Tagged / research funding

HE Policy Update w/e 10 November 2017

HE Policy Update

w/e 10 November 2017

A research funding crisis?

Follow this link to read the  A research funding crisis? summary with all the diagrams and charts.

Or read the summary below without the charts.

Ahead of the Autumn 2017 Budget the Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI) has published How much is too much? Cross-subsidies from teaching to research in British Universities written by Russell Group PG Economics student Vicky Olive. The paper concludes that research within universities is reliant on subsidy by tuition fee funding. As international students pay higher fees more of their fees go towards research than home and EU students. The paper concludes that on average international students contribute £8,000 from their total fees towards research. While the figures vary between universities, in 2014/15 teaching income funded 14% of English university research (approx. £1 in every £7 spent).

The paper argues that although the UK has a leading global research performance (see diagram below) R&D expenditure is well below competitor nations and unsustainable in the long term.

The paper argues that In 2014/15 the UK HE sector had a sustainability gap of £1 billion. This is described as a looming crisis because of a number of factors:

  • the focus on value for money for students paying tuition fees
  • Brexit threats to EU research funding
  • the unwelcoming nature of current immigration policy
  • the improvement of HE education in countries where the UK traditionally recruits international students
  • the impact of UK austerity policy which has seen limited science and research budget growth.

The Conservative Government’s has a target to increase R&D spend to 3% of GDP. The paper suggests that to realise this target the following would need to occur:

  • the UK would need an additional 250,000 full fee-paying international students;
  • Research Councils and Funding Councils to spend an additional £3 billion on funding research;
  • industry to contribute an additional £700 million;
  • charities to contribute an additional £830 million;
  • government departments to contribute £760 million extra each year.

Current R&D expenditure is 1.7% of GDP (25% of which spend by HEIs, 66% of spend by industry). The Government has announced additional investment of £4.7 billion by 2020/21 for R&D, however, the paper argues this isn’t enough and that other sectors must also increase their investment. The paper summarises recent Government policy related to R&D budgets.

The paper considers, and discards, the notion of only providing QR funding for 4* research.

In addition to her calls to increase research investment the author states her aim is to bring together UKRI and OfS to facilitate a sensible research funding model which neither underfunds or jeopardises research sustainability nor exploits students. The paper also urges universities to push back and recover a greater proportion of full economic cost from industry funders, particularly when the research is not directly for the public good.

Nick Hillman, Director of HEPI, commented : ”Anyone who wants to end cross-subsidies must say how they would fund universities’ various roles properly. There are three pressing issues. First, those who fund university research – public and private funders as well as charities – do not cover anything like the full costs. Secondly, the cross-subsidy from tuition fees to research is probably not sustainable at current levels. Thirdly, the Government wants a near doubling in research and development spending as a share of GDP, yet recent funding injections are only enough to stand still.

Our conclusion is that the Chancellor needs to find another £1 billion for research in this year’s Budget, with some set aside for the work universities do with charities. But even this level of additional funding would mean stagnation relative to other countries. So we also need a strategy for increasing research spending to OECD levels over the next few years and German levels thereafter – as promised in the 2017 Conservative manifesto.

The Times covered the report in University research subsidised with £281m from tuition fees.

Separately but relevant to this debate:

  • THE have written about the latest OECD data stating it shows a levelling off in global numbers of mobile students after the exponential growth of late 1990s and 2000s – read Data bite: international student flows in focus.
  • As we near the Autumn 2017 Budget parliamentarians have been calling on the Government to support their campaigning interests. This week Vince Cable (Lib Dem Leader) covers education and research and development in his pre-budget speech: “Long term studies by the LSE have shown that the two main determinants of poor UK performance on productivity are lack of innovation (R&D as opposed to basic science where the UK is strong) and low levels of skills. The former problem is being addressed by R&D tax credits and by the work of Innovate UK, in particular the Catapult network, which Liberal Democrats launched in government as part of the Industrial Strategy.
  • The latter is a far less tractable problem and despite the progress we made in the Coalition in raising the number and quality of apprenticeships, especially Higher Apprenticeships, the programme is now slipping backwards largely because of clumsy implementation of the apprenticeship levy and the neglect of careers advice and guidance….a budget built around the industrial strategy, prioritising education and skills, R&D and infrastructure would, at the very least, send the right signals.

Interdisciplinary Research

HEFCE have opened sub-panel nominations for roles related to IDR within REF 2021 aiming to support and promote the fair and equitable assessment of IDR outputs and environment through:

  • the inclusion of Interdisciplinary Research advisers on each sub-panel
  • the continuation of the optional IDR flag
  • the inclusion of a specific IDR section in the environment template

In September HEFCE blogged on the importance of academics within interdisciplinary research culture in What creates a culture of interdisciplinary research? HEFCE described what the new IDR role may look like in Wednesday’s blog REF 2021: Where are we on interdisciplinary research?

Widening Participation and inclusivity

OFFA has commissioned a new evidence based research study: Understanding and overcoming the challenges of targeting students from under-represented and disadvantaged ethnic backgrounds.

HEA and Runnymede Trust will analyse existing practice across the sector and ‘produce a suite of practical guidance to support staff in a variety of different roles within universities and colleges in overcoming the challenges associated with this work’. The project is part of OFFA’s long-term aim to challenge and support universities and colleges to do more to address the differences in higher education participation, attainment and progression to further study or employment that persist between students from different ethnic groups.

Les Ebdon: “Black and minority ethnic (BME) students have been a key target group for OFFA for a number of years. But our research suggests that universities and colleges are struggling to target the activities they deliver through their access agreements where they are most needed…This project will help us understand how activities can be targeted appropriately and effectively towards students from disadvantaged and under-represented ethnic backgrounds, enabling OFFA to better support universities and colleges to accelerate progress in this crucial area.”

Principal Investigator, Jacqueline Stevenson, stated: “Our intention is not just to indicate the barriers institutions are facing, but also what they are able to do to address these entrenched and long-standing inequalities.”

 

 Scope call for inclusive workplaces: Scope has called on the Dept for Work and Pensions to develop universal, industry-standard information and best practice guidance for all businesses to support their employment and management of disabled people. Scope’s new research Let’s Talk found many disabled people struggle to share information about their impairment or condition in the workplace making it hard for them to access the support and adjustments they need to carry out their job.

 

Question to the Dept for Education: Office for Students

Andrew Percy (Con): Whether the remit of the Office for Students will include anti-discrimination on campus.

Jo Johnson (Con, Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research & Innovation): The government has published a consultation on behalf of the new Office for Students (OfS) regarding the regulation of the higher education sector. It proposes that, in its regulatory approach, the OfS will look to ensure that all students, from all backgrounds can access, succeed in, and progress from higher education.

Higher Education (HE) providers are autonomous organisations, independent from Government, and they already have responsibilities to ensure that they provide a safe, inclusive environment, including legal obligations under the Equality Act 2010 (the Act) to ensure that students do not face discrimination.

The OfS, like some HE providers, will also have obligations under the Public Sector Equality Duty in part 11 of the Act. This includes a requirement that the OfS, when exercising its functions, has due regard to the need to: eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation and any other unlawful conduct in the Act, advance equality of opportunity, and foster good relations in relation to protected characteristics.

In addition, in September 2015 the government asked Universities UK (UUK) to set up a Harassment Taskforce, composed of university leaders, student representatives and academic experts, to consider what more can be done to address harassment and hate crime on campus. The taskforce published its report, ‘Changing the Culture’, in October 2016, which sets out that universities should embed a zero-tolerance approach to sexual harassment and hate crime. This includes hate crime or harassment on the basis of religion or belief, such as antisemitism and Islamophobia. The Higher Education Funding Council for England is currently working with UUK to test the sector’s response to the Taskforce’s recommendations and the results of this will be published early in 2018.

 

House of Lord Questions – Disabled Student Allowance

Lord Addington (Lib Dem) has asked three parliamentary questions regarding the disabled students allowance.

Q1: Whether the evaluation of Disabled Students’ Allowances will include consideration of the need for third party advisers to have clarity of information about the respective responsibilities of higher education providers and claimants of those allowances.

Q2: Whether the evaluation of Disabled Students’ Allowances will include consideration of the benefits of issuing a guide to higher education providers about their responsibilities in relation to students claiming those allowances who fall into bands 1 and 2.

Q3: Whether the evaluation of Disabled Students’ Allowances will include consideration of the levels of information provided by higher education providers to students claiming those allowances about the respective responsibilities of those institutions and students.

The Earl of Courtown provided the same (non-)response to all three questions:

A: The evaluation of Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSA) will address a range of factors relating to the efficacy of support for disabled students, including the effect of recent changes to DSA policy.

 

Parliamentary Questions

 

Question to the Home Office – Visas: Overseas Students

Q -Jo Stevens (Labour): How much was accrued to the public purse from charging international students applying for Tier 4 student visas in each year since 2010.

A – Brandon Lewis (Con, Minister of State for Immigration): Visa income is not differentiated between the various categories in which they are received. Visa volumes by broad category (study, work etc) are published in the data section of this webpage: LINK Fees and unit costs are also published, for example, for 2017/18: LINK

 

Private Providers

Lord Storey (Lib Dem) has tabled two questions about the quality of private providers:

Q1 – On how many occasions in the last three years the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education has (1) raised concerns, and (2) taken action, regarding private colleges and providers of degrees

Q2 – What measures they are taking to provide quality assurance for students studying degree courses at a private college whose degrees are validated by a university

These are due for answer on Tuesday 21 November.

Consultations

Click here to view the updated consultation tracker. Email us on policy@bournemouth.ac.uk if you’d like to contribute to any of the current consultations.

New consultations and inquiries this week:

  • Two Dept for Health consultations on nursing, and one on regulation and workforce development of the health services
  • Jo Johnson has announced the sector will be asked for their opinion on two year degrees in a forthcoming consultation

Other news

Student Engagement: Guild HE have written for Wonkhe censuring the limited nature of student consultation and engagement proposed through the new Quality Code and critiquing both the TEF and the Office for Students in Engaging students as partners: two steps forward, one step back.

HE Policy Briefings

Awareness of policy is integral to many roles at BU and with HE constantly in the news it can be hard to sort the wood from the trees to keep current. We’re running two short and sharp HE Policy Briefings during November and December; all are welcome so come along to learn more!

The briefings will:

  • present the latest policy developments for universities and how they may affect BU, our staff and students
  • cover the next steps for the Teaching Excellence Framework, including subject level TEF, and how this could impact BU
  • support you to consider actions you could take to prepare for change and challenges arising from these development.

Email organisational development to attend on: Wed 22 November 12-13:00 at Lansdowne or Thurs 7 December 12-13:00 at Talbot (mince pies included!)

Subscribe!

To subscribe to the weekly policy update simply email policy@bournemouth.ac.uk

JANE FORSTER                                            |                       SARAH CARTER

Policy Advisor                                                                        Policy & Public Affairs Officer

65111                                                                                        65070

Follow: @PolicyBU on Twitter                   |                     policy@bournemouth.ac.uk

 

 

NIHR Grant Applications Seminar & Support event – last chance to book

 

 

 

 

Are you planning to submit a grant application to NIHR?

Research Design Service South West (RDS-SW) are holding a one day event on 9 November 2017 at Plymouth Science Park, Devon.

Last few days to book!

The events consists of:

  • a morning seminar session which is open to anyone to come and RDS advisers give presentations on what makes a good grant proposal.
  • an afternoon support session of one-to-one appointments which is for those who would like to discuss their own proposal with an RDS adviser. Those interested in this opportunity will be asked to supply in advance a brief description of their project idea.

Registration is FREE and lunch will be provided. Places are limited and will be allocated on a ‘first come, first served’ basis. In order to secure a place at one of these events, delegates will need to complete the online registration form by 1pm 30 October 2017. One-to-one appointments need to be booked in advance by selecting the appropriate option on the registration form.

You can find out more here

Don’t forget your local branch of the NIHR Research Design Service is based within the BU Clinical Research Unit (BUCRU) on the 5th floor of Royal London House. Feel free to pop in and see us, call us on 61939 or send us an email.

NIHR Fellowship Information Event – November 2017 – Book Now!

Are you interested in applying for an NIHR Fellowship?  Do you have questions? Need more info?

Information Event – 24 November 2017 – University of Exeter

There are many types of NIHR Fellowship award on offer, so how do you know which one is the best for you? When and how do you apply? What makes a good application? If you want to know more about NIHR Fellowships – and other NIHR training and career development awards – then this event is for you.

The morning session is open to anyone to come and hear from a number of speakers – from NIHR as well as existing panel members and award holders.

The afternoon support session of one-to-one appointments is for those who would like to discuss their own proposal with an RDS adviser.

See here for more information.
This event is FREE and refreshments and lunch will be provided. Places are limited and will be allocated on a ‘first come, first served’ basis. In order to secure your place please register using the online form by 1pm, 10 November 2017.

 

Your local branch of the NIHR Research Design Service is based within the BU Clinical Research Unit (BUCRU) on the 5th floor of Royal London House. Feel free to pop in and see us, call us on 61939 or send us an email.

Special Edition Policy Update: Sir John Bell report on Life Sciences and the Industrial Strategy

Following our Industrial Strategy update last week, as expected Sir John Bell has published his report for the government on Life Sciences and the Industrial Strategy. There are 7 main recommendations under 4 themes, which are summarised below.

Some interesting comments:

  • The key UK attribute driving success in life sciences is the great strength in university-based research. Strong research-based universities underpin most of the public sector research success in the UK, as they do in the USA and in Scandinavia. National research systems based around institutes rather than universities, as seen in Germany, France and China, do not achieve the same productivity in life sciences as seen in university-focussed systems.” (p22)
  • “The decline in funding of indirect costs for charity research is coupled to an increasing tendency for Research Councils to construct approaches that avoid paying indirect Full Economic Costs (FEC). Together, these are having a significant impact on the viability of research in universities and have led to the institutions raising industrial overhead costs to fill the gap. This is unhelpful.” (p24 and see the recommendation about charitable contributions under “reinforcing the UK science offer” below)
  • “It is also recommended, that the funding agencies, in partnership with major charities, create a high-level recruitment fund that would pay the real cost of bringing successful scientists from abroad to work in major UK university institutions.” (see the proposal to attract international scientists below).
  • On clusters “Life sciences clusters are nearly always located around a university or other research institute and in the UK include elements of NHS infrastructure. However, evidence and experience suggests that governments cannot seed technology clusters28 and their success is usually driven by the underpinning assets of universities and companies, and also by the cultural features of networking and recycling of entrepreneurs and capital.” And “Regions should make the most of existing opportunities locally to grow clusters and build resilience by working in partnership across local Government, LEPs (in England), universities and research institutes, NHS, AHSNs, local businesses and support organisations, to identify and coalesce the local vision for life sciences. Science & Innovation Audits, Local Growth Funds and Growth Hubs (in England), Enterprise Zones and local rates and planning flexibilities can all be utilised to support a vision for life sciences. “ (see the proposal on clusters under “Growth and Infrastructure” – this was a big theme in the Industrial strategy and something we also covered in our Green Paper response)
  • On skills: “ The flow of multidisciplinary students at Masters and PhD level should be increased by providing incentives through the Higher Education Funding Council for England.2 and “Universities and research funders should embed core competencies at degree and PhD level, for example data, statistical and analytical skills, commercial acumen and translational skills, and management and entrepreneurship training (which could be delivered in partnership with business schools). They should support exposure to, and collaboration with, strategically important disciplines including computer and data science, engineering, chemistry, physics, mathematics and material science.”

Health Advanced Research Programme (HARP) proposal – with the goal to create 2-3 entirely new industries over the next 10 years.

  • Establish a coalition of funders to create the Health Advanced Research Programme to undertake large research infrastructure projects and high risk ‘moonshot programmes’, that will help create entirely new industries in healthcare
  • Create a platform for developing effective diagnostics for early, asymptomatic chronic disease.
  • Digitalisation and AI to transform pathology and imaging.
  • Support projects around healthy ageing.

Reinforcing the UK science offer

  • Sustain and increase funding for basic science to match our international competition – the goal is that the UK should attract 2000 new discovery scientists from around the globe
    • The UK should aim to be in the upper quartile of OECD R&D spending and sustain and increase the funding for basic science, to match our international competitors, particularly in university settings, encouraging discovery science to co-locate.
    • NIHR should be supported, with funding increases in line with Research Councils
    • Ensure the environment remains supportive of charitable contributions through enhancing the Charity Research Support Fund (see above for the context for this).
    • Capitalise on UKRI to increase interdisciplinary research, work more effectively with industry and support high-risk science.
    • Use Government and charitable funding to attract up to 100 world-class scientists to the UK, with support for their recruitment and their science over the next ten years.
  • Further improve UK clinical trial capabilities to support a 50% increase in the number of clinical trials over the next 5 years and a growing proportion of change of practice and trials with novel methodology over the next 5 years.
    • Establish a working group to evaluate the use of digital health care data and health systems; to evaluate the safety and efficacy of new interventions; and to help ICH modernise its GCP regulations.
    • Improve the UK’s clinical trial capabilities so that the UK can best compete globally in our support for industry and academic studies at all phases.
    • Design a translational fund to support the pre-commercial creation of clinically-useable molecules and devices.

Growth and infrastructure – the goal is to create four UK companies valued at >£20 billion market cap in the next ten years.

  • Ensure the tax environment supports growth and is internationally competitive in supporting long-term and deeper investment.
    • Address market failures through Social Impact Bonds and encourage AMR research.
    • Consider how UK-based public markets can be used more effectively in the sector.
  • Support the growth of Life Sciences clusters.
    • Government, local partners and industry should work together to ensure the right infrastructure is in place to support the growth of life sciences clusters and networks.
    • UK’s existing clusters should work together and with government to promote a ‘single front door’ to the UK for research collaboration, partnership and investment.
  • Attract substantial investment to manufacture and export high value life science products of the future. – the goal is to attract ten large (£50-250m capital investment) and 10 smaller (£10-50m capital investments) in life science manufacturing facilities in the next five years.
    • Accept in full the recommendations of the Advanced Therapies Manufacturing Action Plan and apply its principles to other life science manufacturing sectors.
    • A programme in partnership with industry to develop cutting-edge manufacturing technologies that will address scale-up challenges and drive up productivity.
    • Optimise the fiscal environment to drive investment in industrial buildings, equipment and infrastructure for manufacturing and late-stage R&D.
    • Consider nationally available financial incentives – grants and loans, or capital allowances combined with regional incentives – to support capital investment in scale-up, and prepare for manufacturing and related export activity.
    • Make support and incentives for manufacturing investment and exporting available to business through a single front door, provide a senior national account manager accountable for delivery and simplify the customer journey.

NHS collaboration – the Accelerated Access Review should be adopted with national routes to market streamlined and clarified, including for digital products. There are two stated goals:

  • The NHS should engage in fifty collaborative programmes in the next 5 years in late-stage clinical trials, real world data collection, or in the evaluation of diagnostics or devices.
  • The UK should be in the top quartile of comparator countries, both for the speed of adoption and the overall uptake of innovative, cost-effective products, to the benefit of all UK patients by the end of 2023.

The recommended actions are

  • Utilise and broaden the Accelerated Access Review to encourage UK investment in clinical and real-world studies. Deliver a conditional reimbursement approval, for implementation as soon as licensing and value milestones are delivered.
  • Create a forum for early engagement between industry, NHS and arms-length bodies (e.g. NICE, MHRA) to agree commercial access agreements.
  • Use the recommendations from the AAR to streamline the processes and methods of assessment for all new products.
  • Value assessments should be evolved in the long-term with improved patient outcome measures, affordability and cost management data beyond one year timeframes.
  • NICE’s funding model for technology evaluation should be set up in a way that does not stifle SME engagement

Data – Establish two to five Digital Innovation Hubs providing data across regions of three to five million people.

  • The health and care system should set out a vision and a plan to deliver a national approach with the capability to rapidly and effectively establish studies for the generation of real world data, which can be appropriately accessed by researchers.
  • ePrescribing should be mandatory for hospitals.
  • NHS Digital and NHS England should set out clear and consistent national approaches to data and interoperability standards and requirements for data access agreements.
  • Accelerate access to currently available national datasets by streamlining legal and ethical approvals.
  • Create a forum for researchers across academia, charities and industry to engage with all national health data programmes.
  • Establish a new regulatory, Health Technology Assessment and commercial framework to capture for the UK the value in algorithms generated using NHS data. A working group should be established to take this forward
  • Two to five digital innovation hubs providing data across regions of three to five million people should be set up as part of a national approach and building towards full population coverage, to rapidly enable researchers to engage with a meaningful dataset. These regional hubs should also have the capability to accelerate and streamline CTA and HRA approvals. One or more of these should focus on medtech.
  • The UK could host 4-6 centres of excellence that provide support for specific medtech themes, focussing on research capability in a single medtech domain such as orthopaedics, cardiac, digital health or molecular diagnostics.
  • National registries of therapy-area-specific data across the whole of the NHS in England should be created and aligned with the relevant charity.

Skills

  • A migration system should be established that allows recruitment and retention of highly skilled workers from the EU and beyond, and does not impede intra-company transfers.
  • Develop and deliver a reinforced skills action plan across the NHS, commercial and third sectors based on a gap analysis of key skills for science.
    • Create an apprenticeship scheme that focuses on data sciences, as well as skills across the life sciences sector, and trains an entirely new cadre of technologists, healthcare workers and scientists at the cutting-edge of digital health.
    • Establish Institutes of Technology that would provide opportunity for technical training, particularly in digital and advanced manufacturing areas.
    • There should be support for entrepreneur training at all levels, incentivising varied careers and migration of academic scientists into industry and back to academia.
    • A fund should be established supporting convergent science activities including cross-disciplinary sabbaticals, joint appointments, funding for cross-sectoral partnerships and exchanges across industry and the NHS, including for management trainees.
    • High quality STEM education should be provided for all, and the government should evaluate and implement additional steps to increase the number of students studying maths to level 3 and beyond

NIHR Research Design Service Grant Writing Retreat

Do you have a great idea for research in health or social care?

Would your team benefit from protected time and expert support to develop your idea into a competitive funding application?

The Research Design Services South West (RDS SW) and South Central (RDS SC) are delighted to offer a unique opportunity to researchers in health and social care across their regions. to attend a week-long residential Grant Writing Retreat at Dillington House, near Ilminster in Somerset from Monday 4 September to Friday 8 September 2017 inclusive. The purpose of the Retreat is to give busy professionals dedicated time to rapidly progress their research idea into fundable proposals. The Retreat will provide a supportive environment for research teams to develop high quality research proposals prior to application to national peer-reviewed funding streams. Participating teams will enjoy protected time dedicated to the development of their research proposals away from the distractions of their workplace, expert help and support from RDS adviser staff and the experience of working as part of a professional research team.

I urge you and your colleagues to have a look at the website to find out more details, the process for applying for a place on the retreat, and examples of success stories: http://rds-sw.nihr.ac.uk/rgwr.htm

The cost of the retreat is £2,850 per team of three researchers (see website for details). The opportunity to apply is open to everyone across our region.

HOWEVER, for teams that successfully apply for a place on the retreat, and that consist of at least one member of staff from the Department of Nursing and Clinical Sciences here at BU, the University can offer a limited number of places funded by the Department (2 but might be able to stretch to more).   If you don’t have anybody in mind within the department but still interested in collaborating and applying for a free space offered by the university please contact us and we can facilitate this and try to find people with shared interests and ideas.

Applications for the retreat must be submitted to RDS by 1pm 26th April 2017, and it is important that you discuss your application with someone from the BUCRU/RDS team at an early stage (Sarah Thomas, Helen Allen, Sharon Docherty, Andy Powell, Peter Thomas).

Your local branch of the NIHR Research Design Service is based within the BU Clinical Research Unit (BUCRU) on the 5th floor of Royal London House. Feel free to pop in and see us, call us on 61939 or send us an email.

Bournemouth University Clinical Research Unit 2017 Newsletter Now Available

bucru identity

The latest newsletter from the Bournemouth University Clinical Research Unit (BUCRU) is available to download here. Take a look at the successful grant applications we were involved in last year, and what else we got up to in 2016. There is also an update from our colleagues in the Centre of Post Graduate Medical Research and Education (CoPMRE).

Don’t forget, BUCRU can provide FREE methodological advice and support in designing your research project. We’re based on the 5th floor of Royal London House so feel free to pop in and see us, call us on 61939 or send us an email.

Research funding in Autumn statement

moneyIn his Autumn Statement on Wednesday the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Rt Hon Philip Hammond MP, outlined a new National Productivity Investment Fund (NPIF) that will add an extra £2 billion a year for research and development by the end of this Parliament.

Through the NPIF the government will fund:

  • Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund – a new cross-disciplinary fund to support collaborations between business and the UK’s science base, which will set identifiable challenges for UK researchers to tackle. The fund will be managed by Innovate UK and the research councils. Modelled on the USA’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency programme the challenge fund will cover a broad range of technologies, to be decided by an evidence-based process
  • Innovation, applied science and research – additional funding will be allocated to increase research capacity and business innovation, to further support the UK’s world-leading research base and to unlock its full potential. Once established, UKRI will award funding on the basis of national excellence and will include a substantial increase in grant funding through Innovate UK

There are several sector statements issued and you can read them here:

Research Funders Guide

map of scienceThe Research Funders Guide (find it in the Research Toolkit along the blog menu bar) has been updated.  As well as updating the call deadlines in the ‘standard calls for major funders’ pages,  each of the pages within the guide have been updated to include a link to the relevant pathway available in the RKE Development Framework.  This links up the opportunities available to support you in applying for the external funding explained in the guide pages.

dev_frameworkFor those of you who haven’t yet heard about the Research and Knowledge Exchange (RKE) Development Framework, it offers a range of opportunities for academics at all career stages to develop their skills, knowledge and capabilities in relation to research and knowledge exchange. It has been implemented in response to the changing external environment, and developed in consultation with academic colleagues to ensure a strategic fit between the training and development opportunities on offer, and the needs and wishes of academic colleagues.

If you’re interested in applying for external research funding then please contact the RKEO’s Funding Development Team.

Latest Funding Opportunities

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

Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council

The BBSRC has made funds of £5k for BBSRC grant holders as part of the International Scientific Interchange Scheme to establish new contacts with international counterparts.  Closing Date Open

Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council

Applications are welcomed for access to super-computing time  (>100,000 kAU or 6666667 core-hours on ARCHER) up to 24 months as part of the ARCHER Leadership Project or as part of the Resource Allocation Panel (>1,000kAUs or >66,667 ARCHER core hours) for 12 months for research that falls within the remit of the EPSRC or NERC.  Closing Date 13/6/16  

Joint Programming Initiative on Antimicrobial Resistance

The Joint Programming Initiative on Antimicrobial Resistance is accepting applications for a maximum of €50k, for projects lasting 6-12 months for the creation of Transnational Networks/Working Groups in the following areas:

  1. Guidelines on use (Human & Veterinary) – Affordable stewardship
  2. Surveillance in primary care
  3. New anti-infective/ New adjuvant therapies / Alternative approaches
  4. Evaluation of risk for generation of resistance in human setting
  5. Rapid diagnostic tests
  6. Role of environmental factors
  7. Infrastructures/Biobanks available relevant to infection and AMR

Each working group must include at least three partners from the following countries: Belgium, France, Germany, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, the UK and Canada.  Closing Date 6/6/16

Wellcome Trust

The Wellcome Trust have made available the Small Arts Awards (small- to medium-sized projects – up to and including £40k) to support new project ideas or ways of working, investigate and experiment with new methods of engagement through the arts or the final production costs of new work. Closing Date 1/6/16

As part of the Development Awards, up to £10k is available for ideas for TV, radio, games or film projects in collaboration with scientists and researchers. Closing Date 27/7/16

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 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.

Research Funding in the words of a 7″ single

RecordsI recently received 45 45’s (7” singles or if you’re still too young, small records) for my birthday (guess how old I was?). I thought I would make a shameless attempt to cram some of the records into a research focussed blog post. Here goes!

I fall to pieces (by Patsy Cline) – most funder success rates are lower than 20% and so don’t be disheartened when that rejection email pops in your in-box. Statistically, you only have a one in five chance of being successful and so do ‘try and try’ again. RKEO are here to support you and our Facilitators can review your unsuccessful applications and funder feedback to see how your next application can be stronger and successful.

You don’t miss your water (till your well runs dry) (originally by The Byrds but I have it by The Triffids) – don’t wait until your last grant has finished to apply for your next; start planning your next applications a year before your grant ends. Have a chat about your research plans with RKEO and submit your next intention to bid form to your Funding Development Officer.

Monotony (by Sauna Youth) – it can sometimes seem like you’re on a research funding treadmill but remember why your research excites you and why it should excite others. Think about the impact your research can have to society and find inspiration with the KEIT team.

Dancing in the dark (by Bruce Springsteen) – sometimes it can feel like that as an academic in the competitive world of research funding, but as Bruce said in the song – ‘you can’t start a fire without a spark’ and so make sure you are a ‘gun for hire even if you’re just dancing in the dark’. We have lots of opportunities to interact with other academics and RKEO can help you make those connections and collaborations. We also hold ‘sandpit’ events where you can form interdisciplinary teams to submit new and exciting research ideas for external funding. Check out our research blog for the next sandpit.

Here comes the summer (by The Undertones) – well, it’s almost here and a good time to really think about those research plans as you set your objectives for the next academic year. Have a chat with the RKEO team about how we can support your plans and what development opportunities we have available to you, particularly to support your application writing.

Complete control (by Clash) – you do have control over your research career and RKEO are here to help. Get in touch and see what we can do for you.

Hey ho, let’s go (by Ramones) – as Joey said ‘they’re all revved up and ready to go’. I hope you are feeling this way by now and that this will lead to Success – (by Iggy Pop).ramones

 

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.

Research Funders’ Guide is even better!

Imap of science previously posted about the new Research Funders’ Guide available on the Research Blog under the Research Toolkit.  This introduced the major funder pages, which include a wealth of information about their research strategies, what they fund, impact reports, funder guides and success rates.

These pages have now been expanded to include:

Don’t forget, we also have the Research Lifecycle on the blog where you can see how RKEO can support you with your research plans.

 

Research Funders’ Guide

The Research Funders’ Guide was launched last week on the Research Blogs ‘Research Toolkit’ (hover over the link to see what is available to assist you with your external application for funding).map of science

This has since been updated to include success rate data and past awards for the Research Councils.  These are a good indication of what the Research Councils are interested in and what they’re prepared to invest in.  If you’re interested in applying to a Research Council then do have a look around.

In addition, we’ve tidied up the charities so that the major funders are now shown at the top and also contain links to past awards and some have the quick guides that RKEO have produced to help internal applications understand the process at BU.

Do also have a look at the Research Lifecycle on the blog to see how RKEO can support you with your research plans.

Latest Major Funding Opportunities

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

JPI Demographic, NL

Proposal are invited for the More Years Better Lives call. This aims to support innovative and interdisciplinary research into the drivers to, and constraints on, extending working life. Research is expected to cross the traditional boundaries of government departments and occupational sectors and to examine the implications of extending working life for older workers, new labour markets, health, well-being and intergenerational equity. Proposals are invited for research into one or more of four broad topics: modern work factors, longer working life and inequality, health challenges, and caring responsibilities. Maximum award: not specified. Closing date: 02/06/15.

Royal Society, GB

This Research Grant scheme is for scientists in the UK who are at an early stage in their career and provides ‘seed corn’ funding for new projects of timeliness and promise. The objective is to increase availability of specialised equipment and essential consumable materials, and to support essential field research. The scheme also provides support for research in the history of science or to assist with publication of scholarly works in the history of science. The scheme covers all areas of the life and physical sciences, including engineering, but not clinical medicine. Maximum award: £15000. Closing date: 26/05/15.

The SABMiller Royal Society Exchange Programme supports collaborative projects between researchers in the UK and in sub-Saharan Africa, particularly in Ghana and Tanzania in the following areas: water and sanitation, including water engineering and irrigation, waste water management and other related projects; agriculture and crop science, excluding animal or veterinary science but including land, soil management and crop production; renewable energy including solar, wind or hydro-energies, energy capture and storage, and other related projects. Maximum award: £21000 over three years. Closing date: 28/05/15.

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.


Introducing Alexandra Pękalski – Research Facilitator

Hey!

I am Alexandra Pękalski (nee Peirce) and I am the Research Facilitator for the Media school, School of Tourism and The Business School. I am part of the Funding Development Team, which offers support and advice with all pre-award activities, such as horizon scanning, identifying funding opportunities and developing and submitting proposals.

So, the question you undoubtedly have is what is a Research Facilitator and what can they do for me? If you haven’t already glazed over like my friends and family. I am here to support researchers to gain funding for their research ideas/solution to societal problems!

But if you’re still with me, this really is a new and exciting role for the university and along with my three other colleagues we are here to help with the following:

  • To develop and critique your proposal
  • Help bring together research team
  • Write, review and critique text
  • Ensure your proposal meets the funder’s strategic aims
  • Suggest ideas to strengthen the content of your proposal
  • Help you form inter/multidisciplinary research collaborations
  • Facilitate internal peer review

Within my role as Senior RKE Support officer, I have worked across all 6 Schools/Faculties and have knowledge and understanding of a broad range of sponsors including European Commission, AHRC, EPSRC and Leverhulme (to name but a few!). Before the world of Research Administration I held various roles at the University such as, Programme Administrator, Planning & Resources Officer and Project & Finance Manager. I have also worked in the private sector as a Marketing Executive.

I am particularly keen to work on developing and supporting multi/interdisciplinary collaborations within the university and externally, developing a new researchers development framework and working closely with early careers researchers.

Outside of work!

I enjoy eating, not just outside of work, but all the time. Every 10 minutes.  I love food! Due to this love of food I am currently reading a booked called “French Women Don’t Get Fat”.

I am also learning Polish (if only to ensure my daughter doesn’t sail me down the river with my in-laws), am attempting to master rollerblading with the hope Bournemouth will finally get an ice rink, I can join an ice hockey team and somehow get to the winter Olympics (recently inspired by Cool Runnings).

If you’re thinking about developing a bid, and would like some guidance, advice or support, please feel free to get in touch with me or the Funding Development Team.

Call for research proposals – Defence Medical Sciences

New SBRI call – Up to £500k of funding is available for this Phase 1 competition.

MOD’s Centre for Defence Enterprise (CDE) are launching a call for research proposals to identify new and innovative science and technology to enhance the level of military medical care and support to service personnel.

This CDE competition aims to promote military resilience and preparedness through:

Challenge 1. Technologies for health surveillance

Predicting injury, infection or disease in a military population on operations helps maintain fighting ability. This challenge seeks to identify areas of physiology and biochemical pathways that, with new surveillance and analysis technology, can provide novel ways of assessing health and wellbeing.

Challenge 2.  Advanced medical systems for field care

Post-Afghanistan, operational medicine will evolve. Future medical capability will rely on smart, innovative, less logistically intense ways of diagnosing and treating medical emergencies. This challenge seeks innovative technologies that can be used routinely by non-specialists in an operational setting to diagnose the cause and severity of injury or illness and assist in providing care.

A free briefing event will take place at the CDE Tuesday 30 September 2014 in Scotland.

Further details can be accessed via the website.

 

 

 

Research Data Management (RDM)

With increased interest from funders and government policy about open access data the recent DCC seminar sponsored by R&KEO about Research Data Management helped explain the data cycle leading to open access.

So what is data? Several definitions exist but in essence anything collected, created, observed and used for your research, e.g. sketches, recordings, social media.

RDM is the process covering the creation and stewardship of materials for use “as long as they retain value”. Well managed and shared data raises research profile and impact, potentially adding to reputation. Clearly we need to maintain careful consideration of sensitive or personal data.

RCUK and many other research funders have an expectation that Data Management Planning (DMP) will be integral to project development and increasingly funders are asking to see your DMP with applications.

The DMP process looks at what data will be created, how it should be managed and includes sharing and presentation considerations. RCUK expect existing data sets to be checked to avoid duplication and Horizon 2020 covers exploitation, access and preservation, see the Research Blog for further information, also DCC offer a multitude of resources including DMP Online which will guide you through creating a DMP step-by-step.

So why share my data? Well the funders’ are asking for this as they see data as a public good and having paid for it they want to maximise their investment (mindful of privacy, security and commerciality interests). Also your data will be safely stored and available when you next require access. Others researchers can scrutinise and enhance the data resource leading to scholarly communication, with suitable citations to you.

Project feedback suggests that collecting data as you progress makes life easier towards the conclusion of the project. Additionally it is worthwhile considering your file naming conventions early on, e.g. name, structure, version. Storage and back up of data is important during the research process and afterwards, you may need the data again and others may have access also. With the latter point to mind some consideration to maintaining data in a repository is sensible, mindful of the economic versus value added conundrum. For example, keeping data available in newer formats to increase data mining in the years ahead. Further advice from DCC can be found here.