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UKRI Interdisciplinary Circular Economy Coordinator

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UK Research & Innovation invites proposals to be the Interdisciplinary Circular Economy Coordinator. Up to £150k (at 80% FEC) is available for this initial grant to engage with the full spectrum of interdisciplinary research and stakeholder communities and design a proposal for an Interdisciplinary Circular Economy Hub, with up to £3.3m available at the second stage for the Coordinator to lead the integration Hub.

The initial £150k grant will be used by the Coordinator to build an interdisciplinary community to develop the proposal for the Hub, as well as engaging in relevant knowledge exchange and coordination activities. Funds can be requested for the Coordinator’s time, and to fund networking activities, workshops and general admin support during this period.

The successful Coordinator will then submit a subsequent proposal for the interdisciplinary Circular Economy Hub, with up to £3.3m available for up to 3 years, 9 months from 1 January 2021.

The UK has potential to grow and prosper sustainably by transitioning to a more circular economy, where resources are processed with sustainability, waste minimisation and efficiency in mind, and where product lifecycles are optimised to generate more economic and social value before recycling and/or reuse. However, this transition requires clear, evidence-based, implementation pathways, with broad underpinning research evidence. It must provide not only technical, technological and scientific advances, but also the social, behavioural, cultural, ethical, environmental, economic, legal and regulatory understanding required to support a successful transition.

To address this, the £30 million UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Interdisciplinary Circular Economy programme will be delivered by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), and Innovate UK. This fund will support the creation of up to 5 interdisciplinary research centres, and a Coordinator who will lead an integration hub.

UKRI are running a concurrent call to establish Interdisciplinary Circular Economy Centres, each focused on a different nationally-important resource flow. The Hub will be expected to work with the Centres (and vice versa), to integrate the overall programme. Details of the Centres call are available; we recommend that potential applicants read both call documents to familiarise themselves with the scope and format of the overall programme.

The call is led by EPSRC for administrative purposes only. UKRI welcomes and encourages applications led by and involving any discipline. Arts and Humanities expertise and perspectives are certainly required to enable any successful transition to a more circular economy.


UKRI will be running two webinar (interactive online meeting) sessions to give potential applicants to both calls an opportunity to learn more about the programme. These will run on:

  • 17 October 11:00-12:30
  • 22 October 13:30-15:00.

The webinars will cover:

  • Background Information
  • Vision and Objectives of both Calls
  • Eligibility and Funding Restrictions
  • Assessment Criteria

There will also be an opportunity to ask any questions you might have about this activity.

If you would like to attend, please register your interest by emailing UKRI identifying which webinar you wish to attend.

Both webinars will cover the same information. Instructions on how to access the webinar will then be sent to you. The deadline for registration will be 24 hours before each webinar.

We recommend that attendees read both call documents in preparation for their webinar.

Closing Dates

Closing Date: 19/11/2019

Submit an Intent to Submit by 16.00 on 31 October 2019 via the following SmartSurvey link.

Deadline for proposals is 16:00 on 19 November 2019.

How to make an application

This is the first of a two stage process. The available funding at this first stage is to fund a Coordinator to lead the scoping and development of a proposal for a Circular Economy Hub.

Please see the call document below for further information.

Further Information

Circular Economy Coordinator call document (PDF, 743KB)


Applicants are encouraged to contact UKRI to discuss their interest in applying to be the Interdisciplinary Circular Economy Coordinator.

For questions regarding AHRC remit within the call please contact tim.pank@ahrc.ukri.org.

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