Standard grants

UKRI recognises that the current situation may present additional challenges to those intending to apply. To help with that, the deadlines on all open funding opportunities will be extended to give applicants more time to submit their applications. The deadline for call has been extended by two weeks to 28 July 2020.

Applicants and Research Organisations should also note that the normal expectation for a 50% contribution to any equipment costs (over £10k) by the Research Organisation is not required for this call and NERC will pay 100% of any justified equipment costs. The funding limit of £800k at 100% FEC still applies. This change will apply to this round and future Discovery Science calls until further notice (DS Standard grants, Large grants and Pushing the Frontiers call). The grants handbook still reflects the 50% contribution but will be updated in due course.

Annual closing dates: January and July

The next closing date will now be 16:00 on 28 July 2020.

    New demand management measures came into effect from the July 2015 closing date. Research organisations must ensure they do not submit more proposals to the round than are permitted.

    Applicants should leave enough time for their proposal to pass through their organisation's Je-S submission route before 16:00 on the closing date.

    Applicants should adhere to the regulations set out in the NERC handbook eg attachments should be of the correct length. Proposals not adhering to the rules will be automatically rejected and will not be returned to applicants for corrections.

    For joint proposals, if a lead or component misses the 16:00 deadline and is not submitted or any lead or component proposal is rejected for not adhering to the rules, all other proposals linked to the rejected proposal will also be rejected.

    Applicants choose the most appropriate panel area to assess their proposal.

    Proposals are assessed on their scientific excellence. Moderating Panels meet annually in June and December to grade the proposals and make recommendations for funding.

    There is no Je-S validation for the upper limit and any Joint proposal received above this limit (unless exceptional permission has been received, as below) will be rejected.

    The Standard grant scheme also includes a route for New Investigators.

    The two calls are:

    • Standard Grant JUL20
    • Standard Grant - New Investigator JUL20

    All component proposals must use the same call as the lead proposal or the whole proposal (lead and components) will be rejected.

    Eligibility for the New Investigator call is restricted (see the research grants and fellowships handbook for further details), but beyond that the rules for the two calls are the same.

    Exceptional permission to exceed funding maximum

    If in exceptional cases the research proposed requires resources more than the £800,000 limit, due to high facility, fieldwork, equipment or other costs, but cannot meet the requirements for scale and complexity of research of the large grant scheme, applicants may contact NERC before submission to request permission to submit a standard grant proposal that exceeds the maximum funding limit. This includes costs for the Geophysical Equipment Facility Ocean Bottom Instruments, Geophysical Equipment Facility seismometers, Facility for Airborne Atmospheric Measurements / Airborne Research & Survey Facility / British Antarctic Survey Twin Otter aircraft (the facility will be able to advise on eligible instrument or aircraft costs), European Incoherent Scatter Radar facility or other ship-time or marine facility related costs. See Section B of the research grants and fellowships handbook for further details.

    International collaboration

    Proposals to the standard grant scheme may use agreements between NERC and other funders such as National Science Foundation and São Paulo Research Foundation to help secure funding for collaborations.