You must apply using the Joint Electronic Submission (Je-S) system.
You can find advice on completing your application in:
We recommend you start your application early.
Your host organisation will also be able to provide advice and guidance.
Submitting your application
Before starting an application, you will need to log in or create an account in Je-S.
All investigators involved in the project need to be registered on Je-S.
Any investigators who do not have a Je-S account must register for one at least seven working days before the funding opportunity deadline.
- Select ‘documents’, then ‘new document’.
- Select ‘call search’.
- To find the opportunity, search for: Population health improvement network of clusters.
This will populate:
- council: MRC
- document type: standard proposal
- scheme: research grant
- call/type/mode: Population health improvement network of clusters
Once you have completed your application, make sure you ‘submit document’.
You can save completed details in Je-S at any time and return to continue your application later.
UKRI must receive your application by 26 July 2023 at 4:00pm UK time.
You will not be able to apply after this time. Please leave enough time for your proposal to pass through your organisation’s Je-S submission route before this date.
You should ensure you are aware of and follow any internal institutional deadlines that may be in place.
What to include with your application
In addition to the Je-S application, you will also need to include the following mandatory attachments:
Case for support
The case for support should be a self-contained description of the proposed work with relevant background, with no dependence on additional information. The case for support must not exceed 12 pages.
The case for support forms the body of your proposal and should address the following points:
- an introduction providing the vision, aims and objectives of the proposed PHI research cluster, including the specific challenge that the cluster will tackle, and the rationale for choosing this challenge
- a summary of the current state of knowledge on the research challenge that the cluster will address. Give sufficient details of past and current research to show that the aims are scientifically justified, and that the work will add distinct value to what is already known, or in progress
- the detailed research questions to be addressed and how these will align with the vision of this funding opportunity
- a description of the four-year work programme of your cluster, showing the organisation of the work packages involved, highlighting their interdependencies and how they address the central challenge theme:
- each work package should provide details of anticipated outputs and the timescales involved
- include the names of the relevant investigators for each component and the disciplines involved
- say how each of the investigators will work together and outline other major collaborations important for the research
- explain how the environments in which the research will be done will promote delivery of the proposed research
- provide a description and rationale of the study designs and methods for analysis. Highlight any innovation in methods or highlight their intention to develop new methods and make clear the likely wider applicability of what is developed
- articulate a clear understanding of the context and needs of the relevant communities and describe the ways in which the proposed research will directly or indirectly meet these needs or impact upon understandings of these needs
- describe how you intend to co-produce evidence with relevant stakeholders and communities, with reference to the work-packages for the research programme. You should also describe the specific contribution of each partner to co-producing the proposed research
- give plans for knowledge transfer and exchange, and specify how these will facilitate the pathways to impact and exchange of knowledge with those within and outside of the cluster
- explain the expected impact of the work of the cluster, specifying the likely magnitude of that impact and who will be the beneficiaries. Clarify the envisaged timescale for delivering the impact; and whether it will be achieved within the four-year duration, or whether your cluster will deliver intermediate outcomes which may be subsequently translated into large-scale, sustainable outcomes
- provide a diagram and description of the structure and components of your cluster. Your description should cover how the programme of research will be managed, including the composition of any external advisory group
- include a list of references cited in the case for support
This should show the deliverables and milestones for each work-package and for the overall cluster. It must show the interdependencies of work packages (maximum of one side of A4).
Justification for resources
A narrative description of the justification of all requested resources should be included as an attachment to this proposal (maximum two sides of A4). All items requested in the Je-S form must be justified in this attachment.
Data management plan
As per standard guidance, all applications must be accompanied by a data management plan (DMP) as an attachment to the application on Je-S.
The DMP should comply with MRC’s policy on research data sharing.
The DMP should demonstrate how the research will meet expectations for research data quality, sharing, and security. It should refer to any institutional and study data policies, systems and procedures and be regularly reviewed throughout the research cycle.
You must use the available DMP template form (maximum three sides of A4)
CVs and publications
The principal investigator and co-investigators should provide their CVs, highlighting relevant research outputs (maximum two sides of A4 per CV) and a list of publications (maximum one side of A4 per investigator) in one combined PDF document.
Equality, diversity and inclusion statement
A statement as to how the project plan aligns with UKRI’s strategy on equality, diversity and inclusion (maximum one side of A4).
This should describe any forerunning conversations you have had with UKRI, for example with respect to the inclusion of international co-investigators.
A cover letter could also indicate any potential conflicts of interests with panel members, who you may wish to exclude from reviewing your proposal.
UKRI reserves the right to judge whether this request should be upheld. Full details on panel membership will be published on this page in due course.
Letters of support
Letters of support must be provided under the following circumstances:
- where researcher co-investigators are included on an application, a signed letter of support must be provided from the principal investigator or senior authority within the host research organisation. The content of the letter should be in line with MRC guidance for this investigator status
- where project partners are included on an application, a signed letter of support must be provided that fully articulates their contributions and role within the project
Each letter should not exceed two sides of A4 or equivalent on headed paper or a PDF of an email. Letters of support to be combined into one PDF document. Generic letters of support must not be included in any application.
If your research includes excess treatment costs of studies involving human participants you will need to include a schedule of events cost attribution template (SoECAT). For details and access to the SoECAT form see the National Institute for Health and Care Research’s information on excess treatment costs.
You can find full details of what to include in mandatory and optional attachments in section 2.2 attachments guidance
Guidance for applicants
The MRC guidance for applicants:
- helps you check your eligibility
- guides you through preparing an application
- shows you how to prepare a case for support
- provides details of any ethical and regulatory requirements that may apply
Industrial partner information
If you want to include one or more industry partners as a project partner, you must also complete the project partner section in Je-S.
Each project partner must provide a project partner letter of support, which should not exceed two pages of A4 on headed paper or a PDF of an email. The letter must:
- be an integral part of the application
- focus on the application it accompanies which includes the requirement to include a project partner letter of support
Full details of the content the project partner should include in their letter of support, are provided in section 2.2.6 of the MRC guidance for applicants.
MRC industry collaboration framework
If your application involves the collaboration of one or more industrial partners, you should review the information published within the MRC industry collaboration framework (ICF) to decide if you should submit your application under the ICF.
After reading the ICF information, if you decide that your application will include industry collaboration, you will need to include the following within your application for each collaborating industry partner:
The completed ICF form should be uploaded to the Je-S attachments section using the ‘MICA form’ document type. Please type ‘Industry Collaboration Framework form’ in the description box.
The company letter of support must use the available template and be uploaded to the relevant project partner entry you are required to add to your Je-S application.
Research disruption caused by COVID-19 pandemic
You have the option to include a one-page annex to the case for support. You can use it to provide additional information explaining any disruptions you have encountered to previous or current research, caused by the COVID-19 pandemic (where relevant to your pending application).
For further information relating to the annex, please see the MRC guidance for applicants (section 188.8.131.52).