- AHRC specific

- BBSRC specific

- ESRC specific

- NC3Rs specific

- STFC specific


General Guidance

One of the documents attached to the outline proposal form must be classified as type Case for Support. An outline proposal without a Case for Support will not be accepted.

Additional document files may also be attached (as separate attachments and classified appropriately). Mandatory Council attachment guidance can be found in subsequent Council specific helptext. Please also consult initiative specific guidance notes located on the appropriate Council's website.

Councils operate a 'page' restriction policy on attachment length. To ensure no one is disadvantaged by this restriction, minimum margins in all directions of 2cm must be used for all councils/funders when attaching documents. Please see here for cross council guidance on attachments.

Also, please note that on submission to council ALL non PDF documents are converted to PDF, the use of non-standard fonts may result in errors or font conversion, which could affect the overall length of the document. Unless specified otherwise in Council-specific guidance, it is recommended that a standard 'Arial' or other standard san-serif type font is used, restricted to size 11 or higher. Please note that, except where stated otherwise in the guidance on the following pages, Research Councils cannot guarantee that documents will be reproduced in colour.


AHRC - Specific Requirements

Proposals containing attachments exceeding the stated limits, or not adhering to the specified format, will not be considered.

Attachments should be in an Arial or other standard san-serif type font no smaller than size 11. Individual attachments are restricted to 10MB for Case for support and 5MB for other types of attachments. Please see here for cross council guidance on attachments.

Requirements for the Case for Support and other attachments vary according to the call to which the outline proposal is being submitted. Applicants should refer to the appropriate call guidance documents available in the Funding Opportunities area of the AHRC's website: 

The attachment types usually available are as follows:

Case for Support
The Case for Support should outline the rationale for the proposed activity, a description of the proposed activities to be undertaken, and an outline of the expected outputs and dissemination plans as appropriate.

Justification of Resources
Justification for the costs associated with the project.


Summary CVs for the Principal Investigator , all Co-investigators and any named postdoctoral researchers.

This attachment type should only be used if it is expressly requested in the scheme or call guidance document.

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BBSRC - Specific Requirements

The case for support should be submitted as a single document containing a description of the proposed research, how it would address the aims of the initiative and its potential impact, along with any references. The case for support should not be more than two pages in length (including references), except where the further information for the specific initiative below states otherwise. Applicants must not include URLs to web resources in order to extend their case for support.

References should appear in a list at the end of the case for support and be linked to relevant text by, for example, sequential numbering and superscript reference numbers embedded in the body of the document. Only one publication should be listed for each number. Within the list of references, URL links to relevant publications or online resources are permissible. The case for support should be a self-contained description of the proposed work with relevant background, and should not depend on additional information.

The preferred typefaces are Arial, Helvetica or Verdana and a strict minimum font size of 11 must be used (excluding text on diagrams and the use of mathematical symbols). In addition, a minimum of single line spacing and standard character spacing must be used, with margins of no less than 2cm.

A CV is required for each named applicant and co-applicant. CV's must be no more than two sides of A4 per person and should be submitted as attachment type CV. The CV should include details of:


Please note that any lists of publications should be included within the CV and not submitted as a separate document. Separate lists of publications and other unsolicited documents will not be taken into account in the peer review process.

Further information relating to specific outline calls is as follows:

Diet and Health Research Industry Club (DRINC)

Applicants must supply a case for support document with their application. Further guidance is provided in the call text which is available from the BBSRC website in the downloads section from:

Crop Improvement Club (CIRC)

Applicants must use the standard CIRC case for support template which is available from the BBSRC website in the downloads section from:

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ESRC - Specific Requirements

1. Case for Support (mandatory)

Some initiatives may require more specific instructions relating to the format of the Case for Support. If so, these instructions will be detailed within the relevant call for proposals and guidance for applicants on the ESRC website, and should be adhered to. In all other cases the following guidance will apply.

This section must not exceed three sides of A4. Each side should be numbered.

Any materials that extend beyond this limit will be removed from the application prior to peer and merit review. All materials must be produced in font size 11 or above. Each page should be numbered. Minimum margins in all directions of 2cm must be used for all councils/funders when attaching documents. Please see for cross council guidance on attachments.

The case for support should cover the main features of the research. Include details of any potential for linkages to other research activities (for example, those supported by other funding bodies in the UK or overseas) or for international collaboration.

There is no standard way to present the details of the research, but the following points must be covered:


You should cover the following points:


2. Justification of Resources  (Optional - maximum 1 A4 side)

This statement should be used to justify the resources required to undertake the research project and is a mandatory addition. Applicants should:


Estates and indirect costs do not need to be justified.

3. Curricula Vitae (Optional)

Summary CVs for the PI, co-applicants and named researchers should be attached. The CV should be no longer than two sides of A4, size 11 font. It should contain basic information about education, employment history and academic responsibilities.

4. Other

If the scheme-specific guidance requires the submission of additional material not covered by other named attachments, please use the this category.

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NC3Rs – Specific Requirements

Document Type


Page Limits

Je-S Attachment Type

Cover Letter


2 sides of A4

Proposal cover letter

Case for Support


2 sides of A4

Case for Support



2 sides of A4




Case for Support: This document should contain a brief background of the scientific aims, describe the experimental plan of the proposed project and include preliminary data. Please avoid repetition of information included in other sections of the outline application.


CVs: Please provide CVs for the Principal Investigator and Co-Investigators only. CVs should not exceed 2 sides of A4 in length, including a list of the most relevant publications within the last five years.


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STFC - Specific Requirements

STFC require one attachment on outline proposals; the case for support. This document should be no more than 2 pages long.

Attachments (including references provided as part of the Case) should be written in one of the following fonts:


with a minimum of 2 cm margins around each page. You do not need to number attachment pages as this will be done automatically on import to the STFC Back Office. Please ensure that file names do not exceed 140 characters as this will cause problems on import into the STFC Back Office.

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