UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and the State of São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP) have agreed a pioneering Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to welcome, encourage and support applications that may cut across their national boundaries and involve international collaborative teams.

The UKRI-FAPESP Memorandum of Understanding (UKRI website) underpins a 'Lead Agency Agreement' whereby the relevant UK research council will receive and assess collaborative proposals from eligible institutions on behalf of both organisations. FAPESP-nominated experts will be involved with the peer review and decision-making processes throughout.

ESRC accepts applications under the terms of the MoU to our Research Grants scheme.

Collaborative research proposals may be submitted in any area of the social sciences within the remit of both the ESRC and FAPESP. There is no deadline, and proposals will be accepted on an ongoing basis until expiry of the MoU on 31 December 2020

Collaborative research proposals should be submitted to the ESRC and FAPESP, although the ESRC will take the lead role in processing and assessing applications with input from FAPESP. A decision on ESRC-FAPESP proposals will be made by the ESRC's Research Committee, within its normal standard grants competition. Those proposals approved for funding will be jointly supported by the ESRC and FAPESP.

Please note that the ESRC does not allow the resubmission of any previously unsuccessful proposals (including proposals previously submitted to another Research Council), unless applicants have been explicitly invited to do so. Please therefore ensure your proposal is of the highest quality possible upon first submission.

Applicants should note the following in preparing their application:


  • In order to receive support from FAPESP, the Brazilian partners must be based at an institution eligible for their support. These are higher education and research organisations, public or non-profit in the State of São Paulo.
  • Before submitting an application, the Brazilian principle investigator (PI) should contact FAPESP to confirm their eligibility. For eligible applicants, FAPESP will provide a letter confirming eligibility which should be attached to the joint funding application submitted to FAPESP (SAGe) and ESRC (Je-S).
  • UK applicants should comply with the eligibility requirements outlined for ESRC’s standard responsive mode.

Submission and Budget

  • Applications should first be submitted by the Brazilian PI to FAPESP via SAGe before the application is submitted to the ESRC via Je-S. This is so the SAGe application can be submitted as an attachment to the ESRC Je-S submission.
  • For UK-based applicants, the proposal should be submitted via Je-S to the Research Grants (Open Call). The costs being requested from ESRC for the UK part of the project should be a minimum of £350,000, and no more than £1,000,000 (at 100% Full Economic Cost). 
  • Please note that for FAPESP, the budget should be in line with FAPESP funding rules of the chosen scheme. FAPESP applicants do not need to request equal amounts from both sides. The difference in values should reflect the difference in costs covered and local prices.
  • Before submitting an ESRC-FAPESP Lead Agency Agreement proposal, all applicants should consult the Je-S guidance (PDF, 180Kb).
  • Applicants are also strongly advised to consult the Operation of the
    UKRI-FAPESP Lead Agency Agreement Guidance Note (UKRI website)

Proposal Form and Attachments

  • The title field of the proposal must begin with the words 'ESRC-FAPESP'. 
  • The 5,000 word proposal document described in the International Common Application Process (ICAP) criteria should be included as the 'Case for Support' in the Je-S application. This 5,000 word limit exceeds the normal six page limit for a Case for Support. A word count should be included at the end of this document. This is the only part of the ICAP process which is followed.
  • To enable the identification of research team members in different national application formats, the 5,000 word research proposal document should begin by listing the names, roles (principal investigator, co-investigator, etc), and institutions of all named researchers from both participating countries who are included in the proposal. This list of names is not included in the word count of the proposal.
  • CVs of all named researchers in the proposal should be included, both UK and overseas. These should not exceed the normal ESRC limit of two pages per CV.
  • For State of São Paulo-based researchers, the FAPESP letter of eligibility should be submitted to FAPESP (SAGe) and also provided to the UK PI to upload to Je-S as part of their application. State of São Paulo-based researchers should also complete the FAPESP Proposal Form (which includes the FAPESP consolidated budget) and submit this via SAGe. The FAPESP full proposal form should then be saved as a PDF and attached to the UK PI’s Je-S submission. This should be exactly the same version as submitted via SAGe.
  • All other relevant sections of the Je-S application (Objectives, Summary, Beneficiaries, etc) should be completed in accordance with the normal guidelines for standard research grants unless specified in the Je-S guidance (PDF, 180Kb).