New Investigator Awards: Applicant Eligibility

The New Investigator Award scheme is intended to support individuals who hold an academic lectureship position, and have not previously led a research group.

Am I eligible contractually?

Applicants must comply with the standard EPSRC terms for eligibility to hold research grants. These terms are consistent across all schemes and comprise the following:

  • Investigators must be academic employees (lecturer or equivalent) of an eligible organisation
  • Eligible organisations include all UK higher education institutions that receive grant funding from one of the UK higher education funding bodies, a number of research institutes, NHS bodies with research capacity and certain independent research organisations who possess independent capability to undertake and lead research programmes and satisfy various financial and legal criteria
  • If you have a fixed term appointment, you are eligible providing your contract extends beyond the end date of the proposed research and your host research organisation provides you with the support they would normally offer a permanent employee
  • Current holders of postdoctoral level fellowships are not eligible to hold EPSRC research grants.  These fellowships include the EPSRC Postdoctoral Fellowship, Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship, Sir Henry Wellcome Postdoctoral Fellowship and are likely to include the Leverhulme Trust Research Fellowship, Ser Cymru Fellowship and Daphne Jackson Trust Fellowship
  • If you are employed in a staff post on a research grant, you are not eligible to be a Principal Investigator unless you hold an early career fellowship and your University gives you the same stature as a permanent academic member of staff.  These fellowships include the EPSRC Early Career Fellowship, Leverhulme Trust Major Research Fellowship, RAEng Research Fellowship, RAEng Industrial Fellowship, Royal Society University Research Fellowship and Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowship
  • Applicants must be resident in the UK

Am I eligible with my application history?

The application to the New Investigator Award scheme must be the applicants first to EPSRC as a Principal Investigator with the following exceptions:

-Industrial CASE Studentship

-Overseas Travel Grant

-EPSRC Studentship (through DTP or CDT)

-Workshop Grant

-Proposal that was rejected at the outline stage.

-If you have previously submitted an application for an EPSRC First Grant or New Investigator Award, and were unsuccessful, you are not eligible to reapply

-If you have been a Co-I on a previous application EPSRC you would be welcome to apply subject to meeting the other eligibility criteria

-Applicants who have unsuccessful EPSRC early career fellowship or UK Research and Innovation Future Leader Fellowship applications can still apply to this scheme

Am I eligible with my funding history?

  • Previous holders of postdoctoral level fellowships are welcome to apply if they meet the other eligibility criteria
  • Previous holders of early career level fellowships are not eligible
  • If you have been a Co-I on a grant funded by EPSRC you would be welcome to apply subject to meeting the other eligibility criteria
  • Applicants who have previously directed the vision of a research group are not eligible to apply.  If applicants have been leading projects which included PDRA time, capital equipment in excess of £20k or single research grants over £100,000 (FEC) your eligibility will be assessed on a case by case basis and you will need to provide EPSRC with information on the value of the project and what your role was, both in terms of obtaining the funding and on the project itself
  • Funding received from local sources whilst working overseas must be taken into consideration as the same scheme eligibility principles apply

I’ve read the above, and I still don’t know if I’m eligible, what should I do?

If you have read the guidance above, spoken with your research office and still don't know if you are eligible to apply, please contact for advice prior to submitting an application under this scheme.  Assessment of appropriateness for this scheme will be undertaken on a case by case basis, based on the scheme principles, the individual circumstances of the applicant and their career path.

Acceptance to the scheme will be judged by EPSRC before the application is sent to expert peer review and is made on the basis of the content of the cover letter. If EPSRC assess that the applicant is not eligible to apply for the scheme, the applicant will be asked to withdraw the proposal.