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UKRI-NSFC Joint Call Understanding and Addressing Health and Social Challenges for Ageing in the UK and China

This interdisciplinary joint call is funded by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), specifically the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the Medical Research Council (MRC), in collaboration with the National Natural Sciences Foundation China (NSFC). The call invites high quality proposals between researchers in the UK and China which aim to enhance the evidence base on understanding and addressing health and social challenges facing ageing societies through interdisciplinary collaborations. The Funders will aim to recommend a balanced portfolio of projects. It is not expected that projects cover all health and social challenges.

The call is now open and the deadline for applications is 17 October 2019. Projects must be no more than 36 months in duration and successful awards will be jointly announced in March 2020. The UK funded component will need to start by 15 May at the very latest.

Please visit the ESRC website for further information and guidance.

Up to £5 million is available from UKRI for UK applicants, with a minimum of £625,000 and maximum of £1 million at 100% full economic cost (fEC) available per proposal, of which UKRI will contribute 80% fEC. The UKRI component of this call will be funded through the Fund for International Collaboration (FIC).

Up to 2.5M RMB is available per proposal from NSFC for Chinese applicants. The NSFC component of this call will receive financial support from within the framework of its Internet-based Science Information System.

Each grant requires a Principal Investigator (PI) based in the UK and a PI based in China who will jointly develop one application and equally share leadership and project management.

Scope of the call

The call aims to enhance the evidence base on understanding and addressing health and social challenges facing ageing societies through interdisciplinary collaborations. Healthy ageing is a major research challenge in the UK and China therefore the objectives of this programme are:

  • To commission joint UK-China research projects on understanding and/or addressing key health and social challenges facing ageing societies that take particular consideration of inequalities
  • To encourage and support the development of innovative collaborations between social science researchers and biomedical scientists
  • To take advantage of research strengths in the UK and China to make advances that would not be possible with researchers from the two nations working separately

And in doing so:

  • Make novel contributions to the evidence base on healthy ageing
  • Provide evidence for key stakeholders in policy and practice in the UK and China 
  • Create new and enhance existing interdisciplinary collaborations and partnerships
  • Enhance capacity through the sharing of infrastructure and data, and opportunities for early career researchers.

Application process

Intention to submit

We anticipate a high level of interest in this call therefore all applicants are expected to complete an Intention to Submit ItS form.

Please note that the ItS is NOT for any assessment purpose. The ItS is to help ESRC, MRC and NSFC plan the peer review and the panel arrangements. . 

Applicants should not await a response from the funders following the ItS submission or registration, but simply continue with the development of their full proposals.

The deadline by which to submit the ItS form, is 16.00h BST 18 September 2019

Please note that PIs should not change between the ItS submission and the full application submission, but additional participants can be added/removed at the full application submission.

Full application

The UK application should be submitted through the Research Councils’ Joint electronic Submission (Je-S) System. The NSFC application should follow the instructions in their call document.

A UK-based lead partner and a China-based lead partner should be identified– each of whom will lead on interaction with the funding agency in their respective countries.

The UK-based lead partner should ensure the application is submitted via the Je-S system. If the UK application comes from multiple institutions, then the application should be made on a single Je-S form from the UK-based lead partner’s host institution.

The China-based lead partner will apply through NSFC’s system and follow NSFC’s proposal format. The NSFC application should follow the instructions in the NSFC version of this call document and be received through the NSFC e-submissions system. The NSFC application must use the correct Management Science application subject code as the first application code in order to be eligible for this call.

The documents required by NSFC for the Chinese applicants can be found via the following link http://bic.nsfc.gov.cn/Show.aspx?CI=30.

Both applications should feature an identical Case for Support written in English attached in each system.

Key Dates

  • Call for proposals opens – 23 July 2019
  • Compulsory Intention to Submit closes – 18 September 2019
  • Deadline for submitting proposals – 17 October 2019
  • Peer review of proposals – November/December 2019
  • Commissioning panel meeting – February 2019
  • Decisions to applicants – March 2020
  • UK grants start – 15 May 2020

Key contacts

  • Josie McGregor and Evie Bate

Email: HealthyAgeingChina@esrc.ukri.org

Phone: +44 1793 413094 or +44 1793 413175