How to submit your proposal - NERC

Contents

Overview

COVID-19 restriction

To help us with data analysis, do not include the words ‘COV-19’, ‘COVID-19’ or ‘Coronavirus’ in the lay summary, technical summary or title sections unless your application relates to proposed research in this area.

For complete information on the application procedure read the NERC research grants and fellowships handbook.

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.

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

Any proposal that is incomplete or does not meet the eligibility criteria of NERC, will be rejected and will not be considered.

Submit using the Joint Electronic Submission (Je-S) system

Unless we specify otherwise, all grant applications must be submitted using the research councils’ Joint electronic-Submission (Je-S) system.

To use this system, the applicant’s research organisation must be Je-S registered.

Submission deadlines

Applicants must ensure that their proposal is received by NERC by 16:00 on the relevant closing date. The Je-S system will close at 16:00 and proposals will not submit to NERC after that time.

They should leave enough time for their proposal to pass through their organisation’s Je-S submission route before 16:00 on the relevant closing date.

Joint submissions

For some of our schemes we allow the award to be joint between several research organisations. Each component may be submitted separately with a named Principal Investigator but the project title, objectives, summary, academic beneficiaries and impact summary should be common to all component proposal forms.

Attachment types and formats

All attachments submitted through the Je-S system must be completed in single-spaced typescript in Arial 11 or other sans serif typeface of equivalent size, with margins of at least 2cm.

All text including references and footnotes should be in Arial 11 or other sans serif typeface of equivalent size.

Arial narrow and Calibri are not allowable font types.

Text in embedded diagrams or pictures or numerical formulae can be smaller, as long as it is legible.

Text in tables and figure labels not within embedded diagrams or pictures should be at least 11 point.

The correct attachment type should be used in Je-S as that determines whether attachments are visible to reviewers and/or moderating panel members.

Attachments must not exceed the page limits specified for the attachment type and scheme, regardless of the number of component research organisations.

Letters of support must be on headed paper and signed/dated.

Common causes of proposal rejection

To help you avoid proposal presentation and Je-S submission mistakes see the common causes of proposal rejection.

Requests for capital equipment

The Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) threshold limit has now been removed and replaced with the RCUK equipment Threshold of £138,000 (£115,000 ex VAT). Find out more about changes to requests for equipment (PDF).

ORCID identifier

Researchers can now create or connect their ORCID identifier (ORCID iD) in Je-S by logging in to their personal information page. This is an important first step towards improving the flow of research information across the higher education sector.

ORCID offers a platform for researchers to capture their scholarly activities throughout their careers even if they change name, publish under different variations of their name, move institutions, or switch fields.

This helps them get exposure and recognition for their work. Increasingly it will be a tool to link and re-use research information unambiguously across multiple systems whether that’s for funders, publishers or their university.

Last updated: 26 August 2021

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