Project grants

What is a project grant?

A project grant is a research project which supports the development of new 3Rs approaches and technologies. Applications from any area of medical, biological or veterinary research are within remit; those that integrate a range of disciplines or include an industrial partner are particularly encouraged. Awards are for up to 36 months with the amount requested dependent on the science.

There is one competition per year and Panel meeting outcome reports and award rates for previous calls can be found here.

Key information about applying for a project grant is given below. Applicants should read the NC3Rs Applicant and Grant Holder Handbook, which contains more detailed information about the application process.

Key dates Who can apply How to apply Assessment procedure Related documents


Key dates 

15 November 2017 Outline application form available on Je-S
4pm, 10 January 2018  Deadline for submitting outline via Je-S
March 2018 Outline assessment meeting
Mid-March 2018 Applicants notified of outcome
March 2017 Applicant workshop for those invited to submit full application
4pm, 18 April 2018 Full application deadline on Je-S
July 2018 Panel meeting for full applications
End of July 2018 Applicants notified of outcome
1 August 2018 Expected project start date
September 2018 Grantholder Introductory meeting
30 September 2018 Last date for commencing projects

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Who can apply?

Establishment eligibility

Establishment eligibility updated in 2017: updates will come into effect from the 2018 Project grant call for applications.

 

Any UK research establishment including:

  • Higher Education Institutions (HEIs)
  • Independent Research Organisations (IROs)
  • Research Council (RC) Institutes

 

Individual eligibility

Applicants should be UK-based researchers who can demonstrate that they:

  • Will direct the proposed research
  • Will be actively engaged in accomplishing the project’s aims
  • Hold a graduate degree – the minimum formal qualification required. However, it would normally be expected that an applicant has been awarded a PhD. Applications involving less experienced researchers should be made in collaboration with a more senior colleague.
  • NC3Rs grant holders with more than 12 months remaining on their NC3Rs grant, at the time of application, they are not permitted to apply as a Primary Investigator for further NC3Rs funding (excluding CRACK IT and Strategic Awards – please contact the Office to discuss).

Overseas researchers

Overseas researchers cannot be Primary Investigators but can be included as collaborators. Overseas co-applicant status can be obtained in exceptional circumstances at the discretion of the NC3Rs; approval must be sought before applying.

Resubmissions

The NC3Rs does not allow resubmission of previously unsuccessful proposals, unless explicitly invited by the Panel. Proposals previously declined by the NC3Rs will not be considered by another Research Council or funder within 12 months (from the date of submission to the original Research Council) unless substantially revised. More information can be found in the NC3Rs Applicant and Grant Holder Handbook.

Please note: The same or similar application cannot be considered by any other Research Council, the Health Departments or any other research funder at the same time

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How to apply

We use the Research Councils' joint electronic submission system (Je-S) and applications are processed by the RCUK Shared Business Services.

Applicants are advised to read and refer to the NC3Rs Applicant and Grant Holder Handbook, which contains more detailed information on submitting both an outline and full application. 

Formal outlines and full applications received after 4pm on the deadline date will not be considered, without exception.

Applicants submitting under the highlight notice, should note this within the ‘Objectives’ and the ‘Case for Support’ sections of both their outline and, if invited, full applications. 

Outline stage

Before submitting a full application applicants are required to submit a formal outline of their research proposal via Je-S. Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact 3Rsgrants@nc3rs.org.uk before submitting an outline via Je-S to determine whether the proposed research fits the 3Rs remit. Outline applications that do not fit this remit will be rejected at an early stage.

Important points to note at outline stage:

  • The maximum length of the case for support is two sides of A4
  • Applicants are required to provide metrics regarding the potential 3Rs impact of their research as part of their outline proposal, please see Section 4.1 of the NC3Rs Applicant and Grant Holder handbook for further information

Submitting a full application

Successful outline applicants are invited to submit a full proposal via Je-S. A workshop for those submitting full applications will be held in central London.

If you experience difficulties using Je-S or have questions regarding its use, contact the Je-S helpdesk.

Email: JeSHelp@rcuk.ac.uk     Phone: +44 (0) 1793 44 4164

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Assessment procedure

Proposals are assessed in a two stage process.

  1. Outline proposals are reviewed by the NC3Rs Grant Assessment Panel.  Successful outline applicants are invited to submit a full application.
  2. Full applications are evaluated by international peer review and assessed by the NC3Rs Grant Assessment Panel

​The following criteria are taken into consideration when making the funding decisions:

  • Potential impact on the 3Rs
  • Quality of the science
  • Current or future importance of the proposal to medical, biological or veterinary research
  • Strategy for promoting the proposed research and 3Rs outcomes within the scientific community
  • Expertise and track record of the team
  • Value for money
  • Strategic relevance to the highlight notice (where appropriate)

In order to maintain the transparency and integrity of the peer review process we have adopted the MRC policy on peer review.  Please note the Referee and Panel assessment guidance and scoring criteria below.

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Related documents

Application process

Assessment criteria

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