UKRI Cross Research Council Responsive Mode Pilot Scheme

UKRI Cross Research Council Responsive Mode Pilot Scheme

About the opportunity

Aberdeen Grants Academy logoUK Research and Innovation (UKRI) will launch round 2 of their cross-research council responsive mode pilot scheme in June 2024, offering grants from £200k - £1.2 M. 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.

Details of the 2023 scheme can be found here.


15 February 2024 UoA Grants Academy Call Insight Session Recording
22 February 2024 UoA Networking Session
26 March 2024 UoA Networking Session
Dates tbc UoA Supporting Grant Application Process
June 2024 - onwards Date tbc - UKRI’s anticipated launch of Round 2


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 Challenge Areas, to encourage and support the submission and success of ambitious, strategic bids led by the University of Aberdeen.

The Interdisciplinary 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.

The University of Aberdeen has several staff from a range of disciplinary areas who are members of UKRI’s Interdisciplinary Assessment College.

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. Members of UKRI’s new Interdisciplinary Assessment College will also share insights following their assessment of Round 1 applications, and there will be an opportunity for a Q&A.

To register please email

  • Thursday 15th February 2024 1 – 2 pm (MS Teams)

A recording of the Call Insight session is avaiable to view below (UoA login required).

Networking Session

Following the success of last month’s networking event, the Grants Academy and Interdisciplinary Challenge Area Directors are delighted to invite you to join a second event which will be held on Tuesday 26 March to bring together the University’s research community to foster interdisciplinary discussions and explore new and emerging research ideas. This event will be a great opportunity to engage with researchers from various disciplines to identify common research interests and potential collaboration opportunities both in relation to targeting this UKRI scheme and future interdisciplinary funding opportunities.

In response to UKRI's Cross Research Council Responsive Mode Pilot Scheme (Round 2) this session aims to bring together innovative minds from diverse research backgrounds and career stages to foster collaboration and explore potential synergies.

Event Details:

  • When: Tuesday 26 March from 2 – 5 pm
  • Where: Crombie Interdisciplinary Lounge


  1. Welcome and Introduction
  2. Brief overview of UKRI's Cross Research Council Responsive Mode Pilot Scheme (Round 2)
  3. Lightning Talks: Participants are encouraged to informally pitch their research ideas (3-5 minutes each) – colleagues who attended the first networking session on 22 February are very welcome to join the upcoming session and provide updates on their ideas, however slots for lightning talks will be allocated to new individuals or teams in the first instance.
  4. Networking 
  5. Closing Remarks

Why Attend:

  • Explore Synergies: Engage with researchers from various disciplines to identify common research interests and potential collaboration opportunities.
  • Informal Pitching: Share your research ideas in a relaxed setting and receive feedback from peers.
  • Networking: Expand your professional network and connect with potential collaborators for future projects.
  • Learn About Funding Opportunities: Gain insights into the UKRI's Cross Research Council Responsive Mode Pilot Scheme and discover how it can support your research.

RSVP: To attend please email If you are interested in presenting a lightning talk kindly indicate so in your response and we will coordinate accordingly.

We believe that this networking session will be an excellent opportunity to foster interdisciplinary collaborations and strengthen the impact of our research community. 

UKRI Webinars

Details tbc.

Institutional Process for Supporting Grant Applications

Internal Deadline – tbc

Recognising that the scheme is likely to be highly competitive, early oversight and preliminary review 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. Applicants will be asked to provide a short Outline Case for Support using a SGA proforma in advance of advertised internal triage deadlines (dates to be confirmed). 

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.

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.

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. R&I’s Grants Academy maintain a library of successful applications to major UK and international funders. This library contributes to the internal research development support available to colleagues planning grant proposals by serving as a valuable reference for successful grant writing. Please contact Emma Morrison if you would like to view a successful outline application from Round 1 of UKRI’s Cross Research Council Responsive Mode Pilot Scheme.
  • 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. 

This page was last updated on 13 March 2024.