Skills and Knowledge Transfer grants

What is a skills and knowledge transfer grant?

Skills and knowledge transfer grants support the wider adoption and use of models, tools and technologies with proven 3Rs impacts through the transfer of knowledge, skills and expertise. Applications from any area of medical, biological or veterinary research are within remit; those that integrate a range of disciplines are particularly encouraged. 

Awards are for up to 24 months with the amount requested dependent on the science and limited to a maximum of £75k (80% FEC). This competition is run annually and the budget for the 2018/19 call is £400k.

Scheme remit

The model/tool/technology, upon which the application is based, must be at a development stage appropriate for adoption by another laboratory. Some validation work to establish that the 3Rs approach is robust and reproducible in the end-user(s) lab is permitted.

All applications to this scheme must include both the ‘developer’ and ‘end-user(s)’ of the model/tool/technology. Either party may be identified as the primary investigator, and the other(s) must be co-investigator(s) or project partner(s). 

Key information on the application process is given below. Applicants are advised to read the NC3Rs Applicant and Grant Holder Handbook, which contains more detailed information about the application process.

Joint CRUK-NC3Rs awards

We are pleased to announce a new collaboration with Cancer Research UK (CRUK) for the 2019 Skills and Knowledge Transfer grant call. CRUK will contribute up to £150k, in addition to the available call budget, for grants that seek to obtain 3Rs impact within the field of cancer research. Additional eligibility criteria  apply for applicants wishing to apply for a joint CRUK-NC3Rs grant and awards made under this collaboration will be subject to joint CRUK-NC3Rs terms and conditions.

Highlight notice for 2018/19

We are running a highlight notice across all of our funding schemes in 2018/19 to encourage greater use of non-mammalian model organisms for 3Rs purposes. Potential applicants are advised to contact the NC3Rs funding team before submitting an application under this highlight notice. Further information can be found on our funding scheme priority areas webpage.

Who can apply | How to apply | Assessment procedure | Related documents

Key dates

8 November 2018, 2:30pm- 3:30pm Webinar for prospective applicants
23 November 2018, 4pm Deadline for informal outline submission to Office
12 December 2018 Application form live on Je-S
6 February 2019, 4pm Deadline for full applications via Je-S
April 2019 Panel meeting convenes
End of April 2019 Applicants informed of outcome
3 June 2019 Expected project start date
1 August 2019 Latest date for commencing projects
10 September 2019 Grant holder introductory meeting

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Who can apply?

Establishment eligibility

Any UK research establishment including:

  • Higher Education Institutions (HEIs)
  • Independent Research Organisations (IROs)
  • Research Council (RC) Institutes

Please note that the establishment of the Primary applicant must satisfy the above eligibility criteria. In addition to those mentioned above, eligible establishments for Co-Investigator(s) and/ or Project Partner(s) also include small to medium enterprises (SMEs) and industry. 

Individual eligibility

Applicants should be UK-based researchers who can demonstrate that they:

  • Will direct the proposed research
  • Will be actively engaged in accomplishing the project’s aims
  • Hold a graduate degree – the minimum formal qualification required. However, it would normally be expected that an applicant has been awarded a PhD. Applications involving less experienced researchers should be made in collaboration with a more senior colleague

Prospective applicants ineligible to apply for this scheme due to their model/tool/technology not being at a suitable development stage or where the lead applicant is from the European Union or industry may be interested in our technology partnering hub, CRACK IT Solutions.

Eligibility criteria for joint CRUK-NC3Rs awards

Additional eligibility criteria apply for the joint CRUK-NC3Rs awards. Prospective applicants should ensure that they meet these criteria prior to application and can contact either the CRUK team or the NC3Rs Office should further information be required.

Overseas researchers

Overseas researchers cannot be Primary Investigators but can be included as collaborators. Overseas co-applicant status can be obtained in exceptional circumstances at the discretion of the NC3Rs; approval must be sought before applying.


The NC3Rs does not allow resubmission of previously unsuccessful proposals, unless explicitly invited by the Panel. Proposals previously declined by the NC3Rs will not be considered by another Research Council or funder within 12 months (from the date of submission to the original Research Council) unless substantially revised. More information can be found in the NC3Rs Applicant and Grant Holder Handbook.

Please note: The same or similar application cannot be considered by any other Research Council, the Health Departments or any other research funder at the same time.

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How to apply

Applicants are advised to read and refer to the NC3Rs Applicant and Grant Holder Handbook which contains more detailed information on submitting both an outline and full application.

A webinar will be held on 8 November 2018 to provide prospective applicants with further information and guidance on the application process. 

Outlines and full applications received after 4pm on the deadline date will not be considered, without exception.

If applicable - applicants submitting under the highlight notice, should note this within their outline forms and, if invited, the ‘Objectives’ and the ‘Case for Support’ sections of their full applications.

Prospective applicants are welcome to contact the Office for further information.

Outline stage

Before submitting a full application applicants are required to complete an outline of the research proposal (see Related Documents below). Please email completed outlines to 

Submitting a full application

We use the Research Councils' joint electronic submission system (Je-S) and applications are processed by the RCUK Shared Business Services. Invited, full proposals must be submitted via Je-S.

If you experience difficulties using Je-S or have questions regarding its use, contact the Je-S helpdesk.

Email:      Phone: +44 (0) 1793 44 4164

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Assessment procedure

Applications are assessed by the NC3Rs Skills and Knowledge Transfer Assessment Panel. The following criteria are taken into consideration when making the funding decisions:

  • Potential impact on the 3Rs at both a local and international level
  • Quality of the science for which the model/tool/technology is being used
  • Quality of skills transfer plan
  • Expertise and track record of the team
  • Risk management strategy
  • Value for money
  • Strategic relevance to the highlight notice (where appropriate)

In order to maintain transparency and integrity of the peer review process the NC3Rs has adopted the MRC policy on peer review. Please note the Panel assessment guidance and scoring criteria below.

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Related documents

Application process

Assessment criteria

Additional information for joint CRUK-NC3Rs award

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