UK High Field Solid-State NMR National Research Facility

Following the 2018 Statement of Need process, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) in association with the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), would like to support a UK High-Field Solid-State NMR National Research Facility that provides access to a range of cutting edge instruments, expertise and techniques in high-field solid-state NMR to support excellent research spanning disciplinary boundaries.

The facility will enable world leading research with the potential for commercial exploitation and ground breaking impact on the UK economy as well as wider societal benefits. It must facilitate timely access for a broad community of researchers with varying levels of expertise from the physical sciences, engineering and biosciences. Users from a wide range of disciplines are expected to be supported via appropriate and tailored package(s) of support from experimental design to data analysis and interpretation, including provision of a central suite of data analytic tools.

The facility must provide ongoing effective training, support and development of the next generation of researchers and skilled instrument scientists/specialists (research technical professionals (RTPs)) trained on high(est)-field solid-state NMR systems. It must act as a beacon for researchers who use and develop solid-state NMR and a focal point for the development of new techniques and best practice. To this end it is expected to work with relevant industry partners to carry out software, technique and instrument development to generate new cutting-edge tools for the community.

The facility is expected to actively promote solid-state NMR, and grow and expand the user base by bringing in new academic users (both within and outside the host institution(s)), and industrial users (incl. new companies) from across the UK. It should provide new communities and non-traditional users with a single point of access to a community of solid-state NMR experts, and support the triaging of users to the most appropriate nationally available solid-state NMR instrument(s) for their experimental need.

Total funding of up to £3.0 million is available for a period of five years. Funding can include costs associated with software, technique and instrument developments necessary for providing internationally relevant high-field solid-state NMR equipment and tools over the grant duration. No costs for research effort will be provided. Funding is expected to include technical effort to support new users with varying levels of prior experience, from a wide and diversified community of users.

Proposals will undergo postal peer review, followed by assessment at an interview panel resulting in a rank-ordered list. Standard eligibility rules apply. Detailed criteria have been identified by an expert specification panel and applications should make sure to address these in full.

As a National Research Facility we will be looking for strong evidence of user-led input into submitted proposals.