Active Ageing Conference

Posted in EU by Corrina Lailla Osborne
NET4SOCIETY, the network of National Contact Points for research in the field of Socio-Economic Sciences and Humanities (SSH) in FP7, is hosting an Active Ageing Conference  in Dublin on 9th-11th July 2012.

The event will be themed around the 2012 European Year for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations and will focus on the human and social aspects and implications of active ageing. Key note speakers include Anne-Sophie Parent, Secretary General of the AGE Platform Europe network and Lenia Samuel from the European Commission’s Directorate General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion.

Thematic sessions will be based on four key topics:

  • Employment;
  • Social participation;
  • Intergenerational solidarity; and
  • Economy and innovation.

This is a great opportunity to meet potential new partners!

FP7 ICT UK Information Event

Posted in EU by Corrina Lailla Osborne
This is a reminder that an information event for those planning to participate in the final round of calls under the Information Communication Technologies (ICT) theme in FP7 is being held in London on 18 July. The event, called ‘ICT – The Future of EU Collaborative R&D’ is being jointly hosted by the ICT Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN), the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) and the Technology Strategy Board (TSB). With speakers from the European Commission, BIS and the TSB, the sessions will provide an overview of opportunities both in the final round of ICT calls under FP7 and give insight into ICT research under Horizon 2020. The event runs from 10am until 4pm and will be held at the Royal Academy of Engineering. It is free to attend but delegates must register. Info days are a fantastic way to not only hear more detail about a call and its requirements but are a fantastic way to network!

Partnerships for Lifelong Learning in Europe Funding Opportunity

Posted in EU by Corrina Lailla Osborne
Cedefop, the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training, has published a call for tenders for partnerships for lifelong learning in Europe. The purpose of the contract is to understand and analyse how (initial) vocational education and training (VET) providers co-operate and develop partnerships within and beyond their own sector so as to support smooth individual learning progression and permeability at system level.  Reviewing the development of new governance patterns, the research also addresses how education and training actors are organising themselves and co-operating with different categories of stakeholders to develop lifelong learning.

How the BU EUNF has helped me!

Posted in EU by fbiley

Earlier this year I won funds as part of the BU EU Networking Fund, to support me in meeting up with colleagues in Greece to discuss a future research collaboration.  I travelled to Crete to meet Assistant Professor A. Stavropoulou, from the Technological Educational Institute (TEI), who will be a member of the proposed research team. Whilst there I also met with several other members of staff who were very keen to support the research initiative and to explore the additional possibility of Erasmus-funded teacher exchanges.

I then visited Athens in order to meet with Dr. Theodora Strobouki, a potential co-ordinator of the research project . Whilst there, I undertook a busy programme of meetings including a wide variety of key personnel and undergraduate student cohorts in classroom and clinical laboratory settings. Finally, I met key individuals at the Antheus Syggros Hospital in Athens, a potential clinical venue for the research/data collection, as well as many other key individuals.

 

 This networking activity has enabled the formation and strengthening of an initial core team for the Greek branch of the research, by enabling face-to-face meetings with clinical and academic gate-keepers, and by successfully canvassing support from the senior academics in the respective institutions. It also allowed me to identify and expand my skills and insight. We are currently looking in to ARISTEIA funding and to publish a collaborative paper.

 

The EU Pod is launched!

In response to feedback from across schools, the R & KE Operations team has been restructured to include a dedicated EU Pod headed up by Paul Lynch.

The pod will assume the post-award management of all current EU projects together with the pre-award management of  future EU applications across all schools and professional services.

 

So, if you’re interested in EU funding but don’t know how to get started with your application contact a member of the EU Pod:

Paul Lynch – Senior R & KE Officer (EU)

Alexandra Peirce – R & KE Officer (EU)

 

 

Some Calls for Tenders including biodiversity, culture, Chile, Latin America and China!

Posted in EU by Corrina Lailla Osborne

Implementation of 2020 EU Biodiversity Strategy: The European Commission, Directorates-General for the Environment/Climate Action, has published a call for tenders for the implementation of the 2020 EU biodiversity strategy: priorities for the restoration of ecosystems and their services in the EU. The aim is to provide support in relation to Action 6a of the EU biodiversity strategy. Target 6a concerns the development of a strategic framework to set priorities for restoration at subnational, national and EU levels.

EU–Chile Co-operation on Regional Innovation Systems: The European Commission, Directorate-General for Regional Policy, has published a call for tenders for the EU–Chile co-operation on regional innovation systems in the framework of regional policy.In the framework of its dialogues on regional policy with countries outside the European Union, the Directorate-General for Regional Policy is keen to share its experience on European regional policy by offering technical assistance, training and expert advice related to specific regional development’s interests raised by their external partners.
 The intention is to organise a twinning exercise and a training programme to support officials responsible for regional innovation systems in Chile.

 EU–Latin America Co-operation on Cross-Border Co-operation: The European Commission, Directorate-General for Regional Policy, has published a call for tenders for the EU–Latin America co-operation on cross-border co-operation in the framework of regional policy. In the framework of its dialogues on regional policy with countries outside the European Union (EU), the Directorate-General for Regional Policy is keen to share its experience on European regional policy by offering a mix of information sessions and study visits related to specific regional development’s interests raised by their external partners.  The intention is to organise up to two information sessions in Europe for Latin American participants and two workshops in Latin America.

EU–China Regional Policy Dialogue: The European Commission, Directorate-General for Regional Policy, has published a call for tenders for the EU–China regional policy dialogue. In the framework of its dialogues on regional policy with third countries, the Directorate-General for Regional Policy is keen to share its experience on European regional policy by offering a mix of information sessions and study visits related to specific regional development’s interests raised by our external partners.  The intention is to organise two information sessions in Europe for Chinese participants, followed by two seminars in China and four targeted information sessions in Europe for small groups of Chinese participants.

 Preparatory Action on Culture in External Relations: The European Commission, Directorate-General for Education and Culture, has published a call for tenders for the provision of a preparatory action on culture in external relations. The overall objective to which the contract will contribute is to support ongoing policy reflection and development on strengthening the role of culture in external relations and to nurture future work in this area.  In particular, it should contribute to formulating recommendations for a strategy on culture in European external relations.

Social Sciences and Security in Horizon 2020

Posted in EU by Corrina Lailla Osborne

Horizon 2020 will replace FP7 and is currently under development. Several stakeholder groups have been meeting with EC officials to help influence and shape the Programme.

Feedback is available on UKRO from the informal Security Theme meeting and also the Societal Challenges Theme meeting. I really urge you to read these if you have an interest in either of these areas!

Upcoming Info Days and slides from those which have been!

Posted in EU by Corrina Lailla Osborne

Info days are invaluable for not only finding out more detail on a call but also for networking. Below are some info days open for registration, and links to slides and videos of those which have already occured.

FP7 Energy Booking Open for European Information Day on 2013 Calls: The European Commission is organising an information day in Brussels on 4 July, which will cover most of the final thematic funding opportunities relating to energy research under FP7. It will cover the calls within the 2013 Work Programme for the FP7 Energy theme (which is expected to be published in July 2012), as well as various other FP7 calls related to energy. Booking is now open and if you are unable to attend, then the event will be broadcast online. Videos and slides will be available afterwards too. A brokerage event will also be held on the following day, the 5 July.

FP7 Transport Brokerage Event for Rail Transport Research in Europe: The European Commission and the Polish National Contact Point for Research Programmes of the EU are holding a rail research brokerage event in Warsaw, Poland on 26-27 June 2012. The event will include presentations from the Commission and the European Rail Research Advisory Council (ERRAC); information on the proposal for a new Joint Technology Initiative in the rail transport sector for Horizon 2020 (SHIFT2RAIL  JTI); and details on the European Single Rail Area and the Commission’s outlook on rail research in Horizon 2020. The two day event will conclude with a brokerage session, where potential project partners can discuss project ideas with new contacts.

FP7 PPPs Energy Efficient Buildings Online Brokerage and Information Webinar: On Monday 18 June at 9.30am (British Summer Time) a joint online brokerage webinar will take place with the E2B National Liaison Point (NLP) Network and the Modern Built Environment Knowledge Transfer Network (MBE KTN). This online event gives those interested the opportunity to get an early view of the upcoming calls in advance of the PPP information days in July 2012, as well as interacting with potential partners. Marta Fernandez, from the E2B Association (E2BA) and Associate Director of Global Research at Arup, and Olaf Adan, Principal Scientist at TNO (the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research), will introduce the potential 2012 call themes based on the multiannual roadmap. Call topics are currently being finalised and this year will amount to EUR 220 million. Those who would like to present their own project ideas as part of the webinar can fill in the details during the registration process which is mandatory as places will be limited.

MIRA FP7 Funding: This is a free seminar hosted by the Transport KTN, FP7UK and others which ill outline the funding priorities in FP7 for transport. It will be held on July 5th

FP7 Security Information Day on 2013 Call: The FP7 Security Call Information Day will take place on 11 September in Brussels. The exact venue is yet to be confirmed but is likely to be the same as in previous years: the REA Offices, Covent Garden Building, Place Rogier, Brussels. On-line registration will open on 10 July, which is the same day that the Call opens officially.

FP7 Environment Presentations from European Information Day on 2013 Work Programme: The presentations are now available from the recent European Information Day on the FP7 2013 Environment Work Programme. As well as presentations by the European Commission, there were also ‘flash’ presentations by researchers interested in applying to the calls. The participant list and the video-streaming from the event are also available.  Researchers interested in the Environment theme should also note that there is a UK event on the 2013 Environment and Food, Agriculture and Fisheries, and Biotechnology (FAFB) work programmes on 6 July in London. Presentations and other documentation from the European Information Day.  Webstreaming from the event.

FP7 Co-operation Presentations from Ocean of Tomorrow Information Day: The web-stream recording is now available with the presentations from the recent information day on the ‘2013 Ocean of Tomorrow’ Joint Call. This call will be launched in mid July 2012 under the FP7 Co-operation Programme. An ‘Orientation Paper’ is also available with further details of the likely call topics for this call, which is expected to be published in mid-July 2012. Webstream of presentations from the information day on the Ocean of Tomorrow.

Applying for a Marie Curie Grant? Make use of our specialist RPRS!

Posted in EU by Corrina Lailla Osborne

I am thrilled so many of you are excited about the Marie Curie Calls for Proposals and planning a submission in August.

Those of you who attended the Workshop on how to write your Marie Curie proposal have access to the expert bid writer Martin Pickard to review one draft prior to your submission and any of you attending the free EC Marie Curie Info day should also pick up some great tips. Also don’t forget to read the experience of our previously successful Marie Curie grant holders such as Rudy Gozlan and Bogdan Gabrys and have a read of our previously successful Marie Curie submissions via the I drive – I:\R&KEO\Public\RDU\Rudy Gozlan’s Successful Marie Curie Grant applications

I am really proud of the success our BU academics have had with Marie Curie and I am thrilled that two of our excellent recipients of this funding – Rudy Gozlan and Rob Britton – have agreed to be the reviewers for our specialist RPRS internal peer review panel for the Marie Curie submissions to help you.

If you submit your penultimate draft Marie Curie proposal to me by email between July 8th and July 11th, Rudy and Rob will review these and give you feedback on any issues they can foresee given their experience and highlight any areas which should be addressed to maximise your chance of success before you submit in August.  You will receive your feedback on July 20th, which gives you plenty of time to tweak your proposal and get it submitted on time. There are no forms to fill in; just save a copy of your application as a PDF/ Word document and email over.

We are very lucky to have such fantastic expertise within our institution so please do take full advantage of it!

EUNF – It’s been good to talk!

Posted in EU by John Oliver

I have recently returned from the World  Media Economics & Management Conference in Greece – many thanks to the EUNF.

This event is a biennial meeting of the global community of media business scholars who reflect on contemporary issues in the economics and management of media industries and firms. It aims to provide to a platform for academics who research in this area to meet and network. I was particularly interested in developing relationships and collaborative project ideas with a number of academics from EU universities including Jönköping International Business School, Sweden; Tampere University, Finland; the Berlin Media Business School, and the University of Vienna, Austria.

I met with academics from all of these institutions (and others) and discussed how we could collaborate on the opportunities provided by the Creative Europe fund (2014-20) and any other related media funds that they were aware of.  As a result of the EUNF I have established contacts and am now in the process of working up 2 outline projects for the Creative Europe fund. I have also been invited by the University of Vienna to be a Key Note speaker at their European Summer School for media related doctoral research students, and am in the process of assisting an Eramus exchange between BU and the University of Zaragoza.

Many thanks BU EUNF, it’s a great initiative!

The prestigious ERC grants – a summary of 2011 activities

Posted in EU by Corrina Lailla Osborne

The EC has published its Annual Report on the ERC activities and achievements in 2011. The report shows an increase in European Research Council (ERC) budget, but also a steep rise in the number of applications making it increasingly competitive. 

The ERC has 2 main types of awards; Starting Grants and Advanced Grants. There are no subject limitations, no budget restrictions or limited durations for grant submissions and this scheme is designed to fund the crème de la crème of European researchers. Examples of UK ERC Grant Holders are below, so you can get a flavour of what the ERC is looking for in applicants and project areas.

Starting Grant: Cathy Craig, Queen’s University Belfast ‘Improving Health and Sports Performance through the Brain’s Control’

Advanced Grant: Peter Jackson, University of Sheffield ‘Impact of Social Anxieties about Food on Policies and Businesses’

 

I have placed some highlight facts and figures from the 76 page report are below in case you didn’t want to read it yourself…

Starting Grants: The 2011 Call was published in July 2010 with an indicative budget of €661m. In total 4, 080 proposals were received; a 30% increase on the previous year.  485 of these were successfully awarded funding, providing a 12% success rate (slightly lower than the previous year which was 15%).  It is reported that the latest Calls for Proposals which closed in January 2012 received even more submissions; an increase of 42% from 2011 so things are set to get even more competitive.

Advanced Grants: The 2011 Call was published in November 2010 with an indicative budget of €661m. In total 2, 284 proposals were received; a 6% increase on the previous year.  294 proposals were successfully awarded funding, providing a 12% success rate (around the same as the previous year).

 

Over both calls, more than 6, 200 evaluations by 25 different panels (totalling 5650 reviewers) were conducted and around 780 proposals were funded, totalling €1.37b.  The report shows the ERC were relatively slow in actually handing out the cash to successful applicants in 2011. They aimed for 75% of proposals to be signed and started within 365 days but the time taken on average was actually 419 days.

So what about the future of ERC grants? Well, it is proposed that the ERC will have a 77% increase in funding under Horizon 2020 so it’s definitely one to start building your career to work towards applying for. It is proposed that because of the increase in applications for the Starting Grants, that this is divided into two separate calls for 2012 ‘Starting Grants’ and ‘Consolidation’ Grants.

Some of the changes that are associated with the ERC under Horizon 2020 are:

  • The principle of Excellence only: the support of the best researchers (and their teams) is the most bottom-up approach which will include all areas of research and therefore should remain. Frontier research will be the ultimate pursuit.
  • Excellence of the peer review system: there must be a robust and reliable method of assessment which will be guided by the Scientific COUNCIL.
  • Simplification: procedures for participating in all EU funded projects will be harmonised and simplified, decreasing the amount of time taken to actually start the research.
  • Under-performing States: it is recommended that sa special policy be established for geographically underperforming areas to allow the researchers access to infrastructures to pursue their research.
  • Strengthening research effectiveness to enhance its contribution to innovation: EU states must work together to create a shared understanding of how host institutions and research infrastructures can be strengthened to provide a creative environment in which research and innovation are to flourish.

 

The Perfect Academic Career Pathway…

Posted in EU by Corrina Lailla Osborne

I’m often approached by academics who want to know which types of grant they should apply for. We hear that the ERC funds blue skies research and gives millions of Euros to a single academic working on some risky project, so that can sound like an appealing fund to go for. But you need the knowlede that these are in fact extremely competitive and aimed at the upper senior levels of researchers. Equally it is rather confusing to know when to go for an FP7 bid as a Partner and as a Coordinator, or to know when to go for a Marie Curie Fellowship.

To help shed some light on this, I’ve produced the diagram below as a guide to show you the different levels of grants you should be aiming for in developing your career path. Of course, these are all somewhat flexible and you may be able to skip over some, or go back to others, but as a general rule, this is the kind of ideal path your career in research should follow. If you want to discuss EU grants more, do get in touch with me or for any kind of grant, get in touch with R&KEO. We are here to guide you through the minefield of funding  :)

 

Applying for a Marie Curie Grant? Make use of our specialist RPRS!

Posted in EU by Corrina Lailla Osborne

I am thrilled so many of you are excited about the Marie Curie Calls for Proposals and planning a submission in August.

Those of you who attended the Workshop on how to write your Marie Curie proposal have access to the expert bid writer Martin Pickard to review one draft prior to your submission and any of you attending the free EC Marie Curie Info day should also pick up some great tips. Also don’t forget to read the experience of our previously successful Marie Curie grant holders such as Rudy Gozlan and Bogdan Gabrys and have a read of our previously successful Marie Curie submissions via the I drive – I:\R&KEO\Public\RDU\Rudy Gozlan’s Successful Marie Curie Grant applications

I am really proud of the success our BU academics have had with Marie Curie and I am thrilled that two of our excellent recipients of this funding – Rudy Gozlan and Rob Britton – have agreed to be the reviewers for our specialist RPRS internal peer review panel for the Marie Curie submissions to help you.

If you submit your penultimate draft Marie Curie proposal to me by email between July 8th and July 11th, Rudy and Rob will review these and give you feedback on any issues they can foresee given their experience and highlight any areas which should be addressed to maximise your chance of success before you submit in August.  You will receive your feedback on July 20th, which gives you plenty of time to tweak your proposal and get it submitted on time. There are no forms to fill in; just save a copy of your application as a PDF/ Word document and email over.

We are very lucky to have such fantastic expertise within our institution so please do take full advantage of it!

The new European Framework for Research Careers could help you

Posted in EU by Corrina Lailla Osborne

Last week I posted about the INORMS conference I attended this month. Another key presentation I saw came from the EC’s Adeline Kroll; ‘Towards Professionalisation of Research in Europe’ outlined how countries in the EU lack comprehensive provisions for professional development in research beyond PhD level.

The presentation highlighted that there is a lack of comparable research career structures within the EU, that there is no EU-wide guidance for researchers on matters such as whether they can take their grants with them when moving to other institutes within the EU and other matters such as pensions.

In response to this, the presenter announced that a taskforce is working on a European Framework for Research Careers, which aims to have research recognised as a separate professional category. This will address issues such as the quality of doctoral training, gender balance in research careers and employment conditions to clarify the rights and obligations of Europe’s researchers.

Even more reasons to think about an Erasmus Mundus application

Posted in EU by Corrina Lailla Osborne

David Willetts, Minister for Universities and Science, recently submitted a response to a report ‘Recommendations to support UK Outward Student Mobility ‘ produced by a group established last year to review the obstacles and incentives to outward student mobility in the UK.  

Support was given for the report which advocates the creation of a national strategy for mobility supported by ‘a body designed to facilitate and promote best practice, effectiveness and professionalism’. In fact Mr Willetts liked it so much he asked the Group’s Chair to explore possible models for a national strategy, including a national body to coordinate this, for a future meeting of the high-level International Education Advisory Forum.

Student mobility is becoming a more strategic issue for the UK, giving students a competitive advantage in the employment market and institutions an increase in international collaborative research and raising the institutions profile across the world.

The EC released figures on the Erasmus Mundus programme last week; approximately 231,000 students and 43,000 university staff received an EU grant to study or work abroad as part of the Erasmus programme in 2010-11. This represents a  7.2 per cent increase for study grants compared with the previous academic year; a 15 per cent increase in grants for work placements; and a 13.3 per cent increase for staff exchanges.

Erasmus Mundus is a great way for you to get involved with student mobility and to help you build stronger networks abroad for future research collaborations. This programme funded by the EC is designed especially to help you establish partnerships with institutions abroad and also to allow you to study/ research/ teach internationally. You can read more on the Erasmus Mundus scheme on my previous blogpost.

UK Research Councils respond to Horizon 2020 proposal

Posted in EU by Corrina Lailla Osborne

This month the RCUK released their response to the proposals for Horizon 2020. The RCUK response represents the collective views of the seven UK Research Councils in response to the proposed structure and scope of Horizon 2020 as set out in the Commission’s proposals.

You can read the full document here but highlights include praise for emphasis on excellence and capacity, praise for tackling Societal Challenges and a recognition of praise for the retaining of schemes such as Marie Curie. It raises concerns over  proposals for  ‘Inclusive Innovative and Secure Societies’ challenge as this seems to bring together a large number of disparate activities in a way that may not be the most coherent or effective and calls for the contribution of social sciences and humanities to each of the Societal Challenges to be better articulated.

 

My EUNF experience

Posted in EU by Tian Feng

In April 2012, I visited University Lyon 1, France  and other research institutes and universities nearby with partial support of BU’s internal funding scheme – the EU Networking Fund (EUNF). The main objective of the visit is to seek research collaboration in ICT, particularly on FP7 grants bidding.

During the visit, I have given seminars or talks to staff and research students in University Lyon 1 and Laboratory of Information, Imaging and System (LIRIS) about my research on terrain texturing, computer animation, and above mentioned objective of my visit. The seminars or talks have opened the door for subsequent networking and discussion on collaboration.

To seek and identify candidates for incoming Marie Curie Fellowship (FP7-People), I have talked a number of candidates during my visit, including those post-doctorates from LIRIS, French engineering university, INSA Lyon, and those PhD students who are going to finish their study very soon. Apart from above institutes, I also paid a visit to Ecole Central University, meeting Professor Liming Chen. We have explored the possibilities on FP7 bidding and are identifying candidates among his PhD students and Post-Doctorates on applying Marie-Currie Fellowship (MCF). Some candidates are now considering working with me to submit an application. They are either from EU or other countries such as Korea and China, both eligible for the Fellowship application.

Apart from MCF, I have also targeted a recent call from EC, “EAC / S03 / 2012 – Pilot Project for the Development of Knowledge Partnerships”. I have discussed with Associate Professor Sylvain Brandel from LIRIS and a senior researcher Milen Chechev from a company Ontotext in Bulgaria . There is a potential for us form a team to submit a bid for this call. I met Milen when I attended the conference WWW ’12 which was being held in Lyon in April. This is another outcome of my visit, i.e. networking with people during the conference for potential collaboration.

In addition to the bidding collaboration, my visit has also created a few research collaboration opportunities with other researchers in the area of terrain texturing and non-photorealistic rendering (NPR). In LIRIS, I discussed with Associate Professor Jean-Claude Iehl to apply lighting, shading and multi-scale into terrain texturing (such as stone, grass, etc.). With Professor Victor Ostromoukhov, we discussed collaboration on NPR and other opportunities. Also, I visited Grenoble University , meeting and discussing with Dr Federic on collaboration of his snow research and our terrain texturing project.

Overall, the visit has fulfilled the objective set initially and ‘planted’ a number of opportunities for further collaboration in near future. And I’d like to take this opportunity to thank RDU for supporting me this activity.

Working with the Middle East: KAUST

Posted in EU by Corrina Lailla Osborne

At the recent INORMS conference I heard several presentations from the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) in Saudi Arabia. One presentation outlined the research centre and what support is offered, but the other was probably more relevant as it highlighted why EU researchers should collaborate more with institutes such as KAUST on areas of worldwide importance such as energy and healthcare. KAUST has faculty from across the globe and is keen on international collaboration and researcher exchanges. Already major players in academia around the globe are linked with KAUST, such as Cornell and Stanford in the USA and University of Oxford in the UK.

If you are interested in linking up with KAUST, take a look at their website then get in touch with me.

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