Case for Support and Attachments - MRC Specific Requirements

Contents

·         Attachments - General Guidance

·         Case for Support 

·         Justification of Resources

·         CV

·         List of Publications  

·         Pathways to Impact

·         Data Management Plan

·         Letter of Support

·         Proposal Cover Letter

·         MICA form 

·         Gantt Chart / Work Plan

·         Final/Interim Report

·         New Investigator Research Grant Proposals

 

Attachments - General Guidance

All attachments must be completed in a sans-serif typeface (Arial or equivalent, not Arial Narrow) and font size of 11 pt (excluding text on diagrams and the use of mathematical symbols). A minimum of single line spacing and standard character spacing must be used. Margins must not be less than 2cm.

When uploading attachments you should ensure they are given a logical file name so that information can easily be found. Ensure all pages of each document are numbered.

 

File Size Limit for Attachments

The Case for Support must not exceed 10MB. All other attachment types must not individually exceed 5MB. Je-S System functionality will not allow the upload of attachments where the file size exceeds the detailed maximum file sizes. If any attachments fail to upload to your proposal, please check the PDF or word document properties to check the actual file size. Please avoid the use of large colour figures as these will increase file size. There is also no guarantee that documents will be reproduced in colour for the peer review process.

Password (security) Protected Attachments

Password protected attachments should NOT be uploaded to your Je-S proposal form. Although the system can allow the upload of password/security protected attachments the Je-S System cannot process them, which can delay the proposal checking and examination process.

Case for Support (Mandatory requirement, Page limit depends on scheme, Maximum of 1 permitted)

Your case for support needs to be attached to your submission as a PDF document.

Justification of resources is not required in the Case for Support and should instead be included as a separate PDF.

Guidance on what should be addressed when writing the case for support can be found in section 2.4 of the MRC Guidance for Applicants www.mrc.ac.uk/funding/guidance-for-applicants. However, each proposal is unique, and it is your responsibility to ensure that all the reasonable questions the referees and MRC Research Boards need to address are answered in your proposal, especially if the plan or resources are unusual or complex. Please remember that your proposal and case for support will be sent out to a number of reviewers to read and feedback from reviewers has shown that they are keen to see clarity, succinctness and accessibility.

All information that you wish to be considered as part of your research proposal (within the page limits stipulated) must be attached with your proposal form. Your proposal cannot be supplemented by further information past the submission deadline.

Case for support – Reproducibility and Statistical design annex (maximum of one additional page)

The purpose of this annex is to provide important additional information on reproducibility, and to explain the steps taken to ensure the reliability and robustness of the chosen methodology and experimental design. Please note in this context, methodology refers to the rationale for choosing which method to use and not the provision of detailed descriptions of the methods to be used.

It is strongly advised that a one-page annex to the case for support is included, in addition to the page limits in Section 2 to provide additional information specifically relating to the statistical analyses, methodology and experimental design aspects of the proposal (beyond that contained in the main case for support). Please note that you should not duplicate information presented elsewhere in the application.

This information must be provided as a clearly marked annex at the end of the main case for support, entitled ‘Reproducibility and statistical design annex’ and should not be added as a separate attachment. Standard formatting guidance applies. Applications not adhering to these conditions will be returned unprocessed.

Applications that do not provide sufficient detail to convince peer reviewers and Research Boards and Panels that the proposed experiments will be carried out appropriately to produce robust and reproducible research will be rejected for funding on these grounds and subject to the usual limits on resubmission.

The NC3Rs have developed a free online tool to guide researchers through the design of their experiments, helping to ensure that they use the minimum number of animals consistent with their scientific objectives, methods to reduce subjective bias, and appropriate statistical analysis. The NC3R’s Experimental Design Assistant can be found on the NC3R’s website: http://www.nc3rs.org.uk/experimental-design-assistant-eda

For further information what to include in the annex, please see MRC's guidance for applicants: https://www.mrc.ac.uk/documents/pdf/guidance-for-applicants/

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Justification of Resources (Mandatory requirement, Maximum 2 sides of A4, Maximum of 1 permitted)

The role of the Justification of Resources (JoR) is to aid reviewers when assessing proposals so that they can make an informed judgement on whether the resources requested are appropriate for the research posed.

The JoR should be used to justify the resources required to undertake the research project and should not be simply a list of the resources required as this is already given in the Je-S form. Whatever the nature of the proposal, all items requested in the Je-S form must be justified in the JoR. So that applicants do not miss any costings from the Je-S form or any justifications for the items requested, we recommend that you match the costs to the proposal headings.

Further guidance on what should be addressed when writing the JoR can be found in section 2.5 of the MRC Guidance for Applicants www.mrc.ac.uk/funding/guidance-for-applicants.

CV (Mandatory requirement, Maximum 2 sides of A4, No limit on the number permitted)

Please note that CVs should NOT include a list of publications.

Please include separate CV documents/attachments for each of the following:

For guidance on what the CV should cover please see section 2.3 of the MRC Guidance for Applicants www.mrc.ac.uk/funding/guidance-for-applicants.

Applicants applying for a New Investigator Research Grant are required to use the NIRG CV template available from the MRC website www.mrc.ac.uk/funding/how-we-fund-research/new-investigator-research-grant. Please note that a template is NOT available for other calls.

List of Publications (Mandatory requirement, Maximum 1 side of A4, No limit on the number permitted)

Please note that this is a separate attachment and should NOT be included as part of the CV.

The publications list should highlight relevant and recent publications.

Pathways to Impact (Mandatory requirement, Maximum 2 sides of A4, Maximum of 1 permitted)

The attachment should be entitled “Pathways to Impact”. If you are unable to provide a Pathways to Impact the attachment document type should be used to fully justify why this is not possible.

To prevent duplication, applicants should make reference to the Impact Summary from the Pathways to Impact document rather than re-stating this information.

The RCUK position and expectations document on the RCUK website outlines considerations that funding recipients would be expected to undertake https://www.ukri.org/innovation/

Further background information and guidance on completing your Pathways to Impact is available in the MRC Guidance for Applicants www.mrc.ac.uk/funding/guidance-for-applicants.

Data Management Plan (Mandatory requirement, Page limit depends on type of study, Maximum of 1 permitted)

All applicants submitting funding proposals (including research grants, fellowship grants) to the MRC MUST include a Data Management Plan (DMP) as an attachment to their proposal on Je-S. This includes proposals for the extension or renewal of existing funding. The DMP should comply with the MRC’s policy on research data sharing. MRC Institutes and Units are required to submit one as part of the Quinquennial Review (QQR) report.

For guidance on how to write the DMP and what to include please refer to section 2.9 of the MRC Guidance for Applicants www.mrc.ac.uk/funding/guidance-for-applicants.

The DMP is reviewed by peer reviewers alongside the Case for Support. It is advisable that all DMPs use the template provided www.mrc.ac.uk/documents/doc/data-management-plan-template to ensure consistency and make it easier to review. The guidance needs to be carefully read and adhered to as the quality of the DMP may have an impact on the peer review score and whether the proposal proceeds to board/panel.

The maximum permitted length of the DMP will depend on the type of study being undertaken:

Maximum length of DMP is up to 3 sides of A4.

Maximum length of DMP is up to 4 sides of A4 (unless agreed with the MRC prior to submitting the proposal).

For less complex research the DPM may be as short as quarter of a page up to a maximum of 3 sides of A4.

 

Letter of Support (Optional requirement, Maximum 2 sides of A4, No limit on the number permitted)

If applying for NHS support and treatment costs applicants should complete an NHS costs pro forma and include this in their proposal. A Letter of Support must also be included with the proposal from the lead NHS provider acknowledging the amount requested and confirming that these are the likely costs. More information on NHS costs can be found in section 3.1.7 of the MRC Guidance for Applicants www.mrc.ac.uk/funding/guidance-for-applicants.

 

Overseas animals use

If your proposal involves the use of animals overseas, please refer to the UKRI guidance https://www.ukri.org/funding/how-to-apply/ and submit a signed statement  from both UK and overseas Principal Investigators as a Letter of Support attachment.  For overseas research involving rodents, rabbits, sheep, goats or pigs, the 'Additional Questions' must also be attached as a Letter of Support.  

Each project partner must provide a project partner letter of support on headed paper or by email. The Project Partner Letter of Support should only be added to the Project Partners section of the Je-S proposal form and should not be uploaded to the attachments section of the proposal as document/attachment type ‘Letter of Support’.

When the Project Partner organisation details and Project Partner contact person details have been added to the correct section of the proposal form, the Project Partner Letter of Support is then required (ie mandatory) to be added to the appropriate Project Partner section from the document menu list.

More information on Project Partners can be found in section 2.8 of the MRC Guidance for Applicants www.mrc.ac.uk/funding/guidance-for-applicants.

Proposal Cover Letter (Optional requirement, Maximum 2 sides of A4, Maximum of 1 letter permitted)

A covering letter may be included as part of a proposal. It should be no more than two A4 pages using sans-serif typeface (Arial or equivalent) and minimum font size of 11pt.

The covering letter can be used to cover details such as conflicts of interest and names of conflicted experts that you request not to be used as reviewers. If detailing conflicted experts, the following information must be provided in the covering letter:

1. The name of the person not to approach

2. The RO(s) they are based at

3. A clear reason why the person would not be able to provide an unbiased and evidence-based review

The decision on whether or not to honour a request to exclude a reviewer lies with the MRC following consideration of the justification provided. Requests submitted without a justification will not be considered.

If the proposal is a resubmission it should also include details of how this proposal differs from that submitted previously. It must not be used to cover anything which should be included in the proposal for, case for support or other required attachments.

MRC Industrial Collaboration Agreement (MICA) form (Optional requirement, No page limit, No limit on the number permitted)

If the proposal is to include industry collaboration the proposal will need to include a MICA form (full proposals only). The MRC will also require a Heads of Terms signed by each collaborator showing that they are willing to collaborate for the duration of the study. If the Heads of Terms option is not available under attachments, please upload under the ‘MICA’ heading and specify ‘Heads of Terms’ in the description field. Applicants should indicate in their covering letter and project title that the proposal is a MICA. Failure to do so may lead to the proposal not being correctly processed.

Specific information on MICAs is available on the MRC website www.mrc.ac.uk/innovation/mrc-industry-collaboration-agreement-mica.

Gantt Chart/Work Plan (Optional requirement, Maximum 1 side of A4, Maximum of 1 permitted)

A separate Gantt Chart or Workplan is only allowed on certain calls and can only be added as a separate attachment if the option is available to select in the available list of attachments within the Je-S form. Please DO NOT upload the attachment as another attachment type, as this could lead to the proposal being rejected.

In circumstances where the call does not have either a Gantt Chart or Workplan available, the applicant can include this as part of the Case for Support. Please note that no extra pages are allowed for the inclusion of the chart/plan and applicants must keep to the scheme page limit.

Final/Interim Report (Mandatory requirement for Centre and Programme grant renewals, No page limit, Maximum of 1 permitted)

If the proposal (Centre Grants, Programme Grants), is a renewal then the applicant must quote the previous grant reference and ensure that they submit a progress report as an attachment to the proposal (attachment type Final/Interim Report). Please note that there is no page limit to the length of this Progress Report, however applicants should ensure that the document is as concise as possible to assist the reviewers assessment.

New Investigator Research Grant (NIRG) Proposals

NIRG CV and Salary Template (Mandatory requirement, No page limit, Maximum of 1 permitted)

The applicant should download, complete and upload the NIRG CV and salary template available from the MRC website www.mrc.ac.uk/funding/how-we-fund-research/new-investigator-research-grant/.

Research Organisation Statement of Support (Mandatory requirement, Maximum 2 sides of A4, Maximum of 1 permitted)

The research organisation statement of support, must be printed on headed paper, signed by a senior authority within the host institution, and then scanned as a PDF file and uploaded using the Letter of Support attachment type available, within the attachment section of the Je-S proposal. Any proposals submitted without this statement of support will be rejected.

For further information regarding the research organisation statement of support please refer to the MRC website www.mrc.ac.uk/funding/how-we-fund-research/new-investigator-research-grant/

Applicant Declaration (Mandatory requirement, Maximum 1 side of A4, Maximum of 1 permitted)

All NIRG proposals need to include a declaration that the applicant has originated the research question and written the research proposal. This declaration can be in a letter which can be uploaded separately as a ‘Letter of Support’.

For further information on any of the MRC specific requirements please see the MRC Guidance for Applicants www.mrc.ac.uk/funding/guidance-for-applicants

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