Managing the funds

In making a grant, the EPSRC intends that the investigator shall have reasonable freedom and flexibility to manage the available resources according to the needs of the project. In turn, the investigator is responsible for ensuring the best use of resources in order to achieve the aims and objectives of the research. The extent of the investigator’s responsibility and freedom to manage the research is contained within the framework of the terms and conditions under which the grant is awarded.

A grant holder is generally allowed to deploy grant funds in accordance with the needs of the research; specific exceptions are given below. There may be other occasions where there may be some doubt as to whether the transfer can be justified, or whether costs would be permitted as a charge to the grant. The EPSRC recommends that in such instances a grant holder seeks advice, in the first instance from their central administration group and if necessary from EPSRC on the appropriateness of such expenditure.

The EPSRC may require investigators to submit periodic reports and to attend evaluation meetings or theme days in order to assess progress of the grant and its contribution to a programme. Some grants may also be subject to monitoring by a coordinator, consultant or programme staff.

The research organisation must not over commit expenditure against the research grant. However, funds may be transferred between any of the headings at the discretion of the investigator without reference to the EPSRC with the following exceptions:

Full Economic Costing

  • Transfers of funds between fund headings are permitted only within and between Directly Incurred costs and Exceptions, excluding Equipment.   Equipment funding is ring-fenced and transfers into or out of the equipment headings are not permitted.  Transfers on other fund headings will be at the rate applicable for the heading, as set out in the offer letter.
  • Funds provided for equipment costing more than £25,000 may not be used to buy other equipment without prior written approval of the EPSRC.


Collaboration is an important aspect of the research supported by the EPSRC. Collaborative activities most often take the form of the joint pursuit of research with industry, but may also exist between similar research organisations, both in the UK and abroad. The EPSRC expects that participants in a collaborative project will develop a collaborative agreement to clarify the contributions and rights of each partner.

The EPSRC will not get involved in negotiating an agreement for collaborative research but will need to be assured that an arrangement acceptable to all parties exists. Such agreements must not conflict with the terms and conditions under which EPSRC research grants are awarded. The requirement is for a collaboration agreement to be put in place before a research project begins.

Where the requirement for a collaboration agreement has been identified by the EPSRC, the project will not be permitted to be activated until the agreement is in place.

Research Fellowships

As Research Fellowships are funded through grants, much of the information concerning research grants applies by analogy.

Specific differences for Fellowships include:

Managing the Funds

No transfer of funds provided for the salary of Fellows will be permitted.

Change of Investigator

If a fellow moves to an ineligible organisation the fellowship will be terminated. Since fellowships are awarded to support individuals transfer to a colleague is not possible.

Transfer between Research Organisations

Transfers are only possible between eligible UK research organisations.

Further details can be found at Managing your Fellowship.