Tagged / EPSRC

REMINDER – Cross-Research Council Mental Health Network Plus call Meeting

Just a quick reminders…

We will be holding a networking event for BU academics who are interested in the Cross-Research Council Mental Health Network Plus call on 1st November 09:30-11:30 in PG140. It will be a chance to get like-minded people in one space to identify possible collaborations and differences.

No preparation is necessary for the meeting; however we would ask you to read the call guidance see here.

Refreshment will be provided, if you would like attend please contact Alexandra Pekalski or Lisa Gale Andrews.

EPSRC New Investigator Awards to replace First Grants

EPSRC logoFrom Tuesday, 25 July 2017 a New Investigator Award scheme will replace the EPSRC’s First Grant initiative. The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) is introducing the new scheme following a recent review of First Grants, with input from advisory teams and universities.

The New Investigator Award scheme will remove some of the current restrictions and will help improve the quality and ambition of research proposals submitted, recognising that different projects and new investigators have different needs. EPSRC will continue to draw on input from advisory teams and universities to monitor and evaluate progress of the scheme.

The New Investigator Award scheme will:

  • Remove the financial value and the duration caps
  • Encourage a greater degree of university support to aid career development
  • Remove time based eligibility criteria, ensuring support for researchers who are new to leading research applications
  • Encourage panels to recommend invited resubmission and give feedback to support this more often than they would for standard grant applications

Information for current First Grant applicants:

  • EPSRC anticipates that all applicants eligible for the First Grant scheme will also be eligible for a New Investigator Award
  • The First Grants system will close at 16:00 (BST) on Monday 24 July 2017
  • Applications after this date should be made through the New Investigator Award scheme
  • First Grant applications that have not been submitted via the Je-S system after 16:00 (BST) on Monday 24 July 2017 will no longer be available

Current First Grant applicants should liaise with RKEO to ensure a copy of the application information is captured. This can then be used in New Investigator Award applications.

EPSRC seeks applicants for strategic advisory bodies

EPSRC logoThe Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) is welcoming applications for membership of its strategic advisory bodies.

Applicants are sought from academia, industry and other stakeholders to advise the organisation on research and training strategy as members of the Strategic Advisory Teams (SATs). As well as the standard vacancies, EPSRC is looking to appoint non-academic members to each SAT team from business, industry, third sector or government organisations, whose role is focused on managing the use of academic research to deliver innovation, economic growth or societal change.

The recruitment process for SAT applications is open until 16.00hrs on Friday, 04 August, 2017. Applications will be through an online form (see below).

Appointments for SAT members will begin on Monday, 01 January, 2018, and will run for three years, with the possibility of an extension for up to a further three years. SAT members are paid a fee for each activity they are involved in, and are reimbursed for travel and subsistence expenses when attending meetings.

Commenting on what SAT membership entails, Dr Ruth Mallors-Ray OBE, Chief Operating Officer of the Aerospace Technology Institute and current Chair of EPSRC‘s Engineering SAT, said: A SAT member is an individual who, whilst a specialist in one area, is able to see beyond that specialism and act as an independent contributor to the work of the EPSRC. A SAT member listens to the work of EPSRC and then offers challenges or insights to the process of the work.

The SAT member often looks at the recommendations of EPSRC or the strategies of EPSRC and asks questions such as: how have you arrived at this recommendation? Have you been universal in your application of approach, so that the outcomes and recommendations have been arrived at through research, analysis and evidence gathering? A SAT member needs to be open to broader consensus across strategic thinking for EPSRC.


EPSRC publishes Balancing Capability results

EPSRC_logoThe Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), after extensive engagement and dialogue with the research community, have published refreshed research area rationales as part of its Balancing Capability strategy.

The Council has reviewed all the research areas that form the building blocks of its portfolio and confirmed the suggested future strategies for these areas over the next five years.

See the full article, including comments from Professor Philip Nelson, EPSRC‘s Chief Executive.

Each piece of evidence was considered in relation to the whole portfolio in order to make well informed decisions. Each research area is accompanied by a ‘rationale’ which states the reasons for the strategic direction for each research area.

The research area strategies have been developed to align with EPSRC‘s Delivery Plan and will help achieve a ratio, committed to by EPSRC‘s Council, of 60 per cent community-led and 40 per cent strategic intervention by 2021. This balance will be achieved by encouraging the research community to continue to work together, across disciplines, and to develop challenges and proposals that are less directed by topic-specific, time bound calls.

To help with planning a list of calls for 2017/18 (PDF) is available with further details to be added as plans become firmer through the main calls page of our website and through the calls alert.  These have also been added to BU’s research blog ‘research toolkit, Research Funders Guide’.

EPSRC is confident that its strategies will result in the UK remaining one of the best places in the world to research, discover and innovate.

Funding opportunities – Quantum Technologies


IInnovateUK_LogoA_Interim_RGBx320govuk[1]Innovate UK and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) are to invest up to £13 million in quantum technologies.

The aim of this competition is to encourage collaborative research and development (CR&D) projects and feasibility studies that will either:

  • develop prototype devices and demonstrators of quantum technologies or their component technologies
  • improve the understanding of the technical, business or market challenges of taking a new device or service to market

The devices may be:

  • clocks
  • sensors
  • imaging
  • communications
  • computing
  • other devices that use quantum effects of superposition or entanglement

Proposals must be collaborative and a UK-based business must lead the project.

This is a single-stage competition. Two streams are running to support technologies at different stages of development:

  • feasibility studies: Projects should last between 6 and 12 months with costs from £50,000 to £500,000
  • collaborative R&D: Projects should last between 12 and 18 months with costs from £500,000 to £2 million

To lead a project you must:

  • be a UK-based business of any size or a research and technology organisation (RTO) working within the limits that are provided in the guidance for applicants
  • carry out the  project in the UK
  • work in collaboration with others (businesses, research base or third sector)

Key dates:

  • Competition opens: 30 January
  • Register: Midday 29 March
  • Apply before: Midday 5 April

For more information:

Competion guidance and project briefs click here

If you are interested in submitting to this call you must contact your  RKEO Funding Development Officer with adequate notice before the deadline.

For more funding opportunities that are most relevant to you, 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.

EPSRC Sandpit: New Industrial Systems

  Opening date: 05 January 2017
  Closing date: 02 March 2017 at 16:00
  Status: Future
  Tag: Expression of interest
  Related themes: All themes

EPSRC logoThe EPSRC’s Manufacturing the Future theme is highlighting a future call for a Sandpit in New Industrial Systems.

In response to future manufacturing challenges EPSRC is running a sandpit with a focus on New Industrial Systems to engender a radical change in the research undertaken in this field in the UK. EPSRC hope that this sandpit will enable UK researchers to identify and undertake research with the potential to have a transformative impact on our manufacturing industries.

It is expected that up to £5 million of EPSRC funding will be made available to fund research projects arising from this sandpit.  Keep an eye on the their website if you wish to express an interest in attending the sandpit (EoI opens 5/1/17).

The Personal Data & Trust Network is seeking new members


The Network aims to build and nurture a community that brings together industry, the public sector, funders, research organisations, individual researchers and innovators to support the UK in becoming the global leader in trust and responsible innovation with personal data.

To find our more click here

It’s free to join

EPSRC Postdoc & Early Career Fellowships for Environmental Change

EEPSRC logoPSRC is inviting Outline Proposals for EPSRC Challenge Fellowships in the LWEC theme. Fellowships are offered at both the Postdoctoral Fellowship and Early Career Fellowship level.

The closing date is 05 January 2017. Applications are sought that address the challenge question:

How can our cities, their hinterlands, linking infrastructure, rural surround and the regions they are in, be transformed to be resilient, sustainable, more economically viable and generally better places to live?


EPSRC‘s Living With Environmental Change theme is keen to support the next generation of leaders in adapting to and mitigating climate change. This is a strategic activity focusing on a key challenge within the EPSRC LWEC theme and on bringing new thinking into the area.

A previous call was issued on this topic in 2015 and eight Fellowships funded.

The research required to answer this challenge requires a broad based, problem- directed and multidisciplinary approach. In this call EPSRC is particularly interested in proposals that help fill research gaps in this area:

  • Proposals that use an Engineering, Physical Sciences, Computer Sciences or Mathematics led approach to the challenge
  • Proposals that address Energy related aspects of the challenge

The balance of the research described in the application should be within the remit of EPSRC. They would particularly like to encourage applicants from across the EPSRC research landscape to apply.

Full call document

EPSRC Science Photo Competition 2016

The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council have launched its fourth  EPSRC Science Photo Competition.  Open to all EPSRC supported researchers and EPSRC supported doctoral students, the Science Photo Competition gives both researchers and students the chance to showcase their research through pictures. Previous prizes have included equipment to the value of £500. Winners will also feature in EPSRC’s Pioneer Magazine and other EPSRC publications. There have been some fantastic images of research over the last three years and some winners have recieved great national coverage for their images.

Images should feature in one of five categories:

  • Equipment and Facilities
  • Eureka and Discovery
  • Innovation
  • People and Skills
  • Weird and Wonderful

Deadline for entries is Friday 16 December 2016. Could BU have a new winner?

To read more about the competiton take a look here.

Or if you have any questions email photocomp@epsrc.ac.uk


EPSRC ICT ECR workshops

EPSRC_logoHow many acronyms can you fit in one title?  The EPSRC are holding two two-day workshops for early career researchers in the areas of information and communication technologies:

The workshops will provide an update to EPSRC and ICT Theme strategies and policies, and guidance on applying for grants. The workshops will be attended by a number of EPSRC staff but also by experienced academics from across the ICT portfolio who will provide guidance and mentoring throughout the two days. The events will include a number of facilitated sessions covering topics such as impact from research, career development and a number of new ICT Theme priorities. They will also include opportunities for networking with other ECR colleagues and the previously mentioned mentors.

Target Audience

The event will be of greatest interest to ICT researchers that have completed a PhD (or equivalent qualification) within the previous ten years, are eligible to hold an EPSRC grant and hold few or no grants as Principal Investigator.

However, they do not wish to be prescriptive based on years of post-doctoral experience and welcome applications from prospective participants with a different pattern of academic experience, early career researchers based in industry and postdoctoral research assistants who are hoping to take lectureship positions in the near future. The internal assessment process will take into account the need for a balance of attendees across career stages.

Applying to Attend and Selection Procedure

Those wishing to attend the workshop should complete the short Expression of Interest (EoI) form on this page. This will be used to select participants based on their justification of attendance as described in their EoI submission. In addition, EPSRC will also ensure a balanced representation of organisation, research area, expertise and career stages.

Places are limited and the number of participants from a given organisation may have to be restricted in the event of multiple applications. EPSRC are committed to a policy of equal opportunities. Selection will primarily be based on justification of attendance. However, EPSRC is hoping to improve attendance by underrepresented groups at workshops and will consider this when selecting attendees.


If you are interested in applying to attend a workshop, please can you let the RKEO Funding Development Team know as we would be interested in receiving feedback on the workshop content.

EPSRC seeks strategic advisers

epsrcW86The EPSRC is re-opening its search for applications to join two of our Strategic Advisory Teams (SATs). The SATs seeking further applications are:

  • Manufacturing the Future
    • Automotive – Industry Member
    • Food – Sustainability/Processing
    • Digital Manufacturing
    • New Industrial Systems
    • Chemistry/Biochemistry with a focus on manufacturing research challenges
  • Research Infrastructure – Capital
    • Industrial Facilities user
    • Person experienced in Managing Institutional/Regional Facilities

Following the internal shortlisting process, they have judged that these vacancies would benefit from a wider pool of applicants. To apply, please fill in an application form by 21 October. If you have applied previously in this round, please do not re-apply.

For more information and contact details please see the vacancies page.

EPSRC is committed to a policy of equal opportunities. Appointments to the Strategic Advisory Teams are made on merit. However, they are keen to obtain greater diversity in SAT membership. Applications from women, those with a disability and members of minority ethnic groups, who are currently under-represented on the SATs, are therefore especially welcome.

Innovation defined? Outcomes and connections – Industrial strategy

So how do you use industrial strategy to make effective connections between what might otherwise be disparate forces and how do you then use those connections to deliver better outcomes?

(This blog post the final in a series of blog posts on Innovation : Blog post 1/ Blog post 2  / Blog post 3 /Blog post 4)

Success = research + innovate + scale

Fortunately, in the automotive sector, we have an outstanding example of how research, innovation, industry and government connects together and aligns through an industrial strategy, to deliver record results.

At the heart of the automotive industrial strategy for technology is an integrated end-to-end ecosystem, which is aligned to its shared ambitions and “The Low Carbon Vehicles Innovation Platform” is a great example of how the entire auto sector, proactively supported by government, was able to respond successfully to the challenge ahead of them.

The end-to-end ecosystem (pre-manufacture) of our auto industry
The end-to-end ecosystem (pre-manufacture) of our auto industry

It’s a powerful model, which aligns everyone around progressing the most promising technologies: from the early stages of research; through the mid stages of innovation; to the later stages focused on the capability to scale.

Read the blog post in full on Innovate UK’s website.

Funding Competition: Commercialisation of Quantum Technologies (Innovate UK & EPSRC)


Innovate UK and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) are to invest a total of £19.5 million to support projects in Quantum Technologies. Projects may involve technologies belonging to one of the core groups defined in the UK’s roadmap for quantum technologies: clocks, sensors, imaging, communications or computing.

The call is now open, the registration deadline is 28th September and the call closes at noon on the 5th October.

Projects must be industry-led, but projects involving academics as partners are welcome, provided academic costs do not exceed 50% of the total.

Up to £6 million will be available for Feasibility Studies, which will fund the development of early stage devices, component technologies and for marketing studies. Projects will last up to 12 months and have total costs of £50k- £400k.

The Collaborative R&D call will seek to connect the supply chain, to deliver a demonstrator technology and must include an end user. A fund of £13.5 million is available. Total project values should be £500k – £2 million, but an addition 10% is available which can only be used for capital equipment, taking the maximum project value to £2.2 million.

The call brief is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/funding-competition-commercialisation-of-quantum-technologies

Networking and briefing events – click on the links for more information  as dates, times, venues and content of the events do vary.

6 September

8 September

13 September

If you are interested in this call  you must contact RKEO with adequate notice before the deadline. Please note that some funding bodies specify a time for submission as well as a date. Please confirm this with your RKEO Funding Development Officer.

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 you are thinking of applying, why not add an expression of interest on Research Professional so that BU colleagues can see your intention to bid and contact you to collaborate.

EPSRC – Tackling global development challenges through engineering and digital technology research

EPSRC logoEPSRC have issued the following call:

Issue date: 23 August 2016
Opening date: 23 August 2016
Closing date: 15 November 2016 at 16:00
Status: Open
Tag: Invitation for proposals
Related themes: Digital economy Energy ICT

This call is supported through EPSRC‘s Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) allocation. The aim of this activity is to support an internationally leading programme of research, centred around engineering and digital technologies, to tackle the challenges faced by the developing world. Exemplar areas are given under each heading below, but these should not be seen as exclusive. Proposals may also span both headings.

1) Tackling global development challenges through engineering research

  • Sustainable infrastructure development
  • Engineering for disaster resilience
  • Engineering for humanitarian aid

2) Tackling global development challenges through digital technology research

  • Access to digital services
  • Use of data for vital services
  • Secure and trusted digital infrastructures

The proposed research must be predominantly in EPSRC remit, although interdisciplinary and/or multidisciplinary proposals are welcomed. Proposals must also be compliant with Official Development Assistance (ODA) guidelines.

Please note that applicants may only be named as Investigator (either Principal or Co-Investigator) on one proposal to this call.

Overseas Co-Investigators from research organisations in low-/middle-income countries – countries on the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) list of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) – may be included on proposals through this call.

The call closes at 16:00 on Tuesday 15 November 2016. Up to £25 million is available from EPSRC for this call. We aim to support in the region of twenty research projects through this activity.

Resources – Full call document

If you are interested in applying to this call then please contact your RKEO Funding Development Officer in the first instance.

Latest Major Funding Opportunities

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

Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council

BBSRC and the MRC, under the Global Challenges Research Fund, invite expressions of interest for their call for Networks in Vector Borne Disease (VBD) Research. This call forms part of BBSRC’s and MRC’s activities under the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) (see related links) and therefore requires Networks to address VBD challenges primarily relevant to the health or prosperity of Low and Middle Income Countries on the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) DAC List. The funders aim to support multidisciplinary Networks which foster collaboration, facilitate wider cross-disciplinary integrative participation (including environmental and social science research) and build capability which together will contribute to and underpin the development of novel strategies to control VBD of plants, animals and humans. Five key research priorities have been identified: Development of new control strategies for VBD in particular non-chemical vector control methods such as genetic control; Increased understanding of fundamental vector biology and vector ecology; Understanding what is driving the emergence and expansion of VBDs; Increased understanding of vector pathogen interactions; Improved diagnostics, surveillance and forecasting.

Maximum award: Not specified. Closing date: Expressions of interest 4pm, 03/11/16.

British Academy

British Academy, in collaboration with the São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP), the National Council for the State Funding Agencies (CONFAP) and the State Funding Agencies (FAPs) in Brazil, and the Academy of Medical Sciences, the Royal Academy of Engineering and the Royal Society in UK, under the Newton fund programme, invites applications for its Fellowship and Young Investigator awards. In the State of São Paulo, the call is open for UK visiting researchers to visit research groups in São Paulo. FAPESP will also offer an opportunity for young investigators from the UK to start a research career in a university or research institution in the State of São Paulo through its Young Investigator Awards. The UK Academies will also offer Newton International Fellowships and Newton Advanced Fellowships to the Brazilian research community, covering the fields of natural sciences, social sciences and humanities, and medical (including clinical and patient-orientated research) sciences. Mobility grants will also be offered to the Brazilian research community, covering the fields of natural sciences, social sciences and humanities, and engineering.

Maximum award: Not specified. Closing date: 12pm (Brazil time), 24/10/16.

Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council

EPSRC, on behalf of the RCUK Energy Programme (RCUKEP), invites applications for  the DoE NEUP programme. In particular the RCUKEP will support the UK component of proposals including US/UK collaboration in the following specific areas: Radioisotope Retention in Graphite and Graphitic Materials; Materials Ageing and Degradation; Reactor Safety Technologies; Materials Recovery; Advanced Waste forms; Advanced Fuels ; Used Nuclear fuel disposition: Disposal; Nuclear Energy Advanced modelling and simulation.UK applicants wishing to engage in this programme should liaise directly with their US partners. Appicants must submit an expression of interest (pre-applications), which shoulbe be submitted by the US partners to the DoE.

Maximum award: Not specified. Closing date: Pre-aplications 14/09/16.

Medical Research Council

MRC and the ESRC invite applications for their Skills Development Fellowships, which enable early-career researchers to develop new skills in a priority area as well as researchers at all career stages willing to transform their career. The scheme currently invites proposals that focus on any of the following priority areas within a UK and/or global health context: Quantitative Skills – covering mathematics, statistics, computation and informatics applicable to any biomedical or health related data sources, from molecular to population level. These skills can be applied across the full range of the MRC’s remit, for example, cell biology, physiology, epidemiology, population and public health, and health psychology; Skills at the social science interface – with a focus on areas of health economics and/or mixed methods research.

Maximum award: Not specified. Closing date: 14/06/17.

Natural Environment Research Council

NERC invites application for its Follow-on Fund Pathfinder awards, which enable researchers to develop projects that will realise the commercial potential of NERC-funded research via a combination of complementary technical and commercial engagement work programmes. Pathfinder awards are designed to fill  knowledge gaps via activities such as market assessment and competitor analysis, intellectual property searches, engaging with potential commercial collaborators and end-users, and ‘milestone 1’ technical work where the technical feasibility of the whole project depends on it. The fund is open to researchers with current or past NERC funding. Proposals for Follow-on support must build on the outputs of recent or previous NERC-funded research activity.

Maximum award: £20,000 (80% fEC). Closing date: 4pm, 27/09/16.

The Royal Society

Royal Society, in collaboration with the EPSRC and Rolls-Royce, invites applications for its Industry Fellowships.  The Fellowships are for academic scientists who want to work on a collaborative project with industry and for scientists in industry who want to work on a collaborative project with an academic organisation. The scheme aims to enhance knowledge transfer in science and technology between those in industry and those in academia in the UK.

Maximum award: Not specified. Closing date: 29/09/16.

Royal Society and the National Natural Science Foundation of China invite applications for the cost-share programme of their International Exchanges scheme. This scheme is for scientists in the UK who want to stimulate new collaborations with leading scientists overseas through either a one-off visit or bilateral travel. The scheme covers all areas of the life and physical sciences, including engineering, but excluding clinical medicine.

Maximum award: £12,000. Closing date: 10/10/16.

Royal Society and the Taiwan Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) invite applications for the cost-share programme of their International Exchanges scheme. This scheme is for scientists in the UK who want to stimulate new collaborations with leading scientists overseas through either a one-off visit or bilateral travel. The scheme covers all areas of the life and physical sciences, including engineering, but excluding clinical medicine.

Maximum award: £12,000. Closing date: 10/10/16.

If you are interested in submitting to any of the above calls you must contact RKEO with adequate notice before the deadline. Please note that some funding bodies specify a time for submission as well as a date. Please confirm this with your RKEO Funding Development Officer.

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 you are thinking of applying, why not add an expression of interest on Research Professional so that BU colleagues can see your intention to bid and contact you to collaborate.