About our funding

What can Lloyd’s Register Foundation’s funding be used for?  

We support carrying out work which helps us deliver our charitable mission and strategic objectives.

Our charitable mission:

  • To secure, for the benefit of the community, high technical standards of design, manufacture, construction, maintenance, operation and performance for the purpose of enhancing the safety of life and property, at sea, and on land and in the air
  • The advancement of public education including within the transportation industries and any other engineering and technological disciplines

You can see at a glance our strategic themes, objectives, funding priorities and the sectors we serve on our strategy map and longer strategy document

Read some case studies in guidance note 4.

For regular updates subscribe to our monthly newsletter, or follow us on Twitter @RClegg_LRF  and @LR_Foundation or on LinkedIn.

Demonstrate impact and public benefit

We rely on the institutions we fund to help us demonstrate that we add value to society by showing the impact our funding has. Our drivers are impact and excellence – in the research we fund we want to help build and work with world-class research teams and exploit the useful results arising from that research to achieve maximum public good. The same drivers apply to our other funding areas in skills and education.

Please see guidance note 9 for more information.

Fundamental research and application of technology

We fund both fundamental, low-TRL (technology readiness level) research and more applied technology development.  The latter is focussed on promoting the uptake and application of technology to address targeted needs. For the exploitation of Foundation-funded research and intellectual property we have a revenue and equity sharing policy. Read our IP Policy.

Does the Foundation use a funding model?

The Foundation wants to use its funding to support high quality research and education with excellent impact and in doing this the Foundation works with a wide range of organisations globally. Recognising the diversity of resourcing and funding arrangements used by its global community, to avoid creating barriers to participation the Foundation does not have a prescriptive funding model. Apart from the exclusion of capital items the Foundation is not restrictive in its allowable costs. 

However a second driver for the Foundation is the desire to get value from its charitable funding and as such value for money will always be a consideration. Leverage of other resources is a key assessment factor. Examples of such leverage might include matched funding; in kind contributions; overhead support from others; and leverage against other projects and programmes. Such leveraged costs should be clearly identified in applications to the Foundation for funding.

For UK universities operating under the full economic cost (fEC) model, the UK funding councils have made specific provision to support costs of research supported by charities. Therefore we would normally only fund directly incurred costs i.e. actual costs that are explicitly identifiable as arising from the conduct of a project (e.g. staff salaries, equipment, materials, travel).

Do we fund buildings or equipment?

No. Our funding is not for capital works or infrastructure and we only fund equipment as a small proportion of research programmes. We are happy to work with other collaborators who can provide capital funding support. 

Do we support individuals?

No. We do not give grants direct to individuals, in any funding category. We only award grants to organisations, some of which have a process for passing on that funding to individuals.

Is our support available to organisations outside the UK?

Yes, we support scientific research globally. Some of our funding for the advancement of skills and education also supports disadvantaged and under-represented communities outside the UK.

What amounts of funding do we give?

The largest proportion of our funding is for scientific research. We recognise that research results can take time to deliver. We prefer to invest in building sustainable research teams working on longer-term research challenges of importance to society, to enhance the safety of the engineering infrastructure on which modern society relies.

It is particularly important when building up this long-term capability that research groups we support do not become overly reliant on our funding. We want teams to build on our funding and use it to leverage funding from other sources, which means they can remain active when our funding ceases. We will ask grant applicants to demonstrate their sustainability as part of their grant application process. 

We like to know how our proposed funding fits into the overall financial picture of your organisation, and if the activity you propose is sustainable, including any plans to raise additional funds. If your application is successful, we do not commit to funding beyond the stated period, and you should not assume any further commitment on our part.

When funding other charities, we aim to limit our funding to not more than 25% of the total income of that charity.

You will find it helpful to read our latest annual review and other publications

If, having read our strategy and guidance, you are still unsure about eligibility 

You can use the shorter form to submit an outline proposal for grant funding on our online Grant portal. We will consider your proposal and feed back to you.

How often do we consider applications and how do you apply?

Every proposal and application that we receive is reviewed initially at our monthly grant applications meetings, usually within the first two weeks of each month; deadlines 10 days before. Guidance note 2 gives the application process.