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Knowing how to find the right way along the career path

I have blogged already on the complexities of knowing how to build a perfect academic career path. Knowing which grant to go for, which funders, which collaborators and so on can be a minefield if you don’t have a great mentor to guide you through it.

One of the key aims of the BRAD framework is to help academic staff identify their skills and areas for improvements to help them get to where they need to be in their career. And it is helpful if you know where you want to end up.

Prof Adrian Newton is one of our most established researchers and will share his advice with colleagues attending. This will include how to develop your career to become an established researcher. The session is taking place on the afternoon of 2 December and spaces for this session are limited, so you will need to book via the Staff Development webpage.

Latest Funding Opportunities

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


  • The Academy of Medical Science are providing funds to support travel between the UK and Middle East through the Daniel Turnberg UK/Middle East Travel Fellowship Scheme.  Funding of up to £3,500 is available closing on 15/01/14.
  • The AHRC Science in culture innovation awards are now open.  Funding of up to £80,000 (80% of FEC) over a period of 12 months will be awarded to successful grants.  The closing date for this opportunity is 27/02/13.
  • AHRC have opened a call for Research Innovation grants in Translating Cultures.  Funding of between £150,000 and £200,000 is available.  Closing date is 06/03/14.
  • Have a great idea for an engaging exhibition stand at next Novembers Great British Bioscience Exhibition?  The BBSRC have just announced £10,000 worth of funding to support these innovative and engaging ideas.  Closing date for applications is 15/01/14.
  • The British Academy are supporting visiting fellowships through the Association of South-East Asian Studies in the United Kingdom by providing awards of up to £5,000 to enable scholars to make research visits to research centres operated by the European Consortium for Asian Field Study.  Closing date is 20/12/14.
  • EPSRC provide funding to encourage international collaboration through their Bilateral research workshops.  Funds will cover the UK participants travel costs and for UK meetings, cover the core meeting expenses. There is no set closing date for this opportunity.
  • Taking place at The University of Nottingham the EPSRC are hosting a two day workshop in Exploring the science behind additive manufacturing and 3-D printing sandpit.  Funds are available to cover the cost of travel to Nottingham. Closing date is 10/12/13.
  • Research grants of up to £1m are available from the MRC to support a wide range of projects.  Topics include Infections and Immunity (closing 15/01/2014), Molecular and Cellular Medicine (closing 08/01/14), Population and Systems Medicine (closing 21/01/14), and Neurosciences and Mental Health (closing 04/02/14).
  • £150 million is being put forward as capital by the MRC to enhance the UK’s clinical research capabilities and technologies.  Individual awards of up to £20 million are available, closing for expressions of interest is 07/01/14 with funding decisions being made in July for spend in 2015/16.
  • Funding of up to £2000 is available from the NERC to cover travel and subsistence costs associated with undertaking a Work shadow placement.  There is no closing date for this award.
  • The NIHR invite applications invites applications for the researcher-led workstream under its efficacy and mechanism evaluation programme. The closing date for this year’s round of funding is 27/02/14.
  • RCUK provide support to disabled students on a RCUK studentship through a Disabled Students Allowance scheme providing assistance with the additional expenditure arising from their disability.
  • The TSB, in collaboration with the Welsh government and the EPSRC are investing a total of £3.8 million in business led projects to develop innovative Tools and services for synthetic biology.  Individual projects should be for between £100,000 and £350,000 however those outside the range will be considered.  Closing date for registration is 08/01/14 and the deadline is the 15/01/14.
  • Four awards of up to £25,000 are available from the TSB as part of their Digital innovation contest in advertising.  The closing date for this opportunity is 06/01/14.


Please note that some funders specify a time for submission as well as a date. Please confirm this with your RKE Support Officer.


You can set up your own personalised alerts on ResearchProfessional. If you need help setting these up, just ask your School’s RKE Officer in RKE Operations or see the recent post on this topic.

BU academic at United Nations expert meeting


Dr Maharaj Vijay Reddy from the School of Tourism was invited to present to an expert group meeting on ‘Sustainable Tourism: Ecotourism, Poverty Reduction and Environmental Protection’, at the United Nations Secretariat, New York (29-30 October 2013). This expert group meeting was organised by the United Nations Division for Sustainable Development.

Vijay’s presentation was on the topic of planning for sustainable tourism, and highlighted six emerging global challenges in sustainable tourism.

The UN General Assembly, at its 67th session (2012-2013), adopted a resolution on the promotion of ecotourism for poverty eradication and environmental protection, which further elaborated on the close linkages and potential for ecotourism to contribute to poverty alleviation and sustainable development. In this regard, the United Nations invited the UN system and other relevant international organizations, the public sector, private companies and other stakeholders to create capacity for well managed ecotourism with minimal negative environmental and cultural impacts, through dissemination of good practice, tools and guidelines. The conclusions and recommendations emanating from this meeting will be of value to UN member states aiming to develop eco-tourism potentials, including, among others, Small Island Developing States as well as other countries with coastal, mountainous or forest, lake or desert tourism resources.

EGM ST1 cropped

Vijay commented that “the meeting was a big success and it concluded well. The participants of this expert group meeting delivered many cutting-edge presentations addressing the global challenges and the opportunities that sustainable tourism offers. The key areas we discussed at the UN include: the need for global engagement, the situation of Small Island Developing States and LDCs, developing the market for sustainable tourism services, assessing socio-economic benefits, employment generation and poverty reduction from sustainable tourism and initiatives related to Green Economy transition”.


BU Lecturer wins ‘Best Emerging Presenter’ award

Congratulations to Emma Kavanagh, Lecturer in Sport Psychology and Coaching Sciences, who has been awarded the prestigious Celia Brackenridge Prize for the best emerging presenter at the Brunel International Research Network for Athlete Welfare (BIRNAW) Symposium at Brunel University.

The prize was awarded on the basis of Emma’s two presentations at the event. The first introduced a conceptual framework for understanding virtual maltreatment in sport and the second introduced a humanization framework for enhancing understanding of athlete welfare.

Receiving the award is great achievement given that the symposium consists of the leading researchers worldwide in the area of athlete welfare.





















The Retail Research Group (RRG) offers a forum for cross-university research project co-operation across the university.  This research group is part of the Hospitality and Retail Academic Group of the School of Tourism but welcomes membership from all schools – anyone who has potential research interests of a retail-related nature.  The current Retail Research Group focuses on a wide range issues including shopper consumer behaviour, branding, wayfinding, ethical retailing, cultural/arts retailing, tourist retail, events retailing, pop-up shops, place and space/atmospheric design, mobile commerce, multi-channel loyalty, co-creation and retail marketing. Sectors focused upon include food, fashion, entertainment, department stores and museum/gallery shops and cafés. Recent publicity on the governmental Portas Report and aspects of urban decline or the ‘Death of the High Street’ have  been a prompt for a renewed attention on broader socio-cultural aspects of retail relating in city, town, country, community and environmental considerations.

The research group aims to act as a hub for retail-related research activity across the University. In the spirit of Fusion, the group also has an extremely strong focus upon student consultancy projects, PhD research development, and engagement with industry.

With this in mind they have scheduled a Show and Tell/Meet and Greet Session for Tuesday December 10th at 1.00 pm in The School of Tourism’s new Professional Engagement Suite, D234, 2nd Floor, Dorset House, Talbot Campus.

Anyone wishing to participate in the Show and Tell part of the session, where they can join the current RRG team in briefly presenting their areas of research interest for a few minutes each, should send three Powerpoint slides briefly covering their interests in issues relating to retail to Charles McIntyre (email: ) by Monday 9th December. Break-out discussion sessions will be possible following the main presentations.

Any others just wishing to just Meet and Greet or hear some ideas for areas of potential research presented are also welcome to attend – all welcome!

Christmas refreshments will be provided.  Hope to see you there – in retail style: ‘Have a good day!’

Poole Bay Bait Cam

This edited footage was not obtained from an aquarium but from rocks near Bournemouth Pier in Poole Bay during the summer of 2013. GoPro cameras attached to a weighted framework were deployed to depths of between 3-8m. Fish and invertebrates are attracted to bait fixed to a pole extended in front of the camera – a technique known as Baited Remote Underwater Video (BRUV). The method is particularly suited to areas where conventional traps or mobile nets are excluded, such as in protected areas or where obstacles create hazards for SCUBA divers. The data collected will be compared with video obtained from Boscombe Artificial Surf Reef and other sites within the Bay.

How many species can you identify?

This research carried out by Bournemouth University is supported by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation.

Watch in 1080p HD for best results.

Find more over on the Poole & Purbeck Portal.

Under-grad Midwifery Students and Examination of the Newborn – a pilot project.

Five pre-registration midwifery students were successful in their application to take part in a pilot project which will equip them with the knowledge, skills and competency to undertake  examination of the newborn prior to qualification as a midwife. Midwives have always undertaken an initial examination of a baby soon after birth and the 24 hour ‘medical’ examination was traditionally undertaken by junior doctors or GP trainees. Following a change in doctor’s hours and a call for more holistic midwifery care, midwives began to take on the role of examining newborns following a period of rigorous training and education delivered through universities throughout the UK. Bournemouth University, for many years now, has been actively involved in educating midwives into this role, both locally and as far a field as Brighton and Gloucester. Currently the under-graduate midwifery curriculum does not offer this learning to its midwifery students although there is a strong push nationally for students to qualify with the skills. Two universities have already embedded the skills into their three year curriculum and BU will begin to educate and train students with the necessary skills/competencies in 2014 with a brand new midwifery curriculum. In the meanwhile we are fast tracking five motivated students. The students (Bex, Jenna, Katie, Luzie and Jeanette (not in photograph)  have to access all the post grad teaching and learning days (x5) which started last week. As well as undertaking an assessed presentation (6th day) with their qualified colleagues, they will have to undertake 30 newborn examinations under the watchful eye of their midwifery mentor who already has the qualification.  The unit leader (myself) will undertake their final assessment in practice in conjunction with their mentor. If successful the students will be awarded with 20 CPD credits for use after qualification.

Undertaking the pilot will be demanding for the students as they will still have to obtain their EU midwifery numbers, but it will not be at the expense of the pilot. Their under-grad training takes precedence.Furthermore a number of conditions were attached to the offers of a place:  the pilot cannot be used as mitigation for any referred  unit  in their 3rd year and the credits cannot be used to top up their degree should they not achieve the requisite 120 credits for completion.  All the students expressed strong commitment to obtaining the necessary skills and they have until September 2014 to complete. The pilot will pave the way for the new curriculum and will help with exposing any shortfalls in practice. I am immensely proud of the students for taking on this extra work. They have so many competing demands on their time and this will be just another. However it will provide the students with the skills to examine newborn babies when they are newly qualified midwives, which in turn will benefit women and their babies.  If anybody is interested in knowing more about the pilot please contact me on:

Fifteen top tips for getting research funding

How can you increase your chances of being successful when applying for research funding? Here are a few ideas from an AHRC panel member (with thanks to AHRC and the panel member):

  1. Ensure the scheme and applicant are a good match. Funders won’t give millions of pounds to new researchers.
  2. Does the team include an appropriate mix of people? Someone should be able to cover all of the disciplines represented in the proposal, and individuals at a range of career stages should be included.
  3. Remember that the assessors will be both subject specialists (the reviewers) and generalists (panel members). The panel can be targeted through the lay summary.
  4. Use the subject area to define the research expertise of your reviewers. Stating that your research is in the field of philosophy when this is peripheral to the study may mean your reviewers are unfamiliar with your subject.
  5. Imagine your nightmare critic and pre-empt their criticisms; respond to these without being defensive, but without glossing over any problems.
  6. Make the link to the funder’s remit clear. If the panel need to discuss whether or not the project is within the funder’s remit, the project is unlikely to be funded.
  7. Allow time to prepare and write the application. Two months to prepare, and a full week to write the application is to be expected, and then costing, gaining internal approvals etc still need to follow. Successful applications may be useful as a model, but slavishly following them may not succeed as the funder’s objectives may have changed.
  8. The application should cohere as a whole, but not be too repetitive. Stick to the first or third person, ensure it is clear who is meant when you say ‘I’ and make sure your spelling and grammar are correct. If the funder offers guidance on headings for specific sections, use them.
  9. If the funder requires an impact statement, be modest and realistic, set specific goals and milestones and don’t over-inflate your claims.
  10. If your research involves human participants, there will be ethical considerations. If the project involves a collaboration, make it clear who will take the lead for ethical approvals and ongoing ethical considerations.
  11. It’s all in the detail: name which conferences at which you hope to present your work and the journals in which you plan to publish. Explain how the publications differ, and detail which team members will work on each.
  12. When working out the costs, don’t skimp on hours. If you have fractional research assistants, explain why. If you are planning to publish a manuscript, allow time for revision. Don’t make the project cheap just for the sake of it, but make sure it is well considered and achievable within the resources. The reach and significance of the project are more important than the overall budget.
  13. Detail monitoring arrangements for the project: who will monitor progress, within what institutional structures, will there be management or advisory boards and what is the reporting structure? For early career researchers, what monitoring, career development and mentoring will be in place?
  14. Use internal peer review services (at BU, RPRS is available for all research applications) and talk to panellists or peer reviewers for your funder. Some people at BU may have relevant expertise you can tap into – get in touch with RKEO and we may be able to offer some names.
  15. Use your right to reply where funders allow. A critical review is not the end of your funding hopes, and a PI response can be used to elaborate on thoughts you didn’t have space for in the original application. Don’t be aggressive or defensive; it may be worth asking a colleague to read through your response to remove any emotional involvement. Also don’t repeat the positive comments; the panel will see these when they consider the application, and you can better use the space responding to misunderstandings or requests for further detail.

USA-UK Multilateral University Research Partnership Grant available

The USA and UK governments have launched the Global Innovation Initiative which is open for applications. This is a new higher education grant competition created to strengthen higher education research partnerships between the USA, the UK and selected countries, which have been identified as Brazil, China, India and Indonesia. This initiative will provide exciting grant opportunities for university consortia on topics of global significance in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) in the following four areas: energy, climate change and the environment; agriculture, food security and water; public health and wellbeing; and urbanization.

The Global Innovation Initiative was created to support multilateral research collaboration to address global challenges, in keeping with the vision of U.S. President Barack Obama and UK Prime Minister David Cameron’s joint statements in 2011 and 2012. The initiative aims to stimulate innovative partnerships between at least one higher education institution in each of the U.S., the UK, and a designated other country. Grants of up to $250,000 will fund new research activities, faculty and researcher exchange, joint publications and symposia, and numerous other multilateral efforts.

Two parallel, but separate grant competitions will be offered in the U.S. and UK, and an institution from either country will be required to take the lead on the partnership. Partnership proposals with a U.S. lead institution will apply through the U.S. competition and those with a UK lead institution will apply through the UK competition.

For more information about the initiative and how to apply, please visit the Global Innovation Initiative’s website. The deadline for applications is December 16th.

Latest Major Funding Opportunities


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


  • The UnBox LABS 2014 is an exciting opportunity for creative practitioners, artists and researchers to take part in a 10-day lab experience bringing together the UK and India to explore the theme “Future Cities”.  The AHRC are providing support for travel and accommodation to India, along with a small prototype development budget.  Closing date is 06/12/13.
  • The British Academy’s annual Wiley prize in psychology is now open providing an award of £5,000 in recognition of excellence in research in psychology. The 2014 award will be focussing on promising early-career work by a UK based psychologist.  They are also offering the Wiley prize in economics which recognises outstanding contributions to the field from early career researchers.  The closing date for both nominations is the 31/01/14.

  • BBSRC’s FLexible Interchange Programme supports the movement of people from one environment to a different one to exchange knowledge, technology and skills in order to develop bioscience research and researchers.  This programme closes 28/01/14.
  • The BBSRC are opening calls for super follow-on funding on the 2nd December.  This programme is designed to support the translation of research into practical and commercial application.  The maximum award is £2 million.  The closing date is 05/02/14.
  • The MRC are offering New Investigator Research Grants aimed at researchers who are ready to take the next step towards becoming independent principal investigators.  The maximum award is unspecified and the closing date for this award is 21/01/14.
  • Interested in building a career in health economics?  The MRC are offering early career fellowships in economics of health, providing three years of paid salary, cover for training and other associated costs.  The closing date for this opportunity is 17/06/14.
  • The MRC are offering a Methodology Research Fellowship aimed at developing the next generation of research leaders in biomedical and health research problems.  This is an intermediate level fellowship for those with between 4-8 years of post-doctoral experience. The closing date for this award is 17/06/14.
  • Are you an outstanding postdoctoral researcher?  Take the next step to becoming an independent investigator with this Career Development Award from the MRC.  Closing date 30/04/14.
  • There is a call by the MRC for research proposals in prevention and treatment of type 2 diabetes in low and middle income countries.  Up to £2m in available in funding for multiple proposals and the closing date is 11/02/14.
  • A Biomedical Informatics fellowship is available from the MRC to support individual with a clear ambition for research in biomedical and health research.  Closing date 17/06/14.
  • Designed to fund rapid response to unexpected and temporary environmental events NERC offer Urgency Grants of up to £52,000.  There is no specified closing date.
  • Five Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowships are available from the Royal Society to help early career researchers who may need to a flexible working pattern due to personal commitments such as child care or health issues.  Closing date is 13/01/14.
  • The TSB are looking to invest up to £3 million in collaborative R&D projects with a focus on Vessel Efficiency – better systems at sea.  Projects should be collaborative and business led and will typically range in size from £500K to £1.5 million.  Registration ends 26/02/14 and the closing deadline is 05/03/13.
  • The Wellcome Trust are offering Arts awards for small to medium sized projects that encourage collaboration between art and science.  The maximum aware is £30,000 and the closing date is the 28/02/14.
  • Small grants of up to £5,000 are available from the Wellcome trust for scoping exercises or meetings to discuss research in the medical humanities. There is no specified closing date for these awards.

Please note that some funders specify a time for submission as well as a date. Please confirm this with your RKE Support Officer.

You can set up your own personalised alerts on ResearchProfessional. If you need help setting these up, just ask your School’s RKE Officer in RKE Operations or see the recent post on this topic

Are you keen to develop industry partnerships? Find out how academia and the private sector can work together

By 2014, capital grants to UK universities from Government will have halved.

But what are you doing to bridge the gap?

In order to maintain a strong financial position in this environment, without allowing academic or commercial standards to slip, institutions will need to diversify their income streams.

Developing Industry Partnerships - Thursday 27th February 2014 in Central London will guide you through the process, from how to bid for industry funding successfully to how to maintain beneficial relationships with your partners.

Leave with all the practical guidance on the most effective methods for obtaining alternative HE funding, setting your University up for continued success and future improvement.


Only by attending will you:

- Establish the best approaches to industry collaboration

- Learn how to capitalise on your university’s reputation

- Identify the best strategy for your university to systematically achieve your goals

- Understand the importance of commercial partners when securing investment

- Raise your funding questions with experts in the field


Early Bird Rates Available Now

Please contact Claire Berry on 020 7550 5954 and quote MK2F3KP

Or email

Book online: Please click here to visit the online booking form

University Rate – £395+VAT (standard rate – £445+VAT)

This offer must end Friday 22nd November, cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer, applies to new bookings only, and must be mentioned at the time of booking.

Bigger on the Inside






The Doctor, his TARDIS-driven adventures, along with companions and iconic monsters, are all over the TV and newspapers. The Inner World of Doctor Who is a new book, just out. Written by Prof Mike Rustin (UEL, Tavsitock Clinic) and Prof. Iain MacRury in the Media School here at BU. This publication offers an accessible account of Doctor Who. It focusses just on the most recent television output – 2005 to 2013 – and examines why the show continues to fascinate us.
The Doctor’s relationships with his companions are to the fore. Various chapters also consider the dramatic meanings of monsters and time travel – linking the show back to ideas about audience experience – and what we might ‘learn’ from Doctor Who. It looks at the complexity of the new Doctor Who in its depictions of the suffering of the Doctor, as well that of his at times vulnerable and dependent companions. A connection is made between TV content and some (but not all) elements in the experience of psychotherapy.
We propose that one way of thinking about the Doctor is to see him as a kind of inadvertent ‘therapist’ – with the TV dramas on screen rendering troubled states of mind and society within a rich cultural frame. Doctor Who extends a fairy-tale and children’s fictional tradition across its contemporary media platforms. As we argue: In Doctor Who everyday life is often revealed to be “Bigger on the inside.”

The 50th anniversary won’t come again and it provided a chastening deadline we’re glad to have met it! The book was inspired by the startling success of the show in recent years. Why does it attract such attention and affection? While thinking about it I  got further daily encouragement from the TARDIS that sits on the ground floor of Weymouth House, courtesy of our former Media School colleague, Dr Andrew Ireland.

The Inner World of Doctor Who is published with Karnac books. It should be of interest to diehard fans. But it is written, too, for people who probably wouldn’t claim the title ‘fan’ but for whom all the fuss about Time Lords and Tardises just now (The Doctor is even on postage stamps!) is provoking the thought: “What’s this all about!?” The Inner World of Doctor Who offers some answers.
 – Written with a colleague, Prof. Mike Rustin, from UEL and the Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust the book emerges from an enriching collaboration that began in some teaching sessions at the Tavistock clinic on their MA in Psychoanalytic Studies. It has now developed into this book. The book came together quite quickly and has been usefully supported by an AHRC funded network called “Media and the Inner World”. The book is published as part of their new series with Karnac called Psychoanalysis and Popular Culture.
If you are interested the book can be found at or as an e-book:

Need a Hand with your Vital Statistics?

Then our refresher session in all things stats is definitely for you! The content of the session can be shaped by what you need and will include key packages such as SPSS.

Most of us forget how to use our stats packages if we don’t use them all the time and this is precisely the reason this session will be held as part of the BRAD framework.

The session is taking place on the afternoon of 20th November and spaces for this session are limited, so you will need to book via the Staff Development webpage.


BU’s new research website, launching this month!

Why is there a new research website?

As regular readers of this blog know, across BU there is a wealth of research and knowledge exchange activities that take place through a wide array of projects, which in-turn bridge our academic schools, engage the public and have considerable impact on society.

However, it is difficult for readers of our current research webpages to understand the wealth of BU’s research expertise.  Most of the information about BU’s research is scattered across assorted school pages, microsites and news sections with many outdated materials still online.

Readers’ expectations of websites have changed considerably as well. When BU first started presenting information digitally, the norm was to display static content.  As we enter 2014 we need a digital platform which presents information in a dynamic and narrative driven way.

Therefore, we are about to launch BU’s new research website. The new site will have an updated design and will present our research around our eight societally focused research themes. In each section will be content on research news, research impact, public engagement and postgraduate research. It will also be possible to view content by each REF Unit of Assessment and see details of our research centres.

When will the new research website be available?

A beta version (i.e. test site) will go live by the end of November and we will be seeking submissions from across BU to further populate the site. This is to allow us to address any technical issues and for our research community to put forward content that wish to see on the new research website. There will be a full launch of the site in early 2014.

How will I be able to share news about my research?

One of the key reasons for the new research website is to ensure that our researchers are able to easily and frequently share their research online. Everyone will be able to craft their own content and upload articles themselves. The Research and Knowledge Exchange Office (R&KEO) will perform a light-touch check to ensure the correct tags are added new content will go live on the site within 1-2 working days.

There is training available on the new research website – please see this post to reserve a session.

If you are unable to attend one of these sessions, further dates are being organised on a rolling basis in 2014, so please register your interest by emailing Rebecca Edwards.


I’ve got really important information that is available on our current research webpages, will this get deleted at the end of the month?

No! Any content which is taken down from our publicly available servers will still remain available within BU. Therefore, if there is content which needs to appear on the new research website, and doesn’t already, you will be able to access the old material to create something new for the new research website.

What will happen to our research centre?

Each approved research centre will have its own page which can be designed and updated in a way which is most suitable for that community. New research centres needs to be approved by R&KEO in advance – please contact Rebecca Edwards in the first instance if you have a query about this.

Some research centres will retain a separate microsite and some new microsites will be created, subject to one of the following four criteria:

  1. Existing sites that can demonstrate an exceptional level of traffic
  2. Existing sites that already have a wealth of relevant content which is frequently updated
  3. Where a research grouping has external recognition, such as a national centre (e.g. the NCCA)
  4. An externally funded project where a separate microsite is part of the impact/dissemination plan

If you are unsure as to whether your microsite will be closed, please contact your Deputy Dean for Research. If you require a new microsite, please log a job with M&C in the usual way, and they will contact R&KEO to confirm a new microsite is permissible.

How will I add content to the new research webpages?

The new research website is built in WordPress, like the research blog. Therefore, you’ll be able to log into the site and add your own content. R&KEO will double check that the content is correctly tagged (to ensure everything appears in the right place on the new site) and it will be publicly available within one to two working days.

If you have not used WordPress before or would like to learn more about how the new research website will work, there are training sessions available (see above) to help familiarise you with the new the new system.





How can you use your research to build partnerships and entrepreneurial capacity in the Creative Economy?

Posted in BU research by lrossiter

The AHRC has committed to ensuring that the research it funds can be properly exploited and applied in areas where it can make a difference.  In particular, the AHRC’s new delivery plan puts KE, external engagement, collaboration, partnership working, public and policy engagement and impact at the very heart of all that it does.

The AHRC has made a huge investment of £20m fEC to establish four ‘Knowledge Exchange Hubs for the Creative Economy’ over the next 4 years. The purpose of these hubs will be to build new partnerships and entrepreneurial capacity in the ‘Creative Economy’ and in addition increase the number of arts and humanities researchers actively engaged in research-based knowledge exchange.

Take advantage of this investment  and look at how you can engage with the creative economy; perhaps through a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP)?  An excellent example of knowledge exchange, KTPs are run by the Technology Strategy Board and are co-funded by a range of bodies such as the AHRC.

KTPs provide academics with the opportunity to:

  • Apply knowledge and expertise to important problems facing businesses
  • Develop relevant teaching and research material
  • Identify new research themes and undergraduate and post graduate projects
  • Publish high quality journal and conference papers
  • Gain an improved understanding of business requirements and operations
  • Contribute to the (REF)
  • Participate in rewarding and ongoing collaboration with innovative businesses
  • Supervise and act as mentors for past graduates working on business based projects

Why not consider the benefits of knowledge exchange and use your research to move forward in building partnerships and entrepreneurial capacity in the creative economy……

How do I write a successful research grant?

…is a question I hear all the time. It’s really tough to know how to do this if you haven’t ever received training in it so you are not alone if you too have asked this.  If you are curious as to how you can write a winning research proposal but haven’t been able to join the Grants Academy or EU Academic Development Scheme, then we have a session  aimed at you as part of the BRAD framework.

On the morning of Wednesday November 27th an external expert bid writer will give some fantastic tips in a condensed 3 hour session on how to write a research grant. You will learn some of the tricks involved in writing a proposal for any funding body and will get an invaluable insight into what reviewers look for.

Spaces for this session are limited, so you will need to book via the Staff Development webpage.

All you need to know about the AHRC review process

What is the review process?

As anyone submitting a proposal to a research council at BU knows, once you hut the Je-S ‘submit’ button, the proposal then gets sent to R&KEO to undertake final checks. These are all done to ensure your proposal has the best chance of success.  This is also a critical stage in the process, as we know from our contacts in the Research Councils that reviewers won’t even see an application if the proposal has not adhered to the guidance criteria.

Stage 1 of the process is where proposals are sifted by a group of staff who reject immediately any which do not meet the published eligibility criteria; either related to documentation requirements or where it does not meet the aims or criteria of the scheme.  When we return your application to you before submitting in Je-S, it is to ensure your proposal gets through this team of sifters and makes it to Panel.

One element which we often find have been overlooked in applications is matching the Case for Support headings on the attachments, with those outlined in the guidance. The sifting process may reject your application for this reason and it is therefore important you make sure they match up. The headings have been developed based on feedback from peer reviewers and so following this structure will also put you in a favourable position with them. The other stages for most grants can be found in the diagram below.


What do reviewers looking for in proposals?

Quality & Importance of Research Proposed

  • the proposal meets the specific aims of the scheme to which the applicant is applying
  • the project is significant and important and the  contribution it will enhance or develop creativity, insights, knowledge or understanding of the area in a national or international context
  • the research questions, issues or problems that will be addressed are defined and their importance and appropriateness specified
  • the research context and specification of why it is important that these particular questions, issues or problems are addressed is articulated
  • the appropriateness, effectiveness and feasibility of the proposed research methods and/or approach is outlined
  • the quality and importance of the applicant’s work to date is demonstrated
  • the applicant is able to monitor the project and bring it to completion as demonstrated in the application

Research Team

  • the level and balance (in terms of time and seniority) of the proposed staffing on the project is appropriate and opportunities will be made available for less experienced researchers
  • the other named participants have the appropriate experience and expertise to deliver the project.
  • the lines of responsibility and accountability are clearly articulated.
  • a realistic timetable, incorporating milestones is presented which will achieve the project’s aims and objectives within the proposed timescale
  • the applicant has demonstrated that they understand the amount of work to be involved, allocated sufficient time and resources to achieving each aspect.

Value for Money

  • the likely outcome of the research will represent value for money, and in particular the relationship between the funds that are sought and the significance and quality of the projected outcomes of the research
  • the resources requested are reasonable in the context of the proposed research.

Outputs, Dissemination & Impact

  • the dissemination methods are appropriate and effective
  • the research process is documented or recorded in a way to enable dissemination of research outcomes to the widest possible audience
  • the outputs and outcomes of the project will be highly valued and widely exploited, both in the research community and in wider contexts where they can make a difference
  • plans to increase impact are appropriate and justified, given the nature of the proposed research
  • sufficient attention has been given to who the beneficiaries of the research might be and appropriate ways to engage with them throughout the project.
  • the research and its outcomes are disseminated to as wide an audience as possible, and where appropriate to engage in communication, dissemination and exploitation activities throughout the period of the project.
  • the audiences to whom their research could be of interest are specified, and how they propose to engage with those audiences about their research.


How can I increase my chances of success?

Firstly, let your RKE Operations Officer know as soon as you want to apply for a scheme. They have many years’ experience of reading the eligibility criteria and guidance and can help you make sure you tick all of these boxes. They will also cost your proposal and get it approved by Legal and through the APF Quality Approval Process as well as submitting it via Je-S when the time comes.

Your proposal will automatically go through our internal peer review process (RPRS) and you will receive useful feedback on how to really strengthen this. We have a number of AHRC award holders and a reviewer on our database which will be a huge help for you. If you are a member of the Grants Academy you also have access to our successful applications to help you write yours as well as unlimited support from Dr Martin Pickard in creating a fantastic application. 

If you haven’t won much funding before, then team up with more experienced academics in your field to make a submission that way.

Finally, the best piece of advice is to dedicate enough time to writing a great application. Many of the big schemes don’t have deadlines, and those which do have these dates announced usually quite far in advance so you have plenty of time to prepare. With so many areas to cover in your proposal and to do so better than your competition in other institutions, you really can’t write these applications in a week.  A Research Grant is a very prestigious one to have on your CV and is worth dedicating the time and energy to get.

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