EPSRC and Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) have an established agreement to welcome, encourage and support research applications that cut across national boundaries involving collaborative teams led by researchers from the UK and Ireland. This Partnership supports joint research and technology development in all areas of EPSRC’s remit which covers chemistry, engineering, information and communications technologies, materials, mathematical sciences and physics.

Under the lead agency agreement, a single joint proposal from applicants in both countries is submitted to EPSRC. The application is processed according to the normal procedures of EPSRC Standard Grants. Successful UK-based research groups will be funded by EPSRC and Republic of Ireland (ROI)-based research groups will be funded by SFI.

Joint applications to this programme are accepted at any time. Joint applications should follow standard EPSRC format, but applicants should review the following guidance documentation carefully for specific instructions regarding additional information and documentation that must be included.

Potential applicants should also visit the EPSRC webpage on this joint activity. An overview of the application procedure is given below.

Prior to submission

Potential applicants to the joint EPSRC-SFI funding opportunity should submit an Expression of Interest using the form on the EPSRC website a minimum of 3 months prior to the planned submission date of the full proposal to ensure that applicants meet their respective funding organisations’ eligibility requirements and that the proposed research falls within their remits. Please see the guidance documentation for details of what must be submitted at this stage.

Joint proposal

  • Full proposals are expected to be submitted within 12 months of the invitation date provided when the Expression of Interest is approved. The EPSRC will advise on submission timing for full proposals.
  • Except where indicated otherwise, joint applications should follow standard EPSRC format.
  • The title of all applications submitted under this partnership must begin with “EPSRC-SFI: ”
  • A single joint proposal should be submitted to EPSRC via the the UKRI Funding Service (TFS) under the funding call ‘EPSRC responsive mode working with overseas scientists’.
  • UK applicants should be designated as project lead and project co-leads and the ROI applicants designated as project partners (but the ROI applicants will have the equivalent role of co-leads and will be reviewed by EPSRC as such).
  • A section on the ROI applicant(s) must be included in the Applicant and team capability to deliver section of the application.
  • The total direct costs requested by the ROI applicants from SFI should be included in the TFS application as a project-partner contribution. A maximum request of €500,000 direct costs for durations of 12-60 months will apply to the total ROI budget. An additional contribution to overhead costs will also be made.  
  • The resources and cost justification section must include a section on the costs requested by the ROI-based research groups, making it clear which costs will be funded by SFI and which costs will be funded by EPSRC if the application is successful.
  • The SFI Application Form and associated documents described in the guidance documentation must be included in the TFS application as a single PDF attachment.


The usual eligibility criteria apply for EPSRC applicants. To receive support from SFI, the ROI partner(s) must be based at an institution eligible for SFI support.

Additionally, the ROI SFI co-lead(s) must hold a PhD or equivalent and be a member of the academic staff of an eligible Research Body (permanent or with a contract that covers the period of the grant) or a Contract Researcher with a contract that covers the period of the grant, who is recognised by the eligible Research Body as an independent investigator and will have an independent office and research space at the host eligible Research Body for which he/she will be fully responsible for at least the duration of the grant. The SFI co-lead(s) must also have the capability and authority to mentor and supervise team members.

Please direct application-related queries to international@epsrc.ac.uk or, if you have specific questions surrounding the documentation required by ROI applicants, to partnerships@sfi.ie.