Researching COVID-19 and associated impacts – update from the Tuesday briefing

Dear all

Many thanks to those of you who attended today’s virtual briefing session (and bearing with us as we tested a new form of engagement!) As promised, the information is being provided on the virtual MS Team – please do join this group and interact as appropriate.

Funding calls referred to today can be found via the following links:

  • UKRI funding hub.
  • MRC/NIHR rapid response call. The second round of funding has seen 21 new projects funded, in addition to the six projects funded in the first round. £14.1m of the £24.6m budget has already been allocated. You can find info on the funded projects here: (thanks to Lisa for this information)
  • All disciplinary areas can apply for funding, it is worth viewing e.g. the AHRC and ESRC.
  • There is also a considerable volume of Innovate UK funding in the pipeline – for which industry collaboration is essential. Furthermore, given recent government announcements, we expect a strong component of economic recovery to be predicated on industry led R&D.

Some points to note:

  • Usual processes apply – including institutional approvals. Please refer to the updates cascaded internally.
  • RDS are working remotely but are here to help. Please refer to the Research Blog if you are ensure as to who to contact within the Funding Development Team.
  • In-terms of developing a strong proposal, further to our discussions with funders, please do be aware:
    • Funding applications need to deliver impact rapidly. As highlighted as part of the discussion, this may be best done through collaboration with external partners e.g. policy makers, industry partners etc) – they are not for incremental disciplinary based progress.
    • Strong proposals are likely to be interdisciplinary/collaborative in nature.
    • Equality and diversity (in all aspects, not just gender) is a theme which UKRI are especially keen to see researchers addressing.

If you would like to test out ideas/develop concepts, we can assist through our normal support, but in addition by:

  • Anonymously adding text to the MS Teams site and we will invite comment on your behalf
  • Providing an opportunity to discuss your concept over videoconference and we can ask others to feedback – the emphasis on both mechanisms being friendly and supportive!

Furthermore, I am keen to hear your feedback as to how we can maximise effective engagement whilst our campus is closed to ensure that BU offers the most effective response aligned to our areas of strategic research growth.

One final note is that our corporate communications team is keen to hear about colleagues who are doing excellent work with regards to COVID-19 and its impacts. You are welcome to send me through some details and/or email directly to advise – please don’t be shy.

Take care and stay safe,

Very best wishes