Funding opportunity

Funding opportunity: Become the UK director of the Felix partnership

Apply for funding to become the UK director of the Felix partnership.

You must be:

  • a member of the UK magnetics community
  • based at an organisation eligible for UKRI funding.

In the role, you will:

  • liaise with the Felix laboratory at the University of Nijmegen on behalf of UK academia
  • grow the vibrant UK user community
  • coordinate with Felix to ensure that UK academia is engaged with Felix and the opportunities available.

The full economic cost of the role can be up to £150,000. EPSRC will fund 80% of the full economic cost.

Funding is available for up to five years.

Who can apply

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

  • UK higher education institutions
  • research council institutes
  • UKRI-approved independent research organisations
  • public sector research establishments
  • NHS bodies with research capacity.

Check if your institution is eligible for funding.

For information on the eligibility of organisations and individuals to receive EPSRC funding, read the EPSRC guidance for applicants.

This funding opportunity will not count towards the EPSRC repeatedly unsuccessful applicants policy.

You can apply if you are resident in the UK and meet at least one of the criteria below:

  • you are employed at the submitting research organisation at a level equivalent to lecturer or above
  • you 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
  • you hold an EPSRC, Royal Society or Royal Academy of Engineering fellowship aimed at later career stages
  • you 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.

Equality, diversity and inclusion

In line with the UKRI diversity principles, equality and diversity must be embedded at all levels and in all aspects of research practice. We are committed to supporting the research community in the diverse ways a research career can be built with our investments. This includes:

  • career breaks
  • support for people with caring responsibilities
  • flexible working
  • alternative working patterns.

With this in mind, we welcome applications from academics who:

  • job share
  • have a part-time contract
  • need flexible working arrangements
  • are currently committed to other longer, large existing grants.

Read our guidance on equality, diversity and inclusion.

What we're looking for

The UK partnership with Felix has now been approved for a further five years by EPSRC and will enable the UK community to access a well-established facility for research.

The Felix laboratory provides infrared and THz laser radiation with photon energies corresponding to low energy vibrational, spin and electronic excitations.

The Felix lasers are ideally suited to study the ground state properties that determine the structure and function of:

  • solids
  • molecules in solution and gas phase
  • matter in general.

Research interests

A host of research interests will be represented due to the nature of the facility. This includes multidisciplinary interests, merging concepts from:

  • physics
  • chemistry
  • biology
  • materials.

The UK magnetics community includes chemists, physicists and material scientists working in the fields of:

  • photonics
  • semiconductors
  • quantum technologies
  • spin dynamics
  • physical chemistry.


This funding opportunity enables activities and ideas which address the following requirements:

  • to maintain and grow the vibrant UK user community already in place from the current subscription to Felix
  • to coordinate with Felix to ensure that UK academia is engaged with Felix and the opportunities available
  • to represent EPSRC at Felix meetings
  • to support the UK community in working with Felix to make optimum use of the research facilities available
  • to provide input into EPSRC and lead community discussions on directions for research in this area. For example, helping to develop a roadmap for research with free electron lasers that aligns with EPSRC’s strategy, in order to retain the capability to tackle future challenges, capitalise on new opportunities, avoid duplication of effort and coordinate the use of research infrastructure
  • to enable the exchange of information between user groups and other potentially interested scientific communities
  • to report to Felix on the status of interactions through the annual review process and attend annual director meetings and other Zoom meetings as required.

The available funds are flexible to enable activities and ideas to be developed and carried out. These may include, but are not limited to:

  • overseas travel
  • network activities
  • workshop creation
  • staff support within the envelope of the available funding for up to five years.

Standard full economic cost conditions apply.

You should aim to begin the project on 1 July 2022.

How to apply

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

Applying through Je-S

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

When applying, select:

  • council: EPSRC
  • document type: standard proposal
  • scheme: standard
  • call/type/mode: UK National Research Facility Director Felix Partnership.

After completing the application, you must ‘submit document’ which will send your application to your host organisation’s administration.

Your host organisation’s administration is required to complete the submission process. You should allow sufficient time for your organisation’s submission process between submitting your proposal to them and the funding opportunity closing date.

EPSRC must receive your application by 16:00 on 25 May 2022.

You should use the Je-S application form to address the funding opportunity specifications. The following documents must also be submitted.

Case for support

This is a mandatory document. The primary supporting document will be of a longer format than those submitted for standard proposals.

The overall page length will be up to eight pages, and must include the following sections in single-spaced Arial 11 font or a similar-sized sans serif typeface.

Track record of applicants

Up to a maximum of two pages.

Service description

You should use this section to:

  • describe and detail the service you propose to provide, covering the elements set out in the key requirements for service
  • include details of your long-term vision and must describe how their plans sit within the wider research landscape.

Operational details

You should use this section to provide a clear communication and engagement strategy. You must provide sufficient detail for assessors to understand how information about the available capabilities and access to the service will be disseminated.

You should also detail in this section:

  • how to engage using a website
  • information on user meetings
  • ideas for outreach events
  • how to involve and engage the community.

People and management

You should use this section to detail how you will meet any people and management arrangements.

This should include how the service will engage with future generations.

Additional documents

In addition to the case for support, you must provide the following.

Justification of resources

This is a mandatory document with a longer format of up to four pages.

The justification of resources should explain why your requested resources are needed for service provision, including implementing the impact activities. This helps reviewers make informed judgements about whether the resources requested are appropriate and justified.

EPSRC recommends that you follow the ‘Cost to the Proposal’ headings used in the Je-S application form. For more information on what to do, see the guidance on how to write a justification of resources.


This is a mandatory one page document.

The work programme should be illustrated with a simple diagrammatic workplan, such as a Programme Evaluation and Review Technique (PERT) or Gantt chart.

Equipment business case, where appropriate

This is required for any items or combined assets with a value above the Official Journal of the European Union limit.

Proposal cover letter

Including a cover letter is optional.

You can use the proposal cover letter to set out any other information you feel is relevant to your application. As you could be applying for a grant which has an interview assessment stage, you should inform EPSRC of any personal circumstances for EPSRC to consider.

This letter will only be seen by EPSRC and will not be sent for peer review. For sensitive information, you should state clearly whether the information is confidential.

The proposal cover letter should also be used to highlight anything that has been discussed and agreed with EPSRC staff beforehand. For example:

  • declaration of interest
  • additional information about eligibility to apply that would not be appropriately shared in the track record
  • conflicts of interest for EPSRC to consider in reviewer or panel participant selection.

Other documents

If you wish to attach any other document that does not fit the above types, please submit it under ‘other attachment’. This will not be seen by reviewers or panel members.

On submission to EPSRC, all non-PDF documents uploaded onto Je-S are converted to PDF. Therefore, the use of non-standard fonts may result in errors of font conversion, which could affect the overall length of the document.

You should attach your documents as PDFs to avoid errors.

Read EPSRC’s advice on writing proposals.

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. Read further guidance on the ethical information section of the Je-S form.

How we will assess your application

Assessment criteria will be the standard grant criteria. However, applicants should note the nature of the role representing a national research facility when considering quality.

Each proposal will be initially assessed by postal peer review by at least three reviewers. You will then be invited to respond to the reviewers’ comments.

Following this, an expert panel will interview applicants and score them against the following assessment criteria, using the:

  • proposal
  • reviews
  • principal investigator response
  • responses at interview.

The interview panel will make the final recommendations to the EPSRC theme lead. EPSRC will aim to inform applicants on the decision outcome within eight weeks of the panel.

Standard assessment criteria

Applicants should note that the assessment criteria differ slightly from the standard EPSRC criteria due to the nature of the programmes of work to be funded.

Quality (primary)

Assessors will be asked to comment on the excellence of the application, making reference to:

  • the quality of the potential research enabled by having such a facility coordinator in the UK. Addressing the issue of quality, applicants should comment on how their proposal meets the key requirements of this funding opportunity, as detailed in the ‘requirements’ section
  • the ambition, long-term vision and transformative aspects identified
  • engaging and adapting to the needs of a diverse user community.

Resources and management (secondary major)

Assessors will be asked to comment on:

  • the effectiveness of the proposed planning, management and governance and the fit to the people and management arrangements section
  • whether the requested resources are appropriate and have been fully justified
  • any resources requested for activities to increase impact, for public engagement or to support responsible innovation.

National importance (secondary)

Drawing upon what the applicant has said, assessors will be asked to comment on:

  • how the proposed director contributes to, or helps maintain the health of, research disciplines, contributes to addressing key UK societal challenges, contributes to current or future UK economic success, or enables future development of key emerging industries
  • the extent to which the applicant’s proposal has the potential to meet national strategic needs by establishing or maintaining unique world-leading research activity, including areas of niche capability.

Applicant and partnerships (secondary)

Assessors will be asked to comment on:

  • the appropriateness of the track record of the applicant to deliver the facility
  • the balance of skills of the project team, including collaborations.

Funding opportunity specific assessment criteria

Advocacy for engineering and the physical sciences (secondary)

Your proposal must demonstrate how the director will be an advocate for engineering and the physical sciences. You should specifically address how you will influence its policy makers on the importance of engineering and the physical sciences.

Advocacy through public engagement activities can also be considered, as long as these activities are directly related to the programme of research applied for. This criterion will be assessed solely at the interview stage.


Feedback on the decision will be given by email after the panel meeting.

Nominating reviewers

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

Guidance for reviewers

For more information about the EPSRC peer review process, read the guidance for reviewers.

A standard reviewer form will be used for this funding opportunity. However, reviewers should be mindful of the nature of a national research facility when considering quality.

Read the guidance for reviewing standard grants.

Contact details

Ask about this funding opportunity

Dr Simon Crook


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