Category / BU research

NEW: STFC delivery plan 2019

Today sees the launch of the Science and Technology Facility Council’s delivery plan for 2019.

STFC supports research in particle physics, astronomy, nuclear physics, and space science, most of which is undertaken as part of international collaborations. They also plan, design, construct and operate world-class multidisciplinary facilities used by academic and industrial researchers across the remit of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI). Their national facilities (the ISIS Neutron and Muon Source, the Central Laser Facility and Diamond Light Source) are the powerful ‘microscopes’ of the 21st century, imaging matter at the atomic scale. They also drive innovation, leading to the creation of new businesses, supporting the delivery of the UK’s Industrial Strategy and generating wider social and cultural impacts. Their national research and innovation campuses at Harwell and Sci-Tech Daresbury bring together world-leading facilities, academia and business, providing a coherent focus for this activity.


NEW: BBSRC delivery plan 2019

Today sees the launch of Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council’s delivery plan for 2019.

BBSRC has identified three key elements as fundamental to achieving their plan and vision:

Firstly, for BBSRC to be strategic and forward-looking, building on their strong foundations and developing the talent and infrastructure that are key to a vibrant research ecosystem; supporting discovery research and transformative technologies to advance the frontiers of knowledge; building the bioeconomy and ensuring bioscience contributes to addressing strategic 21st-century challenges relating to sustainability of resources, food and agriculture, and health.

Secondly, to build strong partnerships as an open, collaborative, collegiate council. They already partner in many different ways, within UKRI, nationally and internationally, and will use their catalysing and convening power to seize new opportunities to work across traditional boundaries.

Thirdly, to invest in people by continuing to support research careers through studentships and fellowships, as well as nurturing the talent within BBSRC (the people who provide the vital links to our research community and stakeholders), whilst embedding equality, diversity and inclusion in everything they do.


NEW: MRC delivery plan 2019

Today sees the launch of the Medical Research Council’s delivery plan for 2019.

MRC’s mission is to improve human health through world-class medical research, from fundamental science to early clinical trials and preventive medicine. For the good of society, they strive to find better ways to treat and prevent disease and to advance people’s health worldwide. Working in partnership with other UKRI councils, the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and devolved administrations, the NHS, charities and industry, they are a dynamic organisation continually evolving and embracing new opportunities to achieve a mission first framed over a century ago.


NEW: NERC delivery plan 2019

Today sees the launch of Natural and Environmental Research Council’s delivery plan for 2019.

NERC science is essential to forming and delivering policy that makes it possible for the environment, people and businesses to succeed together. The UK public recognise this work as critically important and in their consciousness it is only matched by future health challenges, to which environmental considerations are increasingly linked. According to NERC’s 2017 Public Attitudes survey, 76% of the public want to understand more about the science they fund.


NEW: ESRC Delivery Plan 2019

Today sees the launch of Economic and Social Research Council’s delivery plan for 2019.

All the key opportunities and challenges for the UK have people and behaviour at their core. Raising productivity, realising the full potential of medical and technological advances, coping with an ageing population, addressing climate change and improving public services will all require a rich understanding of how individuals, firms, markets, communities and governments behave and interact.

ESRC supports social science that generates this rich understanding.


NEW: EPSRC Delivery Plan 2019

Today sees the launch of Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council’s new Delivery Plan.

To realise their vision, this delivery plan (DP) identifies three complementary high-level objectives. First, they aim to generate economic impact and social prosperity by exploiting their existing and future research base to deliver a productive, connected, healthy, resilient nation. Second, they will unlock the potential of engineering and physical sciences research by stimulating and challenging the research community to open up new areas of science, as well as by supporting talented people and strengthening engagement with research users and business. Third, they aim to enrich the engineering and physical sciences landscape by providing the foundations for world-class research, which means attracting the most talented researchers, providing state-of-the-art research infrastructure at laboratory and national scale, and managing their portfolio so they can rapidly position themselves in new, ground-breaking areas. They have also identified four priorities associated with each of these three high-level objectives and developed a suite of near-term actions for each priority.


NEW: UKRI Delivery Plan 2019

Today sees the launch of UK Research and Innovation’s new Delivery Plan. This is an overarching delivery plan and you can find here individual delivery plans for all of the nine funding bodies that come under UKRI.

UK Research and Innovation has unveiled how it will spend £7.46 billion in 2019-20, while it continues to roll out ambitious plans on interdisciplinary research, open access, research integrity and skills. You can find an overview of the delivery plans on the new site for Research Professional.

Using Creative Research Methods

Tuesday 18th June 09:00 – 16:30 Talbot Campus

The choice of the most appropriate methodology to use is crucial to a project’s success and requires the researcher to have a sound grasp of the alternative approaches available to them. This workshop explores creative and arts-based methods, research using technology, mixed methods, transformative research frameworks,  creative data analysis, and will involve designing research and preparing a presentation.

The aim of the workshop is to provide you with an increased awareness of the four pillars of creative research methods;  help you assess which methods may be most appropriate in your research practice; and give you increased confidence in the use of creative research methods .

More information and the link for bookings are on the staff intranet.

Dr. Helen Kara has been an independent research since 1999. She has a background of employment in the private, public, and voluntary sectors, and now undertakes commissioned research and evaluation, mainly for public and voluntary sector organisations and partnerships. Her research areas are social care, health, and the voluntary/third sector.

NIHR Clinical Research Network Portfolio

The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) is one of the largest funders of clinical research in Europe and have a number of funding streams that you can apply for in order to conduct health-related research. The NIHR then has a number of Clinical Research Networks or ‘CRNs’ that are spread out to each region of England. The local CRN is Wessex, based in Hedge End, Southampton.

The ‘Portfolio’

At the heart of CRN activities is the NIHR CRN Portfolio of studies. This consists of high-quality clinical research studies that are eligible for consideration for support from the CRN in England. Adoption onto the portfolio has a number of benefits for researchers, such as help in identifying potential research sites, access to patients and the public to carry out ‘PPI‘ and advice on recruitment strategy at any point during the study. The CRN offers support to researchers via their Study Support Service and likewise via each portfolio manager and their team. You can see a breakdown of each portfolio here on the Wessex CRN page.

The Portfolio and the NHS

Portfolio adoption is usually vital to participating NHS Trusts when considering the research studies they wish to undertake, as they are reimbursed for the resource given to conduct the study (e.g. research nurse support, data manager time). As a result, it is strongly advised that external funding is considered for BU clinical research projects – the amount of funding doesn’t have to be substantial.

Each CRN is given a budget for the financial year by the NIHR, which is then distributed to sites based on their recruitment figures.


In order to be eligible for portfolio adoption, there are three criteria a study must meet:

  • The study must be ‘research’ (this is stipulated, as often what’s classed as research outside the NHS setting, is sometimes a service evaluation, quality improvement etc. within the NHS – see this table);
  • Have appropriate ethical approval; and Health Research Authority (HRA) Approval where required;
  • Have full research funding – this has to have been awarded via open competition and by the NIHR, other areas of central Government, or an NIHR non-commercial partner (for which there is a list). If the study has received support from multiple funders, then it will be still considered automatically eligible, if one of the funding streams is the NIHR, an area of central Government or a non-commercial partner.

You can read more about study eligibility here, including research funded by overseas partners.

The Portfolio and BU

The source of research funding is the principal determinant of eligibility for NIHR CRN support and so it is encouraged that researchers seek external funding where possible and appropriate, from the NIHR, another area of central Government or one of their non-commercial partners. The amount of funding doesn’t need to substantial in order to be eligible.

For any queries to do with the portfolio or for guidance regarding implementing your research in a healthcare setting, take a look at the Clinical Governance blog. You can also get in touch with BU’s Research Ethics team with any queries.

EPSRC seeking council members

UK Research and Innovation brings together the seven Research Councils, Innovate UK and Research England. We work to ensure the UK maintains its world-leading position in research and innovation.

Each Council is led by an Executive Chair, supported by a council of between five and 12 members.

The councils have a pivotal role in ensuring the success of UK Research and Innovation, helping it achieve its strategic objectives to be the single, strong voice of UK research and innovation, and building on our world-leading reputation.

The council members have a range of expertise and experience in research and innovation across higher education, industry and commerce, policy and/or civil society reflecting different characteristics and professional backgrounds. The exact membership takes into account the specific needs of each council.

EPSRC logoEPSRC as part of UK Research and Innovation is using Green Park to recruit two additional posts, looking for individuals who are either active researchers in a fundamental area of EPSRC‘s remit or who are a user of EPSRC research from an industrial or government perspective. If you have relevant expertise and experience Green Park would like to hear from you. To view the candidate brief and how to apply please visit the Green Park council recruitment page.

The closing date is 12 noon on 22 July 2017.