The Research Councils UK (RCUK): Inviting applications for ‘Global Challenge Research Fund (GCRF): RCUK Collective Fund’ to Address Intractable Challenges Faced by Developing Countries.

Funding brief: Research Councils UK invites proposals from eligible UK research organizations to establish and lead a number of challenge-led and impact-focused GCRF Interdisciplinary Research Hubs which meet the aims of Official Development Assistance.1 Between £8M – £20M (full economic cost) will be available for each Hub, provided over a 5 year period starting on 1st December 2018. Depending on the quality of the applications received we anticipate awarding 12-15 Hubs. Each Hub is required to demonstrate:
 Challenge and impact focus – address a specific currently intractable development challenge(s) with realistic pathways with the potential to deliver a broad range of measurable impacts, and a clear plan for sustaining and further developing the work undertaken during the lifetime of the Hub.
 Interdisciplinary research excellence – anchored by well-integrated interdisciplinary approach which demonstrates both underpinning research excellence and the ability to think across, between and within the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and that adds significant value to existing global research efforts.
 Global partnerships – a commitment to capacity building and a programme of research and supporting activities which is co-developed with international partners, through genuine and equitable partnerships with researchers and relevant development agencies; third sector and Civil Society Organizations; industry and other private sector organizations; policy makers.
 Organization and leadership – strong research and operational leadership which incorporates robust financial and risk management, assurance, governance and effective monitoring and evaluation, and facilitates the ability to learn and adapt over the lifetime of the Hub.

Donor Name:  The Research Councils UK (RCUK)
Funding name:  Global Challenge Research Fund (GCRF): RCUK Collective Fund

Deadline:
● 
9th, November, 2017, at 4pm (GMT)
● It is mandatory for applicants intending to submit an outline proposal to complete a short online Intention to Submit (ITS) survey by midnight British Summer Time (BST) on 29th September 2017.

Funding details link: http://www.rcuk.ac.uk/funding/gcrf/interdisciplinary-research-hubs-to-address-intractable-challenges/

Funding limit:
● 
Between £8M – £20M (full economic cost) will be available for each Hub, provided over a 5 year period starting on 1st December 2018. Depending on the quality of the applications received we anticipate awarding 12-15 Hubs.
● All UK costs will be supported at 80 per cent fEC in-line with standard Research Council rules. Small equipment and consumables may be requested where appropriate as long as individual items are below £10,000.
● The funding for research partners will depend upon the country in which they are primarily based/legally registered, with the level of financial support determined by the countries DAC list status as summarized in the following table.

Research Organization

 

Location

 

Indirect (overheads and Institutional) costs
UK Current fEC policy (80% direct & indirect)
Developed Countries, Chile, Uruguay, Antigua and Barbuda, Seychelles Up to 50% eligible costs None
DAC list countries Up to 100% eligible costs Up to 30% of eligible direct costs

● Organizations based in developed countries (i.e. countries not on the OECD DAC list) as well as Chile, Uruguay, Antigua and Barbuda and Seychelles can be research partners, but are expected to cover the majority of their own research costs. The Hub award may contribute a maximum of 50% of their eligible direct research costs, with the remainder of the costs provided by the partner organization or from other funding sources. These costs and contributions must be fully auditable.
● Funding for research partner organizations in OECD DAC list countries (www.oecd.org/dac/stats/documentupload/DAC List of ODA Recipients 2014 final.pdf) will include indirect costs as a contribution to institutional overheads, capacity strengthening and the research environment. Detailed guidance on which costs are eligible as direct and indirect costs will be provided to applicants successful at the outline stage.

Special Notes: Please contact with the donor directly for further clarification and understanding.

Project start date: Awards will be over a five year duration, starting on 1st December 2018 with the potential for future extension dependant on their progress and the availability of funding. All successful awards will be subject to a stage gate review in year 3.

Project duration: Not Found

Eligible organization: As below

Eligibility:
● 
Lead research organization – For this call, proposals can be led by either an organization eligible to receive funding from RCUK (http://www.rcuk.ac.uk/funding/eligibilityforrcs/) or by a UK Public Sector Research Establishments (PSREs). Applicants from PSREs must contact Pamela Hicks (pamela.hicks@rcuk.ac.uk) before applying. Please note: PSRE eligibility for this call does not confer eligibility for other Research Council calls. The lead organization will be responsible for the overall management of the Hub including control, disbursement and assurance of funds.
● Principal Investigator (PI)/Hub Director – This individual should act as the figurehead for the Hub, providing intellectual leadership and oversight of the research and project management. The Hub Director must be employed by the lead organization and the term of employment must extend beyond the duration of the proposed Hub. The proposed roles and responsibilities for this individual will need to be clearly explained and justified in the proposal. The Hub Director should be able to demonstrate that they can:
– Articulate and deliver a clear vision for the proposed Hub
– Provide leadership and convene a range of UK and international researchers and organizations
– Drive advances in the relevant fields of study
– Lead innovative and creative programmes of research
– Manage large research programmes
– Broker and develop partnerships which add value to activities/programmes
– Deliver excellent impact from research
● Research partner organizations – Both UK and international research organizations can be research partners and receive funds from the Hub award. In order to be eligible to receive funding as a research partner, non-UK research organizations will need to register with the Research Councils. This will only be required following the outline stage; proposals invited to apply to the full stage will be required to have research partners registered on the Je-S system and include in the application a support letter from the Pro-Vice Chancellor for research (or equivalent). This letter should summarize the organization’s support for the project, confirm that they are able to meet the eligibility and assurance requirements for this call, and agree to provide information to the Research Councils when requested.

Organizations that wish to be research partners (for example higher education organizations, public laboratories, or other non-profit research intensive organizations) must demonstrate compliance with the following criteria:

● Research Capacity and Capability– Organizations will need to demonstrate in-house capacity in terms of staff and infrastructure to support and lead excellent research programmes.
● Governance and Financial Stability – Organizations will need to demonstrate that they are financially stable, have robust assurance around managing and accounting for grant funding, and demonstrate good governance and control functions including policies and approaches to control risk and mitigate fraud and corruption.
● Public good and open publications – Organizations will need to demonstrate a track record of maximizing the wider impact and value of its research to the benefit of society and local economy and should have a commitment to the principle of open access publication.

Eligible Country:
● 
Lead research organization – For this call, proposals can be led by either an organization eligible to receive funding from RCUK (http://www.rcuk.ac.uk/funding/eligibilityforrcs/ ) or by a UK Public Sector Research Establishments (PSREs).
● Research partner organizations – Both UK and international research organizations can be research partners and receive funds from the Hub award.
● Organizations based in developed countries (i.e. countries not on the OECD DAC list) as well as Chile, Uruguay, Antigua and Barbuda and Seychelles can be research partners, but are expected to cover the majority of their own research costs.

Submission mail: N/A

Other important link:
● Guideline: http://www.rcuk.ac.uk/documents/gcrf-calls/gcrfhubsoutlinecalltext-pdf/
● DAC List of ODA Recipients: http://www.oecd.org/dac/stats/documentupload/DAC%20List%20of%20ODA%20Recipients%202014%20final.pdf
● Form: http://www.rcuk.ac.uk/documents/gcrf-calls/cghubsoutlinecfstemplate-docx/
● FAQ: http://www.rcuk.ac.uk/documents/gcrf-calls/hubscallfaq-pdf/
● Intention to submit: http://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/O3I1I/

How to apply:
● 
All applicants who are to be named as the Principal Investigator or Co-Investigator on the proposal need to have a Je-S account. To submit a proposal, applicants should:
 Log in to the Joint Electronic System (Je-S)
 
Select Council: EPSRC
 
Select Document Type: Outline Proposal
 
Select Scheme: RCUK Outline
 
Select Call/Type/Mode: Interdisciplinary research hubs to address intractable challenges faced by developing countries
 
Click Create Document
 
When completing the Je-S submission, in addition to the Je-S Outline Proposal, applicants Should include:
– A Case for Support, using the template provided. This consists of three sections and should be converted to a single pdf document prior to uploading. Only proposals using this template will be accepted.
 Section 1. Proposal details (total of 5 pages maximum)
 Section 2. ODA compliance statement (1 page)
Section 3. Organizational commitment. Applicants should include a letter of commitment from the Pro-Vice Chancellor or equivalent of the lead organization, including an outline of the proposed commitment from all partner organizations.
 A CV for the Principal Investigator/Hub Director. This should be no longer than 2 pages.
No other attachments are permitted. Proposals including additional information will be rejected.
● At a minimum, font size 11 in Arial or other sans serif typeface of equivalent size to Arial font size 11 must be used for the entire Case for Support and CVs.
● Please follow this link to complete your intention to submit (http://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/O3I1I/ ).

 

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