Newton Fund

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Frequently asked questions

What is the Newton Prize?

The Newton Prize recognises excellent science, research and innovation in support of economic development and social welfare in Newton Fund partner countries.

This annual £1 million prize fund celebrates the best partnerships between the UK and Newton countries, encouraging international collaboration to address global challenges.

The 2019 Newton Prize countries are China, Indonesia and the Philippines. The Newton Prize will be awarded for the best research or innovation that promotes the economic development and social welfare of Newton partner countries, DAC List Countries or addresses global challenges; aligning with the Newton Fund’s overall objectives.

For more information on the Newton Prize please follow this link.

Who is eligible to apply for the Newton Prize?

The Newton Prize is only open to existing or past recipients of Newton funding, with projects in the eligible countries for the year in which you are applying. The prize will be awarded to projects which demonstrate proven impact and can advance their work through the Newton Prize. The prize funding must contribute to the future science and innovation activity of the winning partnership. A minimum of 50% of the funding must be spent on eligible activity within Newton Partner countries and 50% or less spent in the UK. You can find all the partner countries here.

Will all partner countries receive a prize?

The prize will be awarded in most of our Newton Partner countries in rotation over the next five years, the exception being where a partner country has recently joined the Newton Fund and so sufficient time would not have passed for the Newton Fund projects in that country to demonstrate proven impact, which is one of the main criteria for awarding the Newton Prize. Countries receiving the Prize will not receive the Newton Prize again until after three years. You can find more information about last year’s winners here.

How are decisions made on the winners?

All the applications will be assessed by a diverse group of external peer reviewers with relevant expertise. The reviewers will complete assessment forms for each application and mark them according to specific criteria relating to the Newton Fund and international development objectives to arrive at a shortlist. [Xxx insert link to selection criteria webpage xxx]

The shortlisted applications will be reviewed and discussed by an independent Newton Prize Committee who make the final decision on the winners.

What type of partnerships or activities could receive a prize?

The Newton Fund has provided funding for a number of science and innovation partnerships, teams and pieces of work with the Newton Partner countries. Some examples of Newton Funded work that could be awarded a Prize include those that improve our understanding of:

All types of funded work under the Newton Fund are eligible - from individual fellowships to multi-million-pound collaborative research projects. The diversity of projects shortlisted in 2017 and 2018 can be found by clicking these links.

What activities can the Prize funding be used for?

The Prize funding can be used in the Newton partner country for a number of activities that will advance the work of the research partnership. This can include funding additional user research; new equipment and facilities; and employing extra staff.

Do partner countries need to match funding for the Prize?

No, we do not require match funding from the partner country.

How many applications are typically received?

Over 150 applications were received across the four 2017 Newton Prize countries: India, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam.

The applications represented the breadth and depth of Newton Fund work; from multi institutional research operations to awards for individual fellowships, workshops and
networks. And addressed challenges from sustainable food production to renewable
energy; from disease prevention to transformational technology; from city planning to
disaster management.

What is the prize worth?

Up to £200,000 per country, per prize. Plus a further £200,000 for the additional Chair’s Prize – please see the following FAQ answer

What is the Chair’s award?

The Chair’s award will be given to a project that particularly demonstrates regional and/or global impact, this can be selected from any of the shortlisted applications, from any of the countries, and the Chair's award will also be given up to £200,000.

What is ODA?

ODA stands for Official Development Aid. Prize applications will need to demonstrate that their plans for spending the prize money are ODA-compliant. More information and resources on ODA can be found here.

Who administers the Newton Prize?

The UK National Commission (UKNC) for UNESCO in London has been appointed by BEIS as the contractor to administer the Newton Prize application process. Contact:


About Part A of the Application: Your Newton Funded ongoing or Completed Project

Where can I find my Newton Fund award grant reference?

We request your 'award number' as part of our eligibility checking processes, to verify the programme you received Newton Funding under. These numbers/codes should be included in your grant/award letter received from the relevant delivery partners notifying you that you have been awarded Newton Funding. If you are unable to find your award number in this letter, please contact the relevant delivery partner who may be able to share this with you.

Who is the Lead Applicant/Who should complete the application form?

Newton Fund programmes are built on partnerships between researchers, institutions and/or industry partners. The Lead Applicant can be the person leading the project from one of the eligible partner countries or the person leading the project from the UK. There is an opportunity to include both a Lead Applicant from the UK and one from the Newton partner country.

When completing the application form the lead prize applicant must be the named lead recipient of the funding on the original award, i.e. the Principal Investigator (PI) or Fellow or similar and can be the UK or in-country PI or both (if applicable).

If the lead PI on an award has changed, or moved on to a different institution, applicants will need to state who the new PI is and include these details in the letter of collaborating partners. This letter will also need to confirm that the original PI is aware of the prize application and that it will be led by a different PI.

Who is my UK delivery partner?

All projects should have a UK delivery partner. These can be found on the Newton Fund website here.

Who is my partner country delivery partner or funder?

Each of the 17 Newton Fund partner countries has organisations based in-country who fund and manage Newton Fund programmes. You can find out who these partners are on the website here.

What are the additional supporting documents that need to be uploaded as part of my application?*

All applicants need to submit a letter of support from your organisation in-country and in the UK (more information on this can be found in the [xxx Guidance Notes web page herexxx]


About Part B of the Application: Your Newton Prize Proposed Project

Where can I find the prize Selection Criteria?

All applicants will need to address the prize selection criteria concerning impact found in the Selection criteria [weblink here], please take note of question weightings which will indicate particularly important questions you/your team will need to answer.

Do I have to spend at least 50% of the Prize in the Partner Country?


Is it mandatory to have a UK partner/continue working with the existing UK partner for the Prize proposal?

The prize aims to incentivise researchers and businesses to participate in the Newton Fund as partners with the UK, and to work on the most important challenges facing Newton countries. The concept for the Newton Prize has been developed to raise the profile of the Newton Fund, to demonstrate how UK partnerships with Newton countries are solving global challenges, and to celebrate the impacts made as a result of these international collaborations.

It is not mandatory to have a formal UK partner in order to demonstrate this, but it must be clear in your application how your proposal contributes to these main aims of the prize and that you have consent from any original project partners (in the UK or elsewhere) to proceed with the application without their involvement. Please note these partners may be contacted during the eligibility checking process.