UKRI Interdisciplinary Circular Economy Coordinator

UK Research & Innovation invites proposals to be the Interdisciplinary Circular Economy Coordinator. Up to £150k (at 80% FEC) is available for this initial grant to engage with the full spectrum of interdisciplinary research and stakeholder communities and design a proposal for an Interdisciplinary Circular Economy Hub, with up to £3.3m available at the second stage for the Coordinator to lead the integration Hub.

The initial £150k grant will be used by the Coordinator to build an interdisciplinary community to develop the proposal for the Hub, as well as engaging in relevant knowledge exchange and coordination activities. Funds can be requested for the Coordinator’s time, and to fund networking activities, workshops and general admin support during this period. UKRI welcomes and encourages applications led by and involving any discipline – and not only disciplines within EPSRC’s remit.

The successful Coordinator will then submit a subsequent proposal for the interdisciplinary Circular Economy Hub, with up to £3.3m available for up to 3 years, 9 months from 1 January 2021.

The UK has potential to grow and prosper sustainably by transitioning to a more circular economy, where resources are processed with sustainability, waste minimisation and efficiency in mind, and where product lifecycles are optimised to generate more economic and social value before recycling and/or reuse. However, this transition requires clear, evidence-based, implementation pathways, with broad underpinning research evidence. It must provide not only technical, technological and scientific advances, but also the social, behavioural, cultural, ethical, environmental, economic, legal and regulatory understanding required to support a successful transition.

To address this, the £30 million UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Interdisciplinary Circular Economy programme will be delivered by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), and Innovate UK. This fund will support the creation of up to 5 interdisciplinary research centres, and a Coordinator who will lead an integration hub.

This is the first of a two stage process. The available funding at this first stage is to fund a Coordinator to lead the scoping and development of a proposal for a Circular Economy Hub. At this first stage, applicants must:

  • Submit an Intent to Submit by 16.00 on 31 October 2019 via the form on the call page, and
  • Submit a full proposal by 16.00 on 19 November 2019 via Je-S.

Applicants are encouraged to contact UKRI to discuss their interest in applying to be the Interdisciplinary Circular Economy Coordinator.

UKRI are running a concurrent call to establish Interdisciplinary Circular Economy Centres, each focused on a different nationally-important resource flow. The Hub will be expected to work with the Centres (and vice versa), to integrate the overall programme. Details of the Centres call are available; we recommend that potential applicants read both call documents to familiarise themselves with the scope and format of the overall programme.

UKRI will be running two webinar (interactive online meeting) sessions to give potential applicants to both calls an opportunity to learn more about the programme. These will run on 17 October 11.00-12.30 and 22 October 13.30 – 15.00.

The webinars will cover:

  • Background Information
  • Vision and Objectives of both Calls
  • Eligibility and Funding Restrictions
  • Assessment Criteria

There will also be an opportunity to ask any questions you might have about this activity.

If you would like to attend, please register your interest by emailing circular.economy@epsrc.ukri.org identifying which webinar you wish to attend. Both webinars will cover the same information. Instructions on how to access the webinar will then be sent to you. The deadline for registration will be 24 hours before each webinar.

We recommend that attendees read both call documents in preparation for their webinar.

For those who are unable to attend either webinar, FAQs will be added to this call page once the webinars have been completed.

Please complete the Intent to Submit form below. If you have any issues with the embedded form, you can also access it following the SmartSurvey link.