Posts By / Ainar

ACORN Funding Panel

As I mentioned yesterday, in April, we focus our stories on BU internal funding panels. This post shares information about the ACORN (ACceleration Of Research and Networking) funding panel.

ACORN funding provides central investment to the most talented Early Career Researchers (ECRs) to support them in gaining experience in managing and leading their own pilot research projects.

The ACORN panel consists of ten panel members from all faculties, is led by the Chair Professor Jan Wiener, Vice-Chair Professor Julie Turner-Cobb and supported by panel Secretary Ainar Blaudums and panel Clerk Theresa McManus.

Funded projects

So far, three rounds of ACORN funding have been announced of which two have been completed; in total, 18 grants have been awarded. In the most recent Round 3, the following projects were awarded:

  • Turning Your Film Into Mine: Filmmaking and the Quotation Exception (PI Dr Claudy Op Den Kamp);
  • Neonate simulators and digital stories: enhancing social work practitioner’s knowledge of problem substance use during pregnancy (PI Dr Humaira Hussain);
  • Drawing Lines across Virtual Spaces: Nigerian Political Cartooning in the Digital Age (PI Dr Malcolm Corrigall);
  • Exploring pathways from suicide ideation to attempts in autism (PI Dr Rachel Moseley);
  • Reliability and Development of Normative Data of the Total Faulty Breathing Scale (PI Dr Vikram Mohan).

Covid-19 related travel and research restrictions, as well as off-campus working, have been challenging for ACORN awardees and have delayed the implementation of some project activities. Fortunately, the panel was able to secure an approval from RPMC to extend implementation of some project activities beyond the end of this financial year.

Nevertheless, Dr Rachel Moseley has achieved significant progress in implementing her ACORN award project and works towards completing the major research work. In her ACORN project, Dr Moseley investigates pathways from suicide ideation to attempts in autistic people. .

This project aligns with the BU2025 “Health and Wellbeing“ Fusion Theme, and Target 3.4.2 from the UN Sustainable Development Goals: to prevent premature mortality from non-communicable diseases.

ACORN project ‘Exploring pathways from suicide ideation to attempts in autism’

Death by suicide is frighteningly common in autistic people, but poorly understood. Excess psychiatric morbidity and mortality is prominent in the autistic community, who are, according to some research, eight times more likely to die from suicide. Preliminary research in this area often fails to differentiate suicide ideation from attempts.

Popular theories in neurotypical people suggest that in order to act on suicidal thoughts, individuals must acquire the ‘capability’ for suicide by developing tolerance for pain and losing the evolutionary fear of pain and death. Typically, this capability develops through being exposed to physically painful and emotionally provocative events (like abuse, discrimination) and through self-injury. Research has linked self-injury and suicidality in autism, but it’s not clear if self-injury increases the risk of individuals moving from ideation to attempts and, if so, how this happens. Does self-injury increase pain tolerance and make people less fearful of death, and are there other experiences which likewise create suicide capability?

Dr Moseley kindly provided some insights into her ongoing research: ‘Over 300 autistic people have taken part in my online survey. Interestingly, our preliminary analysis highlighted stressful life events concerning health and medical treatment as predictive of suicide ideation and attempts. Autistic people who had experienced more of these stressors were more likely to mentally rehearse suicide and to feel less fear of death. We need to conduct further qualitative and quantitative analysis to further understand this finding, but it is reminiscent of how many autistic people struggle to find suitable care and to be understood by practitioners (Camm-Crosbie et al., 2019).

Conducting this research has been enormously humbling. I feel exceptionally honoured to have been given this opportunity to, hopefully, uncover findings of importance to this vulnerable community.  The study has been overwhelmingly well-received by the autistic community, with participants commenting: “The study is written with great sensitivity and obvious care for its participants”; “Thank you for looking into this issue. Best questionnaire I have ever completed. Explanatory, friendly, approachable… stress was massively reduced. A lot of work must have gone into the design”.

Autistica, a charity who support autistic people, have asked me to present my findings in a podcast in June. As mental health in the autistic community is one of the highest priorities for research in autism, they described the present study as “some of the most relevant and important research currently being conducted in the UK”. The ACORN funding has afforded me great visibility within the autistic community and autism researchers, and I am excited to continue analysing the data and present it back to these stakeholders.’

Dr Moseley aims to publish findings from this project in several papers, and is extremely hopeful that these publications and the experience she has gained in managing and delivering this project, will lead to successful grant applications from large external funders. Centered at the intersection between autism (a neurodevelopmental condition) and mental illness such Dr Moseley’s work is appropriate for funders interested in multimorbidity such as the Medical Research Council.

Dr Moseley concludes: ‘I am immensely grateful for the opportunity afforded to me by the ACORN committee, which immensely strengthens my academic profile towards achieving this goal.’

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Future of ACORN funding

Currently, the ACORN panel is working on revising projects and their budgets prior to announcing an additional competition for a number of smaller awards for projects to be completed by 31 July 2021.

The Panel is exceptionally grateful for every grant holder’s commitment and their flexibility in adjusting project plans to mitigate the impact of the  COVID-19 pandemic on the delivery of their projects.

The next posts coming up tomorrow – Focus on Fellowships.

The ACORN Fund Additional Round is Now Open for Applications!

The ACORN Fund (Acceleration OResearch & Networking) for Early Career Researchers is now open for applications  for projects that can be delivered before the end of July 2021. This round differs from previous rounds due to the short turnaround time, smaller budget and limited activities eligible for funding.

The  closing date is Tuesday, 4th May 2021 (5pm) and all applications must be submitted to the email account: acorn@bournemouth.ac.uk.

This scheme will provide c. five awards, of up to £3,000 each, to support BU’s ECRs, with the most promising talent, to gain experience of managing and leading their own pilot research projects. These awards support BU’s commitment to the Concordat to Support to Career Development of Researchers and are made possible by BU’s QR (Quality Research) allocation for 2021 financial year.

For eligibility, you must be able to comply the following:

  • All applicants must have completed their PhD
  • All applicants must have a post at BU (established or fixed term) for the full duration of the award and the post-award commitments or longer
  • To be considered an early career researcher (ECR) applicants should have held a 0.2 or above research contract for no more than six years in total, excluding periods where the applicant was involved in non-research employment or not at work (e.g. caring responsibilities)
  • ACORN award holders cannot hold more than one BU internal award concurrently
  • Note that funds cannot be used to cover open access fees and travel

Within the Research > Pre-award area on the staff intranet, you can find out more by reading the updated ACORN Fund Policy and apply using the Application Form for this round. In addition, to assist with the budget section, please refer to the RKE Internal Funding Sample Costs. As this does not require Full Economic Costing, you should not contact your faculty’s Funding Development Officer to complete the costing for you. Please address any queries as below.

The closing date for applications is 4th May 2021. As these require faculty support, please start your application and obtain faculty approval as soon as possible. Applicants are responsible for obtaining faculty sign-off and for submitting the application to the email provided in this post.

Please address any queries to Theresa MacManus at RDS via acorn@bournemouth.ac.uk

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Putting the ACORN Fund into strategic context, under BU2025, the following funding panels operate to prioritise applications for funding and make recommendations to the Research Performance and Management Committee (RPMC).

There are eight funding panels:

  1. HEIF Funding Panel
  2. GCRF Funding Panel
  3. Research Impact Funding Panel
  4. Doctoral Studentship Funding Panel
  5. ACORN Funding Panel
  6. Research Fellowships Funding Panel
  7. Charity Support Funding Panel
  8. SIA Funding panel

Please see separate announcements regarding each initiative.

These panels align with the BU2025 focus on research, including BU’s Research Principles. Specifically, but not exclusively, regarding the ACORN Fund, please refer to:

  • Principle 5 – which sets of the context for such funding panels;
  • Principle 6 and Outcome 9 – which recognises the need for interdisciplinarity and the importance of social science and humanities (SSH);
  • Outcomes 4 and 5 – where ECRs are provided with the mechanisms for support such as mentors and, through schemes including the ACORN fund, gain budgetary responsibility experience.

GCRF Funding Panel

Research is a priority, it matters, and it is everyone’s responsibility here at BU. In April, we focus our stories on BU internal funding panels. This post shares the information about the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) funding panel and awarded projects.

GCRF funding enables BU academics to undertake research in partnership with organisations in developing countries. Projects are aimed to help build collaborations with researchers, policymakers and practitioners, ensuring that the research provides tangible outcomes and impacts for people in those countries.

The GCRF panel is led by the Chair, Professor Lee Miles, and Vice-Chair, Luciana Esteves.

Travel restrictions introduced due to the pandemic have sometimes been a challenge for academics, however, everyone has demonstrated flexibility in adjusting project plans to minimise their impact on project delivery. This has even delivered some benefits, for example, encouraging greater partnership working and ensuring that projects are efficiently implemented by in-country organisations.

Funded projects

There have been quite a few previous posts on BU Research Blog related to GCRF funded projects; you can read more about such projects as ‘Rohingya refugee crisis’ (Bangladesh), ‘Indigenous people’s voices’ (Costa Rica and Malaysia), ‘Child soldiers’ (Colombia) and ‘Driving African Capacity-Building in Disaster Management’ (Sierra Leone, Senegal and Cameroon). In total, 22 GCRF applications have received funding.

One of the internally funded GCRF projects – ‘Enhancing Livelihood Resilience of Protracted Internally Displaced Persons (ELIED)’ – is led by Dr Henry Bang. The PI kindly provided a brief overview of the project and the work done so far.

‘The project was conceived against the backdrop of Cameroon’s Anglophone Crisis (AC). The AC is rooted in the country’s troubled colonial history that eventually gave birth to its dual bi-lingual heritage (French and English official languages). The ongoing conflict started in 2016 as peaceful street demonstrations by lawyers and teachers’ trade unions against the obligatory use of French language in the educational and legal systems in Cameroon’s two Anglophone Regions. The government’s harsh response eventually gave rise to secessionist groups in the Anglophone region that have led to armed confrontation with government security forces. The four-year conflict has led to more than 63,000 refugees and 679,000 internally displaced persons.

These persons are suffering several vulnerabilities associated with separation from the nurturing environments of their original/home communities. Notably, are deprivation from basic necessities like regular access to food and other essentials such as education and easy access to health care. This is mainly because they rely heavily on food aid and assistance from well-wishers and donors. Living such unsustainable lives requires targeted attention. Hence, this GCRF project aims to improve and enhance the welfare and build livelihood resilience for the internally displaced persons who are scattered around Cameroon’s 10 regions. A strategic objective is to shape the livelihood opportunities of the population to be non-aid dependent.

The project is moving at an endurable pace, adjusted in accordance with COVID-19 restrictions to achieve the project objectives by the deadline of July 31st, 2021. The PI, with in-country collaborators, have engaged multiple NGOs and research assistants to collect data from the internally displaced persons’ (pictures here are taken by in-country collaborators and illustrate data collection by NGOs).

This project involves many challenges, considering the constrained budget and the scope of work involved, especially in securing a representative sample from around the country. Data collection from the NGOs is in progress after initial meetings and focus group discussions that led to the identification of key themes for further investigation.

According to the PI, ‘The challenge, though, is getting insights from the government, which is invaluable considering government’s expected dominant role in safe guiding the lives/livelihoods of the internally displaced persons. Plans are in place to achieve this objective with the appropriate budget as initially planned. In-dept analysis based on triangulation of data from the four data sets would enhance the validity, credibility, and generalization of the research.’

‘There is optimism that ELIED will achieve its aims/objectives with desirable outcomes that would have a huge academic/research and practical impact on sustainable livelihoods/development in Cameroon’ Dr Bang concludes.

The panel Chair suggested that at least two more projects with a high impact have to be mentioned in this short blog post – ‘Aftershock Nepal’ project and the MAAR (Media Action Against Rape) project addressing rape prevention in India. Both projects are led by Professor Einar Thorsen and Dr Chindu Sreedharan. It’s important to mention that the latter led to follow-on joint initiatives.

Future of GCRF funding

UK universities have received formal notifications from UKRI and Research England that there will be no further QR GCRF funding after July 2021. So, for the remaining period we need to ensure that the projects are successfully completed by the end of this financial year. Another important task will be reporting back to Research England in autumn.

The next post, coming up tomorrow, will be about the ACORN internal funding panel.

Invitation to AT Virtual STEAMLab

On Wednesday, 12 May 2021, RDS will be hosting Virtual AT STEAMlab (Science/Tech/Engineering/Arts/Maths lab) event under the strategic investment area (SIA) of Assistive Technology (AT). It will be the second of a series of up to 2-hour long virtual STEAMlabs to be held in the course of 2021.

The ideas generated at this event may also be used to help select colleagues for further Scramble events at short notice.

Booking onto this event

To take part in this exciting opportunity, we ask all participants to download and complete the AT STEAMLab Application Form and return this to Ainar Blaudums by Wednesday, 5 May 2021.

By applying, you agree to attend for the full duration of the event on 12 May from 10:30am to 1pm. Places at the event are limited and you will be contacted to confirm your “virtual space” by 7 May 2021.

If you have any queries prior to submitting your application, please contact RDS Research Facilitators Ainar Blaudums or Ehren Milner.

 The Brief

We’re seeking to come up with highly innovative and urgently required research which is ambitious in scope and will require a high level of expertise, commitment and funding. The research must address challenges in the AT field.

In short, we anticipate the development of innovative, ground-breaking cross-disciplinary and ambitious projects which have the capacity to attract significant, high value external funding from the public and private sectors in the future.

Who should attend?

We welcome those who wish to contribute to having a positive impact through addressing scientific challenges, but in particular, we are specifically targeting the following:

  1. Those academics whose research aligns with one or more of the BU’s core research areas, or whose research would benefit from the multidisciplinary, collaborative engagement supported by the AT SIA;
  2. Those who have experience of involvement in medium to large scale research projects.

We will also be inviting relevant external attendees, such as digital technology companies, to contribute on the day.

Some Answers to your FAQs:

Do I need to do anything in advance?

No, you do not. During the STEAMLab, you’ll be guided through a process which results in the development of collaborative research ideas. The process facilitates creativity, potentially leading to grand, innovative and interdisciplinary research. These ideas will be shared and explored with other attendees, and further developed based on the feedback received.

 What is the immediate objective?

The objective by the end of the STEAMlab is to have scoped some leading and grand ideas around which a working group or cluster can be formed to take forward towards the development of a large grant application. This event is run to facilitate new interdisciplinary research collaborations.

What do I need to do afterwards?

Your project idea may be “oven-ready”, but it is more likely than not that, given the level of pioneering innovation sought, you/your group’s project idea/s will require some time to crystallise fully, and for the optimum partners to be found for the building a winning consortium, and bringing to fruition a fully-fledged grant application. To this end, it is envisaged that you and your potential collaborators will be committed to meeting on a regular basis, with a firm timetable.

What if my topic area is very specialised, within fields such as medical diagnostics or environmental science?

Your contribution will be very welcome! One of the main benefits of a STEAMlab event is to bring together individuals with a range of backgrounds and specialisms who are able to see things just that bit differently to one another.

ERC Have Announced Tentative Dates for 2022 Calls

The European Research Council (ERC) has announced the tentative opening dates and deadlines for their 2022 calls. They are as follows:

ERC Synergy Grant 2022 Call

  • Opening date: 15 July 2021
  • Deadline: 10 November 2021

ERC Starting Grant 2022 Call

  • Opening date: 23 September 2021
  • Deadline: 13 January 2022

ERC Consolidator Grant 2022 Call

  • Opening date: 19 October 2021
  • Deadline: 17 March 2022

ERC Advanced Grant 2022 Call

  • Opening date: 20 January 2022
  • Deadline: 28 April 2022

There were a few BU academics willing to submit their applications this year but were not able to do it due to time constraints.

These dates are tentative and still subject to change. They differ from the regular yearly cycle that the ERC has established; according to UKRO, the call cycle will revert to the expected times of each year by 2023. The ERC aims to provide as much time and predictability as possible for applicants to prepare while also finding the time for evaluation procedures that last several months for each call.

For more information about the ERC and other Horizon Europe funding opportunities contact RDS Research Facilitator International Ainar Blaudums.

Horizon Europe: Early Information on the Proposal Template

UKRO have recently provided some insights into expected Horizon Europe proposal templates.

The Horizon Europe (HEU) proposal templates are currently under development and have not been published yet. However, UKRO has obtained some information regarding the first version of the proposal template, which indicates that there will be several differences when compared with the Horizon 2020 proposal.

The first version of the draft application form for Innovation Action (IA) and Research and Innovation Actions (RIA) demonstrates strong continuity with the Horizon 2020 proposals. It maintains the online Part A for general, administrative and financial information, and Part B for the technical description of the research project – divided into three sections that reflect the Horizon Europe evaluation criteria: Excellence, Impact and Implementation.

According to UKRO, the modifications presented below are under consideration, however are not final and thus subject to further changes.

Part A

  • A new self-declaration on Gender Equality Plans (GEP) has been added; if the proposal is selected, having a GEP will be mandatory for public bodies, HEI and research organisations before signature of the grant agreement;
  • ‘Description of the individual members of the consortium’ has been moved from Part B (former Section 4);
  • For statistical reasons, more information on researchers involved in the proposal can be provided (e.g. gender, career stage, etc);
  • Minor changes to the ethics questions have been introduced (split into two parts: ‘Ethics and Security’); furthermore, a longer ‘Declarations’ list has been included;
  • The ‘Ethics self-assessment’ (narrative part) has been moved from Part B (former Section 5);
  • The ‘Open Data Management Pilot’ opt-out/in section has been removed; a Data Management Plan (DMP) will be a mandatory deliverable by month six of the project and must be covered in Part B together with Open Access practices;
  • The headings in the budget table have been renamed in line with the new financial provisions of Horizon Europe.

Part B

  • New 45-page limit for the title, list of participants and sections 1, 2 and 3 introduced (70 pages in Horizon 2020); former Section 4 (Members of consortium) and Section 5 (Ethics and security) have been moved to Part A;
  • Key elements of the award criteria used in evaluation process and indicative number of pages for each sub-heading have been added;
  • Section 1 “Excellence”: sub-headings have been rearranged and renamed; ‘Open Science practices’ must be described as an integral part of the methodology (with an obligatory Data Management Plan) and not only covered under the ‘Impact/dissemination’ part, as was the case in Horizon 2020;
  • Section 2 “Impact”: major changes to the content and layout are being proposed.
    • This section will now be composed of two sub-headings: ‘Project’s pathways towards impact’ and ‘Measures to maximise impact – Dissemination, exploitation and communication’, complemented by a ‘Summary canvas’ visualising links between the key Impact elements (needs/results/measures and target groups/outputs/impacts).
    • Moreover, new questions/guidance has been added on how to approach the Impact section (e.g. with relation to the Work Programme’s destinations and the topic’s expected outcomes, in terms of scientific, economic/technological and societal impacts) and on how to determine ‘the scale and significance of the project’s contribution to the expected outcomes and impacts’. The requirement to present a draft ‘Plan for dissemination and exploitation including communication activities’ remains and becomes a mandatory project deliverable by month six of the project (not at the periodic/final report stage).
    • If exploitation is expected primarily in non-associated third countries, applicants will need to justify the EU’s interest in the proposal. The draft template does not require a ‘business plan’ explicitly anymore (required for Innovation Actions in Horizon 2020), but where relevant, applicants must still outline the commercialisation path for their innovations in the Plan.
  • Section 3 “Quality and efficiency of the implementation”: the key change is a removal of a dedicated section on the ‘organisational structure and the decision-making mechanisms’; other sub-headings have been slightly rearranged and renamed into: ‘Work plan and resources’ and ‘Capacity of participants and consortium as a whole’; minor changes have been made to the ‘Implementation tables’ (e.g. more classification options for deliverables, dissemination activities and risks) and ‘Costs justification tables’, in line with budget headings (e.g. ‘purchase costs’).

The first HEU calls are expected to open in April after the EU Parliament formally adopts the Regulation establishing the programme.

ERC Confirms Upcoming Call Deadlines

The ERC Executive Agency has confirmed the publication dates and deadlines for its 2021 calls for proposals.

  • The 2021 Starting Grant call will open on 25 February and close on 8 April.
  • The 2021 Consolidator Grant call will open on 11 March and close on 20 April.
  • The 2021 Advanced Grant call will open on 20 May and close on 31 August.

The 2021 ERC Work Programme – first one to be adopted under Horizon Europe – is available on the ERC website.

Applicants to the ERC Starting Grant call should note that the Work Programme is still showing the old deadline of 24 March, which has been extended, as explained in the ERC’s announcement.

This information has been provided by UKRO.

UKRO, in its role as the UK ERC National Contact Point, will hold two Information and Proposal Writing webinars on Tuesday 16 March from 10am to 12pm (UK time) and on Friday 19 March from 1pm to 3pm (UK time).

More information and details on registration for these two webinars will be shared in due course.

Horizon Europe – Clusters for Collaborative Research Projects

This is another post related to UK’s participation in EU Horizon Europe (HE) Framework Programme.

As mentioned earlier, based on UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement, the UK will be HE Associated Country. This association will ensure that UK and EU entities participate in Horizon Europe Programme on equivalent terms.

Similarly as for previous EU Framework Programme Horizon 2020, research activities in Horizon Europe are structured under 3 pillars. However, there are some differences; as they say – ‘no revolution but evolution’:

  • Pillar 1 – Excellent Science
  • Pillar 2 – Global Challenges and European Industrial Competitiveness
  • Pillar 3 – Innovative Europe

In the picture above, you can see that all themes we knew as ‘Societal Challenges’ in Horizon 2020 have been moved under Pillar 2 and integrated with ICT, NMBP and space topics – this seems to be the major change; there are more, however I will leave them unexplored for now.

So, most of collaborative research projects BU academics may be interested in lay under the second pillar in Horizon Europe. Those are grouped in clusters and Work Programmes for each of these clusters have been drafted.

I will continue these series of blog posts about HE providing more details regarding topics and expected opening of HE calls (first calls are expected to be open in March/April).

There will be funding briefing for BU academics on Wednesday 3 February at 12pm led by RDS Research Facilitators.

This week’s spotlight topic will be MSCA Individual Fellowships. It should be useful for those academics who wish to submit applications this year and also those who are not familiar with MSCA funding scheme. Feel free to join this weekly event on MS Teams.

Just as a reminder – with enquiries regarding international funding opportunities and questions related to EU, especially Horizon Europe, funding contact me – Research Facilitator International Ainar Blaudums.

UK’s participation in Horizon Europe

There was an earlier blog regarding UK participation in EU programmes for research, innovation and higher education last week. As promised, here is more information related to Horizon Europe (HE) Framework Programme.

Based on UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement (the TCA) the UK will be HE Associated Country. The association secures participation of UK and EU entities in Horizon Europe Programme on equivalent terms. This will ensure that via the Horizon Europe Programme UK organisations have access to R&I funding, infrastructure and markets; according to the TCA, UK organisations can lead projects and UK experts can take part in evaluations. It also provides association to COST programme and the UK plays an active role in the ongoing governance and development of the HE programme.

UK entities will be able to access grant funding from all parts of HE, including European Research Council and Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions, and all application and grant management process will be the same as for Horizon 2020, unless any changes are made for the whole HE programme.

There are certain steps to be completed before the UK formally associates to the HE Programme – EU to ratify HE Regulation (expected in January/February) and to finalise Protocol between UK and EU, which sets out all terms of UK participation.

I believe, this is fantastic news for the whole UK academic community and wish you success in applying for research funding.

For EU funding related questions, contact RDS Research Facilitator International Ainar Blaudums. I will post further information as soon as new information regarding EU programmes becomes available and important decisions are reached.

Applying for Interreg funding from January 2021

Interreg has been one of the funding sources where BU academics have been successful during previous years. RDS have had a number of enquiries from academics regarding our eligibility to apply for Interreg funding after the UK has left the EU. The answer may be both – yes and no.

According to the Withdrawal Agreement, the UK continues participation in all EU programmes funded from the 2014-2020 EU budget. There are final calls for proposals under the 2014-2020 programmes which are ongoing and will close in 2021. The UK continues to be eligible to apply for these, including Interreg, and EU funding will be provided for the whole lifetime of the project.

The next EU budget period is designed for 2021-2027; if Interreg calls for proposals are to be funded from the EU 2021-2027 budget, UK participants will not be eligible for EU funding.

Theoretically there may be a situation that there are two open Interreg calls for proposals with different eligibility criteria for UK participants. Our advice to academics would be to check first if funding for the particular call comes either from the EU 2014-2020 or the 2021-2027 budget.

There will be another blog post in the coming days, providing more details regarding our participation in the Horizon Europe Framework Programme. In the meantime, do not hesitate to contact Research Facilitator – International, Ainar Blaudums, if you have specific questions regarding EU funding.

UKRO annual 2020 (remote) meeting with BU academics

As usual, RDS will host an annual UK Research Office visit to BU in 2020.

This year’s event has been scheduled for November 18 and is organised in a form of a remote zoom meeting. Please make a note in your diaries – all academic staff interested in EU funding, the new Horizon Europe framework programme and future implications of Brexit are invited to attend the event.

The event will be hosted and run by our UKRO European Advisor Ms Malgorzata Czerwiec from Brussels.

At this point, we have a draft agenda and some input from academics before finalising the agenda, as a minimum to register your interest to attend particular session by 6th November 2020, will be appreciated.

The link to the zoom meeting will be provided after the registration is closed; some of agenda items may be changed or removed depending on your feedback.

Please see the draft agenda below and register your attendance preferences (at the end of the registration, click on DONE button to complete the form).

Draft agenda of the webinar

10:30 – 11:45

UK Participation in Horizon 2020

BU involvement in H2020

Update on Horizon Europe developments

12:00 – 12:40

H2020 Evaluation process and proposal writing hints and tips + questions – session for PIs involved in the Green Deal Call for proposal submission

In the afternoon

Previously booked one-to-one sessions with UKRO representative

Obviously, lunch will not be provided this year, although there will be some flexibility to have a coffee at home or in the office between the sessions.

During registration, academics are welcome to submit any other EU funding related topics for discussion; those may either be included in one of the above sessions or discussed individually during one-to-one meeting.

UKRO delivers subscription-based advisory service for research organisations and provides Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) and European Research Council (ERC) National Contact Point services in the UK. As part of UKRO services, BU members of staff may sign up to receive personalised email alerts and get early access to the EU funding related publications on UKRO portal.

Please contact Research Facilitator International Ainar Blaudums if you have further questions.

MSCA NCP Virtual Drop-in Sessions

This is a quick reminder for those BU academics interested in applying for the Horizon 2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowships call in September 2020.

The UK Research Office (UKRO), in its capacity as UK National Contact Point for the Horizon 2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA), will be holding a virtual drop-in session for organisations and individuals interested in applying to the 2020 MSCA Individual Fellowships call (call deadline of 9 September 2020).

The virtual drop-in session will provide with an opportunity to speak directly with the MSCA NCP on specific elements of their proposal. The event is aimed at potential UK academic and non-academic based supervisors, and their prospective fellows, who are planning to submit a proposal to the Individual Fellowship 2020 call.

If you would like to attend, please visit the events page and register MSCA Individual Fellowships, Wednesday 22 July 2020 14:30-16:00 CET (13:30-15:00 UK Time). Further information on the event will be provided to delegates once registration for the sessions has closed.

Direct link to registration

If you have any BU specific queries, please contact EU & International Research Facilitator Ainar Blaudums or your RDS Funding Development Officer.

A three-day Sandpit focused on Digital Technologies for Health and Care

UKRI have announced an opportunity to apply to attend a sandpit on Digital technologies for Health and Care.

This is the first sandpit in a series of three which will be advertised over the next three years.

The theme for this sandpit is novel digital technologies for improved self-monitoring and health management. The sandpit will run over three days starting mid-morning on Tuesday 30 June 2020 and finishing mid-afternoon on Thursday 02 July 2020.

Key dates:

  • Call announced: February 2020
  • Call close (expressions of interest): 04 May 2020
  • Participant Selection panel: May 2020
  • Sandpit: 30 June-02 July 2020
  • Funding Application Deadline: w/c 14 September 2020
  • Funding Announcement: Before 30 September 2020

For more details please visit EPSRC web page or contact your RDS Research Facilitator for further assistance.

Funding opportunities – the final year of Horizon 2020

Some Horizon 2020 calls for proposals have been launched already in late 2019, though there are quite a few more to come in 2020.

The UK Research Office have made available resources for their subscribers (login required) that will help to explore opportunities of the last year of Horizon 2020.

A summary of the main novelties included in the final Work Programme of Horizon 2020 is included in the following articles:

There are more than 370 topics in the final Work Programme of Horizon 2020 and to make their identification easier for subscribers, at the end of 2019, UKRO has produced a call calendar, which lists all available funding opportunities by call deadline. This resource was previously available only to European Liaison Officers (ELOs) from UKRO subscribing organisations, but is now accessible to all UKRO Portal users. The calendar is designed for A3 (horizontal) format.

While UKRO are making every effort to ensure that information included in these files is true and accurate, it is provided for information only and is not legally binding.

UKRO maintains a large number of factsheets, which include useful information on how to write a successful proposal, how to find partners for your consortium (if required) and how to cost your project. There are also dedicated factsheets for the post-award phase to help you manage ERC/MSCA and other projects effectively.

BU academics with queries related to EU funding are welcome to contact Research Facilitator – International Ainar Blaudums at RDS for further assistance.

 

Horizon 2020 SC6 Online Brokerage Event

An online brokerage event for the Horizon 2020 Societal Challenge 6 (SC6) ‘Europe in a changing world – Inclusive, innovative and reflective societies‘ will take place on 12 December 2019, from 11:00 to 12:30 CET.

This online event is foreseen for up to 50 participants and registration is open until 8 December.

The event is organised by Net4Society, a network of SC6 National Contacts Points. More information is available on the event’s webpage.

The UK SC6 NCP is also holding an information event in London on 5 December, to support the UK stakeholders interested in the SC6 call. The call is now open with deadline of 12 March 2020.

In a case of no-deal Brexit, the H2020 Guarantee extension covers all successful bids made after EU Exit on schemes that the UK can bid for in its new status as a third-country – above mentioned call falls under this guarantee. H2020 Guarantee extension funding is for the lifetime of the grant as awarded.

Public databases related to EU funding

The European Commission maintains a large number of publicly available databases with details about Horizon 2020 and other EU projects. The UK Research Office (UKRO) have recently prepared a summary of sources where data related to both submitted and funded EU projects may be found; these may be useful for academics considering applying for EU funding and searching for experienced partners for future applications.

Horizon 2020 Dashboard – This is the most comprehensive and up-to-date of all databases provided by the Commission. It is very interactive and allows users to modify and export the relevant data in various formats. Since its launch on November 2017, the database has grown immensely.

UKRO maintains a dedicated website with information on how to best utilise available data (BU is UKRO subscriber – our academics have access to subscribers’ part of this website).

EU Open Data Portal (ODP) – In a way, the EUODP is the Dashboard’s predecessor and allows users to download various datasets in .xls and .csv formats. While it initially only included details of projects and organisations participating in H2020, it has been expanded in recent years and now includes details such as project deliverables, PIs in ERC projects and researchers in H2020 MSCA projects, which cannot be found on the H2020 Dashboard. Information about FP7 projects is also available.

CORDIS – This database has been the main repository for EU research results since 1990s and includes information about projects funded under the current and past EU Framework Programmes (FP6, FP5, etc.). Apart from basic project data, it also includes information about project deliverables and summary reports, as well as project-related events.

European Research Council’s (ERC) Funded Projects – This basic database provides generic information about ERC projects (including the PIs’ names) and allows searching by scheme (Starting Grant, Consolidator Grant, Advanced Grant, etc.), year and country of the host institution, which is also possible in other databases.

For more details, you may read full article on UKRO portal (login details required). If you have difficulties in accessing information on UKRO portal, feel free to contact Research Facilitator – International Ainar Blaudums.

Save the date – 18 November 2019 – UKRO Annual Visit to BU

As usual, RDS will host annual UK Research Office visit to BU in 2019. This year’s event has been scheduled for November; the reason is obvious – Brexit. All academic staff interested in EU funding are invited to attend the event starting from noon.

Provisionally, the event will take place in FG04 seminar room; sessions will be delivered by Dr Andreas Kontogeorgos, European Advisor of the UK Research Office.
Agenda will include such topics as post-Brexit situation, remaining Horizon 2020 calls available for UK’s researchers in 2020 and development of the next EU framework programme Horizon Europe.

More information on agenda will be provided in early November. Academics are welcome to submit any other EU funding related topics for discussion to Ainar Blaudums at RDS Funding Development Team by the end of October.

UKRO delivers subscription-based advisory service for research organisations and provides MSCA and ERC National Contact Point services in the UK. As part of UKRO services, BU members of staff may sign up to receive personalised email alerts and get early access to EU funding related publications on UKRO portal.

The second wave of UKRI Fund for International Collaboration launched

The second wave of UK Research and Innovation’s (UKRI) Fund for International Collaboration (FIC) has been announced on Friday 9 August 2019. The Fund for International Collaboration aims to enhance the UK’s excellence in research and innovation through global engagement, forging new bilateral and multilateral research and innovation programmes with global partners.

The thirteen partnerships, supported with £60 million from UKRI and at least £45 million in matched partner funding with additional in-kind support, will see UK researchers working with collaborators in ten countries, including the USA, Canada, Japan and India.

Announcement and summaries of programmes are available on UKRI web portal; research topics include:

  • The Changing North Atlantic Ocean and its Impact on Climate (partner country – USA; lead/partner UKRI council – NERC)
  • Understanding and adapting to a changing environment (Canada; NERC)
  • Next generation transdisciplinary international research collaborations in Ecology and Evolution of Infectious Diseases (USA, Israel, China; BBSRC)
  • Diabetes Partnership Initiative (Canada; MRC)
  • Healthy Ageing Flagship Challenge (China; ESRC, Innovate UK)
  • Built Environment and Prevention Research Scheme (Australia; MRC)
  • Joint Call on Artificial Intelligence and Society (Japan; ESRC, AHRC)
  • Collaboration on Artificial Intelligence: Building competitive, resilient economies and societies (Canada; ESRC, AHRC, EPSRC, MRC)
  • Globalink Doctoral Exchange Scheme (Canada; NERC on behalf of seven UKRI councils)
  • Digital transformation in humanities research (Ireland; AHRC)  and a few other topics

Specific calls are announced and more details provided by dedicated Research Councils. Announcement also contains summaries of the FIC Wave 1 projects funded through the UKRI-JSPS call.

For further support and assistance please refer to your RDS research facilitator.