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External Funding Opportunities

There are many sources of external funding that can facilitate international collaborations by bringing together the best researchers and facilities from across the world.

Those most relevant to the development of the University’s strategic partnerships are the UK Government’s Newton Fund, the Global Challenges Research Fund, the Fund for International Collaboration (FIC), and Horizon 2020;

Newton Fund: builds research and innovation partnerships with 17 active partner countries to support their economic development and social welfare, and to develop their research and innovation capacity for long-term sustainable and equitable growth.

By fostering world-class collaborations between academics and innovators in the UK and developing countries the Newton Fund aims to address critical development challenges including: poverty, access to healthcare, climate change, and peace and security. As well as growing the research and innovation capacity of developing countries, the programmes funded contribute to the continued strength of the UK’s research and innovation system, and support our wider prosperity and global influence.

The Newton Fund is managed by the UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and delivered through seven UK delivery partners and 87 in-country funding partners.

Global Challenges Research Fund: is a £1.5 billion fund that supports cutting-edge research on global issues affecting developing countries. It harnesses the expertise of the UK’s world-leading researchers, focusing on

  • funding challenge-led disciplinary and interdisciplinary research
  • strengthening capability for research, innovation and knowledge exchange in the UK and developing countries through partnership with excellent UK research and researchers
  • providing an agile response to emergencies where there is an urgent research need.

The GCRF mobilises the UK’s world-leading research base to address key challenges such as: threats to the sustainability of natural resources; flooding and famine resulting from climate change; environmental degradation; population growth and rapid urbanisation; fragile states, growing inequality, and violence; threats to animal and plant health; and global health challenges including the development of vaccines and viral threats.

    Fund for International Collaboration (FIC): aims to enhance the UK's excellence in research and innovation through global engagement, forging new bilateral and multilateral research and innovation programmes with global partners.

    The Fund for International Collaboration was announced in the Industrial Strategy White Paper in November 2017 as a “£110 million fund for International Collaborations to enhance the UK’s excellence in research and innovation through global and strategic engagement.”

    Alongside other new cross-UKRI funds including the Strategic Priorities Fund, the FIC forms part of a package of UKRI measures to maintain the UK’s global R&D leadership and thereby deliver against the ambitions of the Industrial Strategy.

    As the FIC focuses on enhancing the UK’s bilateral and multilateral partnerships with global R&D leaders, UKRI has identified key partner countries, in consultation with BEIS, as part of an evolving framework for international investment. Partner countries under the FIC include the USA, Canada, Japan, Australia, Israel, South Korea, Singapore, China and India. The first round of calls announced involve collaborations with 17 lead countries.

    Horizon 2020

    Horizon 2020 is the biggest EU Research and Innovation programme with nearly €80 billion of funding available over 7 years (2014 to 2020).

    Seen as a means to drive economic growth and create jobs, Horizon 2020 has the political backing of Europe’s leaders and the Members of the European Parliament. They agreed that research is an investment in our future and so put it at the heart of the EU’s blueprint for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth and jobs.

    By coupling research and innovation, Horizon 2020 is helping to achieve this with its emphasis on excellent science, industrial leadership and tackling societal challenges. The goal is to ensure Europe produces world-class science, removes barriers to innovation and makes it easier for the public and private sectors to work together in delivering innovation.

    Funding opportunities under Horizon 2020 are set out in multiannual work programmes, which cover the large majority of support available. The work programmes are prepared by the European Commission within the framework provided by the Horizon 2020 legislation and through a strategic programming process integrating EU policy objectives in the priority setting.

    The current main Horizon 2020 work programme comprises an introduction,18 thematic sections and the general annexes describing general rules such as standard admissibility conditions and eligibility criteria, selection and award criteria, etc.

    Other interesting links

    UK Research and Innovation (UKRI): run a number of schemes to support activities that foster international collaboration through initiating or further developing long term relationships between researchers in the UK and another country.

    UUKi's ‘Gateway to international opportunities'

    ​A regularly updated​ depository of funding opportunities for international research collaboration and knowledge exchange, aimed at UK based researchers/institutions.

    UK-India Education and Research Initiative: UKIERI has been recognized as a key multi stakeholder programme that has strengthened the research, leadership, education and now skill sector relations between the two countries.

    UUKi's ‘Gateway to international opportunities'

    ​A regularly updated​ depository of funding opportunities for international research collaboration and knowledge exchange, aimed at UK based researchers/institutions.

    Association of Commonwealth Universities

    ACU Fellowships promote the exchange of knowledge, skills and ideas between universities and countries of the Commonwealth.

    The Prosperity Fund

    The Prosperity Fund aims support the inclusive economic growth needed to reduce poverty in partner countries.

    British Council: 

    Funding for research, travel and workshop grants - and more.

    SPHEIR: Strategic Partnerships for Higher Education Innovation and Reform

    SPHEIR is a £45 million DFID fund to support higher education transformation in focus countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia and the Middle East.