Funding opportunity

Funding opportunity: Accelerator science research and development consortia outlines

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Accelerator community consortia are invited to submit outline proposals for 4-year research and development programmes.

STFC aims to support work in 3 themed areas:

  • the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) and its upgrades (including future machines), exploiting UK strengths aligned with the European Roadmap
  • novel acceleration technologies (exploiting Compact Linear Accelerator for Research and Applications (CLARA), Extreme Photonics Applications Centre (EPAC), and similar facilities)
  • the route to UK Free Electron Laser (FEL) capabilities

Successful outline proposals:

  • may be awarded 6 months of preliminary funding from October 2023 to March 2024
  • will be invited to submit a full proposal for the remaining 3.5 years of funding, beginning April 2024

You must be based at a UK research organisation eligible for STFC funding.

Who can apply

You must be based at a UK research organisation eligible for UK Research and Innovation funding.

Check if you are eligible for research and innovation funding.

Academic applicants must meet the normal eligibility requirements for STFC research grant funding.

Check if you’re eligible for STFC funding.

What we're looking for

STFC is taking a new approach to funding accelerator science following the recent publication of the strategic framework for future accelerator science and technology development. This framework will guide funding over the medium term.

4-year programme of work

Community consortia are invited to form and generate themed research and development programmes for a 4-year programme of work. Work should support the development of UK strengths directly aligned with the strategic framework priorities, with an emphasis on:

  • exploiting existing facilities
  • the sustainable construction and operation of the UK’s and CERN’s priority infrastructures

STFC will support a few substantive (up to approximately £1 million per year) programmes.

Outlines of these programmes will be considered by STFC to ensure fit to the strategic framework mission statement and themes. We will invite a subset to submit full proposals to be peer reviewed later in 2023. STFC is expecting a range of project sizes within proposed programmes of work. The funding opportunity is open to programmes that include industrial partners.

3 themed areas

STFC aims to support work in 3 themed areas:

  • LHC and its upgrades (including future machines), exploiting UK strengths aligned with the European roadmap
  • novel acceleration technologies (exploiting CLARA, EPAC, and similar facilities)
  • the route to UK FEL capabilities

Funding

Successful outline proposals:

  • may be awarded 6 months of preliminary funding from October 2023 to March 2024
  • will be invited to submit a full proposal for the remaining 3.5 years of funding, beginning April 2024

Applicants should be mindful that it may not be possible to continue with the preliminary activities funded at the outline stage.

We appreciate the limited time that this opportunity presents to form consortia and develop new activities. However, the intention is to issue another 4-year funding opportunity in 2025 that will potentially enable new consortia to submit proposals.

The closing date for full proposals is likely to be in early September 2023. Full proposals will be subject to further prioritisation.

An annual oversight point will allow for funded activities to be stopped and, or, pivot towards new opportunities.

Please note that work towards a UK FEL capability is being supported through the recently announced UK-FEL preliminary infrastructure project. This will be taken into account when apportioning the overall funding envelope in the short term.

How to apply

You must apply using the Joint Electronic Submission (Je-S) system.

You can find advice on completing your application in:

We recommend you start your application early.

Your host organisation will also be able to provide advice and guidance.

Submitting your application

Before starting an application, you will need to log in or create an account in Je-S.

All investigators involved in the project need to be registered on Je-S.

Any investigators who do not have a Je-S account must register for one at least 7 working days before the opportunity deadline.

When applying:

  1. Select ‘documents’, then ‘new document’.
  2. Select ‘call search’.
  3. To find the opportunity, search for: Accelerator R&D Consortia Outline.

This will populate:

  • council: STFC
  • document type: outline
  • scheme: outline
  • call/type/mode: accelerator R&D consortia outline

Once you have completed your application, make sure you ‘submit document’.

You can save completed details in Je-S at any time and return to continue your application later.

Deadline

STFC must receive your application by 2 March 2023 4:00pm UK time.

You will not be able to apply after this time. Please leave enough time for your proposal to pass through your organisation’s Je-S submission route before this date.

You should ensure you are aware of and follow any internal institutional deadlines that may be in place.

Attachments

1 outline Je-S form should be submitted on behalf of the consortia. In addition, your application must also include the following attachments.

Case for support

The outline case for support should describe the intended programme of work and its component projects. It should:

It is important that the outline proposal describes the programme of work to be undertaken. As a research consortium please also specify the collaborators involved, detailing:

  • the key linkages, including industrial partners
  • how responsibilities will be shared among the collaborators

The case for support should detail the scientific objectives of the proposed programme and articulate the value and benefits of investing in the project. It should:

  • provide a work package breakdown
  • include a short summary description of the work, the level of staff effort involved and the overall cost of each package

The case should also include a narrative justification of resources to accompany the separate finance table (see ‘Finance table’ heading). Further advice on how to justify the requested resources can be found in the case for support guidance.

A full risk register is not required at this stage, but please provide a brief description of the main risks to the projects (minimum 5), explaining the severity of the risk and plans for mitigation.

As 6 months of preliminary funding may be awarded at this outline stage, the case for support should separate the 4-year programme into 2 parts:

  • 6 months from October 2023 to March 2024
  • 3.5 years from April 2024

2 A4 pages may be included in the case for support to provide justification for the 6 months of preliminary funding and 10 A4 pages can be included for the 3.5-years of funding. Applicants should be mindful that it may not be possible to continue with the preliminary activities funded at the outline stage.

The case for support should be clear and concise with minimal technical jargon. It must be a PDF attachment, be written in Arial (or equivalent) size 11 font and have a minimum of 2cm margins around each page.

It must be no longer than 12 sides of A4 in total.

This outline proposal is not a full submission and the page limit reflects the shorter version of this submission.

Finance table

1 outline Je-S form should be submitted on behalf of the consortia.

This provides high level funding information and so, in addition to the outline Je-S form we require a separate financial table template (Excel, 13KB) to be submitted. This should provide a breakdown of the funding request by work package.

The table must be included as an annex in the case for support (not included in the page limit). The Excel file should be submitted to STFC at pp@stfc.ukri.org by 2 March 2023 4:00pm UK time.

Costs must be sufficiently detailed to show that estimates are reasonable.

Data management plan (DMP)

Applicants are required to provide a separate DMP and a grant will not be awarded without a suitable plan.

The DMP should be no longer than 2 pages of A4.

Find out what to include in a DMP.

How we will assess your application

This is the first stage of a 2-stage assessment process.

The outline proposals will be reviewed by a panel representing the accelerator physics programme and will include a number of international members.

The panel will assess the proposals based on their alignment with the STFC strategic framework for future accelerator science and technology development and the STFC assessment criteria. Although each area will be considered during the assessment process, strategic fit and scientific and technical excellence are considered to be the most important and primary focus of the panel.

The panel will rank the proposals based on the assessment criteria and invite a small number of proposals to submit full proposals. Applicants will be provided with feedback and further guidance on completing a full proposal. 6 months of preliminary funding may also be awarded.

The closing date for full proposals is likely to be in early September 2023. Full proposals will be subject to further prioritisation. Applicants should be mindful that it may not be possible to continue with the preliminary activities funded from the outline stage.

Contact details

Get help with developing your proposal

For help and advice on costings and writing your proposal please contact your research office in the first instance, allowing sufficient time for your organisation’s submission process.

Ask about this funding opportunity

Nicole Ashman, Programme Manager for Particle Physics

Email: pp@stfc.ukri.org

Include ‘Accelerator R&D Outline Call’ in the subject line.

We aim to respond within 5 working days.

Get help with applying through Je-S

Email

jeshelp@je-s.ukri.org

Telephone

01793 444164

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