Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council

Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
Abbreviation EPSRC
Formation 1994
Type Non-Departmental Government Body
Purpose Funding of science and engineering research
Headquarters Polaris House,
North Star Avenue,
Region served
United Kingdom
Prof. Philip Nelson
Main organ
EPSRC Council
Parent organization
£815 million (2008-2009) [1]
Website Official Website

The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) is a British Research Council that provides government funding for grants to undertake research and postgraduate degrees in engineering and the physical sciences (including mathematics, artificial intelligence and computer science), mainly to universities in the United Kingdom. The head office is in Swindon, Wiltshire in the same building (Polaris House) that houses the AHRC, BBSRC, ESRC, MRC, Natural Environment Research Council, Science and Technology Facilities Council, TSB, Research Councils UK and the UK Space Agency.


EPSRC was created in 1994. It was formerly a part of the Science and Engineering Research Council (SERC).


Paul Golby, Chair of EngineeringUK, was appointed as the Chairman of the EPSRC from 1 April 2012 for four years. He succeeded Sir John Armitt.

From 2007 to March 2014, the chief executive and deputy chair of EPSRC was David Delpy FRS, a medical physicist and formerly vice provost at University College London.[2]

He was succeeded in April 2014 by Philip Nelson, former University of Southampton pro vice-chancellor for research and enterprise.[3] In April 2016 Professor Tom Rodden was appointed as the Deputy CEO of EPSRC, a new position created to work alongside Philip Nelson while he also acts as Chair of RCUK Strategic Executive. Rodden joins the EPSRC on secondment from the University of Nottingham where he is currently Professor of Computing and Co-Director of Horizon Digital Economy Research.


In addition to funding academic research projects, the EPSRC also funds Centres for Doctoral Training (CDTs). These deliver four-year doctoral training programmes to cohorts of PhD students and EngD research engineers studying within UK universities, and are funded to target specific areas of research for which there is recognised need. In 2008, the EPSRC announced funding for 44 new CDTs spanning its entire remit.[4]

The EPSRC also funds or joint-funds 'Innovation and Knowledge Centres'. Innovation and Knowledge Centres are university based business incubators established in order to support commercialisation of emerging technologies. Between 2007 and 2016, the EPSRC has funded 7 Innovation and Knowledge Centres:[5]


  1. Budget and finances, Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, retrieved 2013-04-26
  2. New Chief Executive for the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, 30 May 2007,
  4. New Centres for Doctoral Training - December 2008, from EPSRC's site
  5. "Innovation and knowledge centres - EPSRC website". Retrieved 2016-03-03.

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