Applicants should ensure that their proposal follows all the presentation and Joint Electronic Submissions (Je-S) system submission requirements detailed in the NERC research grant and fellowships handbook.
Any proposal which does not follow these rules will be rejected. NERC will not return any proposals for amendment.
The requirement for grant proposals to be completed in font size 11 is designed to ensure that all documents are accessible and easy to read.
We enforce this policy to ensure all applicants have the same amount of space in which to make their case.
If applicants cannot use Arial font and are unsure whether the font type they plan to use will meet NERC guidelines, then they should contact the NERC grants team at firstname.lastname@example.org before submitting their proposal.
It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that font size and margins remain the same when documents are converted to a PDF.
Reasons for rejection
CVs are no longer required or permitted on many NERC funding opportunities and are being replaced by a Resume for Researcher based narrative document. Where requested on the funding opportunity:
Font size below the minimum permitted; all text including references should be in Arial 11 or other sans serif typeface of equivalent size. Please note that Arial narrow and Calibri are not allowable font types as they are smaller and any proposal which has used either of these font types within their submission will be rejected.
Document length exceeds the two pages permitted.
Only CVs for the principal investigator, any co-investigators and named researchers will be sent out for peer review. Other submitted CVs, for example from project partners, should not be attached and will not be made available to reviewers or panel members
Case for support
Document length exceeds the number of pages permitted (for example, two pages for description of applicants’ skills and capability to deliver and five pages for description of proposed research for pushing the frontiers grants).
Font size below the minimum permitted: all text including references and footnotes should be in Arial 11 or other sans serif typeface of equivalent size. Please note that Arial Narrow and Calibri are not allowable font types and any proposal which has used either of these font types within their submission will be rejected. 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.
Check the funding opportunity documentation on the funding finder for which attachments are permitted on the funding opportunity. NERC are reducing the number of allowable attachments to reduce bureaucracy in the grant application process.
Page limits and font size for all other attachments with specified page limits should be adhered to (for example, outline data management plan: one side, justification of resources) or the proposal will be rejected.
With the exception of letters of support and services, facilities or equipment quotes, all attachments should be in Arial 11 or other sans serif typeface of equivalent size.
Please note that Arial Narrow and Calibri are not allowable font types and any proposal which has used either of these font types within their submission will be rejected.
For CVs, case for support and other attachments, please be aware that changing documents to PDF for Je-S can result in format changes. Please convert to PDF before attaching to the Je-S form and check the format remains within guidelines before submitting. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that font size and margins remain the same when documents are converted to a PDF.
Investigators and staff
A principal investigator or co-investigator named on more than the maximum permitted number of proposals. The decision on which proposals to reject will be made by NERC.
Note: involvement of a UK investigator in a proposal submission to NSF under the NERC or NSF lead agency agreement, counts as a submission as co-investigator to the next NERC pushing the frontiers grant round.
A principal investigator or co-investigator who is ineligible or who is based at an ineligible organisation.
Researchers (including researcher co-investigators) not employed at the same organisation as a principal investigator or co-investigator.
Proposal exceeds the maximum for the round when all components are added together (£1,000,000 at 100% FEC for pushing the frontiers grant rounds, except where permission to exceed the maximum has been received from NERC).
The maximum for the round is not validated by Je-S, so applicants should check costings across all components before submission.
Applying as part of a proposal with international partners recognised by NERC (for example, FAPESP (Brazil) or NSF (USA)) without either submitting the required additional documents, or without contacting the lead agency in advance, where required.
Submitting to the wrong funding opportunity is not validated by Je-S, so applicants should check that all submitted components have selected the correct funding opportunity in Je-S.
Requesting facility use where permission to use the facility has expired (not applicable to all facilities and permission length varies between facilities).
An organisation submitting more proposals than permitted under demand management guidelines. Proposals submitted over and above the permitted number will be rejected based on a last submitted, first rejected approach.
Proposal falls out of NERC’s remit.
The proposal is a resubmission of a similar proposal less than nine months from the original submission date.