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Frequently Asked Questions

Who is eligible for grants?
Researchers working in academic and other research-active institutional contexts.

Can researchers outside the UK apply?
Yes, applications will be welcomed from any country.

How do we apply?
Please submit an outline proposal by 9 May 2005. After an initial screening, you may be invited to submit a Full Proposal. Further details are on the Application Procedures page.

Does the consortium have a preferred perspective on the debate over purpose in the context of emerging biological complexity?
Emphatically no. We hope to fund proposals from all sides of this debate. The consortium itself is heterogeneous in its views on these issues.

What kinds of programmes and requests are eligible for funding?

  • Student or postdoc salary and benefits.
  • Summer salary for academics.
  • Organising workshops and/or inviting eminent individuals to host institutions.
  • Support for specific projects during sabbaticals and assistance in writing or publishing books.
  • Support for projects that complement existing mainstream scientific research programmes by adding a philosophical or theological component (these may be through interdisciplinary collaborations).
  • Modest expenses for computer equipment, travel, publication charges and supplies, provided that these items are clearly explained and justified in the proposal.
What is your policy on overheads?
The highest allowed overhead rate is 20% on salaries directly funded by your grant. No overheads on any other costs are acceptable.

How will proposals be judged?
After an initial screening of outline proposals by the consortium, drawing on outside expertise where necessary, applicants may be asked to submit full proposals. All full applications will be subject to external and confidential peer review, and will be evaluated and ranked in regard to the criteria described on the evaluation criteria page.

Is there a fixed amount of funding for each of the three focus areas?
No, all applications will be judged together, and the best will be given funding, irrespective of the primary focus area they fall under.

Can you give me any guidance on my research proposal?
We are happy to give you guidance on the eligibility of your proposal. Please remember that however positive the consortium may be about a proposal at this stage, it may still be turned down for funding after full peer review. If you have any questions please contact Jacquie Storey whose details are listed on our Contact Information page. If necessary, She will forward your request to the relevant member of the Consortium.

What if we are not sure whether or not our project fits within the funding vision?
In this case please provide the Consortium with a rough draft of your proposal, and we may be able to let you know. Please remember that however positive the consortium may be about a proposal at this stage, it may still be turned down for funding after full peer review.

What if I am unable to submit my application electronically?
We prefer if you submit your application through our web-form. If that is not possible, please send an attachement to Mrs. Jacquie Storey by email. If that is also not possible, then please send it by post to the address listed on our Contact Information page.

Is there a maximum amount we can apply for?
No, you can apply for as much as you think is necessary to achieve your goals. Of course you need to carefully justify your proposed expenditure. If the referees feel you are asking for too much (or too little) they may suggest an adjustment.

What are the criteria for a principal investigator?
Since this is a programme run by researchers for researchers, we can be a bit more flexible than traditional research councils, and accept applications where a post-doc is a principal or a co-investigator. Nevertheless, should your initial proposal be accepted for submission as a full proposal, then you will need to have both the head of your department head and a departmental host countersign the full application. Your departmental host should have a post which extends at least as long as the running time of your grant. Remember that referees will look at the overall feasibility of your project, which includes management and accountability.

Can you fund PhD studentships?
If the applicants can normally supervise PhD students then partial funding towards these can be requested. However, the funding programme runs for 2 years, and the maximum overheads on salary is 20%. We will treat tuition fees as an overhead. Potential students cannot directly apply for a studentship.

Will the grants pay for laboratory expenses?
You can ask for reasonable laboratory expenses. Referees will assess the cost-effectiveness of your proposal. However, the consortium will not fund capital intensive equipment.

I have a rejected (elsewhere) proposal that appears to fit into this quite well.
The consortium is sensitive to the problem of "free money", i.e. the re-casting of an existing research programme to make it appear to fit the overall thematic nature of this request for proposals.