Please tell us about your experience of this website today

2.2 Eligibility of Research Organisations

There are three types of organisation eligible to receive grants: Higher Education Institutions, Research Council Institutes and Independent Research Organisations (IROs).



2.2.1 Higher Education Institutions

All UK Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) are eligible to receive grants. For further information please see the UK Research and Innovation eligibility web page.


2.2.2 Research Council Institutes

All Research Council Institutes are eligible to receive research grants.


2.2.3 Independent Research Organisations

Independent Research Organisations may be eligible to receive funding for research from UK Research and Innovation, if such research extends and enhances the national research base.

To be recognised as an eligible Independent Research Organisation (IRO) the organisation must satisfy certain conditions. The conditions are available to view on the UK Research and Innovation website.

Any IRO that is considering applying for eligibility with a view to seeking funding from STFC is advised to contact STFC Swindon Office in the first instance. Potential applicants from eligible independent research organisations should also check the eligibility of applicants’ requirements and any additional eligibility requirements for the scheme (research grant or fellowship) to which they are applying.

As from 01 November 2016 the Research Councils introduced a change of eligibility status for Independent Research Organisations (IROs) meaning that any organisation currently approved as an IRO for one Research Council is now eligible for all Research Councils.

NHS Trusts currently eligible to apply as lead applicants will also be eligible to apply as lead applicants for all RCs. Further guidance on eligible costs for NSH Trusts is available on the UK Research and Innovation website.

In the case of CERN and ESRF the following criteria must be met:

  • Applicants must be a scientist or engineer performing one of the following functions:
    • Research, development or professional work including academic study and/or supervisory responsibility
    • Leadership of research, development or professional work involving a wide range of academic study and/or strategic responsibility
    • Responsibilities of the highest level of scientific and/or management complexity, originality and wide distinction
  • All applicants should provide a covering letter to their Research Proposal stating confirmation that they meet the eligibility criteria as set down above.
  • An applicant's contract of employment must extend for at least the period of the grant for which they are seeking funds. The Principal Investigator need not be a UK citizen.
  • Where applicable, any collaborating organisation must have its research or manufacturing base in the UK.
  • All amounts requested should be given in pounds sterling.
  • Estates and Indirect costs will not be applicable. If the grant is awarded, STFC will pay 80% of the cost, excluding estates and indirect costs.

Science and Technology Facilities Council
Switchboard: +44 (0)1793 442000