Funding opportunity

Funding opportunity: Adventurous manufacturing round 2 follow-on funding

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This funding opportunity is open only to successful primary investigators from adventurous manufacturing round 2.

You can apply for further funding to extend the research in progress to further facilitate highly transformative research which has the potential to disrupt the future manufacturing landscape. It should support UK competitiveness and enhance future resilience. You should address how your proposal will build on the research conducted in your initial project.

Your research must fall within EPSRC’s remit.

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

The full economic cost of your project can be up to £1,250,000. EPSRC will fund 80% of the full economic cost which is £1,000,000.

Projects are expected to be up to 36 months in duration.

Who can apply

This funding opportunity is open only to those who were successful in the ‘adventurous manufacturing round 2’ opportunity in 2020. Only 1 application per successful proposal is permitted.

The principle investigator must stay the same, a change of lead investigator is permitted only in exceptional circumstances which must be agreed with EPSRC in advance of application. The wider investigator team can change as the research requires.

Standard EPSRC eligibility rules apply. Research grants are open to:

  • UK higher education institutions
  • research council institutes
  • UK Research and Innovation-approved independent research organisations
  • eligible public sector research establishments
  • eligible research and technology organisations
  • NHS bodies with research capacity

Check if your institution is eligible for funding.

You can apply if you are a resident in the UK and meet at least 1 of the following conditions:

  • are employed at the submitting research organisation at a level equivalent to lecturer or above
  • hold a fixed-term contract that extends beyond the duration of the proposed project, and the host research organisation is prepared to give you all the support normal for a permanent employee
  • hold an EPSRC, Royal Society or Royal Academy of Engineering fellowship aimed at later career stages
  • hold fellowships under other schemes (please contact EPSRC to check eligibility, which is considered on a case-by-case basis)

Holders of postdoctoral level fellowships are not eligible to apply for an EPSRC grant.

Submissions to this funding opportunity will count towards the EPSRC repeatedly unsuccessful applicants policy.

What we're looking for

Overview

Successful applicants from the adventurous manufacturing round 2 funding opportunity are invited to apply for further funding to extend the research in progress and enhance the outcomes of mission-led research for the UK.

Applicants should submit a full proposal addressing how they will build on the research conducted in their initial adventurous manufacturing project. The proposed work must fall within EPSRC’s remit, focusing on manufacturing research and supporting EPSRC’s vision of a sustainable, resilient, thriving and productive UK-wide manufacturing sector.

Synopsis

The adventurous manufacturing initiative was launched in 2018 to encourage highly transformative research in the near term which has the potential to disrupt the future manufacturing landscape. Proposals contributing to the following research priorities were invited:

  • 21st century products
  • digital manufacturing
  • sustainable industries
  • new industrial systems

This remit allowed for projects across the whole spectrum of manufacturing research, including simulation, design, production, fabrication, systems and services leading to successful processes and products.

The opportunity was aimed at academics already working in these areas as well as those working at the interface between underpinning science and manufacturing who wanted to move their work into the manufacturing domain.

The EPSRC manufacturing and the circular economy theme are now looking to expand on the research funded in adventurous manufacturing round 2 by providing further funding to extend the research in progress and enhance the impact of the initiative.

Up to £4 million will be provided for this opportunity, for projects of up to £1 million EPSRC contribution (80% full economic cost) and up to 36 months in duration.

Proposals within the scope of this funding opportunity should explain how they will expand on the results or impact of their round 2 grant.

This funding opportunity is for standard research proposals.

Scope

Manufacturing research is a key feature of EPSRC’s engineering net zero priority ambition, details of which can be found in our strategic delivery plan. Through our engineering net zero priority we aim to deliver systems approaches and solutions to:

  • use the Earth’s resources as efficiently as possible
  • eliminate pollution and contributions to landfill
  • help deliver a sustainable zero carbon future

The delivery plan identifies specific opportunities and investment activities to contribute to the UK manufacturing research and innovation landscape.

The vision of EPSRC’s manufacturing and the circular economy theme is a sustainable, resilient, thriving and productive UK-wide manufacturing sector and a truly circular economy. To enable this, our mission is to work in partnership with stakeholders across and beyond UK Research and Innovation to:

  • support high impact, interdisciplinary research that is co-created with users and broader stakeholders
  • actively manage an environmentally sustainable portfolio to accelerate translation and implementation of fundamental research to deliver real world impacts (economic, social and environmental), enhancing the UK manufacturing base and realising a more circular economy
  • embed consideration of and design for manufacturing and the circular economy, in research and training across the engineering and physical sciences landscape and throughout the research and innovation lifecycle

This follow-on opportunity aims to fund excellent manufacturing research that will contribute to realising the transformative potential of the projects funded through the adventurous manufacturing round 2 opportunity held in 2020.

Successful grant holders from that opportunity are invited to apply for funding for projects that build on work undertaken in the initial grant. The follow-on project must take forward, and be clearly linked to, the transformative research vision of the original project and build on its research outputs.

The ongoing research vision may be adapted in response to emerging research findings, priorities, or opportunities, as well as the addition of new partners where appropriate. The suitability of the case for follow-on funding will be assessed by reviewers under the ‘fit to opportunity’ criterion.

These projects may include:

  • undertaking further scientific and technical development of the original project findings
  • work to broaden the impact of the research, including identifying opportunities for user engagement and translation into UK manufacturing industries through new stakeholder partnerships

The project must focus on excellent mission-led research, driving this forward to create impact.

The research vision and the majority of the work to be carried out must fall within EPSRC’s remit. Proposals must focus on manufacturing research and support EPSRC’s vision of a sustainable, resilient, thriving and productive UK-wide manufacturing sector.

Funding should be requested solely for a new programme of activities which should not duplicate work from the original project. Proposals falling outside this remit or where there is duplication may be rejected without reference to peer review.

Funding available

There is up to £4 million available and your project can be up to £1 million 80% full economic cost. Projects are expected to be up to 36 months in duration.

Equipment over £10,000 in value (including VAT) is not available through this opportunity. Smaller items of equipment (individually under £10,000) should be in the ‘directly incurred – other costs’ heading.

EPSRC approach to equipment funding.

Responsible innovation

You are expected to work within the EPSRC framework for responsible innovation.

International collaboration

Applicants planning to include international collaborators on their proposal should visit Trusted Research for guidance on getting the most out of international collaboration whilst protecting intellectual property, sensitive research and personal information.

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.

When applying:

  1. Select ‘documents’, then ‘new document’.
  2. Select ‘call search’.
  3. To find the opportunity, search for: Adventurous manufacturing round 2 follow-on.

This will populate:

  • council: EPSRC
  • document type: standard proposal
  • scheme: standard
  • call/type/mode: Adventurous manufacturing round 2 follow on

In the ‘related proposals’ section, please include the grant reference for your original adventurous manufacturing round 2 project and indicate that your new proposal is a continuation.

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

EPSRC must receive your application by 15 February 2023 at 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

You should attach your documents as PDFs to avoid errors. They should be completed in single-spaced Arial 11 font or similar-sized sans serif typeface. EPSRC will not accept any other attachment types under this opportunity.

Read our advice on writing proposals for EPSRC funding.

Your application must also include the following attachments:

  • case for support (8 pages in total comprising 2 on your track record, 2 on summarising results or impact of your round 1 project and how you intend to build on them, and 4 on the scientific case for your proposed work)
  • workplan (1 page)
  • justification of resources (2 pages)
  • CVs (up to 2 A4 sides each) for named:
    • postdoctoral staff, researcher co-investigators (research assistants who have made a substantial contribution to the proposal and will be employed on the project for a significant amount of time)
    • visiting researchers
  • letters of support from all project partners included in the Je-S form (no page limit), see EPSRC guidance on project partners letter of support
  • technical assessments for facilities listed as requiring one in the Je-S guidance (no page limit)
  • cover letter (optional attachment, no page limit, not seen by peer review)

You are advised to note the non-standard structure of the case for support. Approximately 2 pages should be focused on the work carried out in the initial project, and its results. This, along with 4 pages focused on the proposed work and its context, should support the case for follow-on funding by explaining how you will take forward and adapt the existing vision, and how you will build on initial work.

You should clearly show what you have learnt from the original project and how it has influenced this proposal. The demonstration of this link between initial and proposed work will be assessed as part of the ‘fit to opportunity’ criterion.

A standalone assessment of the progress of the original project does not form part of the assessment criteria, except insofar as evidence must be present to support the need for further funding to develop the initial work.

Ethical information

EPSRC will not fund a project if it believes that there are ethical concerns that have been overlooked or not appropriately accounted for. All relevant parts of the ‘ethical information’ section must be completed.

Guidance on completing ethical information on the Je-S form.

EPSRC guidance can be found under ‘additional information’.

Nominating reviewers

As part of the application process, you will be invited to nominate up to 3 potential reviewers who you feel have the expertise to assess your proposal. Please ensure that any nominations meet the EPSRC policy on conflicts of interest.

How we will assess your application

Assessment process

Applications will be assessed by postal peer review and then prioritisation panel.

Reviewers will be assessing applications against the full proposal assessment criteria detailed below. Full proposals must be submitted by 15 February 2023 4:00pm UK time.

Applications that receive sufficient support from reviewers will be assessed at a prioritisation panel. The panel will assess proposals against the full proposal assessment criteria to produce a rank ordered list.

It is anticipated that the prioritisation panel will take place in June 2023 with decisions expected in July 2023.

In the event of this funding opportunity being substantially oversubscribed as to be unmanageable, EPSRC reserves the right to modify the assessment process.

Any proposals not primarily within the remit of EPSRC will be rejected without reference to peer review.

Assessment criteria

Proposals submitted to this funding opportunity will be assessed against the following criteria.

Standard criteria

Quality (primary)

The research excellence of the proposal, making reference to:

  • the novelty, relationship to the context, timeliness and relevance to identified stakeholders
  • the ambition, adventure, transformative aspects or potential outcomes
  • the suitability of the proposed methodology and the appropriateness of the approach to achieving impact
National importance (secondary major)

How the research:

  • contributes to or helps maintain the health of other disciplines
  • contributes to addressing key UK societal challenges
  • contributes to future UK economic success and development of emerging industry or industries
  • meets national needs by establishing or maintaining a unique world-leading activity
  • complements other UK research funded in the area, including any relationship to the EPSRC portfolio
  • plans for dissemination and knowledge exchange with potential beneficiaries of the research
Applicant and partnerships (secondary)

The ability to deliver the proposed project, making reference to:

  • appropriateness of the track record of the applicant or applicants
  • balance of skills of the project team, including collaborators
Resources and management (secondary)

The effectiveness of the proposed planning and management and whether the requested resources are appropriate and have been fully justified, making reference to:

  • any equipment requested, or the viability of the arrangements described to access equipment needed for this project, and particularly on any university or third-party contribution
  • any resources requested for activities to either increase impact, for public engagement or to support responsible innovation

Opportunity specific criteria

Fit to opportunity (secondary major)

Whether the project is appropriate for follow-on funding, making reference to:

  • how the proposed project takes forward and adapts the existing research vision
  • how the proposed research is linked to the research aims and outputs of the round 2 project and how it builds on any outcomes achieved to date
  • how the proposed work contributes to realising the transformative potential of the original adventurous idea and/or expands its impact

Feedback

Feedback will be provided in the form of reviewer comments from the postal peer review stage. A rank ordered list from the full proposal prioritisation panel will be available shortly after the panel. The prioritisation panel may provide specific feedback if deemed necessary, but this will not be given as standard.

Guidance for reviewers

Please provide comments in the ‘call specific criteria’ section of the reviewer form that assess the ‘fit to opportunity’ criterion as defined above. Please note that an assessment of the progress or quality of the original round 2 project does not form part of the assessment criteria, except insofar as evidence must be present to support the need for further funding to develop the initial work.

Please bear in mind that applicants’ initial projects may be at very different stages. Consideration should be given to how developed the supporting evidence for the need for follow-on funding may be, given the stage of the individual applicant’s initial project.

EPSRC peer review process and guidance for reviewers.

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

Becky Cheesbrough, Portfolio Manager

Email: rebecca.cheesbrough@epsrc.ukri.org
Telephone: 07849 300164

Please include ‘Adventurous follow on’ in the subject line.

Naomi South, Portfolio Manager

Email: naomi.south@epsrc.ukri.org
Telephone: 07513 484896

Please include ‘Adventurous follow on’ in the subject line.

Manufacturing team

Email: manufacturingpeerreview@epsrc.ukri.org

Please include ‘Adventurous follow on’ in the subject line.

Get help with applying through Je-S

Email

jeshelp@je-s.ukri.org

Telephone

01793 444164

Opening times

Je-S helpdesk opening times

Additional info

Background

The adventurous manufacturing initiative was launched in 2018 to encourage highly transformative research in the near term which has the potential to disrupt the future manufacturing landscape. Proposals contributing to the following research priorities were invited:

  • 21st century products
  • digital manufacturing
  • sustainable industries
  • new industrial systems

This remit allowed for projects across the whole spectrum of manufacturing research, including simulation, design, production, fabrication, systems and services leading to successful processes and products.

It was aimed at academics already working in these areas as well as those working at the interface between underpinning science and manufacturing who wanted to move their work into the manufacturing domain.

A second round of the funding opportunity was launched in 2020 to build on the interest of round 1. EPSRC proposed that it would review the portfolio after approximately 12 months from the start of the grants in order to explore the opportunity to provide further funding to extend the research in progress and enhance the impact of the initiative. Routes for accessing follow-on funding were planned which were to allow research outputs to be further developed. The result is this funding opportunity.

The current cohort of adventurous manufacturing proposals supports the priorities detailed in EPSRC’s strategic delivery plan, in particular our engineering net zero ambition. Projects funded through this follow-on opportunity will further support our delivery plan ambitions by contributing to a sustainable, resilient, thriving and productive UK-wide manufacturing sector.

Grant additional conditions

Grants are awarded under the standard UKRI grant terms and conditions. The following additional grant conditions will also apply.

Responsible innovation

EPSRC is fully committed to develop and promote responsible innovation. Research has the ability to not only produce understanding, knowledge and value, but also unintended consequences, questions, ethical dilemmas and, at times, unexpected social transformations.

We recognise that we have a duty of care to promote approaches to responsible innovation that will initiate ongoing reflection about the potential ethical and societal implications of the research that we sponsor and to encourage our research community to do likewise.

Supporting documents

Equality impact assessment (PDF, 228KB)

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