Funding opportunity

Funding opportunity: Provide an X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy national research facility

Apply for support to provide an X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) national research facility (NRF) in the UK.

You must be based at a UK research organisation eligible for EPSRC funding.

The facility will give researchers access to:

  • a range of cutting edge instruments
  • expertise in XPS

EPSRC will support the facility with a 5 year grant which will undergo a mid-term review. Funding will not cover the full costs of the facility.

Up to £2 million of funding is available. You will need to demonstrate in your application that the facility will be:

  • able to earn some income from non-UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) sources
  • financially sustainable at the end of the funding period

Who can apply

Standard EPSRC eligibility rules apply. Research grants are open to:

  • UK higher education institutions
  • research council institutes
  • UKRI-approved independent research organisations
  • eligible public sector research establishments
  • eligible research and technology organisations
  • NHS bodies with research capacity

Check if your institution is eligible for funding.

You can apply if you are a resident in the UK and meet at least 1 of the following conditions:

  • are employed at the submitting research organisation at a level equivalent to lecturer or above
  • 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.

Submissions to this funding opportunity will not count towards the EPSRC repeatedly unsuccessful applicants policy.

Equality and diversity

In line with the UKRI diversity principles, equality and diversity must be embedded at all levels and in all aspects of research practice. We are committed to supporting the research community in the diverse ways a research career can be built with our investments. This includes:

  • career breaks
  • support for people with caring responsibilities
  • flexible working
  • alternative working patterns

With this in mind, we welcome applications from academics who:

  • job share
  • have a part-time contract
  • need flexible working arrangements
  • are currently committed to other longer, large existing grants

Learn more about equality, diversity and inclusion support.

What we're looking for

Following a successful statement of community need bid, EPSRC wishes to support an XPS NRF.

EPSRC will support the facility with a 5-year grant which will undergo a mid-term review at the 2.5 to 3-year stage.

You should aim to begin the project on 1 August 2023.

Key requirements for the proposed facility

EPSRC convened a specification panel at which the statement of community need was used to develop the following facility requirements, which applicants are expected to meet.

Purpose of the facility

The facility will need to be capable of providing:

  • easy access to the experimental infrastructure
  • access to support individuals
  • follow-up support with data analysis and interpretation
  • adequate training, where applicable

It should also:

  • minimise individual cost per project
  • use the best suited technology for projects, along with best practice
  • have procedures in place to maintain the confidentiality of all parties involved

Instrumentation and technical capability

The facility must offer standard and advanced XPS capability that complements wider UK capability, with provision of high energy and spatial resolution XPS instrumentation.

Advanced XPS capability might include:

  • in situ and operando measurements along with the ability to develop and use a range of sample holders
  • near ambient pressure (NAP) XPS with multiple gas and temperature environments
  • the ability to combine XPS with other characterisation techniques
  • hard X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (HAXPES) for buried interfaces
  • time resolved measurements

You should explain how this will complement existing UK capacity and fits into the wider XPS landscape.

You should provide detail on sample preparation procedures that will be available. This might include:

  • cleaving
  • heating
  • sputtering
  • inert atmosphere transfer of samples

You should also provide details of data processing tools and software that will be available to users, and plans for offline tools and data analysis.

Equipment location

You should justify the proposed location or locations of the instrumentation. You should ensure sites are accessible and there are harmonised and robust safety provisions.

Technical, scientific and training support for users

It is expected by EPSRC that all users will have access to expert advice, including but not limited to:

  • training provision in equipment use in accordance with their needs, including face to face training and support via email
  • a process via which users can raise a request, complain or issue about any aspect of the facility, and a procedure for resolution
  • site safety training at levels relevant to the users
  • experimental design and feasibility
  • data interpretation and advice regarding results
  • sample preparation and storage

You should consider the needs of different user groups, such as:

  • students
  • academic researchers
  • private sector customers
  • researchers in or outside host organisation
  • new and experienced users

The facility should include plans for engaging with future generations of researchers, including Centres for Doctoral Training.

Operational considerations

Website, engagement and publicity

The facility should provide a website fitting for an NRF and that meets accessibility requirements. This should include:

  • promoting the facility and demonstrating the capability it provides
  • showcase world leading outputs, including case studies
  • detail how to gain access
  • provide information on the management team
  • provide information on how to gain remote access to recorded data

The proposed facility should also have a communication and engagement strategy to advocate XPS to industry and His Majesty’s government and engagement plans for community outreach.


You should provide details on how the capability of the facility and the related storage, preparatory, and ancillary equipment would be maintained or enhanced. This should include:

  • details of agreements with appropriate equipment manufacturer for upgrading and developing the equipment and facility
  • a consideration of how this will be reduced where possible over the life of the grant
  • basic details for routine service (daily, weekly, and monthly) preventative maintenance (quarterly, annually)
  • details of local technical expertise

Diversify the user base

The facility is expected to grow and diversify the user base over the lifetime of the grant to bring in:

  • new universities
  • new research organisations
  • different research communities
  • new industrial users

User access

It is essential to EPSRC that the proposed facility can be accessed for the full period of the grant by students, postdoctoral researchers and academic researchers in the physical sciences, biological and engineering communities in the UK.

You should describe how access is prioritised, in terms of the criteria, who will prioritise access, and how often. This should be a fair and transparent process. Consideration should be given to equality, diversity, and inclusion.

You should ensure that proposed access routes are appropriate for maximising equipment usage.

Usage statistics

The service must be capable of collecting usage statistics in line with relevant regulations and grant conditions.

The service must be able to report on individual users and record:

  • which equipment and services they used
  • the number of experiments carried out
  • whether they obtained the data they sought

The usage data should inform decision making regarding user engagement, service improvements and future provision.

Contribution to the research community

You should consider how the short and long term impact of the facility is measured and used to demonstrate the added value of the facility over the duration of the grant.

You should demonstrate at least yearly that the facility has met the community need and communicated with the diverse needs of the user base. This could be via case studies published on the facility website.

Data management policy

The application must include a data management policy that is compliant with UKRI open data policy and extends beyond the duration of the grant.

The facility must have appropriate and robust systems and procedures to ensure data protection during collection, storage, processing, remote access and secure downloads of research data, including:

  • intellectual property sensitive results
  • confidential access to data
  • secure downloads

People and management arrangements

The facility must meet the following requirements.

The team

The facility must be led by an excellent team which are capable of:

  • community building
  • assessing community scientific needs
  • managing the operational aspects of a facility to meet user and staff requirements
  • have the confidence of the community as experts in XPS or in their respective operational roles

The team will need to work constructively with multiple stakeholders and funders.

For grant purposes the application will have a named eligible principal investigator with other team members listed as co-investigators.


The facility shall be led by an eligible academic who will be the nominated director and will be ultimately responsible for the execution of any grant. EPSRC expects this person will have an international reputation in XPS and the ability to work constructively with multiple stakeholders and funders. The director may or may not be the same person as the nominated principal investigator.

In addition you may also wish to include a nominated co-director, technical or operational director who will manage and lead the delivery of the facility. The inclusion and role should be fully justified.

Governance structure

The governance structure should include:

  • a management board, including:
    • the facility director
    • the co-director, technical or operational director, if applicable
    • others as appropriate
  • an independent steering committee that reflects the user community

The independent steering committee should include external advisors, international representation, and industry representation. A member of EPSRC must also form part of the committee.

The panel will discuss any specific governance requirements for this facility. This will be monitored for the subsequent grant.

Support and development of professionals

The facility is expected to provide ongoing support and development for research technical professionals and postdoctoral research associates involved in the running of the facility. UKRI recognise this as being core to the successful running of the facility.


EPSRC expects the facility to take a leadership role in the physical sciences, life sciences and engineering communities. Leadership in this context might involve:

  • uniqueness of the facility, where there is no equivalent elsewhere internationally
  • working with others outside the facility
  • demonstrating value of service to community in terms of meeting user needs and high usage
  • working closely with users

Future roadmaps

EPSRC expects the facility to take a leadership role in the community supporting the development of future roadmaps or strategy and working with other bodies in the community to facilitate this as a key contributor.

The facility should retain knowledge of the international landscape and where they sit within it and how this feeds into facility strategy.

Key performance indicators (KPIs) and service level agreements (SLAs)

The expectation of EPSRC is that as a result of this funding opportunity any grant awarded will include KPIs and SLAs that the facility will aspire to meet. KPIs and SLAs could be based on:

  • the number of users broken down by expert and non-expert or returning and new users
  • the department and university profile of users and number of industry users
  • the number of samples processed, with broad indication of time
  • usage figures for different instruments as a percentage, in working hours and 24/7, as appropriate
  • user satisfaction average scores
  • the number of complaints
  • list of papers and highlights published
  • the number of grant applications submitted and the success rate
  • the costs recovered via grants

Feedback and complaints

EPSRC expects that a proposed facility will have a process in place for complaints and monitoring of user satisfaction.

Cost sharing and sustainability

EPSRC is committed to providing cost effective services. You will need to consider realistic approaches to cost recovery and how it could be applied from the outset and in tandem with UKRI funding.

Different types of users and different costing models should be considered. Any risks to usage of the service need to be identified and mitigated. Thought should be given to how requests submitted by users will be prioritised.

Your proposal should present a vision for the long-term future sustainability of the service. This should describe how continuous provision would be achieved if future funding were not available.

If, following peer review, EPSRC considers that insufficient effort has been made to detail a cost-effective facility, it may, in discussion with the principal investigator, alter the profile of a successful grant to return maximum value to UK research users.

The facility should aim for a target by year 5 that EPSRC’s direct support of the NRF is 50% of the total contribution. In line with other NRFs, EPSRC will not fund the entirety of the facility and requires a proportion (%) of the recurrent (resource) costs for the facility operation to be recovered each year through charged usage.

For the avoidance of doubt, in this context, recurrent costs mean operational expenditure that is not equipment spend. This target must not preclude proof-of-principle and first-time usage.

EPSRC considers the following suggested targets to be reasonable minimum cost recovery targets for an NRF over a 5-year funding period.

You may wish to propose alternative targets and you are welcome to describe how further savings might be made and used to fund enhanced facility activities and capabilities. These should be reflected in the proposed grant payment profile that will need to be provided as part of the grant application.

EPSRC cost recovery
Year EPSRC contribution to recurrent cost Cost recovery
1 80% 20%
2 80% 20%
3 70% 30%
4 60% 40%
5 50% 50%

Progress towards increased sustainability will form a key KPI of the successful grant and will be reviewed by the independent steering committee and at the mid-term review.

EPSRC approach to equipment funding

Where possible, researchers are asked to make use of existing facilities and equipment, including those hosted at other universities. If equipment is needed as part of the proposal, you must follow EPSRC’s rules for requesting equipment over £10,000 in value.

Individual items of equipment between £10,000 and £400,000 can be included on proposals if the equipment is essential to the proposed activity and if no appropriate alternative provision can be accessed. Where equipment is requested, we expect to see a robust strategic case for how equipment will maximise the impact from research, enable collaboration with business and ultimately drive benefits within the cluster and society in general.

The purchase of equipment to undertake non-impact focused research is out of scope for this funding opportunity. EPSRC will contribute 80% of the final purchase price and will expect the research organisation or project partner to contribute the remainder (20%) from non-EPSRC funding.

You must attach a letter of support from the research organisation or project partner detailing the proposed contribution to the cost of the equipment. All requested equipment funding must be identified at the point of application.

More information is available on our guidance for equipment on research grants.

Smaller items of equipment (individually under £10,000) should be in the ‘directly incurred – other costs’ heading.

See EPSRC approach to equipment funding.

How to apply

You should ensure you are aware of and comply with any internal institutional deadlines that may be in place.

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 Je-S handbook.

We recommend you start your application early. The principal investigator and all co-investigators will need Je-S accounts. Please ensure sufficient time to create accounts for those who do not currently have one (at least 7 working days).

Your host organisation will also be able to provide advice and guidance.

When applying:

  1. Select ‘documents’, then ‘new document’.
  2. Select ‘call search’.
  3. To find the opportunity, search for: Xray photoelectron spectroscopy national research facility.

This will populate:

  • council: EPSRC
  • document type: standard proposal
  • scheme: standard
  • call/type/mode: X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy national research facility

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.

EPSRC must receive your application by 13 April 2023 at 4:00pm UK time.

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.

What you must submit

In addition to the Je-S application form, you should also upload the following documents to the system:

  • case for support (up to 20 pages)
  • justification of resources (up to 4 pages)
  • work plan (1 page)
  • grant payment profile
  • CVs
  • equipment business case
  • letters of support from all project partners included in the Je-S form (no page limit), EPSRC guidance on project partners letter of support
  • cover letter (optional attachment, no page limit, not seen by peer review)

You should attach your documents as PDFs to avoid errors. They should be completed in single-spaced Arial 11 font or similar-sized sans serif typeface. EPSRC will not accept any other attachment types under this funding opportunity.

Read our advice on writing proposals for EPSRC funding.

Case for support

This is a mandatory document. The primary supporting document will be of a longer format than those submitted for standard proposals.

The overall page length will be up to 20 pages. You should use single-spaced Arial 11 font or a similar-sized sans serif typeface.

Your ‘case for support’ document must include the following sections:

  • track record of applicants
  • service description
  • operational details
  • people and management
  • governance plan

The following should be included in each section.

Track record of applicants

This section should be no more than 2 pages.

For grant purposes, your application will have a named eligible principal investigator, with other team members listed as co-investigators.

You need to identify who will take the technical or operational director post and provide evidence of their ability to accomplish their role.

Track records are needed for:

  • the principal investigator
  • the technical or operational director
  • all co-investigators
Service description

You should use this section to:

  • describe and detail the service you propose to provide covering the elements detailed in the key requirements for service
  • demonstrate that the facility and site are easily accessed and clarify how you would support user needs in an equitable manner to provide a positive user experience
  • include details of your long term vision for the facility and describe how it fits within the national and international XPS infrastructure landscape
Operational details

You should use this section to:

  • detail how you will meet the operational considerations
  • provide a clear transition plan to cover the period between the end date of the current UK national XPS NRF, and the transition to a new facilities provider enabling a smooth transition and continuity of service
  • provide a clear communication and engagement strategy with sufficient detail for assessors to understand how:
    • information about the available capabilities and access to the service will be disseminated using the website, user meetings, outreach events and other dissemination materials
    • you will reach new user communities
  • provide the following information about diversifying the user base to:
    • explain how the facility would assess the current and future size of the user base
    • detail the growth you expect to achieve in the user base
  • provide equipment, maintenance and servicing information including:
    • a table detailing the equipment you are providing with a lifecycle analysis of existing instrumentation
    • information about planned renewals, new developments, or extensions of experimental infrastructure
    • new equipment required to deliver your vision
    • specifics about the maintenance and enhancements to existing equipment
    • estimates of down-time and up-time in planned service routines
  • describe the formal procedure for accepting and prioritising applications from those wanting to use the facilities, with details of the quality assessment of the applications for all access routes
  • provide details of any options for a percentage of the facility to be open to researchers in areas beyond EPSRC’s remit, for example interdisciplinary researchers and business customers
  • give details about how the facility will be positioned on the national and international research landscape, and how it would engage with the rest of the research community
  • give details and justification for expected facility usage with reference to your cost sharing strategy where applicable for:
    • the expected proportion of facility use by user type for:
      • novice, experienced, expert
      • those from your organisation and those outside it
      • industrial users
      • those from application areas, for example EPSRC or other UKRI council remit
    • the overall facility and for each component organisation, if your facility will be a multi-site facility
  • detail and justify with reference to your cost sharing strategy where applicable:
    • the range of time durations for experiments on specific instruments, including:
      • a target for percentage utilisation in working hours and 24/7 use, as appropriate
      • time required for instrument maintenance and calibration
    • a target for time, from request for access to carrying out an experiment
    • the capacity allocated to the NRF
    • the capacity of the whole facility
  • present a data management policy that is compliant with UKRI open data policy and extends beyond the duration of the grant
People and management

You should use this section to:

  • detail how you will meet the people and management arrangements
  • provide an organogram of the proposed organisational structure for the facility showing lines of authority, responsibility of key posts, and details of any identified deputies
  • justification for the number and allocation of staff
  • outline the recruitment policy and procedures
  • provide plans for staff development and training
  • provide information about how changes in key service staff will be handled, for example, continuity plans, short-term cover and contingency plans for unexpected loss of key staff
  • provide details of the risk management strategy which you will have in place
  • provide details of your proposed user training provision, including the expertise and experience of those involved in training different user groups, for example:
    • postgraduate or doctoral researchers
    • academic researchers
    • industrial users
  • explain how the service will engage with future generations of researchers, including the Centres for Doctoral Training
Governance plan

You should use this section to:

  • identify a governance structure for the service will be put in place
  • provide details of this structure, which should include an independent steering or advisory committee, composed of independent or external representatives from relevant communities to review and advise on provision, performance, and strategy for the service
  • identify a comprehensive set of KPIs that the service will aspire to meet
  • identify the process in place for complaints and monitoring of user satisfaction, and provide details of the proposed feedback processes and how feedback will be used to implement improvements

Justification of resources

This is a mandatory document, with a longer format of up to 4 pages.

The justification of resources should explain the necessity of your requested resources for service provision, including implementing the communication and engagement activities. This helps reviewers make informed judgements about whether the resources requested are appropriate and justified.

EPSRC recommends that you follow the ‘cost to the proposal’ headings used in the application form.

For more information on what to do, see how to write a justification of resources.

You are expected to have considered cost savings where possible to bring down the total costs. You may wish to provide cost recovery options which could request different amounts of funding from EPSRC, with the maximum being £2 million. More space in the justification of resources can be provided to accommodate these alternative options.

Work plan

This is a mandatory 1 page document.

The work plan should be illustrated with a simple diagrammatic work plan, such as a programme evaluation and review technique or Gantt chart.

Grant payment profile

This is a mandatory 1 page document. You should submit the grant payment profile using attachment type ‘other attachment’ in Je-S.

You must provide a grant payment profile that details your cost sharing strategy and planned expenditure against each recurrent or resource and capital cost heading over the lifetime of the 5-year grant.

The panel will favour cost recovery plans which are maximised and realistic.

The final payment profiles and percentages awarded are subject to negotiation with EPSRC.


CV should be included where appropriate. Each CV can be up to 2 pages long.

CVs are required for key named personnel, for example:

  • director
  • deputy director
  • technical director
  • facility or service manager

You should submit CVs as separate attachments using attachment type ‘CV’ in Je-S.

Equipment business case

This is only required if your application includes items or combined assets with a value above the Official Journal of the European Union limit.

Proposal cover letter

Including a cover letter is optional.

You can use the proposal cover letter to set out any other information you feel is relevant to your application. You are applying for a grant which has an interview assessment stage, so you should use this letter to inform EPSRC of any personal circumstances for EPSRC to consider.

This letter will only be seen by EPSRC and will not be sent to peer review. For sensitive information, the applicant should state clearly whether the information is confidential.

The proposal cover letter should also be used to highlight anything that has been discussed and agreed with EPSRC staff beforehand, for example:

  • a declaration of interest
  • additional information about eligibility to apply that would not be appropriately shared in the track record
  • conflicts of interest for EPSRC to consider in reviewer or panel participant selection

Other documents

If you wish to attach any other document that does not fit any of these types, please submit it under ‘other attachment’. This will not be seen by reviewers or panel members. You should attach your documents as PDFs to avoid errors.

On submission to EPSRC, all non-PDF documents uploaded onto Je-S 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.

Ethical information

EPSRC will not fund a project if it believes that there are ethical concerns that have been overlooked or not appropriately accounted for. All relevant parts of the ‘ethical information’ section must be completed.

Guidance on completing ethical information on the Je-S form.

EPSRC guidance can be found under ‘additional information’.

How we will assess your application

Assessment process

Proposals will initially be assessed by postal peer review by at least 3 reviewers. You will then be invited to respond to the reviewers’ comments.

Following this, an expert panel will interview applicants. You will then be scored against assessment criteria, using the:

  • proposal
  • reviews
  • principal investigator response
  • responses at interview

The interview panel will make the final recommendations to the EPSRC theme lead. EPSRC will aim to inform applicants on the decision outcome within 8 weeks of the interview panel.

Assessment criteria

You should note that the assessment criteria differ slightly to the standard EPSRC criteria due to the nature of the programmes of work to be funded.

We also wish to highlight that due to the increased importance of appropriate management and governance procedures for a national research facility, the secondary major criterion is resources and management not national importance.

Standard criteria

Quality (primary)

Assessors will be asked to comment on the excellence of the application making reference to:

  • the ambition, long-term vision, and transformative aspects identified
  • the appropriateness of the proposed approach or approaches and fit to the key facility requirements and operational requirements sections
  • the quality of the science enabled
  • engaging and adapting to the needs of a diverse user community

Resources and management (secondary major)

Assessors will be asked to comment on:

  • the effectiveness of the proposed planning, management and governance and the fit to the people and management arrangements section
  • whether the requested resources are appropriate and have been fully justified and cost recovery plans are maximised and realistic
  • an unsatisfactory governance (including key performance indicators) plan will result in a delayed start for a successful proposal until the plan has been updated
  • any resources requested for activities to either increase impact, for public engagement or to support responsible innovation

National importance (secondary)

Drawing upon what you have said, assessors will be asked to comment on:

  • how the proposed facility contributes to, or helps maintain the health of other research disciplines, contributes to addressing key UK societal challenges, contributes to current or future UK economic success or enables future development of key emerging industries
  • the extent to which the facility proposed has the potential to meet national strategic needs by establishing or maintaining unique world leading research activity (including areas of niche capability)
  • how the facility fits with and complements other UK research funded in the area or related areas, including any relationship to the EPSRC portfolio and our stated strategy

Applicant and partnerships (secondary)

Assessors will be asked to comment on the:

  • appropriateness of the track record of the applicants to deliver the facility
  • balance of skills of the project team, including collaborations

Funding opportunity specific criteria

Advocacy for engineering and the physical sciences (secondary)

Your proposal must demonstrate how the group will be advocates for the engineering and physical sciences. You should specifically address how they will influence its policymakers on the importance of engineering and physical sciences.

Advocacy through public engagement activities can also be considered, as long as these activities are directly related to the programme of research applied for. This criterion will be solely assessed at the interview stage.


Feedback on the decision will be given by email after interview.

Nominating reviewers

As part of the application process you will be invited to nominate up to 3 potential reviewers who you feel have the expertise to assess your proposal. Please ensure that any nominations meet the EPSRC policy on conflicts of interest.

For more information about the reviewer selection process please see the related content links.

Guidance for reviewers

For more information about the EPSRC peer review process, read our guidance for reviewers.

A standard reviewer form will be used for this funding opportunity, however reviewers should note the nature of a NRF when considering quality.

As such, reviewers are requested to comment on the quality of the potential research enabled by having such a facility in the UK. Within the quality field, reviewers should comment on how the proposed facility meets the key requirements of the facility including technical, operational and management aspects.

Read our guidance for reviewing standard grants.

Contact details

Get help with developing your proposal

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 about this funding opportunity

Kay Yeung, Senior Portfolio Manager, Research Infrastructure


Tori Milroy, Portfolio Manager, Physical Sciences


Get help with applying through Je-S



01793 444164

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Additional info


EPSRC NRFs are defined as research facilities that provide resources that are of limited availability to UK researchers.

They are beneficial because:

  • of the high cost of the equipment and the supporting infrastructure required
  • dedicated equipment and supporting infrastructure is not required in every university
  • they provide the particular expertise needed to operate the equipment or interpret the results
  • progress is enhanced by sharing information or software

This grant will have been funded under the NRF scheme and forms part of a portfolio of facilities. In line with the purpose of EPSRC’s national importance criteria, investigators and researchers associated with this grant are expected to promote the aims of the associated research programme and be advocates for EPSRC.

Grant additional conditions (GACs)

Grants are awarded under the standard UKRI grant terms and conditions. The following additional grant conditions will also apply.

GAC 1: purpose of grant funding

This grant has been funded under the NRF scheme and forms part of a portfolio of facilities. In line with the purpose of our national importance criteria, investigators and researchers associated with this grant are expected to promote the aims of the associated research programme and be advocates for us.

GAC 2: monitoring

We will nominate a member or members of UKRI staff (the project officers) who will be your primary point of contact with us. The project officers will ensure that the project is being run in accordance with the terms and conditions and in line with financial due diligence.

The project officers should have access to all documentation of governance and reporting bodies, in so far as it relates to the administration and application of the grant. As funding administrators, all UKRI staff have agreed to maintain the confidentiality required by all parties involved in research council funded research.

GAC 3: research governance

This grant must establish and run an independent advisory board, or equivalent body, to oversee the day to day running of the project and provide advice on the strategic direction and activities of the project.

The terms of reference of this group should be agreed with us and it should have at least 50% independent membership and an independent chair.

The project officers will also be expected to attend and participate in advisory board and other appropriate meetings for the duration of the grant.

GAC 4: accountability

You should establish an appropriate management structure, which must incorporate independent membership and clear lines of responsibility and authority. This should be in place within 6 months of the start date of the grant.

The terms of reference and membership of any committees established must be agreed in advance with us.

The project officers will be our main contact with the project, and must receive all meeting minutes of the committees. We reserve the right to attend any meetings.

GAC 5: project review

You must agree to comply with requests for additional financial or non-financial information outside of the stated reporting cycle. Regular monitoring will be conducted through the project officer, who will act on behalf of UKRI.

In addition to the requirements set out in standard UKRI grant conditions RGC 7.5 Disclosure and Inspection, RGC 2.4 Reporting on the Conduct and Results of Research, EPSRC and UKRI reserve the right to instigate a review of all or part of the grant at any stage during the lifetime of the award as well as after the grant has finished.

A mid term (year 3) review of this grant will take place to assess the performance of the grant in line with the peer reviewed body of work, published scheme assessment criteria and key performance indicators.

We will give you due notice of the date of any review and will provide details of the terms of reference and documentation required. Any review will be conducted by an expert panel, which will make recommendations to us for the grant’s future.

GAC 6: progress reports

In addition to the requirements set out in the standard UKRI grant condition RGC 7.4 Research Monitoring and Evaluation, you are responsible for providing 6 month progress reports against non-financial performance metrics.

A detailed list of performance metrics and instructions for reporting will be agreed with you upon commencement of the grant.

GAC 7: sanctions

In accordance with RGC 11 Sanctions, we reserve the right to suspend the grant and withhold further payments if the performance output metrics requested are not provided by the stated deadlines or determined to be of an unacceptable standard by our project officers.

You will be formally notified in writing if a suspension occurs. Any costs incurred during this period, irrespective of source, will be incurred at risk with our subsequent payments being withheld should any discrepancies remain unresolved.

GAC 8: grant expenditure

At the start of the grant the financial spend profile will be agreed by UKRI.

In addition to any reporting requirements set out in GAC 5 you must immediately notify our project officers of any accumulation, slippage or variation in expenditure greater than 5% of the annual profiled funding. We reserve the right to re-profile the grant if required.

Any deviation from the agreed allocation of funding and profiled costs must be negotiated and approved through written consent by us, acting on behalf of UKRI. The approval of profile changes should not be assumed and will be dependent on spend across all associated grants.

Supporting documents

Equality impact assessment (PDF, 204KB)

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