Key funder deadlines, health and social sciences

By Aug.02, 2017

Please see below for a list of upcoming deadlines from funders of interest to researchers in CARe. Please note not only deadlines but also when calls opened, and be aware that it can take several months to develop a viable proposal.

All calls are included in the fortnightly Research Professional Bulletins soon after they open.


6 September

Academy of Medical Sciences Global Challenges Research Fund – networking grants

15 September

Department for International Development UK aid connect

19 September

British Council, Newton Fund Newton researcher links travel grants – Indonesia, Philippines and South Africa

28 September

NIHR A refined prognostic tool to better identify individuals at high risk of developing psychosis

NIHR Standardised diagnostic assessment tool as an adjunct to clinical practice in child and adolescent mental health services

29 September

Research Councils UK Interdisciplinary research hubs to address intractable challenges faced by developing countries

9 October

NIHR Policy Research Units

20 October

NIHR Global Health Research – Call 2

24 October

ERA-Net Hera Joint research programme – culture and integration in Europe

10 November

Leverhulme TrustResearch fellowships

NIHR Changing drinking behaviours

14 November

NIHR Promoting independence in older people

NIHR Digital interventions for sexual health promotion

16 November

British Academy/Leverhulme Trustsenior research fellowships

28 November

NIHR Efficacy and Mechanism Evaluation Programme Researcher-led

NIHR Virtual and augmented reality technologies for treating psychological disorders

NIHR Mechanisms of action of health interventions



9 January

Wellcome Trust Investigator awards in humanities and social sciences

Wellcome Trust Collaborative awards in humanities and social science

Leverhulme Trust Leverhulme research centres

11 January

Wellcome Trust Research fellowships in humanities and social science

Wellcome Trust University awards in humanities and social science

Wellcome Trust Research awards for health professionals

2 March

Leverhulme Trust Early-career fellowships

11 May

Leverhulme Trust Major research fellowships in the humanities and social sciences

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EPSRC New Investigator Award replaces the First Grant Scheme

By Jul.26, 2017

EPSRC have this week re-launched their grant funding scheme targeted specifically at Early Career Researchers.

The New Investigator Award scheme (which replaces the First Grant scheme) includes a number of changes from the previous scheme of which researchers who are considering applying should be aware.

The changes also mean that some researchers who may have previously been ineligible to apply for the First Grant scheme may now be eligible to apply for the New Investigator Award.

Scheme Overview 

The New Investigator Award scheme is designed to support individuals who have recently acquired their first academic lectureship position, have not previously led an academic research group or been the recipient of a significant grant. There are no closing dates and the scheme can only be applied to once. Applications are reviewed only alongside other New Investigator Award applications.

Changes from First Grant scheme

There are a number of important changes to the eligibility criteria and other aspects of the scheme from the First Grant scheme. The following criteria no longer apply:

  • The time-based restrictions on applicant eligibility (within 10 years post-PhD and within 3 years of first appointment at Lecturer level or equivalent within the UK);
  • The maximum project duration (2 years) and grant size (£125k at 100% fEC) restrictions.

In their place, the following criteria now apply:

  • Applicants should not have previous experience of leading an academic research group or grant – they cannot have been PI on a previous EPSRC application;
  • Applicants should not have previously been in receipt of funding which provided either: PDRA time, equipment valued >£10k, or any research grant with a value >£100k;
  • Projects proposed under the scheme should be self-contained and comprise a single research vision with clearly defined objectives and outcomes. The duration of the project should be appropriate to deliver these. Complex, multi-facetted research projects with many objectives are not appropriate for this scheme;
  • EPSRC expect career development to be an inherent part of proposals. As such, university support should be appropriate to the foundation of a research group, including allocation of resources (e.g. students, access to facilities, PDRA time etc.), commitment to an applicant’s initial and ongoing professional development and opportunities to maximise the impact and communication of their research. Levels of support should be proportional to the scale of the grant and offer greater levels of career development than expected on a standard application, including beyond the duration of the grant.

Further Details

Full details on the New Investigator Award scheme, including full eligibility criteria and details on how to apply, are available on the EPSRC website.

Application support

Academic staff considering applying for the scheme should contact Stephen Parkinson in the Research Development Team in the first instance for help and advice.

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Latest Round of Newton Fund Calls

By Jul.13, 2017

The latest round of calls under the Newton Fund’s recurring programmes has just been announced. Details of the calls are below, all of which have a deadline of 19 September 2017.

As with all Newton Fund programmes, the aim of each call is to promote the economic development and welfare of either the partner countries or, through working with the partner country, to address the problems of low-income and vulnerable populations. In this regard, all applications must meet the required relevance to economic development or social welfare (‘ODA compliance’ – see call guidelines for further information) of the partner country.

Newton Institutional Links

Newton Institutional Links aims to build UK-partner country research and innovation collaborations centred on shared research and innovation challenges which have direct relevance to social welfare and economic development.

This programme is designed to establish links beyond the level of the individual researcher and innovation practitioner, opening up opportunities for more sustainable, solution-oriented collaborations between academic groups as well as with the private and third sector (e.g. SMEs, NGOs, technology transfer offices and other not-for-profit organisations).

Partner countries may specify priority areas and will only accept applications within these. Priority areas are listed in the call document.

Partner countries: Egypt, Thailand, Turkey

Size of Grant: £50,000 – 300,000 (check call for details of country-specific limits)

Full call details

Newton Researcher Links Workshop Grants

Newton Researcher Links Workshops bring together early-career researchers from the UK and a partner country to make international connections that can improve the quality of their research. Once funded, grants are available for early-career researchers in the UK and the country hosting the workshop to attend.

Partner countries may specify priority areas and will only accept applications within these. Priority areas are listed in the call document.

Partner countries: China, Philippines

Size of Grant: Depends on partner countries and number of attendees

Full call details

Newton Researcher Links Travel Grants

Researcher Links Travel Grants provide financial support for early-career researchers to undertake an international research placement to strengthen links for future collaboration, build research capacity in developing economies, and enhance the researcher’s career opportunities.

Researchers that reside in the UK can apply for funding to visit a university or research institution in one of the partner countries, and those residing in one of the partner countries can apply for funding to come to the UK.

Partner countries may specify priority areas and will only accept applications within these. Priority areas are listed in the call document.

Partner countries: Indonesia, Philippines, South Africa

Duration of visit: 1-6 months depending on partner country (check call for details)

Size of Grant: Depends on partner country and length of visit

Full call details

For help or advice with a proposed application under any of these calls, please contact the relevant member of the Research Development Team for your School.

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AHRC/EPSRC Immersive Experiences session

By Jul.11, 2017

The Research Development Team have organised a session to run through the AHRC/EPSRC Immersive Experiences call for proposals, and follows on from an RCUK event that took place on Friday 7 July at MMU where the call was announced and explained. Anyone who may be interested in the call is welcome to attend, and please do feel free to pass to colleagues that may be interested.

This session will be held Wednesday 19 July 2:00 – 3:30pm in Chapman Seminar rooms 1-2.

We wish to convene all those interested so that we can fully support your project proposals and help to facilitate potential interdisciplinary collaborations. We will run through the call specification and then invite anyone who has an idea to present it via a two minute pitch and one powerpoint slide to generate ideas for collaboration and a starting point for further discussion.  This is not compulsory, but if you wish to take part do let us know and, if possible, send your Powerpoint slide in advance of the session. We will then run through the call timetable and finally end with coffee and networking so you get chance to begin the conversations to develop your bid.


Planned Schedule

2:00 – 2:10           Introduction to call

2:10 – 2:50           Discussion & presentation of proposed ideas.

2:50 – 3:00           Timeframe and practicalities of submissions

3:00 – 3:30           Coffee and networking

To book a place, please go to:


For those wishing to present their ideas could you email with an attached slide.

Details of the call can be found at:

If you have any questions in the meantime, please do not hesitate to contact Deborah Woodman

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ERC Starting Grants Information Days

By Jun.14, 2017

UKRO is holding two European Research Council Starting Grants Information and Proposal Writing Events for prospective applicants.

1. ERC Starting Grants Information and Proposal Writing Event (London, Wednesday 19 July 2017)
2. ERC Starting Grants Information and Proposal Writing Event (Edinburgh, Wednesday 26 July 2017)

Attendance is free, but registration (following the above links) is mandatory. You may need to create an UKRO account (free for all university staff) to access the registration links.

Fore more information about ERC Starting Grants, see here.

If you would like to discuss a potential ERC application, please contact the relevant member of the Research Development Team for further help and advice.

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Research Internal Support Fund

By Jun.14, 2017

The current call for the University’s Research Internal Support Fund will be closing on 3rd July.

Applications to the Research Internal Support Fund can be for a range of research-related activities, such as participation at conferences of international standing, the preparation of large-scale bids (in general over £150,000, depending on the discipline) for external research funding, or lead to outputs of REF-able quality. Awards may cover direct costs such as travel and accommodation, teaching time buy-out and research assistance, and conducting preparatory research trials.

Under normal circumstances matched funding of 50% of the total cost of the planned activity must be evidenced, either from internal or external sources (requests for more than 50% of required costs from the Fund will be considered at the discretion of the review panel, except for conference participation, where 50% matched funding is mandatory). There are limit to what funds are available and conference participation will be capped at £750 and for other activity such as bidding development or a pilot project a maximum of £3,000. There is no set format for your visit or project and examples of activity that could be funded include:

  • Undertaking small-scale or pilot projects that will lead to the submission of larger research bids.
  • Presenting at conferences or similar events that are of international standing.
  • Research at archives and libraries (or other similar institutions), both UK and overseas.
  • Projects incorporating a research mobility component and leading to a research bid or output.
  • Specialised equipment (that is non-standard to what the University provides).
  • Small-scale buy-out of teaching.
  • Research assistance.

For further information, and to make an application, please see the Internal Funding pages on the Research and Enterprise website.


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Vice-Chancellor’s Early Career Research Scholarship applications now open

By Mar.28, 2017

The Vice-Chancellor’s Early Career Research Scholarship is now open, with a deadline of 26th of May 2017.

The Vice-Chancellor’s Early Career Research Scholarship is a one-year scheme that offers focussed support to promising early career researchers joining the University. All scholars will become members of a network that will meet on a regular basis to discuss research ideas and share expertise. These meetings will offer scholars the opportunity to discuss new developments in their research area. Furthermore, a tailored training programme and a dedicated support for bid writing activities will be provided.

More information, and the application form, can be found on the Research Development team website.

For further information and advice about applying, please contact your Research Centre Director, or Deborah Woodman in the Research & Enterprise Division at:

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Post-referendum position on EU research funding

By Mar.02, 2017

In light of a number of queries received from academic colleagues in recent weeks, it is clear that there is still some uncertainty about the position of UK researchers in relation to applying for EU research funding in light of the referendum result and the UK’s impending departure from the EU. The Research Development Team therefore thought it would be useful to summarise the current position and to point colleagues towards additional sources of information about post-referendum related issues.

The over-arching message is that, at least until the UK officially leaves the EU (currently expected to be in March 2019), there is no change in UK-based applicants’ ability to bid and be awarded funding from the main EU research & innovation funding programmes (Horizon 2020, but also Erasmus+). Those colleagues interested in applying for funding from these sources should continue to pursue these opportunities and work with their partners across Europe to develop and submit their proposals as normal.

UK participants on all successful proposals which are submitted prior to the date on which the UK formally leaves the EU will have the cost of their involvement in these projects guaranteed, even where these projects extend beyond that date (or even if they are due to start after this date, provided the proposal is submitted prior to it).

The European Commission has also made it clear that proposals led by or including UK partners should not be treated any differently in the evaluation process and is putting measures in place to monitor this. Proposals involving UK partners should therefore not have a reduced chance of success.

The Research Development Team is on hand to advise and support any academic colleagues working on (or thinking of developing) Horizon 2020 and Erasmus+ bids as normal. However, we are aware that may still be some uncertainty across Europe about the status of UK applicants, and would therefore like to hear from anyone who feels they may have been excluded from a bid, or had their role in one reduced/sidelined, due to uncertainty from others partners about UK applicants’ eligibility.

If you have experience of this, please send details to EU Funding Lead, Stephen Parkinson.

What follows is summary of some of the key messages, taken from the UK Research Office’s post-referendum resources page, which colleagues may find useful.

What has changed for UK participation since the referendum?
No immediate changes to UK participation in Horizon 2020 – this reflects the broader position that the UK’s status in the EU has not changed yet.
This means that:
  • Currently, the UK is still an EU Member State and has the same rights and obligations as all other 27 Member States, including the participation in EU funding programmes
  • The UK continues to be a full Member State during the negotiation process, with all the rights and obligations until the UK leaves the EU at the end of the process.
  • Details on how the UK can participate after an exit need to be determined during the negotiations following the triggering of Article 50.
What happens to proposals and projects involving UK participants when the UK leaves the EU?
The UK Government will underwrite funding for UK researchers participating in EU projects beyond the date the UK leaves the EU.
HM Treasury has issued a statement on 13 August 2016 to confirm this:
  • “Where UK organisations bid directly to the European Commission on a competitive basis for EU funding projects while we are still a member of the EU, for example universities participating in Horizon 2020, the Treasury will underwrite the payments of such awards, even when specific projects continue beyond the UK’s departure from the EU”.
  • UKRO understands that eligibility for the guarantee will extend to all applications submitted before the exit date, and not just to grants signed.
  • British universities and research organisations should therefore continue to apply for EU funding through mechanisms such as Horizon 2020 while the UK remains a member of the EU.
  • Universities and research organisations from other EU Member States or countries associated to EU funding programmes are encouraged to and should feel reassured to continue to include UK partners.
  • Information on Erasmus+ is available on the website of the National Agency (
What is the advice from the European Commission on UK participation in Horizon 2020?
The Commission has confirmed that the status of UK participants in EU funding programmes remains unchanged until the UK leaves the EU.
  • In July 2016, the Commission issued a statement concerning Horizon 2020: “Until the UK leaves the EU, EU law continues to apply to and within the UK, both when it comes to rights and obligations. This includes the eligibility of UK legal entities to participate and receive funding in Horizon 2020 actions.”
  • The Commission also explicitly briefs proposal evaluators in their guidance: “Experts should not evaluate proposals with UK participants any differently than before.” (
  • The Commission has also clarified that proposals should not dedicate a part of their proposal to addressing the potential risks as a consequence of the UK Referendum, and that this will not be considered as part of the proposal evaluation process.
The main message at the moment, both from the UK Government and the European Commission, is that the status of the UK as an EU Member State will not change until such time as the UK actually leaves the EU and that UK participants should continue applying for Horizon 2020 and other competitive EU funds.
Additional Resources
UKRO has produced a detailed FAQ factsheet on UK participation in EU funding for research, innovation and higher education, containing additional information and links to a variety of resources.
Post-Referendum Statements
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EPSRC Future Calls 2017/18

By Feb.15, 2017

The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) has released details of funding calls it plans to launch in 2017/18.

The list of calls contains only very high-level information at this stage, including the call title, relevant thematic area and proposed call issue date. Further details on each call will be available when they are officially launched.

Colleagues can sign up for weekly email alerts on new/upcoming EPSRC calls here.

EPSRC Future Calls 2017/18

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Top Tips for International Collaboration

By Dec.19, 2016

In a recent post on Research Professional, Phil Ward (Deputy Director of Research at the University of Kent) outlines a top ten of tips on making, developing and sustaining international research collaborations. These tips make a great starting point for anyone looking to expand their international connections, which are increasingly important in the age of the Global Challenges Research Fund and Newton Fund.

See below for the ten tips. The full article is available to view here.

(Note: you will need to log in to your Research Professional account if you want to access the article off-campus. If you have forgotten your password you can reset it, your username is your Salford email address.)

Top Tips for International Collaboration

1. Start small, as they have as little spare time as you do

Starting an international collaboration is a considerable undertaking for both partners. Both of you are exploring links that have considerable potential, but take a lot of work and time to develop. It is therefore worth starting small. You don’t have to collaborate on, say, a global challenges bid immediately. Rather, consider joint authorship on a paper, a joint conference session, or a short exchange.

2. Know the set of things that they need and you could potentially deliver

Like any relationship, you need to be aware of what you can offer, and what is important to you. Think about the needs of your project (see below), and consider who (or which group) can help to meet that need.

3. List your must haves, nice to haves and definitely nots

There is no point working with people if the relationship doesn’t meet your needs, but think about what those needs are, and which of them are essential.

4. Find someone you feel comfortable working with rather than the best in the field

Further to this, be aware that you are getting into a long-term relationship, so the potential colleague needs to not only meet your research needs, but be someone who you can work with on a personal level.

5. Be flexible, never judgmental

Inevitably, you will need to give and take, and the cultural expectations of your collaborator may be very different. Don’t be inflexible: be willing to take on board their issues or concerns. You might not be able to meet them all, but giving due consideration with an open mind is crucial.

6. You don’t have to meet in person, but it helps

It’s tempting, in our pressured and time-poor world, to rely on the phone, email, and Skype, but nothing beats a personal meeting. Misunderstandings can be clarified, and a more personal bond can be forged between the partners.

7. Understand your differing cultural (and religious) norms

I’ve alluded to this already, but it bears repeating. Particularly outside of the global north, expectations, priorities and beliefs vary hugely, and you need to be sensitive to them. This is a partnership of equals, and your collaborator should be treated as such.

8. Understand the universal principles of reciprocation, and valuation

Following on from this, you should not do all of the taking. You need to value and respect your collaborator’s work, and the pressures in their life. Offer help and support when it’s needed, if you expect them to do the same for you.

9. Be prepared to carry any collaboration, at least for a while

The ideal collaboration may take a while to form, so be open and adaptable as it coalesces. You may need to do more than your fair share initially if you want it to work, but the effort will be worth it, if it means the collaboration will be stronger as a result.

10. When they are busy you might be free, when you are busy they might be free: look at this as an opportunity

Collaborators’ work schedules often differ from yours; if you wait until both are free then this is a disadvantage, because it probably means ‘never’. However you can turn this into an advantage if you keep moving forwards when you are free (but they are busy) and in return they move forwards when they are free (but you are busy). That way you can build and maintain good momentum.

Throughout the collaboration, flexibility, understanding, and a healthy attitude of respect are essential. However, you need to go into any joint project with a full knowledge of your needs and what you hope to get out of it. The journey to fulfilling these may be circuitous and unexpected, but the golden rule is that if you keep the best interests of your collaborator in mind, the collaboration will work and will provide a huge amount of additional benefit besides.

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