Physical sciences investigator-led prioritisation panels

Standard Research Funding

Standard research funding is very flexible. You can apply for whatever length of funding you require, whether it is a month or six years. You can apply for funding for a wide range of activities, including research projects, feasibility studies, instrument development, equipment, travel and collaboration, and long-term funding to develop or maintain critical mass. We particularly want to encourage high-risk/high-return research proposals relating to new concepts or techniques. There are no closing dates so you can apply at any time. Please contact us if you are planning to submit a proposal for more than £1.5 million.


We run three standard research panels in parallel 4-5 times a year to make funding decisions through an objective prioritisation process:


  • Biological and Medicinal Chemistry,
  • Catalysis,
  • Organic and Inorganic Synthesis,
  • Physical and Analytical Chemistry.


  • Materials modelling at the atomic scale,
  • Synthesis and characterisation of materials.


  • Atomic, molecular and optical physics,
  • Biological physics,
  • Condensed matter physics,
  • Lasers, optics and plasmas,
  • Surface science.

Each panel consists of a chair, a number of core panel members together with an EPSRC panel convenor. In addition, three ‘roving’ panel members (each representing one of the themes) and the EPSRC head of programme move between the three different panels.

After the panel meetings, the rank ordered lists from each of the panels are considered together by the three chairs, roving panel members, panel convenors and the head of programme. The group discuss the relative quality of proposals across the panels. The head of programme makes the final funding decisions.

First grants and New Investigator Award

First grants and New Investigator Awards are assessed in competition with each other on separate lists at each panel meeting, reflecting the importance we place on supporting the careers of new researchers.

Platform grants

Platform Grants are a flexible mechanism of providing underpinning funding to well established, world leading research groups.

Platform Grant funding provides a baseline of flexible support (a platform) that can be used for the retention of key staff, feasibility studies, longer-term research and International Networking. This flexibility should enable the group to take a strategic view of their research which will be enhanced by the submission of standard research applications during the lifetime of the platform grant.

To apply for a platform grant, you first need to submit an outline. For details on panel dates and proposal submission please visit the platform grant section of the website.

Programme Grants

Programme grants are a flexible mechanism to provide funding to world-leading research groups to address significant major research challenges. Programme grants are appropriate for proposals intended to support a suite of related research activities focusing on one strategic theme.

To apply for a programme grant, you first need to submit an outline. For details on panel dates and proposal submission please visit the programme grant section of the website.

If you are considering submitting a proposal of this type you must speak to a relevant programme grant contact.