First Grant scheme

Please note: the First Grant scheme closed to new applications at 16:00 on 24 July 2017 and has been replaced by the New Investigator Award scheme. 

Further information about the New Investigator Award is available.

The First Grant scheme helps new academics apply for research funding at the start of their careers.


Funding is capped at £125,000 over a maximum of two years. This is calculated at 100% full economic costs (fEC), with EPSRC contributing at 80% fEC. No closing dates apply to the scheme. Proposals needing resources above these limits should be submitted via the Standard Research mechanism.

First Grants can only be applied for once, whether previous applications were successful or not. Proposals are considered in competition with other First Grants at Standard Research prioritisation panels.

EPSRC welcome proposals from applicants who have had non-typical or part-time working patterns, and their return to academic life will be enhanced by a First Grant.

First Grants are not appropriate for those taking up a professorship or other senior academic position at a UK university, and already have significant industrial or international research credentials.

When applying through the Joint electronic submission (Je-S) system please ensure that you apply under the scheme title "First Grant - Revised 2009".

Assessment criteria

The First Grant assessment criteria are based on Standard Grant assessment criteria:

  • Quality
  • Importance
  • Impact
  • Applicant
  • Resources and management

Specific to First Grants, for the Applicant criterion, in addition to 'Ability to deliver' reviewers are asked to comment on Research Independence.

Furthermore, reviewers are asked to comment on the level of support from the university in underpinning the First Grant.

For details on these assessment criteria please see the Reviewer helptext and reviewer form.