Tagged / funding guide

NERC update to submission rules

Following feedback from the community NERC have strengthened the guidance on their submission rules. Please refer to the NERC website for more details.  In addition the research grants and fellowships handbook has also been updated.nerc-logo-50th

Please note that these rules will apply for all future closing dates including the forthcoming Highlight Topic, Independent Research Fellowship and Large Grant closing dates. This includes international calls where applicants might be based at an overseas organisation, so Principal Investigators should ensure that all component proposals are aware and meeting the requirements.

The main changes are:

Applicants to a standard, large or knowledge exchange grant call may submit up to one proposal as the Principal or as a Co-Investigator, and one further proposal as a non-lead Principal Investigator or Co-Investigator. Involvement of a UK investigator in a submission to NSF (under the NSF-NERC Lead Agency agreement) counts as a submission as non-lead PI/Co-I to the July NERC standard grant round.  However, the submission rules are also in line with the demand management cap on institutional submission numbers to the standard grant rounds and so you must contact the RKEO Funding Development Team if you are considering applying to this NERC call.

Large grant proposals will only be accepted if an outline proposal has previously been submitted and invited to proceed to the full proposal stage.

There is further information on the NERC website confirming submission deadlines, proposal attachments, font sizes and margins.

New user friendly ESRC Research Funding Guide

A new version of the ESRC Research Funding Guide is now available to download on their web site.

It has been thoroughly reviewed and substantial changes made to the layout and content.  The contents page now includes hyperlinks so that you do not need to scroll through the document to find what you need; relevant links to current Funding Opportunities and assessment information are included; as are guidance in chronological order from beginning to end of the grants process; annexes have been removed and where appropriate the information is now included within the document; and a revision to the OJEU threshold has also been included.

The new streamlined version is much more user friendly and easier to keep up to date. This document will now only be updated on a bi-annual basis – in April and October – where changes are required (unless exceptional circumstances require immediate revision). Where possible amendments will be implemented at the point at which the guide is updated. Any changes which occur during the interim period will be captured as amendments on the web page so that they are easy to find and will be communicated as appropriate (this may be via RCUK or the normal ESRC channels).

‘I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by’

That wasn’t me, it was Douglas Adams.  Unlike Mr Adams, I’m not a big fan of the whooshing sound.   I prefer my deadlines neatly pinned down. 

The Research Councils, British Academy and the Leverhulme Trust issue calls for proposals which have deadlines at around the same time each year. 

In the interest of deadline-pinning, I have  pulled these annual deadlines together into a 2012 Deadline Guide.  Hopefully, knowing about these deadlines will help you to plan your submissions, and maximise the support available to you.   


What the guide includes:

  • links to specific calls
  • brief descriptions
  • expected deadlines

Why is this guide useful?

  • being aware of deadlines can help you plan
  • good planning gives you time to consider your idea and adapt it to the specific call
  • and gives you time for peer review and general bid writing support

What the guide does not include:

  • information about specific calls that appear on an ad hoc basis

How can you find out about these, and other deadlines ? 

  • Use your Research Professional account to set up personalised funding opportunity searches across all funders, big and small.   RP will also alert you about other calls from the Research Councils etc.  


If you have identified a future deadline and would like some support with your proposal please let me know.  Don’t forget – the earlier I am contacted,  the more effectively I can support you by:

  • helping you through our internal peer review service
  • organising grant writing training
  • giving you examples and guidelines to follow
  • offering general bid-writing advice and answering queries


To find out more about RPRS, the 2012 Deadline Guide , or Research Professional please contact Caroline O’Kane.

New simple EC FP7 guide coming to you!

It is with great pleasure I can announce that the printed copies of ‘The Simple Guide to European Commission FP7 Funding’ I have been working on over the last few months have arrived. This guide covers everything you need to know – from funding topics, to searching for partners, to completing the proposal form – all in a jargon free, simple format.

I have popped a copy for every research active academic at BU in the internal post. If you haven’t received one by Friday and would like me to send you one, please drop me an email. Happy reading!