University interactions

EPSRC invests the majority of its funds in UK Universities and as a consequence we work closely with University sector to deliver our strategies and portfolio of research. We maintain strategic relationships with the top 36 Universities in our portfolio. We review the membership of this group of universities every 3 years.  The Fourth triennial review was undertaken in 2020. The 36 universities are referred to as Strategic Partners, with Tier 1 containing the 20 universities with the largest EPSRC portfolios and Tier 2 containing the next 16 Universities. These universities collectively account for approximately 90% of EPSRC's funding.  The senior management in these universities have a one to one relationship with an EPSRC contact at the Director, Associate Director or Theme Lead level.

 The key objectives of strategic engagement with our university partners are to:

• Work together to achieve strategy and policy goals that are vital for engineering and physical sciences, including the aspirations of the Government’s R&D roadmap

• Increase our knowledge and evidence base to support strategic planning and demonstrate the impact of our investments

• Maintain our strong relationships with partners, built on mutual trust and openness

Interactions take place via a range of mechanisms, as well as regular senior level discussions, other external interactions include specific research programme visits, regional meetings and events, and engagement with our Portfolio managers. We have strong links with universities through our Advisory bodies and also engage with universities in operational areas such as peer review policy and with our building leadership teams responsible for co-ordinating training activities.

We are committed to funding the best research and training in whichever university it is to be found, and continue dialogue and information sharing with all universities.

Strategic partners (in alphabetical order)
Tier 1
Tier 2

Cardiff University

Brunel University London

Imperial College London

Cranfield University

Newcastle University

Durham University

University College London

Heriot Watt University

University of Bath

King's College London

University of Birmingham

Lancaster University

University of Bristol

Loughborough University

University of Cambridge

Queen Mary, University London

University of Edinburgh

Queen's University Belfast

University of Glasgow

Royal Holloway, University of London

University of Leeds

Swansea University

University of Liverpool

University of Exeter

University of Manchester

University of Kent

University of Nottingham

University of St Andrews

University of Oxford

University of Sussex

University of Sheffield

University of York

University of Southampton


University of Strathclyde


University of Surrey


University of Warwick