The Global Partnerships Seedcorn Fund enables UK researchers to develop new international partnerships and networks, which underpin the development of long-term sustainable collaborations.
Proposed collaborations may involve international research partners from any country and in any science area within NERC’s remit.
Although the majority of the application should lie within NERC remit, multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary collaborations with international partners are welcomed.
The aim of the Global Partnerships Seedcorn Fund is to support development of partnerships that are:
- international (from any country)
- new (partners you have not collaborated with previously)
- long-term (that will be self-sustaining beyond the lifetime of the grant).
Whilst some exploratory elements are expected, the proposal must include specific scientific objectives. Research excellence remains a consideration and the partnership should aim to develop in areas of excellence that could not be achieved from working with UK partners.
You should ensure the balance between partnership building activities and direct research is appropriate, considering the key objectives of the funding opportunity.
Supported activities may include but are not limited to:
- programmes of exchange visits or staff secondments
- establishing networks on a common research area
- scoping, feasibility or proof of concept studies
New collaborations may enable UK researchers and international partners to share:
- unique or complementary data
- field sites.
In all cases, activities must be undertaken with the clear and demonstrable intention of developing long-term sustainable collaborations.
The inclusion of one or more international project partners is mandatory.
To maximise the quality of the activity and its potential to develop long-term sustainable partnerships, international project partners must have an integral role in the proposed work.
You can work with project partners from any country around the globe, outside of the UK.
You should note the following when considering potential partners:
- the quality of partnerships should be the primary criteria rather than the number of international partners
- while existing long-standing international partners are welcome to participate, the application must primarily involve developing new international project partnerships
- proposed work can include promoting socio-economic development, impact and welfare, but be aware this is not an Official Development Assistance opportunity.
Details of the project partners and their contributions to the project must be recorded in the appropriate sections of the application including:
- the Je-S form
- case for support
- project partner letters of support.
Letters of support will be a key consideration of the panel at assessment and should complement the case for support effectively.
Proposals with international partners from São Paulo, Brazil
This opportunity will accept joint proposals with researchers from the State of São Paulo in Brazil under the terms of the UKRI-São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP) lead agency agreement (PDF, 260KB).
Please refer to the supporting document ‘NERC-FAPESP guidance’ for further guidance on how to apply.
Learn more about FAPESP.
Proposals with international partners from Taiwan
This opportunity will accept joint proposals with researchers from Taiwan under the NERC-Ministry of Science and Technology, Taiwan (MOST) memorandum of understanding (MoU).
Please refer to the supporting documents for joint MOST and NERC proposals for further guidance on how to apply. These include the:
- NERC-MOST guidance
- MOST budget form.
Learn more about MOST.
NERC has provisionally allocated £1 million to this funding opportunity. The maximum funding for Global Partnerships Seedcorn Fund proposals is £100,000 at 100% full economic cost with a duration of up to two years.
All applicants are advised to consult their institutional finance officers when completing the financial parts of the application.
All applicants should enter the 100% full economic cost of the proposed research into the budget sections of the Je-S form. All costs should be in pounds sterling (£).
Requested costs for UK research organisations will be funded at 80% of full economic cost. All costs associated with the project must be itemised in the Je-S form and justified in the justification of resources document.
Funding for international project partners
International project partners are not eligible for direct funding. However, eligible UK organisations may request up to £15,000 towards their international partners travel and subsistence costs during visits or exchanges.
Costs for UK and international project partner organisations must be entered as separate items. All travel and subsistence for international project partners will be payable at 100% of actual costs and entered as ‘exceptions’ on the Je-S form. UK travel and subsistence costs are still paid at 80% full economic cost.
Enter on Je-S under a single line per organisation and country. For example, enter as:
University of ‘x’, Country: ‘x’, Number of trips: ‘x’, Cost in pounds sterling: ’x’.
For projects seeking support from FAPESP or MOST, you may still use this allowance, or part of it. However, you should carefully consider and make clear which costs are supported by NERC and why.
What we do not cover
You cannot receive support for the following costs under this opportunity:
- conference attendance, including registration fees, and travel and subsistence costs
- standard office computing equipment
- equipment over £10,000 (inclusive of VAT)
- all international project partner costs, such as, salary and estates costs, except for travel and subsistence up to £15,000
- associated studentships.
Project start and delivery
Projects should be no longer than 24 months in duration, with an earliest start date of 1 August 2022 and latest of 31 October 2022.
NERC-MOST projects should start no earlier than 1 September 2022 and no later than 31 December 2022.
The NERC data policy must be adhered to, and an outline data management plan produced as part of proposal development.
NERC will pay the data centre directly on behalf of the programme for archival and curation services. However, you should ensure you request sufficient resources to cover preparation of data for archiving by the relevant data centre.
If you wish to use a NERC service or facility, you must seek agreement from the facility before submitting your proposal.
Applying to use NERC services and facilities.
All NERC grant holders are required to report through the UKRI reporting system, Researchfish. This is required annually and continues for up to five years after funding ends.