We are inviting proposals from eligible institutions to procure, install and operate an ultra-high-field NMR spectrometer as a national facility. The spectrometer will have a magnetic field strength of 1.2 Gigahertz (GHz), which is the highest currently available.
Applications must demonstrate that they will provide a facility that will be able to span the breadth of scientific interests and applications of the whole NMR community.
Pending a final funding decision as part of the government spending review, this award would be funded to the successful applicants as part of the UKRI infrastructure fund.
What your proposal should include
Scientific strategies of your proposal
We are looking for proposals that have clear and well-developed scientific strategies, such as those outlined below.
Your proposal should include plans to manage access for a diverse range of users who will have conflicting requirements of the system. In particular, you should consider the balance between solid and liquid-state users and researchers working across the materials and biosciences sectors.
You need to demonstrate the approach you will take to maximising access, minimising disruption and reducing potential lead time for applications.
Proposals should include a clear justification of the strategy for probe selection to fulfill the expected current and future requirements of the user community. This should include:
- a list of probes to be purchased and planned timings for purchases, justifying which would come first and why
- the science they would enable
- the research communities that would benefit
- a forecast of potential future probe requirements.
Proposals should have plans for the development and expansion of a diverse and inclusive user base, as well as plans to provide a positive experience for users once they are engaged. You should describe the approaches that will be taken to engage users from across different disciplines.
You should seek co-operation with other, similar facilities internationally, as well as connectivity with the broader UK NMR landscape across multiple scientific disciplines.
Delivery approaches of your proposal
Your proposal should include details of how the facility will be delivered. The following will be assessed both as part of your interview and during a site visit:
- plans for procurement and delivery of the system on schedule
- plans for management of access to the system, including the application process and assessment criteria for proposals submitted
- plans for management and maintenance of the system, including the development and expansion of the user base, scientific sustainability, and cost recovery
- plans for securing institutional support for the proposal, both in terms of financial support and strategic support, with full details expected by the time of the site visit
- available supporting infrastructure such as other NMR systems and sample preparation facilities
- availability of support for users and the equipment itself through provision of research technical professionals (RTP) and other staff
- plans for staff training, development and retention
- environmental sustainability, which includes:
- plans for developing accommodation for the facility in existing, new or refurbished facilities
- plans to minimise impact of the use of energy and other consumables
- options for virtual engagement to reduce the impact of travel.
The maximum total funding available, subject to spending review settlement, is £17 million. The duration of the award will be up to five years.
One award will be made through this funding opportunity. Through this, you will be able to request the costs of:
- the spectrometer itself
- a range of probes to cover anticipated usage
- small-scale refurbishment for laboratory space
- staff costs directly associated with procurement installation and testing of the spectrometer.
Of the total fund value, up to £15 million is available for the spectrometer and probes. Up to £2 million is available for capitalisable staff costs and other costs associated with the procurement, installation, and initial testing of the system.
Costs for the spectrometer and associated equipment such as probes can be requested at 100% full economic cost. Capitalisable staff costs and other costs should be included under equipment and requested at 100% full economic cost.
Applicants will need to ensure that the different types of capital are fully detailed in the justification of resources.
EPSRC is fully committed to develop and promote responsible innovation. Research has the ability to not only produce understanding, knowledge and value, but also unintended consequences, questions, ethical dilemmas and, at times, unexpected social transformations.
We recognise that we have a duty of care to promote approaches to responsible innovation that will initiate ongoing reflection about the potential ethical and societal implications of the research that we sponsor and to encourage our research community to do likewise.
Therefore, applicants are expected to work within the EPSRC framework for responsible innovation.
If you are planning to include international collaborators on your proposal, you should visit Trusted Research. This will give you guidance on getting the most out of international collaboration while protecting intellectual property, sensitive research and personal information.