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APEX Awards

APEX Awards

The APEX awards are a new funding opportunity designed to promote collaboration across academic disciplines through the support of world-leading interdisciplinary research projects.

Applications for this scheme are now closed.

Deadline for all applications was 3pm on 14 December 2017. 

In partnership with the British Academy, the Royal Academy of Engineering and the Royal Society (‘the Academies’) and with generous support from the Leverhulme Trust, the APEX award (Academies Partnership in Supporting Excellence in Cross-disciplinary research award) scheme offers established independent researchers, with a strong track record in their respective area, an exciting opportunity to pursue genuine interdisciplinary and curiosity-driven research to benefit wider society.


Royal Academy of EngineeringThe Royal Society Leverhulme Trust



The objectives of this scheme are to:


    • support outstanding interdisciplinary research which is unlikely to be supported through conventional funding programmes

    • promote collaboration across disciplines, with a particular emphasis on the boundary between science and 

    • engineering and the social sciences and humanities

    • support researchers with an outstanding track record, in developing their research in a new direction through collaboration with partners from other disciplines

    • enable outstanding researchers to focus on advancing their innovative research through seed funding.


For the purposes of this scheme interdisciplinary research is defined as:

"Interdisciplinary research (IDR) is a mode of research by teams or individuals that integrates information, data, techniques, tools, perspectives, concepts, and/or theories from two or more disciplines or bodies of specialized knowledge to advance fundamental understanding or to solve problems whose solutions are beyond the scope of a single discipline or area of research practice. Successful IDR plans and supports research practices and outputs greater than the sum of their constituent disciplinary parts.”

Am I eligible to apply?

Applications should be within the remit of more than one of the Academies.

The British Academy Remit – In any discipline within the social sciences and humanities and does not include primarily practice-based outputs such as in musical composition and performance, visual practice, creative writing, and film-making. Such outputs will be considered to fall within the BA's remit only when they form part of an integrated project of critical or historical significance.

The Royal Academy of Engineering Remit – Applications are welcome from any engineering discipline. Engineering is defined in its broadest sense, encompassing a wide range of diverse fields, including computer science and materials.

The Royal Society Remit - Natural sciences (including agriculture, mathematics, technology, computer science, materials, medical, environmental and engineering sciences, but excluding clinical medicine).

You can apply for this scheme if you are:

  • an exceptional researcher with a strong track record as an established independent researcher (this can include engineering researchers, humanities and social sciences scholars and scientists).
  • based at a UK University or not-for-profit research institution for at least the duration of the project.

Applicants will be expected to collaborate with a research partner from a different discipline from their own or a different university in the UK.


Before applying, please ensure that you meet all the eligibility requirements, which are explained in the scheme notes. Please also refer to the FAQ for further guidance.


What is the scheme’s value and duration?

 This scheme provides: 

  • an award of up to £100,000 to fund staff costs of which no more than 25% may be used for associated research costs. 
  • This can include consumables, equipment, collaborative travel expenses  
  • Costs of a teaching replacement to relieve the applicant and/or collaborator from some of their teaching and administrative duties
  • Grants can be held for up to 24 months.

Note, requests for any other salary costs e.g. for research assistants, post-docs or studentships etc. cannot be included in the application. Note that awards under this scheme will not pay indirect and estate costs.

All awards must start between 01 September 2018 and 01 November 2018.


What is the application process?

Applications should be submitted through the Royal Society’s electronic grant application system (Flexi-Grant). Applications will be peer-reviewed and assessed by a cross-disciplinary panel with broad ranging expertise drawn from the fellowship of all three Academies.

Further details about the award, including information on how to apply and the assessment criteria, can be found in the scheme notes.

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