Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Further Changes to NERC Schemes

The Natural Environment Research Council has announced several changes to its responsive mode portfolio, which will take effect from 1 January.

Consortium Grants replaced by Large Grants
The Consortium Grant Responsive Mode scheme will be replaced by a new Large Grant scheme. The Large Grant scheme will continue to support adventurous, large-scale and complex research tackling big science questions, which cannot be addressed through other NERC funding opportunities. Key changes in comparison to the previous Consortium scheme are as follows:
  • There will no longer be a requirement for a minimum of three eligible investigators based in separate participating organisations.
  • A minimum funding level of £1·2m (100% FEC) will be introduced (the maximum funding level of £3·7m remains unchanged).
  • There'll be an outline stage. This will be assess on 'potential excellence' and 'fit to scheme'.
  • Next deadlines are: Outline Proposal Closing Date: 1 March 2012; Full Proposal Closing date: 15 November 2012 (tbc).
  • The assessment process and documentation required for submitting Large Grant full proposals is unchanged from the Consortium scheme.
Standard Grants
A maximum funding level of £1·2m (100% FEC) will be introduced for Standard Grants. This change is to provide clear differentiation between the Standard Grant scheme and the new Large Grant scheme. The minimum funding level for Standard Grants is also amended to £65,000 (100% FEC).

New Investigator Grants
Following completion of the 2012 call (deadline 1 Feb), the New Investigator competition will cease to operate as a separate scheme and will be incorporated into the Standard Grant scheme. Eligibility will not change. New Investigator proposals will no longer be subject to any specific funding limits or restrictions. The ability to submit a New Investigator application via the Standard Grant call will be available from the December 2012 closing date onwards.

Urgency Grants
Some modifications will be made to clarify the remit of the scheme and circumstances that will be accepted as grounds for an Urgency application. The application and assessment process will also be updated.

There's no indication as to whether these changes are the result of the new moptop director,Duncan 'call me Rick' Wingham.

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