Network grants - EPSRC

Contents

Introduction

The main objective of Networks is to create new interdisciplinary research communities and topics, by developing interaction between the research community and appropriate science, technology and industrial groups. The aims are to:

  • transfer experimental techniques, models and scientific insights
  • promote mobility between academe, universities and industry.

Networks are expected to lead to new collaborative multidisciplinary research proposals and some may develop into virtual centres of excellence, providing critical mass of analytical expertise.

Network proposals may be submitted at any time in standard research. However, EPSRC may also occasionally issue specific funding opportunities which have different objectives from those listed above. EPSRC has established various initiatives to set up Networks in specific areas.

Funding

Under full economic costing there is no limit on the amount of funding that can be applied for, although the network should last for no longer than three years.

Funding is intended to cover the operating and support costs of the network and full justification for the sum requested should be included in the proposal. Funding will not be renewed beyond the original length of the grant. Requests for funding may include the following:

  • project lead and co-lead salaries
  • travel and subsistence
  • workshops
  • administrative support

Project lead and co-lead salaries

Under full economic costing, project leads can request funds to cover their salary costs for the time spent on setting up and managing the Network. Requests can also be made, if appropriate, for one project co-lead to assist in the management of the Network.

Time spent by the project lead and co-lead on the coordination of the network should be reasonable and is not expected to form the majority of the cost of the proposal. The salary costs of Network participants should not be included in the proposal and we would not expect these individuals to be co-leads.

Travel and subsistence

Travel and subsistence typically forms the majority of the request for funding, enabling members to meet to exchange ideas and expertise and to visit each other’s laboratories. This may include visits by or to experts overseas. Where possible industrial collaborators should meet their own travel costs.

Workshops

Funds may be requested to hold workshops. Costs requested should meet the funding for workshops guidance.

Administrative support

Funding for administrative support can be requested to help in the coordination of the Network. Costs should be reasonable and normally only form a small part of the request for funding.

Funding may also be requested for the running costs of communication and also for additional equipment, such as computers and web servers. Reasonable costs for monitoring and dissemination of the Network output can also be included.

Additional funding, for example, contributions from industrial members is encouraged, and details should be included in the proposal.

Funds cannot be requested to support research-related activities. These should be sought through the normal mechanisms.

Eligibility

The proposal should be submitted by a researcher (the project lead) who meets the current EPSRC eligibility criteria. The project lead will be responsible to EPSRC for the management of the grant.

Each network should:

  • be a new collaboration
  • normally have as its key objectives in the formation of a new interdisciplinary research community and identification of new interdisciplinary research topics
  • involve a group of people with a range of expertise and experience
  • be based in the UK, but may include collaboration with those overseas
  • demonstrate the added value that EPSRC funding will bring

Applicants are encouraged to be innovative in the choice of mechanisms for operation of the proposed Network.

Should an existing network project lead submit a proposal for a new network, it is important that they illustrate that the new proposal is demonstrably different from their  previous network. An incremental change from the aims, objectives or remit will not normally be funded by EPSRC.

Find out more information and how to apply for EPSRC network grant funding opportunities.

Running a network

Guide to best practice for network grants.

Last updated: 27 July 2023

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