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International Co-Investigator

International elements to proposals

For some of our schemes the AHRC allows international elements to proposals. This page is designed to provide the key points around having an international element in a proposal. For full details on international elements in proposals, please see the AHRC’s Research Funding Guide.

International Co-Investigators

The AHRC allows international researchers to act as Co-Investigators on some of its schemes. Following a successful trial period for this policy, and in line with the commitments made in the Council’s current delivery plan, it has been decided to incorporate provision for International Co-Investigators into AHRC’s core eligibility requirements and standard funding terms and conditions on an ongoing basis.

The International Co-Investigator policy is a great opportunity to recognise international researchers’ contributions to UK projects and allows for a more transparent understanding regarding the nature of the collaboration. It is designed to be simple and straightforward as it is implemented through existing schemes with no differences in peer review or post award administration.

International co-investigators are eligible for inclusion on proposals for the following schemes:

Key points of being an international co-investigator

  • Proposals still need to be led by a UK principal investigator
  • The international Co-I needs to have suitable academic experience and be based at a Research Organisation of significant research capacity (i.e. comparable to a UK Co-I’s experience and type of organization that can receive Research Council Funding)
  • International Co-I costs can be up to 30% of the overall 100% Full Economic Costs of a Proposal
  • Salary costs for international Co-Is can be included in certain circumstances but estates/indirect/overhead costs cannot
  • If a scheme allows Project Students, they must be registered at a UK institution
  • A Head of Department statement is needed from the international Co-I’s organisation

Other international elements to proposals

If you are applying to a scheme in which international co-investigators are not eligible or if it is not appropriate for you to have an international co-investigator on your project, you can still involve international elements within your grant application:

  • UK investigators and co-investigators can request funding for travel and subsistence to visit and/or research in other countries where this is essential to the conduct of the research proposed. This is paid at 80% FEC and there is no limit to what funds can be requested – this should be however much is appropriate to the proposal
  • Non-UK based academics can be part of certain activities associated with a grant where their input is justified and essential to the delivery of grant objectives, for example through being members of an advisory group. Costs such as travel and subsistence associated with this can be included if fully justified and again this will be paid at 80% FEC
  • Funds can be paid to a non-UK based researcher or expert on a 'consultancy' basis if their expertise is seen to be vital to the success of the project. This would need special justification in the proposal. For example, applicants would need to consider:
    • Is the expertise available within the UK?
    • Proportion of the overall costs that the consultancy constitutes (i.e. the majority of the research must still be undertaken by UK based researchers)
    • The non-UK based consultancy costs would need to be listed under ‘Directly Incurred Other Costs’ on the proposal form and applicants must demonstrate clear value for money and justification
  • Non UK organisations who are contributing their own resources (in cash or in kind) can be ‘project partners’ on grant applications. This contribution could include supporting the time of researchers to be involved in the grant. A letter of support from the project partner would need to accompany the application.