Posts By / nbliebchen

Eager for your research to fly? Let it grow wings with funding and facilitation

If you are passionate about your research and believe that it has potential for societal or scholarly impact, our excellent Research, Development & Support (RDS) services – which provide a one-stop shop for all your bidding needs –  are on hand to help you realise your academic or humanitarian aspirations. We have several dedicated and specialist teams within RDS, but here we highlight how our Research Facilitators, who operate across BU’s faculties, centres and institutions, can support you in your research endeavours. Examples of research facilitation services include:

  • Horizon scanning for the best, bespoke or most relevant sources of funding for your research idea/project;
  • Advice on and assistance with multidisciplinary consortium-building by connecting you with colleagues from other disciplines internally and externally, and facilitating liaison with industry, government, charities and third sector stakeholders;
  • Exploration with you of your research idea/s and their alignment with BU’s strategic narratives and 4 strategic investment areas (SIAs: Assistive Technology[AT], Medical Science[MS], Sustainability, Low Carbon Technology & Materials Science[SLCTMS], and Animation, Simulation, Visualisation[ASV]) to optimise support for ambitious projects;
  • Assistance with all aspects of bid development, to include Case for Support conceptualisation, project management support and timeline co-ordination, information and guidance concerning mandatory financial, legal and other internal approvals, submission system advice and sundry ancillary elements of the bidding process;
  • Advice on grant drafting and how best to meet funders’ requirements, together with the services of specialist External Academic Reviewers (EARs) for high-value bids;
  • For Early or Mid Career Researchers (ECRs/MCRs) who may not yet be ready to apply for funding but have the germ of a promising research idea, RDS is there to help advance the idea from inception and rough plan through to mature articulation and fundable bid.

We frequently see that bids with the highest chance of success generally have had time on their side: time to mature conceptually, to build strong and dedicated internal and external collaborations and partnerships, to identify the best possible source/s of funding for the types of project or program envisaged, and to become solidly conversant with the nature of funding calls and funders’ differential requirements.

However, the brilliant idea is only the start: there is much to be done to transform this into an awarded project delivering manifest societal or scholarly impact and ensuing rewards. Committed to you and your research, our specialist Research Facilitators are here to guide you through this process individually as an academic, or as part of a bidding team.

So, whether you are an adventurous ECR new to the funding landscape or a seasoned researcher with a track record of awarded grants, do ensure you take advantage of the consummate skills of our friendly and experienced Research Facilitators.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Contact Nicolette Barsdorf-Liebchen at for further information

International UKRI Funding Opportunities: China and South Korea

Two exciting new funding opportunities have recently been published by UKRI for research collaborations in diverse social sciences, arts, humanities and creative cultural spheres with either China or South Korea. If this interests you, read further and be in contact!

UK and South Korea social science, arts and humanities connections

This networking funding opportunity has been commissioned to address the lack of connectivity and expand the level of engagement with South Korea. It aims to lower the barriers faced by UK SSH researchers seeking to collaborate with South Korean counterparts.
Proposals may be submitted in any area of SSH, and on any topic. Interdisciplinary proposals across the breadth of the social sciences, arts and humanities are strongly encouraged.
Total fund:
Maximum award:
Publication date:
30 July 2021
Opening date:
11 August 2021 09:30 UK time
Closing date:
26 October 2021 16:00 UK time
For further details see

Examining UK-China creative industries research and innovation

Applicants should identify the one theme to which their proposal principally responds, though proposals might cut across more than one of these themes or introduce new areas of inquiry relating to research, development and innovation in the creative industries. These are: Creative industries: audiences and consumer culture (audience insights; localisation of culture); Sector mapping: research, development and innovation and the creative industries (market intelligence and horizon scanning for the creative industries in UK and China; creative industries research, development and innovation landscape mapping); Practical and legal considerations for international research, development and innovation in the creative industries ( intellectual property and copyright; navigating cyber security laws and data sharing)
Maximum award:
Publication date:
29 July 2021
Opening date:
29 July 2021
Closing date:
7 October 2021 16:00 UK time

For further details see:

Please contact Dr Nicolette Barsdorf-Liebchen at if you wish to pursue either of these opportunities.

Enabling an Equitable Digital Society: an unmissable interdisciplinary EPSRC funding call!

The Enabling an Equitable Digital Society call has at its very core the ethics and socio-economics of global digitisation. The EPSRC seeks in accordance with its digital economy theme to fund the creation of human-centred transformational digital technologies and services that enable an equitable digital society. The fund will support research to rapidly realise the transformational impact of digital technologies on aspects of community life, cultural experiences, future society, and the economy.

It is expected that technical outputs will be delivered, that “support novel, adventurous multidisciplinary, sociotechnical and co-created research to create an equitable digital society”.

Details to Note:

  • Date open: 22 June 2021
  • Closing date: 14 September 2021
  • Max. award: £625,000 – £1,250,000 (of total fund of £5 million) at 80% Fec

All research should be grounded in an understanding of:

  • human-centred design of digital technologies
  • equity, fairness, inclusivity, and barriers to equitability in the digital economy
  • the nature of inclusion in digital environments
  • the nuanced experience of marginalised groups online
  • the intersectional effects of the digital economy on people’s welfare

Your team must include:

  • researchers from at least two disciplines across the EPSRC, ESRC and AHRC portfolio
  • at least one early-career researcher at lecturer level as principal or co-investigator
  • at least one researcher co-investigator at postdoctoral level

At its core, the equitable digital society priority area is about improving people’s lives, and projects should seek to benefit marginalised and vulnerable people and groups, clearly identify citizens’ needs, and explain how these will be addressed as an outcome of the research.

For further details, see Enabling an equitable digital society

Contact Nicolette Barsdorf-Liebchen at should you be interested in this call.

Internal competition now open: Develop digital economy research communities with NetworkPlus

Further to the major funding opportunity alert regarding this call, UKRI/EPSRC: Develop digital economy research communities with NetworkPlus, published here on 21 April 2021, RDS is now opening the internal competition for EoIs.

The timeline to be observed is as follows:

  • Appplicants to register for the UKRI/EPSRC call webinar by Wednesday,  12 May (while this is not a prerequisite for the EPSRC, you must please register for and attend this event. You may nominate a suitable representative to attend on your behalf if you are unable).
  • Webinar: Thursday, 27 May;
  • Deadline for submission of internal EoI: Tuesday, 1 June;
  • Decision of panel (and short-form feedback): Friday, 4 June;
  • The chosen application to be submitted internally by Tuesday, 20 July (to give the FDO/RDS/UET procedures a full 7 working days);
  • JeS submission: Monday, 26 July;
  • Final submission: Thursday, 29 July.

If you have decided you and your collaborators (and it is STRONGLY recommended that you have both internal and external partners with whom you are currently in contact and/or already working). then kindly contact Nicolette for the EoI template.

NB: Please ensure that you scrutinise the call as to the funders requirements and the assessment criteria (which will inform BU’s own decision-making process).

If you have any queries or are unsure as to whether you ought to proceed, kindly email or contact Nicolette on MS teams.



Mapping the Creative Coast: a south coast university consortium survey

BU is a member of the recently-formed Coastal Creatives Consortium (see below) and as such, we are now putting out this invitation to the broader digital creatives industry in the region to participate in an online survey, outlined here. Please engage your industry contacts so that we can build as deep a database as possible, with which ultimately to promote and leverage funding for coastal-based academic-industry research.


Do you work in the digital creative industries around Bournemouth, Southampton, Portsmouth, Winchester, Chichester or the Isle of Wight? Please take 5 minutes to help with our research on potential relationships and collaborations with universities in the South-Central region.

We are inviting you to participate in an online survey for the Coastal Creatives consortium of regional universities (Bournemouth, Bournemouth Arts, Chichester, Portsmouth, Southampton and Southampton Solent). The consortium’s mission is to conduct research into the South-Central region’s digital creative industries and to assess the demand for industry-university collaborative research, development and educational needs and funding. This project is run from the University of Southampton and participation is voluntary.

The research question is: What kinds of research collaboration and partnerships (if any) would regional digital creative industries like to establish with local universities?

Seth Giddings (University of Southampton)

Jo Stark (University of Portsmouth).

‘Mapping the Creative Coast’ project, University of Southampton, ERGO 63710 (version 2 17/3/21)

Digital Society Research: a major funding opportunity alert

An Animation, Simulation, Visualisation “scramble” event will be held on Wednesday, 28 April, 1 – 1.45 pm (see Zoom meeting link below) around the following cross-disciplinary funding opportunity: UKRI (EPSRC): Develop digital economy research communities with NetworkPlus. These are the basic details:

  • Total Fund: £16,250,000
  • Maximum award: £3,250,000, but one can only apply for up to £2.6 million
  • Project duration: 5 years
  • Dates: opened 15 April, closes 29 July 2021 (Registration closes on 12 May for Webinar on 27 May)
  • Proposal must address one of the core priority areas:
    • Trust, Identity, Privacy and Security
    • Beyond a Data Driven Economy
    • Sustainable Digital Society
    • Equitable Digital Society
    • Content Creation and Consumption

There can only be one application per institution with max. 5 investigators (all must be UK-based).

As you can see, this is a highly competitive opportunity, and only 7 or 8 bids will be awarded. If you have an entirely novel, trail-blazing idea which speaks to one or more of these core themes under the ASV aegis, and you seek collaborators from other disciplines which complement yours and are necessary for the realisation of your research idea, do come along: you may well find your next BU collaborator and bidding partner. For more information on the grant, see

Zoom meeting link:

Meeting ID: 858 5439 0228

Passcode: HSq1Te

If you are interested in attending this event, kindly email Nicolette at

BBC callout for diverse experts

The BBC has launched the 50:50 Equality Project, a BBC-wide initiative to improve their representation of under-served audiences and feature more diverse voices.

As part of this, they are looking to improve their database of contacts from different backgrounds so that when a story breaks they are able to get in touch with right people with the expertise and experience to help explain it to audiences.

The project started as an initiative to improve the BBC’s representation of women across news output, and they are now expanding the database. They want to hear from experts in their field who also happen to be disabled, women or from different ethnic backgrounds.

If you come from an under-represented group and are interested in signing up to the database, you can find out more about the project here:

Due to GDPR consent, individuals need to submit their own details to the database. Anyone who signs up to the database could be contacted by any content-making part of the BBC – people are free to agree to or decline any requests they receive on a case-by-case basis.

SIA game-changing ideas EoI call: reminder to drop-in!

At the risk of needling you with yet another blogpost regarding our exciting Strategic Investment Areas Game-Changing Ideas call for Expressions of Interest (closing 30 April), RDS will take this opportunity to remind you that there are a further two drop-in sessions, on 19 and 22 April respectively: you can find the meeting links on the blogpost regarding these events here:

Tips on completion of the EoI will be dispensed at those events, which are entirely informal and also provide possible networking opportunities with others whose ideas may resonatewith yours and with whom you may consider strategically joining join forces.

Finally, should game-changing ideas crossover with one of the other SIAs (as they invariably will, if grand!), we can advise that there are two remaining SIA briefings: Assistive Technology on 22 April, 10.30am, and Sustainability, Low Carbon Technology and Materials Science on 23 April at 10.00am. For the session links, see

Do pitch up for an informal chat over how you can make your idea a winning one. We look forward to seeing you there!

Animation, Simulation, Visualisation: you are already immersed….

“Smart” homes, cities, and motorways, the Internet of Things, and Digital Twins are just some of the 21st century phenomena fast becoming – if not yet a ubiquitous reality on the (Western) ground – at least now common parlance, and no aspect of our lived experience and myriad environments remains untouched by such technologies. As you will be aware, your research – in whatever field you specialise – is not unaffected by these developments. Our Animation, Simulation and Visualisation (ASV) Network literally and virtually plugs into these digital drivers and interfaces, now forming an expanding transdisciplinary group populated by talented, research-active academics from all BU faculties and several research centres, and sharing a commitment to growing high-end, collaborative, fundamental and applied research at BU.
Included in the network are our internationally reputable National Centre for Computer Animation (NCCA) and the Disaster Management Centre (DMC) – both renowned for sterling achievements in their fields – and our more recently launched Institute for the Modelling of Socio-Environmental Transitions (IMSET), and Institute for Medical Imaging and Visualisation (IMIV), who already have a raft of invigorating projects in the pipeline. They are exemplars of the scope and impact of ASV-based or deployed research, and mentioned here to fire up your enthusiasm to explore ASV and ponder how this strategic investment area may be relevant to or harnessed for your research. The strategic mission of the ASV network is to orient the valuable research projects undertaken by BU academics, their partners and stakeholders towards current “real-world” problems which require innovative solutions.
Whether it is entertainment and the pandemic-induced move towards virtual production, the rapidly-evolving digitisation of education, public health or environmental crisis management, the democratisation of medical self-surveillance, state-of-the-art ASV medical diagnostics, AR/VR-enhanced surgical training, virtual access to natural and cultural heritage, inter alia, ASV features in much of the research and practices, products and outputs immanent to these areas of knowledge and expertise. As well as conceptualising, supporting and securing funding for transdisciplinary projects, the ASV network seeks to nurture ECRs and MCRs in their career progression and encourage BU academics to network and explore ambitious, mutually beneficial cross-fertilisations from an ASV perspective which they may not have considered previously.
If you wish to explore how you might become involved in the mission, aims and objectives of the ASV strategic investment area, and ascertain how you might strategically tailor your research for the common good by becoming part of this broad-based, vibrant and dynamic network, please contact me, Nicolette, at, or via MS Teams for an informal chat.
To pique your interest in the strategic investment areas in general, do have a look at the SIA Expression of Interest call for Game-Changing Concepts on the BU Research Blog (on which you shall also find the EoI template: deadline 30 April 2021)

COVID-19 competition: BU call for Expressions of Interest

On 6 April, BU launched a COVID-19 internal competition, with a call for EoIs. This opportunity is open to all staff. The EoI deadline is at 23.59 on Tuesday, 14 April, and the winners will be announced on Tuesday, 20 April.

There are three modest cash prizes available, sponsored by the National Research Centre for Computer Animation in the Faculty of Media and Communication. Successful ideas will be selected to go forward to a second competition in conjunction with the universities of Southampton and Portsmouth. Building on our close regional relationships with an aligned response to the COVID-19 crisis and attendant calls for relevant research is a priority for all institutions right now. We at BU are committed to joining forces with our neighbours at this time.

BU staff can find more details about the call on the expression of interest form.