The Medical Research Council (MRC), the Korean Ministry of Science and ICT (MSIT) and the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) invite proposals to the UK-Korea Researcher Mobility Scheme.
This initiative is aimed at strengthening existing links between high quality research teams in the UK and South Korea through researcher exchange.
Applications must demonstrate the ability to progress currently funded collaborative research activities. However, the focus of this opportunity is upon enhancing current links and building and strengthening sustainable partnerships between the UK and Korea through researcher mobility.
The awards will be made available to existing UK-Korean partners with the specific aim of:
- supporting the mobility and exchange of researchers to enhance established links between researchers in both countries, and further develop collaborative research
- promoting access to facilities.
- strengthening the strategic relationship between the UK and South Korea.
The UK-Korea Researcher Mobility scheme focuses on biomedical and health research. However, there are no further restrictions in terms of the scientific focus of applications, provided they sit within the MRC, MSIT and NRF’s remits. Though, interdisciplinary proposals and/or proposals that build on the national research strengths of the two countries are encouraged.
The funders will support one-year awards. The number and duration of exchanges (within that period) are not prescribed, and a programme of activities should be developed and justified for each application which addresses the specific needs of the partners.
MRC, MSIT and NRF acknowledge the travel restrictions currently in place due to the pandemic, and will not encourage, nor support, travel that is either unsafe or not permitted owing to government or institutional travel restrictions.
At this stage, applicants must plan for a one-year award with travel scheduled toward the end of the grant period, while using the initial months to develop collaborative plans and make preparations.
The funders will be as flexible as can reasonably be expected in this regard, including offering the possibility of a one-year extension subject to the trajectory of the pandemic and associated travel restrictions.
MRC, MSIT and NRF will fund up to three awards with approximately £200,000 made available in total:
- up to £100,000 of MRC funding in support of the UK researcher exchange costs
- up to 150 million South Korean won (KRW) from MSIT and NRF in support of the Korean researcher exchange costs.
MRC will make individual awards up to £33,333. MSIT and NRF will make individual awards up to 50 million KRW. Therefore, for joint applications with reciprocal researcher exchanges proposed, a total of approximately £66,666 can be applied for (subject to exchange rate variances).
On the UK side, the funding is available to support the following mobility costs for one or more investigators:
- visa fees
- visits or access to facilities, including bench fees where necessary
- consumables and other research costs (that are directly associated with the period of the researcher exchange).
On the UK side, these awards may not be used to fund:
- salary costs
- items of equipment
- indirect and estate costs
- conference attendance.
However, all above costs are eligible on the Korean side.
Mobility scheme funds can be used to support student exchanges. However, applications will not be accepted where this is the sole aim of the project.
Where possible, applicants are encouraged to seek further sources of funding. This could be directly from the applicant’s institution or department, or an in-kind contribution.
MRC will pay the lead UK research organisation in arrears (at the end of the award).
The funders strongly encourage the submission of joint applications for reciprocal exchange.
Joint applications must entail a jointly developed proposal submitted to both:
- MRC (by the UK principal investigator)
- MSIT and NRF (by the Korean principal investigator).
The MRC will provide funding for the costs associated with the UK-based researchers’ mobility, and vice versa.
Joint applications will be prioritised. However, where a reciprocal exchange is not possible, the funders will accept individual applications for one-way research visits.
In this instance, MRC would require a letter of support from the Korean host (receiving) organisation or organisations.
For individual applications:
- UK principal investigators need only submit their application to MRC
- Korean principal investigators need only submit their application to MSIT and NRF.
However, the MRC will only provide funding for the costs associated with the UK-based researchers’ mobility, and vice versa.
MRC, MSIT and NRF may share copies of individual applications with each other for information.