Programme grants - EPSRC


How to apply

We assess programme grants in a different way to standard grants.

Applicants must go through a pre-outline and outline stage before being invited to submit a full proposal.

In general there are no deadlines for a Programme Grant submission. Pre-outlines can be submitted at any time and will be considered by EPSRC on a rolling basis.

Invited outlines will be assessed at an outline panel specially convened by EPSRC. These panels assess outlines from across EPSRC and will be held three times a year with submission deadlines in January or February, May, and September. Outline panel dates can be found on the EPSRC website.

Invited full proposals will be sent to postal peer review for assessment by expert reviewers before prioritisation at a specially convened panel meeting, at which applicants will be interviewed.

From submission of a pre-outline, the whole assessment process can take up to 12 months.

We cannot guarantee applications going to specific panels. We reserve the right to modify the process to meet any requirements of the delivery plan.

Map of the process

These are the steps in the process, which is also shown in a flow chart.

  1. Two-page pre-outline submitted through the online web form.
  2. Pre-outline discussion with EPSRC. If the application is not successful, the applicant may be advised to a different scheme. Assessment of outlines is not subject to demand management.
  3. If pre-outline discussion is successful, EPSRC invites a four-page outline. This must be before the deadline.
  4. Outline assessed by external outline panel. Outline may be rejected if it does not demonstrate its fit to the Programme Grant scheme.
  5. If outline is accepted, EPSRC invites full proposal. Applicants will have 10 weeks to submit.
  6. Postal peer review – at least 5 reviews invited including one international. Unsupportive reviews will lead to rejection of application before it reaches the panel.
  7. Supportive reviews will be shared with the applicant, who can provide a two-page response.
  8. Interview with one of the programme grant interview panels.
  9. Rank ordered list and funding decision.

Deadlines and meeting dates

The deadline and meeting dates are:

  • outline deadline – January or February, May and September
  • outline proposal meetings – March, July, November
  • time given to write the full proposal – 10 weeks from invitation
  • interview panel – applicants will be advised when invited to the full proposal stage. Theme contacts may be able to provide an indicative date during the outline stage.

Further information on Programme Grants

Last updated: 17 August 2021

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