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International Co-Investigators

International elements to proposals

Recognising the added value that international collaboration can bring, the AHRC has introduced a policy of allowing researchers based outside of the UK to act as Co-Investigators on most funding schemes. An outline of this policy is provided on this page, but for full details please refer to our Research Funding Guide.

International Co-Investigators

In line with commitments made in our Delivery plan (PDF, 541KB), we encourage international researchers to act as Co-Investigators on a number of its schemes and calls. Following a successful trial period it was decided to add provision for International Co-Investigators into the AHRC’s core eligibility requirements and standard funding terms and conditions on an ongoing basis.

Experience demonstrates that the policy not only offers a great opportunity to recognise international researchers’ contributions to UK projects, but also provides a more transparent understanding of the nature of such collaboration. It is designed to be a simple and straightforward policy that can be 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:

  • Research Grants
  • Research Grants (Early Career)
  • Research Networking
  • Follow on Funding for Impact and Engagement

Some - but not all - AHRC calls and highlight notices also allow the inclusion of International Co-Investigators. As such it is important to check the requirements listed within specific call documents before adding an International Co-Investigator to a grant application.

Key International Co-investigator requirements

  • All proposals must be led by a Principal Investigator (PI) based at a UK research organisation
  • All International Co-Investigators must have suitable academic experience and be based at a research organisation of significant research capacity (comparable to a UK Co-I’s experience and organization eligible for Research Council Funding)
  • International Co-Investigator costs cannot exceed 30% of the overall 100% Full Economic Cost (fEC) of an application
  • Salary costs for International Co-Investigators 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-Investigator’s research 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 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 (within the maximum funds available for each scheme) provided it can be justified as being 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 by the AHRC at 80% fEC.
  • Funds can be paid to a non-UK based researcher or expert on a ‘consultancy’ basis if their expertise is vital to the success of the project, and this requires specific justification in the proposal. Applicants also need to consider issues including:
    • Whether comparable expertise is available within the UK?
    • The proportion of the overall costs that the consultancy constitutes (i.e. the majority of the research must still be undertaken by UK based researchers)
    • That non-UK based consultancy costs 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 contributing their own resources (in cash or in kind) can be ‘project partners’ on grant applications. This contribution can 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, together with an estimate of the value of any such contribution.