This programme is now closed for applications. 

What is the Research Chair/Senior Research Fellowship scheme?

Who can apply?

What are the benefits of the programme?

Is the programme FEC?

What does the programme fund?

What does the programme not fund?

What are the key dates to know?

What is the review process?

How do I apply?

Can I submit two ideas?

Can I reapply?

Who to contact for further information?

What level of contribution is expected from the industry sponsor?

What are the common reasons that applications are unsuccessful?


What is the Research Chair/Senior Research Fellowship scheme?

This scheme aims to strengthen the links between industry and academia by supporting exceptional academics in UK universities to undertake use-inspired research that meets the needs of the industrial partners. 

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Who can apply?

Research Chairs are professorial appointments, so applicants should already be a professor or equivalent.

Senior Research Fellowships are senior academic appointments, so applicants should already be a Reader or Lecturer level or equivalent.

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What are the benefits of the programme?

In this round, the Academy’s contribution will be capped at a maximum of £45k per annum which equates to a total of £225k over five years.

  • The awardee will be provided with a mentor (a Fellow of the Academy) to provide independent expert advice and guidance on research related matters throughout the duration of the award.
  • Networking opportunities with and through the Academy’s Fellowship and events programme.
  • Training and additional funding opportunities provided by the Academy,
  • The awardee can spend no more than 4 hours per week on teaching/administration duties enabling them to focus on delivering use-inspired research, that creates impact for their industrial sponsor.

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​Is the programme FEC?​

The Academy will fund up to one third (1/3rd) of 80% of the full economic costs (fEC). The allowed costs are: gross salary, indirect cost and estates.

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What does the programme fund?

The programme is designed to provide part of the funding for a collaboration between the applicant, their industry sponsor, and their host university. The Academy contribution is towards the applicant’s salary. The University contribution could, or perhaps should, involve new academic staff positions, investment in facilities as well as PhD studentship support. The industry funding can be used flexibly to support the collaborative research project.

The expectation is that awardees will:

  • Establish or enhance a world leading engineering research group
  • Deliver ‘use-inspired’ research that meets the needs of their industrial sponsor
  • Disseminate the outcomes of their research for appropriate academic use
  • Become a self-sustaining research group by the end of the award (by securing substantial external grant income: RCUK, EU, industry, charities, etc.)

What does the programme not fund?

This award is not intended to support contract research or a consultancy agreement.

The Academy is not able to cover the costs of the apprenticeship levy on research grants.

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What are the key dates to know?

Frequency of award cycle

The award opens for applications twice a year, one closing around March and another in September. The current application round closes at 4pm, Tuesday 3 September 2019. 

Timeline of application process

  • Stage 1: Eligibility check: 1 week
  • Stage 2: Expert Review: 8 weeks
  • Stage 3: Selection Panel: 2 weeks 
  • Stage 4: Interviews: 3 weeks
  • Stage 5: Decision: 2 weeks

Start date of award

All awards made in this round must start 1 March 2020. In general awards start six months after applications close.

Duration of award

The duration of an award is five years, normally on a full-time basis. Applications requesting funding for less than five years will not be accepted. 

We would like to support you to achieve a balance between your personal and work demands. We are happy to discuss individual requirements and consider part time and other flexible working arrangements.

Extensions to the appointment are permitted. For eligibility and further details please contact the Research team.

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What is the programme review process?

Expert Review: The full application will receive a minimum of three expert reviews (usually Fellows of the Academy). Reviewers will provide comments against each of the following assessment criteria, the overall quality of the application and a recommendation on whether they should proceed to interview.

  • Quality of the candidate
  • Quality of the collaborative research programme
  • Strength of the strategic partnership
  • Beneficiaries and impact

Sift panel: Applications will then be considered by the sift panel, consisting of Academy Fellows, who will rank the applications and select candidates for interview. Each applicant will be considered by two panel members, one with expertise in your area and one without. Those applicants not asked to attend an interview will be informed of this decision as soon as possible following the sift panel’s decision.

Interview: The interviews (60 minutes) will be conducted by a generalist panel consisting of three Academy Fellows. Panellists will provide comments against the assessment criteria outlined above. The ranking of candidates during the preceding sift panels will have no bearing at interview, with all interview candidates considered to have equal standing. Following the interviews, the panel will rank the applications and select the top ranked candidates for awards. The candidate, their pro-vice chancellor (Research) and/or dean and a representative from the industry sponsor are required to attend the interview.

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How do I apply?

Applications must be submitted via the online grants system.

 

​Can I submit two ideas?

​No.

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Can I reapply?

Resubmission by invitation only.

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What reporting requirements will be expected of me throughout the duration of the award?

Annual reports and annual review meetings are required.

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Who to contact for further information?

Lucy Wheeler, Senior Programme Manager.

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What level of contribution is required from the industry sponsor?

The industrial sponsor should contribute at least £250,000 towards this collaborative research project over the five-year period. This can include both cash and in-kind support. It can be used flexibly to support the project (e.g. PhDs, PDRAs, equipment, consumables). In-kind contributions must be fully costed and justified.

The amount of funding the industrial sponsor is willing to contribute is an important assessment criterion, being an indicator of the level of commitment to the post and the level of ambition for the group to be created.

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What are common reasons why applicants are unsuccessful?

The candidate does not hold a position eligible for funding. Applications will only be considered from candidates who already hold a permanent academic post at an appropriate level

Industry sponsor is not of a scale or capability to sustain research activity for the duration of the programme. In addition, the industrial sponsor does not articulate how the engagement with the academic will benefit the company and how they will seek to balance the long-term research with their needs

Poor university support: the university is expected to explain their investment in the individual and the group and how it fits into their wider long-term research and investment strategy. This investment could, or perhaps should, involve new academic staff positions, investment in facilities as well as PhD studentship support.

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