker.

Applications should contain genuinely new ideas, techniques or highly novel applications of existing ideas and techniques. The Instrument should, as far as possible, be a stand-alone device and might be an outcome of a previous extensive research programme. The scheme aims to support innovative development, rather than pure research.

Eligibility requirements

The scheme covers all of the physical sciences including pure and applied physics, biophysics and medical physics.

The applicant must:

  • hold a PhD
  • be either a UK citizen or be resident in the UK

Applicants should ensure that they meet all the eligibility requirements, which are explained in the scheme notes.

Value and tenure

The scheme provides a grant of up to £75,000 for the design and construction of apparatus. The length of the award is one to three years.

Intellectual Property

The Paul Instrument Fund was established through the will of the late R W Paul, which specifies that awardees should not obtain patents for instruments supported by Paul Instrument Fund money without first agreeing to such conditions and stipulations which the Fund Committee might impose. If successful, awardees who intend to licence or in any way generate income from an instrument developed or supported by the Paul Instrument Fund must first agree suitable conditions with the Fund Committee.

Application process

Applications are initially reviewed by members of the Paul Instrument Fund panel , which includes representatives of the Royal Society, the Institute of Physics and the Institution of Engineering and Technology.

An assessor is assigned to visit the short-listed applicants to discuss the application and make a recommendation to the panel. The panel then meets to discuss the recommendations of the assessor.

Applying for this scheme

This scheme is currently closed for applications.

Research and infrastructure schemes

Paul Instrument Fund
For scientists in the UK who want to design and construct a novel instrument to measure phenomena in the physical sciences.

Research Grants
For scientists in the UK who are at an early stage of their career and want to purchase specialised equipment and consumables or for academics to research the history of science.

Royal Society Wolfson Laboratory Refurbishment Grant
For scientists in the UK who want to refurbish or renovate their research laboratories.

International Scientific Seminars
For Royal Society Research Fellows who want to organise a small two-day scientific seminar at the Royal Society at Chicheley Hall.

See all the grant schemes.

Contact us

If you have a question about this scheme, please first read the scheme notes which contain more information. If the answer is still not available, you can contact the grants team here.