This scheme will be open for applications once a year.
It is mandatory that you make STFC aware of your intention to submit by emailing email@example.com on or before 8 August 2022. Please give details of the:
- principal investigator name
- area of PPAN you will be working in
- title of the application in the email.
Applying through Je-S
You must apply using the Joint Electronic Submission (Je-S) system.
You can find advice on completing your application in the:
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.
- Select ‘documents’, then ‘new document’.
- Select ‘call search’.
- To find the opportunity, search for: Early Stage R&D Call 2022.
This will populate:
- council: STFC
- document type: standard proposal
- scheme: standard
- call/type/mode: Early Stage R&D Call 2022
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 September 2022 at 16:00 UK time. Proposals submitted after the deadline will not be accepted.
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 be aware that submitting a proposal in Je-S sends the application to the university’s research office, not UKRI. Please allow enough time before the deadline for the proposal to process through the institution’s internal submitter pool.
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, seven sides of A4)
- Gantt chart (recommended, one side of A4)
- data management plan (required, two sides of A4)
- letter of support from your technology transfer office (recommended if industry is supporting the application)
- project partner letter of support from each project partner (required if partners are present)
- letters of support from organisations interested in the project (recommended)
- covering letter (optional, cover letters will not be been 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.
It is expected that project partners will contribute an appropriate level of support throughout the project and have a vested interest in any outcomes.
This information should be detailed in the Je-S application and letter of support. The principal investigator must submit this information on behalf of the supporting partner.
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 the 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 project (joint applications) is within the financial limits of the award.
Case for support
The case for support should be no longer than seven 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 maturity of the technology.
An overview of the technology must be included as part of the case for support. This should include:
- a brief review of the underpinning research and context from the science area the opportunity arose from. Include details of previous funding where relevant
- a technical overview of the current status of the innovation or technology, including any preliminary data or proof-of concept, for example, which will explain the status of the technology development
- a description of the current technology and its application, along with a comparison of how your idea could improve on this
- inclusion of images and preliminary data (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 technical 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 the development or deployment of a new or improved product, service or technology?
You should use this section to:
- describe the application area of the technology or need that this proposal will seek to address
- outline how your proposed solution will address the opportunity or need, considering the scalability of the proposed approach.
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 technical overview section to discuss the research and development.
You should use this section to:
- detail the current understanding or maturity of the innovation or technology and how the proposed work will enable its development. You can reference back to the technical overview if required
- include specific project milestones or deliverables, and the resourcing necessary to deliver the proposed work
- detail any necessary access to facilities, 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, UKRI would not anticipate any business to have exclusive rights to the assets and intellectual property (IP) 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 scientific community including those of disciplines outside of the PPAN 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 product, service or technology, 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 six months of the submission
- be no more than two 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 investigator has any current or former links to the partner organisation, then they should be declared in the cover letter, 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, shareholder, member of an oversight or advisory board).
Technology transfer office
A letter of support from your technology transfer office (or equivalent) should be included with each application if you have a named industrial partner and the technology is sufficiently mature (for this scheme, maturity is defined as TRL 4 to 5). Please use the STFC technology readiness levels (TRL) definition to help determine the TRL of the technology.
The letter of support should relate specifically to the proposal (should not be a generic letter of support) and explain in detail how the university sees the project being taken forward and how the university intends to support the work involved. It should also outline the current and anticipated IP position (whether a patent has been filed or granted) of any involved parties.
Je-S only allows a maximum of three 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 investigator 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.
Data management plan
It is anticipated that all applications will produce or collect data during the course of the proposed project.
The development of a data management plan as an attachment to the Je-S proforma is mandatory for all applications. The plan should be no longer than two sides of A4.
The plan, together with any costs associated with it, will be considered, and assessed by the normal peer review process. The data management plan should explain how the data will be managed over the lifetime of the project and, where appropriate, preserved for future re‐use.
Applications that do not have a data management plan will not be accepted.
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 over the above.