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.

To better enable researchers to formulate projects and complete applications for funding, SuperSolar will be hosting an online I&I Fund Workshop on Tuesday 7th December 2021. The session will include case studies from successful project holders and secondees, notes and advice on completing and submitting a proposal and an opportunity to put your own questions.

REGISTER FOR ONLINE WORKSHOP

 

SuperSolar recognises that childcare responsibilities can present a significant barrier to participation for some researchers. In response, contributions towards additional childcare costs incurred while undertaking a project will be considered. Please check with your own institution that expenses claims made against additional childcare are submissible before applying. The Grants Committee will not consider any costs that form part of someone’s normal care arrangements.

Additional childcare costs may occur if you are required to:

  • Undertake activities on what would normally be a non-working day.
  • Work extended hours on a normal working day.
  • Undertake activities with overnight stays.

Travel restrictions due to COVID 19 may vary over the coming year. We wish to provide flexibility over project timings, but applicants should note that all approved projects should be completed and invoices submitted by 31st December 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.
  • Feasibility studies involving industry that require consumables costs and occasional travel, but which may not necessarily involve periods of secondment.
  • 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

 

International

  • Placement of a UK researcher at a leading international laboratory working on a project of common interest.
  • 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.
  • Feasibility studies involving an overseas institution or company that require consumables costs and occasional travel, but which may not necessarily involve periods of secondment.

 

UK Inter-University

  • The UK has a strong academic base in photovoltaic research. In this call, we will accept proposals for short visits/secondments from one week up to 3 months for researchers to work and collaborate at another UK Institution.

 

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 participating universities will receive 80% FEC, in line with normal EPSRC funding arrangements. In all cases, the Grants Committee will be assessing value for money.

The submitted proposals should be a maximum of 3 pages using the template provided to include:

  • If the application is to the Industrial, the International fund or the UK Inter-University 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 (max 1 page)
  • 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 likely outcomes of the proposal, including conference presentations, patents and/or journal papers
  • A justification of resources
  • A cost analysis using the template supplied

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 5.00 pm on Monday 24th January 2022. Proposals should be sent electronically to c.e.malins@lboro.ac.uk. Any questions relating to the application procedure should be sent to the same address.

 

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 the Chairman of the SuperSolar Strategic Advisory Panel. Final decisions will be made available to applicants before the end of February 2022.

A purchase order will be issued to successful applicants. The recipient must submit an invoice based on actual expenditure before 31st December 2022. Payments will be made after the secondment has taken place and a report has been submitted. 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. Costs associated with the retention of PhD students in solar research will be considered. Applications in excess of £20k are unlikely to be successful. Any other variations will be reviewed on a case by case basis by the Network+ Director and the SuperSolar Grants Committee.

 

Download the call text and application form here: I and I Engagement Call 8

Download the costs template here: Costs Template I&I 2021