UKRI Cross Research Council Responsive Mode Pilot Scheme

UKRI Cross Research Council Responsive Mode Pilot Scheme

About the opportunity

Aberdeen Grants Academy logoUKRI has published round 1 of their cross-research council responsive mode pilot scheme offering grants from £200k - £1.2M. This funding is designed to support new interdisciplinary ideas emerging from the research community outside current disciplinary boundaries.

UKRI are seeking:

  • high quality, and creative ideas that transcend, combine or significantly span research council remits
  • new, unexpected and novel projects that have the potential to lead to breakthrough ideas and collaborations
  • research that can only be addressed through interdisciplinary collaboration
  • projects combining disciplines to create new approaches to a research question, new methodologies or new ways of working
  • reciprocity across the disciplines, with the disciplines involved being changed or transformed by working together
  • projects that catalyse new interdisciplinary research through co-creation and design
  • ideas with no clear ‘lead’ UKRI research council for responsive mode funding including applications that significantly span 2 or more research council remits

This pilot scheme will support ideas not routinely funded through existing UKRI responsive mode schemes, helping ensure there is space for the convergence and divergence of new ideas across all fields of research.

For full details on the opportunity, including eligibility and assessment criteria visit the UKRI cross research council responsive mode pilot scheme page.


25 April 2023 Opening date for Interdisciplinary Assessment College applications
25 May 2023 Funding opportunity details for outline applications published
8 June 2023 Opening date for outline applications in Je-S
13 and 22 June 23 Webinars for funding opportunity details (see below for registration details)
15 June 23 Internal Deadline for SGA proformas
20 June 2023 Closing date for Interdisciplinary Assessment College applications
20 July 2023 Closing date for outline applications (Je-S)
21 July 2023 Interdisciplinary Assessment College appointed
Late November 2023 Invitations to submit full application
8 February 2024 Closing date for full applications (The Funding Service)
15 – 29 April 2024 Principal investigator(s) response period
Late May 2024 Outcomes announced
June 2024 Launch of round two


Five circles containing the text of the Aberdeen2040 interdisciplinary challenges set against a background of the aurora borealis

Research Development Support

Interested in applying? A programme of activities is being delivered in partnership between the Grants Academy, Schools and the Interdisciplinary Centres, to encourage and support the submission and success of ambitious, strategic bids led by the University of Aberdeen.

The Interdisciplinary Centre Directors and Emma Morrison (Interdisciplinary Research Development Executive) are available should you wish to learn more about the funding opportunity or discuss project ideas:

School Directors of Research and School Research Development Executives will also be happy to discuss this opportunity with you.

Grants Academy Call Insight Session

All staff are welcome to join a Call Insight session to learn more about this funding opportunity, including details on the scope of the call and how to apply. There will also be an opportunity for a Q&A. To register please email

  • Wednesday 26th April 3 – 4 pm (MS Teams)

A recording of the Call Insight session will also be available here to view shortly.

Networking Event

In response to UKRI’s Cross Research Council Responsive Mode Pilot Scheme, the Interdisciplinary Centre Directors invite you to attend a networking event on Wednesday 3rd May from 2.30 – 5 pm (in-person, venue tbc).

The event will be an opportunity to foster interdisciplinary discussions by bringing together colleagues from across disciplines to explore new and emerging research ideas.

Attendees will have an opportunity to informally pitch their ideas/needs, identify collaboration opportunities and learn from examples of successful interdisciplinary collaborations within the University.

To register to attend please RSVP by Wednesday 26th April by email to

UKRI Webinars

To support the launch of the cross research council responsive mode pilot scheme, UKRI are holding a webinar (two dates available) for prospective applicants and professional research support staff.
This webinar will cover:

  • an overview and scope of round 1 of the UKRI cross research council responsive mode pilot scheme
  • what UKRI are looking for in applications
  • the application and assessment process
  • opportunity for questions and answers

Webinar 1: 13 June 2023 at 13:00 – 14:30.
Webinar 2: 22 June 2023 at 10:30 – 12:00.
One of the webinars will be recorded and shared with slides on the UKRI website.
To register for a webinar, fill in the short survey found here .

Institutional Process for Supporting Grant Applications

Internal Deadline – Thursday 15th June 2023

Recognising that the scheme is likely to be highly competitive, early oversight and preliminary assessment of applications will be key to ensuring bids are within remit and capable of scoring highly against the funder’s assessment criteria.

A Supporting Grant Application (SGA) proforma has been adapted for the UKRI Cross Research Council Responsive Mode Pilot Scheme and a triage panel composed of selected Deans of Research, School Directors of Research, Interdisciplinary Centre Directors and Research & Innovation will be convened to review SGA submissions to help maximise the quality and success of applications by providing early constructive feedback and enabling discussion with senior colleagues who have a track record with major funders.

Please note this is a University-wide triage process and the adapted SGA proforma replaces local Intention to Submit (ItS)/ Supporting Grant Applications (SGA) processes.

Please provide a short Outline Case for Support using the SGA proforma in advance of the advertised internal triage deadlines – Thursday 15th June. This will ensure appropriate advice and guidance can be provided to help develop your application. The SGA proforma should be submitted by email to the Grants Academy.

Peer reviewers from different disciplines will be recommended for each application as an outcome of the triage process.

Following the SGA process, a Worktribe application to support costings and record the necessary internal approvals will be required. Guidance and access to Worktribe can be found here. Please complete a Worktribe project and submit for approval at least 5 working days ahead of UKRI’s deadline  for outline applications (20 July 2023) or the date you intend to submit.

Where applications are being led by other HEIs the University’s SGA process is not mandatory but we do encourage colleagues to create a Worktribe record and engage with the Research Development Team and IDR Directors as early as possible to ensure visibility.

Update 30/05/2023: The SGA proforma has been updated to reflect that UKRI will not require project costs, or a justification of resources, at the outline stage, however if you are in any doubt whether your proposed project’s budget will be in the range of £200,000 - £1,200,000 (full economic cost) please do contact your School’s Pre Award Costing Accountant for support.

Applications to UKRI’s Interdisciplinary Assessment College

UKRI is inviting applications to join a new Interdisciplinary Assessment College which will support the assessment of their new cross research council responsive mode pilot scheme.

College membership offers a unique opportunity to be part of an important new approach to funding research ideas that transcend, combine or significantly span disciplines.

Applications are open to everyone with experience of interdisciplinary research, from academic and non-academic backgrounds (including business, public and third sector organisations), and from across the diverse range of roles needed for successful research (for example, technicians and professional services).

Colleagues from early, mid and late career stages are welcome to apply.

UKRI are holding two webinars for prospective college applicants where you can learn more about the Interdisciplinary Assessment College:

Further information is available here.

You can review UKRI’s Interdisciplinary Assessment College applicant survey questions here.

Applications should be submitted via UKRI Engagement Hub for this recruitment. The closing date for applications is 20 June 2023.

Further Resources

  • Use our ‘Find A Collaborator’ tool to search and find potential collaborators from another discipline based on interest and expertise.
  • Do you have a good research idea but need to connect with researchers from outside your discipline and outside the university to make it great? The Scottish Research Pools and partners have launched a Multidisciplinary Matchmaker to support researchers to connect with Scottish academics across disciplines. Check out the Multidisciplinary Matchmaker page and fill in a short form to connect to potential collaborators in both academia and industry. This initiative is being supported by the following Research Pools, Innovation Centres and Graduate Schools, providing connections across the following disciplines: Life Sciences, Informatics and Computing Sciences, Physics, Chemistry, Medical Imaging, Geosciences and thematic areas of Marine Science, Biotechnology, IoT and Sensing and Energy.
  • Visit Research & Knowledge Exchange Support | StaffNet | The University of Aberdeen ( for further guidance and resources on idea preparation, application development and submission.
  • The University of Aberdeen under the Aberdeen Grants Academy manages several internal funding opportunities to pump-prime research and knowledge exchange activities. Pump prime funds can be used to establish new, high quality interdisciplinary research collaborations, or significantly enhance existing partnerships, both internally and externally building on excellent research, where applicants can demonstrate clear pathways to achieve outcomes, for example attracting UKRI Cross Research Council Responsive Mode funding. See the University’s Research & Research Network Pump Prime Scheme for further details on funding available to pump prime interdisciplinary research initiatives, support for bid development, and networking. Current funding must be spent by 31st July 2023 however we anticipated that further pump prime funding for 2023/24 will be made available in due course.

This page was last updated on 02 June 2023.