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: Independent Research Fellowships (IRFOCT22).
This will populate:
- council: NERC
- document type: standard proposal
- scheme: research fellowship
- call/type/mode: Independent Research Fellowships (IRFOCT22).
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.
Fellowship proposals do not have a separate project partner section. Any significant collaborators (from outside the host research organisation) should be named and their role described in the ‘partnership details’ section of the form. A letter of support should be attached from each person named in that section.
Collaborators from the host research organisation submitting the proposal should not be named in this section and should not provide a letter of support. Internal collaborators can be mentioned in the section on ‘choice of host institution’.
Sub-contracts are eligible costs on proposals submitted to this opportunity, but should only be used for the procurement of goods and services. Sub-contracts are not permitted for research partners providing intellectual input into the project, where a research partner or project partner relationship is more appropriate.
NERC must receive your application by 11 October 2022 at 16:00.
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.
All attachments submitted through the Je-S system (with the exception of letters of support, and services, facilities and equipment quotes) must be completed in single-spaced typescript of minimum font size 11 point (Arial or other sans serif typeface of equivalent size to Arial 11), with margins of at least 2cm.
Please note that Arial Narrow, Calibri and Times New Roman are not allowable font types and any proposal that has used any of these font types within their submission will be rejected.
References and footnotes should also be at least 11 point font and should be in the same font type as the rest of the document. Headers and footers should not be used for references or information relating to the scientific case. Applicants referring to websites should note that referees may choose not to use them.
Applicants should ensure that their proposal conforms to all eligibility and submission rules, otherwise their proposal may be rejected without peer review. More details on NERC’s submission rules can be found in the:
We recommend you convert your documents to PDFs before attaching them to avoid conversion errors with fonts and diagrams.
On submission to the council, all non-PDF documents are converted to PDF. The use of non-standard fonts may result in errors or font conversion, which could affect the overall length of the document.
Your application should include the following attachments:
- case for support (required, exactly one)
- justification of resources (required, exactly one)
- data management plan (required, exactly one)
- CV (required, exactly one. Applicants to use the Resume for Research and Innovation template)
- letter of support (required if project partnership details given, equal to number of project partners)
- cover letter (optional)
- list of publications (required, exactly one)
- head of department statement (required, exactly one to be attached by the approver or submitter)
- preliminary Antarctic logistics support request (required if British Antarctic Survey (BAS) logistic support is requested. These attachments will not be sent out for peer review but will be sent to BAS)
- other (optional).
Each application must be accompanied by a case for support. Further details of what is required in the case for support can be found in the NERC research grant and fellowships handbook. The supporting case must not exceed 10 sides of A4 (including figures and references).
Antarctic logistics support
Applicants who have submitted the preliminary request for Antarctic logistic support form to BAS and have been given approval to submit a full application to NERC by the logistics panel must attach the form, as supplied with the approval reference identifier in the header, to their full proposal.
Please note that the preliminary request for Antarctic logistic support form does not get sent out to peer review, but is used by BAS for their logistic planning.
The approved preliminary request for Antarctic logistic support will only be valid for a 12 month period from the date of application to BAS. Therefore, if you have received approval for logistic support and your fellowship application is unsuccessful you will have to submit another preliminary request for Antarctic logistic support form to BAS, if you wish to submit a fellowship application requesting Antarctic logistic support.
Any applications that request Antarctic logistic support and attach the preliminary request for Antarctic logistic support form without having received prior approval will not be accepted by NERC.
The NERC data policy must be adhered to and a NERC 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. Applicants should ensure they request sufficient resource to cover preparation of data for archiving by the research team.
Résumé for Research and Innovation
The Résume for Résearch and Innovation (R4RI) is a narrative CV based on the Royal Society’s Resume for Researchers. This opportunity is one of a number of pilots of the format across UK Research and Innovation (UKRI). If you have any feedback on the format or guidance provided, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The R4RI template is designed to allow you to showcase the relevant skills and experience you have. The template encourages applicants to include a wide range of contributions to the research and innovation landscape so that these can be recognised and rewarded as part of the assessment process.
We encourage you to be specific and only highlight outputs that are directly relevant to the opportunity being applied for or that provide evidence of your (or your team’s) ability to deliver the proposal.
R4RI is assessed as a whole and therefore it is of no consequence which heading you include a piece of evidence under. The modules are simply designed to help you consider all aspects of your work.
You will not be penalised for leaving sections blank, but it is recommended you carefully consider the breadth of your experience.
The R4RI should be completed as a narrative. Lists should be avoided where possible. The assessment process is not based on metrics (numbers of publications, impact factors or amounts of past funding, for example). Publication references within the application should be provided as Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs) wherever possible.
The R4RI template is designed to be used across many different funding opportunities. Therefore, it is important that you carefully read the funding opportunity-specific guidance for details on how it will be assessed.
The ‘additions’ box is included for applicants to provide additional information, such as details of career breaks, which they feel may give context to the R4RI or wider application. Please note that this is not a requirement and you may leave this box blank if you wish. All comments written here will be seen by both reviewers and panel members and may also be shared with UKRI colleagues for evaluation purposes.
R4RI should be focused and only include information relevant to the opportunity. It should be no longer than two sides of A4.
Principal investigators wishing to use NERC services and facilities need to contact the relevant facility at least a month before the closing date of the opportunity to discuss the proposed work and receive confirmation that they can provide the services required within the timeframe of the grant.
The facility will then provide a technical assessment that includes the calculated cost of providing the service.
NERC services and facilities must be costed within the limits of the proposal. The technical assessment must be submitted as part of the Je-S form, as detailed in the NERC research grant and fellowships handbook.
The full list of NERC facilities that require a technical assessment can be found on the NERC website. This excludes the below as these services have their own policies for access and costing:
Applicants wishing to use NERC’s marine facilities must complete an online SME or autonomous deployment (ADF) application form on the Marine Facilities Planning web page. The SME or ADF number should be included on the Je-S grant proposal form under services and facilities.
Completed SME or ADF forms must be submitted by 14 September 2022 and approved by NERC marine planning by the time the proposal (Je-S form) is submitted. Failure to do so may result in the request not being considered for inclusion in the NERC Marine Facilities Programme.
Applicants intending to apply for NERC’s marine facilities should also contact email@example.com to discuss ship time and equipment needs as soon as possible.
BAS Antarctic logistics support
Applicants requiring NERC BAS Antarctic logistics support must complete a pre-award operational planning support questionnaire (OSPQ). This is an online form.
Applicants must email the Antarctic Access Office (AAO) at BAS (firstname.lastname@example.org) stating their name, institution and proposal title. The AAO will set up a new, numbered pre-award OSPQ and send the link to the applicant along with instructions for completion.
The deadline for pre-award OSPQs to be submitted is normally three months before the final proposal deadline. In this case, we will provide an alternative deadline in due course.
The pre-award OSPQ should be submitted to AAO and included as an attachment at the full application stage. Any funding applications that request Antarctic logistics support without having received prior logistic approval will not be accepted.