Calls for Expressions of Interest are now closed. 


The Ineos Oxford Institute for antimicrobial research (IOI) was established to provide innovative solutions to the global problem of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) that threatens our existing way of life. IOI is expanding its research portfolio to complement its existing core activities and is inviting two-page expressions of interest from researchers at the University of Oxford.

There are two kinds of grants available:

  • IOI Grand Challenge: one grant of up to £5M for a duration of 2-3 years. One award will be made.
  • IOI Synergy Grants: four grants of up to £500k with a duration of up to 2 years. Up to 4 awards will be made.

Funding Priorities

Supporting high-quality projects in the field of antimicrobial resistance

Funds are provided for innovative, high-quality projects and proof-of-concept work.

Areas which we are particularly interested in funding include: 

  • Applications that address the economic and societal impact of AMR, and public acceptability of antibiotics. 
  • Research supporting the appropriate use of antibiotics through stewardship and evidence-based treatment guidelines, as well as infection prevention control to prevent illness and reduce demand for antibiotics. 
  • Alternative approaches to protecting domesticated livestock from common bacterial veterinary pathogens, which do not involve antibiotics, such as phage therapy, biologics or vaccines.
  • Simple, cost-effective, rapid diagnostic tests capable of detecting AMR. Reliable, culture-independent, diagnostic tests for all AMR mechanisms are sought as are alternative means of prevention or protection against ESKAPE-mediated disease such as neutralising mAbs, vaccines or other biologics.
  • Approaches that could lead to discovery of new drugs and drug targets in a range of ESKAPE pathogens, as well as new treatment regimens. These might include new ways to optimise antibiotic transport to bacteria in vivo, to overcome efflux pump-mediated resistance or to maintain effective intra-pathogen drug concentrations. Optimising the use of structural and cell biology for antibiotic development is encouraged. 
  • The use of big data and computational methods including AI to underpin AMR research and interventions.

Translational potential

Projects with translational potential or real-world impact will be prioritised. All applications must have a clear line of sight to how the research could have an impact on AMR. 

Early- and mid-career researchers

Part of our mission is to ensure that there is a breadth of researchers working in AMR. Applicants from early and mid-career researchers (between 3 and 12 years after completion of a DPhil, PhD or MD), are particularly welcomed. For very early-stage researchers, it is recommended that the application is made in collaboration with your PI or mentor. 

Collaborative projects across Oxford

Research that crosses thematic and disciplinary boundaries has greater potential for impact. Collaborations between Oxford researchers from different divisions, or departments, which utilise more than one discipline, are particularly encouraged.

Grand Challenge applications from researchers in just one Division will not be supported.

  • IOI Grand Challenge should include at least 8 Oxford research groups.
  • IOI Synergy Grants should include at least 3 Oxford research groups.

Proposals: There are 2 levels of project funding

  • IOI Grand Challenge: Requests of up to £5M with a duration of 2-3 years. One award will be made.
  • IOI Synergy Grants: Requests of up to £500k with a duration of up to 2 years. Up to 4 awards will be made.

Application process

20 May 2024

An Expression of Interest form (see below for details) for both schemes should be submitted to by Monday 20 May 2024 (11pm). Applicants will be notified of the outcome by early June.

1 July 2024

Selected Synergy Grant applications will be asked to submit a full application by Monday 01 July 2024.

16 September 2024

Selected Grand Challenge grant applications will be asked to submit a full proposal by Monday 16 September 2024.

Expression of interest

Download the expression of interest form here. The expressions of interest should be no more than 2 pages long (Times 11, 1.15 spacing), plus up to 5 key references and should include:

  • Project title
  • Applicant’s names and department
  • Lay summary (max 200 words)
  • Project description, including:
    • the main objectives of the proposed research
    • the main research challenges of the proposed research
    • the methodologies to be used
    • planned outputs
    • anticipated broader impacts and beneficiaries of the project 
  • Outline costings including staff and consumables (please see below for what we will support).

What can be costed into the grant?

  • We will fund: researcher salaries, consumables, directly allocated estates costs, travel up to £10k and equipment up to £25k are supported (requests for equipment will require a justification statement). For the Grand Challenge we will support a project/research manager. 
  • We will not fund: PI salaries (i.e. Professorial), overheads or PhDs 
  • We will not fund research outside Oxford University


Please note that research funded (in whole or in part) by the IOI aims to maximise benefit to the public through the development and translation of solutions to tackle antimicrobial resistance. This may be achieved through commercial development, which will be led by the Oxford University Innovation (OUI) and subject to any third party rights (INEOS Ltd and funding terms from external sources as applicable). As such any applications taken forward to the full application stage, will be asked to provide details of what third party rights exist in relation to background IP and foreground IP, so they can be reviewed and approved.


Click here to download the Expression of Interest submission form.

Queries can be sent to

Completed forms should be submitted to by Monday 20 May 2024, 11pm.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can research groups outside of Oxford University be part of the collaborative projects?

We will not be able to fund research outside of Oxford University, they can be part of your collaboration but we will not be able to fund that work. 

External groups will not count towards the minimum number of Oxford research groups for the grant application.

Do all core areas need to be covered in my application?

No, please think about 1 or 2 core areas for your project. There us no need to cover all areas.

Can you clarify what researcher salaries will be funded, if not PI or PhDs?

We will support Postdoctoral Research Associate and Research Assistant salaries. We would not support an academic 'professorial' PI salary or fund a PhD project.

Is there a restriction on the number of Synergy Grant applications one person can be involved in?

There are no restrictions on the number of grants you can be named on.

Can a potential new principal investigator at the University of Oxford be funded as part of this grant call (i.e. not currently a member of the university)?

We are unable to support activities other than from those affiliated with the University of Oxford. External researchers can be part of an application but will not be funded by the grant, i.e. would need to find other funding/ resources to undertake the research.  

Can an industry collaboration be part of the project proposal?

You can suggest an industry collaborator but we are unable to fund that work. The industry partner would need to find other funding for that research or undertake the work ‘in kind’.

For the Synergy Grants, when do you expect to make funding decisions and when can the projects start?

We hope to make people aware if they are though to the next stage in the second week of June. The deadline for full applications will likely be amended to slightly later in July, to be confirmed. 

We expect projects to start by the end of 2024.