Programme Grants

For long-term support on a five year rolling basis.

Entry requirements

  • The principal investigator will be a senior researcher working in an established research institution in the UK. He/she must have a strong track record of project grant support, usually from us, and an internationally recognised research profile.
  • The proposed research plan must be extensive and imaginative, but remain focused.

Grant duration

  • Five years initially, with an interim review at the half way point. Programme Grants offer long-term support on a five year rolling basis, extendable by a successful renewal application (see later details).

Award may include

  • Staff. For example: technician, research assistant, postdoctoral salaries. This excludes PhD studentships.
  • Research consumables directly attributable to the project.
  • Research equipment essential for the project.

How to apply

Preliminary outline proposals

Prospective applicants must have submitted a preliminary outline at least 18 months before the expected start date and received our approval to submit a full application. Full applications will not be considered without our prior approval to submit.

To decide whether it is appropriate to apply, please complete the online preliminary application form following the instructions in the GMS User Guide.

Additional information

You will be asked to attach a single PDF to your online application form containing the following information:

  1. Name, department and institute for each co-applicant (maximum of 10 co-applicants allowed).
  2. Background to your proposal.
  3. Research proposals for the next five years, including objectives and the main methods to be used to tackle the research aims.
  4. Your objectives in the longer term.
  5. An explanation of why the research requires programme rather than project grant support.
  6. Summary of expected costs.
  7. Relevant current and recent grants held by principal investigator and co-applicants.
  8. List of the principal investigator's and co-applicant(s)' relevant publications.

Sections 1-6 must not exceed three A4 sides.

Please ensure Arial font size 12 is used. If this font size is not used, the application will be rejected prior to formal consideration.

Outline proposals should be submitted at least 18 months before the expected start date of any award. Allow one month for your outline to be considered.

Full applications

Once a preliminary application is approved you will be able to complete a full online application form following the instructions in the GMS User Guide.

Additional information

You will be asked to attach a single PDF document to your online application form containing the following information:

  1. For resubmissions, include an unedited copy of the original feedback followed by a detailed response, limited to 3 pages, explaining how the revised application has changed from the original submission.
  2. Abstract of the proposed investigation in less than 150 words.
  3. Background to the project and pilot data.
  4. Original hypothesis.
  5. Experimental details and design of proposed investigation.
  6. Power calculations.
  7. Expected value of results.
  8. Outline plan of research after five years.
  9. List of references relevant to the proposed project.
  10. List of principal investigator's and co-applicant(s)' relevant publications.
  11. Appendices should be a maximum of 3 additional pages containing only tables or figures essential to the understanding of the application. Research papers whether published, in press or in preparation may not be attached (although hyperlinks can be provided). 
  12. Brief CV (two A4 sides including email address) of named staff for whom salary is requested.
  13. Supporting letters from collaborators.
  14. Quotes obtained for requested equipment.
  15. Valid copy of ethical approval if relevant.

Sections 2-8 must not exceed 10 A4 sides. The PDF file size must not exceed 20 MB.

Please ensure Arial font size 12 is used. If this font size is not used, the application will be rejected prior to formal consideration.

Programme Grant renewals

If you are renewing your Programme Grant for a further period, in addition to items 1-15 above, you must also complete and include the Progress and Final Report Form in the PDF attachment.

Principal investigators must discuss with us the timing of renewal applications 18 months before the end date of their current award as we will not be responsible for costs incurred after the end date during the renewal process. The application process, beginning with an outline proposal, is otherwise the same.

Decision process

There are no closing dates. Please submit the application when it is ready.

We will acknowledge receipt of your application within 24 hours and we will advise you when you can expect the result. A decision will be reached by the Chairs and Programme Grants Committee (four meetings a year) after it has considered external peer review reports.

As Programme Grants are rarely awarded without revision, the application should be submitted 12 months before the expected start date.

Apply online