How we fund

Our approach to funding

Early-stage innovation isn’t simple, it can’t be perfectly engineered. We cannot guarantee that any one project or programme will lead to widespread impact. But we can do our best to maximise that chance, both by aligning the research we fund with viable paths to deployment and by minimising barriers to scale. This is baked into our programme design, and also guides our approach to funding.

“We have a united desire to make the funding cycle smoother and faster at every step of the way.”
Antonia Jenkinson, CFO/COO

Read more from Antonia in this Q&A



  1. Our responsibility starts with the taxpayer. As a government funded agency, we must work to ensure the projects and programmes we fund have the greatest chance of bringing significant public benefit to the UK.
  2. We fund the best people and ideas to get the job done, whoever and wherever they are. We welcome proposals from individuals and institutions of all types.
  3. We were built to drive transformational, not incremental change. Anything in our funding approach that could inhibit the scale of impact from our research should be seen as an existential risk.
  4. The frontier of science and technology is global. To catalyse transformative technologies and industries for the UK, we need to be globally minded in our reach and ambition.
  5. We aim to catalyse, not compete. We will work to strengthen and support the system, rather than solve for ARIA alone.

In practice


  • We default to open competitions and solicitations, and base awards on rigorous criteria-based review from multiple experts.
  • We encourage anyone to apply for funding, whether you are a Nobel scientist at a university, a junior engineer at a startup, or a polymath in your garage.
  • We fund individuals and organisations in and outside of the UK, if their work can significantly boost the success of an ARIA programme or otherwise benefit the UK.
  • We generally do not require matching funds and aim to provide full cost recovery in order to maximise the speed and accessibility of our awards.
  • We are actively involved in the direction of funded projects, with high expectations on speed, adaptability, and safety.
  • We do not perform research internally that could be seen as competitive with prospective awardees.
  • We do not retain IP rights to the work we fund nor do we take equity in resulting spinouts. That said, to promote inventor-led science startups and maximise the incentives for downstream scaling and growth:
    • We do require that non-profit award recipients give preference to inventors in licensing.
    • We limit the percentage of equity that non-profit award recipients and their affiliates can retain in spinouts resulting from ARIA-funded research.
Download our template funding agreements

Copies of our agreements can be found below.

Standard Grant Agreement

Basic Grant Agreement

Individual Grant Agreement

Research Agreement

If you require a non-PDF version, please email

Funding FAQs