New call for UK Catalysis Hub projects opens May 2020

The UK Catalysis Hub will open a new call for projects in May 2020. The call will close on the 30 June 2020. All proposals for new projects will be prioritized at a meeting of the Steering Group and the Management group.

The hub would like to encourage applicants to seek out industrial support if it is relevant to the science proposed.

This will determine how they best fit the criteria and whether they remain relevant to the Hub ethos.

Criteria for the prioritization panel

A prioritized list will be used by the Management Group to assign Hub resources.


  1. Scientific quality:  
  2. Programme dimension: addressing the impact of the project on the other areas of catalysis as represented by the 4 themes and/or 3 catalysis areas (homo, hetero, bio). The 4 themes are broad but topics outside of the themes can be considered.
  3. Collaboration: explain how the collaboration will work and who will participate. All hub projects are required to be multi institution and multi-disciplinary.
  4. Why, what and where: Why funding from the Hub is required and appropriate (this is a key point). In addition what is the required resource (normal expectation is one PDRA for 12-24 months) as well as what resource will be provided by the project team. Also, where appropriate, the project should indicate how it will make use of the Hub and the Harwell Campus Facilities. Where will the PDRA be located.
  5. Success criteria: asking the proposers to describe the criteria against which the project should be judged by, e.g. publications, patent applications, industrial collaborations begun, outreach activities. Key will be how the project will be taken forward in the light of success.
  6. Impact
  7. Leveraged or additional Funding the Hub will prioritize projects that have leveraged or additional funding from industry.


Please follow EPSRC guidelines on formatting for your proposals: The minimum font size is 11, and margins must be at least 2cm in all directions. Only Arial or Helvetica font styles may be used, and text should be justified left. 

Letters of support

If relevant, Industrial letters of support may be appended to the proposals to demonstrate impact or industrial interaction.


Please Note the Budget for PDRA Time  is set across the Hub by what was granted by EPSRC, if you wish these figures please contact the Project manager by email

Several research areas on the Optimising Predicting and Designing New Catalysts theme have been assigned as Strategic, including Lasers, Synchrotron techniques, Neutron techniques and Modelling. PDRAs in these areas have been hired for 5 years and will move projects once the initial project has been completed (two years).

Please speak to the Theme PI (Prof Richard Catlow) if you have a proposal in these areas.

Please Note

All institutions must sign the accession agreement (to the collaboration agreement) as is with no amendments for the projects to go ahead.

Please contact Josie Goodall ( for a copy of these agreements. 

If your institution has not yet signed one of these agreements, please contact your contracts departments to discuss them before submitting a proposal. Please also discuss the financial models with your finance department.

Details for secondment of PDRAs within the UK Catalysis Hub

1. Each theme has both Core and non-core Components.  The Core components would be the costs which will be spent in the host institution whilst the non-core components may be spent elsewhere.

2. UK Catalysis Hub policies allow staff to be seconded for up to 12 months as long as accession agreement in place.  This is covered by standard policy. We will ask the University to which the PDRA is to be seconded to sign the accession agreement. This will be a take it or leave it option.

3. For secondments less than 6 month there would be no transfer of overhead costs from Core to the host institution.  They would remain Core employees and the costs would be claimed as a Core research award.  They could claim consumables through Cardiff and have them delivered to their seconded institution.  This is very straightforward but please note that the host institution gets nothing financially.  Any REF outputs would be claimed by Cardiff as well as the host institution if they are an identified collaborator.

4. The secondment policy allows secondments of up to 12 months (Over 6 months) However, under EPSRC rules we would need to transfer the Core Estates components of the overhead to the host institution.  

5. Secondment for more than 12 months might be possible but would need to be agreed on a case by case basis.

Summary Table

<6 MonthSalary, consumables and all overhead claimed as Core awardCoreNo Financial AwardCore Secondment Policy
6-12 monthSame as above, but the estates component would be transferred to host institution and the Core award figure reduced accordinglyCoreCore Estates costs would be claimed as a research award by the host institution.Core Secondment Policy
>12 monthSame as aboveCoreAs aboveCore Secondment Policy – case by case basis

Example budgets transferred from theme leader (core) to projects involving other Institutions

Example 1. Secondment of core PDRA for 1 year
  100% fEC 80% fEC
Directly Incurred    
Staff 0.00 0.00
Travel and Subsistence* 800.00 640.00
Equipment 0.00 0.00
Other Costs 12,000.00 9,600.00
Directly Allocated   0.00
Investigators 0.00 0.00
Estates Costs xx  0.8(xx)
Other Directly Allocated yy  0.8(yy)
Indirect Costs 0.00 0.00
Exceptions   0.00
Staff 0.00 0.00
Other Costs 0.00 0.00
* Travel costs for PDRA to be met by core institution
Example. 2 appointment of 2 year PDRA by partner institution
  100% fEC 80% fEC
Directly Incurred    
Staff 80,282.00 64,225.60
Travel and Subsistence 4,400.00 3,520.00
Equipment 0.00 0.00
Other Costs* 25,000.00 20,000.00
Directly Allocated   0.00
Investigators 0.00 0.00
Estates Costs 2 *XX 0.8(2 * xx)
Other Directly Allocated 3 *yy 0.8(2 * yy)
Indirect Costs 2*zz 0.8(2 * zz)
Exceptions   0.00
Staff 0.00 0.00
Other Costs 0.00 0.00
Example 3.  Appointment of 1 year post doc by partner institution
  100% fEC 80% fEC
Directly Incurred    
Staff £41,604.00 £33,283.20
Travel and Subsistence £2,200.00 £1,760.00
Equipment £0.00 £0.00
Other Costs* £13,000.00 £10,400.00
Directly Allocated    
Investigators £0.00 £0.00
Estates Costs xx  0.8(xx)
Other Directly Allocated yy  0.8(yy)
Indirect Costs zz 0.8( zz)
Staff £0.00 £0.00


1) Staff costs (if appropriate)
2) £12k p.a.for consumables (3k for modelling projects)
3) £400 p.a. (2 x £200 per visit) per person for travel to project meetings. In addition for the PDRAs that are employed by the non-core Universities there is £1k p.a. for travel to conferences.
4) Where a PDRA is employed by one of the Core Universities, but then seconded to another University, then their travel costs are covered by the core Universities.  
5) Estates, infrastructure technician (shown under “Other DA”), and Indirect cost transfers as agreed where xx, yy, and zz are the appropriate levels from the budget holding institution (theme leader)
6) Since infrastructure technician costs are linked to Estates costs, both are transferred. 
7) Pooled technician costs are not transferred to non-core Universities.
8) Where a non-core University is recruiting a PDRA, £1k is allocated for this.
9) that small equipment will not transfer but be purchased by the core Universities.
Estates cost are at the level of the transferring university (as was allocated by EPSRC)
Design theme has no estates – hosted at the research complex at Harwell

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