Friday 15 August 2014


The British Council, working with the UK Higher Education International Unit, has launched a call for travel grant proposals as part of the Researcher Links initiative, delivered under the Newton Fund.

The initiative will encourage international research collaboration between ambitious researchers from the UK and key partner countries around the world. The programme, ‘British Council Researcher Links’ provides opportunities for early career researchers from the UK and partner countries to interact, learn from each other and explore opportunities for building long-lasting research collaborations. The International Unit is a partner in co-delivering Researcher Links under the Newton Fund.

The Newton Fund is a £375 million fund (£75 million a year for 5 years starting 2014/15).  Through the Newton Fund, the UK will use its strength in research and innovation to promote the economic development and social welfare of partner countries. By working together on bi-lateral and multi-lateral programmes with a research and innovation focus, the UK will build strong, sustainable, systemic relationships with partner countries.  This will support the continued excellence of the UK research base and innovation ecosystem and act as a key to unlock opportunities for wider collaboration and trade.

A ‘call to action’ has been issued for researchers to propose an international research placement. Researchers who reside in the UK can apply for funding to spend up to 3 months at a university or research institution in one of the partner countries specified by the Newton Fund, and those residing in one of the partner countries can apply for funding to come to the UK. Unless specified otherwise in the guidelines, all research areas are covered, including the natural sciences, humanities and social sciences.

The countries covered by Researcher Links - Newton Fund are Egypt, Kazakhstan, Mexico, South Africa, Thailand, Turkey and Vietnam. However, applications can also be made under British Council Researcher Links to seven priority countries not covered by the Newton Fund: Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Morocco, Nigeria, Pakistan, Russia and South Korea.

Applications will be accepted until midnight on 30 September 2014.

Dr Jo Beall, the British Council’s Director of Education and Society, said “International collaboration has been shown to improve the quality of research, and international researchers also have greater productivity. The UK is a world leader in research now, but to retain its leading position our best minds need to reach out internationally, and share ideas to tackle the big shared challenges of our future. Moreover, greater collaboration creates greater mutual benefits.”

Vivienne Stern, Director of the International Unit said “The UK’s excellent and diverse higher education sector sits at the centre of global research networks.  The researcher links initiative will help the sector build new partnerships which will help the UK continue to develop long term links with the international research community”.

Notes to Editor

Who is it aimed at?

British Council Researcher Links is a global initiative with initial focus on selected countries but will maintain the flexibility to involve additional partners in response to identified needs or opportunities. It consists of workshops and travel grants, with a focus on early career researchers. It is delivered both under the Newton Fund, and independently, in partnership with national funding partners around the world.

Countries eligible for 2014 Travel Grants Call

Researcher Links - Newton Fund

Egypt, Kazakhstan, Mexico, South Africa, Thailand, Turkey, Vietnam

Researcher Links

Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Morocco, Nigeria, Pakistan, Russia, South Korea

For media enquiries, please contact Mark Moulding in the British Council Press Office on +44 (0)207 389 4889 or

About the British Council

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for educational opportunities and cultural relations. We create international opportunities for the people of the UK and other countries and build trust between them worldwide.

We work in more than 100 countries and our 7000 staff – including 2000 teachers – work with thousands of professionals and policy makers and millions of young people every year teaching English, sharing the Arts and in education and society programmes.

We are a UK charity governed by Royal Charter. A publically-funded grant-in-aid provides less than a quarter of our turnover which last year was £781m.  The rest we earn from English teaching, UK exams and services which customers around the world pay for, through education and development contracts and from partnerships with other institutions, brands and companies.  All our work is in pursuit of our charitable purpose and creates prosperity and security for the UK and the countries we work in all around the world.

For more information, please visit: