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Leverhulme Centre for Life in the Universe


Cambridge Planetary Science and Life in the Universe Research Grants Scheme 2021-22

This scheme aims at enabling researchers within the School of Physical Sciences of the University of Cambridge and the wider University to develop new research ideas or support existing work on planetology and the origin and nature of life in the Universe.



This scheme offers up to £25,000 for a duration of up to 18 months.



Lead applicants must be affiliated with Departments/Institutes within the School of Physical Sciences of the University of Cambridge and either hold a faculty position or be a senior scientist on a contract longer than the requested funding period. 

Eligible costs (including but not limited to):

  • Equipment and consumables
  • Research costs
  • Postdoctoral salary costs
  • PhD studentships
  • Summer students’ projects


Proposals will be assessed by the Initiative’s Steering Committee against the following criteria:

  • Appropriateness of the proposed project to the Initiative’s objectives. 
  • Scientific impact and interdisciplinarity of the proposed project.
  • Feasibility and resource justification.
  • Other sources of support.

How to Apply

Please complete this application form and send it to by 01 February 2022. 

You will be asked to provide the following:

  • Research proposal: a general description of the proposed research to be carried out. This should include context, objectives, methodology, key milestones, and expected results of the proposed work. A brief description of any complementary work being carried out by the lead applicant or team proposing the project.

  • Relevance to IPLU aims: a brief discussion of how the proposed research aligns with IPLU aims and facilitates cross-disciplinary research among IPLU-affiliated research groups.

  • Requested resources: a detailed explanation of resources requested. X5 costing is not required, but requested resources should include appropriate and realistic estimation of costs supporting, for example, research staff and/or students, equipment, analytical facilities, research-related travel, etc.

  • Justification of resources: a brief justification for resources requested to support the proposed work, and information about any other support that might be available to contribute to the proposed research.



Opening Date

Closing Date


Expected Project Start Date


30 November 2021

01 February 2022

March 2022

April 2022