British Council Researcher Links

British Council Researcher Links gives early career researchers across selected partner countries the opportunity to form international connections through fully funded workshops and travel grants. Since the launch in 2013, thousands of researchers from across the various countries have benefited from Researcher Links. New international collaborations, networks and projects have already been formed directly from the first round of workshops.


International research collaboration is essential for the global knowledge economy, and it has been shown that internationally mobile researchers tend to be more productive. Furthermore, a shared research interest can help to build trust and relationships between people from very different backgrounds and cultures. 

In response to this, and taking advantage of its position as an intercultural relations organisation with global expertise in higher education, the British Council launched the British Council Researcher Links initiative, in partnership with various research and higher education organisations from around the world.

Newton Researcher Links

British Council Researcher Links is also being run under the Newton Fund. 


Researcher links consists of workshops and travel grants, both with a focus on early career researchers – find out more from the expandable links below.

The April 2017 calls are now open. Current opportunities are listed here

To keep up to date with all funding calls, including Researcher Links, please subscribe to the Euraxess UK newsletter on this page.


In 2015 we funded a total 101 workshops and 57 travel grants, ensuring that more than 2,500 early career researchers had the opportunity to form international connections. This included researchers from the UK and following countries: Brazil, China, Colombia, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Israel, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Mexico, Morocco, Philippines, Russia, South Africa, Thailand, Turkey, United Arab Emirates and Vietnam.

Many of the experiences have led to new collaborations, publications and grant funding.

Travel Grants

This element of Researcher Links is designed to provide financial support for early career researchers to spend up to three months in any partner country participating in the Researcher Links initiative with a view to enhancing and strengthening links for future collaboration, building research capacity in developing economies, and enhancing the researchers’ career opportunities. 

More information


This element of Researcher Links is designed to provide financial support to bring together a UK/partner country bilateral cohort of early career researchers to take part in a workshop focusing on building links for future collaboration and enhancing the researchers’ career opportunities. 

More information

Who can apply?

Leading Researchers should apply to be workshop coordinators and propose a theme for the workshop using the application form. It must be a joint application, with one coordinator based at a UK institution and one based in the partner country. The applicants can be of any nationality, but must be based in the UK or one of the partner countries. The full list of partner countries can be found at the end of this section. Leading Researchers are defined as being upper R3 and R4, as outlined by the EC in this document.

The participants of the workshops must be early-career researchers, as defined later in this section, and must also be based in either the UK or one of the partner countries. 

Travel Grants
The travel grants are open to early-career researchers that are based in either the UK or one of the partner countries. 

What is an early-career researcher?
The term 'early career researcher' refers to researchers at the beginning of their research careers. We would expect early career researchers to have been awarded their PhD not more than 10 years prior to applying for the Travel Grant or to participate in a Workshop, but allowances can be made for career breaks or other extenuating circumstances. If a researcher does not hold a PhD, but has research experience equivalent to a PhD holder and works in a field where a PhD is not a pre-requisite for established research activity, they will still be considered eligible.

Partner Countries
The exact country list may change and will be confirmed with each individual call for proposals. Please check if your country is listed with each call. Previous calls have included the following countries: Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Brazil, Colombia, Egypt, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Mexico, Morocco, Nigeria, Pakistan, Qatar, Russia, South Africa, Thailand, Turkey, United States of America (Travel Grants only), Vietnam.

Researcher Links is also now running under the Newton Fund. For more information on this and which countries are covered, please see here.