Other UK Sources
Learned UK societies and academies also provide funding for research, such as the Royal Society and charitable organisations.
The Research Councils are the main public investors in fundamental research in the UK with interests ranging from arts and humanities to particle physics. The seven Research Councils work together through Research Councils UK (RCUK).
RCUK has information about international funding opportunities (ranging from travel to long-term collaborative grants) from the Research Councils.
Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)
AHRC supports research and other activities in areas including history, cultural heritage, modern languages, English literature and the creative and performing arts.
Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)
BBSRC is the UK's principal funder of biological research into plants, microbes, animals (including humans) and related tools and technologies
Engineering and Physical Science Research Council (EPSRC)
EPSRC is the leading funding agency for engineering and the physical sciences, including from mathematics and materials science to information technology and structural engineering.
Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)
ESRC promotes and supports basic, strategic and applied research and training in the social sciences, as well as the dissemination of knowledge and public understanding.
Medical Research Council (MRC)
MRC promotes research into all areas of medical and related science with the aims of improving the health and quality of life. The MRC works in partnership with Health Departments, other Research Councils, industry and others to identify and respond to current and future health needs.
Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)
NERC provides independent research and training in the environmental sciences. Its mission is to gather and apply knowledge, improve understanding and predict the behaviour of the natural environment and its resources.
Science and Technology Facilities Council
The STFC Council operates world-class, large scale research facilities and provides strategic advice to the UK government. It also manages international research projects and directs, coordinates and funds a wide range of research including astronomy, nuclear physics, particle physics, and space science.
The Higher Education Funding Councils aim to promote high quality education and research, accountability and good practice. HEFCs provide funding for the infrastructures of institutions rather than individuals or specific projects. The individual UK funding councils are the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), Scottish Further and Higher Education Funding Council (SFC), Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW), and the Department for Employment & Learning Northern Ireland
Learned societies and academies promote research in specific subject areas through academic publications, funding opportunities, conferences and membership. Some also act as professional bodies by offering accreditation.
The Royal Society
The Royal Society is the national academy of science for the UK and the Commonwealth, whose elected fellows are scientists, engineers and technologists.
The British Academy
The British Academy champions and supports the humanities and social sciences.
The Royal Academy of Engineering
The Royal Academy of Engineering brings together the country’s most eminent engineers from all disciplines to promote excellence in the science, art and practice of engineering.
The Royal Society of Edinburgh
The Royal Society of Edinburgh is Scotland’s National Academy of Science & Letters, providing support for science, technology, engineering and mathematics, and arts and humanities.
The Academy of Medical Sciences
The Academy of Medical Sciences aims to promote translation of biomedical research advances into benefits for people.
Royal Geographical Society
The Royal Geographical Society is the learned society and professional body for geography.
The British Science Association exists to advance the public understanding, accessibility and accountability of the sciences and engineering in the UK.
Edinburgh Geological Society
The Edinburgh Geological Society aims to stimulate public interest in geology and the advancement of geological knowledge.
Royal Astronomical Society
The Royal Astronomical Society is the UK's leading professional body for astronomy and astrophysics, geophysics, solar and solar-terrestrial physics, and planetary sciences.
British Society for the History of Science
Britain's largest learned society devoted to the history and social impact of science, technology and medicine.
Zoological Society of London
The ZSL is a charity devoted to the worldwide conservation of animals and their habitats, building capacity and skills through educational programmes, workshops, postgraduate courses and awards.
The UK charitable organisations below support research and education, particularly in the field of medical research.
These NGOs, foundations and trusts offer private sources of funding, such as endowments from private benefactors or the commercial profits of companies set aside to support research.
Association of Medical Research Charities
AMRC represents the leading UK charities that fund medical and health research. It has a searchable database of member organisations and provides information on specific funding opportunities. It has over 100 member organisations, including Cancer Research UK, the British Heart Foundation, and Parkinson’s UK.
The Joseph Rowntree Foundation
The Joseph Rowntree Foundation is one of the UK’s largest social policy research and development, which seeks to understand and overcome the causes of social difficulties through partnership with academic and other institutions.
The Leverhulme Trust
The Leverhulme Trust supports research and education in all subject areas, with grants and awards including visiting fellowships, early career development fellowships and research project grants.
The Wellcome Trust
The Wellcome Trust fosters and promotes research with the aim of improving human and animal health. A wide range of funding is available for biomedical science, technological transfer, medical humanities and public engagement.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation works to bring ‘innovations in health and learning to the global community,’ providing financial support for international research in key global health priority areas.
National Endowment for Science Technology and the Arts (NESTA)
NESTA supports talent, innovation and creativity in the UK in order to improve the UK’s capacity for innovation. NESTA runs competitions and prizes, and invests in promising early-stage companies, as well as in shaping innovation policy and sharing best practice.
The UKCDS is a collaborative of UK funders with an interest in international development research, with funding for the development sciences.
A professional association or society in the UK is an organisation created by a Royal Charter to support a profession and ensure that professional standards are upheld. Many offer accreditation via membership which is required for the practice of certain professions, such as medicine.
While these professional bodies all provide some type of support, they do not all necessarily provide funding.
The Bar Council
The Bar Council is the professional body for barristers in England and Wales. It provides representation and services for the Bar, and guidance on issues of professional practice.
The Biochemical Society
The Biochemical Society is a learned society for biochemistry, including cellular & molecular biosciences, with Over 7000 members Worldwide.
British Dental Association
The British Dental Association represents dentists in the UK.
British Medical Association
The BMA represents UK doctors in all branches of medicine.
British Psychological Society
The British Psychological Society is the representative body for psychology and psychologists in the UK.
The General Medical Council
The General Medical Council registers doctors to practice medicine in the UK. Its purpose is to protect, promote and maintain the health and safety of the public by ensuring proper standards in the practice of medicine.
Society of Biology
The Society of Biology is the professional body for UK biologists.
Institute of Chemical Engineers
IChemE is an international membership organization for people with an interest and experience in chemical engineering.
Institute of Physics
The Institute of Physics is a scientific organisation devoted to increasing the understanding and application of physics.
Institution of Engineering and Technology
The IET represents the engineering and technology community.
The Law Society
The Law Society represents solicitors in England and Wales.
The Law Society of Scotland
The Law Society of Scotland is the governing body for Scottish solicitors.
The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons
The RCVS is the regulatory body for veterinary surgeons in the UK.
Royal College of General Practitioners
The RCGPs is a professional membership body for UK family doctors.
Royal Society of Chemistry
The RSC is the largest organisation in Europe for advancing the chemical sciences.