The EPSRC SUPERGEN SuperSolar Network+ wishes to grow the PV research network and create solid partnerships with UK industry to assist commercialisation of research. This can be achieved in a number of ways including direct secondments or exchanges. The SuperSolar Network+ also wishes to encourage engagement with international research partners. This should accelerate research, access know-how and facilities, and learn from best practice developed by leading overseas laboratories.  The SuperSolar Network+ also seeks to encourage greater diversity in solar research and support activities tuned to the development of Early Career Researchers.  Applications that address these criteria and demonstrate alignment with those goals are likely to score more highly.

Although travel is currently heavily restricted due to COVID 19, we are hopeful and anticipate that the situation will improve in the second half of 2021.  However, since some restrictions may continue, we wish to provide flexibility over project timings. Hence all approved projects can be completed and invoices submitted by 30 June 2022.

The following types of activities are examples of eligible projects:

UK Industry

  • Industry led problems addressed by a company/university partnership. Activities can include exchange of personnel, e.g. academic researcher to company site and/or industrial researcher to an academic site.
  • Market analysis and/or business case development in collaboration with an industrial partner.
  • Proof of concept / prototyping work in collaboration with an industrial partner
  • Developing methods or tools with which industry/university partnerships can engage with the wider public or respond to societal needs


  • Placement of a UK researcher at a leading international laboratory.
  • Placement of an international researcher in a UK university (note that we would expect the visitor’s salary to be continued to be paid by their home institution).
  • Funding to support international network development activities e.g. support to enable large scale, collaborative bids to be developed with international partners.
  • Fostering international industrial support – support to build new and strengthen existing industrial engagement with overseas companies.

UK Inter-University

 The UK has a strong academic base in photovoltaic research. In this call, we will also accept proposals for short visits/secondments from one week up to 3 months for researchers to work and collaborate at another UK Institution. Support will not include salary/stipend but will cover reasonable travel and subsistence expenses.  Requests for support for consumables to support the collaboration will be allowed but capped at £500.

All SuperSolar network and associate members are invited to submit proposals. In line with the notes on finance below, the grants will be awarded at 100% Full Economic Cost (FEC), although the successful universities will receive 80% FEC, in line with normal EPSRC funding arrangements. In all cases, the Grants Committee will be assessing value for money.

Proposals should include:

  • If the application is to the industrial or the international fund.
  • A brief description of the proposal including the aims and objectives (case for support)
  • If a secondment is proposed: A brief resume of the person to be seconded
  • A summary of how the proposal aligns with the goal of promoting greater diversity within the solar community
  • A summary of the impact of the proposal on Early Career Researchers
  • A list of the outcomes of the proposal, including conference presentations and/or journal papers
  • A justification of resources
  • A template is available to download below, but applications must be made online

In addition to the proposal, a short (no longer than 1/2 page) summary of the relevant expertise and/or facilities of the research team making the proposal is optional.

The deadline for proposals is 12 noon on Friday 16 April 2021. Proposals should be made online. Any questions relating to the application procedure should be addressed to: Christopher Malins, to

The Grants Committee will consider and rank the proposals. Technical quality of the proposals will be assessed alongside impact on diversity and on Early Career Researchers. The proposals identified as suitable for funding will be then subject to additional scrutiny by members of the Strategic Advisory Panel. Final decisions will be made available to applicants in May 2021.

A purchase order will be issued to successful applicants. The recipient must submit an invoice based on actual expenditure before 30th June 2022. Payments will be made after the secondment has taken place and a report has been submitted. Larger sums will require a contract with Loughborough University. All grant recipients must provide a short report (no more than 1000 words) identifying the impacts of the secondment on completion.

Notes on finance

Companies are not eligible to make applications. However, applications can be made through the collaborating University.

Company staff costs are not eligible.  Universities can apply for associated consumable and travel costs where appropriate.

All DI costs can be paid, but not overheads.

Generally, staff costs will not be covered for short trips (3 months or less).

Any other variations will be reviewed on a case by case basis by the Network+ Director and the SuperSolar Grants Committee.

Applications in excess of £20k are unlikely to be successful.



Word version of the application form:

I and I Engagement Call 7_26JAN2021

Cost template:

Costs Template

If you would like any further information, please contact Christopher Malins