International Opportunities Fund
Announcement of opportunity 2013
Closing date for full proposals:
17 October 2013 at 16:00 (GMT).
The Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) is inviting research proposals to its International Opportunities Fund (IOF). The IOF Scheme provides resources to NERC-supported researchers to allow them to forge long-term partnerships with overseas scientists that add value to current NERC-funded science. IOF grants are pump-priming, to help stimulate novel research collaborations. Mature research collaborations should apply to NERC's Standard or Large Grant schemes, which allow for overseas project partnerships, or to other appropriate sources of funding.
In general, NERC expects that pump-priming for international research can be supported with modest amounts of funding. For example, to support a focused programme of exchange visits and/or scoping workshops. However, we recognise that exceptionally, larger and longer-term amounts of funding may be required, eg to build new large scale networks, to develop new community-owned research tools and standards, or to pilot deployment of infrastructure overseas. Consequently, the IOF supports two levels of grant:
IOF Pump Priming grants
These aim to help researchers establish and develop novel, collaborative links with international partners. Although the grants may have exploratory elements, the proposal should include specific scientific objectives.
Proposals for IOF Pump Priming Grants may request funding of a maximum of £50K (100% FEC) for up to two years duration. The total amount of funding available for this Call is anticipated to be approximately £300K. NERC anticipates funding up to 8 grants. Calls for IOF Pump Priming grants will be held biannually.
IOF Pump Priming Plus grants
These aim to support establishment of novel international collaborative links, as for the IOF Pump Priming Grants, but to allow for development of partnerships that require more resource. Such partnerships will be exceptional, and the additional resources requested must be well justified.
Proposals for IOF Pump Priming Plus Grants may request funding of a maximum of £400K (100% FEC) for up to three years duration. The total amount of funding available for this Call is anticipated to be approximately £800K. NERC anticipates funding up to 2-3 grants. Calls for IOF Pump Priming Plus Grants will be held annually.
Standard NERC eligibility requirements apply (See Section B of Research Grants Handbook). In addition, because the aim of the IOF is to add value to current NERC investments through international collaboration, applications must be made by a Principal Investigator (PI) who is currently both eligible for NERC responsive mode funding and currently in receipt of NERC research funding as a PI (lead or non-lead), through one of the following mechanisms:
- a NERC responsive mode grant.
- a NERC Research Programme grant.
- a Research Scientist at one of the NERC Centres.
- a current recipient of a fellowship grant from NERC.
How to Apply
Proposals must be submitted using the Research Councils' Joint Electronic Submission system (Je-S). Please select Proposal Type 'Standard Proposal' and then select the Scheme 'International Opportunities Fund' and the Call:
- For IOF Pump Priming Grants: 'International Opportunities Fund 2013 Pump priming'
- For IOF Pump Priming Plus Grants: 'International Opportunities Fund 2013 Pump Priming Plus'.
In addition to NERC's usual guidelines the Guidance for Applicants contains further information and guidance specific to this IOF Call. It is essential that you read it before applying to the scheme.