How to Apply

Key points

  • Sign up to be a member of the network to be eligible to apply.
  • The lead applicant must be the HEI partner OR by UKRI definitions have a substantive employment relationship with the HEI partner. Examples of a substantial relationship with an organisation include: emeritus status (that is, retired but still maintains their relationship with their department or the university), honorary appointment with the organisation, contract with the submitting organisation, normally outlasting the duration of the project.
  • Funding goes to the HEI partner.
  • The non-HEI partner cannot receive funds for core costs such as staff time.
  • Project leads and co-leads cannot also be the non-HEI partner.
  • All projects must have a non-HEI partner and require a letter of support on headed paper.
  • Funding is awarded in line with UKRI and EPSRC criteria and rules.
  • UKFin+ is committed to EDI and RRI, it is important to acknowledge this in your application.
  • Any potential conflicts of interest in the project team should be identified in the application with a description of how they have been addressed.
  • Remember the basics: fill in every box, do not go over the word limit and ensure your application is clear and concise.
  • One diagram only can be included in the case for support, within the word limit.  No additional attachments are allowed.
  • Download the application documents at the bottom of the page and submit them to: [email protected]

How to Apply

For all funding streams, the funds can be used for any activity that falls within the UKRI/EPSRC eligibility criteria that can be found here, noting the following UKFin+ specific criteria:

  • Intangible assets can be funded e.g. datasets, and subscriptions as long as they are critical to the project delivery.  Any costs for equipment/intangible assets over £10,000 including VAT will not normally be funded.
  • For Impact and Education/Engagement projects only directly incurred costs will be funded.
  • International project lead costs cannot be covered.

Our funding is to allow academic research to be applied to real-world problems. We fund HEIs only and therefore all project leads must have a substantive employment relationship  with the HEI in order to be eligible.

It is the the responsibility of the lead institution to manage the award and any subcontracts with collaborating institutions and non-academic organisations if appropriate. This procedure is in line with standard UKRI funding practices.

All costs should be inclusive of VAT (where applicable).

Costings must be prepared in compliance with the financial rules and regulations of the host institution and UKRI/EPSRC guidance. These must be checked and signed off by a senior officer from the lead HEI finance office. 

For Agile, Pilot and Feasibility projects UKFin+ funds 80% of the full economic cost. This means when you create your costing for a 10K project UKFin+ will fund 8K. The advertised funding limits are for the total cost of the project and not the amount UKFin+ pays.

Example costing:

Fund HeadingDescriptionFull Economic Cost (100% fEC) £UK Fin+ Contribution (80% fEC) £
Staff (Directly Allocated)Project Lead 1: 10%£4000£3200
Staff (Directly Allocated)Project Co-lead: 10%£3000£2400
Directly Allocated EstatesTRAC Estate costs University 1£400£320
Directly Allocated EstatesTRAC Estate costs University 2£440£352
Indirect CostsTRAC Indirect Costs University 1£3000£2400
Indirect CostsTRAC Indirect Costs University 2£2000£1600
Other Directly IncurredCosts for a dissemination workshop£1000£800
Other Directly IncurredCo-creation Workshop£2000£1600
Travel & Subsistence  Travel and subsistence for visiting non-HEI partner£200£160
Travel & SubsistenceTravel, accommodation and subsistence budget for attending UKFin+ annual event£800£640
    
 Total£16,840£13,472

All applications must include a lead HEI applicant as well as a non-HEI partner. The non-HEI partner could be an industry, charity, trade and/or cluster body or policy partner.

The HEI applicant must be the lead, project leads must have a substantive employment relationship with the HEI and must reside in the UK. There can be more than one HEI project lead (project co-lead).

All applicants including project co-leads must have written approval from their institution before an application is submitted (the lead HEI is expected to check this before submitting).

Postdoctoral researchers can apply as the Lead Applicant, so long as they meet the following expectations:

  • They must hold a PhD and have experience of leading research appropriate to their career stage, for example leading an internal research award
  • Their post must outlast the proposed end date of the award by at least three months
  • The application must evidence the capabilities for research leadership as appropriate to the career stage
  • Mentoring arrangements need to be articulated in the application

Applicants must be a member of the UKFin – sign up here.

The partner support letter should cover the following headings: 

  • Confirmation that the partner involvement is supported at a senior level in the partner organisation, including the period of support 
  • A brief overview of partner purpose and vision 
  • Description of how the proposed project aligns with the partner’s strategic priorities, and how the partner will benefit from the collaboration. 
  • A statement of the in-kind and/or matched support including but not limited to staff time, access to equipment, provision of data, software and materials 

The following pledges as relevant: 

  • How the partner will commercialise the technology beyond the project
  • Engagement in workshops and dissemination to share the outcomes. 
  • Sharing of project outcomes for the benefit of the UKFin network (respecting commercial confidentiality) 

The support letter should be on headed paper and signed by a senior manager at the partner organisation.  The letter should be on A4 and no more than two pages in length.

UKFin+ is committed to Equality, Diversion and Inclusion, and welcomes applications from teams which are diverse, particularly regarding protected characteristics and career stage. 

The expectations from applicants relating to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion are:

  • Explicitly stating what actions they will take to support Equality, Diversity and Inclusion
  • Individuals from across the range of career levels in the research team
  • All funded organisations are to have published commitments to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, including procedures for dealing with harassment or complaints.

Upon receipt of a proposal, we will ask the applicant to voluntarily complete an anonymous EDI monitoring form for their team to enable us to evaluate the diversity of our funding.  Processing of this data will be done anonymously and separately from the funding panel.

Applicants can provide confidential information to the panel in relation to any Equality, Diversity and Inclusion considerations.  This should be done via separate e-mail to [email protected], or to the Project Directors leading on Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Professor John Vines ([email protected]) and Professor Jing Chen ([email protected]).

All projects are expected to approach their research in line with the expectations for Responsible Research and Innovation and adhering to the EPSRC’s AREA principles to anticipate, reflect, engage and act.

DeadlineStreamsPanelFeasibility panel
Tuesday 14th November 2023, 5 pmAll streamsFriday 1st December 2023Friday 26th January 2024
Tuesday 9th April 2024, 5 pmAll streamsFriday 26th April 2024Friday 5th July 2024
Tuesday 12th November 2024, 5 pmAll streamsFriday 6th December 2024Friday 24th January 2025
Tuesday 29th April 2025, 5 pmAll streams Friday 16th May 2025Friday 4th July 2025
Tuesday 11th November 2025, 5 pmAll streams (final deadline for pilot and feasibility stream)Friday 28th November 2025Friday 25th January 2026
Tuesday 14th April 2026, 5 pmImpact and Education streams onlyFriday 8th May 2026 
  • HEI research support offices
  • British Academy Early Career Researcher Network open to early career researchers who work in the British Academy subject remit, and who wish to collaborate with researchers who work within this remit.  The network is open to researchers in the Midlands, Scotland and South West, and will expand nationally over the next three years.  The network offers a range of support for early career researchers including online grant development training and grant writing retreats.  If you are eligible you can sign up to the network here
  • Vitae (realising the potential of researchers) offer advice on writing a research proposal for staff and students of member organisations
  • UKRI top tips for writing a grant application

Expectations

Expectations for the collaboration between the Research Organisation and their non-HEI partner

For all funding streams, there must be a collaboration between a research organisation (Higher Education Institution or Independent Research Organisation) and an industry, charity, trade and/or cluster or policy partner (non-HEI partner). 

Benefits to researchers include:

  • having the opportunity to work on real-world applications
  • seeing their research deliver tangible socio-technical impact
  • learning new skills and research methods

Benefits to collaborating non-HEI partners include:

  • extending the capabilities and expertise available to them
  • sharpening their competitive advantage by combining theory and practice.
  • improving their performance through developing new technologies
  • reducing the risk of investing in research

The expectations for the collaborative arrangement are:

Research projects will be closely aligned with key strategic priorities of the non-HEI partner relating to the UK financial services sector. Both parties will aim to use the funding to deliver the project outcomes. Therefore strengthening their relationship and generating further opportunities to collaborate on real-life challenges.

All funded projects will be expected to:

  • Participate in UKFin+ network events, and present project updates (costs to attend UKFin+ network events can be included in the application)
  • Produce a three-minute film for dissemination at UKFin+ events and via the project web site.
  • Provide updates for the project web page of UKFin+ and our social media communications when requested.  UKFin+ will also promote its work across the financial services sector, and occasionally project leads might be asked for short quotes or other information to demonstrate the activities that are taking place.
  • Ensure that the work is acknowledged as being supported by EPSRC and UKFin+ when promoting projects, either through articles, papers, presentations, or interviews. Both EPSRC and UKFin+ branding should be visibly included on any presentations.
  • Report all outcomes from the funded project to the Project Lead for up to five years from the project end date.
  • Plan projects realistically including lead times for project set-up (recruitment, contract negotiation, ethical approval, and procurement), realistic outcomes for the time and resources requested.
  • Extensions will be given to enable inclusion e.g., for approved sick leave, parental leave, compassionate leave, adoption leave so long as the activity will still end before the UKFin+ funded period ends on 30.9.2027.  Extensions for other reasons will only be given in exceptional circumstances, to ensure that the available funding is fully allocated and spent by the end of the UKFin+ funded period.

Selection Criteria

Funding selection criteria are based on the EPSRC criteria adjusted to reflect the scale of the UKFin+ commissioning framework. Please see full details on the selection criteria here.

Funding Panels

Allocation of funding

Decisions to fund projects will be made based on fit with the published selection criteria for each funding stream.  There is no quota of projects for each funding round. Projects that are a strong match to the funding stream criteria will be funded subject to there being sufficient funds remaining in the funding stream. There will be no more than 6 Feasibility projects funded across all funding panels, with the final deadline being November 2025 to allow sufficient time for project delivery by 31st August.

The funding streams available may vary over the duration of the funding period. Communications on available funding streams will be via social media, the project website and the UKFin+ mailing list.

Re-submission

Applicants may only re-submit if they are invited to do so.

Panel composition

The funding panel for Agile will consist of the UKFin+ Directors.

The funding panel for Pilot, Feasibility, Impact and Education/Engagement will consist of the UKFin+ Directors, plus an independent Equality, Diversity and Inclusion panel member. Feasibility applications that progress to the full panel will initially be reviewed by the UKFin+ Directors and provided with peer review comments.  Applicants will have two weeks to respond to peer review comments.  Feasibility applications will take up to four months to receive a decision and will need to commence within six months of the panel decision. 

Ready to Apply?

DOWNLOAD APPLICATION DOCUMENTS

Short Form

Agile, Pilot, Impact and Education funding streams

Long Form

Feasibility funding steams

UKFin+ Award Letter