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Isaac Newton Trust / University of Cambridge Early Career Support Scheme for the Schools of Technology and the Physical Sciences


The 2023-24 round has now closed. The next round of funding is expected to open by the end of October 2024.


Recently appointed early-career professors in the Schools of Technology and the Physical Sciences are invited to apply to the Isaac Newton Trust (INT) Early Career Research Support scheme.


The aim of the funding 

The scheme aims to support recently appointed early-career professors with start-up funds to kick-start their research careers and attract further external funding. In line with the main goal of the scheme, priority for funding will be given to those candidates who do not already have substantial existing funding. Key criteria for funding include the quality of the proposed research and its potential to lead to an application to an external funder.



Applicants must be University Assistant or Associate Professors (established or unestablished) who have been appointed in the last three years between 01 October 2021 and 31 December 2024

•    Applicants must be based at Cambridge at the start of the award – the scheme does not cover projects for PIs based outside the University of Cambridge. 

•    Applicants commencing their post in the University after 31 December 2024 are eligible to apply only if their appointment letter was dated within the above-mentioned window and if they will be based at Cambridge at the start of the project. 

•    Normally, past recipient for this scheme will not be supported for a second INT/UCAM award.



Projects can last up to 12 months, and successful applicants will have 12 months from the award date to start their projects. All projects must end within two years from the award date.


Funding available

Proposals can cost up to £60,000 – where 50% (up to £30,000) will be covered by the Isaac Newton Trust, and the remaining 50% (minimum £30,000) must be provided by the hosting Department. The departmental contribution must come from departmental funds, not another research grant. Only directly incurred and directly allocated costs are allowed as eligible expenditure and support can be sought to fund PDRA support, equipment, travel, and ancillary consumables. PI time or student fees are not eligible. 


Assessment criteria

Key criteria for funding:

•    the quality of the proposed research 

•    its potential to lead to an application to an external funder

•    level of secured funding to date – and whether INT/UCAM funding would make a significant difference to the applicant’s research trajectory (please remember that candidates who have secured substantial funding to date will not be considered in the spirit of the scheme)

Applications will be assessed by select senior academics from across the Schools of Technology and the Physical Sciences. They will be looking for evidence that proposals match the goals of the scheme. Please note that they might not be experts in the subject area of the proposal – candidates are encouraged to consider their audience when writing their proposals.


Internal process

To take part in the internal selection process, applicants will be invited to complete an online application form – further details will be provided once the call opens in October 2024.


Please note:

-    unsuccessful applicants to this scheme cannot apply to INT directly for support for the same project;

-    successful applicants cannot apply to INT directly for matching funding for this scheme. 


If you have any questions, please contact Research Strategy Office at