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There has been a marked increase in calls where sponsors request a VC/PVC Research support letters to be submitted with the application for funding. In order to allow sufficient time for the review and signing of letters, from 1 June 2016 requests and draft support letters must be submitted to the Research Strategy Office (researchstrategy@admin.cam.ac.uk) 15 (fifteen) working days ahead of the sponsor's deadline. The Vice Chancellor or the PVC Research will reserve the right to refuse to sign support letters which do not meet this submission deadline.

Please confirm first 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. If the call doesn’t require a signature by the VC / PVC Research, normally the Head of School or Department can sign the letter.

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

  • Submit the draft support letter, link to the call document and the outline of the proposal.
  • Fill in and submit the form (available at the bottom of this page), which confirms the institutional contribution included in the bid and that it has been approved by the relevant Head of Department,  Head of School and the School Finance Manager.
  • In the case of a multi-institutional proposal, please make sure that the costing and institutional contribution from all participating institutions has been agreed before submitting the draft letter.

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.

Please make sure that where a page limit [is mandated by the funder], a one page letter contains no more than 500 words, and a two page letter no more than 850 words.

For further guidance, please see the support letter template form below.

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

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