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EPSRC New Investigator Award replaces the First Grant Scheme

26 July 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.

AHRC/EPSRC Immersive Experiences session

11 July 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:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/ahrcepsrc-immersive-call-briefing-tickets-36096905817

 

For those wishing to present their ideas could you email d.woodman@salford.ac.uk with an attached slide.

Details of the call can be found at:

http://www.ahrc.ac.uk/funding/opportunities/current/research-and-partnership-development-call-for-the-next-generation-of-immersive-experiences/

If you have any questions in the meantime, please do not hesitate to contact Deborah Woodman d.woodman@salford.ac.uk.

Post-referendum position on EU research funding

2 March 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 (erasmusplus.org.uk/news/eu-referendum-update).
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.” (europa.eu/research/participants/data/support/expert/h2020_expertbriefing_en.pdf)
  • 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

EPSRC Future Calls 2017/18

15 February 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

Top Tips for International Collaboration

19 December 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.

UK Information Day on Societal Challenge 5 2017 Calls for Proposals

14 November 2016

Please see the following announcement from UKRO:

The Enterprise Europe Network, in partnership with Innovate UK, is organising a National Information Day and official launch event to introduce the 2017 round of calls for Horizon 2020 Societal Challenge 5 – Climate action, environment, resource efficiency and raw materials on 23 November in Birmingham.

The event, which is free to attend, will introduce the calls for proposals in 2017, present insights and priorities from the European Commission, provide information on the support available to UK applicants and offer numerous networking opportunities to help forge the winning partnerships for future applications. In addition, National Contact Points (NCPs) from the UK, Ireland, Poland and Cyprus will be present to help broker potential collaborations.

The programme includes presentations from the European Commission, relevant NCPs and Innovate UK, as well as an opportunity to pitch ideas and expertise in front of leading research organisations and cutting-edge innovators from across industry.

Further information and registration is available on the event website.

Digital Economy Crucible 2017: Call for Applications

4 November 2016

Please see the following call for applications in the field of Digital Economy, relevant to early career researchers in the fields of health and social care, resource constrained communities, and cyber security and cyber safety.

CHERISH-DE – Digital Economy Crucible 2017

The EPSRC-funded CHERISH-DE (Challenging Human Environments and Research Impact for a Sustainable and Healthy Digital Economy) Centre is inviting applications for its UK Digital Economy Crucible 2017.

The Crucible is an exclusive development opportunity for aspiring young academics working in the field of Digital Economy research to understand the wider context of their work and to develop a broader perspective of how they might progress within their career and, crucially, to build a network for work-related collaboration and peer support.

The Crucible programme will include distinguished guest speakers, a series of seminars, intensive skills sessions and the opportunity to bond and collaborate with the other participants.

A total of 25 participants will be selected for the 2017 Crucible. Applicants must be able to commit to attend all of the Crucible events (3 skills labs and an alumni gathering), on the following dates:

  • 18-19th May 2017 (Swansea)
  • 22-23rd June 2017 (Edinburgh)
  • 27-28th July 2017 (London)
  • 3rd Nov 2017 (Cardiff)

Costs covered include accommodation and meals on the event days. Successful applicants will need to fund their travel independently.

Eligibility: Early Career Researchers with between 1-7 years postdoctoral experience working in a Digital Economy-related discipline are invited to apply. Successful applicants in previous years have included those working in Computer Science, Law, Engineering, Social and Human Science, Media, Business Management, Arts & Humanities and Health. However, applications from ECRs working in other disciplines are also encouraged.

The call for applications is now open and will close on 5th March 2017.

Crucible details: http://cherish-de.uk/crucible/

How to Apply: http://cherish-de.uk/crucible/apply/

 

NORFACE upcoming call

2 November 2016

In December NORFACE (New Opportunities for Research Funding Agency Co-operation in Europe) is expected to announce a new call, Transformations to Sustainability (T2S), in December 2016.

The call themes are:

  1. Governance and institutional dimensions of transformations to sustainability
  2. Economy and finance of transformations to sustainability
  3. Well-being, quality of life, identity, and social and cultural values in relation to transformations to sustainability

Proposals for innovative research addressing one or more of these themes are invited. The description of the three themes gives a clear indication of areas that are considered priorities. However, it is expected that applicants will develop and add to these areas. In addition, applicants are encouraged to consider linkages across the themes and invited to reflect upon one or both of the following cross-cutting issues: (1) conceptual aspects of transformation processes and (2) methodological innovation. Co-production of knowledge and research problem formulation is considered to be critical to the process of societal transformation. Therefore, proposal applicants are strongly encouraged to include stakeholder or community-based partners in their projects.

Application rules

  1. A project team must involve at least three national research teams, eligible for the funding from three different T2S funders.
  2. Researchers from at least two eligible European funders (Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Ireland, The Netherlands, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom) and one non-European funder (Brazil, Chinese Taipei, Japan, USA) should be involved in a consortium.
  3. Inclusion of stakeholder or community-based partners is encouraged.
  4. National teams are subject to budget limitations set by their national funding agency/agencies.
  5. Researchers in non-European countries (Brazil, Chinese Taipei, Japan, USA) may be consortium leaders.
  6. Each consortium should be led by a social scientist and should also include researchers from other disciplines including e.g. natural sciences and technical sciences insofar as it is relevant for the research questions and the researchers are eligible for funding according to national eligibility requirements.
  7. Each proposal can request up to 1.5m euros for a maximum project duration of three years.
  8. Applicants (regardless of country base) may participate in no more than two proposals and in only one proposal as Main Applicant.
  9. Each submitted proposal will go through a two-stage (Outline Proposal and Final Proposal) evaluation process.
  10. All submissions must be made online via the Belmont Forum online proposal portal (BFGO).

Interested parties are invited to join the LinkedIn group Multilateral Joint Call: Transformations to Sustainability (T2S).

For further information please see the announcement or contact your Funding Team representative.

SAMSHSSBS – Dr Deborah Woodman

CSE, ELS, SoBE – Stephen Parkinson

NMSWSS – Dr Chris Coey

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

College of Occupational Therapists Awards 2017

14 October 2016

The 2017 College of Occupational Therapists award scheme is now open. A number of awards are available for members of the British Association of Occupational Therapists (BAOT).

Please see the available awards here, and further details here.

Deadlines for applications is 2nd December 2016.

For further information please see the call page or contact your Funding Team representative.

SAMSHSSBS – Dr Deborah Woodman

CSE, ELS, SoBE – Stephen Parkinson

NMSWSS – Dr Chris Coey

University Alliance/British Academy International Research Event @ University of Salford

5 October 2016

We are pleased to announce details of a forthcoming joint University Alliance/British Academy event at the university, which will address issues of international research in the humanities and social sciences. Academic staff with an interest in this area are encouraged to register to secure their place.


The University Alliance have joined up with the British Academy and the University of Salford to explore the topic of international research in the humanities and social sciences through an event aimed at academics and research managers. The event will be held at the university on 7th December 2016.

The event will:

  • highlight British Academy funding opportunities available for researchers
  • explore policy and structural problems around international research and share best practice on how these can be overcome
  • share best practice between researchers working on international projects.

This event will be a great opportunity for colleagues from both Salford and other University Alliance institutions to get to meet British Academy colleagues and hear about the funding opportunities and support available. The event will also include research showcases and presentations from active researchers and Academy award holders from across the North West.

UoS Event booking

http://internationalresearchsalford.eventbrite.co.uk

A second event, on the topic of interdisciplinary research, will be held at the University of the West of England (UWE) in Bristol on 9th November.

UWE Event Booking

http://interdisciplinaryuwe.eventbrite.co.uk

Please note that places are limited on a first come first serve basis. As the events will both cover similar territory, please limit attendance to one event.

For further information or if you have any questions please contact Research Development Manager Adrian Duckworth.