Funding and Support

RBI provide support for a range of funding opportunities to enable university staff and students to pursue world-class research and innovation. A non-exhaustive list of funding bodies we support can be found below. 

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI)

UKRI is a non-departmental public body sponsored by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). UKRI brings together the seven disciplinary research councils, which is responsible for supporting research and knowledge exchange at higher education institutions 

Funding is available as: 

  • grants for researchers or groups of researchers on a specific project 
  • fellowships for individual researchers
  • studentships for those beginning their postgraduate research
  • support for essential research activities including overseas travel, buying equipment and setting up networks. 

Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) - The UK's principal funder of basic and strategic biological research. Current Opportunities. 

Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) - Funds research and postgraduate study in traditional arts and humanities subjects, such as history, modern languages, English literature, creative and performing arts. Current Opportunities. 

Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) - Funds research and training in engineering and the physical sciences, covering a broad range of subjects, from mathematics to materials science, and from information technology to structural engineering. Current Opportunities. 

Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) - ESRC is the UK’s largest funder of economic, social, behavioural and human data science. Current Opportunities. 

Medical Research Council (MRC) - MRC funds research at the forefront of science to prevent illness, develop therapies and improve human health. Current Opportunities. 

Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) – NERC funds and manages research and training in earth system science, advancing knowledge of planet Earth as a complex, interacting system. Current Opportunities. 

Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) - STFC’s mission is to deliver world-leading national and international research and innovation capabilities and, through those, discover the secrets of the Universe. Current Opportunities. 

Translational Research

Translational funding is used to bridge the ‘gap’ between early-stage university research and its commercialisation. By using translational funding, the risk is reduced for potential commercial partners. This makes the opportunity more attractive and makes a successful outcome more likely. 

SMART Partnerships SMART Partnerships offers financial support to innovative collaboration projects that require a range of expertise to help businesses grow, improve productivity and increase competitiveness.

The aim of SMART Partnerships is to support collaborative projects, with a clear focus to increase the capacity and capabilities of Welsh businesses to develop R&D activities by linking them with Research Organisations and an associate, to work on a specific project to develop new products, processes and services in alignment with Smart Specialisation.

Innovate UK - Innovate UK is the UK’s national innovation agency. We support business-led innovation in all sectors, technologies and UK regions. We help businesses grow through the development and commercialisation of new products, processes, and services, supported by an outstanding innovation ecosystem that is agile, inclusive, and easy to navigate. Current Opportunities. 

Government Departments and Public Bodies

From time-to-time UK government departments and public bodies issue calls for proposals for research which will influence the development of policy. 

Department for Environment and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) - Defra's core purpose is to improve the current and future quality of life. Defra brings together the interests of farmers and the countryside; the environment and the rural economy; the food we eat, the air we breathe and the water we drink. Defra integrates environmental, social and economic objectives - putting sustainable development into practice every day, and by championing sustainable development as the way forward for Government. 

Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) - The FCDO pursues national interests and project the UK as a force for good in the world. They promote the interests of British citizens, safeguard the UK’s security, defend our values, reduce poverty, and tackle global challenges with our international partners. 

Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) – BEIS leading economy-wide transformation by backing enterprise and long-term growth, generating cheaper, cleaner, homegrown energy and unleashing the UK as a science superpower through innovation. 

Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW) - HEFCW is responsible for the funding of higher education in Wales.  It distributes funds to support education, research and related activities at 11 higher education institutions, and also fund the teaching activities of the Open University in Wales and higher education courses at further education colleges. Current Opportunities. 

International Funding

The International Unit within the Department of Research, Business & Innovation is a customer-orientated team that aims to increase the level of service to the research community at Aberystwyth University by reducing the administrative burden associated with applying for and managing International grants.

Working closely with Research Finance staff, the Unit is available to help support Aberystwyth University’s involvement in all International grant applications, including those to Horizon Europe during all stages of the lifecycle of relevant projects. The Unit’s main focus, however, is on delivering a professional, effective and efficient International fund pre-award service to University staff involved in research through:

  • Timely promotion of funding opportunities
  • Provision of specialist advice during both proposal building and negotiation stages
  • Application of problem solving and project management methodologies while building proposals

A summary of the overarching European funding programmes are listed below:

Colleagues are encouraged to contact the International Unit at the earliest stage, to seek advice and ensure compliance with University Policies.

How can I find out if my idea is fundable?

Please contact the International Unit for initial advice on whether your project idea might be eligible and, if so, the most appropriate European funding stream. All project ideas will need to fit with departmental and organisational strategies and priorities and complement other Aberystwyth University funding applications. Departmental and possibly additional approval may be needed before any idea is progressed and any potential funding proposal submitted, so seek advice as early as possible.

Knowledge Exchange Funding

Knowledge exchange is a process that brings together academic staff, users of research and wider groups and communities to exchange ideas, evidence and expertise. Listed below are some funding opportunities for Knowledge Exchange. 

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTP) - KTP is a world-leading programme that helps businesses succeed by connecting them to the UK's rich academic resources. It's a partnership between the business seeking expertise, a university and a recently qualified (post)graduate – known as an Associate. 

Knowledge Economy Skills Scholarships (KESS II) – KESSII is a major pan-Wales operation supported by European Social Funds (ESF) through the Welsh Government which links companies and organisation with academic expertise in the Higher Education sector in Wales to undertake collaborative research projects. 

Charities and Foundations

Organisations and agencies which provide research funding all have their own criteria for deciding on allocation of their resources. Each agency has a different set of priorities and policies regarding the type of research that they will fund, and the level of funding that they will provide. 

In order to maximise your potential for success, it is important that you identify funders whose profile matches your requirements, in order that you can target your application at the most appropriate funder. 

The British Academy - The British Academy is the national academy for the humanities and the social sciences. It is an independent, self-governing fellowship of more than 800 scholars, elected for distinction and achievement in one or more branches of the academic disciplines that mae up the humanities and social sciences. The Academy supports postdoctoral research in the humanities and social sciences. 

The Wellcome Trust - An independent charity funding research to improve human and animal health. The UK's largest non-governmental source of funds for biomedical research. 

The British Council - Connects people with learning opportunities and creative ideas from the UK to build mutually beneficial lasting relationships around the world, and to increase appreciation of the UK's creative ideas and achievements. 

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

National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA) - The largest single endowment devoted exclusively to supporting talent, innovation and creativity in the UK. NESTA's mission is to transform the UK's capacity for innovation. Invests in early stage companies, informs innovation policy and encourages a culture that helps innovation to flourish. 

NATO SPS (Science for Peace and Security) Programme - The programme aims to contribute to security, stability and solidarity among nations, by applying the best technical expertise to problem solving. Offers grants to scientists in NATO, Partner and Mediterranean Dialogue countries to collaborate on priority research topics, which include NATO priorities and additional Partner country priorities. 

Nuffield Foundation - One of the UK's best known charitable trusts, intended to 'advance social well being', particularly through research and practical experiment. The Foundation aims to achieve this by supporting work which will bring about improvements in society, and which is founded o n careful reflection and informed by objective and reliable evidence. 

The Royal Society - The world's oldest scientific academy in continuous existence, which has been at the forefront of enquiry and discovery since its foundation in 1660. The Society is independent of government. Supporting excellence in science is at the heart of all the Society's work. 

Royal Academy of Engineering - Britain's national academy for engineering. Promotes excellence in the science, art and practice of engineering. The organisation's strategic priorities are to enhance the UK's engineering capabilities; to celebrate excellence and inspire the next generation; and to lead debate by guiding informed thinking and influencing public policy. 

Society for Research into Higher Education - The Society for Research into Higher Education is a UK-based international learned society concerned to advance understanding of higher education, especially through the insights, perspectives and knowledge offered by systematic research and scholarship. The Society aims to be the leading international society in the field, as to both the support and the dissemination of research. 

The Fulbright Commission - The US-UK Fulbright Commission was created by treaty in 1949 and since its inception has expanded its programme to include grants for study in a wide variety of fields. The Fulbright Scholars and Fellows Awards allow post-doctoral lecturers and academics, and professionals in a variety of fields, to spend a period of time researching in the US. 

Joseph Rowntree Foundation - One of the largest social policy research and development charities in the UK. Spends about £10 million a year on a research and development programme that seeks to better understand the causes of social difficulties and explore ways of overcoming them. 

Earthwatch Institute - Earthwatch is an international environmental charity which is committed to conserving the diversity and integrity of life on earth to meet the needs of current and future generations. The Earthwatch mission is to engage people worldwide in scientific field research and education to promote the understanding and action necessary for a sustainable environment. Earthwatch is one of the largest private funders of scientific field research. 

Society of Antiquaries - The organisation's purpose is 'the encouragement, advancement and furtherance of the study and knowledge of the antiquities and history of this and other countries'. The Society administers a number of different funds, some of which are dedicated to specific areas of interest. 

Funding for Impact

Funding for Impact - Specific funding has been set aside to support impact and innovation activities and we offer direct financial support in the form of the Impact & Innovation.

Research Impact Leave SchemeUnder the Research Impact Leave Scheme, members of staff can apply for a period of leave of up to six months to dedicate to generating impact from their research.

RBI-managed support funds

The University administers a range of funds in order to foster and strengthen the research work of the University and to support members of staff who wish to attend research conferences, to undertake research visits or fieldwork, or to study at centres other than Aberystwyth. 

University Conference Fund - This fund is aimed at providing a contribution towards the expenses of members of staff attending Research Conferences, especially those that will enhance an individual’s research profile. 

University Research Fund - The University Research Fund provides selective support for non-recurrent research activity which is considered to be of strategic importance to the University’s overall research profile. 

Sir David Hughes Parry Awards – The goal of the Sir David Hughes Parry award is to encourage studies which contribute to the cultural, social and economic needs of Wales. 

Gooding Fund - The Gooding Fund supports members of staff in science departments, and occasionally research students, with funds for attending academic conferences.  

R. D. Roberts Bequest Fund - The R. D. Roberts Bequest fund enables senior academic staff to apply for research leave and support, for a period of not less than six months, on full salary, a substitute being paid out of the income of the fund.

Research Boost Leave - To increase research activity at AU and to encourage research excellence, University Executive have approved a plan for a new, additional research leave scheme.

Digitized Collections Fund - As part of AU’s commitment to decarbonization, the Digitized Collections Fund offers support for Researchers to meet the costs of digitally accessing primary or other resources. 

Deadlines for RBI-managed support funds