ESR Process & Key Steps

Applicants are invited to submit proposals using an individually-driven, bottom-up approach.  For assistance in the preparation of submissions, see the dedicated Guide for Applicants.

Once deemed eligible (see Eligibility), the applicant must register their interest to partake in the SMART 4.0 programme via the online portal (see Register Interest).  It is vital from the perspectives of CONFIRM Centre suitability and investigator compatibility that the applicant clearly outlines their areas of expertise and proposed research area(s) of their project (see workflow, point [1]).  Once assessed by the SMART 4.0 programme manager for suitability, the prospective Fellows will then be given access to the submission portion of the online system (see [2]).  All required templates required for upload for the final submission will then be accessible.

As per point [3], please use the quick reference guide (see Partners – Academic & Industry) for high-level guidance on CONFIRM Centre’s ensemble areas of expertise; once research relevant institution(s) have been identified, those investigators can be searched for in the dedicated ‘People’ section of the CONFIRM Centre website (  It is mandatory for applicants to contact their proposed supervisor and to obtain their guidance during the proposal preparation stage.  The applicant is encouraged to work closely with these parties in preparing the proposal (see [4]).  If unsure of whom to approach and for guidance on suitable secondment partners, please contact the SMART 4.0 programme manager for support (

SMART 4.0 ESR proposal submission process from registration to fellowship offer. Note the iterative process of proposal preparation between the applicant and the proposed academic supervisors. Accountability for each stage of the process is colour-coded as per the legend

Personal data handling – we will be circulating your submission documentation within our internal peer review panels towards the implementation of SMART 4.0 actions.  We will NOT share your information with any third party without your explicit approval.  We do NOT use your information for any automated decision making or profiling purposes.  Please see our Privacy Notice for full details.

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