Future Research Leaders call 2015/16 Guidance notes for non-academic reviewers

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1 Future Research Leaders call 2015/16 Guidance notes for non-academic reviewers Introduction... 1 Aims and objectives... 1 Procedure... 3 Peer Review form on Je-S... 3 The decision-making process... 3 Assessment criteria... 4 Overall grading... 5 Scientific merit... 5 Comments... 6 Annex I: Future Research Leaders Call specification 2015/ Introduction These notes provide guidance on the process for reviewing proposals received under the Future Research Leaders scheme. Before you begin your assessments, please read the specification for this scheme and familiarise yourself with its aims and objectives. The call specification is attached at Annex I for reference. This guidance should also be read in conjunction with the Je-S Helptext for reviewers. Aims and objectives This scheme aims to: Enable outstanding early-career social scientists, in partnership with their host organisation, to acquire the skills set to become the future world leaders in their field Fund excellent social science research projects. As such, applicants are expected to undertake a range of activities as part of a Future Research Leader award. Successful proposals must include: A well-defined high-quality research project with strong plans for maximising potential impact. In many cases it may involve co-production of knowledge with the business community, the public sector, the civil society sector and the wider community. 1

2 A programme of research skills development in collaboration with the grant holder s host organisation, including the appointment of a named research mentor of high international research standing. A programme of activities to develop skills in knowledge exchange, and a clear strategy to build relationships and networks with potential beneficiaries and users of the grant holder s research, potentially including the business community and/or the public sector and/or the civil society sector. A clear articulation of how receipt of a Future Research Leaders grant will have a demonstrable benefit to the applicant s research career, including plans to build on previous achievements, as well as how they are proposing to use the developmental aspects of the grant (eg skills training, networking opportunities, knowledge exchange activities) to accelerate personal development and expertise. When reviewing a proposal you need to consider the extent to which it has addressed the aims of the scheme. Please note the following key changes from previous rounds of the scheme: Successful applicants will be provided with up to two years funding for those employed on a full-time basis. Those employed part-time on a contract of 0.5 FTE or above can apply for up to four years funding on a pro-rata basis. Applicants who have not yet submitted their PhD or those who submitted their PhD less than two years prior to the call closing date can apply for up to 230,000 (100 per cent fec). We will fund up to 80 per cent of the grant holder s time; the host research organisation must support the remainder of the grant holder s normal salary throughout the period of the grant. Applicants who submitted their PhD more than two years prior to the call closing date can apply for up to 184,000 (100 per cent fec). We will fund up to 40 per cent of the grant holder s time; the host research organisation must support the remainder of the grant holder s normal salary throughout the period of the grant. We aim to fund around 40 proposals in this call. In this year s call we are not encouraging any priority areas for research proposals. Please take account of the applicant s career stage when reviewing proposals so that those applicants who have not yet submitted their PhD or have submitted recently are not disadvantaged in comparison with those more established in academia. Inter/multidisciplinary working is strongly encouraged in this scheme, although proposals must demonstrate that at least 50 per cent of the proposed programme of research is within ESRC remit. Please note that proposals at the interface of ESRC and MRC remits can be submitted to this scheme or the relevant equivalent MRC scheme. The proposals may be jointly funded by the councils under an extension of the cross-council funding agreement specifically for this scheme. 2

3 Procedure This is the fifth round of this scheme and to assist the ESRC in preparing for peer review, the assessment of proposals was a two-stage process. 236 proposals were initially assessed by members of a Sift Panel (predominantly chosen from the ESRC Peer Review College) and the highest scored proposals were shortlisted for full peer review. Final funding decisions will be made by a specially constituted Commissioning Panel at a meeting in May Panel membership will include both academic and non-academic members. You have been sent a proposal as a non-academic reviewer alongside academic reviewers for expert comment. Academic reviewers are predominantly chosen from the ESRC Peer Review College and the applicants themselves can also nominate reviewers from which we approach one of the academic and non-academic nominees (if applicable). The ESRC encourages applicants to consider the wider relevance of their research outside the academic community; in particular, how potential users of the research might effectively be engaged in the research process, and how the research can be communicated to nonacademic audiences. It welcomes the views of potential users on the likely usefulness of the proposal, on possible improvements to the design, and on the adequacy of plans for user engagement and dissemination. As described in the call specification, a key feature of the Future Research Leaders Scheme is that applicants are expected to have programme of activities to develop skills in knowledge exchange, and a clear strategy to build relationships and networks with potential beneficiaries and users of the grant holder s research. Non-academic reviewers may want to pay particular attention to these aspects of the proposal. We do realise that everyone we approach is already very busy but a timely response from reviewers is crucial. If insufficient reviews are received by the due date we have to approach additional reviewers. Therefore, if you feel that you would like to comment but cannot meet the requested deadline, please contact us as soon as possible to see whether it is feasible to extend the deadline. If you are unable to review the application, please decline the Je-S invite as soon as possible to enable the office to select an alternative reviewer. If you feel you are unable to help us in this instance any recommendations you may have for alternative non-academic reviewers would be greatly appreciated. Peer Review form on Je-S You have been invited to undertake this peer review through the Research Councils Joint Electronic Submissions System (Je-S). You will be asked to complete a brief section on your knowledge of the applicant, a self-assessment section, and to allocate a grade on a number of categories, as outlined on page 5 of this document. You will then be asked to allocate an overall grade for the proposal and provide comments in support of this grade. Please ensure that your overall grade reflects your written comments. The decision-making process Seventy-two proposals have been shortlisted for full peer review. Your assistance is requested in supporting the peer review of the shortlisted proposals. The proposals will 3

4 then be considered by a specially convened Commissioning Panel in May 2016 (a minimum number of peer review comments need to have been received to assist the discussion of proposals by the Commissioning Panel). Proposals where the average reviewer grading is below a minimum threshold are normally rejected without referral to the Panel. Therefore reviewers grades and comments are vital to the assessment process. Proposals that receive supportive review will be forwarded to the Panel for consideration at its meeting in September, together with the reviewer comments and grades. Prior to consideration by the Panel, each proposal is also assessed by two Panel introducers. They provide an overall grade and comments on their allocated proposals and those proposals with the highest introducer scores are sent to all Panel members before the meeting along with the corresponding reviewers comments. Funding decisions are made at the meeting and each proposal is given a final grade. In view of the large number of proposals it is not possible to provide applicants with detailed feedback on the Panel s discussions. However, anonymised copies of reviewer and introducer comments are sent to applicants. Assessment criteria Detailed below are the grading and assessment criteria to be used when reviewing the proposals. In addition, reviewers should note the following: Reviewers should not assess proposals with which they have a conflict of interest with the applicant, the mentor, or Research Organisation (you should not assess proposals from your own institution). Please notify the office if you have been allocated a proposal with which you have a conflict of interest. As a reviewer, you are not allowed to disclose to outsiders any information concerning application documents or evaluations, nor are you allowed to use this confidential information to your own benefit or anyone else s benefit or disadvantage. In addition, you may not reveal to outsiders that you are assessing the research plans of particular researchers. Once the evaluation has been completed, you are required to destroy all application documents and any copies made of them. Confidentiality must also be maintained after the evaluation process has been completed. You should bear in mind that applicants to this scheme are early-career researchers and academics at the start of their careers, and your assessments should take this into consideration. You should judge Future Research Leaders proposals on the level of knowledge and experience that is appropriate to someone at the start of their career and not judge the proposals against more ambitious research undertaken by more senior academics. Proposals should be assessed against the following criteria: Research Proposal: 50 per cent of the score to include: o Originality, potential contribution to knowledge, ie research excellence, including the academic potential of the applicant 4

5 o Research design and methods, including the appropriateness of collaborations, also including but not limited to multi-disciplinary/international links. Skill Development: 25 per cent of the score to include: o Organisational support, including: Quality of the proposed skills development plan, The appropriateness and demonstration of commitment of the proposed mentor(s) Commitment of the host research organisation to the applicant s career development. Knowledge Exchange and impact realisation activities: 25 per cent of the score to include: o Impact, outputs, and dissemination, including quality of the plans to develop knowledge exchange skills and the proposed activities to maximise the impact of the research Overall grading You are invited to indicate your overall judgement of the research proposal using the following scale: High - Research of high importance to users of research and fit to the aims of the scheme (ie of such novelty or timeliness and promise that a significant contribution to policy or practice is likely). Worthy - Research that will add to understanding and is worthy of support but which may not be of such relevance or urgency as to have a significant influence on policy or practice and fit to the aims of the scheme. Reject - Research which is flawed in its proposed contribution to policy or practice or is repetitious of other work or fails to meet the aims of the scheme. Scientific merit If you feel confident in judging the scientific merits of the proposal, please provide a grade according to the following definitions. If you feel that you are unable to assess the scientific merit of the proposal then please select the Unable to assess grading option. The form will not validate unless you select one of the options. Score Description 6 The proposal is outstanding in terms of its potential scientific merit and fit to the aims of the scheme. 5 The proposal is excellent in terms of its potential scientific merit and fit to the aims of the scheme. 4 The proposal is important as it has considerable potential merit and fit to the aims of the scheme and fit to the aims of the scheme. 3 The proposal has significant potential scientific merit but is not of a consistently high quality and does not fully address the aims of the scheme. 2 The proposal will add to understanding and is worthy of support, but is of lesser quality or urgency than more highly rated proposals. Such proposals are unlikely to have a significant influence on the development of the research career. 5

6 1 The proposal is flawed in its scientific approach, or is repetitious of other work, or otherwise judged not worth pursuing; or which, though possibly having sound objectives, appears seriously defective in its methodology; or fails to meet the aims of the schemes. 0 Unable to assess Comments Please ensure that your comments address all of the criteria identified above (ie research proposal, skills development, and Knowledge Exchange and impact realisation activities) and that your final grade reflects the weighting of these criteria (also identified above). Whilst we don t stipulate the length of the comments you provide, these should provide sufficient detail to support and justify the grade you have given and will be used as feedback to applicants. 6

7 Annex I: Future Research Leaders Call specification 2015/16 Summary The ESRC s strategy is to invest in the most talented people by offering diverse and flexible training to outstanding individuals at all stages of their careers. We aim to expand and integrate transferable skills development into postgraduate training and other careerdevelopment schemes. The Future Research Leaders Scheme forms a key part of this strategy. The scheme is open to high-quality candidates from anywhere in the world who have a maximum of four years postdoctoral experience and the support of an eligible UK research organisation. The proposed host research organisation will be required to demonstrate a high level of commitment to the applicant s career development. The scheme aims to: enable outstanding early-career social scientists, in partnership with their host organisation, to acquire the skills set to become the future world leaders in their field fund excellent social science research projects. We would like to emphasise that the scheme is intended to support researchers who are at any point in the four year eligibility period, and encourage applications from those who are currently completing or who are immediately post PhD. A proportion of the budget will be allocated to support proposals from those at the earlier stage in their career (subject to quality). Proposals are to be submitted via the Je-S system by on 29 September Proposals will be initially reviewed by a sift panel in January Following this, shortlisted proposals will be peer reviewed and then assessed by the commissioning panel. Final decisions will be made in May 2016, with grants commencing on 1 October Grants will be for a maximum of two years, with a pro-rata duration option for those employed part-time on a contract of 0.5 FTE or above. There is an overall limit of 230,000 at 100 per cent full Economic Cost (fec) per grant (cost to ESRC of 184,000 at 80 per cent fec), but the actual amount individuals can apply for will vary dependent on individual circumstances. We aim to fund up to 40 grants through this call subject to quality and available funds. Please note that we have prepared a comprehensive set of Frequently Asked Questions to support this call. If you have any queries, please consult that document prior to contacting ESRC. Scope of the call Future Research Leader grants will provide up to two years funding for those employed on a full-time basis. Those employed part-time on a contract of 0.5 FTE or above can apply for up to four years funding on a pro-rata basis. The overall scheme maximum is 230,000 (100 per cent fec; cost to ESRC of 184,000 at 80 per cent fec), but the actual amount individuals can apply for will vary depending on their individual circumstances. This reflects 7

8 our commitment to funding those at the very earliest stage in their research careers and our concern that we were not receiving a sufficient number of proposals from this cohort. Please note, the proportion of your salary that you can claim on this call varies depending on when you submitted your PhD. For applicants who have not yet submitted their PhD or those who submitted their PhD less than two years prior to the call closing date 1, the overall limit you can apply for is 230,000 (100 per cent fec; cost to ESRC of 184,000 at 80 per cent fec). We will fund up to 80 per cent of the grant holder s time; the host research organisation must support the remainder of the grant holder s normal salary throughout the period of the grant. For applicants who submitted their PhD more than two years prior to the call closing date 2 the overall limit you can apply for is 186,000 (100 per cent fec; cost to ESRC of 148,800 at 80 per cent fec). We will fund up to 40 per cent of the grant holder s time; the host research organisation must support the remainder of the grant holder s normal salary throughout the period of the grant. Successful proposals will include: A well-defined high-quality research project with strong plans for maximising potential impact. In many cases it may involve co-production of knowledge with the business community, the public sector, the civil society sector and the wider community. A programme of research skills development in collaboration with the grant holder s host organisation, including the appointment of a named research mentor of high international research standing. A programme of activities to develop skills in knowledge exchange, and a clear strategy to build relationships and networks with potential beneficiaries and users of the grant holder s research - potentially including the business community, the public sector or the civil society sector. A clear articulation of how a Future Research Leaders grant will have a demonstrable benefit to the applicant s research career, including plans to build on previous achievements, as well as how they are proposing to use the developmental aspects of the grant (eg skills training, networking opportunities, knowledge exchange activities) to accelerate personal development and expertise. Proposals are welcome in any topic which falls within the ESRC s remit. We strongly encourage inter/multidisciplinary working both within and beyond the social sciences, as long as at least 50 per cent of the proposed programme of research is within ESRC remit. Applicants may request costs associated with networking across disciplines, including one or more dedicated periods of time spent in another research environment. Applicants are welcome to nominate a second mentor from another disciplinary background if appropriate. 1 Those who submitted their PhD on or after 29 September Those who submitted their PhD prior to 29 September

9 Co-funding is available to support interdisciplinary applications across the medical and social sciences, however the application must be submitted to the most appropriate council. Applications that contain research of which at least 50 per cent is within the remit of the Medical Research Council are welcomed to apply directly to the MRC Skills Development Fellowships (http://www.mrc.ac.uk/skills-careers/fellowships/skills-development-fellowships/). Proposals considered for co-funding should be truly interdisciplinary and inclusive of the approaches of both Research Council s remits. Applications are welcome from postdoctoral medical or social science graduates as well as clinical, primary care, and allied health professional researchers from any sub-discipline of the social or medical sciences. Fellowships should include research that is of interest to both councils and which requires training and application of methodologies of both the social and economic sciences and medical sciences. Following submission of eligible interdisciplinary proposals to either council, the MRC and ESRC will, where appropriate, jointly assess and fund these proposals under an extension of the cross-council funding agreement (http://www.rcuk.ac.uk/funding/fundingagreement/). Any jointly funded fellowships will be offered under the standard terms and conditions of the awarding council. We encourage proposals in areas associated with our six RCUK cross-council research themes: Mobility: UK and international We are particularly keen to support Future Research Leaders in developing links with leading researchers in their field both in the UK and internationally. We encourage research visits to one or more internationally leading research organisations - either in the UK or abroad - for the purposes of research collaboration, training, and/or access to data or other resources not available at the applicant s home organisation. The ESRC wants to encourage research proposals which use and develop international comparative methods. The opportunities provided for mobility should support this. Where a long-term overseas visit is planned, applicants are required to name a second mentor at the overseas host organisation. However, the majority of the grant holder s time should be in the UK at their home UK research organisation. Whilst we seek to enable mobility through this activity, we also recognise that long-term mobility may be difficult or impossible for researchers with disabilities or caring responsibilities. Candidates will therefore not be disadvantaged for not including a mobility element. Applicants for whom mobility is restricted may wish to consider alternative mechanisms for enhancing collaboration through their grant, such as hosting short visits from collaborators, or utilising information technology to develop and sustain collaborations. Any requested costs associated with mobility elements in the proposal must be fully justified in the case for support. Knowledge exchange Through this call we aim to produce a new national cohort of ESRC researchers who will act as advocates for ESRC and social science research. We aim not only to drive forward innovations in social science theory, methods or application, but in doing so also make a 9

10 significant contribution to scientific, economic and/or social impact. In many cases it may involve co-creation of knowledge, knowledge exchange or knowledge production with the business community, the public sector, the civil society sector or the wider community. We require applicants to carefully consider how best to build links and contacts at the concept and development stage of the project with the potential beneficiaries and users of their research, and to work towards co-production of knowledge with research users where appropriate. We recognise that some research topics are more theoretical than others; but all social science research ultimately engages with the wider world and it is vital that the economic and societal impact of all research funded by ESRC is maximised. Public engagement activities which bring researchers and the public together are also encouraged. Activities could range from engaging people with social science concepts through staging public debates, to engaging key stakeholders in shaping research priorities and direction. Consideration of knowledge exchange, societal and economic impact should be a central element of your proposal with planning for knowledge exchange activities clearly articulated and the costing reflecting fully resourced activities. Applicants may find is useful to refer to our Impact Toolkit (http://www.esrc.ac.uk/research/impact-toolkit/) and results from the ESRC s series of impact evaluations (http://www.esrc.ac.uk/research/evaluation-andimpact/analysis-and-scoping/) when developing their proposals. Training and development Alongside their research, applicants are required to set out a detailed programme of skills development. This must include the development of research and knowledge exchangerelated skills and demonstrate how they will accelerate the applicant s development and expertise. We expect all applicants to indicate how a Future Research Leaders grant will have a demonstrable benefit to their research career. We recognise that applicants at earlier career stages may have less evidence to draw on in demonstrating their potential as a Future Research Leader and would suggest applicants include examples, where possible, that set out academic ability (such as the class of undergraduate degree awarded, relevant assessment scores) and activities such as presentations in seminars and poster presentations at academic conferences, as well as any publications. We also expect all applicants to articulate their career plans and indicate how they are looking to build on previous achievements, as well as how they propose to maximise the use of the developmental aspects of the grant (eg skills training, networking opportunities, knowledge exchange activities) to accelerate their development expertise, in addition to setting out the substantive research project. Contributions of the host research organisation The choice of host research organisation must be fully justified by the applicant in the case for support. For those intending to apply through the same research organisation at which they completed their PhD, particular attention must be paid to how the grant will have a demonstrable impact on their career trajectory. 10

11 Please note, we expect to see only a limited number of proposals from a single research organisation and as such organisations must have a process in place to support this. Above and beyond the standard support offered by a research organisation to an ESRC grant holder, we expect the following two aspects to be carefully considered by the proposed host organisation in supporting a Future Research Leader proposal: Provision of the mentor All applicants are required to have a named mentor based at the research organisation where the grant is to be held. The proposed mentor should be of high academic standing and have a strong interest in the applicant s field of research, but should not normally be the applicant s former PhD supervisor. The mentor should also be able to offer the applicant advice and assistance in developing their proposal, building suitable links with leading researchers in their field, as well as with potential beneficiaries and users of the applicant s research. The role of the mentor is to support the work of the grant holder, both scientific and nonscientific, but the mentor will not be directly involved in running the project. Regular contact must be maintained between the grant holder and mentor through the course of the project, and the mentor will help the grant holder to review progress against agreed milestones, including the implementation of the training and development programme. Provision of career development support The costs of a dedicated programme of research and broader skills development may be included in the proposal. However, we are seeking to support grant holders in partnership with their host research organisations. We expect the host organisation to work closely with the applicant to develop their training and development programme and to see a clear commitment from the host organisation to supporting the applicant s career development. The host research organisation must support the remainder of the applicant s normal salary not covered by the grant throughout the grant period. The remainder of the grant holder s time should be spent on activities supporting - or at least not incompatible with - their Future Research Leaders responsibilities. The proposal requires a letter by the Pro-Vice Chancellor of Research, or equivalent, to detail this support. We expect to see only a limited number of proposals from a single research organisation; only bids from outstanding individuals, with the potential in Research Excellence Framework (http://www.ref.ac.uk) terms to become the 4* researchers of the future, should be submitted through this call. We expect Future Research Leader grant holders to be in a position to move into permanent academic positions at the end of the grant, if they are not already in such a post. The call is open to applicants with or without a permanent academic post, subject to the above restrictions, and we do not expect that research organisations will consider only those applicants already on permanent posts. Grant holders will be expected to attend a yearly conference for Future Research Leaders. Additional staff Associated studentships are not permitted on this call. However, applicants may wish to include provision for a research assistant. All requests for additional staff time, to develop 11

12 staff management skills and assist in the completion of the proposed research project must be fully justified. Eligibility This call is open to high-quality candidates from anywhere in the world to enable them to further their research careers. However, all potential applicants must have the strong support of an eligible research organisation in the UK to host them if they are successful. We expect research organisations to consider very carefully whether to support any individual s proposal before the proposal is submitted to ESRC. Applicants must meet the following eligibility criteria on the call closing date of 29 September 2015: Applicants should have a maximum of four years academic research experience following the completion of their PhD, or be of equivalent professional standing. This period is measured from the submission date of the PhD thesis. Career breaks will be excluded from the four-year period and periods of part-time academic employment can be calculated on a pro-rata basis. Therefore, applicants who have not undertaken a career break must be within four years of the original submission date of their PhD by the closing date for proposals of 29 September Applicants cannot be current or former principal investigators on ESRC or other Research Council grants, except ESRC Postdoctoral Fellowships and Research Councils UK Fellows. Unsuccessful applicants to previous rounds of the Future Research Leaders Scheme are not eligible to reapply to this call unless they are proposing a new project with a significant change of focus, with fresh or significantly modified objectives or an entirely revised methodological/analytical approach to a research question. The call is open to applicants with or without a permanent academic post, subject to the above restrictions. Whilst the call is intended to support researchers who are at any point in the eligibility period, we would like to particularly encourage applicants who are currently completing or who are immediately post PhD. To meet our objective of providing support for researchers across the eligibility period, a proportion of the budget will be allocated to support proposals from those at the earlier stage in their career, dependent on the quality of the proposals received. Expected outcomes At the end of the grant we expect Future Research Leaders to have completed both a highquality research project and a structured programme of career development activities, including skills development in research management, knowledge exchange and maximising the potential impact of their research. Grant holders should have begun to build up an extended network of academic contacts and potential beneficiaries and users of their research. They should be in a very strong position to advance a career at the forefront of the social sciences in the UK and internationally. Our expectation is that Future Research Leader grant holders should move into permanent academic positions or other leadership roles, normally in the UK, at the end of the grant, if they are not already in such a post. 12

13 Budgetary information For applicants who have not yet submitted their PhD or those who submitted their PhD less than two years prior to the call closing date, the overall limit you can apply for is 230,000 (100 per cent fec; cost to ESRC of 184,000 at 80 per cent fec). We will fund up to 80 per cent of the grant holder s time; the host research organisation must support the remainder of the grant holder s normal salary throughout the period of the grant. For applicants who submitted their PhD more than two years prior to the call closing date the overall limit you can apply for is 186,000 (100 per cent fec; cost to ESRC of 148,800 at 80 per cent fec). We will fund up to 40 per cent of the grant holder s time; the host research organisation must support the remainder of the grant holder s normal salary throughout the period of the grant. All costs included in the proposal must be fully justified. We aim to fund up to 40 Future Research Leaders (depending on the quality of the proposals and available funds). Applicants may request funding for the following, subject to the standard fec regulations, which apply to all cost categories: Investigator time Research assistant support Travel, fieldwork and data collection, technical and clerical support Investigator skills development and training Research assistant development and training (specific to the research project) Knowledge exchange and impact realisation activities, such as seminars, workshops and work placements UK and international networking and collaborations Conference attendance for the PI Public engagement activities Cross-disciplinary networking and discipline-hopping activities Dissemination activities for previous research, for example PhD results. Please note that only those costs that are essential to the successful completion of the proposed programme of work should be included in your proposal. The applicant s proposed starting salary should be agreed by the applicant with the host research organisation in accordance with the organisation s grade structure for academic researchers. The level of the appointment should be fully justified in the proposal. The mentoring time should be between one and three hours per week. The costs of providing the mentor s time should be covered by the organisation, reflecting the fact that these grants will be funded by ESRC in partnership with the host organisation, and therefore mentoring time cannot be claimed as part of the proposal to ESRC. No associated studentships may be supported under Future Research Leader grants. Proposal process Proposals must be costed using the full Economic Costing (fec) model. Applicants should submit their proposal using the Research Councils Joint electronic Submission (Je-S) System (https://je-s.rcuk.ac.uk/) by on 29 September When creating a new proposal, 13

14 the applicant should select Call Search, and when prompted type in the call title Future Research Leaders Detailed guidance on the information required as part of the proposal is provided in the Je-S Guidance Notes for Applicants (see Details of which research organisations have registered to use Je-S are available from https://je-s.rcuk.ac.uk/jes2webloginsite/login.aspx. The call is open to all research organisations approved by the ESRC to hold responsive mode grants. Please see for more information. Peer review process Proposals will initially be assessed by a panel, comprising members of the ESRC Peer Review College, in January Only proposals shortlisted by the panel will be peer reviewed and then assessed by a specially convened commissioning panel. Final decisions will be made in May 2016 with grants commencing on 1 October Proposal assessment criteria Proposals will be assessed against the following criteria: Research proposal: 50 per cent of the score to include: Originality, potential contribution to knowledge, ie research excellence, including the academic potential of the applicant Research design and methods, including the appropriateness of collaborations, also including but not limited to multi-disciplinary/international links: Skill development: 25 per cent of the score to include: Organisational support: o Quality of the proposed skills development plan, o The appropriateness and demonstration of commitment of the proposed mentor(s) o Commitment of the host research organisation to the applicant s career development. Knowledge exchange and impact realisation activities: 25 per cent of the score to include: Impact, outputs, and dissemination, including quality of the plans to develop knowledge exchange skills and the proposed activities to maximise the impact of the research Timetable The timetable for the commissioning process is: Call opening date 13 July 2015 Closing date for proposals - 29 September 2015 Final funding decisions May 2016 Grants to start 1 October

15 Contacts Please note that we have prepared a comprehensive set of Frequently Asked Questions which you should consult prior to contacting ESRC. If, after reading that document, you have any questions please contact Enquiries relating to the Je-S application procedure should be addressed to the Je-S helpdesk at: Telephone:

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