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Call for Applications: Access to Research Infrastructure Scheme.

1. Rationale

The vision of the Lloyd's Register Foundation (the Foundation) is to be known worldwide as a leading supporter of engineering-related research, training and education that makes a real difference in improving the safety of the critical infrastructure on which modern society relies. In pursuit of this, we connect science, safety and society by supporting research of the highest quality, and acting as catalysts working with others to achieve maximum impact through our grant making.

Research and innovation in science and technology is vital to solving the economic and societal challenges of our world, including improving the safety of critical infrastructure and our interaction with it. These solutions often require access to high quality research equipment and infrastructure such as specialist laboratories, specialist testing equipment, libraries and other data sets, test beds etc. Please note that this list is by no means exhaustive.

This call supports the Foundation's strategic goals of supporting excellent scientific research and accelerating its application.

2. The Goal and Scope of the Scheme

The Foundation's Access to Research Infrastructure Scheme was established to help researchers access research infrastructure in support of studies leading to improved safety of life and property. The primary goal is to support researchers who would benefit from accessing world-class research infrastructure that is not available in their host institution or country and where the funding schemes available in their country of residence does not facilitate such access. Examples might include: researchers needing access to unique equipment hosted in other countries; transnational research collaborations focused on world-leading research facilities; and supporting promising researchers who do not have access to high quality research infrastructures in their own country. Researchers will need to demonstrate that other sources of funding are not available. We anticipate most applications will be for transnational access to world leading research infrastructure.

The Foundation will support a limited number of high calibre scientific investigators (including their research teams where applicable) to facilitate access to research infrastructures around the world in order to conduct high quality research for the purpose of improving the safety of life and property.

This call will consider applications for grants of up to £15,000. However, we are open to considering larger amounts provided that the funding need is justified in the application.

3. Eligibility Criteria

The Access to Research Infrastructure Scheme will support projects led by a principal investigator (PI) who is the proposer of the project, and who has responsibility for it. The PI must have already demonstrated the capacity for high quality research and professional leadership.

The grants are open to PIs of any nationality submitting the proposals from any country in the world at the time of application. However, to be considered eligible, a proposal must also satisfy the following criteria:

  • applications must be received by 17:00 GMT on 10 August 2018. Please note that applications received after this time will not be considered; and
  • applications are required to clearly demonstrate that the proposed work will contribute significantly towards increasing the safety of life and property (i.e. the safety problem that the research experiment will help address must be clearly stated).

Full terms and conditions will be agreed in the grant contract. Also see who and what we fund.

4. Eligible Costs

The following costs are eligible on the Access to Research Infrastructure scheme:

  • reasonable travel and subsistence (based on the costs of living in the country where the research infrastructure is located);
  • consumables; and
  • any fees that may be chargeable in relation to accessing the infrastructure e.g. logistical, technological and scientific support related to operating the infrastructure, and any specific training that is usually provided to external researchers using the infrastructure.

Please note that the following costs are ineligible:

  • salary costs for the PI (or any member of their team where applicable) or other staff at the host institution of the research infrastructure; and
  • overhead costs at the host institution of the research infrastructure.

In order for any cost to be eligible, it must be connected to the project as described in the proposal / application.

5. Evaluation Criteria

Applications for the Access to Research Infrastructure Scheme will be independently peer reviewed, and will be assessed against the following criteria:

  • potential for significant impact (including achievability) against the Foundation's charitable aim of enhancing the safety of life and property.
  • clear articulation of the safety challenge being addressed
  • value for money

6. Timings

Successful applicants will be notified by email latest by 17:00 GMT on 07 September 2018. If you do not receive an email from us by this date, then please consider your application has been unsuccessful on this occasion.

We anticipate that the disbursement of grants will commence on or around 14 September 2018.

7. How to Apply

Proposals should be submitted online through Flexigrant. If you have not used our online application system before, you will need to register for an account to be able to apply. The following must be submitted in the application:

  • an explanation as to why funding from other sources is unavailable.
  • a cost breakdown estimate.
  • the CV of the PI which should not exceed 4 pages.
  • a letter of support from the host institution of the research infrastructure, indicating availability of the infrastructure for the proposed project, and at the preferred time.
  • proposals requiring funding in excess of the £15,000 limit must be supported by additional justification. (One A4 page maximum)

8. Contact

For more information or questions regarding the call, please contact Gbenga Olugbodi at info@lrfoundation.org.uk.

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