Funding Opportunities

Soft Matter and Formulation research is truly multidisciplinary bringing together physicists, biologists, chemists and engineers and therefore funds within various disciplines can be used to support work with us. Local, national and European funding schemes are all worth consideration. This list is not entirely comprehensive but has been put together as a helpful guide. Contact us to discuss the most suitable type of funding for your project.

European Funding

ESMI Project

European Soft Matter scientists can apply for access to our facilities at the University of Edinburgh. Equipment running costs, travel and accommodation are paid for by the network.

SFC Horizon 2020 SME Engagement Voucher

Support for Scottish SMEs to engagement with EU officials and structures, Consortia building, Proposal writing in any field.

SUPA Industry Placement Scheme

Support a 6 month placement of an early career researcher from a Scottish school of physics to a company abroad across all sectors.


Financial support for companies and academics developing Horizon 2020 consortia around topics in physics which involve a Scottish SME.

National Funding

Bio Base NWE Innovation Coupons

Offered to SMEs for bio-based technology development

Innovate UK (Formerly Technology Strategy Board)

The TSB regularly runs competitions to support large (50-500K) industry-led projects in high value manufacturing, biotechnology, nutrition and formulation science among others. Frequently, it is essential to have SME involvement and ideally collaborations on topics of interest would be set up well in advance of the call becoming live.

Innovate UK Innovation voucher

Available to SMEs to support work carried out at Universities. The fund is given to the University to carry out a project to help the SME and the SME must provide an ‘in kind’ contribution which includes staff time and materials.

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships

Run by Innovate UK these partnerships support a suitably qualified graduate to work with a company in partnership with a University for 6 months to 3 years. An SME contributes around one third of the total cost. The academic commits 10% of their time to work with the company, mainly at the company premises.

Scottish Funding

SFC Follow-on Funding

Funding (Scotland only). Can be used to continue collaboration with original SFC innovation voucher/BIG award, or to develop a collaboration in a new area with a research group drawn from a different department or institution.

SUPA INSPIRE (Scottish Life sciences and medicine)

The Scottish Universities Physics Alliance (SUPA) INSPIRE supports a placement of up to six months for a postdoctoral researcher or academic staff member from University to work at a Scottish company or for an industrial member of staff to work at a University.

University Funding

Edinburgh Research and Innovation EPSRC Impact Acceleration

ERI have several schemes designed to encourage knowledge transfer through student internships, staff secondments (to and from industry) and early stage development funding, please contact them for details.