Category / EPSRC

*New* Full Economic Cost thresholds for research and knowledge exchange (RKE) activity

A review of BU’s research and knowledge exchange activity demonstrated that over the past three years BU’s RKE income met c. 80% of the full economic costs (fEC) of the projects. The review also looked at the fEC thresholds and found they were out of date and unrealistic, for example, a number of the thresholds did not match the funding models provided by funders.

The Research Performance and Management Committee (RPMC) have therefore approved changes to the fEC thresholds for RKE activities at BU. The new thresholds have been chosen to make it easier to work with organisations on RKE projects that will benefit society. Moreover, the new thresholds set realistic expectations for working with a range of funders so that research activity is sustainable at BU.

In addition to the thresholds, the RPMC has confirmed an expectation that all new costs to the project (Directly Incurred costs) must be covered by the income to be received from the funder. Ideally the income will be sufficient to also provide a contribution to the other costs to the project (i.e. existing staff time and overheads). This will enable BU to ensure RKE activities are financially viable and sustainable.

The new thresholds set a minimum fEC recovery rate by funder/activity type (see Table 1). They should be discussed with your Funding Development Officer at the start of the bidding process and before any conversations take place with external organisations/partners. All Principal Investigators will be asked to design their projects around meeting or exceeding these minimum thresholds and making sure the Directly Incurred costs will be covered. This may not be possible for all funding schemes. Where there is a strategic reason for applying to such a scheme and there is no alternative funder (such as some prestigious fellowship schemes) then this should be discussed with your Funding Development Officer who will advise on options.

If you have any queries about what this will mean for your research, please contact Ehren Milner (emilner@bournemouth.ac.uk).

COVID-19 funding and research

To support the response to COVID-19 the Research Design Service South West (RDS SW) has put together a useful resource page to help researchers. This includes relevant funding calls as well as more general information about the pandemic.

Don’t forget, your local branch of the NIHR RDS is based within the BU Clinical Research Unit (BUCRU)

The BUCRU/RDS office is currently closed due to Coronavirus.  Staff are still working and able to offer research advice remotely, call us on 01202 961939 or send us an email.

A three-day Sandpit focused on Digital Technologies for Health and Care

UKRI have announced an opportunity to apply to attend a sandpit on Digital technologies for Health and Care.

This is the first sandpit in a series of three which will be advertised over the next three years.

The theme for this sandpit is novel digital technologies for improved self-monitoring and health management. The sandpit will run over three days starting mid-morning on Tuesday 30 June 2020 and finishing mid-afternoon on Thursday 02 July 2020.

Key dates:

  • Call announced: February 2020
  • Call close (expressions of interest): 04 May 2020
  • Participant Selection panel: May 2020
  • Sandpit: 30 June-02 July 2020
  • Funding Application Deadline: w/c 14 September 2020
  • Funding Announcement: Before 30 September 2020

For more details please visit EPSRC web page or contact your RDS Research Facilitator for further assistance.

EPSRC supporting flexible research careers

EPSRC logoWhether you want to continue with existing university or external activities, have caring responsibilities or are returning from a career break, EPSRC is committed to provide support both as part of your initial application and should your situation change over the course of your grant. With this in mind, we welcome applications from academics who job share, have a part-time contract, or need flexible working arrangements.

Read EPSRC’s blog post on this topic to see what’s available to you as an applicant and existing grant holder.

In addition, EPSRC wish to ensure the support they offer is flexible in practice as well as in principle, and are interested to hear your views. Throughout April they will have a survey open where you can share your experiences of where their support has and has not worked for you and help them improve their guidance and policy. A separate survey is available for students.

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.

Funding opportunity : Manufacturing the Future: Standard Research Proposals

EPSRC logo

The EPSRC Manufacturing the Future theme invites standard research proposals for consideration at a manufacturing-focused prioritisation panel. A standard Manufacturing panel will be held every quarter (subject to sufficient demand). Proposals for any panel should address key research challenges facing manufacturing in the UK today and in the future. This activity is intended to highlight the theme’s long term ambition to increase the number of investigator- led research ideas we support.

The Manufacturing the Future theme has prioritised funding to support investigator-led research ideas in manufacturing, with up to £3 million per panel available (dependent on demand and quality of proposals). Should there be insufficient demand we reserve the right for proposals to be considered at the most appropriate capability theme panel meeting.

The next batching dates are:

  • 16:00 on 11 April 2019
  • 16:00 on 23 July 2019 (To be confirmed)

The batching dates are being published to help the manufacturing community plan and submit standard proposals. They are not deadlines but used by the Manufacturing the Future Theme to assess the level of demand in each quarter.

It is strongly recommended that proposals are submitted before the batching dates to ensure there is enough time for the peer-review process to be completed. Proposals submitted after this date, or those that do not have sufficient reviews in time for the panel, will be assessed by the most appropriate capability theme panel at a later date (i.e. Engineering, ICT, Physical Sciences or Mathematics).

Please see below a summary of this funding call :

Funding available : £3 million

Deadline : Open (However, it is suggested that applications be submitted in accordance with batching dates closing deadlines)

Please see this link for more information about this funding opportunity.