Funding opportunity

Funding opportunity: UKRI circular fashion and textile programme: NetworkPlus

Apply for funding to lead one of 3 cross-disciplinary sub-networks that collectively will create a large NetworkPlus which will help to understand and drive the fashion and textiles industry towards sustainable and responsible practices.

You must be based at a UK research organisation eligible for UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) funding.

You can address 1 of the following research challenges:

  • improvement of data collation, analysis and assessment
  • start to establish research-validated baselines
  • environmental impact and circularity

The full economic cost (FEC) of each sub-network can be up to £2 million over 24 months. UKRI will fund 80% FEC.

We will fund 3 cross-disciplinary awards, one addressing each challenge.

Who can apply

This funding opportunity is administered by NERC on behalf of the circular fashion and textiles trilateral partnership (NERC, AHRC and Innovate UK).

Sub-networks should:

  • be led by academics from eligible research organisations
  • be cross-disciplinary
  • involve innovative collaborations with relevant stakeholders from across the fashion and textiles sector

Recognising the cross-disciplinary nature of the challenge and to maximise the impact of the NetworkPlus as a whole, sub-network core leadership teams must be cross-disciplinary. Relevant investigators could be included from across the entire breadth of UKRI’s remit.

Before applying for funding, please check the following:

This funding opportunity is open to eligible researchers at:

  • higher education institutions
  • research council institutes
  • approved independent research organisations
  • public sector research establishments
  • Catapults

Principal and co-investigators must meet our standard eligibility criteria, as outlined in the NERC grants handbook.

International collaborators

Principal investigators based outside the UK are not permitted. Co-investigators must be based in the UK, except for 2 exceptions.

Co-investigators based in the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) and in eligible organisations in Norway can be included under specific agreements:

All other international collaborators or UK partners (including those from business or financial sectors) not based at approved organisations, should be included as project partners and fund their own involvement. We will only fund minor incidental expenses, such as some travel costs, if required for project partners. The focus of the NetworkPlus should be on the UK fashion and textiles industry.

Principal investigators and co-investigators may be involved in no more than 2 applications submitted to this funding opportunity. However, they may only apply as the principal investigator on 1 application.

The inclusion of researcher co-investigators is encouraged where they have made a substantial intellectual contribution to the development of the application and will be engaged with the ensuing research.

Equality, diversity and inclusion

UKRI is committed to achieving equity of opportunity for all funding applicants. We encourage applications from a diverse range of researchers.

We support people to work in a way that suits their personal circumstances. This includes:

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

Find out more about equality, diversity and inclusion at UKRI and NERC’s diversity and inclusion action plan.

Project partners

Participating organisations not meeting the criteria for co-investigators can be project partners on a grant based on the following requirements:

  • third sector organisations: non-governmental organisations, charities and other non-profit civil society organisations (not meeting the minimum requirements for research partner organisations) can be included on applications as project partners. We will only fund minor incidental expenses, such as some travel costs, if required for project partners
  • government departments and business: overseas and UK government departments and businesses should be engaged where appropriate but are not eligible to directly receive funds on the awards


Sub-contracts are eligible costs on applications submitted to this funding 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.

It is important to highlight that any UK research organisation awarded a grant is responsible for the conduct and administration of that grant. It is accountable for the effective use of public funds and must therefore ensure that all grant monies are subject to proper financial management processes.

It is the research organisation’s responsibility to ensure that:

  • expenditure on collaborations in the UK and abroad is subject to robust controls to ensure value for money and propriety
  • all costs should be fully vouched and maintained for possible inspection and checks by, or on behalf of, UKRI

What we're looking for

Vision for circular fashion and textiles

NERC, Innovate UK and AHRC have built a strong coalition with key representatives from industry, government departments and the third sector to co-produce a 10-year vision for circular fashion and textiles.

This vision aims to keep the UK at the forefront of the global fashion and textiles industry through:

  • delivering sustainable textile and clothing manufacturing
  • informing circular business models
  • developing recycling infrastructure
  • innovating novel technologies
  • embedding green growth
  • fostering a diverse and future-proof workforce

As a step towards fulfilling UKRI’s 10-year vision, AHRC, Innovate UK and NERC have coalesced funding and resources to build a 2-year £15 million trilateral programme on circular fashion and textiles.

This programme will be critical in developing this area of research and meeting the goal of transforming the fashion and textiles sector to adopt economically viable and scalable circular models by 2032. Doing this will allow net zero targets to be met for this sector before 2050.

A big challenge identified within the vision for the fashion and textiles industry that this funding opportunity seeks to address, is the need to establish standardised and agreed data that can inform decision making processes. For this to be achievable a standardised framework needs to be developed that brings together data sets into one place through prioritisation and collaboration with key stakeholders from across the relevant sectors.


This NetworkPlus funding opportunity is one of several that will sit under the broader umbrella of the circular fashion and textiles programme.

The NetworkPlus will embed research into the development of solutions that will support the fashion and textiles sector to reform and transform to protect and restore the environment. It will bring the right expertise together from across the UK to begin to establish environmental and design baselines, standards and principles. These will be necessary to inform and assess future innovations and solutions, underpinning potential future phases of research and innovation.


NERC, AHRC and Innovate UK will invest up to £6 million in 3 sub-networks which will collectively form one larger cross-disciplinary NetworkPlus. The NetworkPlus will bring together a diverse community of relevant researchers and stakeholders from across the fashion and textiles sectors.

Through the 3 funded sub-networks it will create and run activities and fund small research projects that will help to understand and drive the fashion industry towards sustainable and responsible practices.

The 3 sub-networks will work together to build a community and bridge the gap between different processes across the fashion and textiles sectors, such as:

  • designers
  • artists
  • researchers in material cultures and textiles
  • market researchers
  • environmental scientists
  • industry
  • suppliers
  • retailers
  • others

The sub-networks will bring together expertise and innovation to address 3 challenges (1 addressing each challenge):

  • improvement of data collation, analysis and assessment:
    • bring together, generate and contextualise relevant environmental, cultural, behavioural, social, economic and other data to understand how current design, manufacturing, purchasing, use and discard behaviour impacts on the environment
    • identifying gaps and barriers around data access, collection, and curation
    • integration of environmental data and modelling to pre-empt and prevent future environmental harms resulting from new materials and approaches
    • make data generated and linked openly available and accessible to others
  • start to establish research-validated baselines:
    • to understand current baselines for fashion and textiles, start to identify where they are fit for purpose and where improvements can be made
    • to measure progress and impact of future innovations on the environment and inform sustainable decision-making
    • to generate environmental-science informed standards and common understanding, filling the gap created by uncertainty around the accuracy of the Higgs index for sustainability
    • determine target areas for environmental improvement with the greatest impact potential, outlining evidence-based standards and key performance indicators
    • create broad and interdisciplinary evidence base for improving the sustainability of design, manufacturing and purchasing behaviours
    • pilot approaches to nurture interdisciplinary skills and the breaking down of different disciplinary silos
    • understanding and integrating the cultures and behaviours of all stakeholders in the fashion ecosystem from producers to consumers
    • provide educational or skills interventions at a community or tertiary level to encourage consumers to think critically about their fashion choices and engage with debates on sustainability, garment care and recycling more generally
    • identifying skills gaps and shortages within the research community and industry so these can be improved
  • environmental impact and circularity:
    • strengthen understanding of impacts on the environment of alternative chemical and manufacturing processes (for example, how fibers and chemicals interact within the environment)
    • facilitate measures and understanding that will help address pollution and toxicity across the supply chain
    • develop better understanding and approaches to identify and avoid unintended consequences of circular strategies
    • develop recommendations for communicating environmental impact and new technologies to consumers
    • help develop narratives to understand current attitudes and help move toward cultural change
    • provide legal, ethical and regulatory research to underpin the move toward the circular fashion model
    • develop understanding of the potential of design led innovation and of embedding circularity at the initial stages of design
    • provide a cultural understanding of the intangible heritage which underpins many of our highly valued craft or traditional industries
    • provide an understanding of regional and place-based aspects of access to certain skillsets and infrastructures which are valued and required by fashion sectors

We expect that successful sub-network awards will bring together relevant researchers and stakeholders that cross multiple research council boundaries, to address specific research questions.

Applications for sub-network awards should set out a clear strategy and vision for their sub-network. The application should explain how it will approach working with the other sub-networks to addresses the broader programme aims to keep the UK at the forefront of the global fashion and textiles industry.

You are encouraged to be innovative in the kinds of user engagement, communications and knowledge exchange or impact generation activities that are planned as part of the network activities. As well as academic representation, networks should include a range of non-academic representatives where appropriate for example, from policy organisations, third sector and industry.

Sub-networks are expected to take an open and inclusive approach and to grow and evolve over the lifetime of the award. We would expect applications for sub-network awards to include a number of different research organisations from across the UK. However applications based within one institution will be considered where a strong argument can be made for the specific expertise that particular research organisation holds, and the added value of that model.

Programme coordination

To aid successful collaboration between the sub-networks and establish the NetworkPlus, a programme coordination team will be formed.

Shortly after awards are made UKRI will convene a workshop bringing together the successful sub-network teams. During this workshop they will discuss how to develop their individual project plans to incorporate the collaboration needed between them throughout their duration to meet the wider aims of the NetworkPlus.

They will collectively apply for an additional £1.2 million (80% FEC) to form the programme coordination team, which will be comprised of at least 1 member from each sub-network’s core team.

Funding available

The total funding available is £6 million.

We expect to fund 3 cross-disciplinary awards (one addressing each challenge) that will form one larger NetworkPlus and will collectively cover the breadth of research challenges listed above.

The sub-networks will be expected to share knowledge and expertise and to work collaboratively in order to successfully address the co-dependent aspects of their challenges, and fulfill the broader aims of the NetworkPlus.

The FEC of each sub-network can be up to £2 million.

A further £1.2 million will be available to the successful applicants for cross NetworkPlus activities and the formation of a programme coordination team in a separate closed funding opportunity.

NERC will fund 80% FEC for UK organisations:

  • directly incurred costs such as staff payroll, travel and subsistence, and consumables
  • directly allocated costs such as investigators’ salaries, estates costs and shared resources
  • indirect costs such as research organisation administration

UK equipment is funded at 50% FEC.

No associated studentships can be requested under this funding opportunity.

Eligible international co-investigator costs (under the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) or Norway agreement) are funded at 100% for eligible direct costs. They can be a maximum of 30% of the FEC value for all international costs.

For eligible international co-investigators, we will fund:

  • co-investigator salaries
  • directly incurred (DI) costs (for example, travel and subsistence, consumables)
  • research assistants

We will not fund:

  • estates and other indirect costs
  • capital costs
  • equipment over £10,000 (anything under £10,000 can be requested under DI costs)

Costs associated with any international co-investigators should be entered as an exception and using a specific format: The University of X, Country: X, Travel and Subsistence; 4 x flights to partners.

An example of how an international partnership may be funded
Cost type Requested costs Funding if successful
UK projects costs (funded at 80%) £4 million (at 100% FEC) £3.2 million
UK equipment (funded at 50%) £10,000 (at 100% FEC) £5,000
IIASA or Norway co-investigator costs (funded at 100%) £700,000 (at 100% direct costs) £700,000
Total £5 million £4.05 million

NetworkPlus ‘plus’ funds

Each sub-network will set aside at least 30% to 40% of their budget as ‘plus’ funds that can be used for organising activities open to the whole research community throughout the period of the award. These activities are expected to include the funding of small research projects, but could also include:

  • running seminars, webinars and lectures
  • convening expert working groups, round tables
  • running workshops
  • placements, discipline hopping or exchanges
  • running sandpits
  • skills training sessions

It is expected that the application process for ’plus’ funded activities will be open and transparent. It will allow for applicants from outside of the network membership to participate, thereby drawing more people into the community and broadening its impact and reach.

The ‘plus’ element of the NetworkPlus will be allocated at 80% FEC as normal. The flexible fund should be clearly named as such in the application costings. Therefore, in the application the funds for this flexible fund pot will appear as supported at 80% FEC.

Until the funds are distributed the host organisation is effectively underwriting the 20% contribution. When distributed the 20% contribution requirement passes from the host organisation to the organisation receiving the flexible funding. This is the responsibility of the NetworkPlus to manage.

Therefore, there is no net cost to the host organisation, as long as the funding is awarded. For example: a £20,000 (100% FEC) project example: £16,000 (80% FEC) is given to the host from UKRI, then £16,000 given out from the host to the organisation awarded the flexible fund project.


Funding is available for up to 24 months.

Responsible innovation

Through our funding, we want to make a positive contribution to society and the environment. We will achieve this through research outcomes and the way in which research is conducted.

If you are successful, you will need to adopt responsible research practices, as set out in UKRI’s responsible research policy and the NERC responsible business statement.

Responsible research is defined as reducing harm or enhancing benefit on the environment and society through effective management of research activities and facilities. Specifically, this covers:

  • the natural environment
  • the local community
  • diversity and inclusion

Grant holders should consider responsible research context of their project, not the host institution as a whole. Further, grant holders should take action to enhance their responsible research approach where practical and reasonable.

Programme webinar

UKRI (NERC, AHRC and Innovate UK) held a programme webinar for potential applicants on 30 March 2023. This enabled applicants to learn more about:

  • background to the programme
  • the funding opportunity

Watch a recording of the webinar (passcode: r7hz*.ti)

How to apply

Expression of interest

An expression of interest (up to 1.5 sides of A4) must be submitted by 12 April 2023 at 4:00pm UK time.

Tell us the focus of your proposed research project, the institutions, investigators and project partners that are expected to be involved and include a title and abstract of your planned work.

The abstract will not be assessed, but NERC will use the information to plan the application assessment.

Full Joint Electronic Submission (Je-S) system applications submitted without a prior expression of interest will be rejected

Email your expression of interest to

Full applications

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

You can find advice on completing your application in:

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.

When applying:

  1. Select ‘documents’, then ‘new document’.
  2. Select ‘call search’.
  3. To find the opportunity, search for: UKRI Circular fashion NetworkPlus.

This will populate:

  • council: NERC
  • document type: standard proposal
  • scheme: directed international
  • call/type/mode: UKRI Circular fashion NetworkPlus

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.


NERC must receive your application by 16 May 2023 at 4:00pm UK time.

You will not be able to apply after this time. Please leave enough time for your application 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.

Data management

You must adhere to UKRI open research policy and NERC data policy and include an outline data management plan under the data management and sharing section (see NERC data management planning guidance).

For details of data centres, see the NERC Environmental Data Service.

NERC will pay the data centre directly on behalf of the programme for archival and curation services. But you should ensure that you request sufficient resource to cover preparation of data for archiving by the research team.

Additional services from the data centres, such as database development or a specialist in project data management during your project, will need to be discussed with the relevant data centre prior to submission. Costs for additional services will need to be included in the grant application.


In addition to the Je-S application, you must include the following mandatory documents:

  • case for support
  • outline work plan
  • justification of resources
  • team capabilities
  • project partner letter or letters of support
  • outline data management plan
  • facility form (if applicable)

You may also wish to include an application cover letter. This is optional and only relevant in specific circumstances.

Applications must include the following documents:

Case for support

The case for support should comprise a description of your proposed research (up to 8 sides of A4).

Outline work plan

Write up to 1 side of A4.

Justification of resources

A narrative description of the justification of all requested resources should be included as an attachment to this application (maximum 2 sides of A4). All items requested in the Je-S form must be justified in this attachment.

Equipment over £10,000 is not available through a NetworkPlus. NetworkPlus’ do not support the purchasing of large scale laboratory or research equipment. We will only support equipment to facilitate communication, networking and events.

Team capabilities

A narrative demonstrating how your team and your research environment is suited to the delivery of the NetworkPlus.

For each team member, demonstrate how they have the appropriate expertise, considering their current career stage, and capability to successfully execute the proposed project. Provide evidence for where team members have:

  • made an outstanding contribution to the generation of new understanding (ideas, tools methodologies or knowledge)
  • the appropriate leadership and management skills to deliver the work and develop others, including mentoring researchers and maintenance of effective working relationships
  • contributed to the wider research and innovation community (for example, contributions to improving research culture)
  • contributed to broader society and audiences and generated wider societal benefit

Additionally you should describe:

  • the facilities, equipment, or resources that are available to deliver the proposed work
  • the role of any other collaborators, project partners or subcontractors

Consider using the Résumé for Research and Innovation (R4RI) template and R4RI guidance.

Project partner letter of support

Letters of support (up to 2 sides A4 each) are required for any named project partner.

Outline data management plan

Up to 1 side of A4. See outline data management plan template and guidance.

NERC services and facilities

Applications should include formal requests and access costs for NERC services and facilities (for example, high performance computing (HPC) or isotope analyses) where relevant.

No additional funding is available to cover NERC services and facilities. Therefore, all costs associated with the use of NERC services and facilities must be included within:

  • the funding limit of applications
  • the other directly incurred costs of applications

Prior to submitting an application, if you wish to use a NERC service or facility you must seek agreement from the facility that they can provide the service required.

If you wish to use most NERC facilities, you will need to submit a mandatory ‘technical assessment’ with your application.

This is required for aircraft but not for NERC marine facilities or HPC. It should be a quote for the work that the facility will provide.

View a full list of the facilities requiring a technical assessment, and further information on NERC services and facilities in general.

Document requirements

Attachments submitted through the Je-S system must be completed in single-spaced typescript of minimum font size 11 (Arial or other sans serif typeface), with margins of at least 2cm.

Exceptionally, the font, paragraphing and page layout specifications do not apply to:

  • letters of support
  • quotes for services, facilities or equipment

Arial Narrow, Calibri and Times New Roman are not allowable font types and any application which has used any of these font types within the submission will be rejected.

On submission, we convert all non-PDF documents to PDF. The use of non-standard fonts may result in errors of font conversion, which could affect the overall length of the document.

Additionally, where non-standard fonts are present (and even if the converted PDF document may look unaffected in the Je-S system), some information may be removed when it is imported into the research councils’ grants system. We therefore recommend that where a document contains any non-standard fonts (for example, scientific notation or diagrams), the document should be converted to PDF before it is attached to the application.

References and footnotes should be in the same font type as the rest of the document, with a minimum font size of 11 point.

Headers and footers should not be used for references or information relating to the scientific case. If referring to websites you should note that referees may choose not to check hyperlinks.

You should ensure that your application conforms to all eligibility and submission rules, or your application may be rejected without peer review. More details on NERC’s submission rules can be found in the NERC research grant and fellowships handbook and the NERC guidance for applicants.

How we will assess your application

Applications will be evaluated by an assessment panel of researchers. The assessment panel will be comprised of experts spanning the breadth of UKRI’s remit and interests, to ensure that due consideration has been given to the interdisciplinary applications.

The assessment panel is anticipated to take place during the week commencing 19 June 2023.

Following the panel review, the strongest applications will be invited for an interview. Interviews anticipated to take place 1 week after the assessment panel and will take place the week commencing 26 June 2023.

You should hold these dates in your diary in advance as it may not be possible to amend the interview timetable post assessment panel.

Successful applications must commence by 31 July 2023.

In the event of this funding opportunity being substantially oversubscribed as to be unmanageable, NERC reserve the right to modify the assessment process and include a sift phase.

Assessment criteria

The assessment criteria will be:

Research excellence

This includes:

  • the suitability of the methodology to achieve the project’s aims
  • the ambition, novel approaches and transformative aspects or potential outcomes that the proposed research might achieve
  • cross-disciplinarity and balance of skills of the project team, including collaborators and partners
  • the leadership, management plans and capability to deliver
  • NetworkPlus activities have clearly articulated strategy and vision, with clear objectives and a well-defined purpose

Fit to scheme

This includes:

  • the alignment of the proposed project to the funding opportunity
  • the potential to meaningfully advance the knowledge around all objectives

To make the final funding decisions, NERC will consider the recommendations of the assessment panel, the overall funding opportunity requirements and the available budget.

NERC may take a portfolio approach to final funding decisions to fund a range of applications under the programme. This approach will be subject to research excellence, fit to scheme and number of high-quality applications received.


If your application was discussed by a panel, we will give feedback with the outcome of your application.

We reserve the right to modify the assessment process as needed.

Principles of assessment

UKRI supports the San Francisco declaration on research assessment and recognises the relationship between research assessment and research integrity.

Find out about the UKRI principles of assessment and decision making.

Contact details

Get help with developing your application

For help on costings and writing your application, please contact your research office. Please also allow enough time for your organisation’s submission process.

Ask about this funding opportunity


Get help with applying through Je-S



01793 444164

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Additional info

Why we are funding circular fashion

The UK fashion and textiles industry contributes almost £20 billion to the economy and employs 500,000 people in the country. The sector has a significant adverse environmental impact from production to waste management and is responsible for 10% of annual global carbon emissions.

The sector has recognised its future relies on a fundamental change towards sustainable and responsible practices in a resource-constrained world.

An independent catalyst report commissioned by NERC found that the biggest challenge that the fashion and textiles industry faces in making this change is to establish standardised and universally agreed data to inform decision making and avoid regrettable material substitutions.

A proliferation of new data-technology start-ups are developing the tools to translate data to the brands in a compelling and meaningful way. However, the data itself is splintered and contestable with no firm standardisation or regulatory framework.

NERC, Innovate UK and AHRC have built a strong coalition with key representatives from the fashion industry, government departments and the third sector to co-produce a 10-year vision for circular fashion and textiles. It aims to keep the UK at the forefront of the global fashion industry through:

  • delivering sustainable textile and clothing manufacturing
  • adopting circular business models
  • developing recycling infrastructure
  • innovating novel technologies
  • embedding green growth
  • fostering a diverse and future-proof workforce

UKRI circular fashion and textiles trilateral programme

The circular fashion and textiles programme is a £15 million trilateral programme by AHRC, Innovate UK and NERC. It will be delivered in 2 years (within the current spending review) that will deliver clear and measurable outcomes or impacts which will stand on their own if not developed further. This will be critical in laying strong foundations for a future spending review bid and developing the programme further.


Enabling the UK to be the global leader in circular fashion, a multi trillion-dollar future global industry, by levering industry expertise, the innovation ecosystem, and the research base. Supporting cross-cutting collaborations to dynamically identify common challenges through research, as well as de-risking industry-led innovation to address them.

Transforming the fashion and textiles sector to adopt economically viable and scalable circular models by 2032, allowing them to meet net zero targets before 2050.


The purpose of the 2-year circular fashion and textiles programme is to leverage and build upon existing UKRI investment and act as a pre-competitive research and innovation programme. It will initiate the 10-year vision of transforming the fashion and textiles sector for future growth and innovation potential allowing for the adoption of economically viable and scalable circular models by 2032 and helping to achieve net zero targets before 2050.

The 2-year programme has the following 4 high-level objectives. These have been developed by combining the objectives developed by Innovate UK, NERC and AHRC and broadly aim to lay the groundwork, develop robust partnerships, and highlight key challenges for the longer-term programme:

  1. Convene the fashion and textiles ecosystem of the future.
  2. Establish a robust baseline.
  3. Map and demonstrate the transition pathways.
  4. New ways of working.

Critically, this programme draws in the environmental science knowledge that is critical to achieve the vision and meet industry need.

Programme strands

The proposed programme will consist of 3 strands of activity:

  1. Leadership and community building:
    • circular fashion champions
  2. Enabling research (capability and capacity building):
    • NetworkPlus
    • Knowledge Transfer Partnerships
  3. Recycling collaborative research and development:
    • recycling demonstrator (closed 11 January 2023)


NERC, AHRC and Innovate UK will be hosting a webinar event in March 2023 (date to be confirmed). It will provide an opportunity for potential applicants to find out more about the funding opportunity and ask questions.

Further information and event registration can be found on eventbrite.

Attendance at the webinar is not a requirement for submitting an application to this funding opportunity.

Existing research and organisations

You should ensure you are aware of relevant previous and current research in the field (funded by UKRI and others) to avoid duplication and to ensure that your application is focused on delivering world-leading research. Relevant UKRI programmes and activities include the following:

Towards a circular bioeconomy for technology-relevant metals and textiles

The area of investment and support towards a circular bioeconomy for technology-relevant metals and textiles aims to:

  • effectively reuse resources
  • reducing the need for new fossil-based inputs
  • reduce the environmental footprint of processes through switching to bio-based alternatives
  • build in the recovery of materials at end of life

National Interdisciplinary Circular Economy Research (NICER)

The NICER programme includes investment for a circular economy hub, centres, and collaborative research and development competitions to realise the UK’s potential to grow and prosper sustainably by transitioning to a more circular economy.

Textile Exchange

A global non-profit organisation, Textile Exchange working closely with various sectors involved in the fashion and textile supply chain.

Global Talent visa

International researchers and specialists who are named, or have their position listed, on a successful grant may be eligible for the Global Talent visa.

Reporting requirements

If you are successful in getting funding, you will need to report your research outcomes through a service called Researchfish. This is required annually and continues for up to 5 years after funding ends. Find out about UKRI reporting requirements

Additionally, NERC reserves the right to request additional reporting, for example quarterly progress and highlight reports, throughout the time of the grant.

The programme board may provide feedback on ongoing project activities, including directing delivery of future activities as necessary and in line with the overall objectives of the programme. It is expected that the project principal investigators will follow any feedback and direction provided by the programme board.

Delivery and coordination

The successful applicants to this funding opportunity will be asked to form a programme coordination team (PCT). Shortly after the successful applicants start a meeting will be held by NERC to establish formation of the PCT with representatives from each of the sub-networks, further details of which will follow after this funding opportunity.

The wider UKRI circular fashion and textile programme will be appointing circular fashion champions and a recycling demonstrator, which the PCT and sub-networks will be required to work with.

COVID-19 impacts

UKRI recognises that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused major interruptions and disruptions across our communities. We are committed to ensuring that individual applicants and their wider team, including partners and networks, are not penalised for any disruption to their careers such as:

  • breaks and delays
  • disruptive working patterns and conditions
  • the loss of ongoing work
  • role changes that may have been caused by the pandemic

Reviewers and panel members will be advised to consider the unequal impacts of the impact that COVID-19 related disruption might have had on the track record and career development of those individuals included in the application. They will be asked to consider the capability of the applicant and their wider team to deliver the research they are proposing.

Where disruptions have occurred applicants can highlight this within their application, if they wish, but there is no requirement to detail the specific circumstances that caused the disruption.

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