The Global Partnerships Seedcorn Fund enables UK researchers to develop new international partnerships and networks which underpin the development of long-term sustainable collaborations.
Proposed collaborations may involve an international research partner or partners from any country and in any science area within NERC’s remit. Although the majority of the application should lie within NERC’s remit, multidisciplinary or interdisciplinary collaborations with international partners are welcomed. Read NERC’s remit (NERC website).
The Global Partnerships Seedcorn Fund has the following objectives:
- support development of new long-term partnerships with international scientists that have potential to become self-sustaining beyond the lifetime of the grant, for example through accessing new collaborative research funding opportunities
- support new international collaborations with the best researchers, wherever they are located, that will result in excellent research, developing new knowledge that cannot be achieved by individual national research communities alone or by existing collaborations. For example, new collaborations may enable sharing of unique or complementary data, skills, infrastructure and field sites between UK researchers and international partners to develop novel research outcomes
- develop new collaborative research ideas with international partners or enhance existing activities through adding an international dimension, or extending the number, nationality or type of international partners already engaged.
In addressing the programme objectives, the case for support should make clear:
- the significance of the international collaboration to the project’s objectives
- specific intellectual and material contributions of each partner
- the expected outputs and impact of the project.
Importantly the case for support should describe the potential durability of the collaboration, including plans for further long-term collaboration beyond the life of the grant.
Supported activities may include but are not limited to:
- programmes of exchange visits or staff secondments
- establishing networks on a common research area
- scoping, feasibility or proof of concept studies
In all cases activities must be undertaken with the clear and demonstrable intention of developing long-term sustainable collaborations. Whilst some exploratory elements are expected, the proposal must include specific scientific objectives.
Applicants should ensure the balance between partnership-building activities and direct research is appropriate, considering the key objectives of the call.
NERC has provisionally allocated £1 million to this call. The maximum funding for Global Partnerships Seedcorn Fund proposals is £100,000 (at 100% full economic cost) with a duration of up to two years.
All applicants are advised to consult their institutional finance officers when completing the financial parts of the application. All applicants should enter the 100% full economic cost of the proposed research into the budget sections of the Je-S form. All costs should be in pounds sterling (£). Requested costs for UK research organisations will be funded at 80% of full economic cost.
All costs associated with the project must be itemised in the Je-S proforma and justified in the justification of resources document.
Funding for international project partners
International project partners are not eligible for direct funding, however eligible UK organisations may request up to £15,000 towards their international partners’ travel and subsistence costs during visits or exchanges.
Costs for UK and international project partner organisations must be entered as separate items. All travel and subsistence for international project partners (only) will be payable at 100% of actual costs and entered as ‘exceptions’ on Je-S (UK travel and subsistence is still paid at 80% full economic cost). For projects seeking support from FAPESP or MOST you may still use this allowance, or part of, but should carefully consider and make clear which costs are supported by NERC and why.
The following are ineligible costs under this call:
- conference attendance, including both travel and subsistence and registration fees
- standard office computing equipment
- equipment over £10,000 (inclusive of VAT)
- all international project partner costs (for example salary and estates costs) except for travel and subsistence up to £15,000
- associated studentships.
Implementation and delivery
Projects should be no longer than 24 months in duration, starting no earlier than September 2021 and no later than end of November 2021.
The NERC data policy must be adhered to, and an outline data management plan produced as part of proposal development. Applicants should ensure they request sufficient resource to cover preparation of data for archiving by the relevant data centre.
Read the NERC data policy (NERC website).
Prior to submitting a proposal, applicants wishing to use a NERC service or facility must contact the facility to seek agreement that they can provide the service required. Please read more information on the NERC services and facilities (NERC website).
As for all NERC grant holders, there will be a requirement to report through the UKRI reporting system, Researchfish. This is required annually and continues for up to five years after funding ends. Projects identified as meeting Official Development Assistance criteria will have some additional reporting requirements.