2018 Opportunities Call


The recent emergence of major project funding schemes such as that of the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF), the Global Challenge Research Fund (GCRF) and other possible future calls relating to strategic priority partnerships, creates an opportunity for additional financial support. Fundamental research needs to be supported at a sustainable level to ensure a pipeline into technology development and impact. In the current funding climate, accessing such funds could significantly aid STFC’s community.

STFC is inviting UK PIs to submit applications for resource funding to support short-term activities that have the potential to lead into multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary research studies.


This Opportunities Call will support “pump priming” activities that will position university groups or consortia to participate in multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary science that aligns with major project funding schemes. The scheme also aims to manoeuvre university groups or consortia into a position to submit proposals for future calls arising from UKRI, such as a potential new Strategic Priorities Fund as noted in the Industrial Strategy White Paper, that will support strategic cross-cutting R&D areas aligned with Government priorities, national strategic priorities and emerging technologies, and to support researchers and businesses at the cutting-edge of research and innovation.

The call will primarily support activities intended for early partnerships and collaborations, creating effective pathways across science areas, as well as supporting small research studies for investigation of new approaches and/or generation of preliminary data. Therefore, funding will be awarded for effort (PDRA time), networking, seminars, workshops, training, travel and subsistence, and small R&D activities that can enable the Impact Acceleration Accounts.

Application Process and Eligibility

The total amount of resource available is approximately £500k for the period of 1st October 2018 to 31st March 2019. Applications should request a maximum of £75k resource (80% FEC). Therefore, the call will support approximately 7, 4-6 month projects that enable the university group or consortium to begin activities aimed at utilising the potential of STFC’s community in order to contribute to addressing challenges in developing countries (GCRF), to improve productivity and economic benefit across the UK (ISCF) or to address challenges associated with potential future calls arising from UKRI.

A small portion of capital can be made available to support activities that meet the remit of this call if the need is demonstrated. Bids for capital will be capped at £120k (or £60k cost to STFC), or a maximum of 3 items. STFC will contribute 50% of the cost of equipment items.

The calls will open from 10 April 2018 with a closing date of 12 June 2018. Proposals will be reviewed by a focused PPRP meeting and grants will commence from October 2018.

Proposals will be considered from consortia or university groups who are in receipt of an STFC Consolidated Grant, Institute award or STFC Fellowship award only.

Further information can be found in the 2018 Opportunities Call Guidelines (PDF, 136KB).

All proposal submissions should be made using the Je-S System.

For those who wish to apply; to help STFC manage this call please can you register your interest by emailing George Madden (PPRP Secretary) at the earliest opportunity. The email should contain a short paragraph on your proposed work.

If you have any queries please do not hesitate to contact:

George Madden – PPRP Secretary
Charlotte Jamieson – Head of PD Enabling Themes

Last updated: 05 April 2018

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