There are seven Research Councils who receive public funding through the UK Government’s Science Budget to invest in research. They invest approximately £3 billion in total each year. Their common objectives are to:
- fund basic, strategic and applied research;
- support postgraduate training (PhDs and masters students and fellows);
- advance knowledge and technology and provide services and trained scientists and engineers to contribute to the economic competitiveness, the effectiveness of public services and policy, and quality of life;
- support science in society activities.
The UK Research Councils are:
- Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)
- Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)
- Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)
- Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)
- Medical Research Council (MRC)
- Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)
- Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)
It is essential that you become familiar with the relevant Research Council that funds research in your area and look at the different types of funding that they offer. Funding can include travel grants, fellowships, knowledge exchange opportunities, project grants and programme grants.
In the coming year they will be brought together under Research UK.