AHRC Catalyst Award

AHRC Catalyst Award

Catalyst awards support researchers without prior experience of leading a significant research project to accelerate their trajectory as independent researchers, unlocking their potential, and building leadership and convernor experience through the delivery of ambitious or complex projects. 

Scope and funding

Development is at the core of this scheme; projects must clearly articulate how the funding will contribute to the development of all those involved through the way that the project has been designed and will be managed, with appropriate support structures in place.

The duration of these awards is up to five years. The full economic cost of your project should be between £100,000 and £300,000 and AHRC will fund 80% of the full economic cost. 

When to apply

Round 3 will open in February, and will close on 30 April.

*Please note, if you are aiming to apply to Round 3, you will need to have a full draft ready for your School Research Director by 30 March 2024 at the latest.*

There is due to be another Round which will open after Round 3 closes.

As AHRC transition from using the Joint Electronic Submission (Je-S) system, to the Funding Service (TFS) they will launch consecutive rounds with defined opening and closing dates. Please check the AHRC Catalyst Award funding page for more details. 

How to apply through Bristol

You may be required to submit an internal outline application form in order to help your School Research Director (SRD – see contacts at the bottom of this page) assess your suitability to apply for an AHRC Catalyst grant. In the first instance please contact your SRD to confirm that you will need to submit an outline application for consideration.

 If you have been asked to following the internal outline form then please submit the following documents to your SRD:

Please be aware that you will require the support of a UoB based mentor in order to apply for this scheme. Mentors: please consider whether you have the capacity, relevant experience and expertise to support an applicant to this scheme if approached. You will be expected to help set up a Worktribe costing and read draft applications for your applicant.

Once your outline application has been received, your School Research Director will make a decision whether to approve you to proceed with drafting and submitting a full application based on the following criteria:

  • Whether the application is of sufficient quality to potentially be successful in a competitive funding context
  • If the applicant has sufficient experience relative to their career stage to be considered competitive
  • The originality and value of the project to a non-specialist audience
  • The importance of the application to the host School/Faculty
  • Whether there is an appropriate level of capacity to fully support the applicant

Applicants will be notified of the decision within two weeks of submission.


Find full eligibility guidelines and more information about the scheme on the AHRC Catalyst Award funding page.

School Research Directors

Edit this page