Apply for funding

Are you looking for funding to successfully exploit your research in collaboration with industry? Have you considered applying for funding from the Surrey IAA?

About the IAA

The Surrey Impact Acceleration Account (IAA) provides highly flexible and internally administrated funding to support knowledge exchange, the acceleration of impact, and to bridge the gap between UKRI (EPSRCSTFCESRC, and MRC) funded research to facilitate impact for the benefit of society including translation towards commercialisation.  

NEW: 

  • Application Deadlines - Starting with our EPSRC & MRC IAAs, from 2022 our approach has changed to an open call for applications throughout the year while funding is available. Check each scheme below for details
  • AI Theme applications

 

Background: the purpose of this funding and how it works

IAA funding supports the mission to translate fundamental science out of the laboratory and into new therapies, diagnostics, devices, and policies that will improve people’s lives and thereby impact. This scheme is perfect for academics who want to accelerate the transition of their discovery or intellectual property (see our IP Code), and to rapidly de-risk projects across this translational lifecycle such that they become eligible for (and more likely to win) follow-on funding bids.

Surrey administers the award internally – review, award, and capturing the outcomes and impacts of your projects – which enables us to quickly respond to your discoveries, ideas, and proposals in a flexible way. Our internal Surrey IAA Project Management Board meets at least 4 times a year to review your applications (quarterly meeting schedule below).

Details of the type of activities to be funded through the IAA are described below. We also recommend you read the following guides (5-10 min reads):

  • Inventor guide – discover how the University has teams of people, resources, funding and policies that can help you become a successful innovator
  • Collaborator guide – simply designed to help you start your first collaborations with a business partner
  • Collaborating with SMEs guide – an easy read to help you identify and engage with small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs)

STFC IAA

STFC IAA funding for Projects and Engagement is open.  

Details of the type of activities funded through the STFC IAA are described below:

STFC Impact Generation Projects

Funding available

£47,500 maximum for a single project

Application Deadline

Ongoing

Purpose

An academic can apply for funding to support any activity to exploit or help generate impact from outcomes associated with an STFC supported field of research. 

There is no restriction on type or format of a project, but basic criteria must be demonstrated and are assessed before funding approved

Examples of project types considered include:

  • Proof-of-concept
  • Detailed market assessment
  • Exploitation projects, industrial / public engagement
  • Access to equipment and expertise
  • Cross-sector collaboration (e.g. engineering <> medical)
  • Applying research from one sector to an application in another.

Funding Conditions

  • Proposal must be linked to research within the STFC funded portfolio
  • IAA funds must be spent within the STFC terms and conditions meaning any unaccounted costs or underspends will be returned to the IAA budget for use within further calls. The IAA does not commit to cover any overspend and any potential overspend that arises will be the responsibility of the department
  • Project must be completed by the 28th March 2023. Extensions will not be possible.
  • Be prepared to report on the project progress and outcomes
  • Complete a mandatory post-project feedback form
  • Assist in publicity to demonstrate the generation of impact from research (e.g. case studies).

Application Criteria

  • The long-term impact must be articulated and the role that this project will play in achieving it
  • Plan to continue the exploitation after the end of the IAA funding
  • Project plan that demonstrates both milestones and deliverables within a defined timescale
  • Full justification of resources given and explanation of the split between IAA and external support
  • Public or private sector partner who is prepared to contribute towards the costs project (in cash or in-kind)*.

How to apply

  1. Contact the IAA Manager to discuss your application
  2. Self register and complete the online application form by adding a new disclosure, and selecting STFC IAA Application from the drop down list
  3. Request financial costings from research-support@surrey.ac.uk via the Intention to Bid process.  Attach the resulting ARCP report to you application form.
  4. Consider any ethics requirements by completing SAGE-HDR (human) or SAGE-AR (animal)
  5. Submit a draft at least 1 week before the application deadline for review with the IAA Manager
  6. Submit your final application.

* Partner contributions dependent on the size of the partner and the project costs

STFC External Engagement

Funding available

Up to £2k

Application Deadline

Ongoing

Purpose

Assistance and funding is provided to help researchers identify and engage with commercial partners to stimulate more relationships and active collaborations

Examples of engagement activities include:

  • Attending trade shows and industry events
  • Industry visits
  • Support for initial external stakeholder engagement

Funding Conditions

  • Proposal must be linked to research within the STFC funded portfolio
  • IAA funds must be spent within the STFC terms and conditions meaning any unaccounted costs or underspends will be returned to the IAA budget for use within further calls. The IAA does not commit to cover any overspend and any potential overspend that arises will be the responsibility of the department
  • Engagement must be completed by the 28 March 2023. Extensions will not be possible.
  • Be prepared to report on the engagement outcomes, and assist in publicity to demonstrate the generation of impact from the engagement (e.g. case studies)

Application Criteria

  • Articulate the impact and knowledge exchange resulting from the activity

How to apply

EPSRC IAA

A call for EPSRC Impact Generation ProjectsPlacements and Engagements is available here.

NEW: AI Theme

In addition to normal IAA activity, Surrey's EPSRC IAA is actively prioritising high impact projects and placements related to ‘people-centred AI’ in support of the University’s new Surrey Institute of People-Centred Artificial Intelligence. The Institute’s purpose is to identify challenges that face people, communities or society and identify whether artificial intelligence/machine learning solutions can mitigate or solve the challenges. IAA applications are therefore particularly welcome where a link to solving such problems can be demonstrated and where the application of AI/ML as a solution to a real-world human problem can be explained.

In the last 5 years, the University of Surrey has won over 90 AI-related grants utilising areas of expertise across the university, providing a rich source of potential impact projects which may be aided by this IAA call. In addition, there has been rapid growth of the use of AI/ML in areas as diverse as materials science and genomics, amongst many other areas, so potential applicants should consider whether AI/ML techniques can be utilised in novel ways to support their research aims where such techniques may have previously thought to be irrelevant or impractical. In addition, projects which combine EPSRC and other research council funded projects using AI/ML techniques, ideally in multi-disciplinary teams, will be of particular interest. 

EPSRC Impact Generation Projects

Funding available

Up to £50k for a single application

There is some flexibility and you should contact the IAA Manager to discuss your requirements

Application Deadline

Ongoing

Starting with our EPSRC IAA, our approach has changed to an open call for applications throughout the year, and consideration for cross-council funding, if an appropriate Co-I is presented. These changes aim to make funding accessible and inclusive to more academics, encourage more multi-disciplinary initiatives, be responsive, and enable applications when it is most appropriate and beneficial to both the research group and external collaborator.

Purpose

An academic can apply for funding to support any activity to exploit or help generate impact from outcomes associated with an EPSRC supported field of research. 

There is no restriction on type or format of a project, but basic criteria must be demonstrated and are assessed before funding approved

Examples of project types considered include:

  • Proof-of-concept
  • Detailed market assessment
  • Exploitation projects, industrial / public engagement
  • Access to equipment and expertise
  • Cross-sector collaboration (e.g. engineering <> medical)
  • Applying research from one sector to an application in another
  • Ring-fencing intellectual property that could be protected and commercialised.

Funding Conditions

  • Proposal must be linked to research within the EPSRC funded portfolio
  • IAA funds must be spent within the EPSRC terms and conditions meaning any unaccounted costs or underspends will be returned to the IAA budget for use within further calls. The IAA does not commit to cover any overspend and any potential overspend that arises will be the responsibility of the department
  • Be prepared to report on the project progress and outcomes
  • Complete a mandatory post-project feedback form
  • Assist in publicity to demonstrate the generation of impact from research (e.g. case studies).

Application Criteria

  • The long-term impact must be articulated and the role that this project will play in achieving it
  • Plan to continue the exploitation after the end of the IAA funding
  • Project plan that demonstrates both milestones and deliverables within a defined timescale
  • Full justification of resources given and explanation of the split between IAA and external support
  • Public or private sector partner who is prepared to contribute towards the costs project (in cash or in-kind)*.

How to apply

  1. Contact the IAA Manager to discuss your application
  2. Self register and complete the online application form by adding a new disclosure, and selecting EPSRC IAA Application from the drop down list
  3. Request financial costings from research-support@surrey.ac.uk via the Intention to Bid process
  4. Consider any ethics requirements by completing SAGE-HDR (human) or SAGE-AR (animal)
  5. Submit a draft at least 1 week before the application deadline for review with the IAA Manager
  6. Submit your final application.

* Partner contributions dependent on the size of the partner and the project costs

EPSRC PhD and ECR placements

Funding available

Costs for a placement ≤3 months

Application Deadline

Ongoing

Purpose

  • Post-graduate and early career researchers associated with EPSRC research to be placed in industry or for industry researchers to be placed in the University
  • To transfer knowledge and skills, and gain industrial experience.

Funding Conditions

  • Proposal must be linked to research within the EPSRC funded portfolio
  • IAA funds must be spent within the EPSRC terms and conditions meaning any unaccounted costs or underspends will be returned to the IAA budget for use within further calls. The IAA does not commit to cover any overspend and any potential overspend that arises will be the responsibility of the department
  • Be prepared to report on the placement outcomes, and assist in publicity to demonstrate the generation of impact from the placement (e.g. case studies).

Application Criteria

  • The PhD/ECR must already be eligible to work within the UK for the full duration of any placement
  • Articulate the impact and knowledge exchange resulting from the placement.

How to apply

Contact the IAA Manager to discuss your application.

This scheme is in collaboration with the Surrey Doctoral College. Collaboration with regional technology SMEs who may not have previously considered this type of engagement with a university is particularly encouraged.

EPSRC external engagement

Funding available

Up to £2k

Application Deadline

Ongoing

Purpose

Assistance and funding is provided to help researchers identify and engage with commercial partners to stimulate more relationships and active collaborations

Examples of engagement activities include:

  • Attending trade shows and industry events
  • Industry visits
  • Support for initial external stakeholder engagement.

Funding Conditions

  • Proposal must be linked to research within the EPSRC funded portfolio
  • IAA funds must be spent within the EPSRC terms and conditions meaning any unaccounted costs or underspends will be returned to the IAA budget for use within further calls. The IAA does not commit to cover any overspend and any potential overspend that arises will be the responsibility of the department
  • Be prepared to report on the engagement outcomes, and assist in publicity to demonstrate the generation of impact from the engagement (e.g. case studies).

Application Criteria

  • Articulate the impact and knowledge exchange resulting from the activity.

How to apply

MRC IAA

An ongoing call for the MRC's IAA Impact Generation projects and Engagement activities.

[The next application review meeting is early September 2022 - contact us via email to explore this funding opportunity and apply]

Previously known as the MRC Confidence in Concept (CiC), the UKRI (and MRC) are starting to harmonise this type of funding under the "IAA" umbrella. So going forwards the MRC CiC has been re-badged as an IAA. Technically it's the same scheme.

IAA funding supports the MRC's mission to translate fundamental science out of the laboratory and into new therapies, diagnostics, and medical devices that will improve people’s lives and thereby impact. This scheme is perfect for academics who want to accelerate the transition of their discovery to the early stages of therapeutic/biomarker development and filing patents (see our IP Code), and to rapidly de-risk projects across this translational lifecycle such that they become eligible for (and more likely to win) follow-on funding bids.

The IAA Managers are here to support you before, during and after your IAA projects. If you have a quick general question such as you want to check your idea/project is eligible, contact us via email (typical response within 1-2 working days) and we will happily answer, and setup a call to discuss further if needed.

MRC Impact Generation

“The value of an idea lies in the using of it.”

– Thomas Edison

Funding available

Projects of all sizes are encouraged to apply, typically £20-65k

Application Deadline

Ongoing

[Next application review meeting is early September 2022]

Project duration

Typically 9-16 months

Purpose

There is no restriction on type or format of a project, but basic criteria must be demonstrated and are assessed before funding approved. Examples of project types considered include:

  • Preliminary or feasibility studies
  • Cross-disciplinary or cross-sector collaboration
  • Applying research from one discipline or sector to an application in another
  • Market assessment projects
  • Generate sufficient preliminary data so we can decide together the best next steps to seek more substantial follow-on funding
  • Activities to support the development of industry collaborations including:
    • People exchanges at all levels and in either direction (industry to academia, and/or academia to industry)
    • Showcase or workshop events
    • Co-funding collaborative projects with industry partners
    • Access to equipment and expertise

Funding Conditions

  • Proposal must be linked to research within MRC’s remit area: https://mrc.ukri.org/funding/science-areas/  
  • IAA funds must be spent within the MRC’s terms and conditions meaning any unaccounted costs or underspends will be returned to the IAA budget for use within others’ projects. The IAA does not commit to cover any overspend and any potential overspend that arises will be the responsibility of the department
  • Be prepared to report on your project progress and outcomes
  • Complete a mandatory post-project feedback form
  • Assist in publicity to demonstrate the generation of impact from research (e.g. case studies)

Application Criteria

  • The long-term impact must be articulated and the role that this project will play in achieving it
  • Plan to continue the exploitation after the end of the IAA funding
  • Project plan that demonstrates both milestones and deliverables within a defined timescale
  • Full justification of resources given and explanation of the split between IAA funding and any other financial support e.g. from external project partners
  • Projects involving external industry and leveraged funding are highly desirable
Ineligible Costs

The funding is not intended to support:

  • Entire translational projects – applicants seeking funding for entire projects are directed to the MRC’s DPFS scheme
  • Administration costs
  • Industrial partner costs
  • Staff between posts/funding (i.e. as “bridging” funds), or PhD studentships
  • Continuation of normal research grants
  • Costs related to protection of intellectual property
  • Staff exchange into a spin-out company of the host institution

How to apply

  1. Contact the IAA Manager to discuss your application
  2. Self register and complete the online application form by adding a new disclosure, and selecting MRC CiC Application from the drop down list
  3. Request financial costings from research-support@surrey.ac.uk via the Intention to Bid process
  4. Consider any ethics requirements early by completing SAGE-HDR (human) or SAGE-AR (animal)
  5. Submit a draft at least 1 week before the application deadline for review with the IAA Manager
  6. Submit your final application

MRC Engagement

“Your network is your net worth.”

– someone successful

Funding available

Up to £2k

Application Deadline

Ongoing

[Next soonest application review meeting is early September 2022]

Purpose

This funding is perfect for academics to create new relationships and collaborations with industry/civic/charity that will generate impact from fundamental research. It is purposely a small amount so we can rapidly respond to ongoing external-facing opportunities and match the pace of industry

Examples of engagement activities include:

  • Attending trade shows and industry events
  • Organising showcase or workshop events to engage external partners
  • Staff exchanges – both bringing external partners to Surrey and enabling Surrey staff to visit external partners

If you are applying for – or already running – an Impact Generation project, then this funding is well suited to support your engagement activities

Funding Conditions

  • Proposal must be linked to research within MRC remit (see https://mrc.ukri.org/funding/science-areas/)
  • Funds must be spent within the MRC terms and conditions meaning any unaccounted costs or underspends will be returned to the IAA budget for use within further calls. The IAA does not commit to cover any overspend and any potential overspend that arises will be the responsibility of the department
  • Be prepared to report on the engagement outcomes, and assist in publicity to demonstrate the generation of impact from the engagement (e.g. case studies)
Ineligible Costs

The funding is not intended to support:

  • Entire translational projects – applicants seeking funding for entire projects are directed to the MRC’s DPFS scheme
  • Administration costs
  • Industrial partner costs
  • Staff between posts/funding (i.e. as “bridging” funds), or PhD studentships
  • Continuation of normal research grants
  • Costs related to protection of intellectual property
  • Staff exchange into a spin-out company of the host institution

Application Criteria

  • Identification of external partner(s) to be engaged
  • Articulate the impact and knowledge exchange resulting from the activity
  • Outline next steps for developing the relationship

How to apply

 

IAA application process and governance

The IAA application process has been designed to be as simple, supportive, and transparent as possible.

  1. Once your application has been submitted, you will be informed of receipt and next steps (1-2 working days)
  2. Your application will be reviewed at the next soonest IAA Project Management Board (PMB) review meeting
  3. You will then be notified whether your application has been successful/further feedback/rejected (~1 week response time)
    1. Successful: you will be provided with a cost code to track your expenditure
    2. Further feedback/quick fix: if the PMB have ideas or questions for you to consider that could be quickly/easily implemented, you could address these and eligible for award (i.e. you wouldn’t need to wait until the next PMB review meeting)
    3. Rejection: high-level reviewer feedback and comments will be provided, and we may discuss a re-think or developing the application further (e.g. if certain aspects need attention such as the feasibility, or time to progress such as TRL)
  4. Monthly financial reports for IAA Impact Generation and Engagement projects will be sent to the Principal Investigator
  5. The IAA Manager may contact you for progress reports for review at the regular PMB meetings
  6. You will submit feedback form at the end of your project. Feedback and outcomes may be requested for industry engagement and placement activities. This information may be collated to report back to the Steering Committee, produce case studies, feedback back to the UKRI funders, or facilitate improvements to Surrey’s IAA and knowledge exchange initiatives

Quarterly PMB (MRC IAA) review meeting schedule:

PMB (MRC IAA) panel members:

  • (# of applications/2) FHMS-based academics

  • 2-3 colleagues from Innovation Strategy, including the IAA Manager

  • ADRI (FHMS)

  • We also vet members for potential conflicts of interest

Steering Committee (MRC IAA)

We also have an IAA Steering Committee that meet annually to review all aspects of the MRC IAA programme, and may include representatives from the MRC, industrial partners, and advisors to provide oversight and strategic guidance.

Other resources

You can also find further information by following the links below: