The 21st Century Challenge Enabling Fund is one of the delivery strands of STFC’s 21st Century Challenges strategic theme and aims to ensure that innovative science, technology, applications and expertise developed through the STFC core Science programme (nuclear physics, particle physics, astronomy, space science) and the STFC national facilities and laboratories are harnessed to provide solutions to 21st Century Challenges in areas such as energy, environment, healthcare, security, food security, agritech, resilience and urbanisation. Two other strands of the strategic theme are the Newton Fund and the Global Challenge Research Fund which are focused on addressing economic development and welfare of developing countries.
STFC provides funding to create new multidisciplinary research communities at the STFC 21st Century Challenge interface which are focused on addressing user needs, including those of Government departments, Government agencies, industry and other academic communities. Network+ and Extended Network+ include funding for small scale projects.
Further information about the 21st Century Challenge Network scheme and previous awards.
The 21st Century Challenge Programme supports small scale proof of concept projects. The aim of the scheme is to demonstrate the application of innovative science, technology and expertise developed from STFC’s core science programme to 21st Century Challenges in readiness to access external funding sources.
Further information about the 21st Century Challenge Concepts scheme and the projects funded.
A key enabling activity in developing the Programme, especially in the creation of Networks, has been exploration of challenge-led priorities and identification of where STFC-funded capabilities can be applied to help provide solutions to these. The 21st Century Challenge Exploration Award scheme provides funding for early stage networking, scoping and review activities.
Further information about the 21st Century Challenge Exploration scheme and the projects funded.
The Global Challenge Programme funded interdisciplinary studentships in a pilot round. The studentships provide research training at the interface between STFC capabilities and the Global Challenges.
Further information about the Global Challenge Studentships funded.
Please see our brochure for short examples of work done using each scheme.