Posts By / Corrina Lailla Osborne

What’s coming up in Horizon 2020?

Now is the time activity around Horizon 2020 is really picking up. To help you start to prepare and get a flavour as to what is coming up I have placed some resources on the I drive for you.

There is a folder detailing what we anticipate to be calls for proposals, details on the Erasmus and Life programmes and also a list of websites where the new Programme info can be found (these resources are not for circulation beyond BU).  I:\R&KEO\Public\RDU\European Related\Horizon 2020 .   While nothing is set in stone as yet, these really are a good indicator as to what will be coming up.

There is also an info day on the new Erasmus programme we will be attending next month and we will keep you posted as to the latest developments.

BRAD can help you to develop your research career

What is the aim of BRAD?  The BU Researcher/Academic Development (BRAD) programme is a tailor made framework of development sessions for you, our BU researchers, based on the Vitae Researcher Development Framework (RDF). This holistic framework provides professional and personal development in the key areas of:

A. Knowledge & Intellectual Abilities

B. Personal Effectiveness

C. Research Governance & Organization

D. Engagement, Influence & Impact

How did we consult you in creating BRAD ? A poll was posted on our blog to explore which training areas you would like us to host and this was followed by an online survey to explore the training needs of early career researchers (ECRs) in particular. The results concluded you would like training in a wide range of development areas from specific methodology to an academic career path. Feedback also clearly said sessions should be about two hours and that Wednesdays were the preferred date for sessions and the framework follows this structure. There are a few sessions which run for longer than two hours and this is because of the subject matter.

What kind of sessions are we running? The programme comprises of a wide range of facilitated development sessions held on campus (by internal and external presenters), online research modules from Epigeum (so you can learn in your own time) and the Vitae’s RDF. The facilitated sessions cover everything from research skills to personal effectiveness, from using SPSS to creating impact through your research. The online training covers a range of topics from getting published to managing your research career which you can undertake at your own time. You can identify which sessions to attend by undertaking the simple ‘My Academic Development Needs: Self-Assessment’ (MADNSA) or use Vitae’s jazzy Excel version which is more detailed.  You can read case studies of real academics to see how using the planner based on this assessment has helped transform their careers if you still need a little convincing to complete this and also the top 10 tipsfrom researchers on using the framework.All academic staff at BU have access to this programme and you can attend whichever sessions you are interested in; you don’t have to attend the whole programme. For facilitated sessions, just book through the Staff Development webpages and for online modules, simply log into myBU  and search the BRAD community to view all courses and to get started!

Who can be part of BRAD? Any BU academic member of staff can sign up to the BRAD programme; there is no commitment required as to the number of sessions you undertake. We simply want to keep a record of those who are taking part in some of the BRAD facilitated and online sessions, so we can get your feedback on how useful they were.  You will be automatically added to the list when you sign up for a session with Staff Development.

NERC Standard Research Grants (including New Investigator grants) deadlines announced!

NERC have announced the deadlines for their competition targeting curiosity-motivated basic, strategic or applied research. The primary criterion for assessment is scientific excellence, with all applications subjected to an Initial Review stage that makes decisions on which proposals should proceed to external review. Moderating Panels meet annually in June and December to grade the applications and make recommendations for funding.

The minimum that can be requested per complete proposal and per component is £65,000 (100% Full Economic Cost) and the maximum for the complete proposal is £1·2 million (100% Full Economic Cost). A validation on the Je-S form will prevent proposals requesting less than £65,000 from being submitted.

For 2014 the actual January closing date will be 21 January at 4pm; don’t forget at BU you will need to submit 5 working days prior to this as it requires Institutional Submission through Je-S and as it is an RCUK funder, it will also need to undergo the RPRS. NERC does have demand management measures in place and therefore the assistance you will receive via this is critical.


You can find out more on the grants on the NERC webpage and don’t forget to let your RKE Operations Officer know if you intend on applying.

On stage at Bestival

Written by Josie Pegg

I love festivals; I’d love to have been a rock star, the only problem being that I have minimal musical talent. However I do know a lot about parasites, and this was enough to get me a gig at this year’s Bestival.

Though not quite as rock and roll as the main stage, I was speaking in the Bestiversity tent, in the Tomorrow World area of Bestival. My talk “The parasite saga – a tale of horror, love and mystery” was a fun pop-science look at parasites and how big a part they play in our lives.  The Bestiversity tent was rather fabulous. My audience were able to lounge on sofas and giant beanbags, while my retro-styled stage comprised a comfortable armchair and PA system – I’m sure we’d get a few bonus points in the student satisfaction survey, if all lectures were like this. Furthermore I was handed a cold beer as I walked on stage – perhaps maybe something to consider to enhance staff satisfaction!

The experience was a nice break from my less rock-and-roll PhD life, where I am presently trying to write my transfer document concurrent to surviving the busiest period of my field season. Although my Bestival talk was designed to be fun and accessible to anyone it was essentially a version of one of the chapters of my PhD, so writing it proved to be a very useful exercise for me; as Einstein said, “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough”. It was also a gentle reminder that my PhD is actually really interesting and cool, and more than just a never-ending stream of tissue samples and spreadsheets.

Above all taking part in Bestival was simply a whole lot of fun – there aren’t many chances to use a powerpoint presentation containing slides of Santa, George Clooney and the alien chest-burster. And much to the fulfilment of my rockstar fantasy I was classed as an Artist so I got to walk around with an Artist wristband and travel on the Artist shuttle. Plus I could camp in the Artist campsite with hot showers and real flushing toilets! And I got two tickets so I was also able to enjoy the rest of the festival with my friends once my talk was over.

The best bit of the whole experience for me was late on Thursday night as my friends and I were dancing to some gypsy punk in the polka tent when I was approached by a stranger. “I saw your talk today”, she said, “I didn’t do science but that parasites can do all that is brilliant, thanks for telling me”.

Does that count as a fan? If so, could this have been my best moment ever?!

I’d encourage anyone to apply for next years Bestiversity. If you’d like to know more speak to your agent or Becca Edwards.

Free event on ICT in Horizon 2020!

Any information at this early stage as to what is coming up in Horizon 2020 is very useful and any events where you can meet with others in your field to build relationships and potential collaborations is invaluable. You can combine both of these by attending an ICT in Horizon 2020 half day event in Bristol on October 7th.

In partnership with the ICT Knowledge Transfer Network, the ICT National Contact Point and Deloitte UK, the  completely free information event will provide an introduction and update on funding support for R&D in the ICT sector under Horizon 2020.  You will to receive an overview of the proposed ICT Work Programme for 2014 and hear from speakers with extensive experience in EU funding participation so this looks to be a super event! You can find out more and book your place by clicking here.

Thinking of applying for the British Academy Small Grants scheme…?

The British Academy Small Grants call was announced on September 4 and has a closing date of October 16. Our academics are always attracted to this call, but our success rate is not good; in the last round of calls BU submitted seven and none were funded.

With this in mind we want to encourage you to use the RPRS to help improve your submission (the deadline to get this to me would be next week) or if you are interested in making an application to this call, to utilise all of our wonderful grant craftsmanship resources (such as the Grants Academy and our training sessions) and the RPRS to get your application perfected for the next round of calls in April 2014.

If you do want to submit to this round, a gentle reminder that as this is requires Institutional Approval, the final deadline to submit to R&KEO is October 10th.

BU Professor published in 20th Anniversary edition of leading journal

Steve Letza, a Professor in Accounting and Finance within the Business School , has been honoured to feature in the 20th Anniversary issue of Corporate Governance: An International Review; a leading journal at the forefront of research in this area. This special edition consists of articles from the past decade that have had the highest number of citations per year, and thus have been widely used in academic research.

Steve co-authored the article Shareholding Versus Stakeholding: a Critical Review of Corporate Governance alongside Xiuping Sun and James Kirkbride in 2004 and it offers a new perspective on the subject; identifying the need for organisations to adapt to the changing environments they operate in. 

Congratulations Steve!

Open Call for International Evaluators in all Scientific Areas!

The Ministry of Science, Education and Sports of the Republic of Croatia (MSES) are seeking international experts in all scientific areas to evaluate project proposals under NEWFELPRO project to individually, remotely review project proposals covering a wide range of studies in their specific disciplines.

 This is a fantasic opportunity not only to gain reviewing experiencing but also to meet potential collaborators! To apply, send your CV to with “Evaluator application” in the subject line of the email message. The deadline to apply is 18 September 2013.

MRC to deliver talk at BU on Healthcare funding in Horizon 2020!

I am thrilled that the MRC will be making a special trip to BU to inform us of what will be released under the Health programme in Horizon 2020 on October 7th!

The session (10- 12:30) will provide you with the opportunity to hear the latest developments in Horizon 2020 and complementary funding programmes which are most relevant for healthcare researchers, businesses and SMEs, together with a landscape of the UK based support systems and networks for SMEs and industrial engagement.

As the programme is looking for specific academia-SME collaboration we have also invited a number of SMEs to this event. A networking lunch will be followed by several 30min one-to-one sessions (from 1:30)with the MRC representative.

Places are limited – you can reserve your space and book a one-to-one by emailing Dianne Goodman before October 1st.

Mike Baker Doctoral Programme is now open!

The Mike Baker Doctoral Programme is now open and has a deadline of 23 September 2013.

Funding is avaiable for the full costs of one PhD studentship (or 50% of the costs of two PhD studentships) to develop research and an evidence-base in higher education practice and policy, with an impact across the sector. The proposed project should be discipline-specific learning and teaching research or interdisciplinary/generic pedagogical research and should have a clear benefit to either practice or to policy on practice. Details of HEA disciplines can be found from the discipline based web pages. The supervisor should have a successful track record in the relevant area demonstrated through publications and broader dissemination efforts. Find out more about the call and how to apply on the HEA call webpage.

Canada-UK Collaboration Development Award (CDA) Programme Funding Available

The 2013 Canada-UK Collaboration Development Award (CDA) Programme is open for applications  to academic and industrial science and innovation experts in the UK and Canada. Ideal outcomes include joint publications; joint or complementary funding applications; student / researcher exchange programmes; sharing of equipment, materials and facilities; knowledge exchange of skills and techniques; institutional linkages; technology transfer; and industry sponsorship. Please do not be limited by these ideas – we strongly encourage the development of innovative models for collaboration. Initial outcomes should be delivered over the first 6 to 12 months following the visit and lead to the development of long-term relationships.m Funding is available for up to £1250 to support the applicant’s travel and subsistence either to or from the UK and the deadline is September 1st.

Innovation-Business-Research Event for Horizon 2020 open for bookings

The Industry and Parliament Trust is hosting a unique two day programme of EU training, orientation and network building in Brussels for Academics involved in Horizon 2020 projects (18-19th September, Brussels).

 Over the course of the two days attendees will gain a comprehensive overview of engaging with the EU and the Horizon 2020 programme. Sessions will be held at institutions across Brussels, from the European Parliament to the offices of the UK Representation to the European Union.  You will also have the opportunity to spend time with speakers and delegates informally over dinners and lunch. Guest speakers include:

  • Richard Corbett – Member of the Cabinet of the President of European Council,
  • David Wilkinson – Director of Scientific Policy and Stakeholder Relations Joint Research Centre, European Commission
  • Christina Miller – Director, UK Research office (UKRO)
  • Jonathan Hill – Deputy Head of Cabinet of Commissioner Vassiliou

For full details on of the programme please email


EC and Research Data Open Access Consultation – see one of the responses

Earlier this month, the EC held a public consultation on open access to research data in Brussels inviting statements from a range of stakeholders, who will play some role in revising the ECs policy and will help shape Horizon 2020. Five questions formed the basis of the discussion:

  1. How we can define research data and what types of research data should be open?
  2. When and how does openness need to be limited?
  3. How should the issue of data re-use be addressed?
  4. Where should research data be stored and made accessible?
  5. How can we enhance “data awareness” and a “culture of sharing”?

These are key questions every researcher should have an interest in. You can see the responses of the Open Knowledge Foundation here and learn more about the EC debates around research data open access mandates.

NERC peer review college call for members 2013

I don’t need to sell you the benefit of sitting on a funder review panel as I know you are already aware of what a fantastic experience this is in terms of meeting potential collaborators, learning how the assessment process works and discovering what makes a great proposal. BU’s Dr Richard Shipway is a peer reviewer for the ESRC and recently wrote an excellent blog post on the benefits of being a peer reviewer. You can read Richard’s post here.


You may recall that NERC recently announced initiatives to increase confidence in peer review; these include measures to increase the status and performance of the NERC College. As a result they are currently recruiting for members of their Peer Review College with the nomination deadline of 5 August 2013.

BU is fully supportive of you becoming a reviewer, including helping with ensuring you have time to perform reviews for funding bodies. If you want to take up this opportunity, please email me and I can inform you of the BU process for this.

Book on the Living with Environmental Change (including Energy) Sandpit today

Feedback from BU staff who have participated in academic sandpits is always positive: “Sandpits stimulate creative thinking and encourage you to step outside of your comfort zone. They are an opportunity to learn from others whose approaches to research may be different from your own” – Prof. Adele Ladkin, School of Tourism, EPSRC Sandpit Participant

Sandpits provide an intensive, interactive and free-thinking environment. A group of participants from a range of disciplines and backgrounds use this space to get together to become immersed in a collaborative thinking processes in order to construct innovative approaches to issues or questions.

As sandpits involve diverse participants, they force catalysation, collision and collaboration. This produces unique and innovative outputs and fosters new partnerships.

We are facilitating with expert bid writer Dr Martin Pickard of GrantCraft, three 1-day sandpits at BU which focus around relevant Research Council UK cross-thematic areas. The Living with Environmental Change (including Energy) Sandpit is being held on 17.07.13

Attending the sandpit will:

  • facilitate you networking with other researchers across BU who you wouldn’t normally come in to contact with
  • allow you to get a fresh perspective from a different discipline on the same issue
  • enable you to be part of a multidisciplinary team who potentially bids for Research Council funding
  • give you a truly unique experience

Spaces are limited for each of the sandpits and you can register for a place on the Staff Development website.

Erasmus, Lifelong Learning Programme, Leonardo… – will they exist in Horizon 2020?

The short answer is ‘Yes’! BU holds a number of these awards and I am delighted they will be staying in Horizon 2020 with a huge budget of €19bn. To make things simpler, the EC has streamlined several programmes into one ‘Erasmus for All’ which contains three action strands.

1. Learning mobility of individuals: This is focused on Staff mobility (in particular teachers and trainers); mobility for higher education students; a Master degree scheme and volunteering and youth exchanges.  This is where Erasmus Mundus and Erasmus Staff Mobility as you know it will sit.

2. Cooperation for innovation and best practices: This focuses on strategic partnerships between youth organisations and other relevant actors; Large-scale partnerships between education and  training establishments  and business; IT-Platforms; and cooperation with third countries. Also included in here are the existing Sector Skills Alliances and Knowledge Alliances (the latter is a structured partnership between a  university and enterprise to promote an active 2 way knowledge exchange  with a focus in partnership, innovation and long term impact; an example is here).

3. Support for policy reform: This includes an open method of Coordination; valorisation and implementation of EU tools; and policy dialogue with stakeholders, third countries and international organisations.

More details on Erasmus for All will be posted as I get them and you may wish to read this leaflet produced by the EC in the meantime.