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Interdisciplinary Funding Schemes

External Interdisciplinary Schemes

Examples of the larger external interdisciplinary funding opportunities include:

The ESRC encourages interdisciplinary applications and its priority areas for investment between 2016 and 2020 are mental health; housing; productivity; understanding the macro-economy; and ways of being in a digital age.

Its approach to interdisciplinarity is set out as follows: ‘As part of our portfolio, we also expect to support new and exciting research which combines approaches from more than one discipline. We recognise that many of the most pressing research challenges are interdisciplinary in nature both within the social sciences and between the social sciences and other areas of research’.

The Leverhulme Trust funds research on any topic and is one of the largest all-subject research funders in the UK. The majority of its awards are driven by the individual and the idea and all its awards are responsive mode – it does not specify thematic areas it would like applications in.

It has historically funded curiosity-driven research which may fall through the cracks of the areas encouraged by the research councils.

The Wellcome Trust is a charitable funder which focuses on health-related research. It offers both responsive mode and the occasional themed scheme.  Its collaborative award (there are strands in Science and in Humanities & Social Science) is a comparatively new scheme and has deadlines twice per annum.

Partnership Grants provide core funds for one to five years to support partnerships between diverse groupings of researchers and can be used for infrastructure support, platform activities and for bringing together managed consortia or multidisciplinary collaborations.

The MRC also engages in a number of interdisciplinary initiatives including: Antimicrobial resistance, Healthcare Technologies, Ageing, Experimental medicine, Health and biomedical informatics, Obesity, Regenerative medicine & stem cells, Stratified medicine to name but a few.

EPSRC engages in a number of multi and interdisciplinary funding schemes, including partnerships with MRC on Healthcare Technologies, with the Wellcome Trust on Medical Engineering, with CRUK on Cancer Imaging, with BBSRC and MRC on regenerative medicine.

BBSRC engages in multidisciplinary programmes of activity on areas such as: Global Food Security, Antimicrobial Resistance, Synthetic biology, Regenerative Medicine, Nutrition and Health, Systems Biology/Bioinformatics to name but a few.

NERC leads multidisciplinary programmes of activity including: Environment and Health (e.g. air pollution & Health, Environmental Microbiology & Human Health etc), Climate change, Sustainable food production, Environmental Risks to Infrastructure.