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UK Prevention Research Partnership (UKPRP) Network Award


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  1. Network call process
  2. Outline application and guidance for Network Awards
  3. Aims of the call for Network Awards
  4. Funding available
  5. Assessment process
  6. Assessment criteria for outline network applications
  7. Key dates
  8. Contacts

Researchers are invited to submit outline proposals for funding for the UK Prevention Research Partnership Network Awards (UKPRP Networks). These will support interdisciplinary networking activity around a broad challenge in primary prevention research on non-communicable diseases (NCDs). Networking will enable a common language and understanding to be developed between diverse disciplines, enabling them to work productively together to address challenges in preventing NCDs that require new insights and new research communities to be built around them. These awards will provide up to four years support. Each award will fund the operating and supporting costs of the network, as well as some limited funding for some feasibility work to pump prime a new research collaboration.

A core part of these networks will be visionary leadership at the outset and a strong drive to build a diverse community with a broad range of research expertise, drawn from across numerous, and relevant disciplines, and from non-academic sectors, e.g. entrepreneurs or social enterprises. This can also include those working in the prevention arena that do not primarily have a health focus. The aim of networks is to draw together expertise from various sectors to generate new insights to address challenges in the primary prevention of NCDs.

1. Network call process 

There will be a two-stage process for applications for Network Awards.

(i) Outline Application - The outline application form for Network Awards and guidance. 

Ensure you fully review the network guidance (PDF, 310KB) and the outline application form (DOCX, 24KB).

(ii) Full application - Guidance for the full application for Network Awards will be made available to successful outline applicants in due course.  

2.  Outline application and guidance for Network Awards 

Applicants must first submit an outline application via email using the case for support form for Network Awards (DOCX, 24KB) and accompanying guidance (PDF, 310KB). The purpose of the outline application is to ascertain the potential of the planned Network to fulfil the UKPRP objectives.

Applicants should complete the outline case for support for Network Awards using Arial 11pt typeface and then submit this as a MS Word document to UKPRP@headoffice.mrc.ac.uk. The detailed guidance (PDF, 310KB) advises applicants how to complete the outline case for support form. Outlines must be received by 16:00 on 18 January 2018.

The UK’s MRC will administer this call for outline proposals on behalf of the UKPRP.

3. Aims of the call for Network Awards 

The main objective of a Network will be to create new interdisciplinary research communities and new topics relevant to disease prevention research, by developing interactions between the research community and appropriate science, policy, community, technology, public and third sector, user and industrial groups. The aims of the call are therefore to:

  • transfer research techniques, for example experimental techniques, models and scientific insights across disciplines in pursuit of new approaches to primary prevention research on NCDs.
  • promote mobility of expertise between academia, universities, policy, practice and/or industry that builds capacity and capability to undertake completely novel approaches to primary prevention research.
  • support networking long enough for a group comprising of different disciplines and sectors to build a shared language and vision (facilitated by the umbrella of the partnership) and to agree goals that all members of the Network will want to reach.

The UKPRP funding for networks will develop future capacity in the UK to address NCD prevention challenges. In the long-term, networks will be positioned to apply for funding to lead new collaborative interdisciplinary and cross-sectoral research proposals as networks would have developed the critical mass of expertise that can be brought to bear on a disease prevention challenge.

Applicants may be the Principal Investigator (PI) on only one application for a network award. However, individuals can act as Co-investigators (Co-Is) on any number of applications. Please note that the assessment will consider the level of engagement of Co-Is with the networks and their capacity to meet these requirements.

4. Funding available 

There is no fixed budget for this call but we hope to establish four to six UKPRP networks, each supported by £100k per annum for a duration of up to 48 months. Each award will fund the operating and supporting costs of the UKPRP network as well some limited pump-priming. Requests for funding may include:

  • Investigators’ salaries - The PI and Co-Is who can request funds to cover their salary costs for the time spent on setting up and managing the network. Time spent by the PI and Co-Is on the co-ordination of the network should be reasonable and is not expected to form the majority of the cost of the proposal. The salary costs of network participants should not be included in the proposal and we would not expect these individuals to be Co-Investigators.
  • Travel and subsistence - Travel and subsistence enabling members of a network to meet to exchange ideas and expertise. This may include visits by or to experts overseas. Industrial collaborators should meet their own travel costs.
  • Administrative support - Funding for administrative support can be requested to help in the co-ordination of a network. Costs should be reasonable and ideally only form a small part of the request for funding. Reasonable costs for monitoring and dissemination of a network’s output can also be included.
  • Organisation of activities - Funding can be requested for costs involved in running activities such as networking events, expert working groups, debates, online discussion forums, lectures, seminars, short term people placements or exchanges, problem solving and workshops, skills training etc. Applicants are encouraged to think creatively about the range of activities that could support the delivery of a network’s goals. A limited amount of the overall cost could be allocated to some feasibility research to help cement a collaboration or to underpin further work to help the case for a grant application. For example, discipline hopping, feasibility studies, proof of concept. Funding can help to purchase a small amount of consumables, travel and subsistence related to this activity. Activities are expected to be open to the wider community i.e. beyond the network membership.

A proactive and enthusiastic network leader/leadership team is an essential component of a successful network. It is expected that networks will grow over the period of the award and should be inclusive and open. Networks should therefore also have web and social networking presence.

5. Assessment process 

Applications will be assessed by an Expert Review Group comprised of senior independent academics from the UK and overseas, and user representatives. The Group’s expertise will reflect the breadth of disciplines involved in the networks. The Expert Review Group will feedback to the applicants and the funders, and might advise on how to better mould and/or rationalise the bids, especially where approaches to making linkages could be stronger.     

Please note also that the details of successful outline proposals will be published on websites, including Research Councils UK Gateway to Research to provide an opportunity for additional groups with complementary skills, expertise or resources to contact the Principal Investigator.

6. Assessment criteria for outline network applications 

Applicants should consider carefully the following criteria which will be taken into account by the Expert Review Group when assessing proposals:

  • Fit to the aims of UKPRP.
  • How novel the network is and whether it brings together disciplines and actors that may not normally be involved in disease prevention research.
  • The contribution the network will make towards addressing the prevention research challenge.
  • Potential of the network to deliver high quality research of national importance.
  • Suitability of core management team - the strength of the proposed network and the range of expertise of the initial members.
  • Plans for wider engagement (academics, users etc.) - mechanism for widening the participation and collaboration with other relevant disciplines and interactions with international leaders in the field as well as linkages to non-academic sectors.
  • Network activities - the extent to which the planned activities allow the generation of ideas and implementation of plans to address the needs of prevention research.
  • Resources and Management – the appropriateness of the requested resources and the effectiveness of the proposed management structure and plans.
  • Management of feasibility funding.
  • Sustainability of the activity after the lifetime of the grant.
  • Impact:
    • Existence of clearly thought through and acceptable pathways to impact
    • Appropriate engagement plans with users to accelerate impact.
    • Appropriateness of communication and knowledge exchange plans. 

7. Key dates 

Launch of call

30 October 2017

Closing date for outline applications

18 January 2018

Outline applications assessed by panel

26 April 2018

Outline proposal feedback

May 2018

Closing date for full applications        

20 November 2018

Full applications assessed, includes an interview

February 2019

8. Contacts 

If you have a query about the scientific aspects of your proposal, please contact Dr Inga Mills, Programme Manager for the UKPRP, by email: inga.mills@headoffice.mrc.ac.uk. To discuss your eligibility or any other non-scientific queries please contact the UKPRP Secretariat at UKPRP@headoffice.mrc.ac.uk

See also: