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Financial support for researchers


If you are an early career or international researcher then you may be able to have your access fee and computing costs covered by one of UK Biobank’s funds.  

UK Biobank exists to further health research around the world and is helping democratise access to data through two financial funds – the Global Researcher Access Fund and the Research Analysis Platform Credits Programme.

The Global Researcher Access Fund supports international researchers from less wealthy countries, at any stage of their career, with the cost of access fees. The Platform Credits Programme provides support with computing costs associated with UK Biobank’s Research Analysis Platform (UKB-RAP) to early career researchers and researchers from low-and-middle-income-countries (LMIC).

If researchers meet criteria for both funds then they can benefit from both. 

Global Researcher Access Fund 

The aim of this fund is to democratise worldwide access to the UK Biobank biomedical database so researchers from LMICs at any stage of their career, have the same opportunity to advance scientific discovery as researchers based in high-income countries. 

Approved researchers at institutes in LMICs on this list can have their application costs paid for by UK Biobank’s Global Researcher Access Fund. Funded researchers can use any of UK Biobank’s data, including whole genome sequencing (WGS) data, whole exome sequencing (WES) data, imaging data, assay data and enhanced measures. 

Who is eligible? 

The Global Researcher Access Fund is open to all approved researchers at institutes in LMICs on UK Biobank’s list, which is informed by several sources, including the World Bank Economies ranking, and kept under regular review. The fund is open to all researchers from these regions including those who have previously undertaken research projects with UK Biobank. However, this fund cannot be used to reimburse research projects which have already started.   

View list of countries eligible to receive grant

Who contributes to this fund?  

The UK Biobank Global Researcher Access Fund is currently at $70,000 and has been gained generous donations from: AstraZeneca, Bristol Myers Squibb, Johnson & Johnson and Regeneron. We hope to continue to grow the fund. 

How do I apply? 

If you have any questions then please contact us on  

The UK Biobank Platform Credits Programme

The UK Biobank Platform Credits Programme is available to early career researchers and those researchers from low- and low-middle income countries.  Courtesy of AWS, UK Biobank is able to make available up to $500,000 of AWS Credits per year (in aggregate) for use by eligible researchers on approved Access projects to be used exclusively in the UK Biobank Research Analysis Platform (UKB-RAP) hosted by DNAnexus.

Eligible researchers can request the following two types of credits:

  • Getting Started Credits
  • Enhanced Credits

The Getting Started Credits are available to all eligible researchers and are designed to allow you to explore the RAP in detail, develop and test tools and methods, and undertake analysis to support your research project.  This is a fixed amount of  £1,000 to offset the costs of compute and storage and remains valid for a period of one-year.  Only one request for Getting Started Credits is available per approved Access project.

Once familiar with the RAP and having planned your research, if you are likely to exhaust your Getting Started Credits, you can apply for Enhanced Credits which are designed to support all or part of your research.  These Enhanced Credits are subject to approval and may be awarded in multiples of £1,000. Enhanced Credits can be similarly used to offset the costs of compute and storage. Multiple requests for Enhanced Credits can be made over the course of your research project, such that further requests can be made once the credits have been consumed.

What are the eligibility criteria?

The UK Biobank Platform Credits Programme is designed to support early career researchers and those researchers from low- and low-middle income countries.

UK Biobank defines early career researchers as “an individual within an academic institution within four years of the award of their PhD or equivalent professional training, or within four years of starting their first employment position (full-time or part-time), excluding career breaks)”.  Early career researchers also include those bona fide students eligible for reduced Access fees.

Researchers in low- and middle income countries eligible for reduced Access fees will also be able to participate in this Programme.

It is expected that research work will be performed/led by the applicant researcher (either early career researcher, or research in low or low-middle income country), with named collaborators where appropriate, and where publications resulting from the access project will be led by the applicant researcher.

UK Biobank will keep these eligibility criteria under regular review to ensure that the Programme is being used appropriately.

How do I apply?

Researchers should ensure they have read the FAQs relating to this Programme.

Frequently Asked Questions

The Programme is administered by UK Biobank on behalf of AWS, however you must ensure that you have read and can accept both UK Biobank and AWS terms and conditions.

Programme Terms and Conditions

When can I request Platform Credits under this Programme?

The UK Biobank Platform Credits Programme will run from 1st January 2022 to 31st December 2024.  Researchers can make requests for Platform Credits at any time however requests are reviewed on a quarterly basis for commencement on the 1st day of the following calendar quarter.  Requests for commencement of credits on 1st January should be received by 30th November, requests for commencement of credits on 1st April should be received by 28th February (and so on).

When ready, eligible researchers may complete the application form for Platform Credits here.

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