This funding opportunity delivers to UKRI’s Strategy 2022 to 2027: Transforming Tomorrow Together, to support world-class ideas, advancing the frontiers of human knowledge and innovation by enabling the UK to seize opportunities from emerging research trends, transdisciplinary approaches and new concepts and markets. This funding opportunity is supported through UKRI’s strategic theme ‘Building a Green Future’, one of the five strategic themes of UKRI which look to harness the full power of the UK’s research and innovation system to address major national and global challenges.
The Building a Green Future strategic theme aims to accelerate the green economy by supporting research and innovation that delivers on national priorities and unlocks solutions essential to achieving net zero in the UK by 2050.
UKRI is working with UK government departments, business and internationally to improve the health of our environment, transform behaviours and policy to deliver net zero and secure prosperity across the whole of the UK. Through our whole systems solutions we will support growth of business, jobs, skills and sustainable, resilient public services and infrastructure, addressing environmental and net zero challenges in all sectors of the economy. We are developing solutions necessary to meet our net zero targets and accelerate the UK’s transition to a secure and prosperous green economy.
Webinar for potential applicants
We will hold a webinar on 9 February 2024 at 1:00pm UK time. This will provide more information about the funding opportunity and a chance to ask questions. Attendance at this webinar is not a requirement for applying to the funding opportunity. Webinar material will be made available to all.
Register for the webinar
Research disruption due to COVID-19
We recognise 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 career, 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 that COVID-19 related disruption might have had on the capability to deliver 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, you can highlight this within your application if you wish, but there is no requirement to detail the specific circumstances that caused the disruption.
Grant additional conditions (GAC)
Grants are awarded under the standard UKRI grant terms and conditions. In addition to these, the following additional grant conditions will be applied. We reserve the right to amend these or add further conditions, up to the point of issuing the grant. Full details of the terms and conditions applying to your award will be listed in the grant offer letter.
GAC 1: fixed start date
Notwithstanding RGC 5.2 starting procedures, this grant has a fixed start date of 1 February 2025, no slippage of this date will be permitted. Expenditure may be incurred prior to the start of the grant and be subsequently charged to the grant, provided that it does not precede the date of the offer letter.
GAC 2: acknowledging your funding
In addition to RGC 12.4 publication and acknowledgement of support, you must refer to the UKRI Building a Green Future funding. This includes the UKRI, Council specific and other partners (where applicable – delete as appropriate to the investment) logo and relevant branding on all online or printed materials (including press releases, posters, exhibition materials and other publications) related to activities funded by this grant.
Acknowledgement of funding should be a sentence with the funding agency written out in full, followed by the grant number in square brackets (if you have one). For example:
‘This work was supported by UK Research and Innovation Building a Green Future strategic theme [and others as required] [grant number xxxx]’.
If your research has supported the development of patents or exploitable intellectual property your research organisation must make sure that your funder is fully acknowledged.
GAC 3: equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI)
In addition to RGC 3.4, you are expected to prepare a full EDI plan for the duration of this grant to demonstrate best practice in EDI throughout the lifetime of this funding award. This must be produced within three months of your start date and progress against this plan will be monitored by our project officer through the grant reporting process.
GAC 4: user engagement strategy
You must develop and execute a strategy for engaging with potential users of the research funded in the project. This strategy should be reviewed and updated regularly as part of the formal management and reporting process agreed for this grant.
GAC 5: project officer appointment
We will nominate a member of our staff (the project officer) who will be your primary point of contact. The project officer will ensure that the project is being run in accordance with the terms and conditions and in line with financial due diligence.
The project officer 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 our funded research.
GAC 6: management structure
You should have established an appropriate management structure with clear lines of responsibility and authority to oversee the day to day running of the project. This should be in place within six months of the start date of the grant. The terms of reference and management structure, must be approved by us in advance. As must any changes to this structure. The project officer will be our main contact with the project, and must receive all meeting minutes of the management committees. We reserve the right to attend any meetings.
GAC 7: advisory board appointment
This grant must establish and run an independent advisory board, or equivalent body, to oversee the running of the project and provide advice on the strategic direction and activities of the project.
The terms of reference and membership of this group (at least 50% independent membership and an independent chair) should be agreed with us. The project officer will also be expected to attend and participate in advisory board and other appropriate meetings for the duration of the grant.
GAC 8: project review
In addition to the requirements set out in standard UKRI grant conditions RGC 7.4 research monitoring and evaluation and RGC 7.5 disclosure and inspection, we 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.
GAC 9: progress reports
In addition to the requirements set out in RGC 7.4.3, You are responsible for providing annual progress reports against non-financial performance metrics.
GAC 10: cost overrun
We will not be responsible for any cost overrun incurred during the course of this grant. You will be required to make up any shortfall from alternative sources.
GAC 11: collaboration agreements
Where the grant is associated with more than one research organisation or other project partners, a formal collaboration agreement must be in place with the basis of collaboration between the organisations including the following:
- the process of the flexible allocation of resources throughout the project
- ownership of intellectual property
- rights to exploitation
It is your responsibility to put such an agreement in place by 1 May 2025.
The terms of collaboration agreements must not conflict with the UKRI terms and conditions.
We must be informed within three months of the start of the grant, that the collaboration agreement is in place and has been signed by all partners or the progress made (unless some alternative timeline has been agreed with us beforehand).
If sufficient progress has not been made within three months of the start of the grant, we reserve the right the enact RGC 11.1.
Arrangements for collaboration or exploitation must not prevent the future progression of research and the dissemination of research results in accordance with academic custom and practice.
GAC 13: change of project lead
In addition to RGC 7.3, this award is made on condition that any requests to change the grant holder or project co-lead will require prior approval from us.
We must be contacted in writing and prior approval sought before this change can be made. To facilitate any changes of this nature the case must be made for why a new principal investigator is required.
Requests for such a change are to be submitted via the grant maintenance facility in Joint Electronic System (Je-S). We will then consider and inform you of their decision.
UKRI is fully committed to develop and promote responsible innovation. Research has the ability to not only produce understanding, knowledge and value, but also unintended consequences, questions, ethical dilemmas and, at times, unexpected social transformations.
We recognise that we have a duty of care to promote approaches to responsible innovation that will initiate ongoing reflection about the potential ethical and societal implications of the research that we sponsor and to encourage our research community to do likewise. Therefore, applicants are expected to work within the EPSRC framework for responsible innovation.
Applicants planning to include international collaborators on their proposal should visit Trusted Research for information and advice on how to get the most out of international collaboration while protecting intellectual property, sensitive research and personal information. Grant holders will be expected to engage with the relevant regulatory bodies where concerns may arise under the National Security and Investment Act. Aspects of bias, privacy, security, and ethics should be considered where appropriate.
UKRI’s environmental sustainability strategy lays out our ambition to actively lead environmental sustainability across our sectors. This includes a vision to ensure that all major investment and funding decisions we make are directly informed by environmental sustainability, recognising environmental benefits as well as potential for environmental harm.
In alignment with this, UKRI is tackling the challenge of environmental sustainability through our ‘building a green future’ strategic theme, which aims to develop whole systems solutions to improve the health of our environment and deliver net zero, securing prosperity across the whole of the UK.
Environmental sustainability is a broad term but may include consideration of such broad areas as:
- reducing carbon emissions
- protecting and enhancing the natural environment and biodiversity
- waste or pollution elimination
- resource efficiency and a circular economy
UKRI expects projects to embed careful consideration of environmental sustainability at all stages of the research and innovation process and throughout the lifetime of the project. Projects should ensure that environmental impact and mitigation of the proposed research approaches and hub operations, as well as the associated project outputs and outcomes is considered. Projects must also seek opportunities to influence others and leave a legacy of environmental sustainability within the broader operations of your academic and industry partners.
EIA assessment form (DOCX, 72.6KB)