Funding opportunity

Funding opportunity: EPSRC equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) sharing hub – invite only

EPSRC plans to fund one network plus award – the EPSRC equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) sharing hub. The hub will provide leadership and coordination to support sharing of EDI good practices and ‘what works’ across the engineering, physical and mathematical sciences research community.

To lead the sharing hub, you must be based at a UK research organisation eligible for EPSRC funding.

The full economic cost (FEC) of your project can be up to £2,500,000. We will fund 80% FEC.

Funding is available for up to four years.

Who can apply

You can only apply for this funding opportunity if we have invited you to do so following a successful outline application.

Before applying for funding, check the Eligibility of your organisation.

EPSRC standard eligibility rules apply. For full details, visit EPSRC’s eligibility page.

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) has introduced new role types for funding opportunities being run on the new UKRI Funding Service.

For full details, visit Eligibility as an individual.

In addition to the EPSRC standard eligibility rules, we will accept wider eligibility for the roles of project leads and project co-lead applicants for this funding opportunity to support different career paths within the research and innovation community.

To be a project lead or project co-lead the following applies:

  • you must have the skills, knowledge and experience required for the sharing hub. This means that you do not need to be an academic employee or have a specific qualification such as a PhD. You may have taken alternative career paths which provides the required knowledge and skills to lead or co-lead the sharing hub
  • we welcome people in professional enabling staff roles, grant managers and specialists as project leads and project co-leads where appropriate to provide the skills and knowledge needed to deliver the sharing hub

To make this funding opportunity more inclusive, we are piloting a flexible leadership model that allows for one or more project leads to lead the project. This enables people to bring different knowledge, skills and experience to the leadership team.

Allowing more than one project lead also enables the leadership of the funding opportunity to be performed as a job share.

You do not need to be in an existing job share arrangement to apply on this basis.

For teams where there is more than one project lead, the team should choose one of the project lead’s organisations to be responsible for submitting the application and administering the award should the application be successful.

Equality, diversity and inclusion

We are committed to achieving equality of opportunity for all funding applicants. We encourage applications from a diverse range of researchers.

We support people to work in a way that suits their personal circumstances. This includes:

  • career breaks
  • support for people with caring responsibilities
  • flexible working
  • alternative working patterns

Find out more about equality, diversity and inclusion at UKRI.

What we're looking for

Scope

The sharing hub will be a focal point of activity, providing leadership, connection, visibility, knowledge exchange and guidance to the engineering, physical and mathematical sciences community.

We plan to fund one network plus award – the EPSRC EDI sharing hub. The hub will provide leadership and coordination to support sharing of EDI good practices and what works across the engineering, physical and mathematical sciences research community.

The aims of the EPSRC EDI sharing hub are to:

  • provide inspirational EDI leadership and coordination of community led EDI activities across the engineering, physical and mathematical sciences research community
  • model exemplary EDI practice in the formation of the team and operation of the sharing hub, including adapting and providing reasonable adjustments to enable wider participation and inclusive practices
  • reach widely across the four nations of the UK and bring together and share EDI knowledge from across the engineering, physical and mathematical sciences community, also drawing on work in non-engineering and physical sciences research disciplines and from professional and enabling roles
  • engage with underrepresented and marginalised groups to fully understand the challenges encountered and to support codesigned action
  • engage with businesses and other research and innovation partners such as the learned societies and special interest groups
  • enable sharing and knowledge exchange of EDI expertise, good practices and ‘what works’
  • disseminate and consider how EDI interventions might be scaled up, embedded and broadened across the community to facilitate and empower action resulting in better inclusive practices and positive culture change. Including making the information readily available to the wider community
  • support the wider development, implementation and evaluation of successful EDI initiatives and practice
  • provide flexible funding to empower the community to initiate activities in gaps that are identified, that contribute to our ambitions to embed EDI good practice across our research and innovation community
  • understand and measure the impact, added value and reach of the hub while it is active
  • maximise the sustainability of hub activities

We aim to bring together a diverse range of people with different expertise, experiences, perspectives, approaches and ways of thinking, who are working to establish a better inclusive research culture for everyone. We envisage this may include award holders and participants from:

  • discipline specific network pluses
  • programme grants, research centres and hubs that are active in promoting and embedding EDI good practices
  • EPSRC Inclusion Matters portfolio
  • EPSRC EDI fellowship holders
  • EDI champions and special interest groups across engineering, physical and mathematical sciences research areas

The funding opportunity includes flexible funding to enable agile responses to new approaches, scale up and embedding activities. This could also include secondments into organisations to help with knowledge transfer.

The sharing hub will provide us with an additional route for continuous learning on ‘what works’ across disciplines in our portfolio.

Throughout the lifetime of the hub, we expect to engage and work together with the leadership team to continue to learn and adapt our processes and increase diversity and inclusion in the engineering, mathematical and physical sciences research and innovation community.

Within the application, we would expect the inclusion of examples, supported by evidence on their likely effectiveness, for the types of activities the sharing hub would undertake, we expect these will evolve during the lifetime of the sharing hub and should be co-created and collaborative in nature.

This award is expected to develop the network, with a view to providing a legacy after the funding period has ended, maximising its impact and demonstrating the added value to the engineering, physical and mathematical sciences community.

Duration

The duration of this award is four years.

Funding available

The FEC of your project can be up to £2,500,000. We will fund 80% FEC.

What we will fund

Staff roles can be costed under the relevant directly allocated or directly incurred headings. See our roles in funding applications guidance for more information.

Staff roles on the sharing hub can include:

  • grant manager
  • research and innovation associate
  • professional enabling staff

Directly allocated costs

Funding requested under the directly allocated cost heading may include project leads and project co-leads salaries. The project leads and project co-leads can request funds to cover their salary costs for the time spent on setting up and leading the sharing hub.

Sharing hub members

We envisage the sharing hub members to be people that will engage and work with the sharing hub and its activities but will not be part of the leadership team.
The salary costs of sharing hub network members should not be included in the application, and we would not expect these individuals to be project co-leads.

Directly incurred costs

Funding requested under the directly incurred cost heading may include:

  • administrative support: a sufficient level of administrative or management support should be requested to ensure the coordination, management and smooth running of the sharing hub. Reasonable costs for monitoring, evaluating and dissemination of the network’s output can also be included
  • travel and subsistence: enabling members of the sharing hub to meet to exchange ideas and expertise. This might include venue hire for events held by the sharing hub as well as for meetings with key stakeholders. It could also include visits by or to experts overseas. This may include travel and subsistence costs to support secondments. Where possible, collaborators should meet their own travel costs
  • organisation of activities: funding can be requested for costs involved in running activities, such as:
    • networking events
    • expert working groups
    • debates
    • online discussion forums
    • lectures
    • seminars
    • roundtables
    • problem-solving workshops

You are encouraged to think creatively about the range of activities that could support the delivery of the sharing hub’s aims.

Other costs

Other directly incurred costs include justified:

  • project specific consumables
  • consultancy fees
  • equipment costing less than £10,000
  • recruitment
  • advertising costs

Funding can also be requested for:

  • activities to facilitate impact and advance policy, such as reports and briefings
  • activities to support career development of staff employed on the hub
  • activities to connect researchers, business and other stakeholders within the research base
  • equipment and resources to support networking, events and communication including the cost of any external communication, including website development
  • social survey costs that are being sub-contracted should be included under this section

Project partners can only receive funding directly from the award when:

  • a project partner is providing services or equipment that will go through a formal procurement process audited by the host research organisation
  • the project partner can receive small amounts of funding from the award, such as for travel and subsistence to attend project meetings

These will need to be requested by the project leads and will need to be fully justified.

Flexible fund allocation

The sum awarded under the heading of ‘flexible funds’ can include both directly incurred and directly allocated expenditure. This funding is to enable agile responses to new approaches, knowledge exchange, scale up and embedding activities across the community. This could also include secondments into organisations to help with knowledge transfer.

This devolved funding is to be awarded to sharing hub members for small projects, typically less than £100,000.

It is expected that these projects will be scoped in collaboration with people in the community and agreed with the funders.

This flexible commissioning fund should be included in the application costings, you should specify the total size of the fund according to the balance of activity that the leadership team propose to undertake directly versus devolve to network members via the fund.

These funds must be reported on the final expenditure statement (FES) as awarded on the offer letter and a breakdown of the expenditure must be submitted along with the FES.

What we will not fund

Equipment over £10,000 in value (including VAT) is not available through this funding opportunity. Smaller items of equipment, individually under £10,000, should be in the ‘Directly incurred – Other costs’ heading. We will not be funding laboratory or research equipment within this funding opportunity. We will only support equipment to facilitate communication, networking and events that has been fully justified and proportionate to the activities to be undertaken.

Supporting skills and talent

We encourage you to follow the principles of the Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers and the Technician Commitment.

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) expects research organisations to adhere to the Equality Act 2010, including the duty to make reasonable adjustments for disabled staff to any elements of the job that may place them at a substantial disadvantage to non-disabled people.

International collaboration

If your application includes international applicants, project partners or collaborators, visit UKRI’s trusted research and innovation for more information on effective international collaboration.

Find out about getting funding for international collaboration.

How to apply

We are running this funding opportunity on the new UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Funding Service. You cannot apply on the Joint Electronic Submissions (Je-S) system.

For teams where there is more than one project lead, the team should choose one of the project lead’s organisations to be responsible for submitting the application and administering the award should the application be successful.

The project lead is responsible for completing the application process on the Funding Service, but we expect all team members and project partners to contribute to the application.

Only the lead administrative research organisation can submit an application to UKRI.

To apply

You can only apply for this funding opportunity if we have invited you to do so following a successful stage one application. The start application link will be provided via email.

  1. Confirm you are the project lead.
  2. Sign in or create a Funding Service account. To create an account, select your organisation, verify your email address, and set a password. If your organisation is not listed, email support@funding-service.ukri.org
  3. Answer questions directly in the text boxes. You can save your answers and come back to complete them or work offline and return to copy and paste your answers. If we need you to upload a document, follow the upload instructions in the Funding Service. All questions and assessment criteria are listed in the ‘How to apply’ section on this Funding finder page.
  4. Allow enough time to check your application in ‘read-only’ view before sending to your research office.
  5. Send the completed application to your research office for checking. They will return it to you if it needs editing.
  6. Your research office will submit the completed and checked application to UKRI.

Where indicated, you can also demonstrate elements of your responses in visual form if relevant. If using visual elements, you must:

  • use images sparingly and only to convey important information that cannot easily be put into words
  • insert each new image onto a new line
  • provide a descriptive legend for each image immediately underneath it (this counts towards your word limit)
  • ensure files are smaller than 5MB and in JPEG, JPG, JPE, JFI, JIF, JFIF, PNG, GIF, BMP or WEBP format

Watch our research office webinars about the new Funding Service.

For more guidance on the Funding Service, see:

Deadline

EPSRC must receive your application by 4.00pm UK time on 9 May 2024.

You will not be able to apply after this time.

Make sure you are aware of and follow any internal institutional deadlines.

Following the submission of your application to the funding opportunity, your application cannot be changed, and applications will not be returned for amendment. If your application does not follow the guidance, it may be rejected. If an application is withdrawn prior to peer review or office rejected due to substantive errors in the application, it cannot be resubmitted to the opportunity.

Personal data

Processing personal data

EPSRC, as part of UKRI, will need to collect some personal information to manage your Funding Service account and the registration of your funding applications.

We will handle personal data in line with UK data protection legislation and manage it securely. For more information, including how to exercise your rights, read our privacy notice.

Publication of outcomes

EPSRC as part of UKRI, will publish the outcomes of this funding opportunity.

If your application is successful, we will publish some personal information on the UKRI Gateway to Research.

Summary

Word limit: 550

In plain English, provide a summary we can use to identify the most suitable experts to assess your application.

We may make this summary publicly available on external-facing websites, so make it suitable for a variety of readers, for example:

  • opinion-formers
  • policymakers
  • the public
  • the wider research community

Guidance for writing a summary

Clearly describe your proposed work in terms of:

  • context
  • aims and objectives

Core team

List the key members of your team and assign them roles from the following:

  • project lead (PL)
  • project co-lead (UK) (PcL)
  • researcher co-lead (RcL)
  • specialist
  • grant manager
  • professional enabling staff
  • research and innovation associate
  • technician
  • visiting researcher

With this funding opportunity we are piloting a flexible leadership model. Please see the ‘Who can apply’ section for more information. You may list up to four individuals as project leads.

Find out more about UKRI’s core team roles in funding applications.

Application questions

Vision

Word limit: 1,000

What are you hoping to achieve with your proposed work?

What the assessors are looking for in your response

Explain how your proposed work:

  • has the potential to advance current EDI good practice understanding, generate new knowledge transfer across the UK, facilitate enhanced sharing of what works and more collaborative ways of working by promoting cohesion and coordination of EDI action across the engineering, physical and mathematical sciences community
  • is timely given current activity, context and needs of the engineering, physical and mathematical sciences research and innovation community
  • will impact and add value by contributing to a positive culture change in equality, diversity, and inclusion within the engineering, physical and mathematical sciences research and innovation community across the UK

You may demonstrate elements of your responses in visual form if relevant, see guidance in ‘How to apply’.

Please evidence the types of activities you expect the sharing hub would undertake, we expect these will evolve during the lifetime of the sharing hub and should be co-created and collaborative in nature.

Approach

Word limit: 2,500

How are you going to deliver your proposed work?

What the assessors are looking for in your response

Explain how you have designed your approach so that it:

  • is effective and appropriate to achieve your objectives
  • is feasible, and comprehensively identifies any risks to delivery and how they will be managed
  • utilises the flexible fund effectively to empower and support the community to embed and share EDI good practice
  • maximises the added value from any project partners and host support
  • will maximise translation of outputs into outcomes and deliver added value and impact to the engineering, physical and mathematical sciences research community while the hub is ‘in flight’. With key performance indicators or success features and a methodology for evaluation and tracking impact over time embedded into the hub
  • will enable the sharing hub to work with EPSRC to put in place key performance indicators and a methodology for evaluation and tracking impact over time. In your application, include suitable key performance indicators or metrics and success features that you will use in determining value
  • will maximise the sustainability of hub activities

You may demonstrate elements of your responses in visual form if relevant, see guidance in ‘How to apply’.

Please evidence the types of activities you expect the sharing hub would undertake, we expect these will evolve during the lifetime of the sharing hub and should be co-created and collaborative in nature.

Governance and advisory structure

Word limit: 500

How will you lead and manage the sharing hub to successfully deliver its aims?

What the assessors are looking for in your response

Explain how you will successfully deliver the hub’s aims by providing:

  • a description of the leadership and management structure, that ensures clear delineation of roles and responsibilities among the project leads, co-project leads, and any project manager and support roles, while utilising advice obtained from an independent advisory group. This advisory group should be set up by the sharing hub leadership team. We would expect the prospective Chair to be identified in the application
  • the approach to the oversight and coordination of the sharing hub and its activities
  • the approach to the governance and management of the flexible fund, giving a clear indication of what the flexible fund will be used for

You may demonstrate elements of your responses in visual form if relevant, see guidance in ‘How to apply’.

Applicant and team capability to deliver

Word limit: 2,500

Why are you the right individual or team to successfully deliver the proposed work?

What the assessors are looking for in your response

Evidence of how you, and if relevant your team (including collaborators), have:

  • the relevant skills and experience, appropriate to career stage, to design, lead and build geographically distributed networks across the UK, as well as coordinate community led EDI activities that support knowledge exchange on good practices across the engineering, physical and mathematical sciences research and innovation community
  • the proven ability to work respectfully and collaboratively across disciplines and diverse stakeholder groups, demonstrating wide and inclusive reach
  • the appropriate leadership, management skills and exemplary EDI practice to deliver the work and to develop the career of others
  • the ability to bring about positive culture change in the wider community

Ensure to include any changes and why you have made these changes to your team since your stage one outline application. Add this information to the R4RI additions heading , see guidance below.

You may demonstrate elements of your responses in visual form if relevant. Further details are provided in the service.

The word count for this section is 2,500 words; 1,500 words to be used for R4RI modules and, if necessary, a further 1,000 words for ‘Additions’.

Use the Résumé for Research and Innovation (R4RI) format to showcase the range of relevant skills you and, if relevant, your team (project and project co-leads, researchers, technicians, specialists, partners and so on) have and how this will help deliver the proposed work. You can include individuals’ specific achievements but only choose past contributions that best evidence their ability to deliver this work.

Complete this section using the R4RI module headings listed. Use each heading once and include a response for the whole team, see the UKRI guidance on R4RI. You should consider how to balance your answer, and emphasise where appropriate the key skills each team member brings:

  • contributions to the generation of new ideas, tools, methodologies, or knowledge
  • the development of others and maintenance of effective working relationships
  • contributions to the wider research and innovation community
  • contributions to broader research or innovation users and audiences and towards wider societal benefit
Additions

Provide any further details relevant to your application including any changes and why you have made these changes to your team since your stage one outline application. This section is optional and can be up to 1,000 words. You should not use it to describe additional skills, experiences, or outputs, but you can use it to describe any factors that provide context for the rest of your R4RI (for example, details of career breaks if you wish to disclose them). Complete this as a narrative. Do not format it like a CV.

UKRI has introduced new role types for funding opportunities being run on the new Funding Service. For full details, see Eligibility as an individual.

References

Word limit: 1,000

List the references you have used to support your application.

What the assessors are looking for in your response

Include all references in this section, not in the rest of the application questions.

You should not include any other information in this section.

We advise you not to include hyperlinks, as assessors are not obliged to access the information they lead to or consider it in their assessment of your application.

If linking to web resources, to maintain the information’s integrity, include persistent identifiers (such as digital object identifiers) where possible.

You must not include links to web resources to extend your application.

Project partners

Add details about any project partners’ contributions. If there are no project partners, you can indicate this on the Funding Service.

A project partner is a collaborating organisation who will have an integral role in the proposed research. This may include direct (cash) or indirect (in-kind) contributions such as expertise, staff time or use of facilities.

Add the following project partner details:

  • the organisation name and address (searchable via a drop-down list or enter the organisation’s details manually, as applicable)
  • the project partner contact name and email address
  • the type of contribution (direct or in-direct) and its monetary value

If a detail is entered incorrectly and you have saved the entry, remove the specific project partner record and re-add it with the correct information.

For audit purposes, UKRI requires formal collaboration agreements to be put in place if an award is made.

Project partners: letters or emails of support

Word limit: 10

Upload a single PDF containing the letters or emails of support from each partner you named in the ‘Project partner’ section.

What the assessors are looking for in your response

Enter the words ‘attachment supplied’ in the text box, or if you do not have any project partners enter N/A. Each letter or email you provide should:

  • confirm the partner’s commitment to the project
  • clearly explain the value, relevance, and possible benefits of the work to them
  • describe any additional value that they bring to the project

Save letters or emails of support from each partner in a single PDF no bigger than 8MB. Unless specially requested, please do not include any sensitive personal data within the attachment.

For the file name, use the unique Funding Service number the system gives you when you create an application, followed by the words ‘Project partner’.

If the attachment does not meet these requirements, the application will be rejected.

The Funding Service will provide document upload details when you apply. If you do not have any project partners, you will be able to indicate this in the Funding Service.

Ensure you have prior agreement from project partners so that, if you are offered funding, they will support your project as indicated in the contributions template.

For audit purposes, UKRI requires formal collaboration agreements to be put in place if an award is made.

Do not provide letters of support from host and project co-leads’ research organisations.

Resources and cost justification

Word limit: 1,000

What will you need to deliver your proposed work and how much will it cost?

What the assessors are looking for in your response

Justify the application’s more costly resources, in particular:

  • project staff
  • significant travel for field work or collaboration (but not regular travel between collaborating organisations or to conferences)
  • any consumables beyond typical requirements, or that are required in exceptional quantities
  • all resources that have been costed as ‘Exceptions’
  • any equipment/resources to support networking, events and communication including the cost of any external communication, including website development
  • flexible funding allocation – this devolved funding is to be awarded to sharing hub members for small projects (typically less than £100,000). it is expected that these projects will be scoped in collaboration with people in the community. Include the flexible commissioning fund in your application costings, specifying the total size of the fund according to the balance of activity that the leadership team propose to undertake directly versus devolve to community members via the fund

Assessors are not looking for detailed costs or a line-by-line breakdown of all project resources. Overall, they want you to demonstrate how the resources you anticipate needing for your proposed work:

  • are comprehensive, appropriate, and justified
  • represent the optimal use of resources to achieve the intended outcomes
  • maximise potential outcomes and impacts

Ethics and responsible research and innovation (RRI)

Word limit: 500

What are the ethical or RRI implications and issues relating to the proposed work? If you do not think that the proposed work raises any ethical or RRI issues, explain why.

What the assessors are looking for in your response

Demonstrate that you have identified and evaluated:

  • the relevant ethical or responsible research and innovation considerations
  • how you will manage these considerations

You may demonstrate elements of your responses in visual form if relevant. Further details are provided in the Funding Service.

If you are collecting or using data, identify:

  • any legal and ethical considerations of collecting, releasing or storing the data including consent, confidentiality, anonymisation, security and other ethical considerations and, in particular, strategies to not preclude further reuse of data
  • formal information standards with which your study will comply

EDI plan

Word limit: 1,000

How will you ensure EDI is considered in all aspects of how the sharing hub will operate?

What the assessors are looking for in your response

You are expected to prepare a full equality, diversity and inclusion plan for the duration of this award to underpin how this hub will operate and to demonstrate exemplary practice in equality, diversity and inclusion throughout the lifetime of this funding award.

Plans should include but are not limited to:

  • how the leadership team will ensure an inclusive approach to engaging stakeholders across the four nations of the UK, particularly underrepresented and /or marginalised groups
  • how the leadership team, when engaging with people from across the community, will provide a psychologically safe environment
  • how the leadership team will ensure fair recruitment of any staff that are employed to support the hub, with career development opportunities and flexible working practice
  • the approach and process ensures inclusive, fair, transparent and objective decision making when allocating funding
  • that the proposed approaches ensure the hub embeds inclusive and accessible practices in the way that it operates, and that EDI is embedded throughout all aspects of the sharing hub

Community and Engagement Plan

Word limit: 1,000

What is your community engagement strategy and how will you use this plan to engage with a wide range of people with different expertise and experiences?

What the assessors are looking for in your response

You are expected to develop and execute a strategy and plan for engaging with a wide range of people with different expertise and experiences from across the research and innovation community.

Plans should include but are not limited to:

  • an explanation of the key groups or individuals you consider to be the key stakeholders with whom you will engage with, in the context of the EDI challenges and opportunities in the engineering, physical and mathematical sciences research and innovation system
  • the approach to ensuring wide reach across the four nations of the UK and inclusive engagement will be obtained with a wide diversity of people and stakeholders, with different expertise and experiences from across the research and innovation community, including people who are not already EDI champions
  • details of proven experience of engaging with a variety of stakeholders from across the community
  • how the sharing and knowledge exchange of EDI expertise, good practices and ‘what works’ will be maximised
  • steps that will be taken to ensure that the outputs of the sharing hub will be embedded and disseminated broadly across the community to facilitate and empower action, resulting in improved, more inclusive practices and positive culture change, supporting the wider development of implementation of EDI practices
  • how the engagement and communication activities that are supported by the sharing hub will be overseen and embedded

Please evidence the types of activities you expect the sharing hub would undertake, we expect these will evolve during the lifetime of the sharing hub and should be co-created and collaborative in nature.

This strategy should be reviewed and updated regularly as part of the formal management and reporting process agreed for this grant.

How we will assess your application

Assessment process

We will assess your application using the following process.

Interview

For invited applications, an expert interview panel will conduct interviews with applicants after which the panel will make a funding recommendation.

The interview panel will consist of members with expertise in and an understanding of the equality, diversity and inclusion challenges encountered in the engineering, physical and mathematical sciences research and innovation system. The panel will score then rank the applications against the full assessment criteria, using the information contained in the applications and the evidence gathered during the interview. Up to four applicants will be permitted to attend the interview.

We will decide, based on the advice of the interview panel, which application to fund.

Based on guidance from the interview panel, we reserve the right to fully or partially award the successful application to ensure that an appropriate balance of activities is supported.

We expect interviews to be held within the week commencing 17 June 2024.

EPSRC will make the final funding decision.

Feedback

We will give feedback with the outcome of your application.

Principles of assessment

We support the San Francisco declaration on research assessment and recognise the relationship between research assessment and research integrity.

Find out about the UKRI principles of assessment and decision making.

We reserve the right to modify the assessment process as needed.

Assessment criteria

  • Vision and Approach
  • Governance and advisory structure
  • Applicant and team capability to deliver
  • References
  • Project partners
  • Resources and cost justification
  • Ethics and responsible research and innovation (RRI)
  • EDI plan
  • Community Engagement Plan

Find details of assessment questions and criteria under the ‘Application questions’ heading in the ‘How to apply’ section.

Contact details

Get help with your application

Important note: The helpdesk is committed to helping users of the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Funding Service as effectively and as quickly as possible. In order to manage cases at peak volume times, the helpdesk will triage and prioritise those queries with an imminent opportunity deadline or technical issue. Enquiries raised where information is available on the Funding Finder opportunity page and should be understood early in the application process (for example, regarding eligibility, content or remit of a funding opportunity) will not constitute a priority case and will be addressed as soon as possible.

Contact details

For help and advice on costings and writing your application please contact your research office in the first instance, allowing sufficient time for your organisation’s submission process.

For questions related to this specific funding opportunity please contact inclusionmatters@epsrc.ukri.org

Any queries regarding the system or the submission of applications through the Funding Service should be directed to the helpdesk.

Email: support@funding-service.ukri.org
Phone: 01793 547490

Our phone lines are open:

  • Monday to Thursday 8:30am to 5:00pm
  • Friday 8:30am to 4:30pm

To help us process queries quicker, we request that users highlight the council and funding opportunity name in the subject title of their email query, include the application reference number, and refrain from contacting more than one mailbox at a time.

Find information on submitting an application.

Sensitive information

If you or a core team member need to tell us something you wish to remain confidential, please contact tfschangeepsrc@epsrc.ukri.org

Include in the subject line: [the funding opportunity title; sensitive information; your Funding Service application number].

Typical examples of confidential information include:

  • individual is unavailable until a certain date (for example due to parental leave)
  • declaration of interest
  • additional information about eligibility to apply that would not be appropriately shared in the ‘Applicant and team capability’ section
  • conflict of interest for UKRI to consider in reviewer or panel participant selection
  • the application is an invited resubmission

For information about how UKRI handles personal data, read UKRI’s privacy notice.

Additional info

Publication of outcomes

Following the panel assessment of outline applications submitted to stage one of the funding opportunity, the named project leads, organisations, and summary information of the successful outline applications that were invited to proceed to this next stage are published in the ‘Supporting documents’ section. Other application content and assessment material will remain confidential.

Outline applications invited to submit a full application

For unsuccessful outline applications, the only information that will be shared is the award reference number as part of our panel outcome information.

Background

There is a significant amount of EDI activity taking place across the engineering, physical and mathematical sciences community. However, this work can become disconnected and siloed across the disciplines and organisations.

A key component of EPSRC’s three year EDI action plan and this sharing hub funding opportunity is to address this through working in partnership with community EDI leaders to share ideas and approaches and learn from each other’s experiences.

The sharing hub will complement the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and the British Academy EDI Caucus, EDICa, by helping to provide high quality evidence on EDI that informs policy and practice in the research and innovation system.

EPSRC EDI activities

EPSRC aims to support a diverse and inclusive research environment. Our objective is to embed EDI in all that we do, ensuring that the activities we support and the research that we fund drives change in our community and supports a system that is inclusive for everyone.

We are working towards achieving an equitable, diverse, and inclusive environment where all individuals can thrive by adapting and monitoring our current processes, trialling new innovative approaches, and supporting and empowering our community to take action in their own environments.

The EPSRC EDI action plan is a three-year plan that builds on knowledge, research, data, and expertise from across the research and innovation sector. We have developed our action plan in the context of the first edition of the UKRI EDI Strategy and associated UKRI shared EDI actions.

We have reflected on the recommendations, EDI issues and challenges fed back to us in our gender and race disparity ‘have your say’ surveys, as well as community and stakeholder engagement activities. Our EDI team blog provides an update of the latest activities and initiatives we are putting in place to reduce inequities and create a more inclusive research culture and environment.

We have also built upon our own existing activity and portfolio investigations, deepened our understanding from the research findings of our Inclusion Matters portfolio and provided an EDI expectations guide to help our community to identify and address the specific EDI barriers in their own environment. We consider the recent collection of the outputs and outcomes of the EPSRC Inclusion Matters portfolio report will inform and support the sharing hub activity, providing a framework of Inclusion Matters portfolio resources for dissemination.

Research disruption due to COVID-19

We recognise that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused major interruptions and disruptions across our communities. We are committed to ensuring that individual applicants and their wider team, including partners and networks, are not penalised for any disruption to their career, 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 capability to deliver and career development of those individuals included in the application. They 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, you can highlight this within your application if you wish, but there is no requirement to detail the specific circumstances that caused the disruption.

Supporting documents

Outline guidance (PDF, 322KB)

Outline applications (PDF, 171KB)

Updates

  • 2 February 2024
    Outline applications document added under 'Supporting documents' in the 'Additional info' section.

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