Newton Mobility Grants

Newton Mobility Grants provide support for international researchers based in a country covered by the Newton Fund to establish and develop collaboration with UK researchers around a specific jointly defined research project.
Funding status
Closed for applications
Career stage
Postdoctoral or equivalent research
Duration of award
12 months

The Newton Fund was launched in 2014 and originally consisted of £75 million each year for 5 years. In the 2015 UK Spending Review it was agreed to extend and expand the Fund. The Newton Fund was extended from 2019 to 2021 and expanded by doubling the £75 million investment to £150 million by 2021, leading to a £735 million UK investment to 2021, with partner countries providing matched resources within the Fund. These awards are funded by the Newton Fund, which is part of the UK's Official Development Assistance (ODA) commitment. 

All British Academy awards in the context of the Newton Fund fall under the Fund’s ‘People’ pillar which aims to strengthen capacity for research and innovation in countries on the OECD DAC list. The awards provide training and support for academics pursuing both curiosity-driven research and development-related topics, in programmes designed in discussion with the partner countries which have agreed that there is a need to build research capacity across a range of disciplines and subject areas. The awards seek to contribute to the increased internationalisation of research, researchers and institutions in Newton Fund countries, the creation of new (or enhancement of existing) networks and partnerships, and the generation of new knowledge or insights for translation into policy and practice. By improving research and innovation skills and capabilities in Newton Fund countries, the awards funded by the Academy are intended to support the development of research talent and the creation of durable equitable research links with the UK which would enable Newton Fund countries in the long term to make advances in terms of socio-economic welfare. 

At a programme level the scheme notes for the funding calls expressly stipulate that the proposed projects should be ODA-eligible by seeking to advance the economic development and social welfare of a Newton Fund country through the transfer of skills and the creation of new knowledge; the strengthening of research excellence in a Newton Fund country; and the establishment of long-term links between the Newton Fund country and the UK with a view to improving research capacity in a sustainable way.

Funded by BEIS through the Newton Fund

Overview of the scheme

Newton Mobility Grants provide support for international researchers based in a country covered by the Newton Fund to establish and develop collaboration with UK researchers around a specific jointly defined research project. The grants intend to strengthen the research capacity/capability of and contribute to promoting economic development and social welfare in, the overseas country. It is expected that the mobility grants will establish links between the overseas and UK researchers.

These one-year awards are particularly suited to initiate new collaborative partnerships, between scholars who have not previously worked together, or new initiatives between scholars who have collaborated in the past. 

The British Academy is one of several contributing partners to this scheme. For more information, visit the Newton Fund website.

Awards might include a range of related activities, but mobility (in the form of visits and exchanges, etc.) should form an integral part of proposals. The main purpose of the funding is to cover travel and maintenance costs, although costs related to other eligible activities will be considered. Partnerships including a training element and involving scholars in the early stages in their career will be looked on favourably. Researchers may subsequently wish to consider applying for other Newton Fund programmes.


  • Strengthen research capacity of the partner countries - by facilitating training and skill transfer from the UK to partner countries.
  • Support excellent research - by linking the best researchers in the UK with the best researchers in partner countries and providing support for collaborative research.
  • Establish long term research links - between both partners to ensure sustainable research capacity in partner countries and benefit to the UK research community in the longer term.

Eligibility requirements

Both a UK-based applicant and an overseas-based applicant are required for this scheme. Both applicants must have a PhD or equivalent research experience and hold a permanent or fixed-term contract in an eligible university or research institute, which must span the duration of the project. Collaborations should focus on a single jointly defined research project involving (or lead by) the two applicants.

The British Academy Newton Mobility Grants cover researchers working in all disciplines within the social sciences and humanities.

Official development assistance (ODA)

Applicants must ensure they have considered existing advice on ODA eligibility. Any queries about the ODA eligibility of projects should be raised with the relevant delivery partner as early as possible. Find out more details about ODA and the OECD.

There are guidelines to ODA eligibility as mentioned above, but slight differences in context and detail could mean that an activity would or would not be ODA eligible. Therefore, when trying to decide whether an activity is ODA eligible, it is important to focus on the questions which would typically be asked for by the OECD. Questions you may wish to consider regarding your project’s ODA eligibility include:

  • Is the project addressing the economic development and welfare of the country in question?
  • Are the countries involved on the DAC List of ODA Recipients (the Development Assistant Committee of the OECD)
  • Is there a development need that my project or activity is addressing?
  • Is this credible or is there evidence of the need?
  • How would this project or activity be applied in the country?
  • What would the impact of my project or activity be, and who would benefit?
  • How does my project or activity contribute to sustainable development?
  • Would this lead to a reduction in poverty in a developing country?
  • What would success for this activity look like?
  • How would success or impact be measured?

Sustainable development goals

Applicants should articulate in their applications how their research will respond to at least one of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Value and duration

Newton Mobility Grants last for one year, funding consists of a maximum of £10,000. Please refer to the scheme notes for the country from which you are applying for further information and a full break down of costs.

Please note there is currently no call open

Application process

Applications must be submitted online using the British Academy’s online grants management system, Flexi-Grant. For the assessment criteria please see the detailed scheme notes.

Funded by

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