Programme Grants - outline stage

All applications must go through an outline stage. If an outline submission is agreed it is expected that this will be received within a reasonable timeframe (in other words for one of the next two outline meetings). If there is a delay in submission we reserve the right to request a revised pre-outline.

The only document required is a four page case for support. You may also include a cover letter if you wish but this any other attachments will not be used in the outline assessment process.

The deadline for submission of outlines through Je-S is the last working Friday of the month prior to the panel meeting. Please contact your university research office for help and advice on writing your proposal and allow enough time before the closing date for your organisation’s submission process.

Format of case for support for outline proposal

The case for support should be a maximum of four pages and must be under the following headings. Please note that outlines are assessed against these headings so it is essential that they are all addressed within the four pages. Information submitted by the applicant outside the case for support document will not be used in the assessment of the outline.

All attachments must be completed in single-spaced typescript in Arial 11 or other sans serif typeface of equivalent size, with margins of at least 2cm Arial narrow and Calibri are not allowable font types. Text in embedded diagrams or pictures, numerical formulae or references can be smaller, as long as it is legible. Text in tables and figure labels not within embedded diagrams or pictures should be at least 11 point.

We recommend that all attachments are uploaded into Je-S as Adobe Acrobat files (PDF) as uploading word documents can result in layout changes to the document. Also, as EPSRC do not support all Microsoft Office Word font types, unsupported fonts will be replaced possibly resulting in layout changes to the document.

The case for support must be a single document uploaded to the Joint electronic Submission (Je-S) system which includes the following sections within the four pages:

  • Track record and international benchmarking
  • Vision and ambition
  • Added value
  • Inter-relation of research projects
  • National importance
  • Management and monitoring
  • Resources
  • Impact

Guidance for Previous Programme Grant holders

The following should be included in addition to the information detailed above and within the four page limit.

  • Track record - Please explain what changes to the team have been made and why
  • Vision and ambition - Please explain how this is a significantly different research challenge to your existing Programme Grant

Assessment process for outline proposals

An internal sift process will be used to decide whether EPSRC will invite applicants to submit a full proposal to the Programme Grant Scheme. The decision will be based on fit of the proposal to the spirit of the Programme Grant scheme. The internal panel will base their assessment on the information supplied by the applicant against the assessment criteria for the outline stage.

Applicants will be informed whether they are invited to submit a full proposal shortly after the meeting at which their outline proposal is considered.

This process is not subject to the Repeatedly Unsuccessful Applicants Policy.

Submitting your outline proposal

Outlines should be submitted using the Research Councils' Joint electronic Submission (Je-S) System.

When adding a new proposal, you should select:

  • Council 'EPSRC'
  • Document type 'Outline Proposal'
  • Scheme 'EPSRC Outline'
  • On the Project Details page you should select the ‘Programme Grant Outline’ call.

Proposals must be submitted on one common Je-S proposal form even if they are multi-institutional bids.

The following sections of the outline Je-S form: Objectives, Summary, Academic Beneficiaries and Impact will not form part of the assessment. You should not refer to these in your outline and all relevant information must be contained within your case for support. Please enter ‘N/A’ as placeholder text in these sections of the Je-S form.

Guidance on the types of support that may be sought and advice on the completion of the research proposal forms should be consulted when preparing all proposals.

The EPSRC Funding Guide contains information on the eligibility of organisations and individuals.

Batch meetings for outlines will be held every two months in February, April, June, August, October and December. EPSRC must receive your proposal by the last working Friday in the month preceding the batch meeting. For example, to be considered at the October batch meeting your proposal would have to reach us by the last Friday in September.

Note that clicking 'submit document' on your proposal form in Je-S initially submits the proposal to your host organisation's administration, not to EPSRC. Please allow sufficient time for your organisation's submission process between submitting your proposal to them and the last working Friday in the month preceding the batch meeting. EPSRC must receive your application by 16:00 on the closing date.