Research Councils UK (RCUK) and the State of São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP) have agreed a pioneering Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to welcome, encourage and support applications that may cut across their national boundaries and involve international collaborative teams.

The RCUK-FAPESP Memorandum of Understanding (RCUK website) underpins a ‘Lead Agency Agreement’ whereby the relevant UK Research Council will receive and assess collaborative proposals from eligible institutions on behalf of both organisations. However, FAPESP-nominated experts will be involved with the peer review and decision-making processes throughout.

ESRC accepts applications under the terms of the MoU to our Research Grants scheme.

Collaborative research proposals may be submitted in any area of the social sciences within the remit of both the ESRC and FAPESP. There is no deadline, and proposals will be accepted on an ongoing basis until expiry of the MoU on 31 December 2020. Proposals should be drafted and will be assessed according to the criteria set out in the International Common Application Process.

Collaborative research proposals should be submitted only to the ESRC, which will take the lead role in processing and assessing applications with input from the FAPESP. A decision on bilateral proposals will be made by ESRC’s Research Committee, within its normal standard grants competition. Those proposals approved for funding will be jointly supported by the ESRC and FAPESP.

Applicants should note the following in preparing their application:

  • In order to receive support from FAPESP, the Brazilian partners must be based at an institution eligible for their support. These are higher education and research organisations, public or non-profit in the State of São Paulo.
  • Applicants should contact FAPESP to confirm their eligibility before submitting an application. For eligible applicants, FAPESP will provide a letter confirming eligibility which should be attached to the joint funding application.
  • Proposals should be submitted via Je-S into the Research Grants (Open Call). The costs being requested from ESRC for the UK part of the project should be a minimum of £350,000, and no more than £1,000,000 (at 100% full Economic Cost). Please note that for FAPESP, the budget should be in line with FAPESP funding rules of the chosen scheme. FAPESP applicants do not need to request equal amounts from both sides. The difference in values should reflect the difference in costs covered and local prices.
  • The title field of the proposal must begin with the words ‘Bilateral ESRC/FAPESP’. In completing the Je-S form, applicants should also consult the Je-S guidance (PDF, 193Kb) on submitting an ESRC-FAPESP bilateral proposal.
  • Applicants are also strong advised to consult the Operation of the RCUK-FAPESP Lead Agency Agreement Guidance Note (RCUK website).
  • The 5,000 word proposal document described in the International Common Application Process (ICAP) criteria should be included as the ‘case for support’ in the Je-S application. This 5,000 word limit exceeds the normal six page limit for a case for support. A word count should be included at the end of this document.
  • All other relevant sections of the Je-S application (Objectives, Summary, Beneficiaries, etc) should also be completed in accordance with the normal guidelines for standard grants.
  • To enable the identification of research team members in different national application formats, the 5,000 word research proposal document should begin by listing the names, roles (principal investigator, co-investigator, etc), and institutions of all named researchers from both participating countries who are included in the proposal. This list of names is not included in the word count of the proposal.
  • CVs of all named researchers in the proposal should be included, both UK and overseas. These should not exceed the normal ESRC limit of two pages per CV.
  • The State of São Paulo-based researchers should complete the FAPESP-RCUK proposal form and the FAPESP consolidated budget spreadsheet, both available on the FAPESP website, and which should be included as additional attachments in Je-S.