Eligibility criteria:

  1. The Principal Investigator (PI) must be 0 to 20 years’ post-PhD and based at a UK higher education institution/university, in a department that is fully capable and committed to supporting the project and researcher.
  2. If the PI has taken a career break that puts them beyond the 20 years post-PhD limit they may still be considered and should contact the Academy to discuss their eligibility.  
  3. The PI must have been a named PI or collaborator on one of the following awards (referred to as ‘the original award’ hereafter):
    • Frontiers of Engineering for Development or Frontiers of Development seed funding (Royal Academy of Engineering)
    • Engineering for Development Research Fellowships (Royal Academy of Engineering)
    • FLAIR Fellowships (Royal Society)
    • Challenge-led Grants (Royal Society)
    • Cities and Infrastructure Programme (British Academy)
    • Networking Grants (Academy of Medical Sciences)
  4. The PI must have at least one collaborator who was named on the original award. At least one collaborator must be based in a DAC list country. (note: these two roles can be fulfilled by the same person). There may be more than one collaborator, including individuals not named on the original award. Global South partnership must be an integral aspect of the proposal, with significant consideration of how to embody best practice in equitable partnerships.
  5. If the PI on this application is the same as the PI on the original award, the original award must already be completed or be due to complete within three months of the application closing date.
  6. If the PI on this application is a named collaborator on the original award they may apply at any stage of original award completion. However, ability to demonstrate good outcomes from the original award will be a benefit to the application.  
  7. The proposed activities must constitute interdisciplinary, collaborative, challenge-based research that addresses a specific need.
  8. The proposal must meet ODA guidelines and be designed to positively impact or contribute to the sustainable economic or social development and/or welfare of a country or countries on the DAC list. The research must be led by a specific DAC list country development need, and outputs should be applied in an identified DAC list country.  
  9. Individuals are limited to one application as PI. They may be a named collaborator on more than one application, but should consider their workload and commitments in case all applications are successful.
  10. There is no requirement for applications to focus on engineering, but they should involve technology, innovation or engineering in a significant way.

Please note – this is a new programme in the pilot phase, and we may not have considered every set of circumstances. If you think you should be eligible but fall outside of this list, please contact us to discuss your particular case.


Eligible costs:

Research costs - up to 100% of directly incurred costs including:

  • Staff costs for PIs and collaborators
  • Staff costs for research assistants and PhD students
  • Consultancy fees, including translation costs
  • Equipment and project specific consumables
  • Please note that individual pieces of equipment must have a value of under £10,000.

Travel and event costs - up to 100% of directly incurred costs including:

  • Travel, accommodation, and visas
  • Subsistence costs for any researcher, collaborator or staff member staying away from home
  • Event costs including venue hire and catering for meetings related to the project.

Other costs - up to 100% of directly incurred costs including:

  • Website, social media or advertising
  • Conference costs including fees
  • Up to £2,500 per year may be claimed by the PI university for administrative support.

The following costs are NOT eligible:

  • Indirect costs, including overheads, beyond the £2,500 per year claimable by the PI’s university for administrative support.
  • Individual pieces of equipment that cost more than £10,000.
  • The funding requested must not be calculated based on full economic costs.