AHRC Research Grants┋Early Careers (2022)

The Research Grants scheme has two routes:

  • a standard route, and
  • a route for early career researchers.

It is intended to support well-defined research projects enabling individual researchers to collaborate with, and bring benefits to, other individuals and organisations through the development of high quality research. Research Grants are not intended to support individual scholarship; however, projects may include elements of individual research if it can be shown that there will be added value from bringing these elements together within a jointly developed research framework.


  • to assist researchers in all areas of the arts and humanities to improve the breadth and depth of our knowledge of human culture both past and present
  • to support well-defined research projects of the highest quality and standards that will lead to significant advances in creativity, insights, knowledge and understanding, of interest and value both in the research community and in wider contexts where they can make a difference
  • to enable arts and humanities researchers to pursue, and to bring to completion in due time, collaborative research projects of the highest quality that require leadership from more than a single scholar. You are 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 to enable arts and humanities researchers to establish or enhance effective working relationships with fellow researchers - both within and beyond the arts and humanities and within and beyond the UK -, practitioners and the wide range of individuals and organisations who may benefit from their research
  • to provide opportunities for less experienced researchers to develop their expertise and their careers by working collaboratively with senior researchers on well-defined projects and by leading projects themselves
  • to maximise the value of research outcomes by promoting their communication and dissemination with individuals and organisations outside academia and, where appropriate, to facilitate the knowledge transfer of those outcomes to both the research community and other contexts where they will make a difference.

The Research Grants Scheme- early career route shares the same aims as the standard route but has been introduced to assist new researchers at the start of their careers in gaining experience of managing and leading research projects. The AHRC will aim to ensure that the success rate for proposals to this route is slightly higher than proposals to the Research Grants standard route.

Scheme limit and duration

Applications may be submitted for proposals with a full economic cost between £50,000 and £250,000 and for a duration of up to 60 months.

Co-Investigator Eligibility

The Principal Investigator must fulfil the Early Career eligibility criteria as stated in section 3.8; however any Co-Investigators named on the proposal do not have to be Early Career Researchers.

Eligibility - General

All UK Higher Education Institutions that receive grant funding from one of the UK higher education funding bodies are eligible to receive funds for research, postgraduate training and associated activities.

Principal Investigator

The Principal Investigator takes responsibility for the intellectual leadership of the research project and for the overall management of the research or or her activities. S/he will be the person to whom we shall address all correspondence and must be based at the organisation at which the grant will be held.

To be eligible, you must be actively engaged in postdoctoral research and be of postdoctoral standing. This means that you either have a doctorate or can demonstrate in the application that you have equivalent research experience and/or training.

You must have a level of skills, knowledge and experience appropriate to the nature of the proposed project.

The Principal Investigator must be resident in the UK

It is not permissible for someone to be both a Principal Investigator or Co-Investigator and a research assistant on the same project.

Professors Emeriti are eligible to apply to some AHRC schemes.


A Co-Investigator assists the Principal Investigator in the management and leadership of the research project. The Co-Investigator can also undertake research activity themselves; there is no limit to the amount of time that the Co-Investigator can contribute although it needs to allow time for the management and leadership duties on the project.

There is no maximum number of Co-Investigators that can be included on a Research Grant or Follow-on Funding application. However, the inclusion of each Co-Investigator needs to be fully justified in the proposal. For Research Networking only one Co-Investigator is permitted. Please note co-Investigators are not permitted for the Leadership Fellows Scheme.

The AHRC allows international researchers to act as Co-Investigators on some of its schemes. Following a successful trial period for this policy, and in line with the commitments made in the Council’s current delivery plan, it has been decided to incorporate provision for International Co-Investigators into AHRC’s core eligibility requirements and standard funding terms and conditions on an ongoing basis.

In order to be considered eligible, an international co-investigator needs to have suitable academic experience (i.e. someone holding a PhD or equivalent qualification or experience) and be based at an established research organisation with significant research capacity. This organisation should be of comparable status and standing to a UK organisation which is eligible for UK Research Council funding, for example, a publicly funded university or a ‘not-for-profit’ research institution with a track record and distinctive research capacity and capability and distinctive research capacity in areas relevant to the proposed research. If an international co-Investigator is on the proposal an International Co-Investigator Head of Department Statement from the international co-I’s Head of Department must be attached to the proposal. If this is not attached the proposal will be rejected at sift stage 1. Further information about what to add in the International Co-Investigator Head of Department Statement can be found below in Attachments - International Co-Investigator Head of Department Statement.

International research organisations must have the necessary research capacity and capability to support the conduct of the specified research. It is the PI’s responsibility to articulate in the proposal the added value that an international co-investigator will bring to the overall leadership of the research and their role in the management of the project, as well as the relevant research experience and expertise that they will bring to the project team. It is the responsibility of the UK RO to check that the international co-investigator’s organisation is an appropriate organisation to receive and has systems in place to manage the funding provided. The RO will also need assurance that appropriate agreements are put in place for the delivery of the overseas activities funded under the grant. The AHRC will not be able to provide any additional assurance to ROs about overseas partners, but may by exception undertake additional checks or seek further information from ROs.

International co-investigators will not be permitted to take over as lead researcher (i.e. Principle Investigator) should the UK Principle Investigator step down for any reason.

Please note that before applying an international co-Investigator must have an active Je-S account, and it is the UK Research Organisation’s responsibility to ensure that this is the case.

Early Career Eligibility

The Principal Investigator must fulfil the Early Career eligibility criteria: At the point of application s/he is either

  • within eight years of the award of your PhD or equivalent professional training or
  • within six years of her/his first academic appointment.

However, any Co-Investigators named on the proposal do not have to be Early Career Researchers.


All costs should fall under one of the following headings:

  • Staff: Payroll costs requested for staff, full or part-time, who will work on the project and whose time can be supported by a full audit trail during the life of the project.
  • Travel and Subsistence: Funds for travel and subsistence, for use by staff who work on the project, where these are required by the nature of the work.
  • Equipment: Individual items of equipment up to £10,000 (including VAT) are permissible to be included.


Proposals can be submitted at any time.

Unless otherwise stated, the assessment process for a proposal will take approximately 30 weeks. The start date entered on the proposal should be no earlier than 9 months after submission and should be no later than 18 months after submission.


What counts as early career researcher? ›

Early Career Researcher (ECR) - also know as Early Stage Researcher (ESR) - has not a clear definition. An ERC is generally considered as someone who is within eight years of the award of the PhD. The ESRC identifies three distinct ECR stages: Doctoral; Immediately postdoctorate; Transition to independent researcher.

Who is eligible for AHRC funding? ›

You must be based at a UK-based research organisation that is eligible to receive funding from UK Research and Innovation to apply.

How much is AHRC PhD funding? ›

AHRC funding comes in the form of PhD studentships. There are two components to a PhD studentship from the AHRC: A fee payment of £4,596 per year. A doctoral stipend of £17,668 per year (you will receive slightly more if you are based in London)

What does AHRC fund? ›

The Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) funds world-class, independent research in subjects from philosophy and the creative industries, to art conservation and product design.

How do you become an early stage researcher? ›

Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) are generally pre-doctoral researchers. To qualify, they must be in the first 4 years (full-time equivalent) of their research career. This is calculated from the date they obtained a qualification (Masters or equivalent) allowing them to embark on a doctorate.

What are the early career difficulties? ›

One may face challenges like lack of proper direction, motivation, scarcity of resources, recognition by peers, lack of research publishing experience.


AHRC is committed to UKRI's holistic vision of science, in which arts and humanities research is enriched and emboldened by engagement with technology, medicine and our environment, and informs and enriches those disciplines in turn.

What is a Doctoral training Partnership? ›

Doctoral Training Partnerships (DTP) are block grant awards made to either individual ROs, or consortia of ROs. They support postgraduate studentships across the breadth of AHRC's subject remit and complement the Centres for Doctoral Training. DTPs provide innovative training environments for doctoral-level research.

What is the ESRC remit? ›

The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) supports research in economic, social, behavioural and human data science. We fund research and invest in training, methods development, and resources such as data collections and services in the social science disciplines.

Is AHRC part of government? ›

The AHRC is incorporated by Royal Charter and is a non-departmental public body sponsored by the Science and Innovation Group (part of the DIUS) along with the other six research councils.

What is the full form of AHRC? ›

AHRC stands for Asian Human Rights Commission. It is an independent and non-government organization started by a group of jurists and human right activists in Asia. It was established in 1986 to promote awareness of human rights in the Asian countries. It promotes civil, economic, political, social and cultural rights.

How is STFC funded? ›

The STFC does not provide funding directly to students. Instead, funding for studentships is provided directly to universities or research organisations who go on to advertise PhD projects.

What are the problem faced by research? ›

Objective Problems faced by researcher during research Lack of scientific Training Insufficient Interaction Lack of Confidence in researchers Lack of Code of Conduct Dissatisfactory Library Management and functioning Difficulty of timely availability of published data Plagiarism Conclusion References Questions.

What are the usual problems you've encountered as a researcher? ›

Overcoming challenges common to doctoral researchers
  • Lack of motivation. ...
  • Lack of self-confidence. ...
  • Poor time management. ...
  • Lack of focus or direction. ...
  • Limited support. ...
  • Stuck in your comfort zone. ...
  • Fear of failure/taking risks. ...
  • Lack of relevant experience.

What are the challenges which a researcher is likely to encounter when doing a research? ›

Researchers face challenges in choosing a research topic, statement etc. In addition, researchers are faced with challenges associated with growth, infrastructural deficiencies, financial crunches, etc.

What is Epsrc CDT? ›

EPSRC Centres for Doctoral Training (CDTs) provide four year PhD programmes within a specific area of research. The centres, hosted by departments across the School of Technology and the Physical Sciences, include comprehensive formal training, alongside the PhD research project.

What is UKRI CDT? ›

The UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) artificial intelligence (AI) Centres for Doctoral Training (CDTs) are training a new generation of PhD students. They will develop novel AI methodology and use AI technology in areas such as: improving healthcare. tackling climate change. creating new commercial opportunities.

How is ESRC funded? ›

Funding is based on the full economic costs of the research, with ESRC providing 80% of the cost and the research organisation covering the balance. Proposals can draw from the wider sciences, but the social sciences must represent more than 50% of the research focus and effort.

Is ESRC a charity? ›

The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) is the UK's largest organisation funding research on economic and social issues, supporting independent, high quality research which influences business, the public sector and the charity and voluntary sector.

What is Bbsrc remit? ›

BBSRC works with other research councils to make sure that funding applications are assessed by the right council. It also supports multidisciplinary research in collaboration with other councils. Before making a research proposal, you can contact BBSRC to ask if your research is within its remit.

Who runs AHRC? ›

The members of AHRC's governing body, the Council, are publicly appointed by the Secretary of State. The Council is responsible for all issues of major importance, principally AHRC's overall strategic direction including its mission, key strategic objectives and targets, and key decisions about its research direction.

Is STFC a government? ›

The Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) is part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), a non-departmental public body funded by a grant-in-aid from the UK government.

What is a consolidated grant? ›

Consortium grants are intended to support a programme of work carried out by more than one university department or institution, with a common research programme. Essentially it is a joint Consolidated grant in that it allows support for a research area across multiple institutions.

What is an early career researcher in Australia? ›

Early and Mid-Career Researchers (EMCRs) are emerging researchers within their first eight years of academic or other research-related employment, following completion of postgraduate research training.

What does early career mean in academia? ›

'Early career' in academia is typically defined in terms of research capability in the five years following PhD completion, with career progression from post-doctoral appointment to tenure, promotion and beyond. This ideal path assumes steady employment and continuous research development.

What is an early career scholar? ›

The Early Career Scholar Award is awarded to an outstanding HRD scholar in the early stages of his/her career who has made identifiable and significant contributions in scholarly research to the field of HRD.

What is a mid-career researcher? ›

A Mid-Career Researcher is defined as a researcher with postgraduate research experience with the equivalent of five (5) to fifteen (15) cumulative years, allowing for professional or personal career interruptions. As above, the definition is inclusive of researchers with or without a PhD.

How many times can you apply for decra? ›

Eligibility criteria for the 2024 DECRA scheme:

Candidates can only apply twice in the period in which they are eligible. An individual must not be nominated for more than one DECRA in a grant opportunity. A previous recipient of a DECRA is not eligible to apply for another DECRA.

How do I get into research in Australia? ›

Previous research experience and knowledge of statistical analysis methods is highly regarded.
  1. Complete an undergraduate degree in a relevant field. ...
  2. Gain research experience in your industry in a role such as Research Assistant.
  3. Consider undertaking postgraduate studies, depending on your chosen field of research.

Who is eligible for decra? ›

To be eligible for DECRA, applicants must, as at the grant opportunity closing date, have an award of PhD date on, or after 1 March 2017 unless non-overlapping eligible career disruption(s) exist. For more information, visit the ARC DECRA page.

How long is early career? ›

​Fortunately, the American Psychological Association (APA) has cultivated a formal definition for the early career phase. By APA definition, an early career professional is someone who is within the ten-year period after completion of the doctorate degree. But, as you know, stuff happens during this time.

What is considered late career? ›

'Late career' refers to that life-stage when individuals adjust to the prospect of retirement. Late career used to be a life stage around 55-70 years of age, but these days two significant social changes are set to extend this late career stage.

How long is mid career? ›

Mid-career time frame

Mid-career begins approximately five to 10 years into a professional career. If the length of a career is approximately 40 years, mid-career takes place around years 10 through 25, or the middle third.

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