One of the challenges of working with an overseas partner is that it is more than likely that organisation has never previously partnered on a UKRI funding bid. As a result, they may be unfamiliar with the application process and UKRI’s requirements in terms of the application itself and the format of the financial information.
Below are tips and guidance to help you in the practical side of including an overseas partner in your application. It is important to address these questions as early as possible in your bid's development.
One of the first things to think about is whether or not your colleague(s) at the overseas organisation would be classed as a Co-Investigator, a sub-contractor or a partner.
A Co-Investigator will be someone who is taking a major role in directing the proposed research and will assist you as the Principal Investigator in managing and leading the research.
A sub-contractor is an organisation or individual who is undertaking a specific part of the research in isolation and who will not be sharing in the Intellectual Property.
A Project Partner is an organisation or individual who is providing a substantial intellectual contribution to the project and resources either in-kind or in cash. Project Partners would also not be able to claim funding from the grant.
Once you have determined the role of your collaborators you can then work out how to include them in your application form.
It is a requirement that anyone who will be partnering you on your application as a Co-applicant/Investigator is registered on the JeS system as they should be included in the Co-Investigator section of the JeS form.
This is a reasonably simple process however it can often be one of the biggest stumbling blocks as it can take a few days for the JeS team to approve registration and this should be factored in when you are preparing your application form. It’s important to try and sort this out in the early stages (and at least 7 working days before submission) to avoid last minute panic as the deadline approaches.
The Co-Investigator needs to register via the JeS main page
They should complete the registration form up to the Research Organisation section. If their organisation is already listed then they can continue completing the form. If their organisation is not listed they will need to contact the JeS Helpdesk with the detail of the project they wish to be associated with to request registration. The Helpdesk can be contacted either by telephone on +44 (0)1793 444164 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Once registered it should be possible to search for and select the Co-Investigators name in the Co-Investigator section of the JeS form.
The remainder of the Co-Investigator section should be completed per the example below:
Some of the Research Councils require overseas collaborator costs to be entered in the appropriate section of the form for each type of cost (eg. DI Staff, travel & subsistence, Other DI costs etc) and for them to be marked as ‘exception’ within those individual sections. Other Councils require all of the costs to be entered under ‘Other Directly Incurred Costs’.
For specific guidance on where costs need to be entered into the form for a CoI please contact RGO.
If your collaborator will be working as a sub-contractor their details should be entered in the Other Directly Incurred Costs section of the form.
Please note that currently for BBSRC funded projects Overseas Collaborators are automatically classified as a subcontractor. This is because BBSRC does not fund overseas collaborators as an exception at 100%.
If your collaborator will be involved as a Project Partner the Project Partner section should be populated.
Letters of support are required from your collaborator’s institution if they are classed as with a Co-Investigator or a Project Partner.
For Co-Investigators the letter should come from an authorised representative of the institution eg. the Head of Department, Pro-Vice Chancellor, Director of the organisation etc. It should be on headed paper, dated and signed. Where the Co-Investigator is unable to claim salary costs from the grant the letter should acknowledge this and give the Institution’s support for their involvement in the project.
For Project Partners the letter should again come from an authorised representative of the organisation – this may well be the person with whom you have been negotiating the arrangement with. The letter should be on headed paper, dated and be signed. The letter should explicitly detail the contributions that will be made to the project and whether they will be in cash or in-kind.