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Research Grants: Guiding Principles

Most of the points below apply to all our research awards, but details vary, so please consult the Comparative Table to find out which rules apply in each category.

The Isaac Newton Trust

  • funds research in Cambridge
  •  in all subjects
  • will consider applications that broadly fall into any of its priority categories
  • attempts to be responsive and flexible
  • prefers to help projects get off the ground, rather than sustain existing projects
  • wishes to see matching funding from outside the University and/or from the School or Faculty in most cases, as appropriate (Comparative Table),
  • expects applicants to approach other funding bodies first wherever possible
  • prioritises early career researchers (normally within 10 years of approval for the PhD) as being in most in need of support (see also the dedicated tab for more about opportunities for early career researchers)
  • assumes that senior PIs will have greater access to research funding and will not need to approach the Trust, except for Emergency or Strategic funding
  • prefers to fund post-doctoral (or equivalent) salary costs
  • makes only modest contributions to consumables and travel, where a special case is made
  • will occasionally make a contribution to purchasing a key item of equipment

The Isaac Newton Trust does not

  • provide all the funding for any project
  • act as a primary funder – other awards (internal and/or external as appropriate) should at least be applied for before it is clear that the Trust’s help is required
  • augment existing awards from external funding bodies unless a strong intellectual and/or strategic rationale for the necessity is made
  • reconsider unsuccessful applications for the same project (unless there has been a substantial material change in circumstances), nor revise the amount offered (unless there has been an error)
  • provide long-term funding – we commit to no more than five years ahead at any time and standard Research Grants are almost always for less than three years
  • have the resources to tide over post-doctoral researchers on a routine basis
  • consider grant applications between rounds (see deadlines).

The Isaac Newton Trust does not fund

  • core University business (eg teaching posts)
  • PhD students (except via the AHRC DTP)
  • Technicians (except occasionally where necessary as part of an equipment bid)
  • Departmental or laboratory overheads or charges
  • Short-term visitors (except as part of a Strategic Programme)
  • Conferences
  • Publication costs

Go toTrust's Research Grant Programmes


to our Trustees Sir Gregory Winter, jointly awarded the 2018 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, and Professor Dame Marilyn Strathern, on the award of the 2018 Balzan Prize for her contributions in Social Anthropology.

Trustees' meeting dates

Thursday 29 November 2018 at 4pm

Thursday 14 March 2019 at 4pm

Thursday 4 July 2019 at 3pm

Forthcoming closing dates

Newton Trust Research Grants (all categories)  - the 2018-2019 timetable may be found here.

Cambridge Humanities Research Grants (CHRGs) 2018 Michaelmas Term round  is now open (deadline 12 November)

The Leverhulme Trust has announced its Early Career Fellowships competition for 2019; the internal Cambridge competition details will be announced by the end of October.

 'So thrilled about this grant. It's a wonderful scheme to boost young post-docs.

 Thank-you Newton!'



Our first Fellows' Day, for early career research fellows partially funded by the Trust, was held on 14 June, with a series of fascinating talks by 15 of our Leverhulme ECF, Humboldt, ESRC and Max-Cam Fellows, followed by networking over drinks.

Recent deadlines

College Teaching Officer Research Leave - the 2018 Round is now closed.

INT/Schools of Physical Sciences & Technology (start-up grants for new University Lecturers) - the 2018 round is now closed

INT/Wellcome Trust ISSF/Schools of Biological Sciences and Clinical Medicine (start-up grants for new University Lecturers and PIs) - the 2018 round is now closed

INT/College Junior Research Fellowships - has now closed for October 2019 starts

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