Strategic Packages

Strategic Packages is a pilot scheme supporting recruitment of the best international research leaders into the UK.

The aim is to help these researchers, sometimes called 'star recruits' to maintain momentum in their research programmes as they become embedded in the UK research funding system. Packages are determined on a case-by-case basis following discussion between EPSRC and the recruiting university, but are restricted to directly incurred research costs. Funding for capital equipment is currently excluded.

Researcher specification


  • A strategic vision for developing UK research and training in their field. Ability to anticipate, identify and promote key research areas
  • Able to represent their research area and EPSRC to the world, including other researchers and research councils; opinion formers; and the media
  • Evidence of strong international links with academia in their research area
  • Not currently working within the UK, or holding an appointment with a UK higher education institute
  • Probable positive impact on UK research in their own field, and an expectation of positive influences in broader areas
  • Demonstrable evidence of significant research achievements and leadership.


  • Able to draw together UK researchers in their field
  • Able to identify application sectors for the research, and build links with the relevant user organisations
  • Excellent communications skills, strong leadership, interpersonal and influencing skills
  • Alignment of research area with EPSRC priorities.

Institution Specification for Strategic Package Funding


  • Evidence that it is the optimum UK environment host the star recruit that will sustain or enhance their performance
  • Strong alignment between the appointment and the institutions’ strategic plan
  • Commitment to the appointment, proving a permanent post and a minimum of matched new funding
  • The strategic alignment of other EPSRC funding to support the appointee
  • Coaching and support for the appointee to help them negotiate the UK funding system successfully.


  • Alignment of EPSRC and higher education institute priorities for the research area.

Assessment criteria

  • Excellence - The calibre of the proposed candidate
  • Importance - How this appointment could help develop a world leading capability in the UK
  • Also considered is how the appointment would support other research disciplines, address key UK societal challenges, contribute to UK economic success, or develop key emerging industries
  • University's track record and ability - if the university is best placed to host the appointment in this research area, including:
    • University research environment, and UK benefits of locating the appointment at this institution
    • Plans for developing the research area, the broader discipline, and forging new links
    • Plans for supporting the appointment through strategic alignment of financial resources, and activities to engage them with UK research and funding environments
  • Resources - how the proposal justifies the resource requested from EPSRC.

Any enquiries about this scheme should be made to your institute’s Head of Department or Faculty, or to Amanda Chmura (01793 444170).