Funder news: Research Councils seeking to improve ECR funding

Research and Innovation Development Office

Category: Research news

6 September 2017

After some changes to the offering of the Economic and Social Research Council in recent times, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) have both made alterations to their early career researcher schemes.

EPSRC has replaced its First Grant Initiative with a New Investigator Award. Eligibility will not be narrowed, but there will be more freedom within the new scheme, more closely reflecting responsive mode funding. Financial and duration caps have been removed, as have time-based eligibility requirements. Crucially, assessment panels will be asked to recommend resubmission and provide good feedback, enabling the development of researchers' skills in bid preparation.

NERC has evauated its options for ECRs and determined that they need to consult the community. If your work is within NERC's remit, please do submit to its survey! In the meantime, they have altered the eligibility rules for New Investigator grants. In order to apply to this scheme, you must be eligible as a Principal Investigator, but also within five years' of becoming eligible. You may also not have received funding as a PI before that included support for PDRA(s).

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