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Expressions of interest should be e-mailed to HEFCE by noon on Friday 10 October 2014.

Executive summary

Purpose

1. This document sets out the arrangements for a fourth round of the UK Research Partnership Investment Fund (UKRPIF) for 2016 to 2017. This is a two-stage process. This document invites higher education institutions (HEIs) with a significant track record of research excellence to submit expressions of interest to apply for the capital grants on a competitive basis. Successful HEIs at the expression of interest stage will then be invited to submit a full bid.

Key points

2. The June 2013 Spending Round statement announced an extension of the UK Research Partnership Investment Fund to 2016-17, making available at least £100 million each year of matched funding to leverage private investment. This invitation relates to the funding available in the 2016-17 financial year.

3. The UK Research Partnership Investment Fund is available to all UK HEIs. The objectives of the fund are to:

  • enhance the research facilities of HEIs undertaking world-leading research
  • encourage strategic partnerships between HEIs and other organisations active in research
  • stimulate additional investment in higher education research
  • strengthen the contribution of the research base to economic growth.

4. The fund will support large-scale projects that can attract substantial co-investment from private sources, building on the research excellence in the higher education sector.

5. The panel is likely to favour bids which provide clarity on the following.

  1. How the proposed facilities will strengthen future research, including developing research collaborations and collaborations with users of research to support innovation and growth.
  2. The benefit to the private partners from the project.
  3. Co-investment in the first five years (as well as any over a longer period of time).
  4. The public benefits of research and broader activities arising from the development.

6. The panel will take the balance of sectors and disciplines into consideration, recognising the spread of successful bids in the previous three rounds of the UKRPIF. Exceptionally, projects that do not meet the required lower limit for UKRPIF investment may be considered by the panel, if it can be shown that they meet the objectives of the fund and would extend the reach of the fund beyond the balance of sectors and disciplines achieved so far. Bids which extend the reach of the fund will be particularly welcomed.

Action required

7. HEIs are invited to submit expressions of interest using the template at Annex A and e-mail it to researchpartnership@hefce.ac.uk by noon on Friday 10 October 2014.

8. The expressions of interest should comprise the following. 

  1. A single PDF document covering the submission (Annex A) and evidence to support the case (letters of support from co-investors and the Vice-Chancellor).
  2. Proposals should be predominantly text based and the email size should be no greater than 1MB.
Enquiries should be directed to:

HEIs in England should contact their HEFCE higher education policy advisers.

HEIs in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland should contact: