The SFI Industry RD&I Fellowship Programme 2021 seeks to support academia-industry interactions in order to address industry‐informed challenges. Awards under this programme can be made to academic researchers (at faculty and postdoctoral level) wishing to spend time in industry worldwide through the temporary placement of academic researchers with an industry partner.  


Fellowships can have a duration of between 1 and 12 months if full-time, and between 2 and 24 months if part-time. Grants awarded under this new programme will be subject to the General Block Exemption Regulation (GBER) under EU State aid guidelines. As such, the SFI funding rate will vary from 25% to a maximum of 80% of total project costs depending on the size of the industry partner company and the category of research being undertaken, with the industry partner contributing the remainder of the project costs. The maximum SFI contribution to the Fellowship costs is €100,000 direct costs. Please refer to the 2021 SFI Industry RD&I Fellowship Programme Call document for further details.  

Finding a partner

A LinkedIn group called SFI Industry RD&I Fellowship Programme has been set up by SFI to facilitate networking between academic and industry researchers. Companies are encouraged to make their interest known to the academic community, and/or to advertise specific research opportunities, by posting on this 900+ members group’s page. Academic researchers are encouraged to engage with relevant companies. Several companies have already published an advertisement and got a response – join the group today!  

The SFI Researcher Database and the KTI Expert Database list potential academic research partners. Postdoctoral researchers do not appear in these databases – companies can identify the appropriate team leader from the database and contact them to discuss whether there are eligible researchers in their group (faculty and/or postdoctoral researchers). The Research Offices of the Irish academic and research institutions may also assist companies in identifying prospective academic partners.  

Note: Prior to commencing your search for a partner, please refer to the 2021 SFI Industry RD&I Fellowship Programme Call document in order to understand the eligibility criteria associated with this programme. Academic and industry partners should jointly prepare an application. The academic researcher will submit the application to SFI via SESAME, SFI’s grants and awards management system.  Additionally, industry partners will be required to provide SFI with the latest set of financial records and financial declarations.  

For general queries, including eligibility queries, applicants are advised to contact the Research Office of the Research Body to whom they intend to submit their application. For additional information or clarification, contact  

Gender Strategy

SFI is committed to increasing the number of SFI grants held by female researchers, as described in the SFI Gender Strategy. Towards achieving this goal, the SFI Industry RD&I Fellowship Programme will provide additional supports for excellent female researchers to secure funding. When ranking applications, in the event of applications receiving the same final score when evaluated for their quality, SFI will give priority in the review process to applications from female candidates. Female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply to this funding call.  

Key dates

The deadline for application for the 2021 SFI Industry RD&I Fellowship Programme is 13:00 (Dublin local time) on 21 July 2021.  


View and download the webinar here.

View and download the webinar slides here (PDF).


How to apply

All proposals are to be submitted via SESAME, SFI’s online grants and awards management system. If accessing SESAME for the first time, researchers should contact their local Research Office to get access to the system.  

For more information, view the SESAME User Guides or read the SESAME Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).  

Please note that SFI expects a high volume of applications to be submitted to this programme and has limited SESAME helpdesk resources. To avoid any delays in submission, researchers should familiarise themselves with the SESAME system and online help resources provided well in advance of the SFI and institutional internal call deadlines.  

Queries relating to SESAME which are not answered in the SESAME FAQ document referred to above should first be directed to your Research Body’s Research Office. If still unresolved, queries should be e-mailed to Please be aware that the response time for queries may be up to 5 working days.