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Innovation Scholars Secondments: Biomedical Sciences

This call will support secondments. We will fund any activity that:

  • enhances the skills of, or provides career development for the secondee
  • benefits the organisations involved.

Proposals can come from any discipline but a business within the biomedical sciences must be either the applicant or partner.

Opening date  15/10/2020      00:00

Closing date    21/01/2021      16:00

Panel review   01/03/2021      TBA

Opportunity summary

UKRI invites applications for individuals wishing to spend up to 36 months (full or part time) on secondment.

Both the individuals and the proposals can come from any discipline. But either the seconding or receiving organisation must be a business within the biomedical sciences sector.

We aim to:

  • create porosity between sectors by enabling career mobility
  • boost the skills, knowledge and career development of people
  • intensify knowledge exchange between the biomedical industry and academia
  • add value to the Biomedical Sciences sector and the UK economy by increasing productivity.

Who can apply

The secondment

The secondment can be up to 36 months in duration and can be full-time or part-time. The secondment time can be used flexibly over the 36 months. There is no specific minimum, but we expect the secondment’s duration to be sensible and realistic.

It is expected that the secondment will start by Wednesday 30 June 2021.

At least one of the organisations involved must be a business undertaking biomedical sciences research and innovation, such as pharmaceutical, biotech, devices, biomedical engineering and/or diagnostics.

The secondee must work on an activity that works towards solving challenges within the secondment (host) environment.

Part of the secondment must be based in a facility or laboratory in the UK.

Seconding (submitting/lead) organisation

Proposal must be submitted by the seconding organisation (the normal employer of the secondee).  The seconding organisation will be the only organisation eligible to receive funds from the award.

Due to the nature of these activities it is expected that the seconding and receiving organisations will both collaborate closely on the preparation of the proposal. At least one individual from each organisation involved must be named on the Je-S form, with the receiving organisation and contact listed as a project partner.

Businesses needing support in registering on the Je-S system can contact the Innovation Scholars team. Assistance is also available from the Je-S helpdesk:

Email: JeSHelp@je-s.ukri.org

Phone: +44 (0) 1793 44 4164

Secondment costs

The seconding (submitting) organisation can apply for up to £300,000 grant per secondment. There is no minimum request for funding.

During the secondment the secondee will continue to be employed by the seconding organisation.

UKRI will only fund the secondee’s:

  • direct salary costs
  • National Insurance
  • superannuation (not including bonuses or awards)
  • travel and subsistence costs related to the funded activity (secondment), including accommodation.

The seconding organisation and the organisation receiving the secondee are responsible for all other costs. You must include details of both organisations’ contributions in your application, including any direct financial support and in-kind support to the project. For further information see finances part of the the how to apply section and our guidance document (PDF, 756KB).

Secondee

Secondees must be:

  • resident in the UK
  • in employment within their organisation (seconding organisation) for the duration of the proposed project
  • named under the seconding organisation in the application as the PI or as staff.

Where the secondee is the holder of a visa to work that visa must allow the secondee to undertake the activity proposed. It is the responsibility of the secondee to check with their employer that they are eligible to undertake the activity in line with their visa category and conditions.

This call will not fund international working. The host organisation must have a suitable secondment environment in the UK, although UKRI may fund some international travel if it is justified.

The secondee can be at any career stage. Within academic institutions UKRI will consider postdoctoral researchers, if they have permission of their supervisor or department to apply. A doctoral qualification is not a requirement, but secondees must have relevant experience within their field. We encourage applications from clinically qualified individuals.

Seconding (submitting/lead) organisation

This is the organisation sending the secondee.

The seconding organisation must:

  • lead the application and claim grant
  • be ‘research and innovation active’
  • hold a UK bank account.

Before activity starts, the host and seconding organisation must provide a collaboration agreement.

Receiving organisation

This is the organisation receiving the secondee for the duration if the secondment. The host cannot claim any funds and must apply as a project partner.

Your application must propose a placement within a single receiving organisation.

Your proposal must show benefit for the receiving organisation and secondee.

Organisations that agree to support multiple projects must have the resources to support them all if funded.

UKRI application checks

If your application is not in scope or does not fit our eligibility criteria it will be immediately rejected and will not be sent for assessment. No feedback will be provided at this stage.

The Innovation Scholars secondments call has been created to fund activity that would not be possible through other UKRI mechanisms. If UKRI determines that a project would be better supported through another scheme the application may be rejected.

Test for public funding

There must be clearly articulated benefits on both sides of the secondment (the secondee and the organisation they are seconded into as a minimum). If the project could be achieved by paying for a service or by consultancy or a contract it may fail the test for public funding.

Previous applications

Resubmissions

You cannot use a resubmission to apply for this competition.

Funding

This competition provides state aid funding under article 25, of the General Block Exemption Regulation (GBER). It is your responsibility to make sure your organisation is eligible to receive state aid.

Research organisations, Universities and Academic Institutions undertaking non-economic activity as part of this activity can claim up to 100% of the total eligible project costs.

Organisations that are primarily engaged in commercial or economic activity (known as selective advantage) as part of the project must ensure their request for funding does not exceed the limits defined below. This includes organisations that typically act non-economically but for the purpose of this project will be undertaking commercial or economic activity.

For fundamental research projects, you could get funding for your eligible project costs of:

  • up to 100% if you are a micro or small business
  • up to 100% if you are a medium-sized business
  • up to 100% if you are a large business

For feasibility studies and industrial research projects, you could get funding for your eligible project costs of:

  • up to 70% if you are a micro or small business
  • up to 60% if you are a medium-sized business
  • up to 50% if you are a large business

For experimental development projects which are nearer to market, you could get funding for your eligible project costs of:

  • up to 45% if you are a micro or small business
  • up to 35% if you are a medium-sized business
  • up to 25% if you are a large business

What we're looking for

Your proposal

Your project must:

  • boost the skills, knowledge and career development of people
  • have a long-lasting effect on your organisations that can be linked to the movement of people

The secondee must spend their time in the receiving organisation on a project or activities that works towards solving challenges or problems within the receiving organisation. This people-focused call will achieve its objectives by supporting secondments to fund any activity that:

  • enhances the skills of, or provides career development for, the secondee
  • benefits the organisations involved

The use of animals

If you propose to use animals as part of your project you must follow the use of animals guidance.

Specific themes

Your project can address one or more of the following:

  • intensify knowledge exchange between the biomedical industry and academia
  • add value to the Biomedical Sciences sector and the UK economy by increasing productivity

How to apply

UKRI is unable to award grant funding to organisations meeting the condition known as undertakings in difficulty.

Due to the nature of these activities it is expected that the seconding and receiving organisations will collaborate closely on the preparation of the proposal.

What we will ask you

The application is split into 5 sections:

  1. Je-S Form
  2. Case for Support
  3. CV for the Secondee
  4. Project Partner (Receiving Organisation)
  5. Finances

1. Je-S Form

Applicants

Only the secondee’s salary can be claimed.

  • If the lead applicant (PI) is the secondee then they should be the only person listed on the proposal under staff.
  • If the lead applicant (PI) is not the secondee then the secondee should be listed as research staff.

Further information on how to do this is available in our guidance document. (PDF, 756KB)

Summary

Describe your proposed activity in simple terms in a way that could be publicised to a general audience. If awarded, this will be made publicly available and applicants are responsible for ensuring that the content is suitable for publication.

Technical Summary

Describe the research in a manner suitable for a specialist reader. If awarded, this content will be made publicly available and applicants are responsible for ensuring that the content is suitable for publication.

Financial Resources

The only costs that should be claimed for are the salary of the secondee and the costs for travel and subsistence that they will incur by undertaking the secondment. These costs are received by the submitting organisation that must be the normal employer of the secondee.

  • If the submitting organisation is registered on Je-S (IROs and Universities) they should put their costs into the Je-S form.
  • If the submitting organisation is not registered on Je-S (businesses and other non-IROs) they should fill in the finance spreadsheet provided, instead of the finance section of the Je-S form, and upload this with their application as a ‘letter of support’ attachment type; further information regarding this is in our guidance document (PDF, 756KB).

Project Partner (Receiving Organisation)

The receiving organisation (place where the secondee will be seconded to) should be listed as a project partner, they should be the only project partner listed.  The organisation and contact name of the partner must be provided.

A letter of support will be required, see section 4.

Other Questions

The questions relating to ethics and the use of tissue and animals at the end of the Je-S form must be answered.

2. Case for Support

You have four pages to address the following criteria.  Your case for support document must be prepared in a sans serif font with a size equal or greater than 11pt.  The margins should be no less than 2cm all around the page.

1. Challenge

Vision and challenge(s) of proposed work and how it will contribute to the call objectives.

  • the vision/objectives of the proposed work
  • the challenge(s) that the project will meet and that the people engaged in it will solve. This should be explained in the context of the organisations involved and/or the broader sector or community
  • clearly state how you will meet some or all the objectives of the Innovation Scholars secondment call

2. Secondee

Suitability of secondee including added value.

  • evidence of the capability of the secondee to effectively undertake and deliver against the vision and aims of the activity and realise the desired outcomes and impacts
  • evidence of the value that will be added to the secondee and how their participation will aid them in their career

3. Environment

The suitability of the environment of the receiving organisation.

  • evidence of the suitability of the receiving organisation (secondment) environment for the undertaking of the proposed activity
  • evidence of appropriate support for the secondee in the host (secondment) environment with respect to the fulfilment of the vision and outcome of the activity

4. Impact

The benefits the project will have to participants and the broader impact.

  • proposals must demonstrate impact in terms of benefit to the secondee and organisations involved in the secondment. As a minimum there must be a benefit to both the secondee and host organisation
  • proposals should articulate wider benefits that might be realised, these should be specific, realistic and discussed in the context of organisational strategy

5. Activity

Resources, plan, costs, risks and mitigation.

  • the appropriateness of the resources requested. In-kind or direct support from participating organisations will be taken into consideration if it is clearly listed and confirmed
  • the suitability of the plan for achieving the vision and objectives of the activity. Including management, monitoring and an appreciation of any risks and how they will be managed

3. CV for Secondee

A CV must be submitted for the secondee only. This call is using a narrative CV format. The CV template (Word, 54KB) provided includes guidance and examples. A CV which simply lists past positions, publications and funding will not adequately support an application.

4. Project Partner (Receiving Organisation)

The organisation receiving the secondee is ineligible to receive funding and must be listed as a project partner. A letter of support should be uploaded and should confirm the receiving organisation’s in-kind and direct contributions to the proposed activity. These contributions, whether in cash or kind, should entered on Je-S form. 

5. Finances

Research organisations will be awarded 100% of costs where State aid legislation does not apply.  More detailed information on how to enter costs into Je-S can be found in our guidance document. (PDF, 756KB)

Organisations registered on Je-S (IROs and Universities) should put their costs into the Je-S form as follows:

  • Salary Costs.  Replacement salary costs to cover the time the secondee spends in the host organisation (salary, NI, tax and any pension costs).  These will be paid at 100% and should be entered as exception under the staff category.
  • Travel and Subsistence.  Travel and subsistence costs relating directly to the secondees travel to the host location will be claimable at 100%.  These should also be entered as an exception under the travel and subsistence category.

All other organisations (businesses and other non-IROs) should fill in the finance spreadsheet provided and upload it to Je-S as a pdf file, see the call guidance document (PDF, 756KB). for further information.  Note that these organisations should not put their finances on the Je-S form as they may be calculated at the incorrect rate as a result of state aid.

Costs that cannot be claimed

All other costs associated with the project cannot be claimed and must be cash or in-kind contributions from the seconding and receiving organisations. These include,

  • the costs incurred by the receiving organisation in hosting the secondee
  • any project/activity costs including equipment, consumables
  • any other unclaimable costs to the seconding organisation including indirect and overhead costs.

Recording of in-kind and cash contributions

Contributions to your project should be recorded as accurately as possible in the following ways:

  • the receiving organisation (project partner) should record their contributions in the project partner section of the Je-S form, this will need to be done by the seconding partner on your behalf.  It is therefore important that they are clearly detailed in your letter of support.

The seconding (submitting) organisation should detail any cash or in-kind contributions it makes under the activity section of the case for support document.

How we will assess your application

Assessment

Proposals will be assessed at a panel meeting according to the assessment criteria. The panel will comprise both independent academic and industry experts.

The panel will make funding recommendations to UKRI via a ranked list of the proposals, which UKRI will use to fund the projects that best meet the aims of the call within the available budget.

No feedback will be available.

Contact

Contact Innovation Scholars Team on: InnovationScholars@ukri.org

Supporting documents

Guidance documentation (PDF, 756KB)

Finance spreadsheet (Excel, 36KB)

CV template (Word, 54KB)