How to apply for a First Grant

Please note: the First Grant scheme closed to new applications at 16:00 on 24 July 2017 and has been replaced by the New Investigator Award scheme.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

You can only apply once for a First Grant, whether your proposal is successful or not.

Funding Guide

Before applying, check that you are eligible to receive EPSRC funding using our funding guide, and that you match the specific First Grant scheme eligibility criteria. Advice and conditions in our funding guide applies to First Grants unless the scheme guidance indicates otherwise.

Je-S System

You must set up an account for the Research Councils’ Joint electronic submission (Je-S) to prepare and submit your proposal. For First Grant proposals, select document type ‘Standard Research’ and scheme ‘First Grant’.

Preparing a Proposal

The proposal consists of an electronic application form and a number of other documents. As well as filling in the form, you must prepare a Case for Support which includes:

  • Your track record, describing development for your research career
  • A description of your proposed research in context.

You must also attach a statement of support from your host research organisation.


Co-Investigators on a First Grant must work in a different discipline to the Principle Investigator, and be establishing a multidisciplinary link by taking part in the project. Therefore, researchers from the same department or closely-related research topic would be unacceptable.

How First Grant proposals are assessed

When EPSRC receive your proposal, we send it to reviewers from the College for their comments. If the proposal receives strongly supportive comments from two or more reviewers, it is sent to a prioritisation panel where First Grants are ranked in competition with each other, but separately to proposals from established researchers. Prioritisation panels are usually held 4 - 5 times per year.

If a proposal does not gain strong support from reviewers, it is rejected before the prioritisation panel stage.

Application outcomes should be made within 26 weeks of their initial receipt by EPSRC.