Posts By / Corrina Lailla Osborne

Finding Partners for Horizon 2020

Now that the calls for Horizon 2020 have been released, I have been asked by several people how to find partners to participate in the calls. I always recommend partnering with at least one person you already know, either through previous projects, publications or simply having met at a conference. The lifespan of a project can be many years and you need to be confident that your approach to work is complementary and that you feel you can trust your partners to deliver.

It’s not always possible to partner up with people you already know and below are some of the resources you can utilise to help for all subject areas:

  • National Contact Points – these figures are the main contacts who can provide guidance, practical information and assistance on all aspects of participation in Horizon 2020 including searching for partners. There is an NCP for each subject area and also one for Marie Curie Fellowships.
  • CORDIS Partner Service – one of the largest databases of partner profiles (self-registered profiles). It has a list of Partnership Requests and you can also launch your own.
  • UKRO– BU subscribes to the UKRO service which is a fantastic information resource and which can help you find partners.
  • Previously awarded bids: all proposals funded under FP7 are available to view on line and have the PI listed. Many people have found emailing the PI from a relevant project to outline their own area of expertise and request a collaboration, very successful.

There are also several subject specific searches, such as:

  • ICT Idealist Partner Search – the service includes advice on creating your profile by your local National Contact Point and there is a quality control of all the published data.
  • Net4Society – this features partner search requests in the socio-economic sciences and humanities
  • Nanosciences and nanotechnologies, Materials and new Production technologies Partner search – this lists those looking for partners and also allows you to launch a partner search
  • Fit for Health – this is a  quality checked database contains expertise profiles of researchers and SMEs acting in the Health / Life sciences sector. The service includes partner search activities advice on all aspects related to a research project, starting with help in first orientation and strategy development to proposal preparation, implementation, exploitation and promotion.
  • Innovative Medicines Initiative Partner Search  – the IMI supports collaborative research projects and builds networks of industrial and academic experts to boost pharmaceutical innovation and this site displays the partner searches which includes SMEs, large organizations and Universities.
  • Enterprise Europe Network Cooperation Opportunities Database – this site publishes an extensive number of innovation and technology profiles from international companies and research organisations to help identify suitable partners for bilateral business, innovation and technology cooperation.

Information Days for Horizon 2020 calls!

An information day organised by Defra, BBSRC, NERC and FSA is open for registration – places are allocated on a first come, first served basis.

The day is aimed at academic and business organisations interested in exploring funding opportunities in two key areas of the new European Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme – climate change and society & culture.

The event will feature presentations from the European Commission’s DG Research and Innovation on funding opportunities in the 2014 work programmes for the Societal Challenges; information on the opportunities available in other Horizon 2020 and European Research Area activities, including under the ‘Excellent Science’ and ‘Industrial Leadership’ Pillars; and a presentation by the Technology Strategy Board on European funding sources for business organisations (SME Instrument) and business-academia collaboration opportunities under Horizon 2020.

UK National Contact Points will be available on the day to provide advice and support for business and academic organisations on participation in Horizon 2020.  This event is also an excellent opportunity to network with others interested in EU collaborative projects.

The application form is here: Info Day registration. The deadline for registration is January 14, but as the places are allocated on a first come first served basis, I would submit asap!

Erasmus Mundus call released

Erasmus+ is the EU’s largest programme of support for education and training worth a mega €14.7bn. Projects usually run 2-3 years and they all have the aim of  improving the level of key competencies and skills, improving the innovation and internationalisatoon of education and supporting the modernisation of education and training.

There are 11 programmes of funding available:

  1. Asylum & Migration: People flows and management of migration
  2. Creative Europe: Support for European cinema and the cultural and creative sectors
  3. EaSI: Programme for social change and innovation
  4. Erasmus+: Programme for education, training, youth and sport
  5. Europe for Citizens: Strengthen remembrance and enhance capacity for civic participation at Union level
  6. Health for Growth: Improving the quality, efficiency and sustainability of health systems
  7. Internal Security Fund: Support for the EU’s Internal Security Strategy
  8. Justice: Ensuring proper access to justice in cross-border legal cases
  9. COSME: Improving the business environment and the competitiveness of European enterprises.
  10. LIFE: Environmental and climate change action projects
  11. Rights, Equality & Citizenship: Promote the rights deriving from European citizen

The most generically applicable programme sunder the new organisation for BU staff is the Erasmus Mundus programme which is now found under Erasmus+ under :

  • Key Action 1 ‘Learning Mobility of Individuals’
  • Key Action 2 ‘Cooperation for Innovation & Exchange of Good Practice’

If you wish to make an Erasmus Mundus Action 2 submission, please get in touch with Paul Lynch or Sarah Katon a minimum of 5 weeks before the deadline of 3 March 2014 as Partners must be reviewed as part of our internal processes.

Tweets, Likes, Diggs and Memes – using social media to your advantage #downwiththekids

Do you want to know how to use social media to enhance your research profile and get your message to a wider audience? Then this session is for you!

Our expert presenter – Prof Dimitrios Buhalis – will cover how to use social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook to network online and raise your academic profile.

As part of the BRAD framework this session will take place on January 10th  and you can book your place via the Staff Development webpage.

Get involved with EU Joint Technology Initiatives to get more funding and partners

The EC has published proposals for Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) in the form of Joint Technology Initiatives. As these PPPs have academics, industry and other key stakeholders involved, they are a great way to get into EU funding. Linking up with those involved in JTIs will also help you set the direction of future funding calls. It is anticipated that calls will be made in Spring 2014 and the Joint Technology Initiatives are below.

  1. Aeronautics and Air Transport (Clean Sky 2): focuses on developing a new generation of aircraft with noise reduction and lower emissions.
  2. Innovative Medicines: focuses on developing the next generation of vaccines, medicines and treatments.
  3. Fuel Cells and Hydrogen 2: focuses on significantly reducing the cost of fuel cell systems for transport and increase efficiency of fuel cells for power production.
  4. Electronic Components and Systems for EU Leadership:  focuses on securing the supply of key technologies underpinning innovation in all sectors of the EUs economy and ensuring the best use of such technologies to accelerate economic growth.
  5. Bio-Based Industry: focuses on developing new high value bio-based end products from raw materials.
  6. Single EU Sky ATM research: focuses on modernising air traffic management in Europe, overcoming current fragmentation.

Tweets, Likes, Diggs and Memes – using social media to your advantage #downwiththekids

Do you want to know how to use social media to enhance your research profile and get your message to a wider audience? Then this session is for you!

Our expert presenter – Prof Dimitrios Buhalis – will cover how to use social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook to network online and raise your academic profile.

As part of the BRAD framework this session will take place on January 10th  and you can book your place via the Staff Development webpage.

‘The financial bit is like a different language’

This is a phrase I have heard rather often from our staff when preparing a research grant or undertaking the post award management. And they are quite right – it is a tricky subject to understand. Thankfully as part of the BRAD framework on December 11th  you can have this explained in simple terms from an enthusiastic presenter and need be confused no more! The session will cover financial management, income, funding budgeting financial resourcing and strategic financial planning  which sounds a bit dull on screen but you will realize how important and interesting it is once you are in the session. You can book your place via the Staff Development webpage.

AHRC, Leverhulme Trust and British Academy visits to BU in 2014

Working on a variety of initiatives in R&KEO over the years, one element of development which we receive consistently excellent feedback, is the events we arrange where funders to come to BU and present their organisations funding priorities and advice on making an application. We have arranged for several funders to visit BU in 2014, and are advertising the first three in order for you to block out time in your diary now!

On 20 January, the AHRC will be visiting to discuss their research priorities, calls and their top tips for making a submission. On 19 February, the British Academy will be visiting to discuss proposals they fund and share their tips on making an application. On 19 March the Leverhulme Trust which funds all academic disciplines will be visiting to discuss their grants and give advice on making an application.


Spaces on all these events are limited due to the rooms available so booking is essential! Grants Academy members can be guaranteed a space by emailing Dianne. The booking hyperlinks are:

AHRC funder visit

British Academy funder visit

Leverhulme Trust  funder visit

Become an evaluator for Horizon 2020

Horizon 2020 is now seeking Evaluators. Don’t worry, they don’t expect you to be an expert in the calls or even to have won funding. Just to be an expert in your subject area.  

Registering to be an expert has lots of value – you could get paid to evaluate and monitor projects or evaluate calls for proposals under the schemes. Indeed, becoming  an EC evaluator is a fantastic experience; it not only helps you learn what the EC are looking for in proposals, but also enables you to travel to Brussels and network with other reviewers to start forming collaborations yourself.

It’s really simple to sign up, you just pop your details in the form (which isn’t very long) and when an appropriate call or proposal comes up, they will ask if you can review it. If you can’t, you simply let them know and you are not obliged to. You also get until December 2020 to sign up to be a reviewer if you aren’t quite ready yet!

You will get paid a day rate to do the review plus travel and subsistence and you can also still apply for the funding scheme if you are registered as a reviewer (although for a specific call you apply to, you would have to declare a conflict of interest).

More info can be found here

How to get published in journals

Working in academia, you need to be published but knowing how to write a great article and where to send it can be challenging. The tricks to getting strong journal publication will be covered in this 2 hour session as part of the BRAD framework on December 6th. You will receive advice on how to publish and how to escalate your academics writing levels.

This is an interactive session where you can bring examples of your journal writings for constructive feedback and help in getting it fabulous. You can book your place via the Staff Development webpage.


Erasmus Mundus calls for proposals released!

The first calls for Erasmus Mundus have been released. This call is for Action 2 of the Programme which is aimed at  fostering structured cooperation between EU and third-country higher education institutions through the promotion of mobility at all levels of studies for students (undergraduate and masters), doctoral and post-doctoral candidates, researchers, academic and administrative staff (not all regions and lots may include all types of mobility flow).

Action 2  of the Erasmus Mundus partnerships call is divided into two strands:

  • Erasmus Mundus Action 2 — STRAND 1 — Partnerships with countries covered by the ENPI, DCI, IPA and ICI (ICI +) instruments;
  • Erasmus Mundus Action 2 — STRAND 2 — Partnerships with countries and territories covered by the Industrialised Countries Instrument (ICI).

The countries to be targetted and the number of projects likely to be selected and the budget available can all be found in the Guidance Document. The deadline for proposals  is 3 March 2014. You may also recall that over the summer a new process to manage Erasmus Mundus submissions was implemented at BU whereby partners on these proposals must be approved by the International & UK Partnerships Committee (IUPC). To ensure the approval is a speedy process, a bespoke proposal form, template and process has been developed for Erasmus Mundus applications. Once approved by this committee, this will help ensure the Contract Agreement Form is produced much faster.
If you are approached to be part of an Erasmus Mundus proposal, or would like to coordinate one then you will need to complete a Partnership Development Proposal form a minimum of five weeks before the deadline – this will be the 27 January . The full process and timescale can be obtained by contacting Paul Lynch or Sarah Katon who will guide you through this.




Draft Work Programmes on Horizon 2020 now officially available!

Most of the big draft Work Programmes for Horizon 2020 have now been made available!  These documents are critical to read if you are thinking of making a submission to Horizon 2020 as they give information on the the planned calls for proposals and deadlines. Remember that the official calls will be amde on December 11th, so this gives you a good head start!
Do let Paul Lynch or Sarah Katon know if you intend on making an EC submission as they can help guide you through this.

‘How do I write a successful research grant?’

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

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

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

The BU Research Application Process – everything you need to know

As processes for submitting a research proposal change, it can be difficult to keep up with what the correct steps are. The expertise of your key R&KEO team contacts also can be overlooked – but we can make this process easier for you. From helping you through the ethics checklist to costing your proposal to helping you write your impact statement to ensuring your eligibility for particular schemes.

This session, held as part of the BRAD framework will cover all you need to know, have a Q&A session and also the opportunity for a 1-2-1 with one of the team to answer any questions you need answered. The session is taking place on the afternoon of 4 December and spaces for this session are limited, so you will need to book via the Staff Development webpage.


Get the dates for H2020 calls all this week!

Another reason I am very grateful BU subscribes to Research Professional is that they really listen to what universities need. Starting this week, they will publish the Horizon 2020 calls on their database, based on the draft proposals. Make sure you don’t miss a single one, by customising your account – its takes one minute and you will receive one email a week. If you get stuck when trying to customise it, just give your RKE Operations Officer or Jo Garrad a call and we will talk you through it.