Funding opportunity

Funding opportunity: Collaborate with researchers in Luxembourg

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and FNR have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to welcome and support collaborative applications. The MoU provides for a lead agency agreement whereby UKRI will receive and assess joint applications from eligible UK and Luxembourg applicants on behalf of both organisations.

UKRI and FNR will co-fund applications submitted to the UKRI council’s responsive mode funding opportunities, in some cases named standard research grant opportunities.

General conditions will differ depending on the funding opportunity to which an application is being submitted.

Who can apply

Applications must be submitted via the participating research council’s funding opportunity.

You must be an eligible principal investigator employed by a UK research organisation eligible to receive funding from the participating research councils:

  • AHRC
  • BBSRC
  • EPSRC
  • ESRC
  • MRC
  • NERC
  • STFC

UK and Luxembourg applicants should ensure that their joint applications are well balanced, with clear roles and objectives attributed to both sides of the collaboration. Within the joint applications, the UK collaborator should be the lead applicant contributing with a slightly higher research effort.

Information on institution eligibility to receive UKRI funding can be found in UKRI’s website or in the funding opportunity guidance to which an application is being submitted.

Check if your institution is eligible for funding.

Applicant eligibility

The UK principal investigator must be employed by a UK research organisation eligible for UKRI funding and meet the participating research council’s eligibility criteria for the specific funding opportunity to which an application is being submitted.

In order to benefit from FNR funding, Luxembourg applicants need to be from FNR eligible institutions, meaning public research centres, the University of Luxembourg and public bodies, departments and establishments in Luxembourg with an authorisation to undertake research in their areas of competence.

Further information regarding UK applicant’s eligibility conditions can be found in the council’s guidance to applicants and in the funding opportunity specific guidance, under the ‘What we’re looking for’ section.

Further information regarding the Luxembourg applicant’s eligibility conditions can be found on FNR’s website.

Further guidance

You should refer to the specific participating research council’s guidance to applicants and funding opportunity guidance for further information:

What we're looking for

Under the UKRI-FNR agreement, joint UK-Luxembourg applications can be submitted to the UKRI council’s responsive mode funding opportunities, in some cases named standard research grant opportunities.

Collaborative research applications led by UK applicants, with Luxembourg researchers, may be submitted in any single or cross-disciplinary area which fits within the remit of the participating research councils.

Eligible funding opportunities

Joint UK-Luxembourg applications are eligible to the following funding opportunities:

Conditions will vary depending on the research council and funding opportunity to which an application is being submitted. You should refer to UKRI’s funding finder for further details on individual funding opportunities.

You should consult the specific funding opportunity guidance and the relevant research council’s guidance to applicants for further information. For key contact details of each of the participating research councils, you should refer to the ‘Contact’ section.

Costs

Costs to be incurred by UK and Luxembourg applicants must be clearly differentiated in the application and compatible with existing financial practices pertinent to the UKRI councils and FNR, respectively.

Costs for the UK applicant should be requested by completing the relevant finance fields of the Joint Electronic Submission (Je-S) system form. All costs being requested from UKRI must be eligible under normal research funding rules.

Costs being requested from FNR by Luxembourg applicants should not be entered into the UKRI Je-S fields. Costs to be requested from FNR by the Luxembourg applicant should follow the guidelines established by FNR. The budget requested from FNR needs to be detailed and justified in the proposal submitted to UKRI.

Luxembourg applicants should complete the FNR-specific forms on costs to be requested from FNR. These documents are available on FNR’s website, and should be sent to the UK principal investigator, who must upload the completed forms as ‘Other Attachments’(or ‘Non-UK Components’ in applications to NERC) to Je-S.

The forms include:

  • an INTER budget sheet (Excel workbook)
  • an INTER budget justification (Word document)

All costs requested from FNR should be eligible under the general rules and procedures for FNR research grants, following INTER application guidelines.

In general terms, costs which can be claimed by Luxembourg applicants from FNR include:

  • personnel
  • equipment
  • consumables
  • travel
  • other costs
  • overheads

Total value of the project

Further information regarding the total value of the project can be found in the council’s guidance to applicants and specific funding opportunity guidance.

Applicants should note that in joint UK-Luxembourg applications to eligible BBSRC and NERC funding opportunities, the requested funding amount is required to fit within the scope and scale of the funding opportunity to which an application is being submitted to.

How to apply

Before submitting an application to collaborate with an eligible Luxembourg researcher, you should review the specific funding opportunity guidance to which an application is being submitted.

Specific process guidance for applicants submitting an application to:

  • BBSRC should contact the office before submitting a joint UK-Luxembourg application in order to discuss eligibility and handling an application under the agreement
  • EPSRC are required to submit an expression of interest to EPSRC before submitting a joint UK-Luxembourg application. The expression of interest should include a short summary of the proposed research and indicative costs of both the EPSRC and FNR components. Full guidance on how to submit an expression of interest can be found on EPSRC’s guidance on working with overseas scientists
  • MRC are required to contact the relevant MRC programme manager before submitting a joint UK-Luxembourg application. Programme manager details can be found by clicking the link and selecting the relevant research area. Further information can also be found in the MRC funding opportunity to which an application is being submitted
  • STFC should contact the relevant STFC programme manager before submitting an application in order to discuss the strategic fit of the proposal with STFC’s science strategy. Further information on STFC’s funding opportunities and relevant contacts can be found on UKRI’s website

Submitting your application

You must apply to UKRI using the Joint Electronic Submission (Je-S) system.

The application title should begin with ‘[Council]/FNR:’, for example ‘AHRC/FNR’, in the Je-S proforma.

UKRI is developing a new funding system to replace Je-S. Although a launch date has not been announced, some future funding opportunities will use this upcoming system.

This guidance will be updated accordingly in due time.

You can find advice on completing your application in:

  • the Je-S handbook
  • the funding opportunity to which an application is being submitted
  • research council specific guidance

There are some differences in the Je-S format between participating UKRI research councils. You should ensure the relevant guidelines and requirements for the individual research council covering the remit of your research are followed.

Joint applications submitted to UKRI under this agreement must also be submitted to FNR by the Luxembourg applicant no later than 7 days after the submission to a UKRI council, including a copy of the application submitted to UKRI and a project plan. Further information on application submission to FNR can be found on FNR’s website and INTER application guidelines.

Luxembourg applicants should complete the FNR-specific forms on costs to be requested from FNR. These documents are available on FNR’s website, and should be sent to the UK principal investigator, who must upload the completed forms to Je-S as ‘Other Attachments’ (or ‘Non-UK Components’ in applications to NERC).

The forms include:

  • an INTER budget sheet
  • an INTER budget justification (for costs being requested to FNR)
  • the project plan to be submitted to FNR (for applications to AHRC and ESRC)

For further information, you should refer to the ‘contact’ section for key contact details of each of the participating research councils and FNR.

Luxembourg applicants will need to be included as international co-investigators or project partners depending on the research council to which an application is being submitted.

International co-investigators: AHRC, ESRC, MRC

In applications submitted to AHRC, ESRC and MRC, Luxembourg applicants are to be included as international co-investigators, and therefore are required to have an active Je-S account. No staff costs relating with the Luxembourg applicants should be included in the Je-S form.

To create a Je-S account, the Luxembourg co-investigator should access the Je-S website and select ‘Create Account’ and complete their details. Once they reach the ‘Research Organisation’ screen they will be able to determine whether the submitting organisation is registered. On this page, the co-investigator will be able to see all Je-S registered organisations via the Je-S login page.

If the international research organisation is not listed, the Luxembourg co-investigator should contact the Je-S helpdesk and provide details of the project with which they wish to be associated (providing information on the reference number, title, principal investigator). The Je-S helpdesk will then register the Luxembourg co-investigator, allowing the UK principal investigator to add them to the application.

Project partners: BBSRC, EPSRC, NERC and STFC

In applications submitted to BBSRC, EPSRC, NERC and STFC, Luxembourg applicants are to be included as project partners, and therefore are not required to have a Je-S account.

Funding requested from FNR by the Luxembourg applicant should be listed as in-kind costs within the Je-S system by the UK principal investigator.

Deadline

Deadlines and budget available will differ depending on the funding opportunity to which an application is being submitted.

You should refer to the funding opportunity guidance for further information.

You should ensure you are aware of and follow any internal institutional deadlines that may be in place.

How we will assess your application

Processing of applications

Joint UK-Luxembourg applications submitted to UKRI and FNR will be primarily managed by the specific UKRI research council, which will lead on the processing and assessment of the application on behalf of both organisations.

UKRI and FNR will complete eligibility checks for the UK and Luxembourg applicants, respectively, and agree whether an application is to progress to the assessment stage.

FNR agrees to fund the Luxembourg component of successful applications, in accordance with their existing financial processes and procedures.

The UKRI council will approach the relevant number of peer reviewers according to normal scheme rules and procedures. It is anticipated that reviews will be obtained from a minimum of 3 reviewers, unless the scheme involves a streamlined assessment process. FNR may also be approached for peer reviewer nomination.

Once peer reviews are completed, applications will progress to the decision-making or advisory body of the UKRI council to determine whether an application will be successful or rejected. A FNR nominee or representative may be able to observe the decision-making process depending on the nature of the funding opportunity, and the number and value of the applications received.

The UKRI council will notify FNR once the assessment has been completed and request FNR’s confirmation for funding.

Assessment criteria

UKRI funds research on a competitive basis employing independent expert peer review. This system is regarded as an international benchmark of excellence in research funding, and this provides a guarantee of the quality of UK research.

Applications will be evaluated according to normal UKRI procedures, plus any specific assessment criteria set out by the relevant UKRI council and the funding opportunity to which an application is being submitted. Further information on any assessment criteria can be found in the relevant funding opportunity guidance document.

Announcement

Once a final decision has been reached, in the case of a positive funding decision, the UKRI council will agree award start dates with FNR and applicants will be informed of the results.

UKRI will issue a letter to the UK applicant on behalf of both organisations, which will confirm the proposed start date and state that FNR will be in contact with the Luxembourg applicant about issuing an award for the Luxembourg component of the project. FNR will be notified of the positive outcome.

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

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

In the case of a negative funding decision, the relevant UKRI council will issue a decision letter to the UK applicant on behalf of both organisations. FNR will be notified of the negative outcome.

Post-award management

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

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

Progress and final reports

Where progress and final reports are required by the UKRI council, FNR or both, they will be submitted according to the normal procedures of those organisations.

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

Enquiries regarding the submission of applications under the UKRI-FNR agreement, should be submitted to the respective participating research council to which an application is being submitted.

AHRC

Email: international@ahrc.ukri.org

Please include ‘AHRC/FNR’ in the subject line.

BBSRC

Email: bbsrc.iru@bbsrc.ukri.org

EPSRC

Email: international@epsrc.ukri.org

ESRC

Email: international@esrc.ukri.org

MRC

Email: international@mrc.ukri.org

NERC

Email: international@nerc.ukri.org

STFC

Email: international@stfc.ukri.org

Enquiries regarding FNR’s process or implementation of this agreement should be addressed to FNR.

FNR

Dr Helena Burg, Head of International Relations, FNR

Email: helena.burg@fnr.lu

Get help with applying through Je-S

Email

jeshelp@je-s.ukri.org

Telephone

+44 (0)1793 444164

Opening times

Je-S helpdesk opening times

Additional info

Background

UKRI and FNR are charged with fostering and supporting academic research within their own communities in their respective countries. Both UKRI and FNR recognise that the best research may be delivered by working with the best researchers internationally.

FNR and UKRI have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to welcome, encourage and support collaborative applications that may cut across UK and Luxembourg national boundaries and involve international collaborative teams. The MoU provides for a lead agency agreement, which has been active since 2013, whereby UKRI will receive and assess joint applications from eligible applicants on behalf of both organisations.

You may apply until the end of the MoU agreement between UKRI and FNR on 5 June 2027, unless otherwise extended. Successful joint projects between UK and Luxembourg researchers that extend past the end of the MoU will continue to be supported by UKRI and FNR.

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 1 research organisation, project partners or both, 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 FNR and UKRI terms and conditions.

Arrangements for collaboration, exploitation or both 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.

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 UKRI and FNR, quoting the grant reference number if appropriate.

Applicants in receipt of awards from UKRI and FNR must follow the open access requirements of the respective organisations. The specific requirements are dependent on the type of publication. For further information on UKRI’s open access policy, please refer to UKRI’s website. For further information on FNR’s open access policy, please refer to FNR’s website.

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

Data sharing

Data, including personal data, is shared between UKRI and FNR to enable the secure and efficient processing and assessment of applications via a secure transfer mechanism, as appropriate. Information shared may include applicant and reviewer information, application details and reviewing documents.

UKRI and FNR are committed to maintaining data confidentiality, protection and privacy and intend to fully abide by their own applicable laws and policies concerning the sharing of data in collaborative activities. UKRI and FNR carry out the processing of personal data in accordance with the applicable national and EU data protection laws.

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

Supporting documents

UKRI-FNR operational guidance (PDF, 206KB)
Annex 1: AHRC-FNR specific guidance (PDF, 74KB)
Annex 2: ESRC-FNR specific guidance (PDF, 134KB)

This is the integrated website of the 7 research councils, Research England and Innovate UK.
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