Category / Grants Academy

Wanted! External Bid Writers

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As part of the Research and Knowledge Exchange Development Framework, Bournemouth University is expanding its pool of external bid writing expertise, through a tendering process.

If you have worked with a good bid writer or, as an external subscriber to this blog, you have written successful research funding applications, please contact Barry Chapman, in BU’s Procurement Team.

We are particularly interested in those who can provide short courses, one-to-one support, bid writing retreats, application review or a range of these and related activities.

Examples of key funders include:

  • British Academy
  • European Commission funds including Horizon 2020
  • Innovate UK
  • Leverhulme Trust
  • National Institutes of Health and other US Federal funders
  • Research Councils
  • Royal Society
  • Wellcome Trust
  • etc.

We look forward to hearing from you.

A year in the Life of an Early Career Researcher

I joined BU as a lecturer in the Faculty of Media and Communication on 1 September 2014, three months after being awarded my PhD in Media and Cultural Studies from the University of Salford.

So, as the anniversary of my appointment approaches, I consider it timely to reflect on my first year as a full-time academic. I hope that my experience will be of interest to others starting new academic roles this year, at a similar stage in their careers.

To put my experience in context, while technically an early career researcher, I’m no spring chicken! I was a very mature PhD student (even though no-one ever guesses my real age) and joined BU with baggage in tow!

The eclectic baggage I brought with me was six years’ experience as a lecturer in higher education on a part-time basis combined with a variety of other roles including journalist, research assistant, blogger, PhD student, social entrepreneur and Chief Executive of Black British Academics.

I arrived at BU with drive, motivation and ambition intact, after four years of intense doctoral study, with my carefully prepared 5-year research plan, diligently completed after receiving my PhD award, which accompanied me to my interview at BU in June 2014.

By my own observations, the first five years post PhD is make-or-break time. With aspirations to become a professor one day, performing the yearly regime of international conferences, journal articles, books, book chapters and funding bids are necessary tasks.

My primary area of research in media and communication is centred on racial constructions and representations in media and popular culture and how race shapes and influences engagement with and use of digital technologies.  My PhD thesis is a study on the social, cultural and counterhegemonic practices of Black British bloggers.

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A the Media and Politics Group conference

Year 1 of my 5-year research plan included developing publications from my PhD thesis. In November 2013 I had presented a paper from the chapter: Alternative Voices, Alternative Spaces, Counterhegemonic Discourse in the Blogosphere at BU for the Media and Politics Group annual conference. It won the James Thomas Memorial Prize, and is the first chapter in a new book being published with Palgrave Macmillan in September, edited by four faculty colleagues, called Media, Margins and Civic Agency.

I presented another chapter of my thesis at the Cyberspace conference in the Czech Republic in November 2014, which I recently submitted for review at Information, Communication and Society: Blogging While Black, British and Female: A Critical Study on Discursive Activism.

A third chapter: Challenging the Whiteness of Britishness: Co-Creating British Social History in the Blogosphere, was presented at the ICCMTD conference in Dubai in May, and has been accepted for publication in the Online Journal of Media and Communication Technologies for a special issue in September.

My PhD thesis now exhausted publication-wise, I am currently focusing on three strands of research: race and ethnicity in media and communication, pedagogies of social justice and cultural democracy and race equality and cultural democracy. These research interests are broadly linked to three key dimensions of my role as an academic: 1) research (extending knowledge within my discipline) 2) education (teaching), and 3)professional practice.

Cultural democracy, a recurring theme in my research, is a conceptual framework developed in the US more than a decade ago, surprisingly unfamiliar and underexplored on this side of the Atlantic. However, I plan to change that by advancing understanding through research based on its application in practice. After setting up the Cultural Democracy Network in May, shortly after being awarded a small grant from the Grants Academy to develop partnerships with UK-based institutions, I was invited to deliver a guest lecture on cultural democracy to 14 journalists at Research Fortnight’s London offices.

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At Research Fortnight

Two of my current research projects represent research papers based on consultancy projects completed this past year. The first is a journal article I am co-authoring with Prof Kevin Hylton called Culturally Democratic Voices: Enhancing Race Equality Through Minority Staff Experiences, which we plan to submit to Race, Ethnicity and Education.

The second is a co-authored paper with Aisha Richards called Social Justice Pedagogy and Cultural Democracy: Promoting Inclusion and Equality in Further and Higher Education. It has just been accepted for presentation at the IAFOR International Conference on Education taking place in Hawaii in January, and we hope it will be selected for publication in the Journal of Education.

I have a book chapter coming out in September being published by Verlag Springer called Race, Racism and Resistance In British Academia, which I presented at the Surviving in a White Institution symposium at Leeds University in May, organised by the Critical Race and Ethnicities Network.

Finally, I am co-editor of a book project with Dr Shirley Tate, an Associate Professor in sociology at Leeds University, which is a collection of autoethnographies called Hear Us: Women Academics of Colour: Surviving and Thriving in British Academia, which we plan to publish next Autumn. It is a project I developed for the Black Sister Network at Black British Academics.

It has been a busy and productive year as an early career researcher, and in terms of my plans for the year ahead, this will be focused on the completion of work in progress, developing a funding bid and turning my attention to new areas of research.

One of these areas is advertising, which will inform my teaching on the BA Advertising degree. I plan to examine issues around constructions and representations of race and gender in TV advertising, examining audience perceptions. The other new area of research which builds on my doctoral study is engagement with digital technologies among Black elders.

In terms of the 5-year research plan I started out with, I discarded it within the first three months! I prefer to work with a yearly plan as I have found that in practice, the research culture and environment is too fluid, dynamic and constantly changing to plan specific publications so far in advance.

However, it is still a useful exercise post PhD to prompt thinking about the areas of research to focus on and the types of research projects to undertake. I have a target for publications and funding bids I aim to complete by 2019 – just before REF2020, so forward planning helps to ensure I stay on track!

By Dr Deborah Gabriel, Lecturer in Politics, Media and Marketing Communications in the Faculty of Media and Communication.

Grants Academy small grants scheme launched!

RKEO are delighted to launch the Grants Academy small grants scheme! This scheme, only available to members of the Grants Academy, offers funding of up to £2000 for small or pilot studies which will lead to a submission to an external funder. It is anticipated that it will allow the collection of pilot data, but other activities will be considered. All current grants academy members are encouraged to submit an application; it is anticipated that 5 awards will be made. All projects must be completed by 31st July 2015.

The deadline for proposals is 4th March 2015. Any queries should be directed to Jennifer Roddis – jroddis@bournemouth.ac.uk . The application form and guidance can be found at I:\R&KEO\Public\GA pilot funding 2014-15. We look forward to receiving your applications…

Next Grants Academy – Apply now!

The Grants Academy has been described by members as ‘brilliant’, ‘excellent’, ‘extremely educational and stimulating’ and ‘very beneficial’. It has also increased bids submissions from members acting as a Principal Investigator by 41% and 20% as a co-Investigator. Members have significantly increased their funding successes too and obtained funding from organisations such as the AHRC, European Commission, ESRC, British Academy, English Heritage and Burdett Trust for Nursing.

How does the Academy work?  Members attend an initial two day training course off campus, facilitated by an external expert bid writer with a well-developed draft proposal. The training days will cover the art of proposal craftmanship, the rules of the writing game and other invaluable information to help you perfect your proposal during the days. Feedback on these days from existing members have been very positive, ‘the workshop was the best I have ever attended’. 

Members can then further develop their proposal over a couple of weeks, gaining unlimited support from the external facilitator in doing so and the cohort re-gathers for a mock peer review panel of each other’s applications. This gives a unique insight into this process in a supportive environment and helps further refine the proposal. One member has described this session as ‘[I now have] profound insights in[to] how the system works…and to realize how that must be for professional reviewers’.  The cohort will also receive guidance about BU’s processes for applying for grants, to make sure they are aware of the support available.

What other support is given? Throughout the 18 month membership of the Grants Academy, members benefit form UNLIMITED support from the external facilitator (and in some cases additional external reviewers) which has been invaluable in helping members secure external funding ‘[His] input enabled me to produce a clearer, more logical and convincing proposal. He also alerted me to issues I had not previously considered and encouraged me to think about ‘impact’ and value for the UK in new ways’.

Members also have bespoke assistance from R&KEO in finding funding and collaborators. They also have access to a library of successful proposals from BU, a travel grant (£250), guaranteed places on Funder visits organised for them and surgeries with external facilitators. Funder visits coming up include the British Academy in early 2015.

How do I apply? To apply for a place, please contact your DDRE in the first instance.  The first cohort dates are: January 26/27 and follow up day February 16.  There will then be a second cohort: March 11/12 and follow up day April 1.

What’s the small print? When making your application, you must ensure that you are available for the 3 dates in their entirety. Membership is only obtained once all training days have been attended. Obligations of membership are that at least one proposal for external funding must be submitted within the first six months of membership. As the training days are attended with a draft proposal, this should be obtainable. Within 18 months at least three proposals for external funding must have been submitted. Failure to meet these obligations will lead to membership being revoked.

If you have any questions about the Grants Academy please contact Giles Ashton (scheme administrator) or Jennifer Roddis (scheme manager).

Grants Academy to the Rescue! Last chance until the Autumn!

The Grants Academy has been described by members as ‘brilliant’, ‘excellent’, ‘extremely educational and stimulating’ and ‘very beneficial’. It has also increased bids submissions from members acting as a Principal Investigator by 41% and 20% as a co-Investigator. Members have significantly increased their funding successes too and obtained funding from organisations such as the AHRC, European Commission, ESRC, British Academy, English Heritage and Burdett Trust for Nursing.

How does the Academy work?  Members attend an initial two day training course off campus, facilitated by an external expert bid writer with a well-developed draft proposal. The training days will cover the art of proposal craftmanship, the rules of the writing game and other invaluable information to help you perfect your proposal during the days. Feedback on these days from existing members have been very positive, ‘the workshop was the best I have ever attended’. 

Members can then further develop their proposal over a couple of weeks, gaining unlimited support from the external facilitator in doing so and the cohort re-gathers for a mock peer review panel of each other’s applications. This gives a unique insight into this process in a supportive environment and helps further refine the proposal. One member has described this session as ‘[I now have] profound insights in[to] how the system works…and to realize how that must be for professional reviewers’.

What other support is given? Throughout the 18 month membership of the Grants Academy, members benefit form UNLIMITED support from the external facilitator (and in some cases additional external reviewers) which has been invaluable in helping members secure external funding ‘[His] input enabled me to produce a clearer, more logical and convincing proposal. He also alerted me to issues I had not previously considered and encouraged me to think about ‘impact’ and value for the UK in new ways’.

Members also have bespoke assistance from R&KEO in finding funding and collaborators. They also have access to a library of successful proposals from BU, a travel grant (£250), guaranteed places on Funder visits organised for them and surgeries with external facilitators.

How do I apply? To apply for a place, please contact me Dianne Goodman and I will send you a Membership Agreement Form that will need to be signed by you, your line manager and your DDRE.

The next training sessions due to take place on the: 12th and 13th of May and the 9th of June 2014 and will be the last until the Autumn

Due to our Grants Academy scheme’s success you may be added to a waiting list if no spaces are available on this training session. We are hoping to announce further Grants Academy sessions in the Autumn. You are welcome to apply and register for these Grants Academy sessions and we are happy to put your name on our list.

What’s the small print? When making your application, you must ensure that you are available for the 3 dates in their entirety. Membership is only obtained once all training days have been attended. Obligations of membership are that at least one proposal for external funding must be submitted within the first six months of membership. As the training days are attended with a draft proposal, this should be obtainable. Within 18 months at least three proposals for external funding must have been submitted. Failure to meet these obligations will lead to membership being revoked.

If you have any questions about the Grants Academy please get in touch with Dianne Goodman (scheme administrator) or Rebecca Edwards (scheme manager).

Grants Academy Next Workshops – get yourself booked in today – I have only a few spaces left!!

BRAD – Upcoming Opportunities

 Public Engagement Workshop Wednesday 23rd April 2014, 11:00-12:30 Talbot Campus
This session will be facilitated by Barry Squires, Public Engagement & Impact Manager, Research and Knowledge Exchange will explore how public engagement is conceptualised,
how it is developing across the higher education sector and why engaging the public with your research is increasingly essential for your career.

 Impact in Research Workshop Wednesday 23rd April 2014, 09:30-11:00, Talbot Campus
This workshop will be facilitated by Dr Rebecca Edwards, Research Development Officer, Research and Knowledge Exchange will explore what we mean by impact and why it is an increasingly important part of your research career.

 Financial Management Workshop Wednesday 14th May 2014, 15:00-16:00, Lansdowne Campus
This workshop will cover several topics ranging from; financial management, income and funding budgeting, financial resourcing and strategic financial planning.
This workshop will be facilitated by Jennifer Roddis and Paul Lynch, Research and Knowledge Exchange.

For more information about the above workshops and to book on please visit the Staff Development and Engagement Pages on the Staff Intranet,

 

Deadline! Panic. Click Submit: Grants Academy Diary Part 3

Email flurries. Cut-and-paste frenzies. Forgetting if draft v3.1.5 is most recent despite diligent attempts to effectively dropbox. Sound familiar? Grant deadline time demands we are at our sharpest, but more often finds us high on caffeine and flung headlong into chaos. Whether one clicks submit with confidence, hesitation or blind faith, when the closing hour comes, we breathe a sigh of relief. It’s out of our hands and into the 1 in 12 success rate abyss.

Like many colleagues, I’ve been on grant teams where ‘click submit’ was done with varying shades of satisfaction. But this time, something felt different. This wasn’t any ordinary bid. This was my Grants Academy bid. A bid that had gone through three days of extensive surgery via R&KE OP’s staff development programme on bid writing run by expert consultant Dr. Martin Pickard. It benefited from Martin’s expertise, as well as the critical eyes of five interdisciplinary BU colleagues also attending the workshop. Further developed by two CI collaborators,  two external peer reviewers,  BU Quality Approver Richard Berger and the devoted attention of my research officer Pengpeng Ooi, never before had I been on a grant handled with so much personalised and professional care.  This time when I clicked submit, there wasn’t a sentence worth changing.

In two earlier diary posts I discussed the daunting task of getting started with bid writing and my (somewhat unfounded) fears of impact agendas. After the first two workshops we each went off, brains buzzing with new tips and tricks, to independently work on our bid drafts. But rather than spend hours crafting confident cases for support, those two weeks during the start of spring semester saw little time to devote to redrafting. Like the students we sometimes bemoan, most of us ended up in a last minute ‘meet the deadline’ whirlwind, turning in work we were only half proud of.

Building on session one’s tips about project formulation and session two’s insights on expressing the wider value of our research, session three provided a simulated peer review process to help us better understand how bids are evaluated and scored.  This final stage of the Grants Academy began with a discussion of review criteria, followed by a tally of the scores we gave fellow academy members, and then individual rounds of feedback on each of our six draft bid submissions. While none of us broke most research funder’s thresholds of 70% approval, few of us felt we deserved to, at least not yet.

Offering a supportive environment to watch our work get torn apart — a necessary if uncomfortable part of the bid enhancement process — day three of Grants Academy proved as beneficial as the first two. Rather than disheartening, the patterns and repetition of criticism shared across our cross-disciplinary colleagues’ reviews helped us to hone in on what desperately needed fixing. This peer review process was topped off with one-to-one feedback from Martin on where to go next with our bid’s development.

After the session a few of us stayed behind, manically typing away, not wanting to forget any of our colleagues’ sage advice. I knew my deadline was only a few weeks away and I wanted that 60 up to a 90, to fill the gap of the 1 in 12 success rate with sure-fire reasons why we deserved funding. Over the next two weeks my CIs and I racked up 57 emails, 3 hours of skype meetings and 5 budget drafts — all for just a £10,000 bid. In the words of our Grants Academy Guru, “To compete, we train.”

My biggest takeaway tip for colleagues registered in an upcoming Grants Academy session, or those thinking about enrolling, would be to come with a bid in the early to mid-stages of development. (NOT something either brand new or nearly finished.) This will allow you to get the most out of the developmental process of the workshops. Attending the sessions forces you to make time for drafting by providing structured deadlines and feedback to carry forward. I chose to develop a small Fusion Funded pilot project. 

Anna Feigenbaum is a Lecturer in CMC group at the Media School. As part of her CEMP Fellowship she created this diary of her time at the Grants Academy.  You can read her Day One Diary post here and Day Two here.  

 

This Wednesday 2nd April – BRAD – Networking and Collaboration Workshop and Lunchtime Horizon 2020 Session

A last Reminder don’t forget to book yourself into our 2 events taking place on this Wednesday the 2nd of April.

I would like to draw your attention to:

Our BRAD (Bournemouth Research Academic Development Programme) which offers a range of additional training opportunities with helpful tools for developing your personal skills and grant proposals for UK or EU funding. We are delighted to include the following session:

At Talbot Campus, on the 2nd April, from 2.30-4:30pm (for more info click the link above or to book in send Staff Development a quick email)

This follow on BRAD session complements our previous BRAD Grant Writing Session held last week and provides an ideal opportunity for you to learn how to develop strong UK or European collaborative networks.

Additionally please be aware that our Horizon 2020 (H2020) information session is also taking place prior to this and is the last of our Lunctime Info sessions (before Easter)

Horizon 2020 (H2020)

At Talbot Campus Wednesday 2nd April, 12noon-2pm  (for more info click the link above or to book in send Staff Development a quick email)

Info on H2020 can be found by clicking on the link below to access the recent Blog post detailing further resources available.

What does Horizon 2020 mean to you?

Why not come along to all the available training sessions we are running and boost your chances of being successfully funded by the UK Research Councils or the European Union?

REMINDER – Still Some Space on the Horizon 2020 Lunchtime Info Session and Follow-On BRAD Networking and Collaborative Opportunities?

 

Are you thinking about applying to the EU schemes? To learn more about Horizon 2020 as a whole, please book in NOW via staff development (please click link below and send them a quick email) – this last session in the series will take place during the lunchtime on:

 

 Remember the Marie Curie calls under FP7? Well, they are new and improved under Horizon 2020 and have been renamed and revised…

Dr Martin Pickard, the trainer says: “The new Marie Skłodowska Curie schemes within Horizon 2020 have considerable relaxed rules enabling even greater opportunities for participation; from individual research fellowships to medium term collaboration exchange. Presenting Horizon 2020 Marie Skłodowska Curie as a whole, the workshop also focuses on the opportunities for individual fellowships to highlight these opportunities and presents how to approach them to ensure a maximum chance of success (typically better than 1 in 3)”.

And don’t forget that our BRAD (Bournemouth Research Academic Development Programme) offers a range of additional training opportunities which are very helpful tools for developing your proposals for EU funding including:

This follow on session complements our earlier sessions and provides an ideal opportunity for you to learn how to develop strong European or UK collaborative networks.

Info on H2020 can be found by clicking on the link below to access the recent Blog post detailing further resources available.

Why not come along to all the available training sessions and boost your chances of being successfully funded by the European Union?

REMINDER – Don’t Miss Out… Still Some Space on the Horizon 2020 Lunchtime Info Session and Follow-On BRAD Networking and Collaborative Opportunities?