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.
- Select ‘documents’, then ‘new document’.
- Select ‘call search’.
- To find the opportunity, search for: Boulby Infrastructure Call 2023.
This will populate:
- council: STFC
- document type: Standard Proposal
- scheme: Standard
- call/type/mode: Boulby Infrastructure 2023
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.
STFC must receive your application by 19 April 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.
As part of the application process, the following documents should be uploaded to Je-S and labelled accordingly:
- Je-S pro forma
- case for support (required, 7 sides of A4)
- Gantt chart (recommended, 1 side of A4)
- data management plan (2 sides of A4)
- project partner letter of support where relevant
- covering letter (optional, cover letters will not be seen by external reviewers or the panel)
- other (optional, any document uploaded under ‘other’ will not be seen by external reviewers or the panel)
Any documents not listed, such as CVs, extra results, or list of publications, will be returned to the principal investigator for removal.
All documents should conform to the guidelines described in the Je-S handbook.
If a project partner is involved in the project, this should be included under ‘project partners’ in the Je-S form. Resources to be provided by any project partners, whether cash or in‐kind contributions, should be clearly identified in the proposal.
STFC will pay up to 80% of the total costs of the project, excluding any project partner contribution.
Project partner contributions, either direct or in‐kind, should be as additional to STFC’s contribution and are not considered part of the full economic cost of the project. It is the responsibility of the principal investigator to ensure that the total budget requested by all members of a single project idea (joint applications) is within the financial limits of the award.
Case for support
The case for support should be no longer than 7 sides of A4 and conform to the font and margin guidelines in the STFC specific requirements.
The case for support should be a self-contained summary of the proposed work with the necessary context given to enable panel members to make an informed judgement on the overall quality of the proposal.
The case for support must be structured using the following headings.
The guidance notes underneath the headings are there to help shape any thinking and add detail to the case for support, which is required to help carry out peer assessment of the proposal.
We understand that not all guidance notes will be relevant to all applicants, as it will be dependent on the nature of the project proposed.
An overview of the project idea must be included as part of the case for support. This should include:
- a brief review of the underpinning research and innovation context from the area the opportunity arose from. Include details of previous funding where relevant
- an overview of the status of the innovation or technical proposal, including any preliminary data, proof-of concept, or previous work for example, which will explain the status of the opportunity
- an outline of how the research and innovation proposal takes advantage of being in an underground environment at Boulby Underground Laboratory
- a summary of how the project idea developed as part of this award could be developed as a full project in an underground laboratory in future years
- inclusion of images and diagrams (encouraged where relevant)
Case for support
The remaining pages should give further detail of the application. This should be structured using the following headings. The overview can be referred to as part of the case for support where relevant.
1. Opportunity and application
What is the opportunity or challenge you are seeking to exploit or address, which could lead to a new research and innovation project at a future facility in the vicinity of Boulby Underground Laboratory? What requirements will the facility design have to include to allow the project to proceed?
You should use this section to:
- describe the application area of that this proposal will seek to address
- outline how your proposed solution will address an opportunity or need, in the context of the development of a new underground facility
2. Development plan
How has the idea or solution been developed to date and what is the proposed approach for further development? This section should expand on the overview section to discuss the development of the proposal.
You should use this section to:
- detail the proposed work in the context of determining the requirements to support the design of a new underground facility
- include specific project milestones or deliverables, and the resourcing necessary to deliver the proposed work
- detail any necessary access to facilities including access to Boulby Underground Laboratory, expertise, or consultancy essential to delivering the proposed work, including any regulatory requirements
- detail the contribution (intellectual, technical, or financial) of any businesses or other organisations you plan to partner with (if applicable), and highlight your freedom to operate
- upload a separate Gantt chart (or similar) to illustrate the project plan. This should be uploaded as a ‘Other Attachment’, on a maximum of one side of A4
- provide a breakdown of how the funding will be used
- detail what happens after this award has ended and what the next steps for the project are
At the time of application, or during any subsequent grant, UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) would not anticipate any business to have exclusive rights to the assets and intellectual property arising from the funded project.
3. Wider benefits
What are the potential wider benefits of the proposed approach?
You should use this section where appropriate to:
- explain why the proposed programme is appropriate for public funding
- consider the potential of the approach to impact on high-level societal and environmental challenges, for example gender equality, diversity, social inclusion, and climate change
- consider the benefits to the wider research and innovation community
- consider the benefits to the wider population in the UK
- describe what steps will be taken to maximise any potential benefits and outputs from the award
4. Ethical considerations
Are there any ethical considerations associated with your project proposal including those that are beyond formal regulatory and legal frameworks?
You should use this section to:
- outline whether there are any ethical considerations relating to the project or its impacts, including any potential impacts on the environment
- consider societal acceptance of your research where you think this might limit uptake and outline strategies that could be employed to address this
- highlight if there are any implications for trusted and responsible research and innovation practises. For example, dual-use (both military and non-military) applications to your research, which could limit the commercial potential
Learn more about UKRI’s approach to trusted research and innovation. The Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure also provides further information.
Letters of support
Project partners and other letters of support if relevant.
Letters or emails of support must be included from all named partners. In addition, you can include letters of support from other relevant parties not directly involved in the project but who support the objectives (for example, potential end users).
Letters of support should:
- be on headed paper (for printed letters) and signed by a senior member of staff or director (the capacity in which the supporter is signing off the letter should be stated)
- be from an appropriate person (for emails) and clearly named alongside their title
- be dated within 6 months of the submission
- be no more than 2 sides of A4 in length
- detail their interest and involvement in the project in terms of specific objectives and joint desired outcomes
- detail specific contributions to the project (either cash or in-kind) with a justifiable monetary value. These contributions should also be stated in the case for support
If the principal applicant has any current or former links to the partner organisation, then they should be declared in the cover letter. This should be alongside the details on any such involvement and how the conflict will be managed or mitigated. This is only relevant where a named investigator has any formal connection with the partner organisation and a vested or financial interest in the commercialisation outcome for example:
- current or former employee
- member of an oversight or advisory board
A letter or email of support of applicability from the director or senior scientist at Boulby Underground Laboratory must be included (see ‘contact details’ section).
This letter or email should:
- confirm the opportunity is applicable to an underground research and innovation programme
- confirm the project could be delivered in an underground environment
- state that the project or opportunity takes advantage of the unique opportunities afforded by working in an underground facility
Head of department
A letter of support from your head of department (or equivalent) should be included with the application.
The letter of support should:
- relate specifically to the proposal (should not be a generic letter of support)
- explain in detail how the university sees the project being taken forward and how the university intends to support the work involved
Je-S only allows a maximum of 3 letters of support to be uploaded. Letters of support may be merged into a single document if needed.
It is the responsibility of the principal applicant to ensure that information is worded in such a way as to protect commercial, confidential, or sensitive data. STFC will assume that you have obtained necessary permissions from any party that may be involved in the application.
It is expected that all applications will produce a report and other documentation detailing how the project or opportunity proposed could be delivered in a new underground facility in the vicinity of the current Boulby Underground Laboratory.
A report at end of the project should detail:
- an overview of the project that was delivered
- advantages for the research, innovation wider UK community
- socioeconomic benefits to society
- the facility requirements of the underground facility needed to deliver the project
- an estimate of the funding required to deliver the project
- an estimate of the personnel that would be involved in the project
- a schedule and timeline for the project
- the management arrangements for delivery of the project
- detail of any partner organisations involved
- the expectation of support from STFC or the wider UKRI community
- any anticipated other national or international funding for the proposed project
- the level of staffing required at the underground facility required to deliver the project
The case for support should detail how this information will be obtained and a plan for how to deliver this as part of the end point of the project.
Grants submitted via Je-S are done so under their terms and conditions.
Please make sure you have permission from any relevant bodies before submitting any sensitive data. STFC will not be held accountable if data submitted has been done so without the relevant permissions sought.
Projects that involve holding or using sensitive information on individuals (for example, facial recognition) should ensure they conform to UKRI’s research integrity policy.
Although an ethical statement will not need to be submitted alongside any proposals, all the involved researchers should have consideration for such requirements. STFC reserves the right to suspend any grants that do not meet these requirements.
All projects and activities should conform to UKRI’s trusted research and innovation practices.
STFC reserves the right to terminate any grants if there are any concerns.