First Grant scheme eligibility

Please note: the First Grant scheme closed to new applications at 16:00 on 24 July 2017 and has been replaced by the New Investigator Award scheme.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

To be eligible for a First Grant, you must:

  • Be eligible to hold an EPSRC grant. See EPSRC funding guide for eligibility requirements of organisations and investigators. If you have a fixed-term appointment, you are still eligible providing your contract extends beyond the end date of the proposed research.
    You are not eligible if you hold a purely research-based appointment, or are employed entirely by a research council establishment. If you are employed in a staff post on a research grant, you are not eligible to be a principal investigator unless you hold an academic fellowship.
  • Be within 36 months of your first academic lecturing appointment in a UK university, or the probation period of your first lecturing appointment. The criteria apply to the date that EPSRC registers your proposal, not to when a funding decision is made. If you have had a different pattern of academic experience, for example working part-time or taking a significant career break (incl. illness, maternity or paternity leave or equivalent or a period of working outside of academia in a non-related role), you may be eligible to apply. Please contact one of the First Grant scheme contacts for advice.
  • Submit your proposal within ten years of completing your PhD (viva-voce examination) or equivalent professional qualification. If you have had a different pattern of academic experience, for example working part-time or taking a significant career break (including illness, maternity or paternity leave or equivalent, or a period of working outside of academia in a non-related role), you may be eligible to apply. Please contact one of the First Grant scheme contacts for advice.
  • Be applying to EPSRC as a Principal Investigator for the first time - except for overseas travel grants and unfunded EPSRC Fellowship applications. You are still eligible if you have already been a Co-Investigator on an EPSRC research grant.
  • Holders of EPSRC Fellowships are not eligible (except previous holders of EPSRC Postdoctoral Fellowships). If you hold any other research Fellowship, you can only apply if your university gives you the same stature as a permanent academic member of staff, as described in the EPSRC funding guide Eligibility of Investigators.

The aim of the First Grant scheme is to support new academics (early career researchers who have recently acquired their first academic lectureship position) with limited experience of applying for funding. Therefore, if you have a track record of peer reviewed grants (as a Principal Investigator) from equivalent funders (in the UK or abroad) and/or are taking up a senior academic position you may not be eligible to apply.

Please see further guidance in the First Grant FAQs and contact one of the First Grant scheme contacts for advice on eligibility.