Radio Frequency and Microwave Device Engineering for a Prosperous Nation

The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) is investing £4 million to support novel engineering projects in radio frequency and microwave devices that will demonstrate the potential of this research field to achieve our Prosperous Nation ambitions.

We want to foster a collaborative approach and build sustainable links across the academic and industrial elements of the research community that will extend beyond the successful projects. Applicants will need to develop a strategy for engaging with other researchers and new potential users, and should consider how to include these activates in their proposal.

Applicants should note the two eligibility requirements below as well as the need to ring-fence 5% of the budget for networking activities.

Once full proposals are submitted they will go directly to postal peer review, before being progressed to a prioritisation panel if reviews are sufficiently supportive.


The Radio frequency (RF) and microwave devices research area was assigned a grow action category during our previous delivery plan period (2011-2015). When we refreshed the research areas in 2015 it was apparent that the area had actually decreased as a proportion of the EPSRC portfolio.

For information on the change in size of the EPSRC portfolio during the 2011 to 2015 delivery plan period please refer to Research Area Trends 2011-2015 (PDF).

We believe that research in this field continues to have huge potential to deliver impact to the benefit of the UK and that, although we have significant world leading activity, the EPSRC funding portfolio does not currently have capacity needed to deliver fully on the potential. We see a need to increase the research activity to meet our ambitions. As a result during the balancing capability exercise we again assigned this area a grow action category, and subsequently developed this targeted call.

While developing the strategy for this research area we were influenced by the many societal and technological challenges that make use of RF, millimetre wave and terahertz transmission. For example, telecommunications, radar for civil and military use, novel healthcare technologies, communications in robotics and autonomous systems, non-destructive testing, new spectroscopic techniques and low-powered wireless networks between devices that will enable the Internet of Things.

We noted in our published rationale for the research area that these developments are likely to be challenge-driven and the research that will go the furthest towards reaching such societal outcomes is, by its nature, collaborative and multidisciplinary and will involve strong user input and intend that this call will encourage impactful collaborative research.