University interactions

EPSRC invests the majority of its funds in UK Universities, and as a consequence we work closely with the University sector to deliver our strategies and portfolio of research.

Interactions take place via a range of mechanisms across the organisation, including thematic visits, regional meetings and events (supported by our Heads of Regional Engagement), and engagement with our portfolio managers. We have strong links with universities through our Advisory bodies and also engage closely with research offices in operational areas such as peer review policy and on specific schemes and activities.

We maintain strategic relationships with the top 36 Universities in our portfolio. The membership of this group is reviewed every 3 years, with the fourth triennial review undertaken in 2020. The 36 universities are referred to as Strategic Partners; Tier 1 contains the 20 universities with the largest EPSRC portfolios and Tier 2 contains the next 16. These universities collectively account for approximately 90% of EPSRC's funding. Senior management in these universities have a one-to-one relationship with an EPSRC contact, at either the Director, Associate Director or Theme Lead level.

The key objectives of engaging with our strategic university partners are to:
  • Work together to achieve strategy and policy goals 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

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