The Fund for International Collaboration (FIC) aims to enhance the UK’s excellence in research and innovation through global engagement, forging new bilateral and multilateral research and innovation programmes with global partners. The Fund for International Collaboration was announced in the Industrial Strategy White Paper in November 2017 as a “£110 million fund for International Collaborations to enhance the UK’s excellence in research and innovation through global and strategic engagement.”  


FIC forms part of wider UKRI measures to maintain the UK’s global R&D leadership. Its aim is to promote the UK as a world-class destination to undertake and access research and innovation and to enable collaboration with the best international partners. It will do this by supporting the generation of new partnerships and by deepening and expanding existing relationships. Specifically, the fund will target countries with high performing research and innovation sectors to engage in jointly funded bilateral and multilateral collaborations which deliver new, societal and economic impact, to the mutual benefit of the UK and partner countries. FIC aims to build the capacity and capability of UK-based institutions, supporting BEIS and wider Government objectives, enabling the UK to strengthen its collective voice in research and innovation policy, stimulating, consolidating and growing its international collaborative activity.

As the FIC focuses on enhancing the UK’s partnerships with global R&D leaders, UKRI has identified key partner countries, in consultation with BEIS, as part of an evolving framework for international investment. Partner countries under FIC currently include the USA, Canada, Japan, Australia, Israel, South Korea, Singapore, China and India. The first round of ESRC-led calls focused on building collaboration with Canada and Japan and totalled £3 million. The second round of ESRC-led calls are expected to launch in spring 2019.

Who can apply?

Applications for FIC funding are welcome from all research disciplines. FIC promotes disciplinary and interdisciplinary research but details regarding the scope of specific funding opportunities will be published as calls are announced.

How to apply:

ESRC FIC opportunities and details of how to apply are published in the funding opportunities section of our website.

If you have any questions, please email our International Strategy team: