EPSRC and Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) have entered an agreement to welcome, encourage and support research applications that cut across national boundaries involving collaborative teams led by researchers from the UK and Ireland. The new partnership will support joint research and technology development in all areas of EPSRC’s remit which covers chemistry, engineering, information and communications technologies, materials, mathematical sciences and physics.

Under the lead agency agreement, a single joint proposal from applicants in both countries is submitted to EPSRC. The application is processed according to the normal procedures of EPSRC Standard Grants. Successful UK-based research groups will be funded by EPSRC and Republic of Ireland (ROI)-based research groups will be funded by SFI.

Joint applications to this programme will be accepted at any time. Joint applications should follow standard EPSRC format, but applicants should review the following guidance documentation carefully for specific instructions regarding additional information and documentation that must be included.

Potential applicants should also visit the EPSRC webpage on this joint activity. An overview of the application procedure is given below.

Prior to submission

EPSRC will accept joint applications for Standard Research Grants at any time; however, potential applicants to the joint EPSRC-SFI funding opportunity should contact the EPSRC international mailbox (international@epsrc.ac.uk) a minimum of 3 months prior to the planned submission date to ensure that applicants meet their respective funding organisations’ eligibility requirements and that the proposed research falls within their remits. Please see the guidance documentation for details of what must be submitted at this stage.

Joint proposal

  • Except where indicated otherwise, joint applications should follow standard EPSRC format; no additional pages will be permitted.
  • The title of all applications submitted under this partnership must begin with “EPSRC-SFI: ”
  • A single joint proposal should be submitted to EPSRC via Je-S with the UK applicants designated as Principal and Co-Investigators and the ROI applicants designated as project partners. Please ensure that you include the scientific case for both components of the project in your case for support.
  • A section on the ROI applicant(s) must be included in the Track Record section of the Case for Support document.
  • The total direct costs requested by the ROI applicants from SFI should be included in the Je-S form as a cash project-partner contribution. A maximum request of €500,000 direct costs for durations of 12-60 months will apply to the total ROI budget. An additional contribution to overhead costs will also be made. 
  • The Justification of Resources document must include a section on the costs requested by the ROI-based research groups, making it clear which costs will be funded by SFI and which costs will be funded by EPSRC if the application is successful.
  • The SFI Application Form and associated documents described in the guidance documentation must be included in the Je-S submission as a single PDF attachment. This document should be submitted as attachment type ‘Other Attachment’ (not seen by reviewers and panel members).

Eligibility

The usual eligibility criteria apply for EPSRC applicants. To receive support from SFI, the ROI partner(s) must be based at an institution eligible for SFI support.

Additionally, the ROI SFI co-investigator must be a member of the academic staff of an eligible Research Body (permanent or with a contract that covers the period of the grant) or a Contract Researcher with a contract that covers the period of the grant, who is recognised by the eligible Research Body as an independent investigator and will have an independent office and research space at the host eligible Research Body for which he/she will be fully responsible for at least the duration of the grant. The SFI co-investigator must also have the capability and authority to mentor and supervise team members.

Please direct application-related queries to international@epsrc.ac.uk or, if you have specific questions surrounding the documentation required by ROI applicants, to partnerships@sfi.ie.

Information day

EPSRC and SFI held a joint briefing event on the 25th of April, 2017 to outline the main aspects of the partnership and application process. The slides presented can be downloaded at the following links: