Funding opportunity

Funding opportunity: EPSRC network grant

This funding opportunity is now closed on Je-S. It will reopen on the new UKRI Funding Service in May 2023.

This guidance page is no longer in use.

Find the latest guidance for EPSRC responsive mode: network grant.

Find out more about our pathway for change.

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

We will support costs of building interdisciplinary research communities including investigator salaries, travel and subsistence, workshops, and administrative support.

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

Who can apply

Network grants are for researchers at  UK higher education institutions, research council institutes, UKRI-approved independent research organisations, Public Sector Research Establishments 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 research 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.

Under the UKRI-RCN Money Follows Cooperation Agreement a co-investigator can be based in a Norwegian institution.

Find out more about individual eligibility.

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

This funding opportunity is also subject to our policy on repeatedly unsuccessful submissions.

What we're looking for

We aim to develop new interdisciplinary research communities and topics by supporting interaction between researchers and relevant science, technology and industrial groups.

We aim to:

  • transfer experimental techniques, models and scientific insights
  • promote mobility between academe, universities and industry.

We expect networks to lead to new collaborative multidisciplinary research proposals in areas we support. Some may develop into virtual centres of excellence.

They should:

  • be a new collaboration
  • aim to form a new interdisciplinary research community and identify new interdisciplinary research topics
  • involve a group with a range of expertise and experience
  • be based in the UK but may include collaboration with overseas partners
  • demonstrate the added value EPSRC funding would bring.

We will prioritise interdisciplinary proposals and those that involve industrial or other users in any field of research relevant to our remit. We particularly encourage involvement of small and medium-sized enterprises.

We support excellent research in:

  • digital economy
  • energy
  • engineering
  • global uncertainties
  • transforming health and healthcare
  • information and communication technologies
  • living with environmental change
  • manufacturing the future
  • mathematical sciences
  • physical sciences
  • quantum technologies
  • research infrastructure.

Find out more about our research areas and themes.

We will fund any size of project lasting up to three years. Network grants do not fund research. Activities supported include:

  • salaries of an investigator and one co-investigator for time spent on setting up and managing the network
  • travel and subsistence, including for members to meet to exchange ideas and expertise and to visit each other’s laboratories. Industrial collaborators should meet their own costs where possible
  • workshops
  • administrative support to help coordinate the network
  • communication costs and for additional equipment such as personal computers and web servers.

We will fund 80% of the full economic costs of your project. We encourage contributions from industrial members, which should be included in your proposal.

Find out more in our guide on network management.

How to apply

You must apply using the Joint Electronic Submission system (Je-S) . We are always open for applications for network grants.

When adding a new proposal you should select:

  • council: EPSRC
  • document type: standard research
  • scheme: network
  • on the project details page you should select ‘none’.

Your application should include the following attachments:

  • previous track record: two pages
  • case for support: six pages
  • justification of resources: two pages
  • diagrammatic work plan: one page.

Your case for support should include:

  • scientific or technological basis for the activity, including in the context of current and previous international research in the field
  • details of initial membership and contributions
  • scientific, technological and management benefits and any additional benefits over the work of existing researchers or networks. Targets and performance indicators should be given that allow the project to be evaluated at its end in the longer term (five years from start)
  • details or activities
  • plans to disseminate the network’s outputs
  • potential for collaboration within the network and how this might lead to support for new research in emerging fields
  • plans for self-sufficiency beyond the end of the project if appropriate.

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 full advice on completing applications.

Find out more about:

UKRI is implementing a standard method for inputting overseas costs on Je-S from 1 July 2021. This will enhance UKRI’s ability to report on overseas funding to:

  • BEIS
  • the Organisation for Economic Development (OECD)
  • HMG
  • other government departments.

It includes any costs incurred by organisations outside the UK, including:

  • staff salaries
  • travel and subsistence
  • equipment
  • overheads.

The ‘Other-DI Costs’ document is to contain the following data in the description box in this exact format: ‘Organisation; Country; Cost Category; Cost Description’.

For example: ‘University of Nairobi; Kenya; Other Directly Incurred Costs; Subcontracting of the production of samples’.

How we will assess your application

Your application is assessed by peer review. It will be sent electronically to at least three reviewers, including at least one nominated by you.

You will have the opportunity to respond to reviewer comments if your application gains enough support. The proposal, reviewers’ comments and your response will then go to a panel that will score it against our assessment criteria and rank it with other proposals. Panels are organised by theme and meet at different times of the year.

Your application is 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).

Find out more about the assessment process.

Contact details

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 a question about the opportunity

Get help with Je-S

Any queries regarding the submission of proposals through Je-S should be directed to the Je-S helpdesk:

Telephone: 01793 444164

Je-S helpdesk opening times

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