Frequently Asked Questions

Funding – general

Who can apply for ARIA research funding?

We welcome solicited applications from across the R&D ecosystem, including individuals, universities, research institutions, small, medium and large companies, charities and public sector research organisations. Scientific and technological breakthroughs often rely on a mix of academic and industrial capabilities that can be hard to find in a single organisation, so our programmes will deliberately reach across disciplines, sectors and institutions.

What is ARIA's approach to soliciting the market?

Open and transparent competition will be our default for sourcing all ARIA research funding recipients.

However in certain circumstances, a direct award may be appropriate if in line with our commercial operating model.

Are you planning to provide funding via mechanisms other than Grants/Contracts?

We are exploring multiple mechanisms to unlock scientific and technological breakthroughs. We may choose alternative mechanisms such as prizes, joint ventures or other funding mechanisms. We’ll identify the mechanism we intend to use or allow in each funding call.

What terms will be used for my funding agreement with ARIA?

If you are successful, the type of Funding Agreement you will receive is dependent on a couple of factors: the activity being funded and the type of recipient.

Where the activity being funded is considered basic research (experimental or theoretical work undertaken primarily to acquire new knowledge of the underlying foundations of phenomena and observable facts, without any particular application or use in view/TRLs 1-3) and you are an Enterprise, ARIA will provide funding via a Basic Grant Agreement.

Where the activity being funded is considered to be more technologically mature but still research and development (TRLs 3-6) and you are an Enterprise, ARIA will provide funding via a Research Agreement.

Where the activity being funded is between TRLs 1-6 and you are not an Enterprise (e.g. a University or Individual), ARIA will provide funding via a Standard Grant Agreement or an Individual Grant Agreement to an individual.

This framework of agreements has been developed to ensure compliance with the Subsidy Control Act.

Where can I find a copy of your template funding agreement?

Copies of our agreements can found below:

If you require a non-PDF version, please email

How do I know if I'm an Enterprise or not?

Whether you are an Enterprise or not is guided by the definitions contained within the Subsidy Control Act. An Enterprise is an organisation that provides goods or services on the market. Whether an entity is an Enterprise is determined by what it does, not who owns it or what legal form it takes. For example: a limited company, a charity, a government agency, etc., can all be Enterprises. It doesn’t matter if the entity is profit-making or not.

An entity involved in both economic and non-economic activities is treated as an Enterprise only in relation to its economic activities (i.e. where it offers goods or services on a market). For example, Universities are generally not considered to be Enterprises in relation to their ‘core’ educational and academic research functions, but a research organisation within a University carrying out contract research (e.g. for a pharma company) on a commercial basis would be an Enterprise in relation to that activity.

If you are unsure you may need to seek independent advice.

Where can I find a copy of ARIA's Secure Innovation and Trusted Research Guidance?

A copy of ARIA’s Secure Innovation and Trusted Research Guidance can be found here.

What are ARIA’s accreditation and branding guidelines for funding recipients?

A copy of ARIA’s accreditation and branding guidelines can be found here.

What is ARIA’s contact information and VAT registration number?

Address: Advanced Research and Invention Agency c /o Alan Turing Institute, The British Library, 96 Euston Road, London NW1 2DB ARIA is an executive non departmental body government organisation, sponsored by the Department of Science, Innovation and Technology.

As such ARIA is not registered for VAT and does not have a registered VAT number. ARIA’s D-U-N-S number 22-944-1072.

If ARIA requests collaboration between recipients what collaboration principles are required?

Where collaboration is required between ARIA funding recipients, ARIA will make this clear as part of the funding call including any template collaboration agreements that may apply.

What type of organisation am I part of?

If you are a UK applicant, to help determine which type of organisation please see our guidance document here.

If you are a non-UK applicant, please select the option which aligns closest to your organisation’s primary activities.

What happens if I'm not successful?

We’ll let you know if you have not been successful in applying for ARIA funding.

We appreciate that feedback on unsuccessful applications is important for applicants. Depending on the stage at which you were informed and the volume of applications we receive, the level of feedback provided will vary. This could range from generic themed feedback across all applicants received to applicant specific feedback.

How will my application to a programme funding call be reviewed?

Please see our Project Review and Selection Process here.


How will I know who has been awarded funding?

We will publish information on our programmatic activities, including recipients of funding.

Applying for funding

If I apply for an opportunity seed, will that preclude me from applying for the programme?

No, applying for an opportunity seed does not preclude you from applying for the programme or other ARIA funding calls. Remember that for any application, you should ensure that your proposal is in line with the scope and criteria of the specific funding call.

Can the same proposer submit one project idea to a seed call and another project idea to the programme funding call?

Yes, the same applicant can apply for both the seed and programme funding call, so long as each application fits within the scope/criteria of the call to which it was submitted.

Can one applicant submit two separate, but related proposals? Would this disadvantage the applicant, and how would the proposals be evaluated?

Yes, an applicant can submit two separate proposals to a funding calls. The ideas in each application must be different and form unique projects, but they could be complementary.

This will not disadvantage the applicant and each proposal will be evaluated individually on its own merit against the criteria outlined in the funding call.

Can applications be submitted by joint applicants?

Where applicants wish to collaborate and submit a joint application, a lead applicant (and organisation if relevant) should be chosen to submit the application with all other collaborators identified as proposed subcontractors/sub grantees to the project.

Is there a specific format for ARIA applications?

Yes, detailed guidance on the application format and process will be provided as part of each funding call.

Do I need my organisation's consent to apply?

Ideally you should have your organisation’s consent prior to submission of your proposal. We realise this isn’t always possible, so we don’t require it at the point you apply. However, if your application is successful and you wish to conduct the research at your organisation, we will need their consent to formally agree the funding.

Will ARIA place a limit on how many applicants can apply from the same organisation?

There is no cap on the number of applications from each organisation. The R&D proposals in each application must however be unique.

Do ARIA funding calls have any eligibility restrictions?

All proposals pass through an initial screening and compliance review. At this stage we carry out some checks to verify your identity, review any national security risks and check for any conflicts of interest (ARIA staff and/or their family members are ineligible to apply for any ARIA funding. Any entity in which an ARIA staff member and/or their family member is a board director or a person of significant control (as defined by website) is also ineligible to apply). Non-compliant or non-eligible proposals will be rejected at this stage.

If you are successfully selected for award of funding we’ll then conduct some further due diligence, as part of this we may ask for some additional information. Other than the restrictions highlighted above we will not apply any specific constraints. Instead we’ll consider each potential recipient based on the complexity of the scope, value of the potential funding and any associated risks.

Funding academia

I work at an academic institute, will you allow Full Economic Costings (FEC)?

Yes, for academic institutions we will allow FEC.

ARIA will pay 100% of eligible costs. ARIA was established to introduce new, agile modes of supporting breakthrough R&D, so we expect our grants will often support activities that push the limits of the typical pace and incentive structures within universities. 100% FEC allows the full cost for Universities to be claimed for ARIA work to ensure alignment with our objectives. It also helps ensure equitable access to our funding opportunities since universities across the UK vary in the degree to which they can cross subsidise.

Should inflation be included within 100% FEC when submitting a proposal?

Costs will be claimed on an actual cost incurred basis therefore the actual cost of inflation will apply to costs claimed.

For estimating purposes and where the proposed project spans multiple years it is reasonable to include an assumption for inflation. In calculating the inflation figure you should review the Bank of England inflation forecast and adjust this for any sector specific risks.

Is it permissible to submit a proposed budget at less than 100% FEC?

Yes, it is permissible to propose a budget at less than 100% FEC. We will assess the proposal as part of our overall evaluation of the application.

Please can you clarify the type of workings that should be included when submitting a FEC proposal?

We are looking for evidence of how overheads/indirect costs are calculated. If using the TRAC methodology any supporting calculations on overhead percentages should be provided.

(See ‘What cost information is required as part of the application process?’)

Funding PhD students

Does the PhD student have to be identified at the application stage?

As part of your initial application, please indicate whether the funding you are applying for includes the costs of one/multiple PhD students (including named individuals if known at the time of applying).

Would applications that include funding for PhD students be most welcomed on longer term projects to ensure the meaningful impacts of a PhD (typically achieved in later years of their project) are achieved within the project timescale?

All applications, including those that include funding PhD students, will be reviewed against the same criteria, as specified in the specific funding call information.

Will ARIA cover the costs of the full PhD duration even if this extends beyond the project duration?

For applicants that are successfully shortlisted, you will be asked to complete a full cost breakdown using the template included in the FAQ ‘What cost information is required as part of the application process?’.

We will review this cost information and confirm if we will/will not fund PhD costs beyond the duration of the research project.

Where the project duration covers the majority of the PhD duration, we may consider it reasonable to fund the PhD for its full duration.

Where we agreed to fund the PhD for its full duration and we decide to end the project early, we’re committed to maintaining PhD student payments for the full PhD duration. In these circumstances the PhD student and their supervisor will need to work together to redefine and/or adjust the scope of the PhD.

If a postdoc receives ARIA funding to cover salary costs and some research expenses, what happens to this funding if the individual moves organisation (ie. will the funding be treated like an external fellowship?)

For grants: When a principal investigator, or any key researcher named in the funding agreement moves to a new organisation, the funding recipient will be required to nominate a successor or agree that the grant is transferred to a new organisation. Any key funding transfer will be subject to the current organisation and the new organisation’s agreement in writing, and any change will be contingent on ARIA’s approval of the successor or transfer.

If ARIA is unable to accept the nominated successor/(s) or does not approve a request for transfer, it may terminate the Grant Agreement by at least 30 days’ written notice to you.

Will ARIA fund costs for PhD students (stipend and tuition fees)?

Yes, costs (including stipend and tuition fees) for PhD students can be included in your application.

ARIA will fund actual costs provided they are in line with our eligible expenditure guidelines. If you are successful in applying for funding these costs must be evidenced when submitting an invoice. ARIA funding can also cover tuition/stipend for international PhD students. Please outline this in your proposal.

Intellectual property and confidentiality

How will confidential information contained in proposals be protected?

Subject to the conditions of each call, ARIA will treat your proposal confidentially. You should provide enough information to allow us to evaluate your proposal, but you should not submit potentially patentable information before a patent application is filed or commercially sensitive information.

If there is information that would support your application, but that you do not wish to disclose because you believe it may be patentable or commercially sensitive, please make this clear in your application.

We may enter into an NDA where you have been shortlisted and you want to discuss potentially patentable or commercially sensitive information. ARIA does use external evaluators as part of its programme solicitation review process. Any external evaluators will be subject to non-use restrictions, confidentiality agreements and conflicts of interest checks.

We will not use evaluators that present a conflict of interest.

ARIA Board members and advisors are not part of the decision making process for ARIA research funding; as such, they will not have access to proposals.

What is ARIA’s approach to intellectual property?

Recipients will own any new intellectual property generated as a result of the grant/contract.

We’ll need some rights to the new intellectual property to help us evaluate the outputs during the funding agreement period. We’ve also included some provisions to support our mission of benefiting both the UK and the world, with this goal in mind, these provisions are carefully designed to avoid imposing significant hindrances on commercialisation.

See copies of the template agreements for details.

What happens if I want to use the IP to spin out a startup?

To encourage science startups led by inventors and enhance incentives for their subsequent scaling and growth we’ve included provisions in our funding agreements that:

  • require grant recipients to give preference to inventors in licensing
  • limit the amount of equity a grant recipient and/or their affiliates can take or royalties they can charge when licensing ARIA funded IP
What happens if I want to assign or sublicense the IP to someone outside of the UK?

We want to maximise the benefits our funding can bring to the UK.

If you assign or licence ARIA funded IP to a non-UK entity, or if you are a non-UK entity and commercialise ARIA funded IP, this will be subject to a small royalty fee.

What other obligations will I have to ARIA on commercialisation?

We want to ensure that UK government organisations can benefit from the commercial products and services developed with ARIA funded IP.

If you sell products or services based on ARIA funded IP, you will have an obligation to supply products and services to the UK government organisations at a cost that is no greater than you sell to any other customer.

In addition, for contract research projects, your obligation is to supply products or services based on ARIA funded IP at a discount to government organisations for a period of time until the discounts reach a capped amount of ARIA’s costs.

Non-UK applicants

Can/will ARIA fund outside the UK?

Unless otherwise stated in each funding call, our primary focus is on funding those who are based in the UK. For the vast majority of applicants, we therefore require the majority of the project work to be conducted in the UK (i.e. >50% of project costs and personnel time). 

However, we can award funding to applicants whose projects will primarily take place outside of the UK, if we believe it can boost the net impact of a programme. 

In these instances, you must outline in proposals any proposed plans or commitments in the UK that will contribute to the programme within the project’s duration. If you are selected for an award subject to negotiation, these plans will form part of those negotiations and any resultant contract/grant. 

I am currently based outside of the UK but I am proposing to set up a UK subsidiary. Do I need to have the subsidiary established prior to commencement of the project?

Where you intend to create a subsidiary in the UK, the subsidiary does not necessarily need to be in place prior to the commencement of any funding.

You must however outline a credible plan for achieving this within the project’s duration. If you are successfully selected for an award, subject to negotiations, this plan will form part of those negotiations and any resultant contract/grant.

I am currently a researcher living outside of the UK and would like to conduct the proposed research in the UK. If my proposal is successful in being awarded funding, will I be able to come to work on it in the UK?

If you’re not based in the UK or you need a visa to conduct the research in the UK, there are a number of visas that may be appropriate to support you including the Global Talent visa (GTV). The GTV is for exceptionally talented and exceptionally promising individuals in research & innovation, technology and the arts wishing to work in the UK. You can find out more here.

ARIA is an endorsed funder via Route 3 of the GTV. This means that if you are working on an eligible award from ARIA and you’ll be based at an approved UK research organisation, you may be able to obtain a GTV. Details on eligibility can be found here.

There are also a variety of visa routes that can support research and tech work in the UK. More information can be found on the GREAT Talent website here

ARIA will address case-specific questions if you are shortlisted for an award.


What cost information is required as part of the application process?

We only ask for the level of information we need at each stage of the process. This means the amount of information required can range from a high level figure at the outset of a funding call, through to a full cost breakdown if you are shortlisted for the final stages.

For example:

  • At concept paper stage we will require you to estimate of the high level cost of the project (a short table included in the call documents)
  • At the full proposal stage we will ask you to complete a summary cost template which can be found here.

Prior to contract signature when the scope of work has been agreed we will ask for a detailed cost breakdown which can be found here.

Are there any costs I can’t include in my application?

You are encouraged to include the estimated costs for everything you require to deliver the proposed project, however there are some restrictions on what you can include, guidance on this can be found in ARIA’s Eligible Expenditure guidance here.

Will ARIA cover patenting costs should these be relevant to a project?

We will fund patent costs where relevant to the project provided they are reasonable. We will review this as part of your application.

How much is reasonable for an applicant to budget for their salary?

ARIA will review the salary costs to ensure they are reasonable as part of agreeing the project activities/funding agreement. Salary costs will be claimed on an actual costs incurred basis and evidenced along with invoices.

Will apprenticeship levy be paid?

Yes, costs which relate directly to the cost of employment can be claimed. We will only pay for actual costs incurred and evidence may be required to support invoices.

I don’t work at an academic institution, how do I treat overheads?

For non academic institutes ARIA will allow 100% of eligible costs.

There are two options for allocating overheads:

  1. 25% of labour costs and 5% on external costs;
  2. Company calculated overhead rate. If this option is selected then evidence of your overhead rate will be required for agreement by ARIA
Will ARIA funding include profit?

For all grants, no profit margin is payable, and we’ll only fund costs.

For contracts, the profit margin payable will be capped at a maximum of 10%.

If I am successful in applying for ARIA funding, can ARIA funding complement funding obtained through other schemes and vice versa?

Yes, ARIA funding can be complemented by funding obtained through another scheme.

However, we will only fund actual incurred costs in delivering the project outcomes. If to deliver the project outcome your proposal is contingent on securing funding from elsewhere please include this as part of your application.

We would prefer ARIA projects to have defined scopes, under our funding terms.

If there are broader aspects or adjacent pieces of work, ARIA would not restrict these being funded by alternate sources.

My organisation is proposing to contribute funding to the delivery of the proposed project, would this be acceptable?

Where required, we’ll fund 100% of the costs. Matched funding is not essential.

That said, we welcome proposals for match funding in cases when such funding will strengthen the potential success or the UK benefit of a project.

Where you or your organisation wish to fund elements of the proposed project this should be identified in your proposal. This should not be included in the cost breakdown of funds requested from ARIA.

In these cases, this funding contribution will be considered as part of the overall strength of the project proposal.

How will VAT work on projects?

You should obtain your own VAT/tax advice. ARIA is not registered for VAT and is not able to recover VAT, your overall project value should include VAT if it is applicable.

In order to deliver my proposed project I need to bring in additional specialist resources, however, the required salary is outside of my organisation's policies. Can I include these costs? How should I represent these in my proposal?

Yes, these costs can be included within your proposal. These can be included as either labour or subcontractor costs, depending on how you bring in the specialist resource.

Post-award information

What information am I required to submit to support payment?

We’ll pay costs on a cost recovery basis, meaning that the costs will need to be incurred before they are charged to ARIA.

We will request evidence of expenditure to support your invoices.

We may also ask you for an updated forecast to completion of your project.

How frequently will I be paid?

Payment will not be linked to milestone delivery. Instead, payment will be linked to your progress towards achieving the research outcomes and outputs. As such, payments will be made in arrears based on evidenced costs.

Payments will be made quarterly, however in exceptional circumstances we may agree monthly payments.

When might ARIA choose to end an agreement?

Project reviews will be conducted at specified intervals to consider the Creators’ progress against agreed outputs and the milestones (negotiated at the start of the project).

Following a review PDs may, in consultation with the Creator, adjust grant funding amounts, redefine outputs. Where the Creator fails to make progress against the milestones (or identify alternative paths to contribute to programme success) we would choose to end the agreement on performance grounds.

There are a number of other reasons why we might choose to end an agreement, these include: if a key individual departs without an acceptable replacement, material breaches, reputational damage, provision of misleading information, or change of control posing national security risks.

What is ARIA's approach to project management?

ARIA has a flexible approach to project management, recognising that managing projects across various fields and disciplines requires diverse methodologies. Our project management approach consists of three core components:

1. Project Initiation – We will ask you to document your project delivery plan, outlining your approach to project management, project plan, and key risks and opportunities you anticipate. These will be agreed upon between the Creators and Programme Teams, forming a baseline for the project and its delivery.

2. Quarterly Reviews – At the end of each quarter, we will ask for:

  • Milestones Updates – Progress against specific contractual milestones.
  • Project Updates – A general update on your learnings, decisions, highlights, priorities, challenges, new collaborations, and team changes.
  • RAG Status – A simple way to communicate the project’s health or status.

We want the quarterly review process to be mutually beneficial and provide you with ongoing support. Therefore, each quarterly review will include a meeting where we assist with problem-solving and addressing any challenges you may encounter. The Programme Team will provide written feedback based on the work to date.

3. ARIA Annual metrics – once a year, we will ask you to complete a metrics template, asking a set of standard questions which will help us measure ARIA’s long term impact.

How does the approach differ for Seed or low value (>£500K) projects?

Our standardised approach is flexible, allowing us to assess each project individually and tailor our methods to the project’s size and scope. While low-value projects follow the same standard components, we apply a lighter touch. This means we won’t ask for your project management approach, project plan or risks and opportunities, but will focus on contractually defined information, leaving the rest up to you. Similarly, quarterly reviews will request only the most critical updates on milestones and project progress.

Seed projects, which are not tied to specific programmes, do not need to align with an overall programme trajectory. Quarterly check-ins may be conducted by programme team members instead of the Programme Director, aiming to provide creators with the support they need and foster the development of the ecosystem around the opportunity space.

Opportunity seeds

While the above FAQs are applicable to all ARIA funding, the following FAQs are specific to how we fund opportunity seeds.

How much funding should I ask for?

For opportunity seeds, we provide funding from between £10k and £500k, inclusive of VAT (where applicable) and all associated costs (both direct and indirect). You should ask for the amount of funding needed to get your idea somewhere exciting. Don’t be afraid to be ambitious

If successful ARIA will fund 100% of the costs, so you do not have to provide match funding.

How long can projects be?

We value speed, so if you think you could do the work faster with a greater budget, we’d prefer you to bias your proposal in that direction. For opportunity seeds, there is no minimum length for a proposed project. The maximum length is three years.

What happens if I’m successful with my opportunity seed application?

We’ll let you know if you have been successful in applying for ARIA funding for your idea. Commitment of the funding will be subject to ARIA carrying out some due diligence on you or your organisation and agreeing the scope, price and the grant/contract terms and conditions.

Once we’ve agreed the grant/contract we’ll give you the freedom to take the research forward in the way you think best, and we understand you may pivot your approach as you go. 

We want to invest in understanding what you’re working on. At the beginning of your project, the Programme Director will meet with you to go deeper on your project. After that, we’ll have check-ins at least four times a year (with the Programme Director or a member of their team) to see how things are going. 

This is a pilot initiative for us, so we’ll evolve it as we go. Our main goal is to give you freedom to work on your idea, but we’ll also be looking to build community – so this could involve connecting you with other funding applicants, or inviting you to events or workshops.

What happens if I’m not successful?

We’ll let you know if you have not been successful in applying for ARIA funding. We appreciate that feedback on unsuccessful applications is important for applicants and we’ll endeavour to provide some level of feedback. However, depending on the stage that you were rejected and the volume of applications we receive, the level of feedback provided will vary.

What happens at the end of my proposed project?

We recognise that research is unpredictable, and often doesn’t fit pre-planned timelines or budgets. 

Therefore, our approach is as follows: if your opportunity seed application is successful, we’ll agree a sensible scope and timeline together at the beginning. At the end of the timeline, we’ll review where you’ve got to relative to the scope, and plan next steps accordingly. If you have a compelling result, whether during or at the end of your project, the Programme Director may invite you to apply for additional funds.

We expect post-project paths to look different for each project. For example, the next step for your seed project might be to:

  • Grow into a larger project, or even inspire a future ARIA programme. 
  • Develop your research findings further with other sources of capital. 
  • Share your learnings, whether you have positive or negative results.

Importantly: for many seeds we expect that, together, we’ll learn the approach wasn’t feasible. As long as we researched a great idea with a well-considered methodology, this is an excellent result.

If I apply for an opportunity seed, will that preclude me from applying for the programme?

No, applying for an opportunity seed does not preclude you from applying for the programme or other ARIA funding calls.

Remember that for any application, you should ensure that your proposal is in line with the scope and criteria of the specific funding call.

Can the same proposer submit one project idea to a seed call and another project idea to the programme funding call?

Yes, the same applicant can apply for both the seed and programme funding call, so long as each application fits within the scope/criteria of the call to which it was submitted.

I applied for this in a previous seed round but was not shortlisted. Am I eligible to apply again with the same project (but modified proposal)?

You are eligible to apply again to the second round of an opportunity seed funding call, provided your idea is in scope of the criteria of the specific funding call. However, we would encourage you to only submit proposals that are materially different from any previously unsuccessful proposals or in a different opportunity space.

If you are intending to re-submit, we would highlight to you the general feedback from applications received in round 1, included in the document library of each live opportunity seed.