SFI Eligible Research Bodies
Irish Host Research Bodies eligible for SFI funding*
Research Bodies eligible to apply to SFI Research Programmes
- Athlone Institute of Technology (AIT)
- Boyne Research Institute
- Clinical Research Development Ireland (CRDI)
- Cork Institute of Technology (CIT)
- Dublin City University (DCU)
- Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies (DIAS)
- Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT)
- Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design & Technology (IADT)
- Dundalk Institute of Technology (DkIT)
- Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI)
- Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT)
- Health Research Board (HRB)
- Institute of Technology Sligo (ITS)
- Institute of Technology, Blanchardstown (ITB)
- Institute of Technology, Carlow (ITC)
- Institute of Technology, Tallaght (ITT)
- Institute of Technology, Tralee (ITT)
- Letterkenny Institute of Technology (LYIT)
- Limerick Institute of Technology (LIT)
- Marine Institute
- National Cancer Register Ireland (NCRI)
- National College of Ireland (NCI)
- National University of Ireland, Cork (UCC)
- National University of Ireland, Dublin (UCD)
- National University of Ireland, Galway (NUIG)
- National University of Ireland, Maynooth (NUIM)
- Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI)
- Royal Irish Academy (RIA)
- The National Institute for Bioprocessing Research and Training (NIBRT)
- Trinity College Dublin (TCD)
- Tyndall National Institute
- University of Limerick (UL)
- Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT)
*Please note that certain Research Bodies listed are not eligible for all SFI programmes and that additional entities not listed may be eligible to apply to certain non-Research Programmes (including for example Conferences & Workshops; SFI Discover etc). Please email specific queries to the relevant Programme mailbox.
SFI Policy on PhD Equivalence
In order to be eligible to apply to the majority of SFI programmes, applicants are required to hold a PhD degree or equivalent. Details are provided in the relevant call documentation. This policy is based on recognised best practice and is in keeping with the recommendations of other international and national funding bodies, and will be adhered to with effect from March 31st 2015. For equivalent qualifications, as outlined in this policy, applicants must contact SFI for approval prior to submitting a grant application. In addition, SFI award holders (current or past) who have previously been deemed equivalent and who did not hold a PhD at the time of application are required to contact SFI prior to submitting an application.
View the SFI Policy on PhD Equivalence
Any queries relating to this policy should be addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please put “SFI policy on PhD equivalence” in the subject line.
Last Updated September 2018.
SFI Policy on Resubmission of Grant Proposals
Last updated: April 2016
This policy describes the procedure for the resubmission of unfunded proposals previously submitted to SFI through any funding scheme. This policy is based on recognised international best practice and is aimed at alleviating pressure on the peer review system.
Applications to any call that are based primarily on unsuccessful submissions (following peer review) to any SFI programme must demonstrate that the review comments resulting from the initial application have been taken into account in the preparation of the new submission. SFI will not review resubmissions that have not clearly taken into account the major comments or concerns resulting from the prior review and these proposals will be withdrawn without review. SFI may employ authentication and comparison software in the routine evaluation of submitted proposals.
The extent to which the new proposal will have been revised may vary. It is recognised that not all review comments need necessarily be incorporated. Where an applicant elects not to address significant reviewer comments, they are required to describe in detail why any such comments have not been addressed in the revised application. It may be advisable to consult with an SFI Scientific Programme Manager in advance of a resubmission to raise any specific queries.
It is important to note that SFI will treat the revised proposal as a new proposal, subject to standard review procedures.
The new proposal will be reviewed by the most appropriate and available reviewers who may or may not have seen a previous iteration of the proposal. In all cases, reviewers will be asked to review the submission as a new proposal and they will not be granted access to the previous iteration of the proposal, reviews or scores.
Addressing previous review comments does not guarantee that the proposal will be better positioned to be funded as it will be placed in a new competition and will be evaluated relative to new applications or as a new standalone application, depending on the nature of the call.
If an application was deemed fundable and placed on a reserve list by SFI, but was not ultimately funded owing to the availability of budget, it would be recognised that changes to the research programme in a resubmission may be minimal given the positive nature of the preliminary review, although it would be expected at a minimum that the state of the art description, references and applicant details be updated.
Requirements for the resubmission of a revised application
Applicants to an SFI call for proposals must declare whether a new submission relates to a previously submitted application to any SFI scheme. If the application is a resubmission, a statement referencing the previous application and explaining the differences must be provided and making reference to reviewer comments where relevant (see Call document for details). This statement will assist SFI Scientific Staff in the assessment of eligibility of a revised application and will not be shared with reviewers.
Applicants are therefore advised not to reference a previous submission in the main body of the revised proposal. Applications not considered to meet these requirements will be withdrawn without review.
Any queries relating to this policy should be addressed to the relevant programme email address. Please put “SFIPolicy on Resubmission of Grant Proposals” in the subject line.
Q: Could you please indicate examples of changes to a grant proposal that could be considered as substantial?
A: Changes that could be considered as substantial will vary for different proposals. Examples of such changes might include the inclusion of additional preliminary data in response to reviewer comments; the use of significantly different model systems; a significant change in methodology; use of similar methodology to address a different research question and so on. In all cases the evaluation of changes will be made using scientific judgment on a case-by-case basis after careful consideration of multiple factors.
Q: Could you please indicate examples of changes to a grant proposal that might not be considered as substantial and therefore would not on their own constitute a significantly revised proposal?
A: Acceptable revisions will vary for different proposals. Examples of unsubstantial changes might include the rewording of text in the proposal without changing the substance of the scientific objectives; addition of collaborators or co-applicants without an associated change in the programme of research; changes to the Impact section without changes to the research programme and so on. In all cases the evaluation of changes will be made using scientific judgment on a case-by-case basis after careful consideration of multiple factors.
Q: At what point in the submission process should I submit a statement detailing changes to a resubmitted proposal?
A: A statement detailing changes to a resubmitted proposal must be provided at the time of proposal submission. For the majority of programmes where the proposals are submitted via the Sesame system, the statement can be provided within the relevant section of the Sesame application. For programmes where the application process is through the Sesame system, but the online application form does not include a resubmission statement section, resubmission statements must be sent to the relevant programmatic email address in advance of the call deadline. For programmes where the application process is outside the Sesame system, resubmission statements must be included as a separate attachment to the application email.
Statements detailing changes to a resubmitted proposal will assist SFI Scientific Staff in the assessment of eligibility of a revised application and will not be shared with reviewers. This assessment will take place after the relevant call deadline. Applications not considered to meet the requirements outlined in the policy will be withdrawn without review.
SFI Policy for Emeritus/Retired Researchers
SFI Grant Applicants (Pre-Award)
An Emeritus/’retired’ academic Professor can apply to SFI programme calls provided that the host Research Body provides a letter signed by the Vice-President of Research (or equivalent) which confirms that there is commitment from the Research Body that the following will be the case prior to an award commencing:
- There will be a written contract of employment/statement of appointment (or similar) in place, which extends at least up to the expiration date of the award.
- The Emeritus / ‘retired’ Professor will have full access to all facilities, labs, and other infrastructure necessary to successfully embark on the intended programme of research.
- The Emeritus / ‘retired’ Professor will have full signing and approval authority, in order to manage the award appropriately, and to supervise students.
- The Emeritus / ‘retired’ Professor will be bound by the rules and regulations of the institute, as is the case for other faculty colleagues.
- The Emeritus / ‘retired’ Professor will be covered by the host body’s indemnity insurance.
This letter needs to be submitted to SFI in advance of the proposal submission deadline in order to receive approval. Please email the relevant Programme mailbox (e.g. email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, etc.). If the applicant will attain Emeritus/ ‘retired’ status during the course of the award, a similar letter of support must be provided by the Research Body. Once approval has been received from SFI the applicant must include the letter of support in his/her grant application. Please check the relevant call documentation for call-specific details of this policy.
SFI Award Holders (Post-Award)
A retired member of staff can continue to hold SFI awards once the Research Body can provide a letter signed by the Vice-President of Research (or equivalent) which confirms that the following is the case:
- There is a written contract of employment/statement of appointment (or similar) in place, which extends at least up to the expiration date of the award.
- The Emeritus / ‘retired’ Professor has full access to all facilities, labs, and other infrastructure necessary to successfully continue the intended programme of research.
- The Emeritus / ‘retired’ Professor has full signing and approval authority, in order to manage the award appropriately, and to supervise students.
- The Emeritus / ‘retired’ Professor is bound by the rules and regulations of the institute, as is the case for other faculty colleagues.
- The Emeritus / ‘retired’ Professor is covered by the indemnity insurance of the Research Body.
This letter needs to be submitted by email to the relevant programmatic mailbox (e.g. email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, etc.), copying the relevant SFI Programme Manager, at least 3 months in advance of the retirement date, in order to receive SFI approval to the continuation of the specified SFI grants.
SFI Investigator Titles
The Lead Applicant will be responsible for the scientific and technical direction of the research programme and the submission of reports to SFI. The Lead Applicant has primary fiduciary responsibility and accountability for carrying out the research within the funding limits awarded and in accordance with the terms and conditions Science Foundation Ireland (SFI). The Lead Applicant will serve as the primary point of contact for SFI on the award and during the review process.
The Co-Applicant has a significant, critical and continuing role in leading the proposed investigation. For the purposes of reviewing and monitoring, a co-applicant applying for funding under a SFI programme will receive equal evaluation as the lead applicant and will hold equal accountability for the delivery of the proposed research objectives.
Both Lead and Co-Applicants will be named on the Letter of Offer and are contractually responsible for delivery of the research programme.
An SFI Principal Investigator (PI) is an independent researcher who holds an award from SFI under any of the following SFI programmes, including: Principal Investigator, Investigator Project or Award, Research Frontiers, Research Professorship, President of Ireland Young Researcher Award, Industry Fellowships, US-Ireland, ERC Development, TIDA, Starting Investigator Grant, Career Development Award, Partnerships, Centres for Science, Engineering and Technology (CSET), Strategic Research Clusters (SRC) and Research Centres (referred to collectively hereafter as ‘Centres’).
An SFI Co-Principal Investigator (co-PI) is an independent researcher who co-holds an award from SFI under any of the following SFI programmes: Principal Investigator, Investigator Award, Partnerships or Centres award.
An SFI Funded Investigator (FI) is an independent researcher who is undertaking a management role in a research project within a Centre. It is anticipated that SFI Funded Investigators have budgetary responsibility for a research project within an SFI Centre. SFI Funded Investigators will serve under the direction of the lead applicant (PI) or one of the co-applicants (co-PIs). The definition of an SFI Funded Investigator is also relevant to awards made under the SFI Partnerships Programme.
SFI Principal Investigators, Co-Principal Investigators and SFI Funded Investigators are designated as “SFI Funded Researchers”
Any proposed changes to the official list of PIs, co—PIs and FIs associated with an award and as agreed by SFI, must be approved in advance by the Foundation.Find details here.
A Collaborator is an individual who is committed to providing a focused contribution for a specific task. The collaborator will serve under the direction of the Lead Applicant, and may or may not, receive funding through the award. Collaborators are not designated as SFI-funded researchers.
SFI Stokes Lecturers and SFI Stokes Professors will be designated as SFI funded researchers upon receipt of SFI funding as Principal Investigator, SFI Co-Principal Investigator or SFI Funded Investigator.
A UREKA Site Applicant/Co-Applicant/Mentor are funded under the UREKA site programme. Such investigators are not designated as SFI-funded researchers.
E.T.S. Walton Fellows are visiting researchers; such investigators are not designated as SFI funded researchers.