Much research software starts its life thanks to a research grant. But what happens when your code proves useful and you want to extend it or ruggedise it for release to the wider community? Research grants generally can't help because they focus on solving research problems, not improving code. Who should you turn to?
We're putting together a list of funders and funding calls who can help with the costs of improving code. This list is not comprehensive, but we'd like it to be. If you know of other sources for this type of funding, please let us know and we'll add them to the list.
In general, we recommend using the ResearchResearch.com service to identify and then filter the various opportunities for funding.
BBSRC TRDF2 (tools and resources development). A competitive call (<20% success rate), which takes place annually. The code must be within a BBSRC area. For more information, see the last call.
EPSRC Software for the Future. This is typically for larger flagship codes and is highly competitive (<10% success rate). It runs approximately every two years and the code must be within an EPSRC area. For more information, see the last call.
European Commission. Various opportunities in H2020 ICT and EINFRATRUCTURES. These typically require a consortium of applicants, so they're not suited to smaller projects.
Jisc Research Data Spring. Small grants for projects to improve tooling and processes around research data. Likely to be future calls. Check the Jisc website for details.
Organisations to approach
Companies. Various companies have small investment schemes, including Google.
InnovateUK ICT grants. Varies depending on call, and requires industry leadership or collaboration. Visit the InnovateUK website to check for applicable grants.
Local authorities. Some local authorities can provide funding if your software has local public benefit.
RCUK responsive mode / researcher-led mode. Generally accept software development on bids but must be research objective focussed. Ongoing calls.
Universities. Many universities have innovation funding schemes, particularly if your software has commercial potential. A good place to start is by checking with you research innovation or technology transfer office.
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