Infrastructure awards

What is an Infrastructure award?

An Infrastructure award supports infrastructure, networks and other resources to underpin 3Rs research. Applications from any area of medical, biological or veterinary research are within remit. Multidisciplinary, cross-institutional or cross-departmental applications are particularly encouraged.

Applications should include at least one of the following initiatives:

  • Resource sharing (such as animals, tissue banks and databases)
  • Data sharing
  • Establishing networks

Other non-research proposals which may be suited to this scheme will be considered on a case-by-case basis. The awards do not provide capital funds for improving buildings or other facilities. 

Awards are for up to 36 months or, in exceptional cases, 60 months and the maximum amount that can be requested is £500k. 

Please note: This scheme will not be running in 2019.

Key information about applying for an Infrastructure award is given below. Applicants should read the NC3Rs Applicant and Grant Holder Handbook, which contains more detailed information about the application process.

Who can apply | How to apply | Assessment procedure | Related documents.

Who can apply?

Establishment eligibility

Any UK research establishment including:

  • Higher Education Institutions (HEIs)
  • Independent Research Organisations (IROs)
  • Research Council (RC) Institutes

Individual eligibility

Applicants should be UK-based researchers who can demonstrate that they:

  • Will direct the proposed research
  • Will be actively engaged in accomplishing the project's aims
  • Are employed on permanent contract by the Research Organisation at least at a lecturer level

Overseas researchers

Overseas researchers cannot be Primary Investigators but can be included as collaborators. Overseas co-investigator status can be obtained in exceptional circumstances at the discretion of the NC3Rs; approval must be sought before applying.


The NC3Rs does not allow resubmission of previously unsuccessful proposals, unless explicitly invited by the Panel. Proposals previously declined by the NC3Rs will not be considered by another Research Council or funder within 12 months (from the date of submission to the original Research Council) unless substantially revised. More information can be found in the NC3Rs Applicant and Grant Holder Handbook.

Please note: The same or similar application cannot be considered by any other Research Council, the Health Departments or any other research funder at the same time.

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How to apply

Applicants are advised to read and refer to the NC3Rs Applicant and Grant Holder Handbook, which contains more detailed information on submitting both an outline and full application.

Outlines and full applications received after 4pm on the deadline date will not be considered, without exception.

Outline stage

Before submitting a full application applicants are required to complete an outline of the research proposal (see related documents below). Please email completed outlines to

Submitting a full application

We use the Research Councils' joint electronic submission system (Je-S) and applications are processed by the RCUK Shared Business Services.

Please note: Given the strategic nature of the Infrastructure Awards, applicants are required to complete an Additional Information Form in place of a standard Case for Support. See related documents and the NC3Rs Applicant and Grant Holder Handbook for further information.

Invited full applications must be submitted via Je-S.

If you experience difficulties using Je-S or have questions regarding its use, contact the Je-S helpdesk.

Email:     Phone: +44 (0) 1793 44 4164

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Assessment procedure

Applications are assessed by the NC3Rs Board.

The following criteria are taken into consideration when making the funding decisions:

  • Potential impact on the 3Rs
  • Demonstrable need for the infrastructure at the host organisation and wider scientific community
  • Impact on the network of end-users
  • Sustainability of the resource after the grant funding has ended
  • Expertise and track record of the team
  • Support from the Host Organisation or other partners
  • Value for money

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Related documents

Application process


Assessment Criteria

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