Funding opportunity

Funding opportunity: Work with Brazilian researchers: NERC FAPESP lead agency

This opportunity allows UK-based researchers and researchers in the State of São Paulo, Brazil to submit a collaborative proposal under existing NERC funding opportunities. This will go through a single review process.

The goal is to reduce some of the barriers that researchers and funding agencies encounter when trying to work internationally.

This opportunity does not represent a separate research funding scheme. Applications must be submitted under existing programmes, specifically NERC pushing the frontiers and large grants funding opportunities.

Who can apply

UK-based researchers

As a UK-based applicant, to apply as a principal investigator through NERC, you must be:

  • a resident in the UK
  • employed, or will be when the grant starts, by an eligible UK research organisation:
    • higher education institution
    • research council institute
    • recognised independent research organisation
    • public sector research establishment
  • employed at lecturer (or equivalent) level or above.

Find more information on:

São Paulo-based Brazilian partners

You must be employed at an eligible institution based in the State of São Paulo. These are higher education and research organisations, public or non-profit.

Before applying, we recommend the Brazilian investigator(s) contact FAPESP to confirm their eligibility and receive a letter confirming this.

What we're looking for

Collaborative research proposals may be submitted in any disciplinary or interdisciplinary subject where the majority falls within the remit of both agencies, NERC and FAPESP.

We will fund 80% of the full economic cost for:

  • 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.

Equipment is funded at 100% full economic cost.

Full funding rules are included under the relevant funding opportunities.

How to apply

This does not represent a separate research funding scheme. Proposals need to be submitted under existing programmes, namely NERC’s pushing the frontiers and large grants schemes.

There may also be the opportunity to apply for a joint NERC FAPESP grant under specific research programme or international opportunities. These opportunities will be highlighted in the announcement of opportunity for the specific funding opportunity.

Applications have to be submitted in parallel by the UK-based principal investigator through the joint electronic submission (Je-S) system and by the São Paulo-based principal investigator to SAGe.

A submission of the proposal by the São Paulo-based principal investigator to FAPESP needs to be made through SAGe before the application to NERC is made. The applications will be treated as a single application for the purposes of assessment by NERC.

The application should be identified clearly as a collaborative proposal to be considered under the UKRI-FAPESP memorandum of understanding by pre-fixing the project title with ‘NERC-FAPESP:’ (as well as having the same title).

Proposals are required to adhere to the remit, funding limits and grant durations of the NERC scheme from which funding is sought and must represent an integrated collaborative effort.

Combined budgets for the UK and São Paulo researchers must be within the funding limit of the relevant funding opportunity to which it’s submitted. You do not have to request equal amounts from NERC and FAPESP. The difference should reflect the variations in costs and local prices.

All costs being requested from NERC must be eligible under normal research funding rules for the appropriate funding opportunity. The funding requested from FAPESP must follow the relevant FAPESP funding rules.

The costs of the UK and São Paulo organisations must be clearly differentiated and justified in the proposal. In the Je-S application, FAPESP costs should be converted in the justification of resources to GBP at the current HMRC exchange rate at time of application. We will reject any proposals that request duplicate funding.

The UK applicant must name the Brazilian collaborators as a ‘project partner’ and add the value of the FAPESP contribution in the project partner in-kind support section in the Je-S form.

You must attach a copy of the FAPESP proposal form (SAGe´s ‘Visualize’ option) as submitted through SAGe to your Je-S application.

The principal investigator from the UK must be registered in the SAGe system. This can be done by accessing SAGe in the English language and choosing the option ‘Not registered?’.

The applicant based in the UK must be included as a ‘Partner PI’ on SAGe. An active SAGe registration demands the attachment of a photo ID and all information requested that is marked as mandatory (*).

Both the São Paulo and the UK researcher must have an active SAGe registration, and ‘confirm participation’ in the proposal before finalising the submission.

How we will assess your application

NERC will assess proposals on behalf of both organisations. A decision will be made by NERC within its normal review process, but FAPESP-nominated experts will be involved throughout.

The assessment process usually takes around six months but can be longer.

NERC will inform colleagues in FAPESP if the proposal is successful. Once FAPESP has confirmed its funds, the UK principal investigator will be informed of the outcome.

It is up to the UK principal investigator to communicate the outcome of the application to their Brazilian partner(s).

NERC will issue an award for the UK component to the UK applicant’s institution according to normal processes and procedures.

FAPESP will issue an award for the Brazilian component to the São Paulo applicant’s institution according to normal processes and procedures.

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

UK enquiries


Brazil enquiries


Get help with applying through Je-S



01793 444164

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Additional info

Grant holder considerations

Grant holders will be expected to comply with the grant conditions and reporting requirements of the agencies they receive funding from.

Grant holders will be required to acknowledge both FAPESP and NERC in any reports or publications arising from the grant.

When extensions are granted, each funding agency will directly advise the relevant principal investigator of the proper procedure for processing these. Due to UKRI constraints, extensions over 12 months will only be considered in exceptional circumstances.

Requests for changes to awards pertaining to the scope of research or significant changes or delays to the research will be communicated to counterpart funding agencies.

In accordance with FAPESP and NERC standard procedures, awards are announced publicly.

Post-award management

Award holders should contact both FAPESP and NERC concerning any changes to any of the award holders’ institutional affiliations or other aspects of the grant during its lifetime.

If necessary, NERC and FAPESP may consult with each other before agreeing any changes to the grant’s status. This will normally be dealt with on a case-by-case basis.

Progress and reporting

Where reporting is required by NERC or FAPESP, it will be submitted according to the normal procedures of those organisations. The required reporting will:

  • cover the development of the whole project (and not only of the national party)
  • specifically describe and comment on the effectiveness of the international cooperation
  • be detailed in each of the research councils and FAPESP’s guidelines for applicants.

Intellectual property

It is the responsibility of the research organisation, and all engaged in the research, to make every reasonable effort to ensure that the outcomes obtained in the course of the research, whether patentable or not, are used to the advantage of society and the economy.

Research outcomes should be disseminated to both research and more widespread audiences, for example, to inform potential users and beneficiaries of the research.

Unless stated otherwise, the ownership of intellectual property, and responsibility for its exploitation, rests with the organisation that generates it. Where the grant is associated with more than one research organisation or other project partners, the basis of collaboration between the organisations, including ownership of intellectual property and rights to exploitation, is expected to be set out in a formal collaboration agreement.

It is the responsibility of the research organisation to put such an agreement in place before the research begins. The terms of collaboration agreements must not conflict with FAPESP’s and UKRI’s terms and conditions.

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. A temporary delay in publication is acceptable in order to allow commercial and collaborative arrangements to be established.

UKRI and FAPESP may, in individual cases, reserve the right to retain ownership of intellectual property (or assign it to a third party under an exploitation agreement) and to arrange for it to be exploited for the national benefit and that of the research organisation involved. This right, if exercised, will be set out in an additional grant condition.

Where the exploitation of research generates revenue, there should be suitable recognition and return to the research organisation, individuals and funding agency. The grant holder should, subject to the procedures laid down by the research organisation, publish the results of the research in accordance with normal academic practice.

Publications and other forms of media communication, including media appearances, press releases and conferences, must acknowledge the support received from NERC and FAPESP, quoting the grant reference number if appropriate.

The research organisation must ensure that all those associated with the research are aware of, and accept, these arrangements.

What we will do with your information

Data is shared between UKRI and FAPESP to enable the secure and efficient processing of proposals. Data shared may include proposal attachments, anonymised peer reviews and panel comments. Data will be shared by email and a secure extranet where appropriate.

UKRI and FAPESP are committed to maintaining data confidentiality and privacy and intend to fully abide by applicable laws and policies concerning the sharing of data in our collaborative activities. All personal data provided will be processed by both parties in accordance with current data protection legislation.

Further information on how UKRI processes personal data can be found in the UKRI privacy notice.

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