Catalyst Grant  Catalyst Heading 1

Make your ideas come to life

Jumpstarting innovation in research, starting with a grant up to £15k...


Tell us about your idea

Are you an innovator in scientific software looking for financial support? We’re here to help you get your idea off the ground with funding up to £15,000.


Making it to the next round

Submit your application to us, and we will evaluate your proposal. If you’re successful you’ll get to present your ideas to the Digital Science team.


What we're looking for

We like ideas that make scientific research and research management more efficient. We prefer products and systems that are open rather than proprietary.

Digital Science is looking for the best and brightest innovators in scientific software to help them get their ideas off the ground. We will be awarding a series of grants of up to a maximum of £15,000 each to outstanding individuals who want to bring an idea from concept to prototype. Along with funding, we also offer the opportunity to work with the Digital Science team to refine, develop and promote your innovation.

Tell us about your idea.

To apply, send us a proposal of no more than 1,500 words and no more than three pages (including diagrams). Be sure to include relevant background information, a description of the product or innovation, an explanation of how it would benefit scientific research, a timetable for its development, and a breakdown of your budget and how you would spend the funds should your application succeed. We will rigorously evaluate projects and applications and carefully assess when the evaluations should most appropriately take place. Also, if you'd like us to keep your idea confidential, please specify at the outset.

Please email your submission to We will consider applications all year round, up to and including 31 December 2014. We aim to get back to you with an initial response within three weeks.

Making it to the next round.

Applicants who pass this stage will be invited to present their idea to the Digital Science team. The presentation can be done remotely (phone or video conference) or in person at one of our offices in London, New York or Tokyo. Following this, we as a team will make our final decision.

It’s as simple as that.

What we’re looking for.

Digital Science is a technology company that provides state-of-the-art software and information services with the goal of making scientific research and research management more efficient. We like ideas that build on existing technologies and standards, rather than trying to replace or reinvent existing ones. For this particular scheme we prefer products and systems that are open rather than proprietary. And while we will judge ideas based on their anticipated usefulness in science, we are not averse to those that could have broader positive impact.

Priority will be given to applicants who we perceive to have limited access to other sources of funding, and who make the strongest case on how to make effective use of any grant we may provide. Funds can be used for any purpose that directly serves the aims of the project, including equipment purchases, software licensing, travel and reasonable living expenses. If you have any questions about this, please contact us.

Anticipated run time for funded projects is six months, and recipients are required to present the final results of their work to members of the Digital Science team. If you intend to commercialise your product or service then we ask that you speak with us about this first. We do not claim any intellectual-property rights in your application or prevent you from working with other collaborators or investors.

Michael Schmidt, Data Scientist President, Nutonian Inc.

"The support we got from Catalyst Grant was instrumental - we wouldn't have been able to do the project without it." Michael Schmidt, Grantee

Reuben Robbins, Clinical Psychologist Columbia University

"Catalyst Grant is intellectual and emotional support with fast and flexible funding." Reuben Robbins, Grantee

Grant Conditions

  • Digital Science does not act as an employer with respect to the grant.
  • You must ensure that all the necessary legal and regulatory requirements in order to research and develop your idea are met, and all the necessary licences and approvals have been obtained.
  • The grant may be any amount up to a maximum of £15,000. We reserve the sole discretion to determine which applications best address our aims and are, therefore, most worthy of funding and in what amount.
  • Payments will not be made on the grant until the successful applicant has formally accepted the grant, the grant deed and the conditions under which the grant is awarded.
  • You must ensure that the grant is used for the purposes for which it is awarded.
  • By applying for the grant all applicants consent to the use of their personal data by Digital Science for the purposes of the administration of this grant and the application process and any other purposes to which the applicant has consented.
  • Digital Science will treat anything marked "confidential" as such.
  • Digital Science's decision is final and we reserve the right not to correspond on any matter.
  • Digital Science reserves the right to cancel or amend these Grant Conditions Terms as required by the circumstances.
  • These conditions shall be governed by and construed in accordance with English law. Disputes arising in connection with this Agreement shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the English courts.

Got an idea brewing?

Submit your application