Please see below for organisations that may be able to fund research projects.

Before submitting a research proposal, you may also want to visit the ESRC website for advice on writing and submitting a proposal or the SSRC publication, ‘On the art of writing proposals’. For identifying a selection of books to help with the preparation of funding proposals, please visit the Learner Associates website.


UK Research Councils

Arts and Humanities Research Council [AHRC]  supports world-class research that furthers our understanding of human culture and creativity.

Allen Lane

Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council [BBSRC] is the UK’s leading funding agency for academic research and training in the non-clinical life sciences.

Clore Duffield

Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council [EPSRC] is the main UK government agency for funding research and training in engineering and the physical sciences.

Economic and Social Research Council [ESRC] funds research and training in social and economic issues.

Esmee Fairbairn

Medical Research Council support research across the entire spectrum of medical sciences.

Natural Environment Research Council [NERC] funds world-class science in universities that increases knowledge and understanding of the natural world.


Science and Technology Facilities Council [STFC] offers grants and support in Particle Physics, Astronomy, Nuclear Physics and Facility Development

Royal Society

Charitable Foundations

Major charitable foundations which sponsor research projects include:

All Saints Educational Trust funds imaginative new projects which will enhance the Church’s contribution to higher and further education.

Clore Duffield Foundation is a grant-making organisation which concentrates its support on education, the arts, museum and gallery education, cultural leadership training, health and social care and enhancing Jewish life.

Esmee Fairbairn Foundation is responsive to requests for support across the broad range of their interests, which are: the cultural life of the UK, education and learning, the natural environment and enabling disadvantaged people to participate more fully in society.

Ford Foundation’s grant making focuses on reducing poverty and injustice; promoting democratic values; and advancing human knowledge, creativity and achievement.

Jerwood Foundation offers funding and sponsorship of the arts, education and other areas of human endeavour and excellence.

The Allen Lane Foundation makes grants for up to three years, with a value of £500-£15,000 in total. Funding is focused on a number of specific beneficiary groups and grants are made across the UK.

The Bradley Foundation is a private, independent grantmaking organization based in Milwaukee. Its grants support research and educational projects, programs, and other activities.

The British Academy provides research funding to postdoctoral level scholars in all subjects within the humanities and social sciences.

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation is not a grant-making organisation and does not accept speculative enquiries for funding. It issues ‘calls for proposals’ and invite submissions to them.

The Leverhulme Trust makes awards for the support of research and education. The Trust emphasises individuals and encompasses all subject areas.

The Nuffield Foundation supports projects that are imaginative and innovative, take a thoughtful and rigorous approach to problems, and have the potential to influence policy or practice.

The Royal Society runs nineteen funding schemes which are designed to enhance the UK science base and foster collaboration between UK-based and overseas scientists.

For a list of UK charitable organisations, please visit the Association of Charitable Foundations website.


Governments Departments and other public bodies that sponsor research

Department for Culture, Media and Sport commission specific studies. Its sponsored bodies also publish their own research reports.

Department for Education tenders research projects in the areas of education and early years.

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs [Defra] is a major funder of science, spending over £300 million annually on research, monitoring and surveillance activities.

Department for International Development funds many organisations across the globe who are working to end poverty.

Department for Transport commissions research to assess the effectiveness of transport policies.

Department for Education for Northern Ireland issues requests for research proposals at least once every two years.

Environment Agency has well-established links to many UK universities and we are keen to establish more of these strategic partnerships.

Heritage Lottery Fund use research to understand how grant programmes are working and what difference the projects funded have made – both to heritage and for people.

Higher Education Funding Council for England provides block grant funding to support the research infrastructure and enable institutions to undertake ground-breaking research in keeping with their own mission.

Higher Education Funding Council for Wales provides funding to institutions for the training of postgraduate research students, and for capital investment in research equipment and facilities.

Home Office publish requests for expressions of interest on their website.

The Education and Skills Funding Agency produces a wide variety of publications, which support our work in funding and regulating further education and skills in England.

Office for Students and student finance

Office of the Deputy Prime Minister commissions research contracts by competitive tender.

Scottish Government funds a wide range of research programmes, helping to inform and assess policy.

Scottish Funding Council provides block grant funding for universities to carry out ground-breaking research of their choosing.