ESRC are pleased to confirm that from 1 January 2020 they will be revising the eligibility criteria for this scheme to remove the four-year time bound criterion. This change is in recognition of the increasing diversity of career paths and trajectories and ESRC’s ambition to be as inclusive and supportive of these as possible.
New Investigator grants will remain a funding opportunity aimed at supporting early career researchers who have yet to make the transition to be an independent researcher, but from January the onus will be on applicants to articulate why they consider themselves to be in that career stage. This could reflect differences across disciplines or fields of research; periods of employment in non-research roles; where applicants are looking to re-skill in new research area; or, where relevant, personal circumstances such as career breaks. Peer reviewers will be directed to consider that justification when they assess applications.
This justification will need to be included in an attachment to proposals submitted from 1 January onwards. If you are in the process of developing an ESRC New Investigator Grant then please speak with your RDS Funding Development Officer. The updated call guidance will be published in December at the following website: https://esrc.ukri.org/funding/funding-opportunities/new-investigator-grants/
The eligibility for the NERC New Investigators scheme has been updated from three to five years of applicants first becoming eligible for NERC funding as a Principal Investigator. This applies from the January 2018 closing date. See: http://www.nerc.ac.uk/funding/application/eligibility/
Grants and Fellowships Handbook – A new version of the NERC grants and fellowships handbook is now available on their website at: http://www.nerc.ac.uk/funding/application/howtoapply/forms/grantshandbook/
From Tuesday, 25 July 2017 a New Investigator Award scheme will replace the EPSRC’s First Grant initiative. The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) is introducing the new scheme following a recent review of First Grants, with input from advisory teams and universities.
The New Investigator Award scheme will remove some of the current restrictions and will help improve the quality and ambition of research proposals submitted, recognising that different projects and new investigators have different needs. EPSRC will continue to draw on input from advisory teams and universities to monitor and evaluate progress of the scheme.
The New Investigator Award scheme will:
- Remove the financial value and the duration caps
- Encourage a greater degree of university support to aid career development
- Remove time based eligibility criteria, ensuring support for researchers who are new to leading research applications
- Encourage panels to recommend invited resubmission and give feedback to support this more often than they would for standard grant applications
Information for current First Grant applicants:
- EPSRC anticipates that all applicants eligible for the First Grant scheme will also be eligible for a New Investigator Award
- The First Grants system will close at 16:00 (BST) on Monday 24 July 2017
- Applications after this date should be made through the New Investigator Award scheme
- First Grant applications that have not been submitted via the Je-S system after 16:00 (BST) on Monday 24 July 2017 will no longer be available
Current First Grant applicants should liaise with RKEO to ensure a copy of the application information is captured. This can then be used in New Investigator Award applications.