Additional funding programme for mathematical sciences

Following the announcement by the Prime Minister on 27 January 2020 of up to an additional £300 million for Mathematical Sciences, EPSRC is now working on the implementation of this programme.

This new investment is for research projects, fellowships and doctoral awards where the research focus is in Mathematical Sciences as well as providing additional funding to the Heilbronn Institute to support PhD students and research, and to the Isaac Newton Institute and International Centre for Mathematical Sciences to enable increased participation.

Doctoral Studentships

We allocated £15 million of doctoral studentship funding that started in the autumn of 2020. This allocation was:

  • Made through training grants based on our doctoral training partnership (DTP) awards model
  • Awarded to each university calculated by algorithm based on the EPSRC Mathematical Sciences portfolio led by that university
  • Ringfenced funding for doctoral studentships in Mathematical Sciences
  • Studentship awards equivalent to four years' support
  • Provided with allowed open eligibility for up to 50% of each universities’ studentships.

Offers of the next phase of DTP awards for studentships to start in academic years 2021 and 2022 will be made to universities during winter 2020.

Small Grants Scheme

A new Small Grants Scheme was announced in October 2020. Through the Small Grants Scheme, EPSRC will support grants up to the value of £80,000, with proposals expected to run for up to 12 months. In the first instance, a rising funding level of £2 million is available per annum through this initiative. However, this will be reviewed and may be subject to change.

Programme Grants

An element of the Additional Funding is to support multi-institutional projects and programmes with this being offered using the Programme Grants scheme. Programme Grants are a mechanism to provide flexible funding to world-leading research groups to address significant major research challenges. They are intended to support world-leading researchers, bringing together 'best with best' teams to undertake a variety of activities focusing on one strategic research theme.

Programme Grants can be awarded for up to a six-year duration. Programme grants in Mathematical Sciences can either address key challenges in a single discipline or be interdisciplinary and collaborative.

Programme Grants in Mathematical Sciences should be strategic in nature. It is also likely that the majority will require the expertise of a number of internationally recognised scientists or engineers.

Programme Grants are assessed in a different way to standard grants. Applicants must go through a pre-outline and outline stage before being invited to submit a full proposal.

Invited Mathematical Sciences outlines will be assessed at an outline panel specially convened by EPSRC. These panels will be held twice a year with submission deadlines in December, and May/June. Panel members will be selected from the Mathematical Sciences community.

Potential applicants should consult the EPSRC website for further guidance and information on the assessment process:

Programme Grants Overview

Programme Grants Applications

Fellowships

To obtain Fellowship funding from the Additional Funding for Mathematical Sciences,  EPSRC’s new Open Fellowship route is available. Open fellowships provide a flexible mechanism to support research excellence, career development and research culture. Applicants are able to apply for up to five years of funding, with options to hold the fellowship for shorter periods or part-time to fit around other personal or work commitments. There are additional options for applicants to spend significant portions of their fellowship working to create positive change in the research community in topics such as equality, diversity and inclusion, responsible research and innovation, policy or public engagement.

EPSRC has already removed priority areas, including from Postdoctoral Fellowships for Mathematical Sciences, and this opportunity is now open across the breadth of the discipline. The Royal Society will also be supporting Fellowships as part of this programme.  

Research Associates

Funding is being allocated to universities to enable 120 research associates to take up positions from April 2021 of up to one-year duration (full time equivalent). The research associate positions will enable the best mathematical sciences doctoral students to further develop their own research ideas, with the expectation that they could use part of this time to prepare traditional post-doctoral fellowship applications as the next step on their career pathway.

The number of positions allocated to each institution has been determined using a similar model to the doctoral training partnership allocation, which relates the awards to the value of EPSRC Mathematical Sciences portfolio led by that university.

Advisory Group

The Advisory Group has been drawn from members of the Mathematical Sciences research community. In the first instance this has been based on a combination of nominations from the group that met with Government to discuss the funding and representation from the EPSRC Mathematical Sciences Strategic Advisory Team. The group is chaired by Professor Alison Etheridge, a member of EPSRC Council. 

Role of the Advisory Group

  • To act as a body of external experts, including representatives from the Mathematical Sciences research community, to advise EPSRC on the development and delivery of the Additional Funding Programme for Mathematical Sciences.
  • To contribute to discussions and development of each area of the programme
  • To work in an integrated way with the EPSRC Mathematical Sciences Strategic Advisory Team to realise the maximum long-term value and impact from this additional investment.
  • To work with EPSRC to ensure there is effective communication and engagement between EPSRC and the Mathematical Sciences research and user communities

Members – April 2020

 

 

Professor Alison Etheridge (Chair)

University of Oxford

Professor Edmund Burke

University of Leicester

Professor Joseph Chuang

City University

Professor Penny Davies

University of Strathclyde

Professor Jonathan Dawes

University of Bath

Professor David van Dyk

Imperial College

Professor Jeffrey Giansiracusa

Swansea University

Professor Iain Gordon

University of Edinburgh

Professor David Leslie

Lancaster University

Professor Claire Miller

University of Glasgow

Professor Ineke de Moortel

University of St Andrews

Professor William Parnell

The University of Manchester

Professor Carola-Bibiane Schönlieb

University of Cambridge

Professor Peter Topping

University of Warwick

Additional Funding Programme FAQ

Below is a list of common questions that have arisen from the community following the initial announcement. The responses provided may evolve over time as the programme develops.

If you have a question related to the Additional Funding Programme please contact Katie Blaney, Mathematical Sciences Theme Lead.

What is the role of the advisory group?

The advisory group are working with EPSRC on the development and delivery of the Additional Funding Programme for Mathematical Sciences. Input to discussions will guide the development and monitoring and evaluation of each area of the programme: doctoral studentships, funding for career pathways, the Mathematical Sciences Institutes, large and small grants and multi-institutional projects and programmes.

How are learned societies being engaged?

EPSRC engages with the learned societies though both attendance of annual meetings and ad hoc engagement though activities involving portfolio managers within EPSRC’s Mathematical Sciences theme, for example visits to members of the learned societies. Additionally, to ensure effective communication between EPSRC and the learned societies, members of the advisory group are also members of various learned societies.

How will the funding be distributed across the maths remit?

This new investment will be for research projects, fellowships and doctoral awards where the research focus is on Mathematical Sciences. As part of the investment, funding through the Heilbronn Institute will support PhD students and research, with additional funding for the Isaac Newton Institute and International Centre for Mathematical Sciences to enable increased participation.

When and where will new funding opportunities be announced?

As part of future studentship allocations, we are exploring options under our existing schemes such as the Doctoral Training Partnership and Centres for Doctoral Training.