Category / EU

Welcome to the EU section of the blog! Emily Cieciura (BU’s Research Facilitator – EU and International), Jo Garrad (Funding Development Manager) and Dianne Goodman (Funding Development Co-ordinator) together try to take the pain out of finding and applying for EU funding by horizon scanning many sources and placing the most important information on this page.

We blog as often as possible on everything from calls for proposals and partner searches, to networking event opportunities, all the latest on Horizon 2020 and international funding. We also use the blog to disseminate information on EUADS (BU’s EU academic training initiative), how to write brilliant proposals, how to find partners and other top tips!

Natural-hazards research should focus on developing countries, says new report

International research funding for the societal impact of natural hazards should be more focused on developing countries and under-funded themes such as droughts, landslides and flash floods, finds a review funded by the UK Collaborative on Development Sciences, the DfID and RCUK. Societal Impacts of Natural Hazards: A review of international research funding argues that if research attention is to “match relative risk” it should be directed towards developing countries most at risk from natural hazards, such as those in sub-Saharan Africa. Support for research in developing countries, it says, could come through partnerships between local research institutions and those from elsewhere in the world. The report also recommends the development of “urgency funding” so that research can be carried out quickly after a disaster has struck—in “real time”.

European Food Safety Authority – Call for Proposals

The European Food Safety Authority invites proposals on gathering consumption data on specific consumer groups of energy drinks. The project should collect data on the consumption of energy drinks and specific ingredients, including caffeine and glucuronolactone, in relation to member state consumers aged three to 10 years, 10 to 18 years and 18 to 65 years. The budget for this call is €100,000 over 12 months; see the website for more info.

FP7 Smart Cities info being broadcast live today!

A reminder that the Smart Cities Initiative launch event, today the 21 June 2011, will be broadcast online. At a later stage, this initiative may evolve into a European Innovation Partnership (EIP).  Topics on Smart Cities are expected to be included in the 2012 Work Programme in the FP7 Co-operation Energy Theme, which is expected to be published on 20 July 2011. Those who are interested in applying for future ‘Smart Cities and Communities’ calls for proposals might wish to check the participant list for possible project partners.

Funding for CO2 storage, security, rural policy, climate adaptation and climate policy

Climate Action funding is available for a range of tenders, relating to the geological storage of CO2, security measures used by the financial sector, the optimal development of rural policy, EU strategies for climate change adaptation and policy development and assessment in relation to climate change. Funding is worth up to €230,000 over 36 months for CO2 storage proposals, up to €250,000 over six months for financial sector studies, up to €400,000 over 12 months for rural projects, up to €700,000 over 15 months for climate change adaptation and up to €2.5 million over 12 months for climate policy actions.

EU funding for water, energy and land use statistics

Eurostat invites proposals for a range of tenders exploring statistics in relation to water use in developing countries, agro-agricultural land use, national statistical systems and energy. Funding is worth up to €100,000 over 12 months for water statistics projects, €10.7 million over 21 months for land use projects and €75,000 over 12 months for NSS research. For energy research up to €300,000 over 12 months is available, divided into three contracts, or up to €270,000 over 30 months, divided into three contracts, depending on the lot selected. View the full details for these calls by performing a Funding Search for 1162932, 1162933, 1162934 or 1162955 in the Full Text field.

Funding available for EU sustainable development indicators & audiovisual production and statistics

Eurostat has funding available for two topics:

Tenders submitted under ‘Publications and an audiovisual production on European Union sustainable development indicators‘ should  review the knowledge relating to this field in the EU by carrying out conceptual work and analyses and drawing up a draft manual as a citizens’ guide to assessing sustainable development. Funding is worth up to €200,000 over six months and the deadline is 28.07.11.

Tenders submitted under EU Statistics should focus on income and living conditions methodological studies and publications; statistics on high-tec industries, knowledge-based services and human resources in science and tehcnology; statistics on innovation; patent statistics, with a focus on patenting by SMEs; methodological development of statistics on crime and criminal justice. The overall budget for this call is €1.75 million over 36 months and the deadline is 28.07.11.

Universities need public-private funds to boost innovation, says Committee of the Regions

According to president of the Committee of the Regions Mercedes Bresso in the , universities are drivers of regional development and innovation, and should be encouraged to set up partnerships with businesses through joint public and private innovation funds and in addition to using Structural Funds for regional development more strategically, loans, venture capital and credits should be more easily accessible to small companies to boost technology transfer.

The advantages of winning EU funding: BU’s Sherry Jeary shares her experiences

“I spent the first three months of this year sitting in REC, a software engineering company  in Wroclaw, Poland doing the job of a Software Engineer. So what is unusual about that? I am a Senior Lecturer in Software Engineering and have, for the first time in my career, had complete immersion in a company doing the subject I research, talk to students about, enthuse with colleagues about and generally bore my outside friends about. As part of the INFER project headed up by Bogdan Gabrys which is creating a complex, predictive, adaptive system, I have had an opportunity that rarely comes an academics way. I got to live in Wroclaw, had fun getting about in a beautiful part of Poland and really enjoyed being among the Polish people. ( I would also recommend the Bison grass Vodka J).

As a result I have already written a conference paper and had it accepted whilst a journal paper will follow. I will have two very useful case studies which I can discuss with colleagues and have learnt a great deal about the processes involved in the company (my particular research interest). I am advising the company on the ways that they can improve what they are doing – so it is a two way thing. Finally, as a result of the project my network has expanded considerably with both academics and industrialists.  I can see how I may need change my teaching strategy to respond to what is happening in the real world and I am well placed to consider applying for funding with my company colleagues in the future to continue the work I have started.

At a recent meeting discussing our strategy for BU’s engagement with Europe,  I was surprised to hear that many academics were either not interested or were nervous of starting out in the EU. I agreed to write about my current journey. If you work at BU and want to find out more, let me know. I am happy to help.”

Another Marie Curie success story

Three Marie Curie calls are currently open, and following our blogpost by Rudy Gozlan on how to successfully win a Marie Curie grant, we also wanted to highlight  Prof Bogdan Gabrys (DEC) success through this scheme.

Bogdan is coordinating the INFER project involving 25 academics from organisations in three different countries. INFER stands for Computational Intelligence Platform for Evolving and Robust Predictive Systems and is a project funded by the European Commission within the Marie Curie Industry and Academia Partnerships & Pathways (IAPP) programme, with a runtime from July 2010 until June 2014.

 

 

Want to gain a Marie Curie Fellowship? Our 4-times winner shares his experience

Three EC Marie Curie calls are currently open and having successful won a whopping fourMarie Curie fellowship awards, BU’s Professor Rudy Gozlan (ApSci) shares the secret to success:

 

I secured my first Marie Curie fellow in 2003 and since have repeated it four times with the latest fellow programmed to join Bournemouth University in September 2011 (Polish researcher). What I have noticed in the last few years is a sharp increase in the number of applicants as a result of the level of competition. It is not good enough to have a very good candidate and a very good proposal, you will need to reach excellence in both the candidate and the proposal as only scores above 91% have a real chance of being funded. Having said that, if you secure a fellowship you are guaranteed success during the two years of the fellowship as these candidates need little supervision (they are the elite of Europe after all) and they provide an extremely effective vector for mentoring among your PhD student community. In addition, once they return home they often secure top positions which will help you building an effective network of collaborators for further EU research proposals. So, if you are planning to secure a MCF where do you start?

First, you need to find a successful candidate. They are many ways you could do this, through international conferences when you spot a good talk from a junior researcher, you can approach them and discuss whether they have considered doing a post-doc. Also, you can contact your colleagues in other EU institutions and ask whether they have a good PhD student near completion and offer to develop a collaborative Marie Curie Fellowship (MCF) application, including your colleague in the steering group. Colleagues always like the opportunity to be involved in research excellence and know they would then have a good case for recruiting their student after a two year MCF. However, recruiting the student is only the first step of the process; you now need to develop an excellent proposal. An excellent proposal is not only an excellent scientific case; all categories such as “Impact”, “Training” etc are extremely important. Over the years we have established a template which we improve from year to year (I can provide some of the successful applications if needed). You cannot afford to rushed a single criteria of the application as this will make the difference between being funded (>91%) and failing.

Finally, these proposals are extremely time consuming so it is not something you decide at the last minute. I generally approach my potential students in December (although I generally have a pretty good idea of who I want) and start drafting the proposal in March. I personally never let the candidates develop their own proposal as I often have a better understanding of what could be funded and what could not. It has, for example, to be within your expertise but it also needs to complement the candidates own expertise while still not being too far away from his/her existing area of research. The proposal needs to appear to provide the candidate with a new set of skills that will become relevant when (s)he returns home and help him/her secure a position. As such the proposal needs to clearly demonstrate how this MCF will bridge this skill gap. It is also important to secure a good supervisory team which will provide a guarantee of research quality and give confidence to the reviewers that the student will be in a leading research environment.

Finally, even if you were unsuccessful you shouldn’t ditch your proposal but rather resubmit it the following year with either a new candidate if the candidate received a poor mark (you need to be ruthless) or keep the candidate and carefully address the reviewers’ comments.

Finally, I will bid for another MCF this year with a Portuguese student so if you would like further tips get in touch, otherwise I wish you good luck.

There are currently three MCF calls open – read about them here. If you would like to discuss a possible submission to any of these calls, please contact Corrina Dickson in the Research Development Unit.

For St Andrews, the answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind

St Andrews University is seeking permission to build a windfarm to generate all its power.  The institution’s energy bills have tripled since 2005 to £5.4 million a year, and doing nothing is “not an option”, it said in a statement on 2 June.  The University has submitted a proposal to Fife Council to develop a six-turbine, 12-megawatt windfarm at the university-owned Kenly Farm, Boarhills.

The Scottish National Party has previously pledged to generate 100 per cent of the country’s electricity needs from renewables by 2020.

FP7 Galileo: Presentation on EGNOS and Galileo

A presentation shown at a recent event by the Global Navigation Satellite Systems Supervisory Authority is now available.  The Executive Director gave an update on the state of play within the Galileo and EGNOS programmes.  Also available is a copy of the GNSS market report which sets out the opportunities for the exploitation of GNSS technologies and applications.

Not yet signed up to UKRO? It takes only a few minutes – read more on our blogpost

Study on: ICT Concepts for Optimisation of Mobility in Smart Cities

The European Commission, Information Society and Media DG, has published a call for tenders regarding ICT concepts for optimisation of mobility in smart cities.

The study will assess the impact of urban policy objectives on the need for research and innovation in Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in the area of transport. ICT-based mobility services for goods in urban and inter-urban environments should also be taken into account.

Duration must not exceed 6 months
The total price quoted cannot exceed €200,000
Deadlines: Request for Information 21 July 2011 and Submission 29 July 2011

Not yet signed up to UKRO? It takes only a few minutes – read more on our blogpost

Land as an environmental resource

The tenderer will assess current land use, its functions and its potential for improvement, as well as the risks of excess demand for biotic production in relation to environmental policy and recommendations for ecosystem damage reduction and more efficient use of land resources. Funding is worth approximately €220,000 over 12 months.  Further information can be found here.

Closing date: 4 July 2011

Study on “Pressures and Measures in the major river basin management plans in the EU”

The European Commission has published a call for tenders for a comparative study of pressures and measures in the major river basin management plans in the EU.

The study will gather, in a structured way, information on pressures and measures in the river basin management plans, and on the following topics related to river basin management: governance, agriculture, hydromorphology, intercalibration, specific pollutants, typologies, drinking water protected areas, costs and benefits, enforcement and control systems, and innovation. It will also compare the information in order to provide a Europe-wide overview on the aforementioned topics.

The publication will contribute to the development of the 2012 Blueprint to Safeguard Europe’s Waters.

Funding is worth between €1.45 million and €1.5 million over 12 months

Deadline: 4 July 2011