What we’re looking for

We like original, early stage software ideas that help benefit scientific research.

What we offer

We offer grants of up to £25,000 and bags of friendly advice.

Tell us about your idea

Submit your application and you’ll be on your way to bringing your idea to life.


Our grant explained in 60 seconds


Your application

Catalyst Grant ideaTo apply, send us a proposal (max of 1,500 words with diagrams) including the following:

  • Abstract – a description of the product or innovation
  • Team – info on the whole team and if you have any domain expertise
  • Problem & Solution – the problem and how you are solving it
  • Budget – a breakdown of how you would spend the funds
  • Product – how mature the product is and if you have any users
  • Pricing – your proposed pricing model, if applicable
  • Vision – your long-term vision
  • Competitors – who are your competitors and how are you different
  • Market – your core market and potential areas to expand into
  • Progress to date – your current stage and your expected future growth rate



The selection process

We rigorously evaluate applications and aim to get back to you with an initial response within three weeks.

Catalyst Grant selection processApplicants who pass this stage will be invited to present their idea to the Digital Science team. This can be done remotely (phone or video conference) or in person at our office in London or Boston. Following this, we will make our final decision.

Priority will be given to applicants whose ideas are truly innovative and who make the strongest case on how to make effective use of the grant. It’s that simple.


Hear our team explain why you should apply


Past winners have included…

 Catalyst Grant Winners

Paper Digest Tokyo, Japan
Paper Digest is a tool which uses artificial intelligence to generate an easy-to-read summary of academic papers. Germany
A one-stop pan publisher place for scientists and research evaluators to find information about conferences and to reliably reference conferences via a globally unique persistent ID.

Cadmore Media UK / US
A platform which enables scientific organisations to publish scholarly, professional and technical information through streaming video and audio.

sci.AI sci.AI Minsk, Belarus
An Artificial Intelligence platform that uses natural language processing and concept extraction to allow for hypothesis validation – in effect, understanding research papers and explaining them to analytics and search algorithms.

Ricochet by Ripeta
The credit score for scientific publications that can detect and predict reproducibility in the trillion-dollar scientific research industry through software and analytics development; improving evidence-based science and fiscal efficiency of research investments.

Open Syllabus Project
Software that collates and maps the college and university curriculum, on a global scale.

A search tool that gives students and researchers instant access to millions of research resources, within seconds, all on one platform.

Figures New York, USA
A workflow solution to manage figure data including creation, tracking, editing and discussion – all on one platform.

HackScience Researchers from Imperial College London, UK
A platform enabling scientists to create, share and control open and affordable lab automation tools.

HipDynamics Researchers from King’s College London, UK
A data set interrogation tool in the field of cell and molecular biology.

Etalia San Fransisco, USA
A platform that offers recommendations for papers and people based on a unique fingerprint generated from a researcher’s reference library.

Simiary Auckland, New Zealand
A software solution that automatically parses, organises, and presents diverse scholarly products enabling search from multiple domain perspectives.

Ada Lovelace Day Resources Database London, UK
An online resources database to empower women working in STEM.

Writefull Amsterdam, The Netherlands
An online software application which provides editing and authoring guidance to enhance academic writing.

Penelope London, UK
An ‘automated manuscript scrutiniser’ that ensures the drafts that authors submit to their publishers are perfect.

TetraScience Boston, USA
A cloud-based laboratory that can accelerate scientific discovery by enhancing productivity, safety and reproducibility.

Authorea New York, USA
A dynamic content and data-driven platform for writing up scholarly papers.

Nutonian Boston, USA
Software which looks for patterns in vast data sets without human intervention.

Reuben Robbins USA
Software to speed up the processing of neurological test results.


Where are our past Catalyst Grant winners now?



Grant FAQs

How many grants are given per year?

We usually award a minimum of three grants per year, but in 2020 we’ve paused accepting applications while we look into new ways of taking our Catalyst Gant to new heights.

If I am selected, does Digital Science own my product/idea?

Nope! We just want to support your idea, so we give you the opportunity to grow and develop it yourself.

Do you help us at all after we get the grant?

Of course, we are here to support you! We have check-ins with you to see how your idea is coming along and give you advice and/or ideas to think about to improve further.

If I am selected, does this mean I am part of the Digital Science portfolio?

No. But it doesn’t mean you won’t be someday! We regularly monitor the market for new and disruptive ideas, so further investment is not off the table.

Can I apply again if I am not selected?

Yes, you are encouraged to apply again if you are not selected.

Who selects the winners?

We have an experienced team of scientists, analysts and industry thought leaders that evaluate all the submissions.

Who can apply?

Anyone with an early stage scientific software idea.

Can I see who I am competing against?

We do not share other competitor’s ideas, without their permission first. We do promote the winner and they are featured on our webpage.

Are there restrictions on how to spend the money?

Funds can be used for any purpose that serves the project, including equipment purchases, software licensing, travel and reasonable living expenses.


Grant Conditions

  • Digital Science does not act as an employer with respect to the grant.
  • The anticipated run time for funded projects is six months, and recipients are required to present their final work to our team.
  • 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 £25,000. 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.
  • All submissions will be treated as confidential.
  • 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.