Apply: BC Newton Fund Institutional Links

Deadline: 12 June, 2020

The British Council (BC) is seeking applications for its Newton Fund Institutional Links (NFIL) to provide grants for the development of research and innovation collaborations between the UK and partner countries.

BC runs Institutional Links (IL) in partnership with research and higher education institutions globally.

The Newton Fund (NF) aims to promote the economic development and welfare of the partner countries or, through working with the partner country, to address the problems of low-income and vulnerable populations.

The NFIL programme is designed to establish links beyond the level of the individual researcher and innovation practitioner, opening up opportunities for sustainable, solution-oriented research and innovation collaborations between academic groups as well as with the private and third sector. The maximum duration of the proposed collaboration is 24 months.


  • Grants typically range from £50,000 to £300,000 for up to two years, dependent on the country



  • Each proposal must have one principal applicant from the UK and one from the partner country
  • Both principal applicants must be leading or established researchers
  • Principal applicants must be permanent employees of one of the following (this means that Emeritus and Honorary Professors may not apply as lead):
    • A not-for-profit higher education institution with the capacity to undertake high quality research
    • A UK higher education institution (all UK higher education institutions are eligible)
    • A not-for-profit research organisation with the capacity to undertake high quality research
    • A Catapult Centre (in the case of the UK principal applicant)
  • Both of the principal applicants’ institutions (the Lead Institutions) must have the capacity to administer the grant
  • Individual departments within a single institution can make multiple applications per call provided that the proposed activities are clearly different
  • Principal applicants may only submit one IL application per IL call
  • Principal applicants that have received IL grants in previous years can submit further applications for IL, provided the proposed activities are clearly distinct from, or build on, any already funded through NF. Principal applicants may not apply if they have already received an IL grant that year. In all cases, the additionality must be clearly articulated in the application
  • Organisations affiliated to higher education institutions in the UK or any other country and based in the partner country, (eg an overseas campus) are not eligible for NF-awarded grants.
  • To support the translation of research and innovation into benefit, principal applicants are encouraged to include in their proposals Associated Partners affiliated with:
    • Other research or higher education institutions
    • Technology transfer offices
    • Not-for-profit organisations (including NGOs)
    • For-profit/commercial organisations (including SMEs)
  • Not-for-profit higher education institutions or publicly funded research organisations are eligible to apply as Lead Institutions
  • For-profit organisations and not-for-profit organisations can participate in but are usually not eligible to apply for IL grants. Furthermore, for-profit organisations are not eligible to receive any grant funds except to cover travel associated costs


To apply and for more information, click here.

Photo source: Graham Stanley


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