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 grant – 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 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 co designed 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 grant 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 grant 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.
The duration of this award is four years.
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. Full guidance can be found in roles in funding applications.
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 the following elements:
- administrative support: a sufficient level of administrative / 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
- online discussion forums
- 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 directly incurred costs include justified:
- project specific consumables
- consultancy fees
- equipment costing less than £10,000
- 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
For stage two, the full application stage, you will be allowed to add project partners.
Project partners can only receive funding directly from the grant 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 grant, 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 at the full application stage.
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 (incl. 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.
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.