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Application Guidance


  1. What does ‘seedcorn’ mean?

By ‘seedcorn’ we mean that use of the facility is free for an initial short-term investigation and that subsequent use will be on a paid-for basis.

  1. Are there any restrictions on who can apply?

This provision is only for UK-base postgraduate students, and not postdoctoral fellows or for industrial scientists.

Access is only for those who have not used a specific facility before, and those who are not already Warwick collaborators for that specific facility (e.g., no joint publications for the PI and the team for that particular facility). Users of one specific area are encouraged to use the seed-corn access scheme to interact for the first time with a different area.

  1. Which facilities can I use?

All of the facilities listed on our website can be applied for, and you may apply to use more than one facility at a time.

  1. How long can I use a facility for?

Access will be restricted to a maximum of three days of instrument time per facility and we will expect to see a justification of the time needed in the Scientific Case document - this should be borne out of the initial discussion with the relevant facility manager. Under certain circumstances, the number of days can be extended for example when instrument setup time needs to be included.

Some illustrative examples of the kind of use include - 16 core-level XPS scans, 20 XRD short experiments for structural determination, 10 measurements using Raman spectroscopy.

  1. What do you expect in the Scientific Case document?

The scientific case should outline the aim of the investigation, full context of your PhD project, the experiments that you wish to carry out, why they are needed, an estimate of the time required, and what the impact of the investigation will be. Please include figures/schemes/references where appropriate, and the specific details of the experiments that you would like carrying out - this should come from your initial discussions with the facility manager.

We place no restrictions on the content of the case proposal, other than it be limited to one page, follow UKRI style guidelines, and is uploaded as a .PDF.

If you would like some examples of successful applications for reference, please contact us.

  1. What happens after I submit my application?

Applications will be pre-screened and then referred to the relevant facility director for review.

If their view is that the case for access has not been made, the applicant will be provided with feedback and encouraged to make a resubmission. If the applicant has concerns with the evaluation of their application, they can appeal to the chair of the advisory board.

  1. How long will it take to review my application?

Acknowledgement of proposals will be given within one working week of submission, with a decision made on the application itself within three weeks. Upon successful application, experiments will be carried out within one month of award, wherever possible.

8. Is there a deadline to complete my application?

There are no application deadlines, there is just a set number of days available for each year until the end of the grant (60 days in 2021, 120 days in year 2022, and 150 days in years 2023 and 2024). Notice will be given here once the number of days has expired in a given year.

Intellectual Property

Whilst local institutional legal rules should be followed, the expectation for work carried out under the seedcorn provision would provide entitlement for the results / intellectual property rights for the research to belong to the applicant, but the methods for generating the results would belong to the facility, unless specifically agreed otherwise.

Fair Use and Acknowledgements

Users of the seedcorn provision must abide by the Fair Attribution Policy as a condition of receiving the access. In particular, the EPSRC funding must be acknowledged along with the grant code (EP/V007688/1) for any published data that is a result of the seedcorn use (papers, posters, presentations).

Please inform WASC if any of the obtained data is presented/published in a paper, poster, presentation, or PhD thesis as this is an important measure of the grant impact.

There is no requirement that Warwick staff are listed as authors on publications, but this is at the discretion of the PI depending, e.g., on the scientific input and intellectual contribution into the interpretation of the data.