Full Bid Guidance - Expanding Excellence in England (E3) Fund

This document restates the arrangements for an additional allocation of strategic research funding for higher education institutions in 2019-22. It provides guidance on the full bid stage of the competition for institutions who have been notified that their Expression of Interest (EOI) submissions have been shortlisted.

Submissions to the E3 fund have now closed. The outcomes of this funding call are expected in Spring 2019.


Executive Summary

This document details policy, objectives and method for the allocation of £75m to expand excellent research through the Expanding Excellence in England (E3) fund. This fund, alongside Quality-Related (QR) funding, will support the strategic expansion of excellent research units and departments in Higher Education Institutes (HEIs) across England. The document provides further information and guidance for the shortlisted bids from the earlier EOI round.

Following the Expert Panel’s recommendations, 29 proposals have been shortlisted to proceed to full bid stage. This shortlist is based on the total amount of funding requested and is expected to result in a 50/50 success rate for institutions submitting to the full bid stage.

Key Points

This is a competitive scheme and £75m is available through the fund to be allocated between the successful units over three years (AY 19/20, 20/21 and 21/22).  We are not setting a minimum or maximum threshold for awards. However, we expect to make a maximum of 15 awards and will only fund those that demonstrate potential to significantly increase the scale and excellence of research activity within the given unit, and have a major impact on national capability within the given discipline/field. Awards will be for the three year period, allowing successful bidders time to scale up activity and build quality. Funding will be primarily resource in nature, although bids that make the case for capital funding as part of the proposal will be considered.

All bids should have strategic backing at the institution level and we will only accept submissions made through the office of the Pro-Vice Chancellor (PVC) for Research (or equivalent).

We have established an expert panel, Chaired by Prof Sir Ian Diamond, to assess the bids, who may call on other expertise as required, and will make funding recommendations to the Research England Executive Chair.

Action Required

Shortlisted institutions should send their full bid submissions by email only, to expandingexcellence@re.ukri.org by noon on 21 January 2018.

Shortlisted institutions will have received this guidance document along with further particulars as outlined in this publication. If you were shortlisted for the final bid but do not believe you have received the necessary documents as outlined in this publication to progress your application please contact expandingexcellence@re.ukri.org.

At any point, shortlisted institutions may ask about the criteria, and the feedback on their EOI from the expert panel, but no feedback can be given on the relative strength of their full bid. The panel will take an independent decision on the quality of the bids as outlined in this document.