Category / EU

Welcome to the EU section of the blog! Emily Cieciura (BU’s Research Facilitator – EU and International), Jo Garrad (Funding Development Manager) and Dianne Goodman (Funding Development Co-ordinator) together try to take the pain out of finding and applying for EU funding by horizon scanning many sources and placing the most important information on this page.

We blog as often as possible on everything from calls for proposals and partner searches, to networking event opportunities, all the latest on Horizon 2020 and international funding. We also use the blog to disseminate information on EUADS (BU’s EU academic training initiative), how to write brilliant proposals, how to find partners and other top tips!

HE policy update w/e 24th March 2017

Higher Education and Research Bill – the third reading of the Bill in the House of Lords was scheduled for Wednesday and was about to start when the attack took place in Westminster, so the session was cancelled. It has now been rescheduled for Tuesday 4th April.  The current version of the bill as amended at the report stage is here. There is a short list of amendments for the third reading – these are usually “tidying up” amendments rather than the more substantive ones that we have seen in the earlier stages – and are monstly (but not exclusively) government amendments.  The Bill will then return to the Commons – probably after Easter – when all six of the opposition and cross bench amendments made by the Lords are likely to be removed – including the one decoupling TEF ratings and fee increases, removing the Gold, Silver, Bronze TEF system and replacing it with a pass/fail, and measures aiming to support international students and staff studying and working in the UK.

There may be government amendments proposed in the Commons to seek to address some of the concerns behind the amendments to the TEF, but it seems unlikely that there will be concessions on international staff and students in the bill as these issues will be relevant to the separate consultation on immigration policy, which we are still waiting for. There will therefore inevitably be another process of “ping-pong” . If the Lords don’t accept the position approved by the Commons (and any concessions made) then there is a risk that the bill will run out of time in this session.

To respond to concerns raised by the Lords, Jo Johnson and the sponsor of the bill in the House of Lords, Viscount Younger of Leckie have written a number of letters during the report stage.

  • 15th March 2017 – powers to enter and search
  • 6th March 2017 – regulation (compliance with the Regulator’s Code – will require a statutory instrument but government agree), role of the Competition and Markets Authority (the government believe there is no overlap between the OfS and the CMA). One government amendment clarified that in addition to promoting competition, the OfS should have regard to the benefits of HEI collaboration for students and employers.
  • 3rd March 2017 – defending the TEF and its metrics, setting out the context and background and confirming a commitment to ensuring that the TEF supports widening participation.

There has not been a response to the amendments that were passed, so we will wait to see. In the meantime, there were some interesting articles about the future for the TEF on Wonkhe on Monday:

Another concern raised by the Lords and also raised in Education questions in the Commons this week related to free speech. Jo Johnson, the universities minister, added that the bill would safeguard free speech by extending the duty to take reasonably practicable steps to secure freedom of speech to all registered providers. On the same day, Johnson also wrote to universities asking them to pay particular attention to this issue. He advised: “Policies and codes of practice should not simply be allowed to gather dust; they are crucial to demonstrating to students that free speech should be at the heart of our university system. They need to be meaningful documents that students and staff understand and, crucially, respect.”

Brexit – with the PM expected to serve formal notice to start Brexit negotiations under Article 50 next week, Peers debated EU membership and UK science after the referendum on 23 March. They urged the government to replace any money lost from EU research programmes with fresh money from Westminster, rather than with the extra £4.7 million allocated to science and innovation in the 2016 autumn statement.

The Parliamentary and Scientific committee have published a statement on science priorities for Brexit.  It asks for immediate actions, sets out negotiation priorities and changes to domestic policy.  It’s very short and readable – a list of proposals rather than a long summary of evidence and background

Its first statement is about staff and skills – it calls for immediate reassurance for EEA staff working in the UK, research about mobility of skilled workers to inform immigration policy and for the government to develop a communications strategy that champions Britain as a welcoming hub for research and innovation.

On funding, it says that there must be no decline in overall funding for science and innovation across all disciplines, calls for continued participation in Horizon 2020 and for the government to “set the closest possible association for the UK with EU research and innovation programmes”.  It also proposes a target of 3% of GDP for combined public and private R&D investment, with at least 0.7% of GDP invested in research and development.    It calls for a comprehensive review of all current public funding for UK research and development to ensure there is no gap as the UK leaves the EU.

It sets out requirements to ensure that UK-based researchers are able to collaborate, including funding and infrastructure for partnerships.  On trade, it suggests that all government departments should have scientific advisers, and calls for a comprehensive review of the current regulatory environment.

Student Loans – in a written answer to a parliamentary question Jo Johnson noted that the latest Student Loans Company statistics show that there were around 113,600 English student loan borrowers known to be abroad at the beginning of the financial year 2016-17. Of these around 22 per cent were EU-domiciled borrowers. The figures also show that the overall outstanding loan balance of these borrowers resident abroad was around £1.6 billion, of which around £220 million was held by EU-domiciled borrowers. He added in a separate answer that the Student Loans Company established a repayments evasion unit in 2016 to detect borrowers who live abroad and who fail to repay their loans.

Advance marketing – along with Professor Debbie Holley, I am presenting some policy briefings and workshops – read more and book via the intranet.

EURAXESS – new video released

Further to the recent blog post outlining the information available via EURAXESS, there is now a new video providing an introduction to the service available. Other videos are available on the EURAXESS You Tube channel, including case studies, where researchers have benefited from the services offered by EURAXESS.

Find out more about how EURAXESS can help your career development or locate the best researchers for your team!

If you would like to discuss using EURAXESS as a researcher,  in order to promote BU’s research activity, supporting incoming researchers to BU or other related purpose, please contact Emily Cieciura, RKEO’s Research Facilitator: EU & International and BU’s EURAXESS Institutional Contact.

EURAXESS is also included as one of the highlighted resources within the Research Toolkit > Research Staff pages on this blog.

 

HE policy update w/e17th March 2017

Brexit:

  • Research Professional illustrates the Brexit threats to research positioning and job losses by highlighting the difficulties facing an EU astronomy consortium. The consortium represents seven countries, led by the UK, but will move headquarters to an EU member state from January 2021. The move means the UK will lose the project’s leadership and the 12 UK universities may not continue post-Brexit. Research Professional notes that while access to research infrastructures is available to non-EU states, the EU membership plays a significant role in decisions on where to locate facilities. Gerry Gilmore (the consortium leader, from University of Cambridge) stated:
    The UK will lose substantial scientific leadership and influence in the EU. There is going to be bad news all around. I don’t think people realise how many new jobs and new opportunities have just been destroyed.”
  • The EU (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill has survived the parliamentary process and received Royal Assent on 16th March (BBC). This bill allows the Prime Minister to notify the EU of the UK’s intention to withdraw from the EU. The Lords made two amendments to the Bill – one relating to Parliament having a “meaningful vote” on the final arrangements and one requiring a guarantee for EU citizens to remain in the UK. The bill was approved by the House of Commons, which rejected the Lords bill and then went back to the Lords under what is called “ping-pong”. The Lords voted again on both issues but the House of Lords majority backed down and the bill was passed. The PM is expected to trigger article 50 later in March.
  • 2018/19 EU student and staff guarantees: During oral questions in the Lords Baroness Royall of Blaisdon pressed the government spokesperson (Viscount Younger of Leckie) when announcements would be made regarding fees and access to loans for 2018/19 EU student starters. Leckie gave a side stepping response: “The noble Baroness makes the important point that there are uncertainties arising from Brexit, but the Government have moved rapidly to give assurances to this sector… “We have also provided similar assurances that EU nationals starting courses in 2016-17 and 2017-18 remain eligible for Research Council postgraduate support. As I have said, we will ensure that students starting in 2018-19 have the information well in advance

International students:

  • The debate over the inclusion of international students in the long-term migrant numbers continues. Even senior ministers are rebelling – Boris Johnson, Phillip Hammond and Liam Fox have all protested, although Jo Johnson continues to toe the party line backing the PM’s stance to include international students within the original immigration statistics. Liam Fox spoke out this week about the value of overseas campuses.
  • On Monday the House of Lords defeated the government on the Higher Education and Research Bill (HERB), approving an amendment to prevent international students being counted as long-term migrants. The government have responded that “the proposed amendment would create a situation where we were potentially unable to apply basic visa checks, or impose conditions on a student visa. It would also mean that fresh primary legislation were needed just to make minor, technical changes to immigration rules.” (Wonkhe)
  • HERB is scheduled to have its third reading in the Lords on 22 March 2017 and then will go back to the Commons. The PM’s stance on international students seems rock solid (Financial Times) and Theresa May is not expected to waiver – the parliamentary ping pong regarding international students will surely make headlines over the coming weeks.
  • Meanwhile there are worries about student recruitment. Politics Home quotes an Office for National Statistics release stating the number of students coming to the UK dropped by 41,000 in 2016.

Higher Education and Research Bill:

  • The HE and Research Bill has finished its third reading in the House of Lords (although it will have to go back if the House of Commons makes any changes, as seems likely).  The report stage in the Lords is on 22nd March – usually only technical or minor amendments are made at this stage.  The current version of the bill as amended by the Lords is here.
  • The surprise amendment on international students is referred to above.
  • The government won the final vote on the proposed amendment that would have required UKRI and OfS to jointly revoke research degree awarding powers, the amendment was defeated. Wonkhe report that Lord Mackay made an impassioned speech noting that it was “extraordinary” that the OfS was not required to have any expertise or experience regarding research, and yet had the unilateral power to revoke research degree awarding powers, but to no avail. The Bill continues to say that research degree-awarding powers should be made by the OfS with advice from UKRI.

With long debates, late nights and a large number of amendments, it is fair to say that HERB has received an excellent level of scrutiny within the Lords. Lord Prior of Brampton notes: “Everyone who has contributed [to the Bill debates] can take some credit for having improved it considerably. For me, it is a good example of the value this House can bring to a Bill of this kind.”

HEFCE 2017/18 funding to universities: The grant letter details the overall funding to the sector for 2017/18. It includes doubled funding for the National Collaborative Outreach Programme (£60m pa), an additional £17m increase for mainstream quality-related research, a reduction of £40m for teaching (including a reduction in PGT FTE funding rate), maintaining the disabled students premium at the 2016/17 level, the inclusion of nursing, midwifery and allied health professions (£32m), cuts to the student premium budget for full time UG of £20m (part time UG funding remains static). Institutions will receive individual allocations in April although with a publication embargo in force until May. Capital allocations will be announced in March.

Student Loans Sale: A parliamentary question tabled by Steve McCabe requested publication of the ‘in-depth market testing exercise associated with the same of the student loan book. Jo Johnson has responded: “The Government ran a market testing process with a cross-section of potential investors in the student loan book from the end of September into November 2016. This sought feedback on potential sale structures and key features of the transaction and informed the design of the sale. This was a commercial rather than a public process and was conducted under non-disclosure agreements. We do not intend to publish a report of the details. Protecting the details of the conclusions of market testing will help the ongoing sale process achieve value for money for taxpayers.

Student Fees: On Thursday 16th the Petitions Committee released its latest decisions regarding recent petitions with a high number of signatures. This included a petition to government to change the University fees from £9250 back to the £3000 fee. The Committee agreed to wait for the Higher Education and Research Bill to complete its passage through Parliament before deciding whether to schedule a debate – effectively this was a dismissal of the petition.

Research Excellence Framework  The responses to the REF2021 consultation were due in by midday on 17th March.

  • There has been a lot of focus on one area, the definition of “research active staff” for the returns – there are some interesting views:
  • HEFCE blog (and BU’s reply) – HEFCE are proposing a negotiated definition for each university, BU is proposing all staff should be returned, including teaching only
  • Royal Society blog on Research Professional – they say staff shouldn’t be returned at all, it should be institutional
  • The PVC (Research and Enterprise) from Hertfordshire says on Times Higher Education that the solution is flawed and that clarity is needed

There are many other issues in the REF consultation, including the portability of outputs, which will have important consequences for institutions and their staff. The HEFCE REF consultation on the implementation of the REF 2021 closed on 17 March 2017.  You can read BU’s response here.

MSCA IF 2017

As the European Commission celebrates the support of over 100,000 researchers through Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions, RKEO are pleased to confirm our arrangements for supporting this high profile call in 2017.

Support

Timeline

As this is a highly popular call, RKEO need to carefully manage the flow of work within RKEO but also for all your colleagues, who work together, to ensure that each application is approved and submitted correctly.

The call will open on 11/04/17, when further information will be posted on this blog.

Please ensure that the Intention to Bid is submitted to RKEO by 30/06/17. You can, of course, let us know earlier than this date that you intend to apply, so that we can provide you, and your potential fellow, with as much support as possible, right up to the closing date of 14/09/17. It is expected that early drafts will be sent to RKEO at the beginning of August, allowing time for all those involved to manage their workloads.

Communication

Once we know that you are thinking of applying, even before submitting the Intention to Bid, we can keep you up to date with announcements from the funder and other sources of help and support.

If you are considering applying and would like to receive updates, please contact Dianne Goodman, RKEO’s Funding Development Team Co-ordinator, so that we can register your interest and provide useful information, such as  the indicative timetable for actions prior to submission. If you are ready to submit your Intention to Bid, you can do this now, via Dianne. The allocated Funding Development Officer can then contact you.

If you have any queries or comments about this  scheme, please contact Emily Cieciura, RKEO’s Research Facilitator: EU & International

Creative Europe – Current Calls

Through the Creative Europe programme, the Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency is promoting the following calls and their closing dates:
Distribution – selective support, MEDIA, Creative Europe Open 01/12/2016 – 12:00 (CET/CEST, midday Brussels time), 14/06/2017 – 12:00 (CET/CEST, midday Brussels time) EACEA/19/2016
MEDIA, Film Festivals, Creative Europe Open 24/11/2016 – 12:00 (CET/CEST, midday Brussels time), 27/04/2017 – 12:00 (CET/CEST, midday Brussels time) EACEA 16/2016
MEDIA, Distribution – support to sales agents, Creative Europe Open 16/06/2016 – 12:00 (CET/CEST, midday Brussels time), 03/10/2017 – 12:00 (CET/CEST, midday Brussels time) EACEA/01/2016
MEDIA, Development single projects + slate funding, Creative Europe Open 17/11/2016 – 12:00 (CET/CEST, midday Brussels time), 20/04/2017 – 12:00 (CET/CEST, midday Brussels time) EACEA 20/2016
Distribution – automatic support Open 29/04/2016 – 12:00 (CET/CEST, midday Brussels time), 01/08/2017 – 12:00 (CET/CEST, midday Brussels time) EACEA/09/2016
Distribution – automatic support, MEDIA, Creative Europe Open 28/04/2017 – 12:00 (CET/CEST, midday Brussels time), 01/08/2018 – 12:00 (CET/CEST, midday Brussels time) EACEA/18/2016
Promotion of European audiovisual works online Open 06/04/2017 – 12:00 (CET/CEST, midday Brussels time) EACEA 26/2016
MEDIA, TV programming Open 24/11/2016 – 12:00 (CET/CEST, midday Brussels time), 30/05/2017 – 12:00 (CET/CEST, midday Brussels time) EACEA 23/2016
European platforms Open 06/04/2017 – 12:00 (CET/CEST, midday Brussels time) EACEA/06/2017
If you are interested in applying for any of these calls, please contact Emily Cieciura, REKO’s Research Facilitator: EU & International, in the first instance.

Draft Work Programmes for Horizon 2020

horizon 2020Through our membership of UKRO, we are incrementally being given access to draft programmes for the next two years of the Horizon 2020 funding scheme (2018-2020). UKRO has stressed that these documents are not to be shared outside BU.

To access these documents, as they become available, please register on the UKRO website to receive email updates direct to your inbox. Alternatively, contact Emily Cieciura, RKEO’s Research Facilitator: EU & International, to obtain the PDFs.

Already in the public domain are the 17 thematic scoping papers for the 2018-2020 period. The adoption and publication of the work programme are expected in October 2017. As such, these documents are draft only and may be subject to change before confirmation by the European Commission.

 

 

UKRO News

UKRO logoThrough BU’s subscription to UKRO, we have been advised of the following news items, which represent a ‘mere taster’ of all the updates provided by UKRO to their members.

 

To make full use of BU’s subscription to this service, why not register now?

  • Science With And For Society (SWAFS) Brokerage Event Presentations and Video are now available on the UKRO website.
  • The public consultation on the mid-term evaluation of the Erasmus+ programme is now open
  • The RISE Coordinators’ Day FAQ and Presentations are now available on the UKRO website
  • The White PaperFuture of Europe: Reflections and scenarios for the EU27 by 2025 has been published by the European Commission
  • Improve your public engagement using the EU Guide to Science Communication
  • eHealth Week 2017 will have the theme Data for Health: the key to personalised sustainable careRegister for this event in Malta, 10-12 May.
  • Draft documentation for Secure Societies future calls is available to UKRO subscribers.

Please note: You will need to sign in or register as a BU staff member to access many of these items, as part of BU’s UKRO subscription. Links have only been given to resources in the public domain.

If considering applying to EU calls, please contact Emily Cieciura, RKEO’s Research Facilitator: EU & International, to access further support.

Interreg Opportunities

interregFollowing the successful visit by UK Interreg Territorial Facilitators to BU on 21st February 2017, please find out more about the current Interreg call, which is open from 1 March until 30 June 2017.

It is targeted at public authorities and non-profits

  • National, regional or local authorities
  • Other organisations in charge of defining and implementing regional policy instruments
  • Non-profits

Projects must focus on one of these topics

  • Research and innovation
  • SME competitiveness
  • Low-carbon economy
  • Environment and resource efficiency

Support is available on the call website, including instructional videos, partner search, online project self-assessment, project feedback before submission and a demo of the application form.

If BU academics are interested in applying for this call, please contact Emily Cieciura, RKEO’s Research Facilitator: EU & International

News from the European Parliamentary Research Service Blog – Gender, EU funding and EU Challenges

European Parliamentary Research Service BlogPlease follow the links below to read about current thinking. An awareness of EU thinking could prove useful in the development of a considered application….

Gender

Marcin Grajewski writes – Equality between women and men is one of the European Union’s founding values. Under the “Strategic engagement for gender equality 2016-2019” policy plan, the EU seeks to increase female labour-market participation, reduce the gender pay gap, promote equality between women and men in decision-making, fight gender-based violence, and promote gender equality across the world. However, despite all efforts, such as adopting legislation on equal treatment, gender inequality remains a serious problem in Europe.

The note offers links to commentaries, studies and reports from major international think tanks on issues relating to gender inequality in the EU and other related topics.

Challenges For The EU

Written by Marcin Grajewski – The European Union faces challenges, such as in relation to migration and stagnant economic growth, which test its ability to offer solutions to its citizens. Some politicians and analysts have called for a reform of the EU to shore up popular support for European integration 60 years after the signing of the Treaty of Rome, which led to the creation of what is now the Union.

This note offers links to recent commentaries, studies and reports from major international think tanks on the state of the EU and possible reforms. Earlier papers on the State of the Union can be found in a September edition of ‘What Think Tanks are Thinking’. Other issues in the series offer links to reports on euro area reform and the impact of Brexit on the EU. They  were published in September 2016 and in February 2017 respectively.

Guide To EU Funding 2014-2020

Vasilis Margaras writes – Finding the appropriate funding sources for a local authority, a public entity, a company or a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) can be a major problem. Information is scattered across many different sources and is often confusing and outdated. Read more…

The EPRS ‘Guide to EU Funding 2014-2020’ is a basic introduction to EU funding opportunities for regional and local authorities, NGOs, businesses, professionals and citizens. The objective is to provide an accessible list of the most important EU funds, and to provide potential beneficiaries with appropriate information on the opportunities the funding offers.


 

Why not register for updates from the European Parliamentary Research Service Blog so that they are delivered direct to your own inbox!

If you are considering applying for EU funding, please contact Emily Cieciura, RKEO’s Research Facilitator: EU & International.

 

Opportunity: Publish your European Project in the Research*eu Results Magazine

CORDIS research euThe research*eu results magazine published by the Community Research and Development Information Service (CORDIS) is looking for European projects to feature in its publications. Research*eu results is published 10 times a year, featuring results from the most successful EU-funded research and development projects. The magazine covers projects in Biology and Medicine, Social Sciences and Humanities, Energy and transport, Environment and society, IT and telecommunications, Industrial technologies, and Space.

If you have a completed EU-funded project and would like to get your results published please contact the CORDIS editorial team at editorial@cordis.europa.eu. Priority is given to those projects which have resulted in the development of a new technology with potential for commercialisation over the next few years, or in potentially game-changing research for a specific field of science.

Interreg Visit Next Week: Last chance to sign up!

interreg

Tuesday 21st February, 10.30-16.00 at the EBC

Next week Interreg are coming to BU to run sessions on their funding application process and how to develop a successful application.

Interreg is an economic development programme that funds research and innovation, social inclusion, employment, climate change and resource efficiency projects which take place across EU countries and regions. These projects aim to find common solutions to common problems which exist in multiple countries. BU has been awarded and is involved in projects from the Channel, 2 Seas and Atlantic schemes.

The event will include a number of sessions including;

  • An Introduction to Interreg: The Interreg programmes, how they are different from each other and from other EU funds. This will also cover the types of project that are funded.
  • Tips on How to Develop a Good Interreg Project: Lessons from the selection process by Sallyann Stephen from The Department for Communities and Local Government, based on her experience on the Interreg project selection panel.
  • How to Apply: the two stage process going through the selection criteria and the key documents involved.
  • The opportunity to discuss your own ideas and get advice on how to develop them.

This event is open to staff from other universities and company’s across the south, if you have a network or partner that you think would be interested please invite them to book onto the event.

For further information on this event please contact: RKEDevFramework@bournemouth.ac.uk

Interreg visit BU on 21st February, sign up now

interreg

There’s still time to sign up for the Interreg visit on Tuesday the 21st February 2017 10.30-16.00 at the EBC.

If you are unsure about Interreg here are a few reasons why you should come along to find out more.

  1. It funds coastal regions in Europe with Bournemouth eligible for several schemes. Regional funding means BU can be a participant for funding that other UK universities can’t.
  2. If you have networks or partners (academic or industrial), in coastal areas of the UK, France, Belgium, Spain, Portugal or Ireland, your research could be eligible for funding.
  3. If you have potential partners who are strongly placed to strategically lead a regional consortium, in which BU can play the role of academic expert, you could invite these partners along.
  4. BU has been awarded funding as the academic participant/non-Lead Partner for projects from the Channel, 2 Seas and Atlantic schemes.
  5. Interreg funds projects on all the following areas;
  • Research and Innovation
  • Competitiveness of SMEs
  • Employment and mobility
  • Better education and training
  • Low-Carbon economy
  • Combating climate change
  • Environment and resource efficiency
  • Sustainable transport
  • Social inclusion
  • Information and Communication Technologies

After Brexit we may not have this opportunity so get it before it’s gone!

This day has the rare opportunity to ask advice from experts that sit on the decision panel. Book now so you don’t miss out.

For more information about what the day involves, click here.