Mid-Range Facilities and Strategic Equipment strategies: how do they operate together?


Mid range facility Strategic equipment

Yearly opportunity for Statements of Need. Only one Statement of Need per facility type.

Process is open to all and can submit at any time for equipment of the proposers' own choice

Supported following Statements of Need process and then call for tenders

Supported following submission through EPSRC sift panel and expert interview panel

Provides service that no one university can support - either large equipment or dedicated expertise; focusing on the service aspect in support of a wide research community

Underpins research which can be carried out at one university or at several - can be supported to provide a sharing element

Required and expected to provide a service – no research is funded unless it is to underpin service - a Service level Agreement (SLA) is in place and is regularly monitored with penalties in place if not meeting targets

Research enabled is the key focus - mechanisms for sharing (if applicable) will be monitored but not measured

Seen as a “flagship” investment for EPSRC the management of which will be overseen by EPSRC - a lot of staff effort

Seen as a key strategic investment for EPSRC that will be primarily managed by the universities

Contract signed by senior member of  Facility provider (usually but not required to be a University)

Equipment Account (awarded via a grant) held by senior member of the  Institution

Expectation that usage will be determined by open (and sometimes competitive) mechanism across EPSRC remit. A clear access mechanism should be in place.

Expectation that usage will be determined to best meet the strategy of the institution and the research area

Should be leading the UK strategy in the technique and usage - scientific champion/engaging overseas etc. Should support and align with EPSRC’s strategy.

Should be leading in the research that is being enabled by the equipment

May include an element of equipment development

Will not support equipment development proposals (which can be funded through research proposals)

Communities are asked to provide a cost estimate in their Statement of Need. Will have an indicative budget limit in the tender document.

No maximum limit. Total cost of item of equipment must be above the OJEU threshold

Statements of Need will be tensioned against each other and against the existing Mid-range Facility portfolio on a yearly basis. Competing tenders will be assessed based on published specifications.

Will be ranked against varied items of equipment, and resource requests to support equipment, from across EPSRC’s remit.