The SFI Research Infrastructure Programme supports the research community in building and sustaining the required infrastructural capacity to accomplish high-quality, high-impact and innovative research in areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics that demonstrably enhance and support enterprise competitiveness and societal development in Ireland. SFI encourages the efficient use, renewal and development of existing national research infrastructures while also recognising the need for continued investment in cutting-edge research equipment and infrastructure in areas of national priority.
The SFI Research Infrastructure Programme will be run in collaboration with the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI). SFI is open to forging new co-funding partnerships with agencies and organisations.
Applications to the SFI Research Infrastructure Programme 2021 call will seek Strategic Research Infrastructures that focus on large-scale items in areas of national priority and in other areas of strategic opportunity.
Applications to the SFI Research Infrastructure Programme 2021 will have a minimum budget request of €500,000 direct costs. An additional 10% cash cost share is mandatory in all applications; therefore the total infrastructure cost must be at least €550,000. There is no maximum budget request.
- To give Ireland’s researchers access to cutting-edge research infrastructure that will enhance high-quality research activities and innovation in areas of strategic priority.
- To make Ireland an attractive location for the recruitment of world-leading scientists and engineers.
- To provide outstanding research infrastructure that will enable Ireland’s researchers to compete in future Horizon Europe research funding calls.
- To facilitate broad usage across Ireland and to encourage partnerships and collaboration between different cohorts of researchers in Ireland; for example, between Universities, Technological Universities, Institutes of Technology, other Eligible Research Bodies, researchers in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, and between different cohorts of researchers in Ireland.
- To encourage research partnership with industry through collaborative initiatives that involve industry access to infrastructure.
- To support the strategic development and growth of the SFI Research Centres.
- To support national and European Open Science policies and principles and ensure access to an effective digital research infrastructure ecosystem.
- To optimise utilisation and promote future sustainability of research infrastructures through the development of management and access charge plans.
To be eligible for funding through the SFI Research Infrastructure Programme, all proposals must be aligned to one of the 14 Refreshed Priority Areas for 2018-2023, or to any other research area within SFI’s legal remit where there is convincing evidence that there will be significant potential for economic and/or societal impact in Ireland.
Applicant Eligibility Criteria
Proposals are invited from individual eligible research bodies or consortia of eligible research bodies for infrastructure requests. Each Research Body must nominate a Lead Applicant from the Research Body who will have primary fiduciary responsibility and accountability for the management of the infrastructure award. Please refer to the call document for the eligibility criteria of this Lead Applicant.
How to Apply
For the 2021 Research Infrastructure Programme 2021 call, each eligible Research Body in the Republic of Ireland may submit applications from a maximum of six Lead Applicants employed at that Research Body.
Prospective Lead Applicants must first contact the Research Office of the intended Lead Research Body and notify them of their intention to submit a proposal. Applications should only be submitted to SFI where it is clearly demonstrated that appropriate funding and resources are in place to ensure maximum usage of the requested infrastructure.
It is the responsibility of the Research Body to carry out selection processes to determine which proposals are put forward for submission. Should a Lead Applicant withdraw from the process prior to the full proposal deadline, the Research Body may nominate a replacement candidate.
All proposals are to be submitted via SESAME, SFI’s online grants and awards management system.
If accessing SESAME for the first time, researchers should contact their local Research Office to be set up on this system.
Queries on the SESAME management system should first be directed to your Institute’s Research Office.
SFI hosted an information webinar for potential Research Infrastructure applicants and associated Research Office staff on Thursday 20th May 2021. You can download this webinar here or view below: