Science Board PPAN– Statement of Interest for new projects

The two submission cut off dates for 2024 are 1 May 2024 and 1 November 2024. Download the STFC statement of interest form.

For any new, major project or upgrade project to be considered for funding by the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC), a Statement of Interest (SoI) describing the proposed project, its fit within the strategic landscape, and the proposed cost must be submitted for evaluation. The submission of an SoI signifies the expression of interest for a full proposal.

SoIs may include:

  • participation in new experiments or missions
  • the further development of existing high priority experiments or missions
  • the development of new instruments
  • new detectors or accelerator technologies
  • upgrades to existing detectors
  • the purchase of new, or upgrades to, existing major high performance computing facilities
  • new initiatives in the field of e-science, modelling and data management

The submission of an SoI is also the route for submission to STFC’s prioritisation process for the UKRI Infrastructure Fund (UKRI IF).

SoIs can be submitted throughout the year but will only be considered by Science Board (SB) (PPAN) twice a year, with one spring and one autumn deadline each year. The two submission cut off dates for 2024 are:

  • 1 May 2024
    This deadline should be used for SoI submissions that wish to be considered by STFC for Wave 5 of the UKRI IF for Preliminary Activities.
  • 1 November 2024

Project teams are encouraged to submit SoIs throughout the year and engage with relevant STFC teams for advice.

SoI submissions

An SoI submission is completed using the dedicated template, which includes specific questions and prompts for information based on the SoI assessment criteria. The template is available to download on this page. Please submit completed SoI forms to the SB (PPAN) Secretariat, The Secretariat can also be contacted with any queries regarding the template.

All applicants are asked to contact the relevant STFC programme team prior to the submission of an SoI and all submissions require the inclusion of an STFC contact. For large projects that are likely to request substantial funding from STFC, applicants are asked to inform STFC as early as possible. Please contact the SB (PPAN) Secretariat,, if unsure of the relevant programme contact.

If applicants are looking to submit an SoI with the intention of developing a full proposal shortly afterwards, they should contact the relevant programme team to discuss the submission process. The team can ensure applicants are aware of all components of the SoI and understand all stages of STFC’s peer review process. Where appropriate, they can provide advice to ensure submissions provide sufficient information for effective peer review.

Where the programme team has not been consulted prior to submission, the SoI may be delayed until the programme manager has had an opportunity to discuss the proposal with the applicant. In this case, the result may be that the SoI will not meet the deadline for a particular SB (PPAN) meeting.

After the submission date but prior to consideration by Science Board, SoIs will be reviewed by the appropriate programme team to ensure that the data required for its consideration is complete. In exceptional cases, submissions may be rejected where there are clear cases for doing so, for example, where SoIs do not meet the submission criteria, the science is outside STFC’s remit, or the SoI is outside the scope of a particular funding opportunity.

Consideration by Science Board PPAN

SB (PPAN) will assess all submissions using the following assessment criteria, which are aligned with the UKRI Infrastructure Fund requirements:

  • scientific excellence and timeliness
  • strategic drivers and prioritisation
  • benefits
  • step change

Risk, deliverability, and environmental sustainability will also be considered, but do not form part of the assessment.

SB (PPAN) will form a consensus opinion and specific feedback will be agreed and shared with applicants following the Board meeting.

The Board will recommend whether a full proposal should be invited to progress to peer review, usually by STFC’s Projects Peer Review Panel. In the case that a full proposal is invited, SB (PPAN) will also agree any specific issues that PPRP may be required to resolve or explore during the consideration of the full proposal.

For SoIs that are suitable for the UKRI IF, a more detailed proposal will be invited for submission to STFC’s prioritisation process. The fund is extremely competitive and STFC will only submit proposals of the highest quality and strategic fit to UKRI for consideration.

Next steps following consideration by Science Board PPAN

If an SoI is recommended to be progressed then STFC will invite a full proposal, either for further assessment as part of STFC’s prioritisation process for the UKRI Infrastructure Fund or to be reviewed by the PPRP. A submission deadline will be set by the programme team in consultation with the secretariat of the relevant panel or board.

For proposals progressing through the UKRI Infrastructure Fund route detailed submission information will be provided by the STFC Infrastructure Team. For any queries the team can be contacted by email,

It is essential that applicants seek advice from programme teams regarding any changes to the scope and cost of the project that might affect consideration of the proposal. If the cost of the project increases beyond that given in the SoI SB (PPAN) may need to reconsider the SoI and the amended costs. If the scope of the project has changed significantly from that in the SoI, STFC will request that a new SoI is considered.

Further information relating to the submission of a full proposal to PPRP can be found on the UKRI Funding Finder.

SoIs relating to space

SoIs for proposals within the remit of the UK Space Agency (UKSA) should be sent directly to UKSA. UKSA will inform applicants directly about any funding decisions.

UKSA can also provide further information about the expected content of the SoI. The UKSA Science Programme Advisory Committee (SPAC) will review the SoI and UKSA will provide feedback on whether or not a full proposal is invited. STFC Science Board (PPAN) will also provide strategic scientific advice to UKSA if appropriate.

The peer review of full proposals for space science and exploration projects will be carried out by a UKSA peer review panel. The peer review panel will report to the UKSA SPAC or Aurora Advisory Committee as appropriate on the outcome of the review. The UKSA executive will make a final decision on funding a project drawing together all advice received.

UKSA will inform applicants directly regarding any funding decisions.

Further information can be found on the UKSA website

Last updated: 11 April 2024

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