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OPERATION OF THE UKRI/ FAPESP LEAD AGENCY AGREEMENT

SECTION 1 – GENERIC GUIDANCE

Background

1. UK Research & Innovation (UKRI) and the State of So Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP) are charged with fostering and supporting academic research within their own communities in their respective countries/State. They recognise that the best research in all countries may be delivered by working with the best researchers internationally.

2. To this end the FAPESP and UKRI have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in order to welcome, encourage and support collaborative applications that may cut across their national boundaries and involve international collaborative teams.

3. The MoU provides for a ‘Lead Agency Agreement’ whereby UKRI will receive and assess collaborative proposals from eligible applicants in both countries on behalf of both organisations. FAPESP nominated experts will be involved with the peer review and decision making process throughout.

4. The views expressed by experts nominated by FAPESP will be formally incorporated into the UK peer review process. The selection processes, as a whole, remain a process of the applicable UK Research Council. FAPESP agrees in principle to accept the results of the peer review process and to fund the Brazilian component of successful applications, in accordance with their existing financial processes and procedures.

5. Due to their respective different modes of funding and procedures; individual UK Research Councils take differing approaches to the implementation of the Agreement, these are summarised in Section 2. Details of schemes open to applicants can also be found in section 2. UKRI is committed to the Agreement and each Research Council will periodically review its implementation with a view to streamlining and harmonising as far as possible.

6. FAPESP and UKRI have agreed that the Lead Agency Agreement will principally apply to UKRIs’ ‘responsive mode’ schemes. However, under the terms of this agreement it is also envisaged that FAPESP will agree to co-fund proposals submitted in response to particular UK Research Council targeted and international calls. Where this is the case, it will be agreed in advance by both funding agencies and will be clearly advertised in the relevant call for proposals and associated guidance.

7. It is important to note that the Agreement does not represent a separate stream of funding, but enables Brazilian/UK collaborative proposals to be submitted to existing UKRI competitions.

Eligible Applications

8. Applications are welcomed in any single or cross-disciplinary area which fits within the remit of FAPESP and one or more of the UK Research Councils. Details of schemes to which applicants can apply can be found in section 2 below, these may be either responsive mode schemes (covering all areas of Council remit) or through targeted or international calls.

9. Interdisciplinary and cross-disciplinary applications which cross the remit of more than one of the UK Research Councils will be processed according to our cross-Council funding agreement for more details atwww.ukri.org/research/international/international-collaboration/ukri-fapesp-memorandum-of-understanding/.

10. Applications can be made from any institution(s) eligible for support from UKRI funding (researchers based in UKRI research institutes should check their eligibility with the relevant Research Council). Information on eligibility of UKRI funding can be found at www.ukri.org/funding/how-to-apply/eligibility/ or in the guidance notes of the relevant scheme for each Research Council.

11. Brazilian partners (for which costs are being requested from FAPESP), must be from higher education and research organisations, public or non-profit, in the State of So Paulo. Applicants should note that unlike UKRI, FAPESP does not award grants to institutions, but directly to researchers. Applicants should contact FAPESP to confirm their eligibility before submitting an application. For eligible applicants, FAPESP will provide a letter confirming eligibility, which should be attached to the joint funding application.

Submission of applications

Applications should be submitted simultaneously by the UK PI through Je-S and by the So Paulo PI to SAGe:

12. UKRI will accept applications via the Joint Electronic Submission (Je-S) system, which has a common format for all Councils. However, there are some differences between Councils and applicants should ensure that they follow the relevant guidelines and requirements for the individual Council covering the remit of their research.

13. FAPESP will accept applications via the Management Support System (SAGe).

Costing of proposals

14. Costs for the UK based researcher should be requested by completing the relevant finance fields of the Je-S form. Costs being requested from FAPESP for Brazilian based investigators should not be entered into these fields.

15. All costs being requested from UKRI must be eligible under normal Research Funding Rules.

16. The Brazilian applicants should include the following documents in the proposal being submitted to UKRI:

a) FAPESP Proposal Form with basic information regarding the proposal.

b) FAPESP Consolidated Budget, for the costs being requested.

c) FAPESP Letter of eligibility (requested by the Brazilian applicant from FAPESP and provided by e-mail).

d) Further documentation may be required by FAPESP, to be supplied by the Brazilian PI in order to complete the analysis of the proposal.

The FAPESP letter of eligibility should be provided to the UK applicants to be uploaded as attachments to the Je-S form.

17. All costs requested from FAPESP should be eligible under the general rules and procedures for FAPESP research grants. In general terms, costs which can be claimed from FAPESP can include:

• Equipment and long-term materials (bought in Brazil or imported);
• Consumable materials and supplies (bought in Brazil or imported);
• Third-party services (national or foreign);
• Travel expenses and travel allowances for activities directly related to the development of the proposed research;
• Scholarships and Fellowships

18. Wages of any nature, third-party services other than those of a technical and occasional nature, construction works, purchase of publications and administrative materials or, services of any type are not eligible from FAPESP.

Processing of applications

19. Applications will be submitted to the relevant UK Research Council for processing. The UK Research Council will lead on the processing and assessment of the application on behalf of both organisations. By submitting the application, all applicants and individuals named on the application agree that any personal information on that proposal can be shared with officers of FAPESP and their nominated experts. FAPESP agrees to treat such information in confidence and according to UK Data protection rules and Brazilian Law n.9.279/96, as well as any other law applicable to the protection of intellectual property rights.

20. On receipt of the application the UK Research Council will forward a copy of the completed application to FAPESP, for eligibility checks, confirmation of the availability of funds should the proposal be recommended for funding and the nomination of peer reviewers. These will be sent to FAPESP within two weeks of receipt or as soon thereafter as it is practically possible. FAPESP will complete eligibility checks and forward names of peer reviewers within a further two weeks.

21. Once these have been completed the UK applicants will be contacted, normally by email, if their application cannot be accepted for processing due to eligibility issues. FAPESP will also be informed of any such decision and will then inform the Brazilian applicants. The UK Research Council will approach the relevant number of peer reviewers (at least one of which should be nominated by FAPESP) according to normal scheme rules and procedures. The number of reviews obtained will depend on the scheme.

22. Once peer reviews are completed the proposals will be submitted to the decision-making/advisory body of the UK Research Council. The proposals and peer reviews will be sent to FAPESP in advance of the UKRI panel meeting and if appropriate, a FAPESP nominee/ representative will be invited to participate in the decision-making process either via correspondence or in person depending on the nature of the scheme; and the number, value and ranking of proposals received in relation to the MoU being considered. FAPESP will confirm whether a nominee/representative will participate in the decision making process at least two weeks in advance of the decision-making/advisory board meeting.

Criteria of Assessment

23. UKRI funds research on a competitive basis using independent expert peer reviewers. This system is regarded as an international benchmark of excellence in research funding, and this provides a guarantee of the quality of UK research.

24. The actual criteria of assessment will depend on the individual UK Research Council and scheme to which the application is made. These are normally detailed in the relevant scheme applicant guidance notes.

Announcement of Decisions/ Issuing of Awards

25. The relevant UK Research Council will notify FAPESP once a decision has been made. Within three weeks FAPESP will then confirm sign off of the decision, whether successful or unsuccessful, and for successful applications will confirm funding and agree award start dates with the UK Research Council. Under the terms of the Agreement FAPESP agrees in principle to accept the results of the peer review process as presented by the relevant UK Research Council.

26. Once the UK Research Council has confirmation from FAPESP, the issuing of awards to both PI’s will be aligned between FAPESP and the respective UK Research Council. The UK Research Council will then issue a decision letter to the UK applicant on behalf of both organisations. A copy of this letter will be sent to FAPESP. This will confirm the proposed start date.

27. The UK Research Council will issue an award for the UK component to the UK applicant’s institution according to normal processes and procedures. FAPESP will issue an award for the Brazilian component to the Brazil applicant’s institution according to normal processes and procedures.

Post Award Management

28. Award holders should contact both FAPESP and the funding UK Research Council concerning any changes to any of the award holders’ institutional affiliations or other aspects of the grant during its life-time. If necessary, the funding UK Research Council and FAPESP may consult with each other before agreeing any changes to the grant’s status. This will normally be dealt with on a case-by-case basis.

Progress and Reporting

29. Where reporting is required by the UK Research Council/ FAPESP it will be submitted according to the normal procedures of those organisations. The required reporting will cover the development of the whole project (and not only of the national party), will specifically describe and comment on the effectiveness of the international cooperation and will be detailed in each of the Research Councils and FAPESP’s guidelines for applicants.

Intellectual Property

30. It is the responsibility of the Research Organisation, and all engaged in the research, to make every reasonable effort to ensure that the outcomes obtained in the course of the research, whether patentable or not, are used to the advantage of society and the economy. Research outcomes should be disseminated to both research and more widespread audiences - for example to inform potential users and beneficiaries of the research.

31. Unless stated otherwise, the ownership of intellectual property, and responsibility for its exploitation, rests with the organisation that generates it. Where the grant is associated with more than one research organisation and/or other project partners, the basis of collaboration between the organisations, including ownership of intellectual property and rights to exploitation, is expected to be set out in a formal collaboration agreement. It is the responsibility of the Research Organisation to put such an agreement in place before the research begins. The terms of collaboration agreements must not conflict with FAPESP’s and UKRI’s terms and conditions.

32. Arrangements for collaboration and/or exploitation must not prevent the future progression of research and the dissemination of research results in accordance with academic custom and practice. A temporary delay in publication is acceptable in order to allow commercial and collaborative arrangements to be established.

33. UKRI and FAPESP may, in individual cases, reserve the right to retain ownership of intellectual property (or assign it to a third party under an exploitation agreement) and to arrange for it to be exploited for the national benefit and that of the Research Organisation involved. This right, if exercised, will be set out in an additional grant condition.

34. Where the exploitation of research generates revenue, there should be suitable recognition and return to the Research Organisation, individuals and funding agency. The Grant Holder should, subject to the procedures laid down by the Research Organisation, publish the results of the research in accordance with normal academic practice. Publications and other forms of media communication, including media appearances, press releases and conferences, must acknowledge the support received from UKRI and FAPESP, quoting the grant reference number if appropriate.

35. The Research Organisation must ensure that all those associated with the research are aware of, and accept, these arrangements.

General Contact Points

36. General UK enquiries concerning this Memorandum of Understanding should be addressed to:international@rcuk.ac.uk.

37. Enquiries concerning individual UK Research Councils’ implementation of this agreement should be address to the contact points given in Section 2, below.

38. Enquiries to FAPESP should be addressed to:ukri-agreement@fapesp.br.

SECTION 2 – SUMMARY GUIDANCE NOTES FOR INDIVIDUAL UK RESEARCH COUNCILS

Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) (www.ahrc.ac.uk).

Transnational teams (UK and So Paulo-based researchers) are invited to apply directly to the AHRC under the Research Grants Scheme either through the standard route: https://ahrc.ukri.org/funding/apply-for-funding/current-opportunities/researchgrantsstandardroute/ or early career route: https://ahrc.ukri.org/funding/apply-for-funding/current-opportunities/researchgrantsearlycareers/. AHRC are now accepting proposals under this scheme.

The group of scholars should prepare a single application which must be submitted electronically by the UK-based Principal Investigator’s Research Organisation to the AHRC Research Grant scheme via the Joint Electronic Submission (Je-S) System. If you need any assistance to use the system, please contact the JE-S helpdesk on 01793 444164 or on JesHelp@rcuk.ac.uk.

The AHRC Research Funding Guide provides an overview of the Research Grants scheme. It details the eligibility criteria, information on how to apply and terms and conditions of awards. In addition to the guidance outlined in the Funding Guide, the following guidelines apply:

Eligibility for UK-based element of project

Investigator

UK: The UK Principal Investigator must meet the AHRC’s current eligibility criteria for standard and early career AHRC Research Grant proposals. Please consult the AHRC’s Research Funding Guide for further information on eligibility.

Brazil : Please note, only researchers formally associated to institutions within the So Paulo state are eligible to act as a Brazilian researcher under this initiative. For details of institutions supported by FAPESP, please contact FAPESP.

Brazilian researchers contracted to institutions outside of the state of So Paulo are not eligible under this scheme.

Please note, it is expected that the UK and Brazilian side of the project should demonstrate fair balance.

Research Assistants

Research Assistants employed by the UK organisation need to meet the AHRC’s threshold of being of postdoctoral standing (either having a PhD or equivalent research experience).

Project studentships

UK: As of 1 November 2013 AHRC no longer allows costs associated with project students to be included in Research Grants applications. This applies applications submitted under the FAPESP initiative.

Brazil : FAPESP encourages requests for studentships within the project framework, depending on the FAPESP modality chosen

How to apply

Once the applicants have decided that the AHRC is the most appropriate UK Research Council, a single integrated project proposal should be submitted according to the procedures and processes used in applying to the AHRC’s Research Grants scheme. The group of scholars should prepare a single application which must be submitted electronically by the UK-based Principal Investigator’s Research Organisation to the AHRC Research Grant scheme via the Joint Electronic Submission (Je-S) System.

To prepare a proposal form in Je-S, log-in to your account and choose ‘New Document’, then select AHRC as the Council, Standard Proposal as the Document Type, Research Grants – Standard or Research Grants - Early Career as the Scheme then select Research Grants So Paulo Research Foundation FAPESP (Open Call) as the Call/Type/Mode and then ‘Create Document’. Je-S will then create a proposal form, displaying the relevant section headings. Using the ‘Help’ link at the top of each section will provide guidance relevant to that section of the form.

So Paulo PI submits an application to FAPESP through SAGe.

Case for Support and justification of resources

The case for support and justification of resources should outline all elements of the project and provide justification of all resources that are requested. Please note that for applications submitted under the FAPESP agreement only, the justification of resources should be no more than three sides of A4 in a font no smaller than size 11

Proposal Language

Applications should be written in English.

How to identify that the proposal is submitted under this scheme

Each application should be identified clearly as a collaborative proposal under the AHRC/FAPESP bilateral scheme by indicating this in the project title field. The text “UKRI-FAPESP MoU” should precede the project title.

How to identify the details of the Brazilian researcher involved

The applicant will need to complete Brazilian details in the “project partner” section of the form. Under Name of Partner Organisation, please state the name of the Brazilian Institution. Under Name of Contact, please indicate the Brazilian researcher's details.

Costing

AHRC will accept proposals with a total full economic cost (FEC) of between 50,000 and 1,000,000 under the standard route, or 50,000 to 250,000 under the early career route for the UK component of the project. If the application is successful, the AHRC will contribute 80% of these costs. FAPESP will contribute with matched research efforts, according to the scheme chosen; bringing the total of the whole proposal up to an equivalent maximum of 2,000,000. Please note, only the UK component is costed under FEC.

The UK applicant must detail the UK component (the costs being incurred by the UK Research Organisations) of the costs according to AHRC financial guidelines on the appropriate section of the form.

The UK applicant must submit the Brazilian breakdown of costs as an attachment to the application. The Brazilian breakdown of costs (the costs being incurred by the Brazilian/So Paulo organisations) must be attached to the application using the attachment type: Non-UK Components.

The following FAPESP budget template must be used in this section: FAPESP consolidated budget form.

In addition the UK applicant must attach a Letter of Support from the Brazilian institution agreeing to the Brazilian partner's involvement. The document must be attached to the application using the attachment type: Project Partner’s Letter of Support. Applicants should include English translations of any letters of support written in Brazilian Portuguese.

Duration

Projects can be up to a maximum of 60 months.

Closing Date

This scheme operates to open deadlines.

How the application is assessed

In line with current AHRC practices, the assessment of applications is a two-stage process: written peer review followed by a moderating panel.

All applications submitted to the AHRC will be assessed by peer reviewers selected by AHRC. In addition, for each application, FAPESP will nominate at least one peer reviewer to provide a written assessment. Peer reviewers will use the criteria and procedures applicable to AHRC. These comments will be formally incorporated in the AHRC’s peer review processes. For the second stage, applications will be subject to the AHRC sifting process (outlined in the AHRC Research Funding Guide). Applications that pass sift will be sent to an AHRC peer review moderating panel. The peer review moderating panel will determine a final grade for each application and will rank proposals in order of priority for funding. The panel will consider only the expert peer reviews, technical review (where applicable) and the PI’s response to these reviews to reach its decision. Final funding decisions for UK-So Paulo applications will rest with the AHRC and FAPESP.

Applicants should be aware that this will require that applications are processed by both AHRC and FAPESP officers. Applicants should provide written consent to the joint processing of the applications by AHRC and FAPESP at the end of the Case for Support under the heading of “Consent to Joint Processing”.

For enquiries concerning the AHRC implementation of this Agreement please contact: enquiries@ahrc.ukri.org.


Biotechnological and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) (www.bbsrc.ac.uk)

The BBSRC accepts applications for funding under the terms of this Agreement. For more details on BBSRC funding schemes see www.bbsrc.ac.uk/funding/grants/grants-index.aspx

Before making an application under the terms of this Agreement, applicants should contact the BBSRC, BEFORE submitting an application in order to discuss eligibility and handling an application under the Agreement.

Applicants should note that up to 2 million (FEC of the whole project) can be awarded in standard responsive mode. FAPESP will contribute with matched research efforts, according to the scheme chosen.

For enquiries concerning the BBSRC implementation of this Agreement please contact BBSRC at inca@bbsrc.ac.uk.

For submitted proposals, FAPESP nominated peer reviewers, and panel members will be approached by the BBSRC as part of the normal peer review process.


Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) (www.epsrc.ac.uk)

EPSRC will accept applications under the terms of this agreement. More information on submission process is available here: https://epsrc.ukri.org/about/partner/international/agreements/lead-agency-agreement-with-sao-paulo-research-foundation/.

All documentation relating to the FAPESP-EPSRC applications will only be shared via a docnet site, to ensure that information is exchanged in as secure a manner as possible. Specifically, for the peer reviewer nomination process described in paragraphs 20 and 21 (FAPESP will provide names of peer reviewers to EPSRC, of which EPSRC will approach at least one), a document containing a list of potential reviewers will be uploaded to the shared docnet site by FAPESP, referred to above.


Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) (http://www.esrc.ac.uk)

The ESRC accepts applications under the terms of this Agreement to its Research Grant Scheme,www.esrc.ac.uk/funding/funding-opportunities/research-grants/. Other ESRC Schemes also utilise the Agreement. Please see the call information of individual schemes for details.

Under the rules of the Research Grants Scheme, applicants from eligible institutions may apply for awards ranging from 350,000 to 1 million (at 100% full Economic Cost) to conduct excellent research in any topic or subject area within the ESRC’s remit. FAPESP will contribute with matched research efforts, according to the scheme chosen. The Research Grants Scheme is open; applications may be submitted at any time and there is no fixed closing date

Each application should be identified as a collaborative proposal under the UKRI-FAPESP MoU by indicating this in the project title field. The text “Bilateral ESRC/FAPESP” should therefore precede the project title.

For all ESRC Schemes utilising the Agreement, FAPESP nominated peer reviewers will be approached by the ESRC as part of the normal peer review process.

A FAPESP nominated panel member will also be invited to comment on proposals which are not rejected at the Peer Review Stage. The FAPESP Panel member will receive the application form, copies of the peer reviewers’ comments and any response from the applicants to them.

Applications made to the ESRC under this Agreement will be made and will be assessed according to our International Common Application Process (ICAP). Applicants are strongly advised to consult this guidance before making an application. More information can be found at www.esrc.ac.uk/funding/guidance-for-applicants/international-common-application-process-icap/.

For enquiries concerning the ESRC implementation of this Agreement please contact the

ESRC International Office:

Email: international@esrc.ac.uk or telephone +44 (0)1793 413096


Medical Research Council (MRC) (www.mrc.ac.uk)

The MRC will accept applications under the terms of this agreement to its Partnership, Programme and Research Grant Schemes. For more information on these schemes please seewww.mrc.ac.uk/Fundingopportunities/Grants/index.htm.

Prior to submitting a proposal to the MRC applicants should email Laura.Joiner@mrc.ukri.org with details of:

  • UK investigator and institution

  • Brazilian investigator and institution

  • Project title

  • Board and deadline applicant is submitting to

Project title

Each application should be identified as a collaborative proposal under the UKRI-FAPESP MoU by indicating this in the project title field. The text “MRC-FAPESP” should precede the project title.

Brazilian investigator details

The details of the lead Brazilian investigator should be entered in the ‘Project Partners’ section of the Je-S form. Institution, contact details and the total FAPESP contribution should be submitted.

Costing

The UK applicant must detail the funding request from the MRC in the finance fields of the Je-S form.

FAPESP letter of eligibility and budget forms should be attached to the application as a single PDF under the attachment type: Project Partner letter of support

Justification of Resources

Please provide a justification of all resources that are requested (UK and Brazilian).

Closing date

This is an open funding opportunity and applications can be submitted to the standard board deadlines.

Assessment procedure

All proposals for MRC grant funding are assessed through a two-stage process involving independent expert reviewers and the MRC research boards/panels.

For each application, FAPESP will nominate at least one peer reviewer to provide a written assessment. Peer reviewers will use the criteria and procedures applicable to MRC. These comments will be formally incorporated in the MRC’s peer review processes. If applications are shortlisted to be assessed by the Research Board, FAPESP are invited to participate in the process either via correspondence or in person.

Please note that the involvement of FAPESP in the review process requires that each application is shared with FAPESP officers.

Applications received under the terms of this MoU will be subject to the same terms and conditions as all MRC Grants.

Further information and guidance on submitting an application under this MoU to the MRC can be found on the MRC website: https://mrc.ukri.org/funding/science-areas/international-and-global-health-research/subscriptions-partnerships/other-international-funding-activities/


Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) (www.nerc.ac.uk)

NERC accepts proposals under the terms of this Agreement to its Discovery Science (Responsive Mode) Standard, New Investigator and Large Grant Schemes. Details of these schemes can be found atwww.nerc.ac.uk/funding/available/researchgrants/. The NERC Grants handbook (www.nerc.ac.uk/funding/application/howtoapply/forms/) provides further information on the Standard, New Investigator and Large Grant Schemes. It details the eligibility criteria, information on how to apply and terms and conditions of awards.

There may also be the opportunity to apply for a joint NERC/FAPESP grant under specific Research Programme or International calls. These opportunities will be highlighted in the Announcement of Opportunity (AO) for the specific call.

How to apply

The proposal must be submitted electronically by the UK-based Principal Investigator’s Research Organisation to the NERC Standard, New Investigator or Large Grant scheme (or specific call, where applicable) via the Joint Electronic Submission (Je-S) System. There is no special call for NERC/FAPESP proposals and the Standard, New Investigator and Large Grant or specific call closing dates apply. Applicants do not need to apply additionally to FAPESP. Brazilian partners should contact FAPESP in advance to confirm their eligibility.

Each proposal should be identified clearly as a collaborative proposal under the NERC/FAPESP bilateral scheme by pre-fixing the project title in Je-S with FAPESP. The Case for Support and Justification of Resources should outline all elements of the project and provide justification for all resources that are requested.

The UK applicant must name the Brazilian collaborators as a Project Partner and add the value of the FAPESP contribution in the project partner in-kind support section in the proposal form. CVs for each of the named Brazilian collaborators should be combined into one document (maximum of 2 sides per person) must be completed in single-spaced typescript of minimum font size 11 point (Arial or equivalent), with margins of at least 2cm and uploaded as the compulsory attachment of “Project Partner Letter of Support”.

The UK applicant must detail the UK component (the costs being incurred by the UK Research Organisations) of the costs according to NERC financial guidelines on the appropriate section of the form. The Brazilian collaborators should use the FAPESP consolidated budget sheet.

Additional documents required in the proposal are:

  • FAPESP issued letter of eligibility for the So Paulo PI

For general enquiries concerning the NERC implementation of this agreement please contact researchgrants@nerc.ac.uk.


Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) (www.stfc.ac.uk)

STFC will consider applications under the terms of this Agreement for any of its schemes. For more information on these schemes please see www.stfc.ac.uk/Funding+and+Grants/501.aspx.

Before making an application under the terms of this MoU, applicants should contact the relevant STFC Programme Manager BEFORE submitting an application in order to discuss the strategic fit of the proposal with STFC’s science strategy.

For general enquiries concerning the STFC implementation of this Agreement please contact Andrew LeMasurier: Andrew.LeMasurier@stfc.ac.uk.


1. Please note that this Operational Guidance note will be updated periodically as required.

2. Please check that you have consulted the most recent version before submitting an application.

This version was updated on 21 May 2019.

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