AHRC Research Grants┋Early Careers
The Research Grants Schemes are intended to support well-defined research projects enabling individual researchers to collaborate with, and bring benefits to, other individuals and organisations through the conduct of research. This scheme is not intended to support individual scholarship.
The Research Grants Scheme - early career route shares the same aims as the standard route but has been introduced to assist new researchers at the start of their careers in gaining experience of managing and leading research projects. The AHRC will aim to ensure that the success rate for proposals to this route is slightly higher than proposals to the Research Grants standard route.
Please note that all applications under the grants scheme will be required to include a principal investigator and at least one co-investigator jointly involved in the development of the research proposal, its leadership and management and leading to significant jointly authored research outputs.
The early career route provides grants for projects with a full economic cost (fEC) between £50,000 and £250,000 for a varying duration up to a limit of 60 months.
Eligibility - General
All UK Higher Education Institutions that receive grant funding from one of the UK higher education funding bodies are eligible to receive funds for research, postgraduate training and associated activities.
The Principal Investigator takes responsibility for the intellectual leadership of the research project and for the overall management of the research or other activities. S/he will be the person to whom we shall address all correspondence and must be based at the organisation at which the grant will be held.
To be eligible, s/he must be actively engaged in postdoctoral research and be of postdoctoral standing. This means that she either has a doctorate or can demonstrate in the application that s/he has equivalent research experience and/or training.
S/he must either be employed by the Research Organisation submitting the proposal, or have an existing written formal arrangement with the organisation, or be scheduled to move to the submitting organisation before the proposed start date of the grant.
The Principal Investigator must be resident in the UK.
A Co-Investigator assists the Principal Investigator in the management and leadership of the research project. The Co-Investigator can also undertake research activity themselves;there is no limit to the amount of time that the Co-Investigator can contribute although it needs to allow time for the management and leadership duties on the project.
There is no maximum number of Co-Investigators that can be included on a Research Grant or Follow-on Funding application. However, the inclusion of each Co-Investigator needs to be fully justified in the proposal.
The AHRC allows international researchers to act as Co-Investigators on some of its schemes. Following a successful trial period for this policy, and in line with the commitments made in the Council’s current delivery plan, it has been decided to incorporate provision for International Co-Investigators into AHRC’s core eligibility requirements and standard funding terms and conditions on an ongoing basis.
In order to be considered eligible, an international co-investigator needs to have suitable academic experience (i.e. someone holding a PhD or equivalent qualification or experience) and be based at an established research organisation with significant research capacity. This organisation should be of comparable status and standing to a UK organisation which is eligible for UK Research Council funding, for example, a publicly funded university or a ‘not-for-profit’ research institution with a track record and distinctive research capacity and capability and distinctive research capacity in areas relevant to the proposed research. If an international co-Investigator is on the proposal an International Co-Investigator Head of Department Statement from the international co-I’s Head of Department must be attached to the proposal. If this is not attached the proposal will be rejected at sift stage 1. Further information about what to add in the International Co-Investigator Head of Department Statement can be found below in Attachments - International Co-Investigator Head of Department Statement.
International research organisations must have the necessary research capacity and capability to support the conduct of the specified research. It is the PI’s responsibility to articulate in the proposal the added value that an international co-investigator will bring to the overall leadership of the research and their role in the management of the project, as well as the relevant research experience and expertise that they will bring to the project team. It is the responsibility of the UK RO to check that the international co-investigator’s organisation is an appropriate organisation to receive and has systems in place to manage the funding provided. The RO will also need assurance that appropriate agreements are put in place for the delivery of the overseas activities funded under the grant. The AHRC will not be able to provide any additional assurance to ROs about overseas partners, but may by exception undertake additional checks or seek further information from ROs.
International co-investigators will not be permitted to take over as lead researcher (i.e. Principle Investigator) should the UK Principle Investigator step down for any reason.
Please note that before applying an international co-Investigator must have an active Je-S account, and it is the UK Research Organisation’s responsibility to ensure that this is the case.
Early Career Eligibility
The Principal Investigator must fulfil the Early Career eligibility criteria: At the point of application s/he is either
- within eight years of the award of your PhD or equivalent professional training or
- within six years of her/his first academic appointment.
However, any Co-Investigators named on the proposal do not have to be Early Career Researchers.
All costs should fall under one of the following headings:
- Staff: Payroll costs requested for staff, full or part-time, who will work on the project and whose time can be supported by a full audit trail during the life of the project.
- Travel and Subsistence: Funds for travel and subsistence, for use by staff who work on the project, where these are required by the nature of the work.
- Equipment: Individual items of equipment up to £10,000 (including VAT) are permissible to be included.
Proposals can be submitted at any time.
Unless otherwise stated, the assessment process for a proposal will take approximately 30 weeks. The start date entered on the proposal should be no earlier than 9 months after submission and should be no later than 18 months after submission.