Category / Research news

Latest Funding Opportunities

Money Bear Funding

The following funding opportunities have been announced. Please follow the links for more information:


Connected Communities Festival

The 2016 Festival will support high quality participatory arts research and research co-production activities across the UK on the theme of community futures and utopias and will provide an opportunity to explore creative ways to build upon, and widen and deepen community engagement with, research being undertaken by the Connected Communities Programme and with wider AHRC/RCUK–funded research.

Expressions of Interest (EOIs) are now invited to contribute to the Festival which will run from February 2016 through to June 2016, culminating in a major weekend-long Utopia Fair at Somerset House on 24th-26th June.

Max Award: Standard – £5,000, Augmented – £15,000
Deadline: 16 December 2015

Follow-on Funding for Impact & Engagement

Funds will be awarded for knowledge exchange, public engagement, active dissemination and commercialisation activities that arise unforeseeably during the lifespan of or following an AHRC-funded project.

Max Award: £100,000
Deadline: No deadline

Research Grants – Early Careers

The Research Grants Schemes are intended to support well-defined research projects enabling individual researchers to collaborate with, and bring benefits to, other individuals and organisations through the conduct of research.

Max Award: £50,000 – £250,000 over max of 5 years
Deadline: No deadline

Research Grants – Standard Route

The Research Grants Schemes are intended to support well-defined research projects enabling individual researchers to collaborate with, and bring benefits to, other individuals and organisations through the conduct of research. This scheme is not intended to support individual scholarship.

Max Award: £50,000 – £1,000,000 over max of 60 months
Deadline: No deadline

Research Networking

The Research Networking Scheme is intended to support forums for the discussion and exchange of ideas on a specified thematic area, issue or problem. The intention is to facilitate interactions between researchers and stakeholders through, for example, a short-term series of workshops, seminars, networking activities or other events.

Max Award: £30,000 over max 2 years
Deadline: No deadline

Science & Technology Facilities Council

UK-China Newton agri-tech joint call

The UK Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) along with the National Natural Science Foundation of China is launching a call for proposals that will advance scientific research in space applications such as remote sensing, information acquisition, data processing, modelling and simulation, to target challenges faced by the Chinese agricultural sector.

Max Award: £1,000,000 for 3 years
Deadline: 17 December 2015

Medical Research Council

UK-Korea Partnering Awards

The overarching aim of the UK-Korea Partnering Awards scheme is to provide resources to biomedical and health researchers in the UK and Korea that will allow them to forge long-term collaborations. It is hoped that the partnerships established through these awards will lead to the development of long-term collaborative research programmes that will be competitive for national funding.

Max Award: £20,000
Deadline: 15 January 2016

University of Oxford International Growth Centre

Call for Proposals

The ICG is pleased to open the six-monthly IGC call for proposals, across its four research themes: State Effectiveness; Firm Capabilities; Energy; and Cities. The IGC commissions research through the Research Programme and the Country Programme. The Research Programme focuses on cutting-edge, policy-relevant academic research shaping effective economic growth policies in the global south. The Country Programme focuses on high-quality economic growth research addressing the policy needs of IGC’s partner countries.

Max Award: Unspecified with total budget of £3,300,000
Deadline: 17 January 2016

Wellcome Trust

Collaborative Awards in Humanities & Social Science

Collaborative Awards provide flexible support to excellent research groups with outstanding track records. Proposals must address important, complex health-related questions in the humanities and social sciences that need a collaborative team effort. Funding can be used to coordinate and integrate activities, build networks, and carry out large-scale potentially interdisciplinary research.

Max Award: £2,000,000
Deadline: 22 January 2016 for preliminary application, 30 March 2016 for full submission

Natural Environment Research Council

Bilateral Research Workshops

As well as acting to further UK researchers’ involvement in EU research programmes, NERC works proactively with partners in China, India, Japan and the US in targeted joint funding initiatives. In line with RCUK strategy to promote collaboration between the best UK and overseas researchers, these four countries are prioritised either because they are historically strong in engineering and the physical and mathematical sciences, or else they are rapidly growing their capabilities in our research areas.

Max Award: Costs of hosting conferences, travelling to conferences/meetings, networking/collaboration
Deadline: No deadline

European Commission

CEF Telecom calls for proposals 2015

The 2015 CEF Telecom calls will award up to €45.6 million in the form of grants managed by INEA. A specific call for Europeana of €10 million in 2015 is managed by the European Commission. The grants under CEF Telecom will help European public administrations and businesses to hook up to the core platforms of the digital services that are the object of the calls.

Max Award: Various
Deadline: Various dates in early 2016

Solar Facilities for the European Research Area

Access to Facilities

The ‘SFERA’ Partners: CIEMAT, CNRS, PSI, UAL-CIESOL and ENEA will provide access to their state-of-the-art high-flux solar research facilities, unique in Europe and in the world. Access to these facilities will contribute to creation of the European Research Area by:

  • Opening installations to European and ICPC scientists, improving co operation.
  • Improving scientific critical mass in domains where knowledge is now widely dispersed.
  • Generating strong Europe-wide R&D project consortia, increasing the competitiveness of each member alone.

Max Award: Access to laboratories, facilities, equipment
Deadline: 31 January 2016

If you are interested in submitting to any of the above calls you must contact your  RKEO Funding Development Officer with adequate notice before the deadline.

You can set up your own personalised alerts on Research Professional. If you need help setting these up, just ask your School’s/Faculty’s Funding Development Officer in  RKEO or view the recent blog post here.

If thinking of applying, why not add notification of your interest on Research Professional’s record of the bid so that BU colleagues can see your intention to bid and contact you to collaborate.

EURAXESS – November Newsletter

As notified in the November EURAXESS Newsletter, there are a number of research workshops open for registration under Researcher Links and the Newton Fund. The workshops give researchers the opportunity to form new international connections and Early Career Researchers may apply for grants in order to participate.
Some of the opportunities are:

Further opportunities are listed on the British Council website.

Why not sign up for the EURAXESS Newsletter so that these and further opportunities are delivered direct to your own inbox?Euraxess

Euraxess UK is a British Council hub, which aids researchers in their career development, supporting mobility and acting as a support mechanism for researchers moving abroad or moving to the UK. Their services include:


Spending review and autumn statement: Breakdown by department

Research-Professional-logoResearch Professional have provided a summary of the spending review and autumn statement by department.  View the article here for further details.  The article looks at what provisions it makes for science and research, broken down broadly by department.

Do also have a look at the CSR highlights for research and KE blog article posted by Julie Northam yesterday.

Royal Society announces new Athena Prize Diversity Award

Royal SocietyThe Royal Society, the UK’s national academy of science, has announced a new national award which recognises individuals and teams in the UK research community who have contributed towards the advancement of diversity in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) in their institutions and organisations. The award aims to inspire innovation and leadership in diversity issues.

The Royal Society Athena Prize, to be awarded biennially, will join the Society’s prestigious set of medals and awards announced each summer.

Nominations for the inaugural 2016 round of the Royal Society Athena Prize will open in the new year, with more information on the selection criteria and nominations process to be provided nearer the time.

Speaking about the award, Sir Paul Nurse, President of the Royal Society, said, “It gives me great pleasure to be able to announce the establishment of the new Royal Society Athena Prize.

“I would like to encourage everyone in the research community to look around their institutions and organisations and think of who they might nominate for the Athena Prize. Do you know someone who has set up an innovative project that is contributing to the advancement of diversity in science, someone who is persistent in the face of adversity and limited funds, someone who is inspirational and has kick-started a culture change and should be recognised for their efforts? If so, we’d like to hear from you when we open up nominations for Royal Society Athena Prize in early 2016.”

The top project will receive a medal plus a cash prize of £5,000 and runners-up will receive a cash prize of £1,000. Prizes will be presented at the Royal Society’s annual autumn diversity conference, where the winners will talk about their projects.

The Royal Society is committed to promoting and increasing diversity in UK STEM. A diverse and inclusive scientific workforce draws from the widest range of backgrounds, perspectives and experiences thereby maximising innovation and creativity in science for the benefit of humanity.

For more about the Royal Society’s commitment to diversity please visit their diversity pages.

Research Councils announce unconscious bias training for peer reviewers

RCUKlogoThe Research Councils have launched a new programme for all peer reviewers and decision-makers, to raise awareness and reduce the impact of unconscious bias.

Over a period of three years, beginning in January 2016, more than 1,300 people involved in peer review from all seven Research Councils will be given access to high quality training designed and developed by the Research Councils and the consultants Pearn Kandola ( Together, they will translate this training into an online application and make it available to their geographically dispersed peer reviewers.

Professor Jackie Hunter, Chair of the Research Councils’ Equality and Diversity Group and Chief Executive of the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), said: “Raising awareness of unconscious bias strengthens the Research Councils’ commitment to addressing equality and diversity Together, the Research Councils invest £3 billion in research each year, covering all disciplines and sectors, to meet tomorrow’s challenges today. Ensuring that fair decisions are made in peer review and funding is of the utmost importance.”

Robust Semi-supervised Nonnegative Matrix Factorization

We would like to invite you to the latest research seminar of the Creative Technology Research Centre.Robust_Semi-supervised_Nonnegative_Matrix_Factorization


Speaker: Jing Wang


Title:   Robust Semi-supervised Nonnegative Matrix Factorization


Time: 2:00PM-3:00PM

Date: Wednesday 2nd December 2015

Room: P302 LT, Poole House, Talbot Campus


Abstract: Clustering aims to organize a collection of data items into clusters, such that items within a cluster are more “similar” to each other than to those in the other clusters, which has been used in many fields, including machine learning, pattern recognition, image analysis, information retrieval, and bioinformatics. Clustering is usually performed when no information is available concerning the membership of data items to predefined classes. For this reason, it is traditionally seen as part of unsupervised learning. However, in reality, it is often the case that some data information (e.g. labels) is available and could be used to bias the clustering for producing considerable improvements in learning accuracy. Also, data have some new challenges, such as high- dimensionality, sparsity, containing noises and outliers, etc. This motivates us to develop new technology to deal with this kind of complex data. To address all these issues, we propose semi-supervised nonnegative matrix factorization approaches. Experiments carried on well-known data sets demonstrate the effectiveness.


We hope to see you there.

CSR – highlights for research and KE

george osborneOn Wednesday the government outlined their plans for spending over the next five years in the Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR) and Autumn Statement. The main points in relation to research and KE are:

Research councils:

  • The Nurse Review recommendations will be implemented (see an overview of the recommendations here).
  • Subject to legislation, the government will introduce a new body – Research UK – which will work across the seven Research Councils.
  • Innovate UK with remain and will be integrated into Research UK.



  • The BIS budget will be cut by 17% (£2.2bn).
  • The science budget will be protected in real terms.
  • This includes a new £1.5 billion Global Challenges fund to ensure UK science takes the lead in addressing the problems faced by developing countries whilst developing our ability to deliver cutting-edge research


Research Excellence Framework:

  • The government will take forward a review of the Research Excellence Framework in order to examine how to simplify and strengthen funding on the basis of excellence, and will set out further details shortly.


Funding, priorities and investments:

Health and social care:

  • £5bn more to be invested in Health Research, key priorities being the genomes project, anti-microbial resistance and tackling malaria.
  • £600m additional funding will be available for mental health.
  • £150m will be invested in launching a competition for a Dementia Institute with the remit of tackling the progression of the disease.
  • Women’s Health charities/sector will be invested in, as will military charities.

Science and technology:

  • £1bn will be invested in energy research, with a key priority being the reduction in costs of low carbon energy.
  • Defence budget will be increased from £34bn to £40bn – emphasis will be on new equipment, capabilities and fighting cybercrime.
  • Investment in a new Cyber Innovation Centre in Cheltenham to supporting cyber excellence across south west.

Arts, sports and culture:

  • Arts and culture budget will be protected and £1bn will be invested.
  • The Arts Council will be invested in.
  • Funding in UK Sport will be increased in run up to the Olympic Games in Rio.

Knowledge exchange / enterprise:

  • £12bn invested in local growth fund.
  • 26 Enterprise Zones to be created including 15 in towns and rural areas. Two new zones are planned for the south west region.
  • Innovate UK will remain but based on a grant system with £165m in loans will be on offer. It will be integrated into Research UK (overarching body of the Research Councils).
  • Funding to Catapult Centres will increase.

COST Actions – supporting high-risk, innovative and emerging research themes

COST Actions are a flexible, fast, effective and efficient networking instrument for researchers, engineers and scholars to cooperate and coordinate nationally funded research activities. COST Actions allow European researchers to jointly develop their own ideas in any science and technology field. COST Actions are bottom-up  science and technology networks, open to researchers and stakeholders  with a duration of four years. They are active through a range of  networking tools , such as workshops, conferences, training schools, short-term scientific missions (STSMs), and dissemination activities.  COST does not fund research itself.

COST prides in its support for high-risk, innovative and emerging research themes. Importantly, COST does not set any research priorities. cost

Currently on the COST website is a report on Collecting research data to counter femicide worldwide

Femicide across Europe is the first pan-European research network investigating the causes and risk factors of a phenomenon killing thousands of women every year, worldwide.

Femicide refers to the killing of women and girls because of their gender. European researchers studying the  cultural, societal and psychological   causes  and  risks factors  behind femicide set up the network to fight the phenomenon through advocacy and research. One idea is to create a  European Femicide Observatory  gathering and comparing data from each of the 30 countries involved, of which half are Inclusiveness Target Countries . The goal is to come up with  new guidelines  and shape new EU public policies countering killings.

Specialists have been studying quantitative and qualitative data and ways to reduce discrepancies in country records. Such discrepancies are often due to the different definitions of femicide, which is sometimes seen as gender-based violence.

When our COST Action was first proposed, the term femicide was not widely used. Everyone knew of homicide, but few had given thought to the fact that some women, particularly those involved in intimate relationships, were murdered simply because they were women. Today, two years within the COST Action, ‘femicide’ has become a buzzword, Action Chair Dr Shalva Weil explains.

Network members have also been advocating for a more straightforward approach to lowering femicide rates in Europe. They have already addressed the Portuguese Parliament and the Parliament of Aragon in Spain. The network also took part in two United Nations sessions in Bangkok (November 2014) and New York (October 2015).

By participating in the network’s training schools and scientific exchanges, young researchers are also given the chance to better understand the phenomenon EU-wide. One outstanding result of the Action’s work is a  comparison of national statistics from 10 European countries .

The Action’s next annual meeting will take place in Ljubljana, Slovenia, in May 2016.

Why not take a look at the COST Action database to see if there is a current Action relating to your research? You can then consider joining an existing Action or submitting your own proposal.

Click on the tag COST Action (below) to see other BU posts on this topic, including  Edwin van Teijlingen’s report on his recent publication and his experience of attending a COST Action Training School.

If you are interested in applying for COST, please contact Emily Cieciura, Research Facilitator: EU & International of you Faculty’s Funding Development Officer.

Suicide in India: Modelling data

The latest BU research publication used a modelling approach to suicide in India [1].  The paper ‘Time Trend of the Suicide Incidence in India: a Statistical Modelling’ is now online and freely available as it was published in an Open Access journal.  The first author of this paper is BU Visiting Faculty Dr. Brijesh Sathian.  The modelling resulted in some useful predictions of future risk of suicide at a population level, see for example: 10.12691.ajphr-3-5A-17.fig_1


Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen


Sathian, B. , De, A. , Teijlingen, E. V. , Simkhada, P. et al. (2015). Time Trend of the Suicide Incidence in India: a Statistical Modelling. American Journal of Public Health Research, 3(5A), 80-87.  Online at:

Creative Writing for Academics with Kip Jones

Creative writing

Summary: The Creative Writing workshop will be a unique event in that it will not be a typical ‘writing retreat’ (with trees to hug and lots of time to ruminate), but rather a very active experience with lots of exercises, suggestions and supportive feedback on participants’ work from Kip Jones and other participants.  The point is to encourage both students and academics who would like to include more creative writing in their outputs, particularly those whose writing includes reporting on narrative and other qualitative methods of research.  It also helps immensely in the move to publishing in the wider world of blogs and online outlets, moving work to media and film, auto-ethnography and even fiction.

Justification: The important point of Creative Writing for Academics is to help academics and students achieve the goal of achieving more of their work read by wider audiences; in other words, impact. By providing an intense two-day experience for participants to engage in developing writing skills, the playing field is levelled and opportunities for facilitated learning developed. By engaging in creative writing, it becomes possible for all to write more clearly, more simply, even more creatively, when writing not only for academic publications, but also for outlets previously unimagined.

Methods: The workshop will present opportunities to work with academic material and expand its means of production and dissemination to new and creative levels through interfaces with techniques from the arts and humanities, including blog and magazine writing, film treatments and scripts, and poetry and fictional exercises. These intellectual exchanges encourage joint exploration of how researchers can engage with principles and tools from the arts in order to expand and extend the possibilities of dissemination of research data. Concepts of creativity itself will evolve and be transformed by participants’ outlooks and willingness to engage with unfamiliar territory. These processes comprise a ‘facilitated learning’—in that knowledge will be gained as a secondary goal through a process of developing new relationships through small group problem-solving and self examination, grounded in personal past experience and knowledge.

12115534_10153710964944855_4944742169117744163_nKip Jones BA MSc PhD is Reader in Performative Social Science and Qualitative Research in the Faculties of Media & Communication and Health & Social Sciences at Bournemouth University. Jones has produced films, videos and audio productions and has written many articles for academic journals and authored Chapters in books on topics such as masculinity, ageing and rurality, and older LGBT citizens. His groundbreaking use of qualitative methods, including biography and auto-ethnography, and the use of tools from the arts in social science research and dissemination, are distinguished internationally.

Workshop Price: £120. for two days. £90. for students/BU staff

Academics and students at all levels welcome!

Register online at:

Reminder of BU’s Bridging Fund Scheme for researchers

Golden gate Bridge wallpaperBack in August we launched the new BU Bridging Fund Scheme which aims to provide additional stability to fixed-term researchers who continue to rely heavily on short-term contracts usually linked to external funding. This situation sometimes impacts negatively on continuity of employment and job security and can result in a costly loss of researcher talent for the institution.

The new Bridging Fund Scheme aims to mitigate these circumstances by redeploying the researcher where possible, or where feasible, by providing ‘bridging funding’ for the continuation of employment for a short-term (maximum three months) between research grants. It is intended to permit the temporary employment, in certain circumstances, of researchers between fixed-term contracts at BU, for whom no other source of funding is available, in order to:

(a) encourage the retention of experienced and skilled staff, and sustain research teams and expertise;

(b) aconcordat to support the career development of researchersvoid the break in employment and career which might otherwise be faced by such staff;

(c) maximise the opportunity for such staff to produce high-quality outputs and/or research impact at the end of funded contracts/grants.

This is a great step forward for BU and for BU’s researchers and is an action from our EC HR Excellence in Research Award which aims to increase BU’s alignment with the national Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers (further information is available here:

You can read the full guidelines here: BU bridging fund scheme guidelines v1 070815

Responses to Nurse Review of the Research Councils

Following on from Julie Northam’s synopsis of the Nurse Review of the Research Councils posted last week, you may be interested to see the responses from the many interested parties, such as science lobby groups and learned societies.

sir paul nurseResearch Professional have provided an analysis of the responses that can be read here.  The individual statements are shown below: