NERC Large Grants Scheme: New 2020 Deadlines Announced

The Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) runs a Large Grants Scheme that supports complex, large-scale research that will have the potential to be world-leading and which cannot be addressed through other NERC funding opportunities.

Proposals can focus on any area of science within the NERC remit, including NERC strategic priorities or new curiosity-driven research challenges, and may involve multidisciplinary approaches via inter- or intra-institutional collaboration, although this is not a requirement. Large Grants must tackle big science questions and projects are expected to have a number of interdependent work packages interacting in a clearly defined management structure.

Principal Investigators must be:

Resident in the UK and employed by an eligible UK research organisation (higher education institution, research council institute or a recognised independent research organisation).

Employed at lecturer (or equivalent) level or above.

NERC staff at Band 6 level and above are eligible to apply if they have at least three years’ postdoctoral experience and have been employed by NERC for at least one year. Staff at the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) research organisations at Band E level or above are also eligible to apply for this scheme.

Large Grant proposals involving multiple research organisations may be submitted as joint proposals and there is no limit on the number of components. NERC expects the lead institution to act as co-ordinator.

Funding of between £1.2 million and £3.7 million is available for up to five years. This is provided at 100% fEC. The limit of £3.7 million is on the total cost (100% full economic cost, including any project studentships and major facility costs such as ship time and aircraft time).

The 2020 deadline details are:

Deadline for submission of outline proposals: 10 March 2020 (16:00)

Deadline for submission of invited full proposals: 3 November 2020 (16:00)

Applicants are encouraged (though not required) to contact the NERC Research Grants Team at an early stage to discuss any questions on Large Grants Scheme procedures or seek feedback regarding the most appropriate route for funding the proposed research.

More information about this research funding opportunity and the application process is available on the RESEARCHconnect funding information platform. RESEARCHconnect provides up-to-the minute content, insight and analysis on research funding news and policy. To find out more about how RESEARCHconnect can keep you in the know, and subscription fees, contact us today.