Independent Research Organisations

All UK higher education institutions (HEIs) are eligible to receive funds for research, postgraduate training, and associated activities. The higher education funding councils for England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland determine whether an organisation meets the criteria to be a higher education institute.

Other independent research organisations (IROs) may also be eligible if they possess an existing in-house capacity to carry out research that materially extends and enhances the national research base and are able to demonstrate an independent capability to undertake and lead research programmes. They must also satisfy other criteria related to their financial and legal status: these are set out in full in the Research Councils' joint statement on eligibility, which can be viewed on the RCUK website: Joint statement on eligibility.

A list of all organisations recognised as IROs by the Research Councils can be found on the RCUK website: Current list of eligible IROs.

Once granted, eligibility will continue unless the IRO has received no funding during the first five years of recognition. In this situation, the Research Councils may review the organisation's eligibility. A change in status of an IRO may require re-consideration of its eligibility. Please contact us.