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EPSRC discipline-hopping in ICT

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Discipline-hopping grants are for researchers at UK higher education institutions, research council institutes, UKRI-approved independent research organisations and NHS bodies.

You may have a background in information and communications technologies (ICT) and propose to use your research skills in a new discipline. Alternatively, you may have other expertise and wish to learn ICT research skills and apply them in your home discipline.

We will fund salary, travel and subsistence, and training and guidance over a period of three to 24 months.

We will award 80% of the full economic costs of the project, and your organisation must agree to find the balance.

Who can apply

Our grants are open to UK higher education institutions, research council institutes, UKRI-approved independent research organisations and NHS bodies with research capacity.

Find out more about institutional eligibility.

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

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

Clinical applicants must be employed or be on a fixed-term contract longer than the proposed project at an NHS trust, hospital, board, primary care trust or general practice.

Find out more about individual eligibility.

We will not accept uninvited resubmissions of projects that have been submitted to UKRI or any other funder.

 

What we're looking for

You can apply for a discipline-hopping in ICT grant at any time in any field of research relevant to the UKRI remit.

You should have a proven track record of research in your home discipline and wish to develop skills and collaborations with other disciplines or users.

You must show how you will use interdisciplinary research and collaborative development to benefit the ICT research community.

Find out more about the ICT research areas covered by this funding opportunity.

You could carry out a discipline hop to:

  • gain skills and knowledge to open up a new cross-disciplinary research area or answer a specific cross-disciplinary research question
  • explore the feasibility of working with other disciplines on a project
  • learn a new technique, tool or method that you can apply to your own research.

Your period of discipline-hopping could last between three and 24 months, and the pattern of work could vary. For example, you could:

  • work in another university department at your home institution for one day a week for 12 months
  • travel to a different research institution or company in the UK or go abroad for three months full time.

Your pattern of work should be appropriate for the research being conducted and outlined in the proposal. You will be expected to immerse yourself in the discipline, for example by a move of location or department.

We will award 80% of the full economic costs of the project, with your organisation covering the remaining balance. Funding will support:

  • salary of the primary investigator
  • travel and subsistence while away from the home institution
  • a co-investigator at the host institution to provide the necessary training and guidance
  • consumables to carry out the research
  • spending on broadening the impact of the discipline-hop and maximising collaborative work between ICT and other disciplines.

Funding is not available for:

  • replacement salary costs at your home institution
  • co-investigators or project partners from overseas or in industry (although overseas and industry collaborators can be part of your proposal)
  • equipment over £10,000.

Find out more about our research areas and themes.

How to apply

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

When adding a new proposal, you should select:

  • council: EPSRC
  • document type: standard proposal
  • scheme: discipline-hopping awards

On the project details page, you should select ‘discipline-hopping in information and communications technologies’.

Your application should include the following attachments:

  • case for support including up to two sides of A4 on your track record and your suitability for a discipline hop at this stage of your career, and up to six sides of A4 on how your discipline hop will meet the objectives of this scheme
  • justification of resources: two pages
  • a diagrammatic work plan: one page
  • your CV: two sides of A4
  • letter(s) from the host organisation(s) you intend to hop into confirming arrangements are in place: one side of A4
  • letter from the head of department at your organisation confirming agreement to the hop and that arrangements are in place to manage any EPSRC grants affected by the hop: one side of A4.

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

We recommend you start your application in good time. You can save completed details in Je-S at any time and return to continue your application later.

When you submit the application, it will first go to your host organisation for review. You should hear the result of your application within 26 weeks of submission by your host organisation.

See the Je-S handbook for advice on completing applications.

Find out more about completing your application.

How we will assess your application

Your application will be assessed by peer review. It will be sent electronically to at least three reviewers, usually at least one nominated by you. The reviewers will be experts in the research area you currently work in and the area you propose to hop into.

If at least two of the reviewers’ comments are supportive, you will have the opportunity to respond to them, and the proposal will proceed to a panel. It will be ranked against other discipline-hopping proposals. Panels are organised by theme and meet at different times of the year.

If your application gains enough support from reviewers, we may approve funding without the need to go to one of our review panels.

Your application will be assessed first and foremost on quality (primary), followed by national importance (secondary major). It is also assessed on applicant and partnerships (secondary) and resources and management (secondary).

We will assess how well your proposal meets the aims of the scheme, including:

  • the reasons you have chosen to work in the proposed research area at this time
  • the skills you will gain and how they will be applied to your research
  • the suitability of the host organisation and the collaborations in place
  • how your proposal may lead to long-term innovative research or future collaborations.

Find out more about the assessment process.

Contact details

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