Scoping studies are small scale research projects, undertaken by network members and making use of STFC capabilities to find novel ways to address air quality challenges. Awards will be a maximum of £8,000 per project

A maximum of 3 scoping study awards will be allocated at each of the Collaboration Building Workshops held in 2020 and 2021. Workshops offer the opportunity to find new collaborative partners and to develop proposal ideas in a supported, facilitated process. There will be a further open call for scoping study applications following the workshop, to offer a wider opportunity for those unable to attend the workshops in person.

Assessment criteria for SAQN call for proposals:

  1. Significance of the air quality challenge and potential for impact
  2. Appropriateness of the methodology/approach
  3. Quality of the STFC capabilities and their integration into the methodology
  4. Clear pathway to further development of the project (e.g. future external funding, industry involvement)
  5. Achievability of management plan
  6. Track record of managing previous research projects

For example, the money could be used to fund workshops/travel to prepare specific proposals or to pay researcher salary to de-risk / develop the proof of concept for ideas to go into future research proposals. Funds should be allocated as Directly Incurred, and not as Directly Allocated (ie funds may not be used to fund academic salaries). Further development of the project should take into account alignment with the funding landscape.

To ensure impact, all project findings must be made freely available for academic research and publications should be written up in pertinent high-impact peer reviewed journals and presented at associated conferences. The presentations should be made by the relevant PhDs and PDRAs where feasible. The successful applicants must work with the SAQN Co-Investigators to ensure any data arising from the funded projects are available in formats that are useful to the end users, including those in industry, and are publicly available in a futureproofed website or otherwise kept in a futureproofed storage. Where publications arise from the studies we expect that these will be open access (green or gold) and that the reduced datasets will be made public with the publication, attached to the publication and included as a file attached to the green or gold open access repository.

Terms and Conditions

As we are funded by the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) awards will be made subject to standard STFC terms and conditions and the following guidelines must be met:

  • The lead applicant on any application must meet RCUK standard eligibility criteria https://www.ukri.org/funding/how-to-apply/eligibility/
  • The  lead organisation in any bid will be responsible for ensuring proper financial management of the grant and accountability for the use of public funds. The grant will be awarded on the basis that if any funds are transferred to another UK or overseas organisation then the Research Organisation awarded the grant must undertake due diligence checks to ensure that the funding will be appropriately used
  • These grants are awarded under the RCUK ‘exceptions’ heading so are funded at 100%
  • We will require a final report to be submitted at dates specified within the offer letters to each successful applicant. Reporting requirements include a lay summary of the project to be published on our website and details of any impacts to be reported on Researchfish. We may also require attendance and updates at specific events during the funding period
  • Any data generated through the project should be archived where possible to make available for secondary analysis
  • Projects must be completed by the end of January 2021