Changes to the NERC Grants Handbook 2018

Changes have been made to the NERC Research Grants & Fellowships Handbook in February 2018.

The important changes include:

  1. Minimum amount per Research Organisation party – for Large Grants, there was a previous minimum of £65k per proposal or per party. This has been removed so each party can request less than £65k.
  2. Cost items that can be excluded from Full Economic Cost – the Handbook previously refers to such “exception items”, but now specifies these items, which are: “GEF Ocean Bottom Instruments, FAAM/ARSF/BAS Twin Otter aircraft, EISCAT Radar facility or other ship-time or marine facility related costs”.
  3. Innovation Schemes – previous related schemes have had their call titles changed and brought under the umbrella of Innovation Schemes – the Handbook contains updated details and requirements for applications to these Schemes.
  4. Eligibility of Fellowship Holders – new version continues to provide that Fellowship holders can largely apply to NERC grants; and such Fellowships could be held at “charities, public sector organisations and eligible UK HEIs”.
  5. Eligibility of New Investigators – previous version provided that New Investigators must be within 3 years of first becoming eligible for NERC funding as a Principal Investigator. The present version has now increased this to 5 years.
  6. Eligibility Criteria for Researcher Co-Investigators: A Researcher Co-I is defined as a Post-doc Research Assistant who is not eligible to be a PI or Co-I but who has substantially contributed to the proposal. There are 3 criteria to be a Researcher Co-I and one of the criteria has been expanded to include “The expectation is that the researcher would be employed at least 50% FTE on the grant but there may be circumstances where this may be less (for example, they might be full time for the first 2 years of a 5 year grant…)”.
  7. Associated Studentship: These continue to be applicable after the 2014/2015 year.
  8. Non-UK HEI’s Involvement – the additional line here is “Except where providing a service only, or where a call allows overseas research organisation, non-UK HEIs are expected to fund their participation in projects, so will be project partners, not subcontractors or PI/Co-Is.”
  9. Antarctic Logistic Support – If the Large grant outline requires Shiptime and/or Marine Equipment, indicative costs will be requested. To obtain these costs, a SME (Shiptime/Marine Equipment) must be submitted and approved by Marine Planning at least 2 months prior to the outline call closing date.
  10. NERC Ship Time & Marine Equipment – previous version had separate processes for the then-called “sea time” and “marine equipment”, new process is now in place for proposals including both these components, called SME.
  11. High Performance Computing – Previous version refers to HECToR, JWCRP/MONSooN. New version removes these references and replaces them with ARCHER, RDF, JASMIN.

For a clean copy of the NERC Grants Handbook 2018, please click here.

For a summary document outlining the above changes and an annotated NERC Grants Handbook, please contact Alice Brown, details can be found on the Funding Development Team page.