Frequently Asked Questions

In order to remain transparent this page will be updated to reflect those questions most frequently raised by potential applicants. This page should therefore be referred to regularly in conjunction with the call documents. 

1.1 Download the Application Pack

Download the application pack from our website www.ageing-sbdrp.co.uk/how-to-apply.  The Application Pack includes the following:  

  • HAC SBDRP APPROACH Application Form  
  • HAC SBDRP APPROACH Call Specification  
  • ESRC Research Funding Guide  
  • EDI Monitoring Form  

1.2 Read all guidance and fill in application clearly and thoroughly

Guidance on how to apply to the Healthy Ageing Challenge APPROACH Call is contained within this Call Specification document and on our website including Frequently Asked Questions that are updated frequently www.ageing-sbdrp.co.uk/FAQs.   

 If you have any questions that are not answered via the Call Specification, our website or FAQs, then please email us on sbdrpenquiries@stir.ac.uk and we will get back to you shortly.

1.3. Complete the application checklist

Application Checklist 

Your application will consist of the following documents saved as .pdfs:   



Application Form saved as .pdf and attached to email?   


CVs (as requested)   


Project timeline e.g. Gantt Chart or logic model (if used)  


EDI saved as .pdf and attached to email?   



1.4 Submit your application by email to sbdrpsubmissions@stir.ac.uk

Check that you have included all documents highlighted in the Checklist (see above) and then email this to sbdrpsubmissions@stir.ac.uk before 5pm on June 13th 2022.   

Grants will be awarded at 80% of the fEC for research council funding. Individual awards will be funded up to £100k (80% fEC, £125k at 100% fEC). 

The duration of the grant should not exceed 12 months. The latest end date should be 12 months after the start date or 30 September 2023, whichever is sooner. 

Applications are welcomed from researchers at all career stages. We particularly interested in applications where this is the first opportunity as Principal Investigator.   

Yes. Co-Investigators (Co-Is) can be included in applications, subject to ESRC standard eligibility requirements. 

Yes. Applicants can be included on more than one bid, as long as their cumulative time commitment does not exceed 100% of their current hours (or a maximum of 37 hours per week). We would not expect applicants to be PI on more than one bid. 

Yes, we encourage collaboration across institutions. However, proposals will not be penalised where the appropriate expertise can be sourced from a single institution. 

Yes. Institutions can both submit multiple bids, and partner across more than one bid. 

Design is an important component of the call and we encourage research in this area. However, proposals are not required to incorporate a design aspect. 

Professor Judith Phillips, as the Research Director for the Healthy Ageing Challenge, represents and communicates the interests of the research community, and particularly those funded through this programme, across the full portfolio of Challenge investments, and to the wider public. Her role is to provide intellectual leadership, to ensure the coherence of funded research activities, to act as the public face of the research elements of the Challenge, and to add value where possible by identifying opportunities for shared learning, connecting research and researchers to the other Challenge investments, and building new connections where appropriate. The Research Director and Research Programme Manager, Dr Elaine Douglas, will ensure your project is connected to the rest of the Challenge, highlighting impact and knowledge-exchange opportunities, and co-ordinating the overarching work of the SBD research programme. You and your team will be expected to actively work with the Research Director to take advantage of these opportunities.

Projects funded under the SBDRP are expected to engage with older people throughout the funded period, from research design to the dissemination of findings. This will be considered meaningful where it can be demonstrated the opinions of older people have been taken into account throughout the project. The form of that engagement can be determined by the project, but we would recommend forming an older people’s reference group and liaising with them throughout the project as a minimum requirement.  

We would encourage applicants to include older adults throughout the development of the research. Where this is impacted by CoVID-19, please clarify this in your proposal and detail any steps you are taking to address this. 

Yes. Applicants are encouraged to consider the views, experiences and roles of carers in their proposals. Where appropriate, this should be part of engagement strategies, including reference groups. 

Due to time constraints projects will not need to bring in business at this stage but will need to identify potential business links at application stage; the SBDRP Research Director (Prof. Judith Phillips) will work with projects to identify suitable business links with the successful projects. 

No. Whilst the involvement of third (and public) sector organisations is encouraged, they are not considered businesses for the purposes of this call. However, it is important to note that Social Enterprises are considered to be businesses for the purposes of this call, but will be funded as third sector organisations. 

Yes. We encourage applicants to address place. This may mean some proposals are based in specific locations. Where this is the case, proposals should detail how findings from this research can be extrapolated to understand other places and spaces. 

Proposals will be assessed on their scientific merit and fit to the Healthy Ageing Challenge mission goals. Whilst we strongly encourage proposals to address the Challenge Framework themes, please note that these are not exhaustive and areas of research not covered can be included if a strong case is made for their importance. Proposals will not be assessed on the number of the themes they address. 

Proposals are expected to be interdisciplinary, and to include an appropriate range of expertise to meet their stated research, impact, knowledge exchange and communication aims. Proposals will be assessed on the suitability of that expertise, not on their ‘home’ discipline areas. 

As SBDRP is an impact-focused funding call, APPROACH projects are required to illustrate how they intend to ensure their research is accompanied by a robust and compelling plan of action to achieve this. Proposals identify routes to impact, approaches to knowledge exchange and communication strategy. Relevant costs and staff associated with this strategy should be identified in the proposal. Please see the ESRC’s Impact Toolkit for more advice and guidance. 

Projects may directly address the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic on social, behavioural and design aspects of healthy ageing. We do not expect all proposals to do COVID-19 related research. However, all applicants are required to present an assessment of how the pandemic might shape or affect research and engagement plans.  

No, we do not allow contingency costs to be included in grant proposals. In the event the proposal is funded and plans are restricted by the COVID-19 pandemic we would work with grant holders to accommodate those restrictions in an appropriate manner.

No extensions will be possible.  The latest start date for projects will be 1st October 2022 and all projects must be completed within 12 months of start date or 30 September 2023 at the latest.

Projects will be expected to cover the travel and subsistence (T&S) costs of those providing advice, guidance and feedback (e.g. an Older Person’s Reference Group). Proposals may also include costs in order to show an appreciation of the effort of those involved in providing advice, guidance and feedback. It is not recommended that you directly pay those taking these roles, as this may have tax implications for many people.  

No. Associated studentships are not allowed. 

Applications will be assessed by expert review and will be considered by a subject-focused panel. The panel will take place on 5th July 2022. Decisions will be communicated as soon as possible thereafter. Where applicants are invited to provide a response to the expert review comments on their proposal this must be submitted within five working days and should follow standard ESRC guidelines. 

SBDRP is part of the Healthy Ageing Challenge. You can find out more about us on our website Home – SBDRP | Stirling University (ageing-sbdrp.co.uk). You can also follow us on Twitter @Ageing_SBDRP