The PRD scheme is intended to develop the capabilities needed to underpin UK science and technology leadership in future Science and Technology Facility Council projects. The scheme provides funding for research and development projects which enable STFC to deliver the science programme objectives in the areas of particle physics, particle astrophysics, nuclear physics and astronomy. PRD funding is available for projects which develop technology/ technologies beyond that of laboratory experimentation or modelling and show that the technology can be deployed in a future project; or for demonstration projects which prove the design concept of new equipment (including software) that can then be implemented in a full scale project.
The scheme is open to approved research organisations. Industrial organisations may also apply in collaboration with approved research organisations.
STFC supports blue skies development of space technologies between TRL 3 and 6 under the PRD funding line. More details are at PRD Definition.
Please note that proposals for project specific R&D for a space mission or small upgrades for space instruments and missions, fall within the remit of the UK Space Agency.
There is no PRD call for 2018.
Please click below to view the application processes.
All proposals received will be forwarded to the relevant Programme Manager of STFC to discuss the proposed programme. The proposal along with the necessary forms must be submitted via the electronic submission system (JeS) to PPRP by the submission deadline. Each proposal is assessed by external referees and PPRP members. Referees submit a review of the proposal which is sent to the applicant to respond to the comments. Once received the proposal and all relevant paperwork is then submitted to PPRP.
All proposals are submitted to PPRP to review if the proposals are suitable to the Scheme. Any that are deemed not suitable will be rejected and the applicant informed via feedback letter. The remaining proposals are then forwarded for scoring by PPRP.
The proposals along with all the necessary forms are evaluated and scored by PPRP on the basis of scientific merit and excellence, economic and societal impact, leadership, synergies and project management. The proposals that score below the required benchmarking level will be rejected and the applicant informed via feedback letter. Proposals achieving the necessary required scoring level will then be forwarded to the PPRP (PRD) Meeting.
The PRD meeting is held to assess the proposal and question the applicant by the Panel.
A report from the PPRP meeting is sent to the STFC Executive.
After discussion with the PPRP Chair and Deputy Chair and considering the recommendations of the PRD Report, the STFC Executive will decide on the funding outcome of the proposal.
The PPRP will inform the applicant of the decision of the STFC Executive.
Both applicants from public sector research establishments and commercial applicants should submit a comprehensive PRD proposal according to the following guidelines:
The scheme funds projects that are between the Technology Readiness Levels of 4 and 6. Definitions of Technology Readiness Levels are shown in the table below.
Technology Readiness Levels
|TRL 1||Basic principles observed and reported.|
|TRL 2||Technology concept and/or application formulated.|
|TRL 3||Analytical and experimental critical function and/or characteristic proof-of-concept.|
|TRL 4||Technology basic validation in a laboratory environment.|
|TRL 5||Technology basic validation in a relevant environment.|
|TRL 6||Technology model or prototype demonstration in a relevant environment.|
|TRL 7||Technology prototype demonstration in an operational environment.|
|TRL 8||Actual Technology completed and qualified through test and demonstration.|
|TRL 9||Actual Technology qualified through successful mission operations.|
Proposals are welcome from consortia comprising industrial and academic collaborations or from individual UK institutions.
Resources are aimed towards:
The PRD scheme applies to the pre-construction phase of projects and seeks to pave the way for more:
Proposals to support scientific exploitation of existing projects should be made to the appropriate grants panel (Astronomy Grants Panel, Particle Physics Grants Panel, Nuclear Physics Grants Panel) and not via the PRD scheme.
Please note: Applicants may nominate one referee, which the STFC will take into consideration but the use of which is not guaranteed. Nominated referees must not be collaborators; neither should they be from the applicant’s or collaborator’s home organisation.
Applicants must also refer to the STFC Project Management Framework
Before writing a PRD proposal for submission, you must first contact the appropriate Programme Manager to discuss your proposal. Programme Managers will be able to provide guidance on the proposal, the fit with the STFC strategy and programme, and whether the PRD scheme is the most appropriate route for funding.
Your proposal needs to include a case for support and Pathways to Impact information. Applicants should be mindful of both clarity and brevity when preparing a proposal and present all information in such a way that it is easy for the peer review panel to follow. It is important to bear in mind that not all members of the panel will be equally familiar with the research topic.
The length of the case for support should be proportional to the size of the request and must not exceed 20 pages (in 11pt type) including figures and appendices. Proposers can refer to supporting information in their case for support and this may be requested by the PPRP if deemed necessary. The supporting information should not be submitted in the first instance. The case for support should stand alone in case the supporting information is not requested.
Please be aware that any case for support document longer than 20 pages will be returned to the proposer on submission and will need to be re-submitted before the deadline. The deadline is fixed and cannot be negotiated. Any case for support (including those re-submitted to fit the page limit) received after the deadline will not be accepted.
If relevant, it is the responsibility of the principal applicant to ensure that any information is worded in such a way to protect commercially confidential or sensitive areas.
The following points should be addressed briefly within the body of the proposal:
Guidance on internal costs for STFC applicants can be found on the STFC intranet.
All costs associated with the research proposal should be fully justified. Further information on justifying resources can be found in the Research Grants Handbook.
Templates for finance tables - please use the finance table templates provided as Annex 1.
The PRD proposal will be assessed by the PPRP using the following criteria:
STFC will seek at least three referee reports for each proposal. Referees will be anonymous, and applicants must inform STFC if there is any referee who would be expressly unsuitable for the role. In such cases, adequate justification must be given, which will be treated by STFC in the strictest confidence. Applicants may also nominate one referee, which the STFC will take into consideration but the use of which is not guaranteed. Nominated referees must not be collaborators; neither should they be from the applicant’s or collaborator’s home organisation.
Further guidance on completing the Pathways to Impact plan can be found in the Research Grants Handbook
STFC will take all reasonable steps to ensure that the content of funding proposals is treated as confidential.
Further guidance on completing the Pathways to Impact plan can be found in the Research Grants Handbook
Applicants from universities and other public sector research establishments can submit an application provided they meet the normal eligibility requirements for STFC research grant funding as set out in the research grants handbook (link opens in a new window).
To ensure that the proposal is correctly processed applicants should:
A commercial organisation is eligible to submit an application in collaboration with an approved research organisation if it has a manufacturing and/or research facility within the UK. The person making the application must be normally resident in the UK and hold a permanent appointment with the organisation, i.e. contractors or consultants may not make applications. Commercial applicants will need to apply using the Research in Industry funding scheme available on the RCUK Joint electronic Submission (JeS System). You will need to ensure that your organisation is registered on JeS to enable this. Go to the Research in Industry page for further information about eligibility for funding and application forms.
Commercial organisations should apply by submitting a completed Pre-Qualification Questionnaire (PQQ) as an attachment to the STFC Research in Industry scheme on JeS, along with a comprehensive case for support that sets out the justification for the requested level of support.
All proposals are required to show the total (100%) full economic cost (fEC) of the research proposed, as set out in the Research in Industry guidelines.
Applications should contain a clear statement of the scientific and technical need and relevance for the proposed development including the impact that the development will bring in terms of additional capability (e.g. scientific opportunity, increased throughput, new measurement capability, more efficient operation). Key points on why this is an innovative idea, what impact this R&D work is likely to have, how important it is and the rationale for efforts in this area should be contained within the first two pages. (See above PRD proposal guidelines).
Should the application be successful STFC will not release funds to a collaboration until it has received a signed copy of the 'Collaboration Agreement'. Model (Lambert (link opens in a new window)) agreements can be found on the Intellectual Property Office website.
All applications should be submitted online using the Je-S system by 4pm on the day of the submission deadline. For any queries relating to Je-S, please contact the Je-S helpdesk directly by email or by phone on +44 (0)1793 44 4164. It is the responsibility of the Principal Investigator (PI) to ensure their institution’s administration department submits the proposal before the submission deadline.
Details of all the requirements and the terms and conditions of research proposals under full economic costing (fEC) principles can be found in the fEC grants handbook. Those involved in the preparation and submission of grant proposals must familiarise themselves with the handbook.
Last updated: 21 May 2018