Strategic Equipment Process

The diagram on this page demonstrates the EPSRC approach to equipment funding; the most appropriate scheme or schemes to apply for are expressed as a function of the scale (from single user to national facility) and the nature of the equipment (from essential underpinning equipment to the cutting edge of innovation). Further details of each of the schemes are described in the following sections.

Loading...

Loading...

 

Introduction

Strategic Equipment is intended to enhance UK scientific capability and support a portfolio of high-quality, cutting-edge research of high priority to EPSRC; it can include both existing and potential research projects. The request should fit with the host university strategy and enable research that predominantly falls within EPSRC's remit. This scheme can fund individual or combined assets with a value over £400,000. Strategic Equipment could include, but is not limited to, enabling technology that increases novel research capability, or high-specification equipment that enables research through increased capacity (e.g. faster, higher resolution or more cost-effective results). Applications for Strategic Equipment should not include underpinning equipment that we would expect to see in a well-found lab.

EPSRC wishes to encourage a culture of equipment sharing where appropriate in order to maximise usage within the research group, across institution(s) or across the UK. As such, Strategic Equipment should account for the national picture, both in terms of equipment available and research being undertaken. EPSRC has worked with the academic community to prepare several Equipment Roadmaps; Strategic Equipment applications should take these into account where applicable.

Items of equipment with a value of £400,000 or more can be applied for through this process. Please note that the threshold applies to individually capitalisable assets, rather than by accumulating the value of a number of assets, except where individual assets are clearly intended to be used together as a combined asset. Please note that the choice of this threshold does not imply any consequences for university procurement and tendering rules.

Forthcoming deadlines and meeting dates

The following table contains information on the upcoming deadlines for the Strategic Equipment Scheme along with provisional outline and interview panel dates.

Outline submission deadline Outline panel date Provisional interview panel date
Thursday 30 November 2017 January 2018 July 2018
Tuesday 08 May 2018 May/June 2018 November 2018
Wednesday 05 September 2018 Sept/Oct 2018 March 2019
Tuesday 04 December 2018 January 2019 July 2019

 

For details on how to apply, please refer to the process for submission and assessment of cases for Strategic Equipment

If you have any questions please get in touch with the Research Infrastructure contacts at the bottom of this page.

Overview and map of the process for strategic equipment

  1. Two-page draft business case submitted to EPSRC through Je-S. Draft business case is then assessed against the published assessment criteria by the internal EPSRC outline panel. Or EPSRC identifies strategic requirement for a particular item of equipment.
  2. EPSRC either invites a full business case as a separate proposal though Je-S or does not invite a full business case.
  3. Full business cases are assessed by a postal peer review stage. Unsupportive reviews lead to the full business case being rejected prior to panel. If supportive reviews are received these are shared with the applicant and the applicant can provide a two-page PI response.
  4. Interview with the Strategic Equipment Panel. The Strategic Equipment Panel provide a rank-ordered list and advise on whether the equipment should be funded.

Funding to support the sharing of an item of capital equipment already in place - resource-only strategic equipment

Proposals of this nature can only be submitted when invited by the relevant EPSRC Theme lead. To discuss a potential proposal for support of existing capital equipment please contact the Theme via the contacts listed at the bottom of this page.

This funding route is intended to maximise usage of equipment which has already been procured, delivered and installed. The equipment may be EPSRC-funded but could also have been entirely funded from other sources. Proposals for this type of support will be assessed alongside proposals for items of equipment and should address similar assessment criteria. Funding for research projects cannot not be requested via this mechanism; as a consequence EPSRC does not normally expect to see postdoctoral researcher effort requested as part of these proposals. Applicants must only apply for funding which will ensure wider sharing of equipment in order to maximise usage. If EPSRC has already provided funding to use an item of equipment through a research grant, the reasons why the current funding does not allow the equipment to be used to its maximum must be articulated. Examples of support that can be requested include (but are not limited to) increased technician time or additional roles to provide training and/or research services not previously available, improved booking software, and improved advertisement of capabilities.

Proposals must be for a maximum duration of two years and should show a clear plan for sustainability after the two year period. It is not anticipated that more funding through this specific route will be needed after the first application - therefore further applications to support sharing of the same item(s) of equipment will not be accepted.

For details on how to apply, please refer to the process for submission and assessment of cases for Resource Only Strategic Equipment.

Overview and map of the process for resource-only strategic equipment

  1. Application invited by EPSRC theme lead.
  2. Two-page draft business case submitted to EPSRC through Je-S. Draft business case is assessed against the published assessment criteria by the internal EPSRC outline panel. Outlines be assessed in competition with requests for equipment. Or EPSRC identifies strategic requirement for a particular item of equipment.
  3. EPSRC either invites full business case as a separate proposal though Je-S or does not invite full business case.
  4. Full business cases are assessed by a postal peer review stage. Unsupportive reviews lead to the full business case being rejected prior to panel. If supportive reviews are received these are shared with the applicant and the applicant can provide a two-page PI response.
  5. Assessed by the Strategic Equipment Panel. The Strategic Equipment Panel provide a rank-ordered list and advise on whether the equipment should be funded.

Contacts