Government research funding


  • Department for Business, Innovation and Skills - top budget areas include funding for higher education, science and research (RCUK), adult skills and support for business.
  • Department for Culture, Media & Sport - funds research on the economic contribution and educational benefits of the arts, media, sport and our national heritage.
  • Department for Education - funds a range of research concerned with young people, education and families.
  • Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs - funds research concerned with the environment, rural matters, farming and food production. It lets a large number of research projects every year; through competitions, either for individual projects or in the form of multiple project research requirements documents; and in partnership with others, such as through LINK programmes.
  • Department for International Development - long-term research initiatives focused on reducing poverty in developing countries. Research is focused on six areas: growth, sustainable agriculture, climate change, health, governance in challenging environments, future challenges and opportunities.
  • Department for Transport - commissions research to support the delivery of a reliable, safe and secure transport system whilst safeguarding the environment.
  • Department for Work and Pensions - commissions social science research related to the policy agenda to provide the evidence base needed to inform strategy and policy.
  • Food Standards Agency - commissions extensive scientific research and survey work to ensure that advice to the public is based on the best and most up-to-date food science.
  • Foreign and Commonwealth Office - has a range of programme funds promoting action on global issues in areas of strategic importance to the UK.
  • Home Office - funds a wide range of research projects in a number of areas including crime, policing, immigration, drugs, terrorism and security.
  • Ministry of Defence - funds research which defends the UK and its interests and strengthens international peace and stability.
  • Ministry of Justice - funds research that informs the evidence base on the overall criminal, civil, family and administrative justice system.
  • National Institute of Health Research - commissions and funds NHS and social care research (applied research). A range of programmes addressing a broad range of health priorities is being funded. Funding is based on the quality and relevance of the research to personal social services and the NHS.


  • National Institute of Health - the primary US federal agency supporting medical research. In general, foreign institutions and international organisations are eligible to apply for research project grants. However, there are a few restrictions for specific schemes.
  • National Science Foundation - offers support for all fields of fundamental science and engineering, except for medical sciences. The Foundation supports cooperative research between universities and industry, US participation in international scientific and engineering efforts, and educational activities at every academic level.