New investigator research grant (NIRG) - MRC


Research organisation support

Partnership with the grant holder’s host research organisation (RO) is a cornerstone of this scheme, which recognises the importance of the host’s commitment to developing individuals at this early career stage. The RO statement should clearly lay out plans for appropriate mentorship, guidance and career development support of the applicant, and demonstrate commitment to the proposal, underpinned by secured long-term financial commitment by the host.

A signed statement of support (two sides A4 max) from a senior authority within the host RO on headed paper should be attached to all applications, clearly detailing:

  • why the RO considers the applicant a suitable candidate for the NIRG scheme
  • details of how the non-NIRG time will be supported, including financial commitment to supporting at least 50% of the applicant’s salary
  • assurances that the NIRG awardee is recognised and valued as an essential part of their research workforce and is integrated into the RO and the host department, whilst ensuring that they are able to develop their independence and focus of their research programme
  • a named senior academic who has supported the NIRG candidate during the development of their application, and who will continue to provide the necessary assistance and support to ensure success for the research project, and their professional, career and leadership development. The letter should capture how this support will be provided including, but not limited to:
    • guidance and training on setting up a research group, building partnerships and collaborations, or with public engagement
    • rapid access to resources at the RO through knowledge of appropriate processes and systems; access to career development support and advice to enable future career transitions
    • support for any proposed leadership activities
  • how the RO will support the applicant following the end of the award
  • the internal process the proposal has gone through prior to submission – in other words was there an internal assessment procedure for NIRG applications at your institution.

Support must include provision of adequate laboratory space, but may also include investment in the equipment necessary to establish the applicant’s laboratory, and access to communal departmental resource.

Any proposals submitted without this signed statement of support will be rejected.

Administrative authorities have responsibility for ensuring that the salaries and resources cited in the proposals are sufficient to undertake the proposed research, to attract sufficiently experienced and skilled staff, and represent good value for money. The salary requested should be in line with the level the RO would provide were the new investigator appointed within the RO’s own pay structure.

Last updated: 17 August 2021

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