The On Track Foundation welcomes applications for project grants as detailed below. Applicants should consider the purpose and objectives of the OTF prior to applying for a grant.

The initial step for any grant application is to send a brief project summary stating the principle aims and overall project costs for assessment by the OTF prior to engaging in the formal application process detailed below.

The Applicants completed proposal must be submitted via email to:

Application deadlines are usually in October. All proposals are assessed by the OTF Board of Trustees and approved grants will normally be funded in part-payment, bi-annually.

Reviews are based around four core criteria:

Efficacy: does the proposal contain within methods to prove it has been effective in contributing to the conservation of wildlife? Does it have measurable outcomes and an evaluation plan?
Importance: how important are the questions, or gaps in knowledge, that are being addressed?
Scientific potential: what are the prospects for good scientific progress?
Resources requested: are the funds requested essential for the work, and do the importance and scientific potential justify funding on the scale requested and does the grant represent good value?

Guidance For Applications For Project Funding

Types of Research Organisations (ROs)
The principal investigator (PI) must be based at the lead organisation, which should be one of the following:

Higher Education Institutions
Independent Research Organisations (IROs)
Responsibilities of Research Organisations
By submitting a proposal to OTF, a RO indicates their formal acceptance of the proposal, their acceptance of the terms and conditions of any OTF award, and the approval of the salaries and resources sought.
Administrative authorities have responsibility for ensuring that the salaries and resources cited in the proposals are sufficient to undertake the proposed research, to attract sufficiently experienced and skilled staff, and represent good value for money.

Each proposal must have one Principal Investigator (PI). The PI is usually responsible for the intellectual leadership of the research project and for the overall management of the research.  If intellectual leadership of the research is shared, the PI should be the individual who will act as OTF’s main contact and coordinator.

OTF will consider proposals for research grants from any researcher who can demonstrate they will direct the proposed research and be actively engaged in carrying it through.

If the PI leaves the RO for any reason, the RO must notify OTF and seek permission for a named replacement.

Project Partners
OTF encourages and supports collaborative (inter- and cross-disciplinary) research projects and team approaches, especially between academic and industry researchers. Collaborators based in different organisations to the investigators or in industry can be formally recognised in applications as named project partners.

If a project partner provides a substantial intellectual contribution to the project, and their organisation may also provide resources, either in-kind or financially, project partners are not expected to request OTF funding to participate. The contribution and involvement of project partners should be acknowledged in the project partner section of the application form and described in detail in the case for support, where the whole team and their skills/expertise and responsibilities should be set out for the benefit of assessors.

Please note project partners do not need to be based at an eligible RO and each project partner must provide a letter of support.

Responsibilities of Applicants - including declaration of interests
OTF expects all funded researchers, to adopt the highest achievable standards in the conduct of their research. This means exhibiting impeccable scientific integrity and following the principles of good research practice.

As part of this, any private, personal or commercial interests relating to an application for funding to the Research Councils must be declared in a covering letter included as an application attachment.

Political/Pressure Group Associations
Any relevant political/pressure group associations of the applicants (including paid posts and high-profile unpaid roles) should be declared.

Applications to OTF
Each PI may submit a maximum of two grants. However, applicants are strongly advised to seek funding on the basis of quality rather than the number that can be submitted.

Resubmissions and Renewals
Applications previously declined by OTF, another research council or other funding body, will not be considered by OTF within 12 months (from the original submission date), unless invited in writing to resubmit by the OTF.

Please note this time restriction does not apply to outline applications.

Applying to OTF for Grants
By submitting a proposal to OTF the applicant confirms the resources requested are proportionate and the research proposed is not already supported by any other funding body. If OTF has concerns about the credibility of resources requested in an application it will be rejected.

Applicants submitting a substantially different but related grant application to another funder in parallel should take care to explain the relationship between applications, especially if they are related scientifically or through use of common or shared resources. All support from other sources that has been awarded or applied for must be listed.

OTF reserves the right to request the full details of the applications and awards listed. Concerns about overlap of objectives or resources between a parallel.

Typical Project Applications

Studentships - OTF supports students by providing block grants and individual studentship awards direct to ROs who then recruit and manage the students. We do not normally award external grants directly to individual students. Studentships can also be included on centre and partnership grants, but must??

How to Apply - Submission Process
It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that their application is submitted with adequate time to allow complete necessary checks and complete the final submission deadline.
Explain the need for research in this area, and the rationale for the particular lines of research planned.
Justify the research, either through its importance for wildlife conservation, or its contribution to relevant areas of education science.
Give sufficient details of other past and current research to show that the aims are scientifically justified, and to show that the work will add distinct value to what is already known, or in progress.
Where relevant, explain how plans benefit, fulfill unmet needs.
Submission Documents
The title of the proposed project
Explain the need for research in this area, and the rationale for the particular lines of research planned.
Justify the research, either through its importance for wildlife conservation, or its contribution to relevant areas of education science.
Give sufficient details of other past and current research to show that the aims are scientifically justified, and to show that the work will add distinct value to what is already known, or in progress.
Where relevant, explain how plans benefit, fulfill unmet needs.
Scientific potential
Describe any factors, which the applicant considers may promote delivery of the proposal.
Ethics and research governance
Describe briefly the ethical issues arising from any involvement of people, or personal data.
Exploitation and dissemination
Is the proposed research likely to generate commercially exploitable results?
Other than publication in peer-reviewed journals, indicate how any results arising from the research will be disseminated so as to promote or facilitate take up by other users.
Project partners
All partner contributions, whether in cash or in-kind, should be explained in detail, including the equivalent value of any in-kind contributions
In-kind contributions can include staff time, access to equipment, sites or facilities, the provision of data, software or materials. 
CV for all project personnel
Details of any previous publications
Justification of resources
As stated
Pathways to impact
Project plan, milestones and timeline
Data management plan
Details of project data management
Covering letter
A covering letter of 1000 words describing the project
Proposal cost
Questions to consider
Staff – directly incurred posts Researcher/technician
Justify why a researcher/technician is needed for the proposed work and why the proposed time input is appropriate.
Is the work of appropriate scientific technical difficulty to warrant employing a research assistant? Why has the level requested for the RA been asked for?
Staff – directly allocated posts
Justify the time that the PI and CoI spend on the grant. A PI or CoI cannot request time for supervising postgraduate research students, writing publications after the end of the project, writing grant applications or peer review.
How much time do you intend to dedicate to the project? Will you be doing all the research yourself? What work packages are the PI and CoIs involved with and why? Have you factored in enough time to work with project partners or visiting researchers and collaborators? Are you managing the staff on the project only?
Travel and subsistence
Give a full breakdown of the costs. For example how many people are travelling, where are they going and why?
If you are planning to visit people to discuss your research, you should explain why those are the right people to talk to and how they can contribute to you meeting your objectives.
Travel costs incurred when using facilities should be included where necessary.
Other directly incurred costs
Give a description of what has been requested and why?
Justify the need for any item requested. Explain what the item will be needed for and also justify the cost.
You must provide a breakdown of any costs, which are incurred for bulk items.
Directly incurred equipment 
Why is the item needed?
Why can the item not be used/borrowed from elsewhere.
Other directly allocated costs
Justify the need for resources.
Explain what these are and why you need to use them. In some cases, such as internal facilities and shared costs, the basis of costing does not need to be justified.
Research facilities (at research organisations)
Justify time only.
Explain what you are using the facility for and why you need to use this particular facility.