How to submit your application - NERC

Contents

Overview

COVID-19 restriction

To help us with data analysis, do not include the words ‘COV-19’, ‘COVID-19’ or ‘Coronavirus’ in the lay summary, technical summary or title sections unless your application relates to proposed research in this area.

For complete information on the application procedure read the NERC research grants and fellowships handbook.

Any application that is incomplete or does not meet the eligibility criteria of NERC, will be rejected and will not be considered.

Submit using the UKRI Funding Service

During 2023, several NERC opportunities will use the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Funding Service and not the Joint Electronic Submission (Je-S) system.

Information on using the Funding Service is in the specific funding opportunity’s guidance and in the service itself.

Find NERC funding opportunities.

Submission deadlines

Opportunities close in the Funding Service at 4:00pm on the relevant closing date. You should leave enough time for the application to pass through your organisation’s submission route before 4:00pm.

UKRI has introduced new role types for funding opportunities being run through the Funding Service from 22 May 2023. For full details, see roles in funding applications.

Joint submissions

In the Funding Service , joint submissions must be submitted by the lead organisation only.

The application will include the project lead and all project co-leads from all organisations involved.

Where project costs are requested in the application, they should be itemised per organisation. Non-lead organisations do not submit a separate linked application in the Funding Service.

Attachment types

In the Funding Service, most information is provided in the service and not as a separate attachment. Where an attachment is required, instructions are provided in the application.

Applications will still be rejected if they do not meet the requirements in the opportunity, for example, if:

  • organisations or applicants do not meet the eligibility criteria, including rules limiting the number that an organisation or individual can submit to the opportunity
  • the proposed project is not within the remit of the opportunity
  • the requested funding for the application exceeds the published funding limit or doesn’t include all the required costs (including NERC facility costs)
  • there are significant omissions, such as submitting under an international partnership scheme without the relevant approval and documentation

More information on common causes of proposal rejection.

Submit using the Joint Electronic Submission (Je-S) system

For those opportunities using the Joint electronic-Submission (Je-S) system, the following information applies.

To use this system, the applicant’s research organisation must be Je-S registered. Je-S still uses the old role names including, principal investigator and co-investigator.

Submission deadlines

You must ensure that your application is received by NERC by 4:00pm on the relevant closing date. The Je-S system will close at 4:00pm and applications will not submit to NERC after that time.

You should leave enough time for your application to pass through your organisation’s Je-S submission route before 4:00pm on the relevant closing date.

Joint submissions

For some of our schemes we allow the award to be joint between several research organisations. Each component may be submitted separately with a named principal investigator but the project title, objectives, summary, academic beneficiaries and impact summary should be common to all component proposal forms.

Attachment types and formats

All attachments submitted through the Je-S system must be completed in single-spaced typescript in Arial 11 or other sans serif typeface of equivalent size, with margins of at least 2cm.

All text including references and footnotes should be in Arial 11 or other sans serif typeface of equivalent size.

Arial narrow and Calibri are not allowable font types.

Text in embedded diagrams or pictures or numerical formulae can be smaller, as long as it is legible.

Text in tables and figure labels not within embedded diagrams or pictures should be at least 11 point.

The correct attachment type should be used in Je-S as that determines whether attachments are visible to reviewers or moderating panel members.

Attachments must not exceed the page limits specified for the attachment type and scheme, regardless of the number of component research organisations.

Letters of support must be on headed paper and signed/dated.

Common causes of proposal rejection

To help you avoid proposal presentation and Je-S submission mistakes see the common causes of proposal rejection.

Requests for capital equipment

The Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) threshold limit has now been removed and replaced with the research councils equipment threshold of £138,000 (£115,000 ex VAT). Find out more about changes to requests for equipment (PDF, 238KB).

ORCID identifier

Researchers can now create or connect their ORCID identifier (ORCID iD) in Je-S by logging in to their personal information page. This is an important first step towards improving the flow of research information across the higher education sector.

ORCID offers a platform for researchers to capture their scholarly activities throughout their careers even if they change name, publish under different variations of their name, move institutions, or switch fields.

This helps them get exposure and recognition for their work. Increasingly it will be a tool to link and reuse research information unambiguously across multiple systems whether that’s for funders, publishers or their university.

Last updated: 15 June 2023

This is the website for UKRI: our seven research councils, Research England and Innovate UK. Let us know if you have some quick feedback or help us improve your experience by taking three minutes to tell us what you think of the UKRI website.