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Webinar Q&A

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Can we fund researchers based in other countries?

Proposals including international collaboration are welcome, but need to be compliant with the relevant EPSRC rules. These do not allow institutions in other countries to receive funding. However, CREDS plans to launch an International Visitor Programme in early 2019, which will support international visitors to come to the UK.

Can we fund UK-based partners?

It is possible to have UK partners from outside academia, subject to the EPSRC funding rules.

Can we include references in the 3 pages?

Relevant references can be included within the project description, within the specified page limits.

Can we use CREDS communications and engagement staff?

Bids should be made without support from CREDS communications and engagement staff, but the successful bids will have access to their support.

Can we use CREDS Advisory Board?

The CREDS Advisory Board will have a role in advising funded bids, as they will be part of CREDS.

Can you tell us any more about the CREDS collaboration agreement you mentioned?

The Collaboration Agreement is based on a common model familiar to university contracts staff. There are 13 participating institutions and the collaboration agreement was agreed with all of them within 2 months to give you an idea of its simplicity.

If we have an idea for a smaller work package, how do we find details of a larger consortium to join? Or will you match-make for us if we send you our ideas?

We won’t match-make for bids, as this puts us in a position of trying to write bids. You can submit proposals with a smaller budget than £1,000,000, but all bids should address a challenging research question.

Can proposals be cross-cutting across the different challenge topics?

Yes, proposals can be cross-cutting but it needs to be clear what the research question is and how it relates to one or more of the identified challenge topics.

Does this call automatically render unsuccessful any associated proposals in the EUED tech call?

This call is a completely separate process run by CREDS not the EPSRC, which is directly responsible for the EUED technology call.

Is it possible for research teams that have submitted a proposal at the EUED tech call to submit an outline proposal for this call?

If you are involved in a bid to the other call, you can talk about inter-relationships in the outline bid, but the research proposed to this call must be able to stand alone. The planned timescales for the EUED Technology Call mean that its results should be known before full bids are requested in the call.

Is industry collaboration expected/strongly encouraged?

Industry collaboration is encouraged but research questions within different topics may be more or less amenable to collaboration with industry. So industrial collaboration is not a requirement.

Will all three topics have equal consideration (i.e. co-benefits, difficult sectors and equity and justice). Also are cross-cutting topics OK?

All bids will be treated equally and in accordance with the assessment criteria, irrespective of the topic areas.

Will the call fund the development and demonstration of technology e.g. in transport the use of hybrid electric systems?

The call is designed to support CREDS work, which the Research Councils require to be inter-disciplinary and whole-systems. Technology research can therefore form part of bids, but the proposed research should not be only technology.

Do we need a CREDS partner included/advising on the bid? Will the full bids go to EPSRC panel (which one)?

No, you do not need a CREDS partner included/advising. The Stage 2 (full bid) process will also be to CREDS and not to the EPSRC directly.

A query on co-benefits – could they include wider economic benefits other than energy cost reduction?

Yes, they could.

For decarbonisation of difficult sectors, do you expect multiple sectors in one proposal?

The proposal could address one or more than one. The criteria allow either.

Would you expect output mainly to be academic publications, and possibly impact?

The implication of the assessment criteria is that both high quality research papers and outputs with broader impact are expected.

Given the objective of engaging policy makers, is it encouraged to work with policy/advocacy groups?

We are open to that approach. Engaging policy makers could be done through the channels identified at the proposal stage, or developed subsequently with CREDS core staff when funded.

For the outline proposal do you have to have all industrial partners lined up, or can you add more at the final stage if successful at outline stage?

We are very open to having additional partners added at full stage, but it may help the bid at the initial stage to identify strong partners.

Can a CREDS member be a PI?

Yes. The criteria are neutral between existing CREDS personnel and others, except to the extent that one tertiary criterion relates to extending the expertise of the consortium.

Would you encourage a bid that relates to 2 of the 3 topics?

We would not encourage or discourage this. We are looking for a good research question and strong, high-impact research.

On that last question on external partners, I assume no letters of support are required for the outline proposal?

Correct, we are not looking for letters of support at this stage. They would be appropriate at the stage of full bids.

After the outline proposal, what success rate are you expecting?

This is a difficult question because we do not know how many proposals we are going to get. We know that 65 people have registered for this call and that we expect to fund 2 bids from the whole process.

Presumably, you welcome non-academic organisations participating?

Yes, we welcome involvement of non-academic organisations, subject to EPSRC rules. So bids can be from universities or other bodies on at the list on the EPSRC website.

Other organisations can be involved as project partners or as subcontractors.

Do we need to register before submission?

There is no need to register, just make sure that your bid is sent to the correct email by the deadline.

Banner photo credit: Meriç Dağlı on Unsplash

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