EPSRC mathematical sciences small grants scheme

UK Research and Innovation

09 October 2020
Rolling deadline
£10,000 - £80,000
R&D and Higher Education
Research, Development and Innovation

Applications to the mathematical sciences small grants scheme must focus on original research projects or feasibility studies for research projects. EPSRC is looking to support grants in the region of £10 -80,000 at full economic cost (FEC, total amount up to £100,000) and up to 12 months in duration. Full proposals can be submitted at any time and will be considered by EPSRC on a rolling basis.

This scheme will follow a non-standard format for submission and assessment, with standard EPSRC eligibility and assessment criteria being applied. Applicants as principal investigators or co-investigators can only hold one small grant at any one time.


Following the announcement by the Prime Minister on 27 January 2020 of up to an additional £300 million for mathematical sciences, EPSRC can now announce a scheme specifically aimed at providing freedom to grant small amounts for initial research and early-stage idea generation.

The design of this scheme has taken into account steer from the mathematical sciences community including consultation through the mathematical sciences strategy workshop held in March 2019, the Mathematical Sciences Strategic Advisory Team, learned societies, and the Advisory Group for the additional funding for mathematical sciences programme.

More information about EPSRC’s portfolio and strategies.


Small grants are a mechanism for supporting mathematical sciences research which does not require funding at the level generally seen within standard research grants.

Projects must be focused on original research projects or feasibility studies for research projects. Proposals focused purely on networking or community building are not appropriate (and can be supported by other funding routes).

This scheme is for research, therefore proposals better suited to the workshop, network or overseas travel grant schemes will be rejected.

Requests for equipment over £10,000 in value should not be made.

Funding available

It is expected that proposals will be:

  • up to 12 months in duration
  • costed at between £10,000 and £80,000 (EPSRC provides 80% value of the full economic costing, total cost up to £100,000).

Grants costed higher than this will be permissible but applicants are asked to consider the spirit of the scheme and the impact a larger request will have on the number of grants EPSRC will be able to fund when applying.

In the first instance, a rising funding level of up to £2 million per annum will be allocated to this initiative however, this will be reviewed and may be subject to change.

Please ensure you account for adequate resources to enable the delivery of your proposed plans.

Equipment over £10,000 in value (inc. VAT) is not available through this call. Smaller items of equipment (individually under £10,000) should be in the ‘Directly Incurred – Other Costs’ heading.

More information on equipment funding.


Standard EPSRC eligibility rules apply. Small grants are open to:

  • UK higher education institutions
  • research council institutes
  • UKRI-approved independent research organisations
  • Public Sector Research Establishments
  • NHS bodies with research capacity.

Read the guidance on institutional eligibility.

You can apply if you are resident in the UK and meet at least one of the below:

  • are employed at the submitting research organisation at a level equivalent to lecturer or above
  • hold a fixed-term contract that extends beyond the duration of the proposed project, and the host research organisation is prepared to give you all the support normal for a permanent employee
  • hold an EPSRC, Royal Society or Royal Academy of Engineering fellowship aimed at later career stages
  • hold fellowships under other schemes (please contact EPSRC to check eligibility, which is considered on a case-by-case basis).

Holders of postdoctoral level fellowships are not eligible to apply for an EPSRC grant.

Read further information about our standard eligibility rules (EPSRC website).

There is no limit to the number of submissions from a single institution. However, applicants as principal investigators or co-investigators can only hold one small grant at any one time.

Applications are driven by ideas, and as such may involve either single or multiple applicants. Interdisciplinary and/or multidisciplinary collaborative research is permissible, and must be in majority mathematical sciences remit.

Applications to this call will not preclude applicants from schemes that include holding previous awards as an eligibility factor (for example, new investigator awards, , but these will be assessed on a case-by-case basis and any enquiries over NIA eligibility should contact the Maths inbox).

Submissions to this call will not count towards the repeatedly unsuccessful applicants policy.

Please ensure sufficient time to create Joint Electronic Submission system (Je-S) accounts for investigators who do not currently have one.

Learn more or apply
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20 April 2023