The President's Excellence Fund for Frontier Research

aerial roboticsThe College’s Strategy 2020-25 encourages us to act courageously and innovatively when pursuing new partnerships and opportunities and sets out our intention to invest funds and pursue the new and the risky. The President`s Excellence Fund for Frontier Research has been established to support research ideas could be breakthrough programs that have the potential to put us in a leadership position, even if the ideas have not yet received outside funding. Frontier research is intrinsically risky, often characterised by the absence of, or ability to expand disciplinary boundaries, resulting in a new understanding of basic research.  For more infomation about the College’s Strategy view the College’s Strategy 2020-25 webpage.

This year we have again secured added funding for an additional award to a group led by an early career researcher (an individual who is a lecturer at the time of application). This funding will be allocated in the same way as the other two grants.

Funding will be available to support three grants, up to £250K each, for a duration of three years. There are no limits on in any individual spend category. Funds can be used to support salary, consumables, professional services fees, travel and subsistence and equipment fees.

Applications will be largely forward looking, demonstrating an opportunity for 1) growth of an otherwise underdeveloped research area, 2) diversification into a new research area, or 3) new insight into a well-established research question.

Applications for 2020/21 are now OPEN. Departments and Global Institutes were permitted to submit two applications, one that can be led by any research group and a second application which must be led by a lecturer. Please see the call guidance for further information. Closing date for applications is 5pm Wednesday 5 May 2021.

View the EFFR Application form‌ (doc)

View the EFFR Guidance‌ (pdf)

For any futher questions please contact Dr Mark Bambury at


Previous Awardess
YearAwardeesTitle of Project
 2017  Professor Guy-Bart Stan, Dr John Heap and Dr Connor Myant  A novel “true 3D” bio-manufacturing platform unlocking new classes of functional materials and structures with broad applications
 2017  Dr Marina Kuimova, Professor Ramon Vilar and Dr Jean-Baptiste Vannier  Imaging G-quadruplex DNA in live cells with small molecule optical probes
 2017  Professor Mike Warner and Professor Mengxing Tang  TRUST+FWI (Transmission and Reflection UltraSound Tomography with Full-Waveform Inversion)
 2018  Dr Paul Bruce and Dr Matthew Santer  Packing for a Journey to Mars
 2018  Professor Anastasios Karadiitris, Dr Antonia Rotolo, Dr Sarah Fidler and Profesor Graham Cooke  CAR-iNKT cell immunotherapy for the treatment of HIV Infection
 2018  Professor Jane Mitchell and Dr Nicholas Kirkby  Exploring the unchartered territory of the bronchovascular bundle to uncover new biological concepts and novel therapeutic targets for cardiovascular and respiratory disease
 2019  Dr Karen Polizzi, Dr Chris Rowlands and Dr Cleo Kontoravdi  Integrating living analytics into bioprocessing
 2019  Dr Ben Almquist, Dr Chris Rowlands and Dr Andriy Kozlov  Sensing voltage in neurons with biomimetic quantum-dot nano-doughnuts
 2019  Dr Minh-Son Pham and Dr Paul Hooper  Meta-crystals: Smart architected materials containing hierarchical crystals across multiple lengthscales
 2020  Professor Kevin Buzzard  Doing mathematics rigorously
 2020  Dr Fang Xie  Next Generation Plasmonic Enhanced Downconversion Nanoprobes (PEDN) with Exceptional Brightness for Cancer Imaging
 2020  Dr Giovanni Sena, Dr Connor Myant, Dr Gunnar Pruessner and Professor Chris Braddock  A novel bio-hybrid module for vertical and micro-gravity farming
Previous Awardees