Posts By / Rachel

VR Chillout Zone: Immersive virtual reality to distract from itch for children with moderate to severe eczema

(BU Nursing Students using VR Headsets)

The Team

Dr Heidi Singleton, Professor Steven Ersser and Professor Debbie Holley, Dr Xiaosong Yang, Dr Emily Arden-Close, Amanda Roberts (Nottingham Support Group for Carers of Children with Eczema), Professor Liz Falconer (Virtual Heritage) and Yaqing Cui (research assistant).

 

Background to the project

Atopic eczema, (atopic dermatitis (AD) is a long-term inflammatory skin condition and one of the commonest childhood illnesses. It is a debilitating disease with high levels of disease burden for the patient (Blakeway 2020). The main symptoms are itch and dryness. AD is the most common long-term disorder, affecting up to 20% of children in industrialised countries (Tsakok 2019).

 

Standard treatment is trigger/irritant avoidance and regular application of emollients and topical steroids/calcineurin inhibitors (Wollenberg 2020). There have been concerns around steroid withdrawal amongst some patients who have very severe AD. Hence, non-pharmacological treatments are being sort.

 

In addition to educational programmes, a range of psychological therapies are used to treat children. These include mindfulness, relaxation, and guided imagery techniques to distract children from the scratch itch cycle that contributes to insomnia and impacts on quality of life (LeBovidge 2021). The last Cochrane review of Psychological and Educational interventions revealed no robust interventions to enhance effective guided imagery in this context (Ersser et al 2014).  Furthermore, virtual reality (VR) has not been sufficiently applied to intervention development in dermatology.

 

Traditionally, guided imagery has been used in the form of audio scripts spoken to the patient to guide their imagination away from any stress and the itching sensation (Vagnoli 2019). The use of VR works to focus attention, distracting the patients in relation to different environmental stimuli (Carrougher 2009). Whilst we have found no previous studies that have evaluated VR to treat eczema, it has been used to treat anxiety, burns and pain (Barros 2014; Scapin 2018). Since itch and pain can be triggered from the same receptive fields in the skin (Behrang 2020), it is proposed that VR could be used as a more sophisticated and immersive version of guided imagery. VR displaces a person to an imagined ‘other’ location, with complete immersion as the goal (Brigham 2017), physically blocking out the real world and replacing it with a computer-generated world which includes visual, auditory, and haptic stimuli. VR may potentiate the distractive effect, building on what would be the more limited reach of existing guided imagery interventions. Therefore, our hypothesis is that VR would provide immersive diversion from unpleasant symptoms of eczema. Singleton is leading a Cochrane review protocol of the evidence base, due for publication in August 2021.

 

Project Aim

To co-create immersive VR based on the guided imagery approach to treating eczema (Ersser 2014); targeted at children (aged between 7 and 11 years of age).

Bournemouth University would like to know what kind of VR game will help children with eczema relax and stop scratching.

 

Can I take part in the project?

If you are aged between 7 and 11 years old, and you have eczema, ask your grown up if you can take part in our research project.

 

What do I need to do?

If you want to take part, then you will need to complete an online questionnaire (your adult can help you read/type). Every child who completes a questionnaire will be entered into our prize draw with the chance to win a £50 Amazon voucher or one of five £10 Amazon vouchers (selected randomly by our computer). Each child can complete the questionnaire once (so if you have more than one eligible child then you can do more than one entry per household).

 

When you fill in the questionnaire it will give you the chance to volunteer to take part in an optional zoom session with Dr Heidi Singleton/ Professor Debbie Holley. The zoom session will allow you to view the virtual reality game/scene and then you can let us know what you think about it. We will send you a google cardboard headset in the post (which you can keep), you will be able to view the software via this headset. Every child who takes part in the zoom session will be sent a £20 Amazon voucher (to their adult’s email address).

 

Where can I find the online survey?

The questionnaire is now live, and we would love your replies by Wednesday 30th June.

Link Here: https://bournemouth.onlinesurveys.ac.uk/chilloutvr

Charity Impact Funding Panel

This week, our series of blog posts focus on the internal funding panels. Today’s post shares some insights from the Charity Impact Funding Panel.

 

About the Charity Impact Funding Panel

 

The Charity Impact Funding Panel was established in Spring 2019 to support the development of collaborations with charities and associated impact development as documented in the BU2025 Research Principles.

 

Over 30 projects have been awarded funding during this time where the purpose of the funding is to:

  • Increase engagement with charities in order to further the impact of BU’s research
  • To increase the amount of research undertaken collaboratively with charities
  • Encourage future funding bids with charitable partners.

 

The Panel is Chaired by Professor Lee-Ann Fenge, with Dr Fiona Cownie as Deputy Chair.

 

Funded Projects

The Charity Impact Funding Panel have funded a wide variety of projects including small scale travel budgets to visit charity partners.

 

Here are excellent examples of research in action with charity partners from funded projects:

 

  • Catherine Gutmann Roberts (FST) and her team created a report titled “Fish movements in the River Severn basin, a multi species approach in an era of restoration”. This report was sent to the charity partner, Severn Rivers Trust. The report brings together movement analysis of 5 fish species that has been carried out by 3 PhD students over the last 5 years. The funding enabled Catherine and her team to hire one of the post-PhD students to create code to analyse all 5 species and to format the large datasets into a comparable format. This was the first collaborative grant that Catherine had managed with both internal and external partners and she learnt about leadership during the process. Due to Covid-19 and the shutdown of campus at a critical time in the project, the team were not able to deliver the digital animations that they had hoped BU students would create. However, they have since secured external funding to carry this out.

 

  • Dr Anna Feigenbaum (FST) adapted her original project plan due to Covid19 and with complementary Research Impact funding, Anna and her team delivered a number of projects including; Care in the time of COVID-19. This project produced a series of graphics with design partners, community partners and academic partners.

 

  • Professor Amanda Korstjens (FST) and her team completed a project titled Monitoring Tropical Forest Wildlife Recovery. The project changed a lot due to the pandemic, however despite this, the team still delivered excellent outcomes, including working in partnership with a charity partner to develop acoustic recording systems suitable for high quality bioacoustics recordings under the demanding conditions of the Indonesian Forest. Hardware & software details have been published open access.

 

Future of the Charity Impact Fund

The Panel are expecting to launch an open call in the 2021/22 academic year subject to funding. The planned open call for this year was unfortunately postponed due to Covid19 delays, however if you do have an idea of working with a charity and want to develop this further before the summer, please do contact us to discuss your idea as it may fit in with the HEIF small fund.

 

HEIF Funding Panel

Overview

The Higher Education Innovation Fund (HEIF) is a financial allocation that we (Bournemouth University (BU)) receive annually from Research England (part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI)). The aim of this fund is to allow higher education providers to connect with the world via different knowledge exchange mechanisms to benefit the economy and society.

We are currently within the HEIF-6 strategic period running from 2017-2022. Recipients of HEIF funding, including BU, have a strategy for their respective institution for this period relating to KE.

As BU has a number of internal funding panels, HEIF is no exception. The HEIF panel is led by the Chair, Professor Wen Tang, and Vice-Chair, Professor Zulfiqar Khan. This Panel is supported by Secretary, Rachel Clarke and Clerk, Matthew Fancy.

The Panel meet three times a year to discuss the direction and progress of the HEIF fund against our HEIF strategy. These meetings also include an overview of the budget and spend, updates on the HEIF funded projects and initiatives and also discussion on any new projects/initiatives on the horizon.

Funded projects

The HEIF Funding Panel have funded some large-scale projects which you may have already seen on the BU Research Blog, including Neuravatar and PalaeoGo!

There are a series of larger projects which are funded by HEIF which you will see in upcoming blog posts. Looking back to some recently closed HEIF projects, you will see that the HEIF injection of funding has provided great support in providing dedicated funds, mainly for staffing and consumables, for projects to realise their potential.

As a snapshot, Professor Lee-Ann Fenge concluded her HEIF project in July 2020. This project focused on launching and evaluating their financial scamming game and the project team have already identified various external funding opportunities to take this project even further and realise additional impact amongst vulnerable people and communities. Professor Fenge and her team have worked with a variety of key agencies such as The Chartered Trading Standards Institute, Action Fraud and Age UK in creating and capturing the impact of their work.  This work has been included in a REF impact case study, further demonstrating the highly valued nature of the project and positive impact it created.

In the 2019/20 academic year, Dr Philip Sewell and Abigail Batley concluded their additive manufacturing project with the Royal National Lifeboat Institute (RNLI) to reduce design, production and supply chain pressures. This project resulted in additive manufacturing being implemented as a focus into the RNLI engineering team time plan over the next three years. Additive manufacturing is now at the forefront when new and existing engineering designs are made and a manufacturing process is selected, as well as integration into supply chain. The RNLI are using one of the additive manufacturing case studies created during the project and are investigating the feasibility of implementing it into their Severn Life Extension Programme, which aims to extend the life of the Severn class lifeboats so they can continue saving lives at sea for another 25 years.

The HEIF Panel has also recently released a small fund which sets to kickstart KE projects and partnerships or complete projects and take them forwards to the next level. The first round of this internal competition saw nine applications with seven of these applications awarded, which is a huge success and demonstrates the quality of applications received. The second closing date took place last week and we received 12 applications which are currently being reviewed by the HEIF Funding Panel.

Future of HEIF funding

As KE gains momentum in the wider HE landscape, and especially with the development and release of the Knowledge Exchange Framework (KEF) and the Knowledge Exchange Concordat (KEC), HEIF funding becomes even more important to support the development of KE within Institutions. The HEIF allocations provided annually to Institutions are currently being reviewed with the reporting changing to ensure alignment with the recently released KEF and KEC.

In May 2021, we’re due to submit our HEIF Accountability Statement which sets out our KE strategy and activities planned to support this strategy until 2024/25.  There are planned funding calls during this time, including the HEIF Small Fund and Proof of Concept Strand which are both now live and the next deadline is mid-May 2021.

These funds provide you with an opportunity to work with external organisations which could lead to strong partnerships for future funding, teaching materials and also further research and knowledge exchange opportunities. If you have an idea that could suit the small fund and would like to discuss further, please do get in touch.

HEIF – the final instalment

HEIF – the final instalment

(This is literally just the title to highlight the end of this blog series, not the end of HEIF)

When writing these blog posts, I wasn’t expecting them to turn into a trilogy from the planned double feature, but here we are.

 

In this third instalment of knowledge exchange and HEIF related stories, I’m going to share with you some potential project ideas and examples of HEIF projects from other institutions.

 

The small fund is for getting a KE project started or concluding a KE project.

  • Do you have an idea but need a business to collaborate with and are unsure how to do this?
  • Do you think you have a great project idea but don’t know what market opportunities there are (if any!)?
  • Do you have a business contact who is keen to work with you, but they do not have the available funding for consultancy?
  • Are you working with a charity and need a big of funding to get your project to the next stage?
  • Are you seeking public engagement ideas or projects?

If ANY of these apply to you directly or are similar situations that you have been in, get in touch.

 

To give some examples as to how different institutions use their HEIF funding, here are some ideas and links to searchable projects:

At the University of Southampton, their HEIF allocation as funded projects such as; Video Game Photography: An Examination of Reflective Gameplay, Participation and Responsible Innovation for Co-Design for Exchange and Digital Police Officer: Linguistic Analysis to Identify Cybercriminals.

 

The University of Winchester have funded projects such as; Stormbreak: inspiring movement for positive mental health in primary school and HELP (Health Enhancing Lifestyle Programme) Hampshire Stroke Clinic. Further information on these projects can be found here.

 

The University of Surrey have invested some of their HEIF funds into a Living Lab. This approach to user-centred research and open innovation already has a string of achievements since it’s conception in November 2019 and has funded a series of small collaborative projects in areas such as environmental behaviour and community regeneration.

 

The University of Sussex refocused some of their HEIF funding on Covid-19 relief to their local area where possible, as did the University of Liverpool.

 

Do get in touch to discuss your KE project and how HEIF might be able to help you.

 

As a further note, a specific Proof of Concept strand will be available shortly, please do look out for information on this.

 

HEIF Small Fund – Applications now welcome

HEIF small grants fund open for applications

 

Bournemouth University has a small amount of funding available to facilitate and enhance research and development collaboration with external partners. The purpose of the funding is to:

  • Enhance external collaborative engagements with industry partners to further the development of innovative projects
  • Increase the amount of available funds for research undertaken collaboratively with external partners with a view to starting a project or progressing a projects towards patent innovations, enhance technology readiness levels and/or commercialisation
  • Encourage future funding bids (such as from Innovate UK) with external partners

 

The fund can be used flexibly, providing a strong case can be made and the assessment criteria are met.  Funding could be used to fund travel, consumables or event costs etc., but all funding will need to be spent by 31 July of the academic year that you apply to.

 

Eligibility
The fund is open to all researchers across Bournemouth University, including those who are already working with industry partners and those who would like to build up new networks.  In particular, the panel would welcome the following types of applications:

  • Small travel grants of up to £500 to help facilitate relationship development with organisations (this could be travelling to potential partner sites or networking/funding briefing events)
  • Projects of up to £5,000 which will either facilitate new relationships with external partners or build on existing research collaborations with external partners, support initial prototyping, project/product feasibility and/or market research

 

The Panel will not fund – applications relating to conferences.

 

Due to the nature of this fund, we particularly welcome applications from Early Career Researchers (ECRs).

 

Application process
To apply, please read the application form (HEIF small project application form) and FAQs [general HEIF FAQs can be found I/RDS/Public/HEIF 6].  Applications must be submitted to heif@bournemouth.ac.uk

 

If you have any questions about your application please email heif@bournemouth.ac.uk.

 

The deadlines for this fund are at noon on 18th March 2020, 15th April 2020 and 20th May 2020.

 

BU’s Research Principles
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 Impact Funding Panel
  8. SIA Funding panel

 

These panels align with the BU2025 focus on research, including BU’s Research Principles.  All applicants are advised to familiarise themselves with BU2025 strategy as part of the application process. BU2025.  The following Principles are most relevant to the HEIF Panel:

  • Principle 1 – which recognises the need to develop teams
  • Principle 5 – which sets of the context for such funding panels

HEIF-6 funding now available for innovative KE projects

HEIF-6 funding now available for innovative Knowledge Exchange (KE) projects

 

Research England provide Higher Education Innovation Funding (HEIF) to universities to facilitate a broad range of knowledge-based interactions between them and the wider world, which result in economic and social benefit to the UK.  The current round of funding is referred to as HEIF-6 and runs from August 2017 to July 2022.

 

An internal call is now open for applications from BU colleagues who wish to develop innovative projects.  Funding will be awarded to those applications that clearly demonstrate how new/existing collaborations will be developed and how societal/economic impact will be achieved, specifically in relation to the generation and exploitation of Intellectual Property and commercialisation.  Interdisciplinary and/or cross-Faculty/Professional Services proposal are encouraged, as are proposals with international collaborators.

 

We anticipate making awards of £25,000-£100,000 per project per year.  Please note that the total fund allocated to this call is approximately £300,000 per year.  Projects should be up to 24 months in duration and must align to one of BU’s HEIF-6 themes:

  • Advanced manufacturing
  • Health (focusing on digital health and e-health)
  • Digital and creative

 

Colleagues wishing to apply should read BU’s HEIF-6 strategy and the HEIF-6 FAQs before completing the HEIF-6 application form (part 1 and part 2).  These documents can be found on the i-drive (I:/RDS/Public/HEIF 6).

 

It is highly recommended that you contact Research Development and Support (RDS) prior to applying to this fund to ensure your project is within the scope of the fund.  Please contact Knowledge Exchange Adviser, Rachel Clarke, who will discuss in further detail the purpose of the fund and how your project aligns to it.

 

Applications must be supported by the Project Lead’s Faculty and signed by their Head of Department and relevant Deputy Dean (Research and Professional Practice).  Any queries should be sent to Rachel Clarke (heif@bournemouth.ac.uk) in the first instance.

 

Completed application should be sent to HEIF@bournemouth.ac.uk by midnight on Monday 9th December.  The HEIF panel aims to confirm the outcomes of applications by the end of January 2020.

Research Council Development Scheme – applications now open

BU is introducing the second round of the Research Council Development Scheme which is a coordinated, targeted set of activities designed to inspire and equip BU researchers to achieve greater success with Research Council funding.

The aim is to:

  • Increase awareness of the Research Councils opportunities
  • Equip researchers with the confidence and skills to apply for the Research Councils funding in line with their career stage
  • Fast-track the development of a portfolio of proposals by facilitating proposal writing, setting next steps and allocating support

Due to the wide range of opportunities offered by Research Councils, the RCDS will feature a range of activities which may be generic in scope or targeted to a cohort as follows.

  • E cohort – early career researchers and those new to Research Councils (learning aims: first grants, fellowships, general mind-set and approach)
  • M cohort – mid-career researchers and those with some Research Councils experience (learning aims: project leadership and moving up to larger grants/collaborations)
  • P cohort – professorial level and those with significant Research Council experience (learning aims: high value, strategic and longer-larger funding)

As the RCDS is being piloted, this first cohort will have access to the ‘gold standard’ of a mix of development activities:

  • As a group and within targeted cohorts: training, workshops, structured proposal writing sessions and opportunities to build peer-to-peer support.
  • 1:1 support for scoping/identifying funding streams and planning/starting proposals.
  • Hands-on work to develop proposals through the scheme, including bid surgeries.

The criteria for membership, expectations of membership, and the training and development timetable for the RCDS can be found in the scheme document. Those wanting to participate in this great opportunity will need to submit an expression of interest to: researchdev@bournemouth.ac.uk stating:

  • Why they are applying to the RCDS
  • What (if any) Research Council Bidding experience they have to date
  • Which targeted cohort they consider themselves to be in: E, M or P
  • Do they have a funding proposal in development? If so, to provide details of the proposal (this is not essential to be a member)

Please submit your expression of interest by 18th December 2019. RKEO will then send a membership agreement form to potential members, where they will agree to attend the training sessions and submit proposals to the research councils. As this scheme is part of the RKEDF, potential members will need to seek approval from their Head of Department or departmental nominated approver.

Please read through the scheme document and if any clarification is required then contact Rachel Clarke, Research Facilitator, RKEO. This scheme is a fantastic opportunity to accelerate your research council funding track record.

SAVE THE DATE – Global STEAMlab

On Wednesday 28th November, RKEO will be hosting a STEAMlab with a global theme.

What is a STEAMlab?

The STEAMLabs offer the opportunity to meet new people from all disciplines and sectors, and to spend dedicated time developing novel ideas for research projects.

For this STEAMLab, we’re seeking to come up with novel research which addresses global challenges.

We will also be inviting relevant external attendees to contribute to the day.  We welcome academics, NGO/business/government representatives who wish to contribute to having a positive impact through addressing the world’s global challenges.

So, who should attend?

STEAMLabs cover broad themes to ensure that they are open to everyone from all disciplines. So if you think you have something to contribute then come along.  If you think that they don’t include you then please have a chat with your RKEO Facilitator who can explain how your research could make a vital contribution to new ideas and approaches. In order to encourage wider partnerships, each STEAMLab will include academics from other universities, as well as representatives from industry and other sectors.

What do I need to prepare in advance? What will the STEAMLab entail?

You do not need to prepare anything in advance. During the session, you’ll be guided through a process which results in the development of research ideas. The process facilitates creativity, potentially leading to innovative and interdisciplinary research ideas. These ideas will be explored with other attendees, and further developed based on the feedback received.

What if I don’t have time to think about ideas in advance?

You don’t need to do this but it will help. Attendees will come from a range of backgrounds so we expect that there will be lively conversations resulting from these different perspectives.

What about afterwards? Do I need to go away and do loads of work?

Well… that depends! The interactive day will result in some novel research ideas. Some of these may be progressed immediately; others might need more time to develop. You may find common ground with other attendees which you choose to take forward in other ways, such as writing a paper or applying for research funding. Your Research Facilitator will be on hand to support you as you develop bids for funding.

So, is this just networking?

Definitely not! It is a facilitated session with the primary intention of developing innovative research ideas, which also enables the development of networks. It gives you the opportunity to explore research ideas which you may develop over time, together with the chance to find common ground with academics from across BU and beyond.

 

If you have any queries, please contact Rachel Clarke, RKEO Research Facilitator.

This event is part of the Research Knowledge Exchange Development Framework.

 

 

NERC standard grants (January 2019 deadline) – internal competition deadline – 18th October 2018

Reminder

Deadline for internal Expressions of Interest – 18th October 2018.

NERC introduced demand management measures in 2012. These were revised in 2015 to reduce the number and size of applications from research organisations for NERC’s discovery science standard grant scheme. Full details can be found in the BU policy document for NERC demand management measures at: http://intranetsp.bournemouth.ac.uk/policy/BU Policy for NERC Demand Management Measures.docx.

As at March 2015, BU has been capped at one application per standard grant round. The measures only apply to NERC standard grants (including new investigators). An application counts towards an organisation, where the organisation is applying as the grant holding organisation (of the lead or component grant). This will be the organisation of the Principal Investigator of the lead or component grant.

BU process

As a result, BU has introduced a process for determining which application will be submitted to each NERC Standard Grant round. This will take the form of an internal competition, which will include peer review. The next available standard grant round is January 2019. The deadline for internal Expressions of Interest (EoI) which will be used to determine which application will be submitted is 18th October 2018.  The EoI form, BU policy for NERC Demand Management Measures and process for selecting an application can be found here: I:\R&KEO\Public\NERC Demand Management 2019.

NERC have advised that where a research organisation submits more applications to any round than allowed under the cap, NERC will office-reject any excess applications, based purely on the time of submission through the Je-S system (last submitted = first rejected). However, as RKEO submit applications through Je-S on behalf of applicants, RKEO will not submit any applications that do not have prior agreement from the internal competition.

Following the internal competition, the Principal Investigator will have access to support from RKEO, and will work closely with the Research Facilitator and Funding Development Officers to develop the application. Access to external bid writers will also be available.

Appeals process

If an EoI is not selected to be submitted as an application, the Principal Investigator can appeal to Professor Tim McIntyre-Bhatty, Deputy Vice-Chancellor. Any appeals must be submitted within ten working days of the original decision. All appeals will be considered within ten working days of receipt.

RKEO Contacts

Please contact Rachel Clarke, RKEO Research Facilitator – clarker@bournemouth.ac.uk or Jo Garrad, RKEO Funding Development Manager – jgarrad@bournemouth.ac.uk if you wish to submit an expression of interest.

Reminder – NERC standard grants (January 2019 deadline) – internal competition

Reminder

 

NERC introduced demand management measures in 2012. These were revised in 2015 to reduce the number and size of applications from research organisations for NERC’s discovery science standard grant scheme. Full details can be found in the BU policy document for NERC demand management measures at: http://intranetsp.bournemouth.ac.uk/policy/BU Policy for NERC Demand Management Measures.docx.

As at March 2015, BU has been capped at one application per standard grant round. The measures only apply to NERC standard grants (including new investigators). An application counts towards an organisation, where the organisation is applying as the grant holding organisation (of the lead or component grant). This will be the organisation of the Principal Investigator of the lead or component grant.

BU process

As a result, BU has introduced a process for determining which application will be submitted to each NERC Standard Grant round. This will take the form of an internal competition, which will include peer review. The next available standard grant round is January 2019. The deadline for internal Expressions of Interest (EoI) which will be used to determine which application will be submitted is 18th October 2018.  The EoI form, BU policy for NERC Demand Management Measures and process for selecting an application can be found here: I:\R&KEO\Public\NERC Demand Management 2019.

NERC have advised that where a research organisation submits more applications to any round than allowed under the cap, NERC will office-reject any excess applications, based purely on the time of submission through the Je-S system (last submitted = first rejected). However, as RKEO submit applications through Je-S on behalf of applicants, RKEO will not submit any applications that do not have prior agreement from the internal competition.

Following the internal competition, the Principal Investigator will have access to support from RKEO, and will work closely with the Research Facilitator and Funding Development Officers to develop the application. Access to external bid writers will also be available.

Appeals process

If an EoI is not selected to be submitted as an application, the Principal Investigator can appeal to Professor Tim McIntyre-Bhatty, Deputy Vice-Chancellor. Any appeals must be submitted within ten working days of the original decision. All appeals will be considered within ten working days of receipt.

RKEO Contacts

Please contact Rachel Clarke, RKEO Research Facilitator – clarker@bournemouth.ac.uk or Jo Garrad, RKEO Funding Development Manager – jgarrad@bournemouth.ac.uk if you wish to submit an expression of interest.

NERC standard grants (January 2019 deadline) – internal competition launched

NERC introduced demand management measures in 2012. These were revised in 2015 to reduce the number and size of applications from research organisations for NERC’s discovery science standard grant scheme. Full details can be found in the BU policy document for NERC demand management measures at: http://intranetsp.bournemouth.ac.uk/policy/BU Policy for NERC Demand Management Measures.docx.

As at March 2015, BU has been capped at one application per standard grant round. The measures only apply to NERC standard grants (including new investigators). An application counts towards an organisation, where the organisation is applying as the grant holding organisation (of the lead or component grant). This will be the organisation of the Principal Investigator of the lead or component grant.

BU process

As a result, BU has introduced a process for determining which application will be submitted to each NERC Standard Grant round. This will take the form of an internal competition, which will include peer review. The next available standard grant round is January 2019. The deadline for internal Expressions of Interest (EoI) which will be used to determine which application will be submitted is 18th October 2018.  The EoI form, BU policy for NERC Demand Management Measures and process for selecting an application can be found here: I:\R&KEO\Public\NERC Demand Management 2019.

NERC have advised that where a research organisation submits more applications to any round than allowed under the cap, NERC will office-reject any excess applications, based purely on the time of submission through the Je-S system (last submitted = first rejected). However, as RKEO submit applications through Je-S on behalf of applicants, RKEO will not submit any applications that do not have prior agreement from the internal competition.

Following the internal competition, the Principal Investigator will have access to support from RKEO, and will work closely with the Research Facilitator and Funding Development Officers to develop the application. Access to external bid writers will also be available.

Appeals process

If an EoI is not selected to be submitted as an application, the Principal Investigator can appeal to Professor Tim McIntyre-Bhatty, Deputy Vice-Chancellor. Any appeals must be submitted within ten working days of the original decision. All appeals will be considered within ten working days of receipt.

RKEO Contacts

Please contact Rachel Clarke, RKEO Research Facilitator – clarker@bournemouth.ac.uk or Jo Garrad, RKEO Funding Development Manager – jgarrad@bournemouth.ac.uk if you wish to submit an expression of interest.

MRC research staff announcement

MRC announced yesterday their new grant application status to recognise research staff contributions.

To support the development of researchers across different career stages, the MRC will introduce a new status to recognise the contributions of research staff as researcher co-investigators on grant applications from July 2018.

Currently many research staff do not receive the formal recognition they deserve for their contributions to writing grant applications, designing and carrying out funded research. By introducing the new status of researcher co-investigator, we are aiming to help provide them with the recognition needed for career progression.

For the full announcement, please visit the following link.

 

Plastics UKRI call – funding available

Further to the Plastics Research and Innovation Fund details posted here yesterday, the following £8m call has been announced.

Up to £8m is available for institutional awards for up to 18 months to research organisations to bridge the gaps between UK Research and Innovation research disciplines and respond creatively to the challenge of creating new circular economy approaches to eliminating future plastic waste. The programme should focus on novel ideas and solutions that include consideration of sustainable feedstocks and materials, manufacturing and recycling processes, consumer behaviour and systems (for example legal, fiscal and policy systems) set within a context of environmental and health benefits. This competition is being run on behalf of all UK Research and Innovation Research Councils by EPSRC. UK Research and Innovation welcome applications that includes the remits of any of the UKRI Research Councils, and is not limited to the Engineering and Physical Sciences communities.

Call details are available here.

Closing Date for EOI Submissions 10 July 2018 at 16:00 Hours

Closing Date for Full Proposals 16 August 2018 at 16:00 Hours

 

If you are interested in applying to this call, please contact your RKEO Funding Development Officer in the first instance.

£20m Plastics Research and Innovation Fund announced

Science Minister announces £20 million Plastics Research and Innovation Fund to turn the tide on plastics production

A new £20 million fund that aims to explore new ideas and innovations that can bring changes in the UK’s plastics manufacturing and consumption patterns is announced today by Science Minister, Sam Gyimah.

The Plastics Research and Innovation Fund (PRIF) will engage Britain’s best scientists and innovators to help move the country towards more circular economic and sustainable approaches to plastics.

It will be managed by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and delivered via the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), Innovate UK, and the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC).

For the full press release please visit the following page on the UKRI website.

If you are interested in applying to this call, please contact your RKEO Funding Development Officer in the first instance.

 

NERC Funding Announcement

Prospering from the Energy Revolution Challenge: Full programme of funding announced

Funding will help businesses and researchers to create inexpensive, low carbon and resilient ways to provide energy.

The government is investing in a new ‘Prospering from the Energy Revolution Challenge’. UK Research & Innovation has announced full details of its fund for research and industry to develop future smart energy systems and prove their use at scale.

The energy revolution challenge will bring together businesses working with the best research and expertise to develop and demonstrate new approaches to provide cleaner, cheaper and resilient energy. This includes linking low-carbon power, heating and transport systems with energy storage and advanced IT to create intelligent, local energy systems and services.

This is part of the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund.

Areas of investment

The funding will be available for:

  • Smart local energy systems demonstrators and designs. We will invest in fast-tracking up to three practical local energy systems demonstrators and at least 10 whole system design studies. The practical demonstrators will build supply chain capabilities, deliver positive changes for energy consumers, and inform future projects.
  • Innovation accelerator fund. This will commercialise smart local energy system products and services, and engage with the best international research and innovation opportunities.
  • Research and integration services. A world-leading, interdisciplinary research programme will be commissioned to work alongside the Energy Systems Catapult which will provide coordination and technical support to demonstration and design projects.

Find out more

The demonstrator and concept and design competitions are open for applications. Find out how to apply for these competitions on the GOV.UK website.

Full details of the remaining competitions and funding will be announced shortly.

More about the challenge

The Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund will make sure that research and innovation is at the heart of the government’s Industrial Strategy. This sets out four grand challenges in industries in which the UK is determined to pioneer progress.

The energy revolution falls under the clean growth challenge, which will support the UK to be a world leader in low-carbon technologies, systems and services.

 

 

If you are interested in applying to this call then please contact your RKEO Funding Development Officer in the first instance.

UKRI Future Leaders Fellowships Scheme

The UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) scheme to support early career researchers and innovators with outstanding potential in universities, UK registered businesses, and other research and user environments including research councils’ institutes and laboratories has been launched.

 

The UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship scheme is a single scheme across the entire UKRI remit that will:

 

–  develop, retain, attract and sustain research and innovation talent in the UK

–  foster new research and innovation career paths including those at the academic/business and interdisciplinary boundaries, and facilitate movement of people between sectors

–  provide sustained funding and resources for the best early career researchers and innovators (up to seven years support available on a 4+3 model)

–  provide long-term, flexible funding to tackle difficult and novel challenges, and support adventurous, ambitious programmes

 

This is scheme is additional to existing Research Council fellowship schemes and is distinct as the Future Leaders Fellowships;

 

–  are available across the entire UKRI remit,

–  are open to individuals based in business as well as those based in universities,

–  provide long term support of up to seven years (on a 4+3 model with review at 4 years),

–  come with additional expectations of host organisations in their support to the fellow, for academic host organisations this includes tapered salary commitment from year 3 of the fellowship and commitment to an open-ended position for the fellow during or at the end of their fellowship.

 

There will be six calls for these fellowships; two calls per year between 2018-19 and 2020-21 (financial years), typically awarding at least 100 fellowships per call across UKRI’s remit (with the initial round being smaller, aiming to award ~50 fellowships).

 

The key dates for the first call are:

 

–  Thursday 7 June – host organisations must submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) for each of the applicants they intend to submit in the first round

–  16:00 on Tuesday 3 July 2018 – first round full application deadline

 

The second call deadline will be on 31 October 2018 (EOI deadline 4 October 2018). Dates for subsequent calls will be published on the UKRI website.

 

For further information visit the Future Leaders Fellowships call page.  If you wish to discuss this opportunity in more detail and/or find companies to work with then please contact Ehren Milner.

If you are interested in applying then please contact your RKEO Funding Development Officer in the first instance.