Research Grants - Standard Route

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The Research Grants Schemes are intended to support well-defined research projects enabling individual researchers to collaborate with, and bring benefits to, other individuals and organisations through the conduct of research. This scheme is not intended to support individual scholarship.

Please note that as a minimum, from 1 April 2012, all applications under the grants scheme will be required to include a principal investigator and at least one co-investigator jointly involved in the development of the research proposal, its leadership and management and leading to significant jointly authored research outputs.

The standard route provides grants for projects with a full economic cost (fEC) between £50,000 and £1,000,000 for a varying duration up to a limit of 60 months.

AHRC Project Studentships

Over the past year Research Councils have been working to harmonise aspects of their doctoral training support. In light of these discussions, AHRC and ESRC have agreed to adopt the same approach as the other Research Councils and only support project students in strategic areas.

Later this year, the AHRC will close the Project Studentships option within its open call research grants scheme. In 2012, 24 of the grants awarded across all of AHRC’s disciplinary areas had project studentships attached. In future, as indicated in our Delivery Plan 2011-15, we will only support project-based studentships in strategic and priority areas where there is demonstrable need for capacity building.

Project studentships may be available through targeted calls where there is a case for developing capability in a specific area. In such cases, the funding call will require applicants to specify the training environment to be provided by the Research Organisation(s) and plans for providing appropriate specialist training and development for the students concerned. In addition, where this will enhance the provision, the AHRC will consider allowing these studentships to have ‘open eligibility’; that is, to permit applications from international students as well as UK and EU nationals.

This change will take effect from 1 November 2013. It will not affect proposals submitted before that date. Thereafter project studentships will not be permitted on any research grant application except for those submitted under the current ‘Connected Communities and Design’ highlight notice (which closes on 15 January 2014) or where the call specifically states that you may apply for capacity-building studentships alongside the grant.

The AHRC is committed to supporting excellent research training and this will also continue through our Block Grant and Collaborative Doctoral award competitions. Both the AHRC Delivery Plan and the AHRC Strategy 2013-18 make clear that postgraduate funding will remain the largest single scheme in our funding. This currently amounts to more than £40million each year.

Closing Dates

Open - No Deadline

Please note that the assessment process for a Research Grants scheme application (Standard, Speculative and Early Career routes) takes approximately 30 weeks and the earliest start date for a project should be no earlier than 9 months after submission to the AHRC.

On occasions, there might be a delay in obtaining the peer reviews for an application and this may result in the assessment process taking longer. In such circumstances, the AHRC will contact the applicant to inform them of any delay.

How to make an application

For all routes of the research grants scheme you must submit an application through the cross-council Joint Electronic Submission - (Je-S) System. If you need any assistance to use the system, please contact the JE-S helpdesk on 01793 444164 or on

Further Information

AHRC Funding Guide (PDF, 1MB)

provides an overview of the different routes of the Research Grants Scheme. It details the eligibility criteria, assessment criteria, information on how to apply, application deadlines, eligible dates and terms and conditions of awards. You must ensure that you meet all of the eligibility criteria before submitting an application.

Subject Coverage

Impact Summary and Pathways to Impact: - Frequently Asked Questions (PDF, 178KB)

RCUK Impact Requirements - Frequently Asked Questions

Examples of Impact from AHRC-funded projects (PDF, 296KB)


The AHRC work with the UK Shared Business Services to deliver all of our funding activities. All queries regarding eligibility for funding and applications in progress and also queries regarding current awards, should be directed to the UK SBS team dealing with your subject area using the contacts page.

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