This is an open funding opportunity for NERC or NSF led opportunities with a two-stage application process:
- expression of interest
- full proposal.
If expression of interest approval has not taken place prior to a full proposal submission, then the proposal will be returned without review.
This does not represent a separate research funding scheme. Full proposals must be submitted under existing programmes at the relevant lead agency:
Namely, these existing programmes are:
- NERC’s ‘pushing the frontiers’ and ‘large grants’ funding opportunities
- NSF’s GEO and BIO core solicitations, specifically those in the:
- GEO Divisions of Atmospheric and Geospace Sciences, Earth Sciences, Ocean Sciences, and Polar Programs
- BIO DEB.
Proposals are required to adhere to the remit, funding limits, and grant durations of the NSF and NERC schemes from which funding is sought and must represent an integrated collaborative effort.
Expression of interest
Before applying, discuss with your research team whether the lead agency should be NERC or NSF.
You should base this decision on where you plan to carry out the majority of research, or which agency is expected to provide the majority of the funding.
Where advice is required about the lead agency or fit of the proposal to applicable funding schemes, the applicant should email the relevant contact at the proposed lead funding agency to discuss the research project.
If your proposal is for NERC as the lead agency, you will need to submit an expression of interest form. The deadline for submitting the form is a minimum of three months prior to the closing date for the full proposal.
If your proposal is for NSF as the lead agency, then you need to submit an expression of interest to either firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com as appropriate.
Expression of interest inclusions
In all cases, the expression of interest should include:
- the research teams (principal investigators, co-investigators and named researchers) that are involved in both the UK and US
- a brief summary of the proposed research, including:
- the main objectives
- the methodologies to be used
- the outputs, impact and beneficiaries
- any NERC research facilities required
- estimates of total funding to be requested from both the NSF and NERC, following the financial rules for each agency (including all research-related and institutional administrative costs for the US budget request).
The combined budget for NSF and NERC funding must be within the relevant limits of the targeted funding scheme for full applications.
For NERC-led proposals, the NSF DEB contribution is limited to $500,000; whilst there is no cap for the NSF GEO contribution. However, you must meet the combined budget requirements and NSF may limit their contribution to any project in line with their normal processes.
For NSF-led proposals, the UK applicant may request up to £300,000 (100% FEC). NERC ‘ship time’ is prohibited on NSF-led proposals, and any ‘marine equipment pool’ requirements, NERC facilities or Antarctic logistics must be included within the £300,000 limit.
The lead agency will share the expression of interest with the non-lead agency to check for eligibility and to confirm support for the proposal.
If the application meets both agencies requirements, then you will be invited to submit a full proposal to the relevant funding scheme. Otherwise, you will be notified your expression of interest has been rejected.
NERC and NSF aim to respond to all expression of interest submissions within one month.
You will be notified when your expression of interest has been approved and you are clear to submit a full proposal to the relevant lead agency.
We expect that full proposals will be submitted within one year of receiving expression of interest approval. If more time is needed for proposal preparation, an additional expression of interest will be required.
The proposal should indicate it is to be considered under this lead agency agreement by prefacing the title with ‘NERC – NSFGEO or NSFBIO’ (as appropriate).
If NERC is the lead agency, proposers must comply with the proposal preparation requirements for the appropriate scheme. Proposals should be submitted through the Joint Electronic Submission (Je-S) system in line with the relevant funding finder entry.
For NERC-led proposals, the total combined budgets for both NSF and NERC contributions must be within the funding limit for projects under the applicable funding opportunity. Resources being requested from NSF should be entered on the separate NSF budget form (Word, 33KB).
If NSF is the lead agency, proposers must comply with the proposal preparation requirements outlined in NSF’s proposal and award policies and procedures guide.
The proposal must be submitted through NSF’s FastLane system, Grants.gov, or Research.gov to the appropriate programme. UK personnel should be listed as ‘unfunded collaborators’ and follow NSF guidance on required documents.
For NSF-led proposals, resources being requested from NERC should be entered in a separate NERC budget form (Word, 27KB). Additionally, any planned use of NERC facilities must be applied for in the normal way and any required forms included as part of the proposal to NSF. Failure to do so may result in NERC not supporting your access to the requested facilities.
In all cases, the costs of the US and UK organisations must be clearly differentiated and justified in the proposal. We will reject any proposals that request duplicate funding.
All NSF and NERC requirements for data management are applicable to awards funded by the respective agencies.
In addition to meeting the normal resubmission rules for both agencies, any applicant wishing to resubmit a previously unsuccessful lead agency agreement application must submit a new expression of interest first. This applies in all cases regardless of whether your expression of interest was previously accepted.
Involvement in a proposal submitted to the lead agency will also count as a submission to the non-lead agency for purposes of resubmission monitoring. Both agencies reserve the right to reject an expression of interest that does not meet their resubmission criteria.
Any resubmission that does not submit a new expression of interest will be rejected.