Researcher in Residence FAQs

Below is a list of commonly asked questions. If your query isn’t listed below, or you need further explanation, please email


What costs are eligible?

The value of each voucher towards supporting a RiR is up to £50k (100% FEC), which may be flexibly spread across the project duration. Funding will be awarded directly to the RiR’s host university (or other eligible research organisation) and not the Catapult. The award can only be used to cover direct staff costs (salary, pension, employer’s NI, app levy) consumables used at the host Catapult and direct other costs (travel and subsistence). Overhead costs (estates, technicians and indirect) are not eligible.

Is there a possibility to bring my PhD students with me?

No, there is no possibility to bring PhD students.

Can the project cost include attendance at conferences/meetings/networking events?

We can fund reasonable travel and accommodation expenses (as part of the £50k fund) for attendance at conferences/meetings/networking events where the value to the RiR collaborative activity is obvious in your application. For example, to give a shared presentation of the work with your Catapult host. We cannot fund registration fees.

Should the budget include accommodation costs or is there accommodation on site?

The budget should include your accommodation costs. 

Questions about the project

I was wondering if all of the of RiR time needs to be spent at the Catapult or can be mixed between the host institute (but working on this project) and the Catapult.

Strictly speaking, the funding is for collaborative work with the Catapult(s). This does not all have to be accounted for on site at the Catapult(s) – it might mean spending some time at the Catapult(s) conducting experimental work followed by time back at the home institution analysing the data. There are no “rules” on what the split of time spent at the Catapult and time working on the project at the home institution should be as this will be very different across the large variety of proposals we have; the review panel just need to be convinced that what you are proposing is appropriate and that the travel and accommodation costs are reasonable.

Your proposal should explain the need for a collaborative project with the Catapult(s), why there is benefit in you spending some time there (e.g. access to Catapult equipment) and estimate some sensible travel and accommodation costs associated with this.

Can I use this funding to hire a Research Assistant?

No, the Researcher in Residence should be the person undertaking the work with the Catapult. If the RA holds a PhD then they should apply for the funding themselves. The scheme is facilitating interactions between researchers and the Catapults. The expectation is that the researcher has a level of understanding already about the topic area that they want to work in. If you have an RA already who’s developed an understanding in that area, then they could be an applicant themselves.

As it is funded by EPSRC does that mean it has to fit within the EPSRC remit, portfolio and priorities? Or it just has to fit within Net Zero, Healthcare and Wellbeing and Resilience.

There is flexibility with this. Proposals should align with one of the themes listed, but it may cross over into another of UKRI’s research councils. For example, some of the work that Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult do crosses over into the space occupied by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC). The best thing to do if you are unsure is get in touch with us directly and we can give you advice.

Where can I find the UKRI terms and conditions?
Are there prescribed start and finish dates for the RiR project?

There are no hard rules on start dates. The most important thing is that the timeline works for you and your host Catapult. We expect projects for Tranche 3 to begin towards the Autumn of 2024. The project can start sooner if the Collaboration Agreement between the academic institution and the Catapult is in place.

The work plan you create for your application might assume a certain start date but if you wish to change this after successful award, you need to keep us informed of your new start date. The current funding for the Innovation Launchpad expires in April 2026 so you need to make sure to have claimed all of your budget and finished your project by then.

Is extensive knowledge exchange (KE) experience and an excellent understanding of the UK funding landscape also a prerequisite for these RiR roles?

In terms of KE experience, it’s not really required for this role. The academic would work alongside a Catapult’s technical teams to deliver their residency aims. Research funding landscape understanding is not the focus of the RiR scheme either. We are looking for academics who want to use the opportunity to help define exciting new areas of technology and exploit their research into businesses.

Letters of Support

What should be in a Letter of Support?

The letter of support from your home institution should confirm the institution’s support for the researcher doing the residency, a statement about how it helps them (the institution) to achieve their strategic objectives and confirm that the costs in Section A.7. of the application form 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 in the planned way. The letter should be submitted along with your full application. 

Who should Letters of Support be addressed to?

Letters of Support should be submitted with your full application to our inbox . Letters of Support should be addressed to the below:

Dr Peter Osborne,
Director, Innovation Launchpad Network+
University of Sheffield AMRC
Advanced Manufacturing Park
Wallis Way, Catcliffe
Rotherham, S60 5TZ


I do not currently hold a PhD but am expecting to submit my thesis before starting the RiR. Am I still eligible to apply?

Yes. We cannot fund PhD candidates on the RiR scheme during their PhD research but if you expect to have submitted before starting we encourage you to apply. We can explore the possibility of deferring your RiR start date if there are delays in submitting your thesis, or you could apply again in a later tranche. In order to be funded by the scheme, you must be employed by a UK-based Higher Education Institution. 

What is the minimum requirement of stay?

There is no official minimum requirement of stay, but this must be discussed with your host Catapult.

I have significant experience in my research area, but do not hold a PHD. Can I still apply?

Yes. We recognise that career pathways can happen in different ways and potential applicants may not always follow a typical PhD route. As long as the applicant can demonstrate the right level of experience/expertise, then a PhD is not a strict requirement for this scheme. UKRI guidance for individual eligibility states “be a permanent employee or treated as one throughout the proposed research project” – ­this normally means that the applicant needs to be under contract at an academic institution beyond the end point of the project.

Can a previous RiR apply for this scheme?

Applicants may only make a single application per call. If an application is rejected, it may be re-submitted in subsequent calls. Previous Catapult fellows and Researchers in Residence may apply again in this round of funding, however their proposed project must be with a new Catapult and cover new ground.

Does it have to be a new project that me and Catapult start together, or an idea of mine?

The purpose of the RiR programme is to take academic expertise and to bring it closer to exploitation by using the Catapult Network. The Catapult Network page on our website has contacts and information for each Catapult.

Can more than one academic apply to work on the same RiR project?

Yes. Although for contractual reasons the academics should be from the same host institution. 

Can more than one Catapult be involved in the project?

Yes, multiple Catapults can be involved in the project. This needs to be discussed with both Catapults and the applicant to ensure that it is viable for all parties.

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