Category / Guidance

Looking for a Challenge?

Bournemouth University invites expressions of interest from internationally recognised mid-career to senior researchers who currently work outside the UK, and are active within the social sciences and humanities who wish to apply for the British Academy Global Fellowship scheme (BAGF).

The purpose of the Global Professorships is to enable world-class scholars to further their individual research goals while strengthening the UK research base and advancing the research goals and strategies of their UK host universities. Each four-year appointment is intended to be a complete project in itself and is expected to involve a specific research focus.

More information about the scheme will be available presently from the British Academy. There are strict eligibility requirements and potential candidates are advised to check these carefully.

Candidates who intend to apply for a BA BAGF at Bournemouth University as the host institution are asked to submit the following BA EOI form – Prof 2018  application to apekalski@bournemouth.ac.uk no later than 27th November 2018.

There is no guarantee that applications which arrive after this date will be supported or processed.

 

Procedure For applicants applying through Bournemouth University

Should you be interested in applying through Bournemouth University for a BAGF, please note that your expression of interest application will be assessed by the relevant Faculty in the first instance.

Once your application has been approved by Faculty, it will be sent for internal review. The panel will be convening on the 13th December 2018, and candidates can expect feedback by 4th December 2018.

If your application has been approved, the research facilitator responsible will work with you on your application.

The internal deadline for submitting applications via the BA’s Flexi-Grant system will be 5 working days before the external BA deadline (28 February 2019) – this is to allow time for institutional approval of your application, a requirement by the British Academy.

If you have further questions or queries please contact lease contact apekalski@bournemouth.ac.uk.

Important update regarding human DNA from acellular materials

The revised Governance Arrangement for Research Ethics Committees document was released recently.

Amongst updates to incorporate legal, policy and operational developments, following a public consultation by the Human Tissue Authority, research involving human DNA extracted from acellular material is now included in the document, as requiring NHS Research Ethics Committee review.

If you are collecting ‘relevant materials‘ and rendering them acellular, then storage of the samples does not require a HTA license – however, a license is required for distribution of the samples, or if you are extracting DNA from these materials.

Please get in touch if you have any queries or wish to discuss the samples being collected/stored at BU.

UKRI GDPR and Research – An Overview for Researchers

It is important that researchers understand what the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) means for them and the personal data that is processed during their research. Compiled with the support of the Information Commissioner’s Office, the UKRI have provided a GDPR overview for researchers, which sets out guidance and signposts to further sources of information.

Failing to publish data from clinical trials presents risk to human health

A recent inquiry into research integrity was made earlier this year by the Science and Technology Committee, which revealed that nearly half of clinical trials fail to publish their results.

This lack of publishing has been deemed a risk to human health and a contributory factor in research wastage.

The article gives examples of a number of studies that are yet to be published, and how this activity ‘threaten(s) research integrity, and in some cases, endanger(s) human life’. The full article can be found here.

The University has administrative access to the ClinicalTrials.gov system – get in touch with us  if you are conducting clinical research, to ensure that you have access.

Have you been involved with an event designed for the external community?

Then we want to hear from you!

The University is currently compiling the data for the annual Higher Education – Business & Community Interaction survey (HE-BCI) due to be submitted to HESA shortly. Data returned is used to calculate our HEIF grant.

We are asked to submit details of social, cultural and community events designed for the external community (to include both free and chargeable events) which took place between 1 August 2017 and 31 July 2018.

Event types that should be returned include, but are not limited to:

  • public lectures
  • performance arts (dance, drama, music, etc)
  • exhibitions
  • museum education
  • events for schools and community groups
  • business breakfasts

We cannot return events such as open days, Student Union activity, commercial conferences, etc.

All events that we ran as part of the Festival of Learning, ESRC Festival of Social Science and Cafe Scientifique series are likely to be eligible for inclusion and we will collate this information on your behalf centrally.

If you have been involved with any other event which could be returned, please could you email your contact as soon as possible (see below) and confirm: the event name and date, whether it was free or chargeable, the estimated number of attendees, and an estimate of how much academic time was spent preparing for (but not delivering) the event:

  • SciTech – Norman Stock
  • FoM – Rob Hydon
  • HSS – Deirdre Sparrowhawk
  • FMC – Laura Hampshaw
  • Professional Service – Julie Northam (RKEO)

The data returned is used by Research England to allocate the HEIF funding so it is important that we return as accurate a picture as possible.

BA Small Grants – call open 5th Oct 2018

The call for the next round of BA/Leverhulme Small Research Grants will open 5th October 2018 and close 5pm on Wednesday 7th November 2018 and is aimed at Early Career Researcher and/or pump priming purposes.

It is strongly advised that you attend the British Academy small guidance session on 9th October 2018, where the Funding Development team will go through:

  • The British Academy scheme notes for applicants
  • The British Academy  FAQs
  • The British Academy  Assessment Criteria
  • As well as a chance to ask questions from recent British Academy award winners

After the session you will have the chance to sit with a Research Facilitator and Funding Development Officer, to go through costs and your draft proposal.  As well as the opportunity to have your proposal reviewed by an external application reviewer.

If you can’t attend this session, then we ask you to submit your intention to bid form to your Funding Development Officer by 9th October 2018, after this date applications will be moved to the summer round.

The British Academy have provided updated guidance on the small grants – BA scheme notes for applicants and BA FAQs . They have asked that all applicants read the documentation carefully before starting their application.

Timeline

The call closes at 5pm on Wednesday 7th November 2018.

Date Action
5 October 2018 Scheme Opens
9th October RKEO British Academy Guidance session and/or

Intention to bid forms to be submitted to your faculty funding development officer

4th November midnight Nominated referee supporting statement to be completed via FlexiGrant
4th November midnight Your final application must be submitted on FlexiGrant  by this date at the latest
5th – 7th November 2018 Institutional checks to take place by RKEO
7th November 2018 Submission

Any queries please contact Alexandra Pekalski 

EU FIRST Project

A Bournemouth University team from the Faculty of Science and Technology visited University of Groningen for FIRST mid-term review. It was a very productive meeting with a lot of effective outcomes for research and knowledge exchange. Dr. Lai Xu and Dr. Paul de Vrieze are FIRST coordinators representing Bournemouth University and the team is pleased to announce that FIRST will continue to move towards a factory of the future for European Union.

If you want to know more about the project and get involved, please contact Dr. Lai Xu or Dr. Paul de Vrieze. You can also follow our social medial links on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube Channel.

During the mid-term review meeting, the FIRST EU project advisor Irina Elena Tiron giving a talk on RISE projects. A useful instrument for researchers in EU (and beyond).

BA Small Research Grants opens 5th Oct 2018

The call for the next round of BA/Leverhulme Small Research Grants will open 5th October 2018 and close 5pm on Wednesday 7th November 2018 and is aimed at Early Career Researcher and/or pump priming purposes.

It is strongly advised that you attend the British Academy small guidance session on 9th October 2018, where the Funding Development team will go through:

  • The British Academy scheme notes for applicants
  • The British Academy  FAQs
  • The British Academy  Assessment Criteria
  • As well as a chance to ask questions from recent British Academy award winners

After the session you will have the chance to sit with a Research Facilitator and Funding Development Officer, to go through costs and your draft proposal.  As well as the opportunity to have your proposal reviewed by an external application reviewer.

If you can’t attend this session, then we ask you to submit your intention to bid form to your Funding Development Officer by 9th October 2018, after this date applications will be moved to the summer round.

The British Academy have provided updated guidance on the small grants – BA scheme notes for applicants and BA FAQs . They have asked that all applicants read the documentation carefully before starting their application.

Timeline

The call closes at 5pm on Wednesday 7th November 2018.

Date Action
5 October 2018 Scheme Opens
9th October RKEO British Academy Guidance session and/or

Intention to bid forms to be submitted to your faculty funding development officer

4th November midnight Nominated referee supporting statement to be completed via FlexiGrant
4th November midnight Your final application must be submitted on FlexiGrant  by this date at the latest
5th – 7th November 2018 Institutional checks to take place by RKEO
7th November 2018 Submission

Any queries please contact Alexandra Pekalski 

How to avoid being late

I published the updated late submissions procedure earlier this week.  I thought it might be useful to those applying for funding to have a few tips on how to avoid being late:

  • Plan out your research for the year, five years and even ten years – the RKEO Research Facilitators can help you with this by discussing your career progression, the impact you want your research to have both short- and long-term, and opportunities available to support you with your research plans
  • Ensure your Research Professional searches are up-to-date and finding the opportunities for you – RKEO Funding Development Officers can help you set up searchers that ensure you get the heads-up on what’s coming up
  • Look for schemes where there are multiple calls and plan realistically for the call deadline that suits you – you don’t have to go for the one in two weeks’ time when there is another in 3 months’ time
  • Look for opportunities to attend funder town meetings/information days for specific calls/ schemes – not only are these great opportunities to get a heads up on what calls are coming out soon but it is also an opportunity to network and find potential research collaborations
  • If you require partners to support your research, ensure these are in place and on board with your plans before considering applying. Similarly, ensure your research team are in place and can support you with the application preparation
  • Don’t put yourself under unnecessary pressure – start writing down your case for support and research ideas before looking for the right funding opportunity
  • Talk to your HoD and peers about what you want to achieve – they will be able to offer you support and can provide peer review
  • Take up the opportunities available under the RKEDF to help you with application writing or attend our STEAMLabs to form interdisciplinary, collaborative groups – these are both great opportunities to network and form new partnerships for future research applications
  • Get all those involved in a proposal on board before writing, especially if the funder has e-submission. Ensure investigators are registered on the e-submission sites; ensure CVs are updated for all those required; ensure letters of support from partners include a recent date, are on headed paper, and are signed; and make sure that any BU letters of support are drafted and that those who will sign it know what your application is about and what support you’re asking BU for.
  • TIME – this is the biggest thing you need! – to ensure your application stands a good chance of success you need to think through your objectives and ensure they’re well defined, make your hypothesis clear, consider the impact of your research, include relevant preliminary data, tell a compelling story, and justify your methods.  See the 12 top tips for writing a grant application provided by the MRC when they visited BU last year.

We’re here to support you and so do get in touch with your RKEO colleagues as soon as you have an idea.

Procedures for late submission of external research and KE applications

The procedures for late submissions of external research and knowledge exchange applications has been updated to provide greater clarification. The updated procedure can be found on the staff intranet here.  This now contains useful links to the standard process when applying, as well as the financial regulations and explanations of full economic costing.  The Faculty Executive Deans have also provided their support to the procedure.

RKEO will endeavour to support and submit all applications where possible.  We recognise that some funders will give short-notice of a call and that there may be other circumstances where sufficient notice cannot be given.  However, all applications, regardless of time to submit, have to go through the same costing and approval process and there is an expectation that only good quality and competitive applications should be submitted.  Applicants should also note that time has to be factored in for Faculty Executives and/or UET to read and sign-off final submissions (these are busy people who spend a lot of time in meetings).  RKEO will be flexible where we can for those exceptional cases.

If you have any queries then please contact Jo Garrad, RKEO Funding Development Manager.

 

Publish Open Access in Springer Journals for Free!

BU has an agreement with Springer which enables its authors to publish articles open access in one of the Springer Open Choice journals at no additional cost.

There are hundreds of titles included in this agreement, some of which are – Hydrobiologia, European Journal of Nutrition, Annals of Biomedical Engineering, Climatic Change, Marine Biology and the Journal of Business Ethics. A full list of the journals included can be found here

To make sure that your article is covered by this new agreement, when your article has been accepted for publication, Springer will ask you to confirm the following:

  • My article has been accepted by an Open Choice eligible journal
  • I am the corresponding author (please use your institutional email address not your personal one)
  • I am affiliated with an eligible UK institution (select your institutions name)
  • My article matches one of these types: OriginalPaper, ReviewPaper, BriefCommunication or ContinuingEducation

Springer will then verify these details with us and then your article will be made available in open access with a CC BY licence.

Please note that 30 Open Choice journals are not included in this agreement as they do not offer CC BY licensing.

If you have any questions about the agreement or the process, please contact OpenAccess@bournemouth.ac.uk

Plan S – Making Open Access a reality by 2020

On 4 September 2018, 11 national research funding organisations, with the support of the European Commission including the European Research Council (ERC), announced the launch of cOAlition S, an initiative to make full and immediate Open Access to research publications a reality. It is built around Plan S, which consists of one target and 10 principles.

cOAlition S signals the commitment to implement, by 1 January 2020, the necessary measures to fulfil its main principle: “By 2020 scientific publications that result from research funded by public grants provided by participating national and European research councils and funding bodies, must be published in compliant Open Access Journals or on compliant Open Access Platforms.”

Further information on cOAlition S can be found here – https://www.scienceeurope.org/coalition-s/

Some reactions can be found here –

LERU

Nature

Science

STM

Intention to Bid Form & Annexures for Quality Approval

As part of the internal approval process for external funding applications, it was agreed by all Faculties (and subsequently recorded in the BU Financial Regulations) that the following is mandatory:

  1. An Intention to Bid Form must be lodged with RKEO; and
  2. When emailed to RKEO, the PI must cc. his/her Head of Research/ Department with the ITB Form.

To help streamline processes and procedures, all Faculties will make use of this Intention to Bid Form, alongside a faculty specific AQA Annexure document to indicate the chosen Quality Approval method (please ask your Funding Development Officers for your Faculty AQA Annexure or for more information about this process).

RKEO’s Funding Development Team is available to provide pre-award support and their contact details can be found on the Research Blog. Should you have any difficulty in accessing the documents on the Staff Intranet, please request them from us and we will send you a copy.

Open Research Day – Today!!

Today colleagues will be available on both campuses to answer all your queries in regards to Open Research.

We’ll be in BG11 on Lansdowne between 9 and 12pm and FG04 on Talbot between 1 and 4pm.

Pop on down… there is cake! 🙂

 

 

 

Political Updates

 A smorgasbord of content for you this week – rifle through to find the topics most of interest to you. We’ve got: pollinators, research integrity, mental health, nursing news, plastic waste, several new funded competitions from the Government, praise for the arts and creative sectors, smart energy systems, immersive technologies, the Industrial Strategy’s Grand Challenges, tackling social challenges, Guidance from Innovate UK and on Horizon 2020, an important survey on international students, new Royal Society Fellows, an article on the AI brain drain, and the forthcoming Environmental Principles and Governance Bill. Enjoy!

 

Pollinators

On Tuesday Ben Bradley (Conservative, Mansfield) made his case for a Private Members’ Bill to make provision about the protection of pollinators. Permission to progress the Bill was granted and our regional MP Oliver Letwin will take part in presenting the bill.

 

Research Integrity

Sam Gyimah was interviewed for the Commons Science and Technology Select Committee investigation into research integrity. The committee heard that universities should be held responsible for the full compliance of upholding standards of research integrity but the Minister for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation declined to assert that funding should be dependent on this. Other topics covered included concordant sign up, self-assessment and disclosure in clinical trials. Read the full summary of the session provided by Dods Consultants here.

 

Mental Health

The Commons Education, Health and Social Care Committees have published their response to the inquiry on young people’s mental health: The Government’s Green Paper on mental health: failing a generation.   An oral parliamentary question was also asked on the topic on Tuesday:

Q – Helen Whately: I welcome the Green Paper on mental health in schools, which was published earlier this year, but it does prompt a question about the mental health of students in further and higher education. Does my right hon. Friend have any plans to look into that issue? If he does not, may I urge him to do so?

A – Jackie Doyle-Price: I thank my hon. Friend for her question and her continued industry on these matters. As she mentioned, the Green Paper outlined plans to set up a new national strategic partnership focused on improving the mental health of 16 to 25-year-olds. That partnership is likely to support and build on sector-led initiatives in higher education, such as Universities UK’s #stepchange project, whose launch I attended in September. The strategy calls on higher education leaders to adopt mental health as a strategic priority, to take a whole-university approach to mental health and to embed it across policies, courses and practices.

 

Nursing Places

Nursing has been in the news again this week. A series of oral parliamentary questions reveal the Government’s unwavering approach towards nurse training and on Wednesday there was a debate on the Government’s plans to remove funding from post-graduate converters into nursing (announced in February). The removal affects the two-year course for those who hold degrees in other subjects. It is controversial as this is the fastest way to train a registered nurse and there is currently a shortage of 40,000 nurses in England. The change brings the post-graduate courses in line with the undergraduate nurse training which has already lost the NUS bursary and now falls under the student loan system.

The Commons debate was secured as a result of opposition pressure, following a report by the Lords Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee, which referenced evidence submitted by the Royal College of Nursing (RCN). The RCN arranged for a number of student nurses, who currently receive post-graduate funding, to visit parliament during April to meet MPs and peers and explain what financial support has meant for them.

 

Michael Lawton, who received the NHS post-graduate bursary and is currently working as a registered nurse, said: “Without the bursary I couldn’t have applied and I wouldn’t be in a career I love, giving patients the great care they deserve. I know I make a difference every day.

MPs I’ve spoken to are shocked at how many hours we do in clinical placement. By removing the bursary, the Government is asking people to pay to work on placements to keep the NHS afloat and that isn’t right.

Current post-graduate nursing student Georgie Ellmore-Jones said:

“After my undergraduate degree I was already in a lot of debt. When I looked at pursuing a career in nursing and saw it was funded, it made it more certain in my mind that I wanted to do it. At post-graduate level many of the students have families and children to look after so adding more debt will only discourage potential students.”

 

On Tuesday there were a series of oral questions on nursing to the Minister for Health (Stephen Barclay), his answers reveal the Government’s thinking towards nurse training.

Q – Gill Furniss (Sheffield, Brightside and Hillsborough) & (Lab) Stella Creasy (Walthamstow) (Lab/Co-op) & Stella Creasy (Walthamstow) (Lab/Co-op): What assessment he has made of the effect of the withdrawal of NHS bursaries on applications for nursing degrees.

A – The Minister for Health (Stephen Barclay): Nursing remains a strong career choice, with more than 22,500 students placed during the 2017 UCAS application cycle. Demand for nursing places continues to outstrip the available training places.

Q – Gill Furniss: Figures from the Royal College of Nursing show that applications have fallen by 33% since the withdrawal of bursaries. At the same time, the Government’s Brexit shambles has led to a drastic decline in EU nursing applications. How many years of such decline do we have to see before the Secretary of State and the Minister will intervene?

A – Stephen Barclay: What matters is not the number of rejected applicants, but the increase in places—the number of people actually training to be a nurse. The reality is that 5,000 more nurses will be training each year up to 2020 as a result of the changes.

Q – Stella Creasy: The NHS already has 34,000 nursing vacancies. Given that there has been a 97% drop in nursing applications from the EU and that studies show that nearly half of all hospital shifts include agency nurses, will the Minister at least admit that cutting the bursary scheme has been a false economy for our NHS?

A – Stephen Barclay: It is not a false economy to increase the supply of nurses, which is what the changes have done. Indeed, they form part of a wider package of measures, including “Agenda for Change”, pay rises and the return to practice scheme, which has seen 4,355 starters returning to the profession. More and more nurses are being trained, which is why we now have over 13,000 more nurses than in 2010.

Q – Grahame Morris: I respectfully remind the Minister that this is about recruitment and retention. The RCN says that we can train a postgraduate nurse within 18 months, which is a significant untapped resource, so why are the Government planning to withdraw support from postgraduate nurses training, too?

A – Stephen Barclay: We have a debate involving postgraduate nursing tomorrow, but the intention is to increase the number of such nurses by removing the current cap, which means that many who want to apply for postgraduate courses cannot find the clinical places to do so. That is the nature of tomorrow’s debate, and I look forward to seeing the hon. Gentleman in the Chamber.

Q – Robert Halfon (Harlow) (Con):  Will my hon. Friend, on top of the degree nursing apprenticeships, rapidly increase the nursing apprenticeship programme so nurses can earn while they learn, have no debt and get a skill that they and our country need?

A – Stephen Barclay: My right hon. Friend is absolutely right to signpost this as one of a suite of ways to increase the number of nurses in the profession. As he alludes to, there will be 5,000 nursing apprenticeships this year, and we are expanding the programme, with 7,500 starting next year.

Q – Stephen Lloyd (Eastbourne) (LD): With every reputable independent body showing very clearly that we have a staffing crisis in the NHS nursing profession, can the Minister explain how cutting bursaries actually improves the situation?

A – Stephen Barclay: I am very happy to do so. We are removing the cap on the number of places covered by the bursaries and increasing the number of student places by 25%, which means that there will be 5,000 more nurses in training as a result of these changes.

Q – Dr Philippa Whitford (Central Ayrshire) (SNP): The Secretary of State’s removal of the nursing bursary and introduction of tuition fees have resulted in a 33% drop in applications in England. In Scotland, we have kept the bursary, a carer’s allowance and free tuition, which means that student nurses are up to £18,000 a year better off, and indeed they also earn more once they graduate. Does the Minister recognise that that is why applications in Scotland have remained stable while in England they have dropped by a third?

A- Stephen Barclay: The hon. Lady speaks with great authority on health matters, but, again, she misses the distinction between the number of applicants and the number of nurses in training. It is about how many places are available, and we are increasing by 25% the number of nurses in training. That is what will address the supply and address some of the vacancies in the profession.

Q – Dr Whitford: Workforce is a challenge for all four national health services across the UK, but, according to NHS Improvement, there are 36,000 nursing vacancies in England, more than twice the rate in Scotland. The Minister claims that more nurse students are training, but in fact there were 700 fewer in training in England last year, compared with an 8% increase in Scotland. The key difference is that in Scotland we are supporting the finances of student nurses, so will the Government accept that removing the nursing bursary was a mistake and reintroduce it?

A – Stephen Barclay: The distinction the hon. Lady fails to make is that in England we are increasing the number of nurses in training by 25%; we are ensuring that nurses who have left the profession can return through the return-to-work programme; and we are introducing significant additional pay through “Agenda for Change”. As my right hon. Friend the Member for Harlow (Robert Halfon) said, we are also creating new routes so that those who come into the NHS through other routes, such as by joining as a healthcare assistant, are not trapped in those roles but are able to progress, because the Conservative party backs people who want to progress in their careers. Healthcare assistants who want to progress into nursing should have that opportunity.

Q – Justin Madders (Ellesmere Port and Neston) (Lab): When defending the decision to scrap bursaries, the Secretary of State said that, if done right, it could provide up to 20,000 extra nursing posts by 2020. Well, that figure now looks wildly optimistic, with applications down two years in a row. Is it not time that Ministers admitted they have got this one wrong and joined the Opposition in the Lobby tomorrow to vote against any further extensions to this failed policy?

A – Stephen Barclay: If Members vote against the policy tomorrow, the reality is that they will be voting for a cap on the number of postgraduate nurses going into the system, and therefore they will be saying that more people should be rejected—more people should lose the opportunity to become nurses—because they want to have a cap that restricts the supply of teaching places.

 

Plastics

The Government have announced a new research and innovation hub to tackle plastic waste in the oceans.

 

Arts Projects Support for the North

The PM spoke on Tuesday to praise Britain’s arts sector:

But of course, the value of culture and creativity lies not only in its economic strength. Just as important is the less tangible contribution that it makes to our national life. The work you do brings joy to millions. It fosters unity, gives us a common currency. It helps to define and build our sense of national character.

“Without culture […] society is but a jungle”. Your work is a vital part of our national life and our national economy, and I am absolutely committed to supporting it.

Our ambitious sector deal for the creative industries, announced just before Easter, will see a further £150 million invested by government and industry, spreading success and making the sector fit to face the future.

She also announced a £3 million fund of new money to support creative projects within the Northern Powerhouse region on Tuesday. Offering a mix of grants and loans, the social investment fund will be open to non-profit, community-based organisations that deliver a positive social impact.

Full speech here.

 

Smart Energy Systems

The Government announced £41.5 million funds for design and trial of of new business models that intelligently link supply, storage and demand in heating, power and transport. Thee Innovate UK competition has two elements: up to £40 million is available for 3 smart energy system demonstrators, while up to £1.5 million is available for studies into new, smarter approaches to local energy.

 

Audiences of the Future – Commercial opportunities in the creative industries

The Government has announced a funding competition – Audience of the future: demonstrators opening Monday 21 May. £16 million will be invested in 4 large scale creative industries demonstrator projects (£5-£10 million each) through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund. It aims to explore future global, mass market, commercial opportunities in the creative industries. Primarily this will be through pre-commercial collaboration at scale. Projects should significantly improve the current state of art in their field. The projects must explore new ways of communication with mass audiences (100,000+) using new immersive technologies and experiences that are a significant advancement on the state of art in the chosen area. The high level of innovation and scale should be capable of transforming the sector and replicable across the creative industries. The project should generate audience and consumer information that could be used to test the viability of new business models. The Government suggests that areas with strong potential could include moving images, access to live sporting events, visitor experiences in museums and galleries, and music and theatre performance.  See here for more information.

A further £1 million is available for early-stage projects (£20-60k) that seek to understand customer needs for immersive experiences and the tools needed to deliver them. Early-stage projects should use human-centered design and look at audience behaviour to develop ideas for new products and services. Particular areas could include:

  • advancing the state-of-the-art with immersive experiences that are desirable and fit-for-purpose
  • producing high-quality immersive content cheaper, faster and in a way that is more accessible
  • improving physical devices such as eyewear and controllers, or haptic feedback
  • new digital platforms and services to deliver immersive content

See here for more information on the early-stage projects.

Resolving Social Challenges

On Thursday Oliver Dowden (Minister for Implementation) announced a series of competitions for tech firms to develop solutions tackling current social challenges.  While the initiatives focus on the business sector some of the topics are interesting. Each contributes to the Government’s Grand Challenges – the data economy; clean growth; reducing plastic waster, tackling loneliness and healthy ageing and the future of mobility – the competition is designed to incentivise Britain’s tech firms to come up with innovative solutions to improve public services.

The forthcoming challenges:

  • Identifying terrorist still imagery (Home Office). Home Office research shows that more than two-thirds of terrorist propaganda disseminated online is still imagery. This project will support both Government analysis of, and broader efforts to remove, this harmful material.
  • Tracking waste through the waste chain, submitted by Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA). A new technological approach could help record, check and track waste, helping boost productivity, reduce costs, and protect both human health and the environment.
  • Tackling loneliness and rural isolation, submitted by Monmouthshire Council. The government recognises that rural transport is vital to local communities, and businesses. A technological solution, exploiting vehicles with spare capacity could support rural economies.
  • Cutting traffic congestion, submitted by Department for Transport (DfT). Greater collection and new analysis of data could help target interventions to cut congestion.
  • Local authorities have large numbers of council vehicles crossing their areas every day. If they can be equipped with innovative data capture systems, they could understand potholes, litter, recycling, parking, air quality and more in real-time, every day, for no added cost. This could mean reduced service delivery costs and better local services.

The first of these competitions opens on Monday 14 May and runs for six weeks, with the remaining competitions being launched in subsequent months. Tech firms bidding to the fund will have free rein to create truly innovative fixes. Winning companies will be awarded up to £50,000 to develop their ideas.

 

Guidance

Innovate UK have released general guidance for grant applicants, including applying for a business innovation grant, funding rules and participation levels.

The Government have released guidance on Horizon 2020: what it is and how to apply for funding.

International Students

The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) has been tasked by the Government to assess the impact of international students. Previously they asked for evidence of impact from the HE sector with much response from HE institutions but little response from international students themselves. To redress this evidence gap the MAC have issued a survey directly to students. Universities have been asked to disseminate this survey and encourage their students to complete it. Here is the link.

Environmental Principles and Governance Bill

Michael Gove has announced the introduction of the Environmental Principles and Governance Bill, which will “ensure environmental protections will not be weakened as we leave the EU.” It will introduce a new body to hold the Government to account for environmental outcomes. Subject to consultation, the new body could specifically be responsible for:

  • providing independent scrutiny and advice on existing and future government environmental law and policy;
  • responding to complaints about government’s delivery of environmental law; and
  • holding government to account publicly over its delivery of environmental law and exercising enforcement powers where necessary.The Government is also consulting on an intention to require minister to produce a “statutory and comprehensive policy statement setting out how they will apply core environmental principles as they develop policy and discharge their responsibilities”. The new Bill will also ensure Government’s continue to have to regard environmental principlesRoyal SocietyArtificial Intelligence
  • The Financial Times has an article: UK universities alarmed by poaching of top computer science brains.
  • Wonkhe report that: 50 new Royal Society Fellows and Foreign Members have been elected to join the existing c.1,600. They are all scientists, engineers, and technologists who are from, or living and working in, the UK and the Commonwealth. New additions include Jim Al-Khalili, Michelle Simmons and Elon Musk, with David Willetts the Honorary Fellow,. Of the 50 12 are women.
  • The consultation will run for 12 weeks, closing on Thursday 2 August. The draft will be published in the Autumn, and the Bill will be introduced in the second session of this parliament.

Best wishes,

Sarah

British Academy – Intention to bid forms due 2nd May 2018

The call for the next round of BA/Leverhulme Small Research Grants is open. The call closes at 5pm on Wednesday 6th June 2018. Due to the expected high demand, we ask that if you are interested in applying to this call then please send your intention to bid form to your Funding Development Officer by 2nd  May, after this date no new applications will be accepted.

The British Academy have provided updated guidance on the small grants – BA scheme notes for applicants and BA FAQs . They have asked that all applicants read the documentation carefully before starting their application.

Timeline

The call closes at 5pm on Wednesday 6th June 2018.

11th April 2018 Call Opens – start reading guidance
2nd May 2018 Intention to bid forms to be submitted to your faculty funding development officer.
31st May 2018 Nominated referee supporting statement to be completed via FlexiGrant
30th May 2018 Your final application must be submitted on FlexiGrant  by this date at the latest.
31st May -6th June 2018 Institutional checks to take place by RKEO

British Academy Small Grant Call – NOW OPEN

The call for the next round of BA/Leverhulme Small Research Grants is open. The call closes at 5pm on Wednesday 6th June 2018.

The British Academy have provided updated guidance on the small grants – BA scheme notes for applicants and BA FAQs . They have asked that all applicants read the documentation carefully before starting their application.

Due to the expected high demand, we ask that if you are interested in applying to this call then please send your intention to bid form to your Funding Development Officer by 2nd  May, after this date no new applications will be accepted.

Timeline

The call closes at 5pm on Wednesday 6th June 2018.

11th April 2018 Call Opens – start reading guidance
2nd May 2018 Intention to bid forms to be submitted to your faculty funding development officer.
31st May 2018 Nominated referee supporting statement to be completed via FlexiGrant
30th May 2018 Your final application must be submitted on FlexiGrant  by this date at the latest.
31st May -6th June 2018 Institutional checks to take place by RKEO