Funding opportunity

Funding opportunity: Enhance particle physics research: PPGP consolidated grants

Apply for funding to research particle physics theory and develop novel technologies.

You must be based at a UK institution eligible for UKRI funding.

You must either apply as:

  • an individual or group of researchers from one institution
  • a consortium with groups from different institutions.

Please apply with a realistic bid.

The funding will be available from 1 October 2023 to 30 September 2026.

We will fund your project for three years.

Who can apply

STFC provides support for the particle physics community through consolidated grants for a period of three years. Any organisation from the UK particle physics theory community can apply.

Each university institution (or equivalent sub-unit within the university) may submit one consolidated grant proposal per subject area every three years.

An individual will only be supported on a maximum of one consolidated grant per subject area. Therefore, individuals in groups that apply as a consortium will be excluded from also applying as part of their individual institution’s application in that subject area.

Consortiums

The researchers can be from one institution or apply as a consortium with other UK groups.

Groups from different institutions working collaboratively in the same well-defined research area may apply for a consolidated research grant as a consortium. This is not applicable to the Institute for Particle Physics Phenomenology (IPPP).

This is intended to allow members of such consortia the opportunity to bid for shared resources that they might not otherwise be able to secure on their own, perhaps due to the size or scope of their activity.

Applicants should request three years of support and should note that consolidated grants are considered independently of each other. If a consortium grant is awarded which overlaps with an existing grant due to an extension, the existing grant remains active and its duration unchanged.

Length of post

Posts will normally be awarded for three years, but where required an extension of up to one year may be applied for. This is only to provide groups with flexibility, for example, to delay the start date of a post.

An extension cannot be applied for at the time of the proposal submission but can be applied for once the grant is active and any delayed posts have commenced.

Categories of staff that can apply

Consolidated grants have three categories of staff:

  • academics
  • core staff
  • non-core staff.

New posts may be requested in any category, or a change in categorisation may be requested. Therefore, a post assigned as non-core in the 2019 round may now be requested as part of the core group and vice versa.

It is not expected that core posts would represent a high proportion of the non-academic total grant costs.

Definition of core

‘Core’ posts are defined as underpinning research capability that is, to a great extent, not contingent on the specific details of the group’s future programme of work. It is not normally expected that research assistant posts would be defined as core posts.

Ultimately, the grants panels will make judgements on a case-by-case basis but the following may be used as a guide:

  • software or computing support
  • senior research posts (typically, these post holders are expected to have at least five years’ postdoctoral research experience).

The senior research posts would only be identified as core staff if their role is essential to the scientific success of the group and they possess critical expertise with skills that would be difficult to replace.

Pool staff and general secretarial or computing support staff would not be considered to be core staff.

Non-core posts

Non-core posts will be allocated in response to strong physics cases. A competitive allocation procedure will be used for them, comparing cases for continuation of existing posts, and for new posts.

Requests may also be made for support staff. These include administrative effort as well as general computing support. These posts are also considered as non-core posts.

Project studentships

It is possible to apply for project PhD studentships as part of grant proposals. For guidance, please see the STFC guidance on studentships for grants.

Co-investigators named on grants

Co-applicants who, following peer-review, are not in receipt of any funding for academic time are usually not listed on the grant.

However, genuine participants in the research who do not require any funding for academic time, such as emeritus researchers or fellows fully or partially-funded from other sources, are eligible to be named as co-investigators.

It is recognised that such individuals may sometimes be difficult to identify, so the principal investigator should alert STFC to ensure that any such instances can be dealt with. Cases should be made for such posts, as the grants panel will assess these along with all others to decide whether they will add value.

In certain cases, posts may be removed from the grant.

What we're looking for

This is the 2022 particle physics theory consolidated grants round.

This grant round takes place every three years to support particle physics theory research. Funding is for 1 October 2023 to 30 September 2026.

You are reminded that all consolidated grants must start on the announced start date. For this reason, there is no longer any flexibility to adjust the grant’s start date, and when awarded, the latest start date will be the same as the earliest date.

This grants round will consider consolidated grant requests in the particle physics theory subject area. Where more than one department or group at a university is involved in the same subject area, a single consolidated grant proposal should be submitted.

Particle physics theory and particle physics experiments are considered to be separate subject areas.

Funding available

Please note that the outcome of the UK government’s spending review is not yet known and continues to cause uncertainty for future budgets. As a result, STFC are required to plan on a flat cash basis and applicants are asked to submit realistic bids.

Cross-disciplinary or cross-council proposals

For advice on cross-disciplinary or cross-council proposals, see the STFC guidance for applicants.

Science areas

Science areas should be broad enough to enable groups to consider appointing postdoctoral researchers from a sufficiently broad area. By that, we mean they will be able to:

  • attract the best available candidates
  • allow candidates to set their own research programme within that area.

However, the areas should be narrow enough that the panel can:

  • assess the likely impact of the group in that area
  • differentiate the different areas of a group’s activities.

As a rough guide, one might imagine that a scientific area should be of a sufficient size, so that the whole of particle theory could be covered in eight to 15 areas. For example, one might consider as one scientific area ‘standard model collider phenomenology’ rather than ‘next-to-leading order quantum chromodynamics calculations’ (too narrow) or ‘phenomenology’ (too broad).

How to apply

Please note that it’s the responsibility of the principal investigator to ensure that their institution’s administration department submits the proposal before the submission deadline.

Read the full details on how to apply for a grant in the STFC guidance for applicants.

If you are considering submitting a new consortium grant, please let STFC know before you submit. In some instances, a brief written summary of the proposed consortium may be requested as part of this process.

Submitting applications through the Je-S system

All proposals should be submitted online using the Joint Electronic Submission (Je-S) system. There are links to tutorials and system help on the Je-S website.

Applicants should use the Je-S form for standard grants and should apply for a grant of three years duration. The following options should be selected in the Je-S system when putting your proposal together:

  • council: STFC
  • document type: standard proposal
  • scheme: standard
  • call: PPGP theory 2022
  • peer review preference: PPGP theory.

Failure to select the correct options may mean the proposal does not reach the correct research council or department and will ultimately result in your Je-S proposal being returned.

The deadline for the submission of consolidated grant proposals and form X is 16:00 on 22 February 2022.

Applicants can view the status of their proposal online by logging in to the Je-S system. STFC office staff are unable to view the proposal until it is finally submitted by the institution’s administration department and has undergone initial checks by the UKRI grants team.

Proposals submitted after the closing date will not be considered.

Consortia from different institutions

Groups from different institutions working collaboratively in the same well-defined research area must submit a single case for support, with either one Je-S form per institution or one Je-S form on behalf of the consortium.

Additional documents required

In addition to the online application form, which must be submitted through the Je-S system, the following documents are required.

Your proposal should include:

  • case for support containing:
    • appendix one, group overview report and proposal
    • appendix two, cases for science areas including the publication list
    • appendix three, should be used for bids for virtual centres (where required)
  • data management plan
  • form X: staff details and programme or project participation (should be submitted by email).

CVs are not required.

Please note that applicants should be careful to classify documents correctly using the options available and submit as a PDF. Failure to do so will result in incomplete proposals being sent out to reviewers (for example, documents classified as ‘other’ are not sent out for review).

Please upload the appendices as attachments to the Je-S proposal and email the form X spreadsheet to pp@stfc.ac.uk.

We provide a LaTeX template for the submission by email and strongly encourage groups to use that template and font choice. If submitting using another document preparation system, then the allowed fonts are:

  • standard Arial 11 point (please note that this is the preferred font for STFC)
  • Helvetica regular 11 point
  • an equivalent regular 11 point sans serif universal font, such as FreeSans.

There should be a minimum of 2cm margins around each page for all of the above.

Case for core posts

If requesting core posts, each group must make a case as part of their proposal, stressing the areas of expertise of the post or posts, over the last two years. You can read more about what core posts are under ‘Who can apply’.

The proposal should also:

  • give a plan of work for the next three years (from 1 October 2023)
  • explain the contribution of the core post or posts.

Posts requested as core may be awarded as non-core posts by the panel, if it is felt that the scientific case does not require the long-term continuity intended for core posts, but that the case is strong enough to justify funding.

Costings

All potential costs should be included in the proposal.

Read details about the grant costs in the STFC guidance for applicants.

Justification of resources

All costs associated with the research proposal must be justified, with the exception of:

  • estates
  • indirects
  • infrastructure technician costs
  • the unit cost of transparent approach to costing (TRAC)-determined elements, such as:
    • investigator salary costs
    • research facility charge-out costs.

The amount of resource required needs to be justified.

An explanation for all costs requested on the Je-S form must be given in the case for support.

Each directly incurred post must be given a name or, for unnamed posts, a unique number (for example RA1, RA2 and so on).

The same name or number must be used in the Je-S proposal, case for support and the form X. The documents will be returned for correction if the details do not match. For example, ‘Professor Clever Cloggs’ should not become ‘Prof C Cloggs’.

Academics with dual theory or experiment roles

The Particle Physics Grants Panel (PPGP) is prepared to use the following ‘fast-track’ procedure to avoid academics having to apply to both PPGP (T) and PPGP (E).

Academics spending up to one third of their time in the other discipline should apply for all of their time to the panel relevant to the majority of their work. For example, this could be:

  • a theorist working as a full member of an experimental collaboration
  • an experimenter with specific duties or obligations to a theoretical collaboration.

Details should be included in the case for support for the project.

Case for support

Appendix one: group overview report and proposal

Appendix one should provide a concise report on the scientific progress of the whole group, including synergies between the science areas described in appendix two. It should cover work since 1 January 2019 and set out proposals for the future programme.

In the case of a consortium application by groups from different institutions, the consortium should provide a single case for support. In such a case, the word ‘group’ in the guidelines that follow should be interpreted to apply to the consortium as a whole.

Appendix one should include the following.

Summary of the group’s activities and strategy

The report should begin with a summary of the group’s activities or achievements and the strategy for the future programme. This part of the report is expected to be up to two pages in length.

References to individuals in the group’s reports should be highlighted in bold.

If a scientific area was funded in the previous consolidated grant round but will not continue into the new round, then a report on the programme of work carried out by group members in that area since 1 January 2019 should be included.

The maximum length for each scientific area here is half a page per full time equivalent (FTE) in the scientific area, or one page per scientific area (whichever is the greater).

Synergy between work in different scientific areas

For groups proposing to work in more than one scientific area, a section of up to half a page may describe the synergy between their work in different areas (the value added by funding work on these areas in the same group).

The group can choose to include a commentary on why such work is appropriate to be funded by the Particle Physics Grants Panel for theory (PPGP)(T) to help guide the panel. The section should be no more than half a page in total for the group.

Other information

The following information should also be provided.

For the programme of work carried out since 1 January 2019, applicants should provide an explanation of any expenditure that has resulted in a variation of 20% or more against the funds awarded. This should be put against each heading in the original announcement.

Other STFC support and non-STFC support

For the period from 1 October 2020 to 30 September 2022, the grants panel seeks information on STFC support outside the consolidated grant over the review period, for example, grants funded through the Projects Peer Review Panel (PPRP).

Examples of non-STFC support include organisations like the European Research Council. Applicants only need to include support which has been obtained for equipment, consumables, travel and staff posts directly involved in the programme. It is not necessary to detail any other items.

Concordat to support the career development of researchers

The applicant is required to report on how the concordat is being implemented within the context of the group. This must be a maximum of half a page.

Impact plan

UKRI places a strong emphasis on impact and has a requirement to include ‘planning for impact’ as part of any submission made into a funding opportunity. We therefore require a one page impact plan for the group as part of the application.

Planning for impact is an opportunity for applicants to think about the potential their research may have in other areas, such as society, the economy, and the environment. It helps foster a vibrant research culture and allows you to maximise the chance that your work will make a difference outside academic circles.

With the requirement for impact now being a primary assessment criterion on all STFC grants, it is more important than ever to consider the wider impact of your research so you can plan accordingly.

Support posts

A case, no longer than one page, should be made for the administrative and computer support requested.

Where administrative or computing support is requested under the ‘other directly allocated’ heading or the ‘directly incurred’ heading, the following information should be provided for each post:

  • type (for example, administrative support or computing support)
  • FTE
  • duration
  • total cost per person.

The cases for support posts should be in alphabetical order by surname or post title for unnamed posts. Support posts should be included on form X below the scientific and technical posts.

The order and format of names should be consistent in both the case for support and form X. Any case for public engagement resources should be made in appendix two.

Non-staff costs

A case, maximum two pages in total, should be made for travel and subsistence, public engagement resources and consumables (which includes equipment items under £10,000).

If you are likely to want to purchase equipment items over £10,000, then please contact the office for advice.

Please note that Distributed Research utilising Advanced Computing (DiRAC) recurrent costs are not to be requested.

For information purposes, we have provided the figures that the grants panel used during the previous grants round to arrive at the non-staff cost awards. Please note that these are only indicative and will not necessarily be the figures used for this round.

The total amount awarded for three years per FTE was:

Travel and subsistence £4,500
Other directly incurred (ODI) costs, such as consumables and computing £1,800
Computing support 1 FTE per 30 persons per year
Administrative support 1 FTE per 60 persons per year

Applicants should request the full estimated cost of group travel, in line with the rules of their institution, including a justification of the request.

Funds may be requested to make visits to discuss new projects if these cannot be combined with other journeys. The PPGP also expects that groups should seek travel funds from sources other than their institutions.

ODI costs

When applying for ODI (consumable) costs, please ensure that the funds requested are clearly listed in your case for support under the separate headings given below. The cost of the items listed should match with those provided in the Je-S form.

Please ensure that these items are individually less than £10,000. When putting together these lists, please refer to the STFC guidance on costs we fund.

Headings in case for support:

  • heading one: consumables
  • heading two: computing
  • heading three: public engagement.

Heading two: computing

This is for computer costs dedicated to the project, for example, specialist stationery supplies and software licences not associated with central computing facilities. The purchase of standard laptops should be funded by indirect costs.

Heading three: public engagement

Applicants may request funds for public outreach activities on consolidated grants, subject to a well justified case. A description of the proposed activities and a justification of the resources requested should be included as a separate section within appendix two of the proposal document. This section should be a maximum of one page.

Find out more about public engagement on the STFC website.

Other directly allocated (ODA) costs

You are required to provide details of all posts (excluding infrastructure technicians).

Please list the names, cost and effort for each post requested as:

  • pool staff (admin and computing support posts)
  • non-infrastructure technicians (other than those listed on the Je-S form).

Appendix two: cases for science areas

We would not expect even the largest groups to present their proposed work under the headings of more than four or five scientific areas. The appendix should be structured by each science area in turn with parts (a) (b) (c) and (d) as described below and be present for each science area.

Within each science area report, there should be:

Part (a)

For science areas that are continuing, a report on the programme of work carried out by the group members in that area since 1 January 2019 should be included.

It should explain if there have been any major changes to the programme compared with the original plans and provide an assessment of the extent to which the major aims have been met.

Part (b)

This should set out the science case for the proposed programme of work over the requested period. For each scientific area, it should address the following:

  • what are the major goals and scope
  • how does it fit within the international context
  • how will it advance the field?

It should also explain how the group’s expertise, experience, and specific research achievements of related previous research since 1 January 2019 relate to the proposed programme of work.

Where work on the scientific area is proposed as part of a consortium of university groups, the relationship between the groups and the added value of funding the area as a consortium should be explained.

References to individuals in the group’s reports should be highlighted in bold.

The maximum length for each scientific area for each of parts (a) and (b) is half a page per FTE in the scientific area, or one page per scientific area (whichever is the greater).

Where page limits are not adhered to, proposals will be returned. FTE is defined as per head for an academic or fellow, and actual proportion of time for a researcher.

Part (c) scientific posts

A case relating to the proposed programme and form X must be made for the continuation of each current staff post, or fraction of a post, and for initiation of new posts. In line with the principles of full economic cost (FEC), cases must also be included for academic staff posts where no salary funding is sought.

A scientific case for each post (including project studentships) should be made, with a maximum of half a page allowed for each post. If appropriate, the case should indicate why the post should be considered ‘core’, and a proposed plan of work identified for the next three years.

The case for investigator time should be justified in terms of the future programme, not past productivity, including posts where no funding is sought.

Posts should be justified in the following order:

  • academic posts
  • emeritus posts
  • fellows
  • core posts
  • non-core posts
  • non-core support posts
  • project studentships.

Fellows, such as STFC Ernest Rutherford fellowships or Royal Society university research fellowships, should be included if they are working on the projects for which funding is requested. Within each category, posts should be listed alphabetically by surname or post title for unnamed posts.

The posts on form X must be listed in the same order. The naming format used must be consistent on the case for support, Je-S form, and form X. All posts should have the same name or number as given on the Je-S form so that it is clear how each case for support relates to a post listed on the Je-S form.

Academics should apply for the amount of their time they expect to spend on research, taking into account other commitments (for example, teaching and other funded research activities).

If a proposal is only requesting a particular investigator’s time for part of the grant duration (for example, if an academic has fellowship funding for the first two years of the grant and so only seeks funding for the last year), then this needs to be made clear in the text. This is because the Je-S form does not have the facility to enter this information.

Similarly, if an academic is requesting variable levels of FTE support during the grant, then this also needs to be made clear, with the different amounts of FTE and exact start and end dates of the changes specified.

If no salary costs are requested for a particular investigator but estates and indirect costs are requested for that investigator, then again this needs to be made clear in the text as it will not be apparent from the Je-S form.

Bids for continuation of existing posts, and for additional staff support, will be assessed on their merits by the PPGP. The overall group size and the number of academics in the group are among the factors that the PPGP may take into account in their deliberations.

For each scientific post, please provide a hyperlink to the individual’s up-to-date INSPIRE home page. In LaTeX, this can be achieved as follows:

\usepackage{hyperref}

{\bf Feynman}: \href{http://inspirehep.net/author/profile/R.P.Feynman.1}{INSPIRE page}

Citations are relevant to the panel’s deliberations, although the panel remains very cautious about the interpretation. By providing this data in the application, the panel can concentrate on rating the physics content of the application rather than data collection.

Earlier this year, the high-level assessment criteria changed and the term productivity was removed. This is because it is the track record that we need to measure rather than simple productivity.

There is therefore no longer a requirement for a publication table to be provided. Instead, we invite each academic to evidence their leadership, planning, and project management within their personal case.

Publications

A list of the science area’s publications (including those on arXiv in the publication process) from 1 January 2019 to 31 December 2022 should be provided.

This list should include any PhD theses completed, naming the primary supervisor in the science area.

Members of experimental collaborations should only include the collaboration papers they made an explicit contribution to beyond the norm (for example, if they have written the paper or contributed a new method at the centre of the work).

A count of the total number of collaboration papers can be noted in the academic case, if desired.

Where disruptions have occurred due to COVID-19 or other events, then the applicants can highlight this within their personal case, if they wish. However, there is no requirement to detail the specific circumstances that caused the disruption.

Appendix three: bids for virtual centres

In 2019, the STFC Particle Physics Grants Panel (PPGP)(T) introduced the opportunity to bid for ‘virtual’ centres in order to:

  • foster a sense of community and synergy among UK theorists
  • encourage strategic planning across the whole programme.

The PPGP(T) (in response to the STFC review of particle theory) therefore invited the community to bid for funds to lead the organisation of ‘virtual’ centres.

Other possible remits include:

  • engagement in the organisation of the annual theory Christmas meeting
  • associateship programmes (similar to those offered by IPPP)
  • student training programmes.

The virtual centres might also act as leaders in national bids for UKRI, EU and Global Challenges Research Fund. PPGP(T) would also like the centres to provide expert guidance on future policy reviews relevant to their areas.

In 2019, the STFC PPGP(T) awarded funds for virtual centres in the areas of string theory, lattice gauge theory and cosmology. These centres are invited to bid for renewal of funding. In addition, new bids are possible.

For new bids, wide institutional membership is encouraged but should be led by a single institution who should include their bid as an appendix three to their consolidated grantCG application. The application should be no more than two pages in length and detail the proposed programme, membership of the organising committee and justify any resources requested.

For centres that were awarded as part of the 2019 grant round, please provide one page describing how the funds that were awarded were used.

If applying for continuation of the centre, then please provide one page detailing what you plan to do for the next period, including a summary of the costs.

Data management plan

Applicants are required to provide a data management plan. Further information can be found in the guidance on the STFC website. Proposals must include an acceptable data management plan before a grant will be awarded.

Read the data management review guidance.

Form X

A form X spreadsheet providing details of staff posts must be submitted to STFC by emailing pp@stfc.ac.uk by 22 February 2022 at 16:00.

Form X is intended to give the PPGP an indication of how the focus of effort for each staff post has changed since the previous review and how it will change through the period of the grant. Effort should be given as a percentage and be entered as a number between zero and 100 without the percentage sign.

Please note that for current support, academics should show the time actually worked and not what has been awarded. For the requested support, academics should show the time they expect to work on a project.

All group staff should be included on form X, including those funded from other sources. Please list these at the end of the table.

This is to allow a complete picture of the effort required. Staff should be listed in the following order:

  • academic posts with fellows at the end of this list
  • non-academic core posts
  • non-core posts (for example, postdoctoral researchers, support posts and students).

Within the subcategories, the posts should be listed in the same order as in section two (alphabetically by surname or post title for unnamed posts). It is essential that the names used are consistent between the Je-S form, the case for support and form X. STFC will return forms that do not match.

The blocks given on the spreadsheet should be copied to allow for entries for each staff member. Please indicate staff type and if posts are core or non-core.

New posts may be requested in any category, or a change in categorisation may be requested. Therefore, a post assigned as non-core in the 2019 round may now be requested as part of the core group and vice versa. Please highlight these changes clearly in form X.

Each staff member should have a line for each of the scientific areas in which they are involved. Current support and the new request should be shown as two separate lines. Please ensure the colour coding is used to distinguish between the two so that the spreadsheet can be read more easily.

All other funding should be identified in white. If your grant has been extended, the current and new requests will overlap. Please take extra care when providing details in the overlapping year.

It should be made clear on the form X where one post is replaced by another. Where there has been a change in postholder, please put ‘vice (name of previous postholder)’ in the cell below the name of the new staff member. Please place the corresponding posts one under the other.

Where other sources of funding have been specified, please explain what this is in the case for support.

The form X provided must be returned completed. Please note, it is not permissible to create your own form X or make any amendments apart from adding rows.

The years on the form relate to the academic year.

How we will assess your application

In assessing proposals, the PPGP will take account of the:

  • outcome of the 2020 Balance of Programmes exercise
  • strategic priorities identified by the Science Board
  • recommendations of the 2019 review of particle physics theory.

Programme evaluations of particle physics and particle astrophysics were carried out in 2019 with a view to ensuring that the programme is optimal, balanced, coherent and sustainable.

These evaluations were input to the Balance of Programmes and provide more detail on the current programme.

The grants panel will ensure that:

  • the programme supported is scientifically excellent
  • the programme is clearly in line with STFC’s strategic science objectives and priorities
  • there is an appropriate balance between the programmatic themes within particle physics and the development of novel technologies consistent with the overall STFC science strategy.

To be in line with STFC’s strategic science objectives and priorities, the programme must:

  • address the impact agenda (for example, in terms of technology development and knowledge transfer)
  • respond to changes and future opportunities within the community.

Project studentships

For project studentships, the PPGP will:

  • assess the scientific quality of the project
  • consider whether the project offers suitable training in research methods and techniques
  • comment on the broader training
  • consider if the studentship adds value overall to the research proposal.

Synergy between work in different scientific areas

Where over half the publications of one or more group members are in journals in fields other than theoretical particle physics (for example, having been submitted to arXivs other than hep-th, hep-ph and hep-lat), the panel discusses whether the application by that group member is appropriate to the panel.

Peer review process

Introducers

Two or three members of the PPGP will be allocated as ‘introducers’ for each consolidated grant proposal. As in previous rounds, introducers will liaise with principal investigators to clarify any issues which are unclear in the grant proposal documentation.

Reviewers

The reports on individual science areas will be sent to reviewers of international standing for assessment. Rather than nominate a single reviewer on the proposal form, applicants are invited to send reviewer nominations for each scientific area to pp@stfc.ac.uk.

The PPGP will take the nominations into consideration when assigning reviewers, but it is not guaranteed that the nominated reviewers will be used.

Applicants’ responses to reviewers’ comments

Following the reviewers process, applicants are then given the opportunity to see and comment on the reports via the Je-S system.

Peer review meetings

Peer review meetings will take place to consider the consolidated grant proposals and make recommendations on the programme to the Science Board and the STFC Executive Board.

For the first peer review meeting, the grant panel will be supplemented with additional experts to ensure that any potential conflicts of interest are managed.

Note that the particle physics theory panel also includes the chair and core member of the particle physics experiment grants panel.

Assessment criteria

The PPGP will assess all proposals in accordance with the assessment procedures.

Read about the review and assessment of proposals.

Cost revision following review

If, as a result of the PPGP review of the grants, a reduction is recommended in resources on a proposal, STFC will amend the award on a pro-rata basis in line with the reduction or increase in research staff effort awarded.

In exceptional circumstances, it may be necessary for STFC to liaise with the research organisation.

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

Jane Long, Senior Programme Manager

Email: jane.long@stfc.ukri.org

Lindsay Clark, Programme Manager

Email: lindsay.clark@stfc.ukri.org

Get help with applying through Je-S

Email

jeshelp@je-s.ukri.org

Telephone

01793 444164

Opening times

Je-S helpdesk opening times

Additional info

Consolidated grants were introduced in 2010 following a review of the STFC grants mechanism.

The grants round and these guidelines have been developed to ensure that the process:

  • is transparent and accountable, particularly with respect to the means of prioritisation
  • is efficient (both in terms of the requirement for applicants and the reviewers, both panels and referees, and the use of office resources)
  • provides a timely outcome.

Peer review and assessment

Learn more about the following on the STFC website:

Researchfish

Read about Researchfish.

Successful grants

STFC should have an overview of all communications activity relating to STFC grants, including, for example:

  • grants announcements
  • research publications
  • interviews
  • third-party media
  • social media campaigns
  • case studies.

Notification of impending activity by way of an email to the STFC communications team (pressoffice@stfc.ac.uk) is sufficient.

STFC encourages communications and does not wish to jeopardise any such activity, rather offer support, so please notify us of your plans in advance.

For details of your responsibilities if you are awarded funding, please see the STFC guidance for applicants.

Impact of COVID-19

UKRI recognises that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused major interruptions and disruptions across our communities and is committed to ensuring that individual applicants and their wider team, including partners and networks, are not penalised for any disruption to their career(s) such as:

  • breaks and delays
  • disruptive working patterns and conditions
  • the loss of ongoing work
  • role changes that may have been caused by the pandemic.

Reviewers and panel members will be advised to consider the unequal impacts that COVID-19 related disruption might have had on the track record and career development of those individuals included in the proposal and will be asked to consider the capability of the applicant and their wider team to deliver the research they are proposing.

Where disruptions have occurred, applicants can highlight this within their application, if they wish, but there is no requirement to detail the specific circumstances that caused the disruption.

UKRI acknowledges that it is a challenge for applicants to determine the future impacts of COVID-19 while the pandemic continues to evolve. Applications should be based on the information available at the point of submission and, if applicable, the known application-specific effects of COVID-19 should be accounted for.

Where known impacts have occurred, these should be highlighted in the application, including the assumptions and information at the point of submission.

There is no need to include contingency plans for the potential impacts of COVID-19. Requests for travel both domestically and internationally can be included in accordance with the relevant scheme guidelines, noting the above advice.

Reviewers will receive instructions to assume that changes that arise from the pandemic, post-submission, will be resolved and complications related to COVID-19 should not affect their scores.

Where an application is successful, any changes in circumstances that affect the proposal will be managed as a post-award issue.

Supporting documents

Equality and inclusion impact assessment (PDF, 216KB)

STFC new applicant funding guidance

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