Framework Partner Universities

Framework agreements give us a structured and systematic basis for our discussions with universities and help to identify activities we can work on together. The agreements don’t provide any extra funding to universities, but may help to identify opportunities to use existing EPSRC funding more flexibly.

Activities include:

  • Sharing data and information
  • Co-operating in managing research and training
  • Identifying opportunities for increasing knowledge transfer from EPSRC-funded research
  • Jointly promoting the interests of researchers and building the case for public funding of engineering and physical sciences.

Criteria for Framework Partner Status

The criteria used for identifying universities qualifying for framework agreements are as follows:

  • Framework University status is limited to the top 13 universities in terms of research portfolio drawn from EPSRC.
  • The measure of research funding for this purpose is the value of all new grants announced over the 36 months preceding the review date, moderated by the institution's success rate in attracting grants over that 36 month period.
  • Given the long-term nature of relationship management, and to ensure that both parties can gain value from the relationship, this status is reviewed at three yearly intervals giving an assured minimum period of framework status.
  • The latest review took place in April 2017 and resulted in some changes in status, the next review will be in early 2020 to take effect May 2020.


The current framework universities, identified on the basis of these agreed criteria, are:

  • University of Bristol
  • University of Cambridge
  • University of Glasgow
  • Imperial College London
  • University of Leeds
  • University of Manchester
  • University of Nottingham
  • University of Oxford
  • University of Sheffield
  • University of Southampton
  • University of Strathclyde
  • University College London
  • University of Warwick

These 13 universities between them account for 60 percent of EPSRC's funding. By working closely together, we hope to be able to identify best practice that can be communicated to other universities so that all can make the most of EPSRC funding.