Multi-user equipment grants
Equipment grants are intended to provide support for multi-user items of equipment, including equipment required to create a central resource for a number of disparate scientific programmes.
Applicants should demonstrate how the requested equipment would enhance Trust-funded investments in strategic areas of interest and add value to Trust-funded research. Requests for equipment must be justified within the context of the research strategy of the institution. Applications must also take into account opportunities to access similar equipment locally or nationally.
Up to five years' support is available, and expenses may include:
- the purchase and essential running and maintenance costs of equipment
- salaries for staff necessary to run and/or manage the apparatus (but not for experimental research personnel).
The maximum amount awarded for a successful application is anticipated to be £1 million. Applications for less than £75 000 will not normally be considered under this scheme.
Capital build costs will not be considered through this scheme, although minor refurbishment costs may be requested if the new equipment requires specialised housing.
Project-related consumable costs are not permitted.
We normally expect applications to include a contribution from the host institution or other source, proportionate to the total amount requested. As a guide, we would expect a contribution of at least 10 per cent on applications costing £100 000 or more. In some instances, a larger contribution may be required. Applicants should discuss the requirements for an institutional contribution with a member of Trust staff before submitting a preliminary application.
Please note that larger contributions from the host institution or other sources could potentially strengthen the competitiveness of an application. Regardless of the size of the institution's contribution, it will be required to submit a statement explaining how the equipment fits into the overall institutional strategy.
Contributions are not limited to cash and can include appropriate benefits in kind, such as refurbishment or the underwriting of a key support post.
The Trust anticipates that the equipment will be used primarily (but not exclusively) by Trust-funded researchers. Where a significant proportion of users of the equipment are not Trust-funded, we would expect applicants to consider seeking an appropriate financial contribution from alternative sources, including other funding bodies.
If an applicant moves to a different institution after an equipment grant has been awarded, the equipment must remain at the institution to which it was awarded. This ensures that we are contributing to the infrastructure of institutions, as well as promoting the science of individuals (see our Grant Conditions).
This scheme is open to applicants in the UK who meet our standard eligibility criteria and have a track record in obtaining grant funding.
Co-applicants who do not have salary support for the duration of the grant are eligible to apply, provided they have at least one year’s personal salary support at the proposed start date of the grant.
Researchers in low- or middle-income countries may be eligible to apply if they have a track record of Trust funding or if they can demonstrate that they have established a strong track record of independent research accomplishment.
Preliminary application stage
You should complete and submit a preliminary application form by the published deadline.
Preliminary applications must include a supporting statement from the host institution:
- outlining how the equipment will contribute to the overall research strategy of the institution
- indicating the contributions - financial or otherwise - that will be provided by the institution and/or other sources if the application is successful.
Completed forms should be emailed (as a Word document), with the requested accompanying information, to firstname.lastname@example.org at the Trust (see ‘Contacts’). You are advised to refer to ‘Application advice’ below for information on points to consider when preparing your application.
Completed preliminary application forms will be assessed and, if shortlisted, applicants will then be invited to submit a full application.
Full application stage
Full applications submitted for the published deadline (see 'Deadlines') will be sent out for peer review. Applications will be considered by a specially convened Strategic Awards Committee.
Please note that the Trust does not normally accept the resubmission of unsuccessful applications.
Points to consider when preparing your preliminary and full applications:
- the potential impact and importance of the equipment for your research should be apparent
- those involved in the assessment of an application will need to be convinced that there is a genuine demand for the equipment and that the availability of other similar equipment in the local environment has been taken into consideration
- the feasibility of the type and model of equipment being requested may be demonstrated by the inclusion of pilot data
- you will need to demonstrate that the equipment will be appropriately managed and how conflicting demands for access will be addressed
- how the equipment will be sustained at the end of the proposed grant period - you will need to submit a convincing business plan to demonstrate sustainability in the medium to long term
- who will provide the specialist expertise and/or technical support that may be required
- try to negotiate discounts on the cost of the equipment from the outset, and quote discounted prices rather than list prices wherever possible.
- the total cost of running the equipment in-house, including reagents, staff and maintenance, should be demonstrably lower than the cost of outsourcing the work (if applicable).
Both preliminary and full applications will be assessed using the following criteria:
- track record of the applicants and coapplicants and the value of research supported by the equipment
- how the equipment will contribute to the overall research strategy of the institution, including any evidence that the equipment would add unique or novel capacity that is currently unavailable
- how the equipment will enhance existing Trust investments in strategic areas of interest and add value to Trust-funded research
- how the equipment will enhance the scientific programmes of the applicants and/or the research community
- the regional and national (and international, if appropriate) context of the application
- the level of financial contribution from other sources
- plans for the longer-term sustainability of the equipment
- plans for data management and sharing.
This is an annual competition. The 2014 competition is now closed. Details of the next round will be announced in autumn 2014.
Late applications will not be accepted at any stage.
Enquiries may be emailed to email@example.com or telephone our Grants Information Desk: +44 (0)20 7611 5757.
See our ‘Contact us’ page for our postal address.
Current award holders
- Details of the Multi-user equipment grants awarded in 2013
- Details of the Multi-user equipment grants awarded in 2012
Dr Fred A Antson, University of York
Integrated multi-user crystallisation facility comprising a robot and storage system with image retrieval
Dr John Christodoulou, University College London
The UCL integrated NMR Centre: bridging fine-scale analysis of macromolecules and cell physiology with high-throughput population scale metabolomics, drug target validation and biomarker development
Professor Jane Clarke, University of Cambridge
Dissecting complexity in biomolecular interactions
Professor Timothy M Frayling, University of Exeter
Maximizing south-west biomedical sequencing and informatics capability
Professor E Yvonne Jones, University of Oxford
Fast live-cell imaging to correlate with electron cryo-tomography in high containment
Dr Robin Ketteler, University College London
High-throughput electroporation of primary cells
Dr Robert Knight, King’s College London
A dual beam multi-photon microscope and imaging workstation for live imaging of cellular dynamics in large specimens
Professor Sussan Nourshargh, University of London
The use of a combined flow cytometer/microscopy imaging platform for analysis of cellular phenotypic and functional profiles in inflammation and cancer
Professor Helen R Saibil, Birkbeck University of London
A direct electron detector for electron cryo-microscopy
Professor Geoffrey L Smith, University of Cambridge
Fluorescence activated cell sorting for immunobiology
Professor Kate G Storey, University of Dundee
Development of live tissue imaging capabilities using multi-photon confocal microscopy
Dr Neil H Thomson, University of Leeds
Fast scan atomic force microscope for cross-faculty biomedical research at the University of Leeds
Professor Malcolm D Walkinshaw, University of Edinburgh
The Edinburgh Protein Production Facility (EPPF)
Professor Stephan Beck, University College London
A centralized platform for validation of genomic and epigenomic targets from clinical and non-clinical studies
Professor William Harris, University of Cambridge
Light sheet imaging and computer equipment for the Cambridge Advanced Imaging Centre (CAIC)
Professor Miep Helfrich, University of Aberdeen
Transmission electron microscopy with tomography for studies of cellular ultrastructure
Professor Derek Jones, Cardiff University
Dedicated computing infrastructure for CUBRIC
Dr Kathryn Lilley, University of Cambridge
High performance mass spectrometry for proteomics
Dr David Norman, University of Dundee
State of the art pulse EPR instrumentation for long range distance measurements in biomacromolecules
Professor Carol Robinson, University of Oxford
Chemistry in cells
Professor Christiana Ruhrberg, University College London
High resolution retinal imaging
Professor Dale Wigley, Institute of Cancer Research
A facility for in-house analysis and X-ray data collection of crystals with large subunit cells
Professor Will Wood, University of Bath
Cell sorting flow cytometry for the study of live cell, cell surface and intracellular processes
Professor Xiaodong Zhang, Imperial College London
Enhancing the cryo-electron microscopy capacity at Imperial College London for single particle and tomographic studies