Posts By / Jennifer Roddis

Thursday at 9am – come along to the next RKEO coffee morning

The first RKEO coffee morning was a huge success and we’d like to continue this at our next event, this Thursday (19th June) at 9am in R303, Royal London House. We’ll be there until 10am. Come along for a pastry and an informal chat with members of the Research and Knowledge Exchange Office. We look forward to seeing you!

For your diaries, our next coffee morning is at Talbot again, in the new academic year – 30th October at 9.30am in the Retreat.

AHRC to hold roundtable on arts and humanities perspectives on risk

AHRC are inviting expressions of interest from arts and humanities researchers with an interest in risk to take part in a roundtable discussion, with a deadline of 16th June and the event to take place on 14 July. The one day event will offer the opportunity for post-doctoral researchers at all stages of their careers to contribute insights and identify potential future research agendas. In particular, AHRC are looking for the following areas:

* language and creative/cultural perceptions of risk;

* ethics, rights, values, trust and risk

* historical and temporal perspectives on risk

* risk in relation to creativity and innovation, including in areas such as health, science and the emergence of new technologies.

If you are interested in taking part in the roundtable, you need to submit a one page CV and 500 word account detailing your specialism, relevant research, publications and interest to AHRC. Travel costs will be paid for those selected to attend the event. Further details are available at http://www.ahrc.ac.uk/News-and-Events/Events/Documents/EOI%20Roundtable.pdf.

Coffee and cakes…

Coffee and cakes will be available at the Research and Knowledge Exchange Office coffee morning this Thursday (22 May 2014), starting at 9.30am in the Retreat. This will be an informal opportunity for you to have a chat with various members of the R&KEO team. If you can’t make it this week, the next event will take place on 19 June in R303, Royal London House between 9am and 10am.

We also have coffee mornings arranged for the next academic year; the first event of 2014-15 will be in the Retreat on 30 October.

We look forward to seeing you on Thursday!

Hot beverage and cupcake

Don’t forget to join us at the first R&KEO coffee morning

The first Research and Knowledge Exchange Office coffee morning is on 22 May 2014, starting at 9.30am in the Retreat (Talbot campus). This is intended to be an informal opportunity for you to meet with members of the R&KEO team, and you’re welcome to come along and have a chat with us, or just to enjoy a coffee and cake. The next event (please note the change of date) will take place on 19 June in R303, Royal London House between 9am and 10am.

If you can’t make either of these dates, we have several more coffee mornings arranged for the next academic year; the first event of 2014-15 will be in the Retreat on 30 October.

We look forward to seeing you on 22 May!

Hot beverage and cupcake

Come along to the first RKEO coffee morning!

You said in our recent survey that you would like to see a quarterly coffee morning where you could have a chat with people from the Research and Knowledge Exchange Office. So we’ve organised some! The first event is on 22 May 2014, starting at 9.30am in the Retreat (Talbot campus). You’re welcome to come along and have a chat with us, or just to enjoy a coffee and cake. The next event (please note the change of date) will take place on 19 June in R303, Royal London House between 9am and 10am.

If you can’t make either of these dates, we have several more coffee mornings arranged for the next academic year; the first event of 2014-15 will be in the Retreat on 30 October.

We look forward to seeing you on 22 May!

Hot beverage and cupcake

Latest major funding opportunities

The following opportunities have been announced. Please follow the links for more information:

EPSRC are acting as administrator for small awards through the Holmes Hines Memorial fund, to undertake activities related to science and engineering for which public funds are not available. There is no deadline and no standard application form; applications should be sent to the fund administrator.

NERC invite outline applications to a new four year programme on Environmental Microbiology and Human Health. The two topics for this first call are aquatic microbiology and bioaerosols. An outline proforma provided by NERC must be submitted by 24 March 2014. Also available from NERC is funding to undertaken knowledge exchange activities, through their Knowledge Exchange Fellowships. These allow the Fellow to undertake a programme of work of their own choosing, funding salary and the costs of the work programme. Deadline 6 May 2014.

Royal Society are offering a range of funding for those working in the natural sciences, including international exchange schemes with France, Taiwan, Ireland, Russia or China. Each of these offers £12000 for travel and subsistence for a British team to develop a new collaboration, with the same amount offered by the partner country. They also offer a standard international exchange programme, which offers up to £12000 for travel and subsistence for use in developing new collaborations with overseas colleagues. Various deadlines apply.

Royal Society are also offering funding for Industry Fellowships, which enable academics to work on a collaborative project with industry or vice versa, for up to two years. Deadline 27 March 2014.

Funding is available from the Wellcome Trust to undertake projects that enable the public to explore biomedical science and its impact on society and culture, through their People Awards. Up to £30000 is available, deadline 25 April 2014.

Arts and humanities researchers may be interested in the early career and standard fellowships offered by AHRC. No deadline applies, and the maximum funding available is £250000.

Please note that some funders specify a time for submission as well as a date. Please confirm this with your RKE Support Officer.

You can set up your own personalised alerts on ResearchProfessional. If you need help setting these up, just ask your School’s RKE Officer in RKE Operations or see the recent post on this topic, which includes forthcoming training dates.

Your chance to influence research and knowledge exchange support at BU – deadline looming

The deadline is looming for your chance to influence how you receive research and knowledge exchange support! The RKE Operations team are implementing improvements to the way we work and we want your feedback. Contribute by completing this short survey https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/GTHQG3F by 9th February 2014 – and we’ll do our best to make sure you receive the kind of support you want.

Jenny Roddis

Your chance to influence research and knowledge exchange support at BU – deadline looming

The deadline is looming for your chance to influence how you receive research and knowledge exchange support! The RKE Operations team are implementing improvements to the way we work and we want your feedback. Contribute by completing this short survey https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/GTHQG3F by 9th February 2014 – and we’ll do our best to make sure you receive the kind of support you want.

Jenny Roddis

New AHRC guide to working in partnership

Working in partnership offers benefits to both academics and to businesses and cultural organisations. These may include identification of new research questions, opportunities for publication and dissemination through events, student projects, new knowledge and skills, increased turnover and greater customer satisfaction. But how do you go about developing partnerships? What about intellectual property? How do you deal with practical issues such as academic versus industry language, disagreements and planning the project? How can impact be maximised? Some answers to all these questions and more can be found in the AHRC publication Partnership Working in the Arts and Humanities: A guide to good practice. This offers insights from both the AHRC and their stakeholders, and is available online at http://www.ahrc.ac.uk/News-and-Events/Watch-and-Listen/Pages/Partnership-Working-in-the-Arts-and-Humanities.aspx – a hardcopy can also be ordered from the same link.

ESRC knowledge exchange funding to change

ESRC is to change the way in which it allocates funding for knowledge exchange activities. The current knowledge exchange opportunities scheme provides funding for social scientists to undertake a range of activities with non-academic stakeholders and requires 50% contribution from a partner in the user community. It is open to any social scientist to undertake knowledge exchange based on their research, whether funded by ESRC or not. This scheme will close on 31 March 2014.
From summer 2014, a replacement scheme (Impact Acceleration Accounts) will fund knowledge exchange through a block grant allocated according to institutions’ recent ESRC funding. Those institutions allocated funding will then be required to submit a business plan in order to release the money.
BU has not been allocated funding through the Impact Acceleration Accounts, so if you are a social scientist and hope to undertake funded knowledge activities, start planning your application now for submission by March… Further information can be found at http://www.esrc.ac.uk/collaboration/knowledge-exchange/opportunities/index.aspx.

Fifteen top tips for getting research funding

How can you increase your chances of being successful when applying for research funding? Here are a few ideas from an AHRC panel member (with thanks to AHRC and the panel member):

  1. Ensure the scheme and applicant are a good match. Funders won’t give millions of pounds to new researchers.
  2. Does the team include an appropriate mix of people? Someone should be able to cover all of the disciplines represented in the proposal, and individuals at a range of career stages should be included.
  3. Remember that the assessors will be both subject specialists (the reviewers) and generalists (panel members). The panel can be targeted through the lay summary.
  4. Use the subject area to define the research expertise of your reviewers. Stating that your research is in the field of philosophy when this is peripheral to the study may mean your reviewers are unfamiliar with your subject.
  5. Imagine your nightmare critic and pre-empt their criticisms; respond to these without being defensive, but without glossing over any problems.
  6. Make the link to the funder’s remit clear. If the panel need to discuss whether or not the project is within the funder’s remit, the project is unlikely to be funded.
  7. Allow time to prepare and write the application. Two months to prepare, and a full week to write the application is to be expected, and then costing, gaining internal approvals etc still need to follow. Successful applications may be useful as a model, but slavishly following them may not succeed as the funder’s objectives may have changed.
  8. The application should cohere as a whole, but not be too repetitive. Stick to the first or third person, ensure it is clear who is meant when you say ‘I’ and make sure your spelling and grammar are correct. If the funder offers guidance on headings for specific sections, use them.
  9. If the funder requires an impact statement, be modest and realistic, set specific goals and milestones and don’t over-inflate your claims.
  10. If your research involves human participants, there will be ethical considerations. If the project involves a collaboration, make it clear who will take the lead for ethical approvals and ongoing ethical considerations.
  11. It’s all in the detail: name which conferences at which you hope to present your work and the journals in which you plan to publish. Explain how the publications differ, and detail which team members will work on each.
  12. When working out the costs, don’t skimp on hours. If you have fractional research assistants, explain why. If you are planning to publish a manuscript, allow time for revision. Don’t make the project cheap just for the sake of it, but make sure it is well considered and achievable within the resources. The reach and significance of the project are more important than the overall budget.
  13. Detail monitoring arrangements for the project: who will monitor progress, within what institutional structures, will there be management or advisory boards and what is the reporting structure? For early career researchers, what monitoring, career development and mentoring will be in place?
  14. Use internal peer review services (at BU, RPRS is available for all research applications) and talk to panellists or peer reviewers for your funder. Some people at BU may have relevant expertise you can tap into – get in touch with RKEO and we may be able to offer some names.
  15. Use your right to reply where funders allow. A critical review is not the end of your funding hopes, and a PI response can be used to elaborate on thoughts you didn’t have space for in the original application. Don’t be aggressive or defensive; it may be worth asking a colleague to read through your response to remove any emotional involvement. Also don’t repeat the positive comments; the panel will see these when they consider the application, and you can better use the space responding to misunderstandings or requests for further detail.

AXA post-doc funding call

AXA Research Fund have funding available for two year post-doctoral posts for basic research, specifically in the fields of: *Biology & biochemistry *Biology and genetics *Economics and business *Environment/ecology *Geosciences *Immunology *Mathematics *Microbiology *Neuroscience and behaviour *Plant and animal science *Psychiatry/psychology *Social sciences, general

Applications are submitted according to a three-stage process.
Stage 1 involves BU naming the fields in which we plan to submit an application. AXA recommend that we make a strategic choice of those fields we feel we are particularly strong in.
They then inform us how many applications we can submit at stage 2. This stage involves an outline application being submitted by the candidates. Following review by AXA Research Fund, some of these will be invited to submit a full proposal at stage 3.

If you are interested in submitting an application for a 2-year post-doc in one of the above fields, or know someone who may be, please contact the Deputy Dean for Research and Enterprise in your School before the deadline of 30 October to ensure your field is included in the Stage 1 submission.

As we will only be allowed to submit a limited number of applications at Stage 2, we will be holding an internal RPRS competition. Please contact Jennifer Roddis for further information about this. The deadline for this will be 11 November 2013.

Early Career Researchers – interested in working with policymakers?

AHRC-funded Early Career Researchers (ECRs) now have the opportunity to apply to join a training programme on Engaging with Government. The three day course will take place in February 2014 and is intended to offer insights into the process of policy making, help ECRs make links with policymakers, and aid in the development of skills needed to engage with policy. Specifically, the course will:

* Help you to see where your research could impact on and contribute to public policy
* Challenge you to consider the policy making process in detail, and how research fits into it
* Improve your influencing and communication skills that are needed to contribute to policymaking.

Eligible researchers are invited to submit applications; further information is available at http://www.ahrc.ac.uk/Funding-Opportunities/Pages/Engaging-with-Government.aspx. Be quick though, the deadline for applications is 21 October 2013.

Discrepancies in guidance from funders

We in RKE Operations have recently become aware of some discrepancies within funders’ guidance notes. In some instances, separate sets of guidance for the same call have provided different information. In others, guidance notes relating to a specific call have been released a while after the call notes, and have included important and relevant information for writing the bid. In order to guard against this, we recommend:

–          Checking back regularly – up to the date of submission – on the funder’s website in case they have released amended or supplemental  guidance.

–          Where amended guidance is released, always using the most up-to-date version.

–          Ensuring that all guidance notes are read thoroughly – important information may be found hidden where you least expect it.

–          If bids are submitted through an electronic system, this includes reading the guidance notes relevant to and attached to the e-system as well.

–          If different sets of guidance for the same call give conflicting information, check with the funder (or ask us to do so).

If the guidance isn’t clear or doesn’t give you the information you need, funders are generally happy to help – as are we in RKE Operations – so feel free to pick up the phone.