The ESRC’s ‘First Grants Scheme’ for 2009-10 is now open. The scheme is intended to provide funding for new researchers to gain experience in managing and leading research projects. In order to be eligible, you must not have been a PI on any other Research Council award, and must normally be within 6 years of completion of the doctorate (although those who have had a career break or who have other exceptional circumstances may still apply – such applications are considered on a case-by-case basis). If you hold an RCUK Fellowship, or are currently funded from a non-Research Council source you are eligible to apply.
Applications may be up to three years in length, and up to £400,000 at 100% of Full Economic Costs (fEC). However, a maximum of 40% of the PI’s salary costs can be claimed. While you do not have to be a permanent member of staff to apply, you do have to demonstrate that you have the agreement of a recognised ‘Research Organisation’ to support your research and to pay the remining 60% of your salary for the duration of the award.
The deadline for the submission of Outline proposals is 4 pm on 26 November 2009. Proposals received after this time will be rejected. ESRC will inform successful applicants by email and letter by 22 February 2010. The assessment of proposals will again be a two stage process; an Outline Stage will enable applications to be shortlisted and a number of applicants will be invited to submit applications to the Full Proposal stage.
For full details on how to apply, go to: http://www.esrc.ac.uk/ESRCInfoCentre/opportunities/current_funding_opportunities/FG10.aspx
If you intend to apply, you should also contact your school’s Research Development Manager or Research Support Officer who will be able to offer invaluable advice on your application. You should also read all of the ESRC documentation very carefully to ensure that you are eligible to make an application, and that your application is as strong as possible. You should also allow plenty of time to complete the application so that you can get feedback from a supervisor, line-manager, PI or colleague and be aware that internal deadlines will apply in order for the University to process and/or approve your application ahead of the ESRC deadline.