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Research Operations Office

 

Procedure for VC and PVC Research Support Letters

There has been a marked increase in calls where sponsors request a support letter signed by the Vice-Chancellor or Pro-Vice-Chancellor Research to be submitted with the application for funding. In order to allow sufficient time for the review and signing of letters, requests for a support letter must be submitted to the Research Strategy Office (researchstrategy@admin.cam.ac.uk) 15 (fifteen) working days ahead of the sponsor's deadline or other institution's deadline (if another HEI is the lead on the application), whichever is sooner. We shall endeavour to return the signed letters as soon as possible. Where there are no strong mitigating factors in the delay, the Vice-Chancellor or PVC Research will reserve the right to refuse to sign late requests. In those cases the Head of Research Office will sign a brief statement of support but not any institutional commitments.

When submitting the request to the Research Strategy Office, please:

  • Confirm with the sponsor whether the VC/PVC Research needs to sign the letter or whether this could be done by the Head of School or Department
  • Confirm that the Head of Department supports the proposal and commitment offered in the support letter
  • In the case of a multi-institutional proposal, please make sure that the costing and institutional contribution from all participating institutions have been agreed before submitting the draft letter
  • Submit the draft support letter, link to the call document and the outline of the proposal

The support letter should include the following information:

  • Title of the proposal
  • Institutions participating in the application
  • Vision and aims of the proposal
  • Particular strengths and expertise that the researcher(s) are bringing to the proposal
  • Strengths and expertise of relevant research centres / departments and divisions, links to their research strategy and / or key themes
  • Links to the University's strategic research initiatives and networks (where applicable)
  • What support / commitments can be offered (where applicable and relevant), e.g. allocation of space, allocation of studentships, facilities, staff time etc.
  • Anything else that you feel would strengthen the support to the application

For further guidance please see the support letter template.

Please send queries and requests to the Research Strategy Office using the contact address: researchstrategy@admin.cam.ac.uk

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