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.
Highlight notice for applications involving the use of human tissue:
The NC3Rs recognises that the use of human tissue is essential for better understanding human health and disease, and to reduce the reliance on animal models in basic and biomedical research. As such we welcome applications involving the use of human tissue to the 2016/17 call for applications.
Highlight notices do not have a separate budget and applications submitted under highlight notices are considered in competition with the other applications received; however strategic relevance to the highlight will be one of the assessment criteria taken into consideration during the review process.
Potential applicants are advised to contact the NC3Rs funding team before submitting an application under this highlight notice. Further information on accessing human tissue is available on our ‘Increasing the use of human tissue’ web resource.
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.
|16 November 2016||Outline application form available on Je-S|
|4pm, 11 January 2017||Deadline for submitting outline via Je-S|
|March 2017||Outline assessment meeting|
|Mid-March 2017||Applicants notified of outcome|
|March 2017||Applicant workshop for those invited to submit full application|
|4pm, 19 April 2017||Full application deadline on Je-S|
|July 2017||Panel meeting for full applications|
|End of July 2017||Applicants notified of outcome|
|1 August 2017||Expected project start date|
|13 September 2017||Grantholder Introductory meeting|
|30 September 2017||Last date for commencing projects|
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Establishment eligibility updated in 2017: updates will come into effect from the 2018 Project grant call for applications.
Any UK research establishment including:
Applicants should be UK-based researchers who can demonstrate that they:
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.
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
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.
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.
It should be noted that the NC3Rs Office will be closed from 23 December 2016 until 3 January 2017. As such, outline queries received after 21 December will be responded to in January 2017.
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
Proposals are assessed in a two stage process.
- Outline proposals are reviewed by the NC3Rs Grant Assessment Panel. Successful outline applicants are invited to submit a full application.
- 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.
- NC3Rs Applicant and Grant Holder Handbook
- MRC Guidance for Applicants and Award Holders
- Project grant outline application - common errors
- Project grant full application - common errors
- Scoring criteria for referees
- Funding Panel outline application assessment criteria
- Funding Panel full application scoring criteria