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The British Council invite applications from UK institutions for research proposals, offering grants of up to £80,000 (£100,000 full economic costs), to collaborate with international partners through the Department of Science, Innovation, and Technology's International Science Partnerships Fund (ISPF).

Countries initially joining this call include Egypt, Indonesia, Kenya, Malaysia, Thailand and Turkey.

The ISPF Research Collaborations grants provide small scale seed funding for collaborations between the UK and the participating ISPF countries/territories in each call to:

  • initiate new research and innovation collaborations between academic groups, departments, and institutions in partner countries and the UK
  • develop existing collaborations at group, departmental, and institutional level
  • encourage these collaborations to work with non-academic organisations and individuals to support the exchange of research and innovation expertise and the translation of research knowledge into tangible benefits
  • establish local hubs for UK- partner country/territory activity in a particular area, enabling engagement from the wider research and innovation community.

Who can apply

Both UK and international partner researchers must be leading researchers or established researchers.

In addition, UK researchers must be:

  • permanent employees at their institutions (emeritus and honorary professors may not apply as lead)
  • working at a not-for-profit higher education institution or eligible research organisation with the capacity to undertake high-quality research.

Please see the 'Research Collaborations Guidance for Applicants' for additional criteria.

Indicative timelines

Call opens  8 May 2024 
Deadline for applications 9 July 2024, noon BST
Review panels October 2024
Outcome of selection November 2024
UK project start dates:
see in-country guidance for partner dates
1 January 2025


The ISPF Research Collaborations information pack

The pack is available at the bottom of this webpage, providing background to researchers considering applying for a research collaboration grant under ISPF, delivered by the British Council.  It covers the following topics:

  • Introduction to the International Science Partnerships Fund.
  • Eligibility requirements and application process for research collaborations grants.
  • Official development assistance – ensuring your project is eligible.
  • Writing a gender statement – why and how.


About the International Science Partnerships Fund

The International Science Partnerships Fund is designed to enable potential and foster prosperity. It puts research and innovation at the heart of our international relationships, supporting UK researchers and innovators to work with peers around the world on the major themes of our time: planet, health, tech, and talent. The fund is managed by the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology and delivered by a consortium of the UK’s leading research and innovation bodies, which includes: UK Research and Innovation (comprising the 7 research councils, Innovate UK and Research England), the UK Academies, the British Council, the Met Office, the National Physical Laboratory, the UK Atomic Energy Authority, and Universities UK International.

Equality, diversity and inclusion

British Council are committed to equality, diversity, and inclusion, and to continuing to attract and nurture talented people from the widest pool to remain internationally competitive in research and innovation. We believe that everyone has a right to be treated with dignity and respect, and to be provided with equal opportunities to flourish and succeed. This includes avoidance of bias due to disability, gender reassignment, marriage or civil partnership status, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sexual orientation, sex (gender), and age.

The British Council is committed to equal opportunities and diversity and will consider, on a case-by-case basis, requests for support to encourage underrepresented groups to engage in ISPF activity, so long as sufficient justification is provided.

Find out more