The Newton Fund was initiated in 2014 and uses science and innovation partnerships between the UK and 16 countries to promote their economic development and social welfare.
The Newton Fund is part of the UK’s ODA commitment with a total investment of £735 million. Between 2016-2021, £585 million will be available from the UK, for bi-lateral and multi-lateral programmes, with matched resources provided by partner countries.
The Newton Fund is managed by the UK's Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and delivered by delivery partners in the UK and partner countries
The Newton Fund has three broad focuses:
- people: improving science and innovation expertise (known as ‘capacity building') through student and researcher fellowships, travel schemes and joint centres
- research: research collaborations on development topics
- translation: innovation partnerships and challenge funds to develop innovative solutions on development topics.
A wide range of different funding calls are made each year between Newton Fund delivery partners in the UK and funding agencies in one or more partner countries including for research, mobility, training and consultancy programmes.
The topics of the calls are based on the priorities of the partner countries and the delivery partners. Each call is open and competitive requiring a Principal Investigator in both the UK and the partner country with similar financial or in-kind contributions on each side. Typically, the application system uses a single application and peer review process involving both countries.
As the funding from the UK is Official Development Assistance (ODA), all applications must demonstrate that the UK-funded part of the project meets the ODA criteria, that the ‘primary purpose of the proposed project is the economic development and welfare of the developing country’.
Find the latest Newton Fund funding calls.
Where it funds
The 16 current Newton Fund partner countries are shown in the figure below. Kenya has recently been added as a partner country, enabling UK-Kenya bilateral partnerships and trilateral collaboration with South Africa, where it suits partners.
The main UK delivery partners are shown on the left. The Newton Fund works with a large number of funding agencies in partner countries.
Each organisation funds different programmes within the Newton Fund. Some of the agencies such as the British Council and the National Academies have set programmes that are renewed annually; whilst other organisations, including the Research Councils, announce calls as partnerships are agreed. Look at our overview of the main types of programmes funded below and visit the Newton Fund website to see the latest list of calls.
Building collaborative partnerships is a vital aspect of the Newton Fund. Our network and partnerships page provides guidance and links for building collaborations. For postgraduate scholars who are intending to apply for a Newton Fund PhD scholarship, the Universities UK International (UUKi) provides Student Support service for candidates to identify supervisors and navigate the application process.
This is a non-exhaustive list of the ongoing programmes with regular calls under this fund. For current open calls visit our funding page or the funders' websites.
Researcher Links Workshops
Financial support to bring together a UK and partner country bilateral cohort of early career researchers to take part in a workshop.
Researcher Links travel grants
Financial support for early-career researchers from the UK or a partner country to undertake an international research placement of 1-6 months
Grants for research and innovation collaborations of up to two years between the UK and partner country institutions at the group, departmental or institutional level.
PhD Scholarships to undertake full PhD’s and PhD Placements to spend a period of study (up to one year) in the UK, or vice versa are available.
Newton International Fellowships
The Newton International Fellowship scheme selects the very best early stage post-doctoral researchers from all over the world, and offers support to conduct two years of research at UK research institutions.
Newton Advanced Fellowships
Advanced Fellowships support early to mid-career international researchers who have established or are establishing a research group and have a research track record. The award supports the researcher for 1-3 years in their own country, providing them with funding to establish and develop collaborations with a UK partner. Apply to the British Academy for social sciences and the Royal Society for natural sciences.
Newton Leaders in Innovation Fellowships
The Royal Academy of Engineering’s Leaders in Innovation Fellowships (LIF) are aimed at international researchers who are in the process of developing a business proposition for their innovation. Through a focused period of training in the UK, the cohort of researchers selected will gain experience in entrepreneurship and commercialisation of their research.
Joint Research Centres
Occasional joint research centre calls are made. These grants will be made available to centres or consortia of existing partners to enhancing existing partnerships between the UK and the partner country to further develop collaborative research and support the mobility of researchers.
Research and Innovation Bridges
Research and Innovation Bridges programmes support partnerships between business and academia in Newton Fund partner countries and the UK. The programmes include funding to develop innovation capacity; seminars and workshops; academic centres with links to business; small-scale collaborative projects; and larger research and innovation projects. Project partners can include academics, research and technology organisations, and businesses and can be business-led or researcher-led.