I am a non-European applying from outside of the UK. I need to come up with realistic external funding ideas for the next three years. I have a good idea of what kind of research I would like to do but there is no definite plan. Any resources to consider for funding are greatly appreciated.


2 Answers 2


I'm from a physical science field in the UK, so things could vary in different faculties.

From my experience, new faculty at research intensive UK universities are usually required to apply for a New Investigator Grant during their first 3 years as part of their probation. Hiring committees will therefore be looking to see that you have plans which have a realistic chance of winning such an award. It's important that your plans for this award have an appropriate scope. You can find information about the ESRC New Investigator Grant here: https://www.ukri.org/opportunity/esrc-new-investigator-grant/

That is probably the most important one to mention. But mentioning other plausible pathways to funding is also helpful. Depending on exactly what your research interests are, a few other popular UK funders which may be relevant are:

If you have experience with EU grants such as Horizon Europe (which the UK remains a part of despite brexit), this would be worth mentioning. But I get the impression applying for such grants is not common/expected from junior academics. If you are working in Clinical psychology then you would probably need to look for more medical related funding, in particular through the MRC, which I am not very familiar with.

UK academia is very interested in the impact of research due to the Research Excellence Framework. If you can show how your research has/does/will generate impact this will be to your advantage.

  • Your answer was very helpful. Thank you!
    – EAK5199
    Commented May 27, 2021 at 12:58

The first place to look will be UKRI (UK Research and Innovation), and the funding bodies within it that relate to different subject areas. There is also some charity funding available, the website 'Research Professional' is a pretty good resource.

  • Thank you so much. Will do.
    – EAK5199
    Commented May 27, 2021 at 10:50
  • Specifically psychology could sit within the ESRC or MRC councils (which are part of UKRI), depending on the parts of psychology you are interested in. You should also take a look at the leverhulme trust and the european funding council. Research professional is a useful resource, but I believe that it is not free. Commented May 27, 2021 at 11:11
  • The URKI funding bodies you mentioned are RCs (Research Councils) -- and you need to find the one with the right remit. (the ones suggested by Iain Sudbery seem like good places to start)
    – penelope
    Commented May 27, 2021 at 13:00
  • Thank you so much for these helpful comments!
    – EAK5199
    Commented May 27, 2021 at 15:46

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