If you are aware of an institutional limit on an external bid that is not listed below, please contact researchoffice.fundingstrategy@imperial.ac.uk

Open External Calls

EPSRC Strategic Equipment 2020

Deadline : COB Tuesday 7 July 2020 (for business case internal submission)

For further detail please contact Suzanne Husein.   

EPSRC has announced a new round of the EPSRC Strategic Equipment process. EPSRC strongly encourages a strategic approach to the submission of business cases and therefore the College has agreed the following internal selection process, in an effort to manage the timing of bids for maximal success and to provide an opportunity for Professor Nick Jennings, Vice-Provost (Research and Enterprise), to offer institutional approval to bids.

Individuals interested in applying to this call should initially submit a 2-page business case to  researchoffice.fundingstrategy@imperial.ac.uk by COB Tuesday 7 July 2020,outlining the strategic need for the equipment and including the following information. 

  • Item
  • Vendor
  • Description of equipment and its primary functions
  • Cost
  • Usage
  • Support
  • Strategic Case
  • Ensuring Maximum Value
  • Contribution from Other Sources
  • Alternatives

Applicants are expected to have engaged with EPSRC prior to developing an outline to confirm the suitability of their bid and to provide information to this effect with their submission to CCRPRG.  Contact details for EPSRC representatives can be found here (see bottom of page).   

LETTER OF SUPPORT: MRC New Investigator Research Grants

Deadline: depends on the board, see below. 

For further detail please contact researchoffice.fundingstrategy@imperial.ac.uk


Application deadlines for the MRC New Investigator Research Grant scheme are approaching.  These applications require a letter of support from the President or the Provost.  To obtain this letter, candidates are asked to provide the following material to researchoffice.fundingstrategy@imperial.ac.uk by the deadlines stated below:

  1. A version of the letter that is complete and ready to be signed. The letter may be edited for style, but all content should be provided and complete. Please highlight any content crucial to the application and keep to a maximum of 2 pages
  2. Confirmation of the provisions that are being made to the bid and are outlined in the letter (e.g. time, space, funds). This confirmation must be from the budget holder and show that this provision has been approved. Kindly note that the letter will be returned unsigned if point 2 above isn’t addressed, therefore may I take this opportunity to stress the need to forward copies of commitments of space, access, studentships etc. with any letters.
  3. A copy of the application form in its latest state


  • Molecular and Cellular Medicine Board: Deadline Tuesday 5 May; LoS to President by Monday 27th April
  • Infection & Immunity Board: Deadline Wednesday 13 May; LoS to President by Monday 4th May
  • Population & Systems Board: Deadline Wednesday  20 May; LoS to President by Monday 11th May
  • Neurosciences & Mental Health Board: Deadline Wednesday 27 May;  LoS to President by Monday 18th May

Pre-call announcement: Centres Competition 2020

Expected Deadline: 12:00 (noon) 6 May

For further detail please contact Dr Louise Sherlock

Details of the call are yet to be released, please consider this advanced warning of the call and the fact that it will be managed due to the limited submission mandate. The deadline for the outline stage is anticipated to be late June. Imperial will have the opportunity to submit no more than one application to the outline stage of the competition. ESRC will be looking for evidence of long-term institutional commitment, including additional financial resources from the Research Organisation, to extend the work programme beyond the 100% fEC funding requested.

Internal Application process 

As this is a limited submission process, it will be managed by Imperial’s Research Office. Interested PIs should submit the following documents to researchoffice.fundingstrategy@imperial.ac.uk by midday 6 May

  1. A 4-page case for support - This should cover the same main areas as will be required for ESRC, details of which will be in the call guidance when it is released.
  2. A letter from Head of Department - This should clearly state what support will be provided for the proposal, both financial (to meet the ESRC requirements) and strategic. 

Full details of the scheme can be found here:  https://esrc.ukri.org/funding/funding-opportunities/pre-call-announcement-centres-competition-2020/

Please note that Imperial will not be submitting to Research England`s Expanding Excellence in England (E3) Funding call.

AXA Chair

There are two opportunities per year to put someone forward for an AXA Chair position. Imperial is only permitted to submit one candidate per year, and the process is managed centrally. Departments interested in using the scheme to attract an individual to the College should initially approach researchoffice.fundingstrategy@imperial.ac.uk stating the individual that they wish to attract and the strategic benefit to the College of pursuing an application. If the Vice-Provost (Research and Enterprise) is convinced of the strategic need, and the College has not met its application limit, the department will be informed of the next steps to continue the process.

NERC Pushing the Frontiers

Deadline : 12:00 (noon) Friday 17 April 2020  (for Expression of interest)

Deadline : 12:00 (noon) Friday 21 May 2020  (for Full internal submission)

For further detail please contact Dr Louise Sherlock

This scheme aims to fund up to five proposals at £2m over a period of 3-4 years for researchers to push the frontiers of knowledge with ground-breaking, risky, innovative scientific discovery. The assessment will focus on the individual applicant and their high-risk, high-reward scientific vision. There is a particular encouragement for applications from early career researchers (at the closing date of the call – 7 July - they are in post less than 5 years from the start of their first permanent position, excluding career breaks).

Individuals interested in applying to this call should initially submit an Expression of Interest comprised of the below documents to researchoffice.fundingstrategy@imperial.ac.uk by 17 April 2020, midday, stating whether they could be considered an early career researcher according to the NERC definition above:

  • 2-page track record
  • 1-page overview of transformational research idea

Those individuals chosen to progress to the main internal review panel should submit all required paperwork (2 page track record and 5 page research proposal) in line with the existing timings for the internal review group: 21 May, midday, to researchoffice.fundingstrategy@imperial.ac.uk, clearly indicating it is for the Pushing the Frontiers call.

NERC Standard Grant rounds (July and January closing dates)

In 2015, NERC introduced a Demand Management quota system, whereby institutions whose 6-round success rate for Standard Grants (response mode, including New Investigator grants) fell below 20% received a cap on the number of proposals they could submit for that financial year's rounds. Imperial is currently subject to this demand management quota, and will be affected by an institutional cap of 7 submissions for each of the July 2019 and January 2020 rounds. To manage the cap and increase the quality of proposals being submitted to avoid future restriction, an internal review group has been established to aid in the support (and selection where required) of bids. 

For further details of how to submit your proposal to the internal NERC Proposals Review Group and the key dates for the next upcoming round under Demand Management measures, please visit our dedicated NERC Standard Grant Demand Management page.

Ongoing calls

Selected and ongoing bids

Schmidt Science Fellows In partnership with the Rhodes Trust

Imperial College London was selected to nominate 5 outstanding young scientists for the Schmidt Science Fellows program.  This is a post-doctoral fellowship “intending to transcend the traditional confinements of science, enabling interdisciplinary thinking to tackle pivotal challenges and create a long lasting positive societal impact”.

An internal process was put in place to nominate these five, who will submit their applications to the funder by end of October 2018, with decisions announced in Spring 2019. Applications were open to all Natural Sciences, Mathematics, Engineering and Computing PhD fellows internal submissions had to be made by the relevant Head of Department by 7 August 2018.  After review, 5 candidates have been chosen to proceed with their application to the Schmidt Science Fellows programme.

Any queries should be directed to Dr Mark Bambury.