Physical Sciences grants

For more information or to apply for any of the below funding opportunities, get in touch.

CW Discovering Startups Competition

Physical Sciences grants Please register your interest to keep up to date with new activities as they are released.

CW is revising the Discovering Start-Ups programme in 2020 to make it more valuable for all participants. In the meantime, we are still keen to hear from companies looking to scale their technology businesses. Please register your interest via the link above to keep up to date with new activities as they are released, or contact the CW team for a more detailed conversation about your growth plans.

Defence and Security Accelerator (DSA) Enduring Challenge funding competion

Physical Sciences grants Various

Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) Open Call for Innovation

The Open Call is looking for innovative ideas to improve the defence and security of the UK. Your idea could be a concept, product or service, at various levels of maturity.

Competition closing dates

The Open Call for Innovation runs throughout the year. Assessment starts the day after the competition cycle closing date.


Cycle Competition closes at midday Decision date Feedback released
1 28 May 2020 25 August 2020 25 September 2020
2 30 July 2020 3 November 2020 13 November 2020
3 1 October 2020 30 December 2020 29 January 2021
4 3 December 2020 17 March 2021 23 April 2021
5 28 January 2021 30 April 2021 15 May 2021
6 31 March 2021 2 July 2021 30 July 2021

Defence and Security Accelerator (DSA) funding competitions

Physical Sciences grants Various

Themed Competitions

Themed Competitions exist to offer suppliers the opportunity to submit proposals around specific government areas of interest. Themed competitions may only run for a short time and have set closing dates.

DASA has had various themed competitions covering a range of topics. For details on past competitions, please see here.

To see examples of projects that have been funded through themed competitions, please see here.

Competitions currently open for application

Closing Date Competition Title
26 March 2020 Map the Gap: autonomous gap crossing survey
31 March 2020 Open Call for Innovation – Cycle 6
17 April 2020 Windfarm Mitigation for UK Air Defence

Competitions Opening Soon

Launch Date Competition Title
31 March 2020 Open Call for Innovation – Cycle 1
Various Help us scope future competitions

EPSRC CDT in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (NanoDTC)

Physical Sciences grants Now accepting applications for Oct 2020 entry.

We welcome applicants from across Physical Sciences including Chemistry, Physics, Materials and Engineering. Entry into this prestigious programme is competitive, and will take into account qualifications, aspirations and experience.

Admissions for Oct 2020

Sep 03, 2019

Now accepting applications for Oct 2020 entry. The deadline for the 1st review round is 3 Dec 2019. Some funding applications may be sooner. See apply for more information.


Innovate UK Funding Competitions

Physical Sciences grants Various

Various funding competitions – you can apply for funding to test the feasibility of your idea, research and develop it and demonstrate it in a prototype.

If you’re a UK-based business or research organisation, you may be able to compete for government-backed funding to:

  • research and develop a process, product or service
  • test your innovation ideas
  • collaborate with other organisations

Use this service to:

  • search and apply for innovation funding
  • submit, track and manage your applications

Start now on the InnovateUK innovation funding finder

More information can be found here.

Innovations Partnership Scheme (IPS)

Physical Sciences grants Call opens 04/12/2019 call closes 20/02/2020 & call opens 03/06/2020 call closes 03/09/2020

Innovations Partnership Scheme (IPS)

The Innovations Partnership Scheme (IPS) is designed to transfer technology and expertise developed through STFC funding to the marketplace in partnership with industry and other academic disciplines. STFC technology or expertise must be integral to the project.

Key Dates

Call opens Call closes Estimated date of panel meeting Outcome announced
4 December 2019 20 February 2020 May 2020 July 2020
3 June 2020 3 September 2020 December 2020 January 2021

STFC – Follow-on Funding

Physical Sciences grants 03/09/2020

Follow on Funding (FoF)

FoF is a ‘proof-of-concept’ model, where further work on an idea will make any commercial potential evident to the market and so secure, for example, a spin-out (seed/venture finance) or licensing opportunity or provide the necessary information to bid for IPS support. This often takes small amounts of funds to enable activities essential to preparing a robust business plan.

The scheme is designed support a range of relevant activities (e.g. market assessments, development of IP etc.) and enable the development and examination of a concept to establish its commercial feasibility and scientific and technical merit. FoF is designed for early stage TRL which can then feed in to a subsequent full IPS grant.

Key Dates

Call opens Call closes Estimated date of panel meeting Outcome announced
4 December 2019 20 February 2020 May 2020 July 2020
3 June 2020 3 September 2020 December 2020 January 2021

Wellcome Innovator Awards

Physical Sciences grants Ongoing

Innovator Awards

These awards support researchers who are transforming great ideas into healthcare innovations that could have a significant impact on human health.

Scheme at a glance

Level of funding:

Up to £500,000, or up to £750,000 for multidisciplinary collaborations

Duration of funding:

Usually up to 24 months, or up to 36 months for multidisciplinary collaborations

Key dates

You can apply online at any time.

Shortlisting meetings happen every three months.