Funding opportunity

Funding opportunity: Early career researcher collaborations for global development

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Apply for funding to initiate or develop new international partnerships with researchers overseas and to tackle the challenges faced by developing countries.

You must be:

  • an early career researcher who meets the eligibility requirements of EPSRC’s New Investigator Award scheme
  • based at a UK research organisation eligible for EPSRC funding

There are 2 parallel funding routes to this funding opportunity:

  • open funding route
  • international development funding route

The full economic cost of your project can be up to £200,000 with a duration of up to 2 years. EPSRC will fund 80% of the full economic cost.

Who can apply

This funding opportunity is only open to early career researchers who meet the eligibility requirements of EPSRC’s New Investigator Award scheme.

Whether they are successful or unsuccessful, applicants who apply for an early career researcher international collaboration grant for international development are still eligible to apply for a New Investigator Award. Applicants who have previously applied for a New Investigator Award, successful or unsuccessful, but otherwise still satisfy the other New Investigator Award eligibility criteria are still eligible to apply to this funding opportunity.

Appropriate collaborators in 1 or more lower middle income, low income or least developed countries on the Development Assistance Committee list of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development are a mandatory requirement for proposals submitted through this opportunity.

These collaborators may be academic researchers and, or, direct beneficiaries of the research outcomes. This excludes India and China. Projects with partnerships in India or China should apply through the open funding route.

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

What we're looking for

The aim of this funding opportunity is to support early career researchers to initiate or develop new international partnerships with researchers overseas in order to tackle the challenges faced by developing countries. You and your international partners may have a previous relationship, but we do not expect you to have worked together extensively.

We expect the proposed collaborative project to present a balance between partnership building activities and direct research, as appropriate considering the key objectives of the funding opportunity. The international academic project partners must also have an integral role in the proposed work.

You can request funding to support any eligible international collaborative activities, including (but not limited to):

  • joint research activities: scoping, feasibility, or proof of concept studies
  • travel and networking
  • programmes of exchange visits or staff secondments
  • impact-specific activities

Although the majority of the application should lie within EPSRC remit, multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary collaborations with international partners are welcomed.

Funding routes

This funding opportunity has 2 parallel funding routes:

  • open funding route
  • international development funding route

This page details the requirement for the international development funding route.

Find out about the open funding route: early career researcher international collaboration grants.

Applicants are permitted to only be involved with one application for this funding opportunity.

Official Development Assistance (ODA)

This opportunity is part of the UK’s ODA commitment. This is government aid that promotes and specifically targets the economic development and welfare of developing countries.

Activities under this funding opportunity can occur within the UK and, or, the partner country or countries, though the envisioned end-usage must tackle development changes within the developing country.

Applicants should ensure that their proposal focuses on the challenges specific to the partner country or countries and not broader global issues, meaning those that are transboundary beyond 2 to 3 countries.

Please note, it is possible to apply for the open funding route of this opportunity if your projects partners happen to be in a lower middle income, low income or least developed country but the primary outcomes of the research do not meet the ODA criteria, meaning they are not to promote the long-term sustainable growth of the developing country.

Considerations

Applicants should consider the varying laboratory, computing and communications infrastructure in partner countries when planning their research project. For example, power supplies to laboratories may be unreliable or subject to planned outages, such as over weekends.

When preparing their proposal factors that applicants should consider include:

  • the unmet need identified by partners in the lower middle income, low income or least developed country or countries
  • the international development context of their proposed research, including socio-economic and environmental factors, as appropriate

Proposals for this funding route must be compliant with ODA guidelines; evidence of ODA compliance is required as part of your application (see the ‘how to apply’ section).

Proposals not meeting ODA requirements in the judgement of EPSRC staff will be rejected without recourse to peer review.

Funding available

EPSRC has up to £5,000,000 to spend on the 2 funding routes of this funding opportunity, including:

  • up to £1,000,000 for this international development funding route
  • up to £4,000,000 for the open funding route

You may apply for up to £200,000 at 100% full economic costs with a duration of up to 2 years. All costs will be funded at 80% of full economic costs.

You can request funds for anything eligible under standard EPSRC rules. This includes but is not limited to funding available to cover:

  • staff time
  • travel and subsistence
  • visiting researchers
  • meetings or workshops
  • resources to enable different approaches to building and sustaining collaborations, which reduce the need to travel
  • ‘proof of concept’ research activities for UK researchers exploring new international partnerships

We will support costs associated with research conducted in countries on the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) list of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD); for example staff, consumables and field work. The proportion of funds directed overseas is at the discretion of the applicants and should be based on the best balance to achieve the project’s objectives. For full details of what is permissible please see the ‘additional info’ section.

Collaborators from upper-middle income countries on the DAC list of OECD may be included on the proposal as project partners, but EPSRC will not contribute to their associated costs.

Co-investigators may be named from research organisations based in partner lower middle income, low-income or least developed countries. These partner organisations will receive funding through the UK lead research organisation; they cannot act as the lead organisation.

As per standard New Investigator Award guidance, UK based co-investigators are permitted if the grant crosses disciplinary boundaries and it is demonstrated they are from a different discipline to the principal investigator.

Je-S

Applicants should note that all co-investigators will need to have a Joint Electronic Submission (Je-S) account before they can be added to the Je-S proposal form; the individual co-investigators will also need to activate their account.

Please also be aware that if the co-investigator’s institution is not listed in our grants database, a request will need to be submitted for that institution to be added before a Je-S account can be created.

Please allow a minimum of 10 working days to complete the necessary steps before the closing date of the opportunity. We will not reopen the opportunity for applicants who do not complete this step in time.

Find out how to setup a Je-S account

Equipment

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.

Equality, diversity and inclusion

ODA funds provided by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) must comply with the gender equality and other requirements of the International Development Act.

Under the International Development (Gender Equality) Act 2014, development assistance should be provided in a way that is likely to contribute to reducing inequality between persons of different gender.

Applicants should consider the potential for positive impacts in gender equality in the DAC list countries involved.

Any possible negative impacts of the proposed project on inequalities of different genders, and how the project proposes to remove these should also be considered. These considerations need to be presented in a gender equality statement (see ‘how to apply’ section), which will be assessed.

EPSRC reserves the right to reject a proposal where the gender equality statement has not been sufficiently considered with no attempt to address the assessment criteria.

Trusted research and innovation

UKRI is committed in ensuring that effective international collaboration in research and innovation takes place with integrity and within strong ethical frameworks.

Trusted research and innovation is a UKRI work programme designed to support cross-sector campaigns that protect all those working in our thriving and collaborative international sector.

Our trusted research and innovation principles set out UKRI’s expectations of organisations funded by UKRI in relation to due diligence for international collaboration.

Applicants are encouraged to read these principles and should familiarise themselves with the resources referenced, including for example, the guidance on Trusted Research from the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure, in order to get the most out of the international collaboration whilst protecting intellectual property, sensitive research and personal information.

Preventing harm in research

UKRI are committed to promoting positive and inclusive research and innovation environments.

Our preventing harm in research page outlines our key principles for safeguarding, and preventing harm in research.

Applicants are encouraged to read these principles and should familiarise themselves with the resources referenced, especially the guidance on safeguarding in international development research from the UK Collaborative on Development Research: guidance on safeguarding in international development research.

Given that this funding opportunity is aimed at international development research, we expect researchers to consider and act on this guidance.

Responsible innovation

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

How to apply

Webinar

Prospective applicants are invited to join a webinar on 16 November 2022 at 10:00 UK time.

Attend the webinar (Zoom)

The webinar will last for an hour, it will begin with a presentation from the EPSRC international team and will be followed by an opportunity to ask questions about the funding opportunity.

Questions can be submitted prior to the event using the EPSRC international team email address or during the webinar using the question and answer function.

The questions raised and answers will be compiled into a frequently asked questions document, which will be published shortly after the webinar.

Intention to submit

Applicants who intend to submit an application to this funding opportunity should complete the following intention to submit by 7 December 2022.

Complete the intention to submit form on SmartSurvey

You will be asked to provide the following information:

  • investigator names
  • principal investigator contact information
  • lead UK research organisation
  • international partner name or name and organisations
  • if you will be applying for the open or international development funding route of this funding opportunity. Please note that applicants submitting a proposal to the international development funding route will need to ensure that their project will be Official Development Assistance (ODA) compliant
  • summary of research project, including description of research activities that will be undertaken and the research disciplines they are associated with

You are not required to have finalised all the details of your application by the time the intention to submit is made. We recognise that information provided in the full proposal, including the names of the international partners, may differ from the information provided in the intention to submit form.

Information provided as part of the intention to submit will not be formally assessed. UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) staff will use this information to plan the assessment process, for example understand expected submission levels, and the spread of applications across EPSRC’s remit.

Full proposal

Please note, there will be no opportunity to transfer between funding routes once submitted. If you are submitting to the international development funding route of this opportunity, please ensure your proposal complies with ODA definitions and guidance (see the ‘how to apply’ section).

International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) registry

UKRI publish data on ODA awards via the IATI registry as part of the UK government commitment to ODA transparency.

The purpose of publishing information via the IATI registry is to make information about ODA easily accessible to governments, stakeholders and other relevant groups in the beneficiary countries.

Project titles and summaries will be published, therefore in order for the information to be useful and accessible to non-specialist audiences the title and project summary should be written with disclosure in mind and provide a clear description of the project written in plain English, avoiding jargon and acronyms.

The project title should make clear how the project complies with ODA requirements, for example it should identify the beneficiary country or countries and development challenge being addressed.

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: Early Career Researchers International Collaboration Grants ODA.

This will populate:

  • council: EPSRC
  • document type: Standard Proposal
  • scheme: Standard
  • call/type/mode: Early Career Researchers International Collaboration Grants ODA

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 18 January 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

Your application must also include the following attachments:

  • case for support (8 pages, 2 on your track record and 6 on the scientific case) The track record should cover the UK and international partners:
    • applicants should clearly stipulate the development challenges in the developing country that they are targeting
    • applicants should also demonstrate in the case for support how a consideration of maximising potential impact in the partner country(ies) is embedded in their proposed programme of work. Secondary benefits to the UK of this research should also be described, such as UK national importance
  • 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), EPSRC guidance on project partners letter of support. The international academic partners should be included as project partners and provide letters of support
  • technical assessments for facilities listed as requiring 1 in the Je-S guidance (no page limit)
  • host organisation letter of support (2 pages)
  • cover letter (optional attachment, no page limit, not seen by peer review). You should use the cover letter to describe how their experience and career history fit with the person eligibility guidance. Read the eligibility requirements of the EPSRC New Investigator Award scheme
  • Official Development Assistance (ODA) statement (up to 1 side of A4, attachment type ‘non-UK components’) in which you should consider the following questions:
    • which country or countries on the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Development Assistance Committee (DAC) list of ODA recipients will directly benefit from this proposal and are these countries likely to continue to be eligible to receive ODA for the duration of the research? Please refer to the DAC list for information about countries that will be considered for graduation at the next review
    • how is your proposal directly and primarily relevant to the development challenges of these countries? Please provide evidence of the development need and articulate how the proposed activity is appropriate to address this need
    • how do you expect that the outcome of your proposed activities will promote the economic development and welfare of a country or countries on the DAC list?
    • what approach or approaches will you use to deliver development impact within the lifetime of the project and in the longer-term? Please consider the potential outcomes, the key beneficiary and stakeholder groups in the DAC list country or countries and how they will be engaged to ensure opportunities for them to benefit and to enable development impact to be achieved
  • gender equality statement (up to 1 side of A4, attachment type ‘non-UK components’):
    • to comply with the International Development (Gender Equality) Act 2014, applications must include a gender equality statement, outlining how applicants have taken meaningful yet proportionate consideration as to how the project will contribute to reducing gender inequalities. This must be no longer than 1 page and is a mandatory attachment
    • applicants are required to address the below criteria, with an understanding that, depending on the nature of their research and innovation, not all questions will be applicable

Gender equality statement

Criteria to address while considering gender impact:

  • have measures been put in place to ensure equal and meaningful opportunities for people of different genders to be involved throughout the project? This includes the development of the project, the participants of the research and innovation, and the beneficiaries of the research and innovation
  • the expected impact of the project (benefits and losses) on people of different genders, both throughout the project and beyond
  • the impact on the relations between people of different genders and people of the same gender. For example, changing roles and responsibilities in households, society, economy, politics, power, etc.
  • how will any risks and unintended negative consequences on gender equality be avoided or mitigated against, and monitored?
  • are there any relevant outcomes and outputs being measured, with data disaggregated by age and gender (where disclosed)?

Read further guidance for applicants on gender equality statements (PDF, 538KB). This guidance was issued as part of previous Global Challenges Research Fund and Newton Fund opportunities but is also relevant for this opportunity.

You should attach your documents as PDF documents to avoid errors. They should be completed in single-spaced Arial 11 font or similar-sized sans serif typeface

Advice on writing proposals for EPSRC funding.

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 in the ‘additional info’ section.

How we will assess your application

Assessment process

Intention to submit

Information provided as part of the intention to submit will not formally assessed. UK Research and Innovation staff will use this information to understand:

  • expected submission levels
  • Official Development Assistance (ODA) compliance
  • the spread of applications across EPSRC’s remit

Full proposals

Full proposals will be assessed by an expert panel. 3 members of the panel, introducers, will be asked to assess each of the projects. The introducers will assess the proposals and can request additional information from the applicants under all or some of the funding opportunity criteria. The additional information will be request from you in late March 2023.

You will be given 2 weeks to provide a response to the questions raised by the introducers. The response must be a maximum of 2 pages long.

The panel will then use the information provided in the applications and the responses to the questions raised by the introducers to rank the proposals, using the assessment criteria, at a prioritisation panel meeting.

If there is significant demand, then we may group the applications by topic and run 2 or more prioritisation panels. Applications will only be assessed by 1 panel. If applications to the open funding route and international development funding route are assessed at the same panel they will be ranked on separate rank order lists.

Gender equality statements

Gender equality statements will be shared with the expert panel. The panel will be asked to comment on the appropriateness of the applicants’ gender equality statement as part of the assessment process.

In cases where the gender equality statement demonstrates insufficient consideration of gender equality and, or, if there is potential for the proposed research and innovation to exacerbate inequalities, applicants may be required to make amendments to their gender equality statement.

The panel will have the discretion to make funding conditional on a sufficient revised gender equality statement being submitted.

EPSRC reserves the right to reject a proposal where the gender equality statement has not been sufficiently considered with no attempt to address the criteria above.

Assessment criteria

Please note that whilst the criteria headings mirror EPSRC’s standard criteria, additional aspects have been added to the ‘applicant and partnerships’ and ‘resources and management’ criteria. The ‘applicant and partnerships’ criterion has been made a primary criterion. Fit to opportunity in terms of ODA compliance has also been added as a primary criterion.

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. For multidisciplinary proposals please state which aspects of the proposal you feel qualified to assess

Fit to opportunity: ODA compliance (primary)

Proposals should:

  • have a primary benefit of the economic development and welfare of developing countries
  • meet other elements of compliance with ODA funding

Importance (secondary major)

How the research:

  • contributes to the international development needs in the partner lower middle income, low income or least developed country or countries
  • contributes to or helps maintain the health of other disciplines
  • contributes to addressing key societal challenges
  • contributes to secondary benefits to the UK by meeting national needs by establishing or maintaining a unique world-leading activity
  • complements other 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 (primary)

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

  • appropriateness of the track record of the applicant or applicants
  • unique and complementary contribution and expertise of the international partner or partners
  • appropriateness of the plans for developing the collaborative relationship with the international partner or partners
  • 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:

  • the level of the contribution made to this award from other sources including the UK institutions and international potential partners
  • 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

Feedback

Feedback will not be provided following the expert panel meeting. The assessment of the expert panel will be shared with you ahead of the meeting. You will have a chance to provide a response to the assessment, which will be considered in the ranking of the proposal.

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

EPSRC International Team

Email: international@epsrc.ukri.org

Include ‘EPSRC ECR International Collaboration Grant – open’ in the subject line.

Joanne Humphries, Senior Portfolio Manager

Email: joanne.humphries@epsrc.ukri.org

Include ‘EPSRC ECR International Collaboration Grant – open’ in the subject line.

Ellen Guest, Portfolio Manager

Email: ellen.guest@epsrc.ukri.org

Include ‘EPSRC ECR International Collaboration Grant – open’ 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 UK is at the forefront of addressing global societal and economic challenges that have engineering and physical sciences at the heart, including:

  • climate change
  • cyber security
  • long-term sustainable growth

Consequently, as part of our 2022 to 2025 delivery plan we will provide opportunities for our research and innovation base to connect with international leaders and facilitate joint working between the UK research community and their preferred global partners.

This funding opportunity forms part of the UK’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) commitment, which is monitored by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). The ambition of ODA-funded activities is to focus on outcomes that promote the long-term sustainable growth of countries on the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) list.

Proposals must make it clear that its primary purpose is to promote the economic development and welfare of a developing country or countries. Applicants should:

  • seek to investigate a specific problem or seek a specific outcome which will have an impact on a developing country or countries on the DAC list
  • provide evidence as to why this is a problem for the developing country or countries
  • address the issue identified effectively and efficiently
  • use the strengths of the UK to address the issues, working in collaboration with others as appropriate

Applications will be assessed with ODA eligibility being a criterion for approval. Panel members will be provided with this guidance and asked to comment on ODA compliance.

Grant additional conditions (GAC)

Grants are awarded under the standard UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) grant terms and conditions. As an internationally collaborative grant particular attention should be paid to standard conditions 2.6.1 and 2.6.2.

The following additional grant conditions will also apply:

GAC: ODA compliance

The funding opportunity is part of the UK’s ODA. Its aim is to support cutting-edge research that addresses challenges faced by developing countries.

You must ensure the research that is undertaken as part of this grant is compliant with ODA rules and regulations as set out by the OECD. In the event that the research is deemed to no longer comply with ODA rules and regulations We reserve the right to terminate the grant and recover funds spent on non-ODA compliant activities.

Read further ODA guidance (PDF, 331KB)

In addition to the requirements set out in RGC 7.1, any proposed changes to the award that could affect the ODA compliance of the research must be reported to us at the earliest opportunity via the grant maintenance facility in the Joint Electronic Submission (Je-S). We will then consider whether such changes are permissible and inform you of their decision.

Changes that should be reported include but are not limited to:

  • any proposed changes to the field or other study sites within OECD DAC list country or countries
  • country of focus
  • objectives
  • the potential graduation of a country of focus from the OECD DAC list

GAC: government support

This award is dependent on continuing government commitment for this initiative. In the event that this support is withdrawn, we reserve the right to terminate the award.

GAC: grant extensions

Notwithstanding grant conditions RGC 6, due to ODA financial constraints, grant extensions will only be considered under circumstances (in line with the Equality Act 2010) and will require our agreement on a case-by-case basis.

You remain responsible for compliance with the terms of the Equality Act 2010 including any subsequent amendments introduced while work is in progress; and for ensuring that the expectations set out in RGC 3.4 are met.

GAC: ethical requirements for research being undertaken overseas

Research must meet the UKRI research governance requirements outlined in RGC 3. For clinical studies involving human participants and, or, patients, appropriate consent must be obtained. Additionally, any research undertaken outside the UK must have both UK and respective country ethical approvals.

When collaborating with other laboratories, or where animal facilities are provided by third parties, researchers and the local ethics committee in the UK should satisfy themselves that welfare standards consistent with the principles of UK legislation (for example the American Society for Public Administration) and set out in this guidance are applied and maintained.

Find our more about ethics

You must be prepared to furnish us with a copy of the ethical approval, and any correspondence with the committees, if requested by us. You must notify us if a regulator or a research ethics committee requires amendments that substantially affect the research question, methodology or costs to the extent that the project is no longer the same as that approved for funding by us.

GAC: collaboration agreements

​In addition to RGC 12, where the grant is associated with more than 1 research organisation and, or, other project partners, the basis of collaboration between the organisations, including the allocation of resources throughout the project and ownership of intellectual property and rights to exploitation, is expected to be set out in a formal collaboration agreement.

Collaboration agreements with all identified partners must be in place within the first 6  months of the grant start date. The terms of collaboration agreements must not conflict with the UKRI terms and conditions.

GAC: ODA transparency

The UK government is committed to transparency in reporting ODA spending, through the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) open data standard. In line with this, information about this award will be made available via the IATI registry.

GAC: safeguarding

You must have policies and procedures in place to safeguard research participants, their communities, direct beneficiaries and research staff from all forms of exploitation, violence, abuse or harm as a result of their association with the project or with project staff, associated personnel, volunteers or visitors.

You are responsible for ensuring that research is conducted in a way that ensures the health, wellbeing, human rights and dignity of the research participants and their communities and is fair and free from exploitation and abuse.

All relevant safeguarding legislation and good practice recommendations must be adhered to. We particularly draw your attention to child protection legislation and the Modern Slavery Act 2015.

Overseas costs

1 or more overseas partner organisations based in lower middle income, low income or least developed country or countries on the OECD DAC list of ODA recipients, including universities, research institutes, non-governmental organisations, charities and industry collaborators, are a requirement for proposals to this opportunity.

Overseas partners from China and India do not count towards this criteria. Subcontracting costs may be requested for these partners where necessary for the project and suitably justified in the application.

Co-investigators may only be named from international research organisations based in partner lower middle income, low income or least developed countries. These partner organisations will receive funding through the UK lead research organisation; they cannot act as the lead organisation.

Co-investigators based in the UK are permitted if the grant crosses disciplinary boundaries and it is demonstrated they are from a different discipline to the principal investigator, as per standard New Investigator Award guidance. If you have any queries in this regard, please contact us before applying.

It may be appropriate for some lower middle income, low income or least developed country organisations to be project partners in the usual EPSRC sense, in that they are offering their own resources to the project, either cash and, or, in-kind, rather than requesting funding from EPSRC via the UK lead university. Project partners in this sense do satisfy the opportunity requirement for lower middle income, low income or least developed country partner organisations.

Collaborators from upper middle income countries on the DAC list of the OECD may be included on the proposal as project partners but EPSRC will not contribute to their associated costs.

Please note that overseas costs should only be applied for where they cannot reasonably be covered by existing funding. For example, an overseas co-investigator’s salary may be fully covered and no UK contribution is required to recompense their time in carrying out the project.

In such a case the total number of hours to be charged to the grant over its duration should be shown as zero on the Je-S form, although the hours per week they undertake to contribute to the project should be entered on the form as normal.

The UK research organisation awarded the grant is responsible for the conduct and administration of the grant. It is accountable for the effective use of public funds, and must therefore ensure that all grant monies are subject to proper financial management processes.

It is the research organisation’s responsibility to ensure that expenditure on collaborations in the UK and abroad is subject to robust controls to ensure value for money and propriety; all costs should be fully vouched and maintained for possible inspection and checks by, or on behalf of, EPSRC.

If research resources are subcontracted to a partner organisation the UK lead research organisation must undertake due diligence checks to ensure that the funding will be appropriately used. The lead UK research organisation must confirm to EPSRC that it has undertaken suitable due diligence checks within 3 months of the start of the grant.

Permissible overseas costs are described below. These apply only to costs associated with collaborators from research organisations in lower middle income, low income or least developed countries. Collaborations with other countries are permitted, but are subject to standard EPSRC funding rules:

  • salary costs for overseas co-Investigators and any locally employed researchers or technicians, meaning percentage contribution of actual salary should be entered under the appropriate investigator or staff section of the Je-S form. In each case these costs must be marked as an exception. EPSRC contribution of 100% of the full economic cost
  • travel and subsistence for overseas co-investigators and, or, researchers. These costs should be entered under directly incurred costs as usual but marked as an exception. EPSRC contribution of 100% of the full economic cost
  • other directly incurred costs charged by the overseas organisation and associated with the research, for example, consumables, field work, etc. These costs should be entered as usual but marked as an exception. EPSRC contribution of 100% of the full economic cost
  • other directly incurred indirect and estates costs at the overseas organisation: we will pay a contribution to these costs, which should be calculated as 20% of the overseas research organisation’s staff costs only, including investigators, researchers and technicians. This total should be entered as a separate item under other directly incurred costs and marked as an exception. EPSRC contribution of 100% of the full economic cost
  • travel and subsistence (including bench fees) for UK-based researchers going abroad to undertake work. This does not include costs incurred directly by the overseas organisation when the UK researcher is active in that country. EPSRC contribution of 80% of the full economic cost

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

Frequently asked questions and webinar questions (PDF, 420KB)

Webinar slides (PDF, 2.9MB)

Equality impact assessment (PDF, 228KB)

This is the integrated website of the seven research councils, Research England and Innovate UK.
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