Once I had a secret grant / that lived within EPSRC

A colleague writes: “[Below] is a *secret* call from EPSRC, part of their “Developing leaders” initiative, aka a method for giving money with inadequate refereeing to those who already have lots, thereby further cutting the already pitiful responsive mode funds.” See original document.

New Directions for EPSRC’s Research Leaders

Invitation to participate

You are invited to apply for additional support as part of your fellowship under our New Directions for EPSRC Research Leaders initiative. The purpose of this fund is to enable EPSRC’s leading researchers to explore new avenues of research with a view to further enhancing their future career opportunities.
As part of the “Developing Leaders” Goal in EPSRC’s Delivery Plan, EPSRC has indicated that we will:

  • Identify and invest preferentially in emerging and established leaders
  • Increase the proportion of research leaders and students working in EPSRC priority areas
  • Provide future leaders with tailored resource packages that broaden their experiences, enabling them to fulfil their potential

The fund provides an opportunity to think creatively about future directions and new approaches by, for example:

  • funding a parallel stream of research
  • exploring new avenues of research
  • networking with other key researchers
  • developing new collaborations
  • experiencing different research environments


Two years support up to a maximum of £315,000 (calculated at 100% full economic costs – with EPSRC contribution at 80% FEC) is available.

For successful applicants this additional funding will be accessible through your existing fellowship grant and will have a fixed start date of 1 April 2012 and end date of 31 March 2014.[1]

You can request related costs for the proposed new programme of research which may include research staff, technicians, visiting researchers, travel and subsistence, equipment, consumables, access to facilities and technical support costs.

Please note: Only individual items of equipment below £10,000(incl. VAT) can be requested which will be paid at 80% FEC. They should be included under Other Directly Incurred costs.

Indirect and estates costs related to the above resources should also be included and these should be calculated for you by your host organisation. You should not include any request for your own salary as this is already funded through your fellowship. Full details on allowable costs can be found in EPSRC’s funding guide.

[1] In the case of fellowships that end before March 2014, your Host Organisation must confirm that if your application is successful they will continue to employ you for the duration of the supplemental grant and EPSRC will extend your fellowship accordingly.

Who can apply?

This opportunity is targeted at both career acceleration and leadership fellows who are sufficiently advanced in their fellowship to be able to think about future directions for their career and research (i.e. fellows awarded in 2008, 2009, and 2010).

How to apply?

If you are interested in applying, then please discuss this with your head of department and return your completed application by email to developingleaders@epsrc.ac.uk by 12.00 (noon) Friday 2 March 2012.

Your application must consist of the following– as 4 separate attachments:

  1. Completed proforma (supplied with this letter, maximum 4 sides A4)
  2. Host Organisation Statement (up to 1 side of A4)
  3. Breakdown of requested resources (excel template supplied with this letter must be completed and returned)
  4. Justification of Resources (up to 2 sides of A4)

Please note font size 11 is the minimum acceptable. No other documentation will be accepted.

Please note that institutional approval of your submission is mandatory and your research office must approve the costings submitted and be made aware of the fixed term nature of the funding. Your Head of Department must complete a Host Organisation Statement, outlining their institutional approval for your application against the New Directions for EPSRC Research Leaders initiative and detail any additional resources that the university will provide in support of your application.

Your application will be assessed by an independent Assessment Panel. The assessment process will take into account your progress against the stated vision of your fellowship.

Each application will be assessed against:

  • Research quality
  • Expected benefits and added value (in particular enhancing future career opportunities) of the additional investment
  • How the additional support will maximise the impact of the fellowship
  • Level of institutional support and commitment to your career as evidenced through the Host Organisation Statement
  • Resources and management

A funding decision will be made at the end of March 2012 and you will be informed of the outcome as soon as possible thereafter. If your proposal is deemed to be successful, funding will be added to your fellowship award.


We will keep in touch with you to find out about your experiences, and we will expect you to cover New Directions for EPSRC Research Leaders initiative in any progress and final reports requested by EPSRC.

For more information

If you have any questions on this initiative please contact developingleaders@epsrc.ac.uk

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