this call is now closed
If you are planning to put in an application to the first Nexus Network call for thinkpieces & short working papers (deadline 4pm, 4 July 2014) then you may find these FAQs useful:
1. Should the thinkpiece address each topic of food, energy, water and the environment, or would 1 or 2 of these elements be acceptable?
We don’t want to over-determine the focus of the thinkpieces & working papers. But given that the nexus concept brings a focus on links, interdependencies and trade-offs, we would expect successful projects to address these dimensions across more than one of the domains of food, water, energy and the environment. Projects may look at the connections between two, three or all four of these – or at cross-cutting issues of policy, governance, methods and interdisciplinarity that relate to them all.
2. I’m a PhD researcher. Would you consider someone of my level or are you looking for more senior academics/research groups?
The call is open to anyone, and submissions will be judged on merit so you are welcome to submit something. Having said that, you might consider teaming up with a more experienced colleague/faculty member as a co-author on an application.
3. Can you confirm what costs are eligible? I need to know if we should or should not be including indirect & estate costs.
The Nexus Network small grants will cover 100% of direct costs only – e.g. salaries plus on-costs, travel, and research expenses, but no overheads (indirect/estate costs). Note that as these funds come from the ESRC, open access publication charges are not eligible costs.
4. Can you advise if funds would be paid at 100% fEC or 80% fEC?
Funds will be paid at 100% direct costs only (no overheads/indirects/estate costs are claimable). fEC is not applicable for this call.
5. Are you looking for the geographical focus of the paper to be the UK or is there an international angle as well? Indeed is the focus of the Nexus Network just the UK?
We have deliberately left the focus of the think-pieces open and would definitely encourage submissions with an international angle. With regard to the focus of the Network more broadly: we are funded by the ESRC to stimulate cross-sectoral and inter-disciplinary working on nexus issues within the context of UK research institutions, and between research institutions and other stakeholders (policy makers, business, civil society etc.).
However, given the inter-connected and often global nature of nexus challenges, we do not expect that all work funded by or associated with the Network will be exclusively UK-focused – we are also keen to link with international networks and engage with international debates. In such cases, we will require international collaborations to have a lead partner based in the UK.
6. Is this an international call? As a Bangladeshi organization are we eligible to apply for this funding?
The Nexus Network grants are only available to international researchers if they are collaborating with a lead author based at a UK institution through whom funds would be administered. If you can find a co-author/collaborator in the UK, we would encourage you to submit a joint application.
7. We are two lecturers from a private, for profit HE institution – are we eligible to apply for funding?
We are encouraging applications from across a range of organisations including business and civil society as well as research institutions of various types, so yes, you would be eligible to apply.
8. Would publishing on the Nexus Network website prevent publication of the material in a scientific journal at a later date?
Not at all, we would not own the IP (copyright) in the work and would be very happy for working papers to be submitted to journals following publication on our website.
9. I am working on a project that was conceived by, and involves the participation of, a consortium of international companies who will want their involvement in the project acknowledged. Will this be an issue in the funding application?
The involvement of companies and their acknowledgement in the project should not be a problem – one of the aims of the network is to encourage cross-sectoral collaboration and collaboration between academic/non-academic organisations.
10. My list of references goes onto a third page is this a problem?
In terms of the length of the proposal, ideally please keep the reference list short. Whilst we can, can be a little flexible here, you must ensure that the content of the proposal fits within the two page limit – we won’t penalise you if your reference list extends onto an additional page, but no more!
11. If an award were made, would the salary money be additional to someone’s existing salary or would it just buy them out so that they were still getting what they earn now?
This is up to your institution/organisation. Note, however, that funding cannot be awarded directly to individuals, and must be paid to your affiliated organisation. If you are not an employee, you are strongly advised to check with them, that they are able to accept an award and funding on your behalf.
12. If a grant proposal is successful, would the contract be signed with the University of Sussex? Would grantholders be asked to sign up to ESRC’s terms & conditions?
Successful organisations (or lead organisations of collaborative projects) would sign a short agreement with the University of Sussex. Terms and conditions of this agreement, currently being drafted, will be based on RCUK grant terms and conditions.
13. Will it be appropriate for one entity to submit two applications?
Yes. Submission of more than one application from an entity is admissible.
14. Can the fund be used to cover travel and accommodation expenses to organise a workshop for academics involved in the proposal to discuss the individual contributions to the project?
Yes. Costs can potentially be used for these items provided there is still a written output at the end (i.e. the costs of a workshop won’t be funded without a working paper coming out of it afterwards).
We look forward to receiving your application.