Application process

Application to the scheme is a two-step process. Potential applicants must register their Expression of Interest before invitation to fill out a full application form.

Applicants are expected to hold a PhD (or demonstrate experience and knowledge to a similar degree) and be employed in full or part at a UK university for the duration of the scheme. As a minimum, the applicant should have a track record of research which aligns to EPSRC‘s remit and the thematic areas of the Network+ (Net Zero, Healthcare and Wellbeing, Resilience). Applicants should also have a strong awareness of the wider context of their research and how they will deliver impact through their research. 

Proposals must be supported by at least one of the Catapults (see for details), which will host the applicant and provide access to state-of-the art equipment and resources in line with the jointly agreed scope of the research. Researchers will need a letter of support from their home institution. 

Applicants will be eligible for one scheme per tranche. If an application is rejected, it may be re-submitted in subsequent calls. 

Following submission, applications will be assessed by at least two independent reviewers from the relevant thematic Scientific Advisory Panel (SAP). Researcher in Residence proposals and support letters will be peer reviewed and assessed against the following criteria: 

  • Research quality (novelty of the research, relevance to the Catapult Network and UK businesses)
  • The candidates track record in this area and ambition
  • Alignment of the proposal to the scheme’s themes, the applicants plan for translation and significance of the impact
  • Resources, planning and management

In addition, consideration will be given to the capacity of the Catapult(s) to support the project within the proposed time frame. Where specific Catapults are over subscribed, applications will be prioritised. High quality applications not funded will, where agreed, be carried forward to subsequent calls. 

If the SAP reviews are sufficiently supportive, the application will go on to a panel of the Strategic Advisory Board (SAB), consisting of representatives of the Catapult Network, EPSRC and the Network+, who will confirm the Catapult(s) ability to support in the planned time period. This panel will confirm the final list of projects that will be funded in each tranche. 

The evidence of review, marking scheme and the confidentiality of the process will entirely mirror the EPSRC’s existing peer review practices, while being coordinated by the Network+ SAB. Applicants will have the opportunity to respond to reviews.  

Once the RiRs are awarded, successful applicants will need to sign a Collaboration Agreement which will be based on the Lambert Principles with their respective Catapult before obtaining the funding.

An induction to the RiR programme will be followed by publication of the selected projects on the Innovation Launchpad Network+ website. Updated information about the application process, timelines and downloads will also be available throughout this site. 

Please send all submissions and correspondence to, quoting your project reference number.


If your Expression of Interest is accepted, you will be invited to fill in a full application form including sections on your proposed research, detailed work plan and the potential pathways to impact of your research plans.

For accessibility purposes, a sans-serif font style such as Arial, Calibri or Helvetica should be used, with type justified on the left hand side only. If your application exceeds the page limit, or does not adhere to the specified format, your proposal will not be considered. 

Writing your proposal

To ensure the best possible chance of success, it is vital that potential applicants work collaboratively with the Catapult(s) on the application form. The applicant should be the person undertaking the Researcher in Residence placement.

The full application is your opportunity to convince your peers of why your proposed research should be funded. A good case is clear, concise and not cluttered with technical jargon. To make sure you provide all the information within the limited space available, we recommend you focus on two key areas:  

  • Pathways to impact – Describe activities that can be undertaken during the project to accelerate the route from discovery to widespread use of your research. You should identify the additional resources needed to undertake these activities. 
  • Fit with the Network’s strategic priorities (Net Zero, Healthcare and Wellbeing, and Resilience) – Justify why this proposal warrants support by the UK taxpayer. Describe how the potential benefits align with national priorities, how the research relates to the EPSRC’s research areas and strategies, and how it complements other research activity in the field, especially within the Catapult context.  

What is exciting about your research? Try to convey this to your audience. You need to convince the reviewers, who are experts in your chosen research theme, about the value of your project. 

Provide a convincing case for the originality of your proposal and describe your objectives clearly and succinctly. Proposals are not rejected just because others are doing similar work. But if you don’t describe the novelty of your approach and the likelihood of success when compared with others, the value of your proposal may be questioned. 

It should not be left to the reviewers to ask the questions. Show that you have thought the proposal through, and explain how it will succeed. Potential applications might be obvious to you, but tell us what they are. 

Section A - Detailed project information

This section is broken into several sub-sections. Overall, you should make sure that you:

  • Set out the research idea or hypothesis
  • Explain why the proposed project is of sufficient timeliness and novelty to warrant consideration for funding
  • Identify the overall aims of the project and the individual measurable objectives against which you would wish the outcome of the work to be assessed
  • Explain the suitability and novelty of the proposed project within the research strategy of the host Catapult
  • Detail the methodology to be used in pursuit of the research, and justify this choice
  • Describe the programme of work, indicating the research to be undertaken and the milestones that can be used to measure its progress over the course of your placement
  • References and illustrations should be included in the page limit and should not be submitted as additional attachments or as an annex
Section A5. Description of the proposed research collaboration
  • Introduce the topic of research and explain its academic and industrial context
  • Demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of past and current work in the subject area in the UK and abroad
National importance – how, over the long term, the research will:
  • Contribute to other research disciplines, address key UK societal challenges, contribute to current or future UK economic success, and/or enable future development of key emerging industries supported by the host Catapult
  • Meet national strategic needs by establishing or maintaining a unique world leading research activity (including areas of niche capability)
  • Complement other UK research already funded in the area or related areas, including the relationship to the EPSRC portfolio and its stated strategy

Include a description of work packages/activities, their associated deliverables and the key beneficiaries.

Section A6. 1 Schedule/Gantt chart

The programme of work for the project should be illustrated with a simple diagrammatic work plan, for example a PERT or Gantt chart. Include timings of activities, deliverables and resource requirements both at your home institution and at the host Catapult(s). If you wish to add a chart as an attachment then please reference the document file name in this section.

Section A7. Project costs

In this section you should breakdown the resources you are requesting to undertake your research project, including implementing the impact plan. Please note that the funding can only be used to cover your university salary costs, travel and accommodation during the placement as well as consumables used at the host Catapult – these costs will be awarded at 100% FEC.  The Innovation Launchpad Network+ cannot cover estates or indirect costs. 

Section A8. Plan for translation and impact

This section (up to one side of A4) is your opportunity to describe what you will actually do to help the beneficiaries you identify, how the research might impact on them, and how you will facilitate this.  

The information you provide should be specific to the users and beneficiaries of the research outside the academic research community. You should go into detail on how you plan to translate the outputs of your work and demonstrate its impact on society and the economy. This should include its benefits to individuals, organisations and the UK.

This section should describe the kinds of impact envisaged, how the proposed research project will be managed to engage users and beneficiaries and increase the likelihood of impacts.

Section A9. Fit with Innovation Launchpad Network+ priorities

Describe how your project fits the Network+ priority themes: 

Section B14 - The Applicant

This section (up to two sides of A4) gives you the opportunity to demonstrate that you have the appropriate mix of skills, expertise and experience to carry out the research. This is particularly important for multi-disciplinary proposals.  

You should include: 

  • A summary of the results and conclusions of your recent work in the technological/scientific area which is covered by the research proposal. Include reference to both EPSRC-funded work and relevant non-EPSRC research
  • The specific expertise available for the research at the host Catapult
  • Details of relevant past collaborative work with industry and/or other beneficiaries
  • Details of where your previous work has contributed to the UK’s competitiveness or to improving the quality of life
Section C - Letter of support

A letter of support from your home university must be submitted along with your full application and include your project reference number. This letter should include:

  • Confirmation of the institution’s support for the researcher doing the placement
  • A statement about how it helps them (the institution) to achieve their strategic objectives
  • Confirmation that the costs in section 7 are correct.

The letter should be signed by a head of department/faculty with sufficient authority to confirm that the applicant can spend their time on the placement.

Candidates wishing to work with one of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult centres should have a discussion with them about the required level of support and seek agreement on the equipment access required prior to submitting an application. The High Value Manufacturing Catapult contact will have to submit an internal application confirming the level of support required and this will form part of the down selection process.

As part of the assessment of impact, we will ask reviewers to comment on whether a collaboration is appropriate. A good letter of support can help by showing that the collaboration is genuine and relevant to the project. Standard letters declaring general support are often criticised by reviewers.

Section D - Potential impact on future research plans of the applicant

Use this section (up to one and a half sides of A4) to explain how your proposal will help develop your research or technology beyond the life of the scheme.

  • Value of this collaboration – Section 16 – Why is the Innovation Launchpad Network+ Researcher in Residence scheme necessary to move your research toward application? What does this opportunity mean for your personal research journey?
  • Potential areas of future collaboration – Section 17 – How will you build and sustain research networks and identify areas for future collaboration?
  • Future research plans after the placement – Section 18 – What do you plan to do next with this research area?
Equality, Diversity and Inclusion 

A great idea can come from anyone. The Innovation Launchpad Network+ recognises that the provision of equal opportunity, valuing diversity and promoting a culture of inclusion is vital to our success. While the diversity of applicants and awardees to UKRI calls is on an upward trend there is more work to be done to ensure that both reflect the wider makeup of the population. The Innovation Launchpad Network+ has via its activities the opportunity to improve the situation and promote development of improved Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (ED&I) practices across the sector.  

After submission of your full application, we will encourage you to complete our EDI monitoring form to help us understand diversity and promote inclusivity in our Researchers in Residence community. The raw data is kept separately from your application, is accessible only to Network+ Management and only used for monitoring purposes. Summarised data will be shared with EPSRC


We are happy to discuss your proposal before submission. Contact the Innovation Launchpad Network+ management team at: 

Innovation Launchpad Network+ Management Team

Alternatively you could make contact with the relevant theme contact(s): 

Net Zero

Professor Fiona Charnley, University of

Professor Stephen McArthur, University of

Healthcare and Wellbeing

Professor Alex Frangi, University of

Professor Mimoun Azzouz, University of


Professor Ashutosh Tiwari, University of

Professor Ben Hicks, University of

Professor Paul Jennings, University of Warwick –


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