Tagged / AHRC

2015 Call for Participation. Being Human-A festival of the humanities

 

Led by the School of Advanced Study, University of London, in partnership with the Arts & Humanities Research Council and the British Academy, Being Human is the UK’s only national festival of the humanities. It engages the public with innovative research taking place across the humanities and in collaboration with other disciplines. Demonstrating the role the humanities play in our everyday lives, Being Human aims to make humanities research accessible to the public.

Funding has been made available for universities and Independent Research Organisations to bid for support to stage events during the festival week. The festival runs from 12-22 November 2015. It is anticipated that  each award will be a maximum of £2000. Funding up to £5000 may be considered for proposals of exceptional quality or where institutions will coordinate more than one event. The deadline for applications is 17/04/15. Further details can be found here

 

 

Latest Major Funding Opportunities

The following funding opportunities have been announced. Please follow the links for more information:

Arts and Humanities Research Council

Applications are being can be made to the International Placement Scheme for  short term fellowships to the Yale Center for British ArtThe Huntington Library, The Smithsonian Institution, The Harry Ransom CenterNational Institutes for the Humanities Japan, The Library of Congress and the Shanghai Theatre Academy. Scholars receive a contribution of up to towards their travel, their visa costs paid,  plus a monthly allowance. Closing Date: 15/01/15 at 16:00

Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council

BBSRC/EMBRAPA joint wheat call – pump-priming awards. Together with the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation ( Embrapa) a joint call for collaborative research proposals in wheat research. Up to £75k over a maximum duration of 12 months will be provided to the UK partners. Closing Date: 24/2/15

Economic and Social Research Council

There will be up to six fellowships available as part of the UK in a Changing Europe Senior Fellowships. The aim of the Fellowship programme is to provide evidence and analysis across the broad range of issues and policy areas affected by the UK’s position in a changing European Union (EU). The maximum amount available for each Fellowship is £200,000.  Closing Date: 22/1/15

Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council

The SUPERGEN WIND CHALLENGE 2015 invites proposals for collaborative research projects to undertake fundamental research that will underpin the development of Wind Energy technologies.  Up to £3m will be available and anyone intending to submit a proposal must register their intent by e-mail.  Registration of intent: 20/1/15 at 16:00; Closing Date: 26/2/15 at 16:00

European Union

Transnational SOLAR-ERA.NET. The objective of the SEII is to boost the development of the PV and CSP sector beyond “business-as-usual” in the areas of Research and Development, Demonstration and Deployment with €12M available between 17 countries.   Closing Date: 27/3/15 at 17:00 CET

Innovate UK

Agri-Tech Catalyst – round 4. The Agri-Tech Catalyst, run by Innovate UK and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, offers funding to innovative businesses and researchers to develop solutions to global agricultural challenges.  Early and Late Stage Projects will have a typical project size between £150K and £500K. Closing Date: 17/6/15

The Industrial research awards for the Agri-Tech Catalyst fund can have a duration up to three years and a budget up to £3M.  Closing Date: 1/4/15

Building whole-life performance. There are funds of £4M for collaborative R&D projects that can lead to better whole-life performance of buildings. Closing Date 1/4/15

Integrated supply chains for energy systems. Investment up to £9.5m in innovations that will address the need for a diverse mix of energy sources and systems over the next three decades and beyond. Closing Date: 11/2/15

Natural Environment Research Council

Sustaining Water Resources for Food, Energy & Ecosystem Services in India- Scoping workshop. NERC is inviting applications from UK scientists to attend a jointly organised workshop with the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES), in India on 11-12 March 2015. Applications from researchers working in the fields of water security, ecosystem services, hydrological processes, hydrogeology, freshwater ecology, water quality and related disciplines are welcome. Closing Date: 12/1/15 at 16:00

Royal Society

International Exchanges Scheme. This scheme is for scientists in the UK who want to stimulate new collaborations with leading scientists overseas through either a one-off visit or bilateral travel with up to £12000 available. Closing Dates: 10/2/15 (cost-share round with Russia/RFBR) or 17/2/15 (standard round).

Wellcome Trust

Principal Research Fellowships are available for seven years in the first instance, and provide both a personal salary and research programme funding in full. Closing Date: Open

Research Resources grant,s forming part of the Medical Humanities grants portfolio, are available between £10 000 and £100 000. Small grants of up to £10 000 may be awarded to assess the content, condition and research potential of collections in preparation for a full application. Closing Date: 15/4/15

Please note that some funding bodies specify a time for submission as well as a date. Please confirm this with your  RKEO Funding Development Officer

You can set up your own personalised alerts on Research Professional. If you need help setting these up, just ask your School’s/Faculty’s Funding Development Officer in  RKEO or view the recent blog post here.

If thinking of applying, why not add notification of your interest on Research Professional’s record of the bid so that BU colleagues can see your intention to bid and contact you to collaborate.

What Works Wellbeing – workshop and call

ESRC, AHRC and Public Health England, together with other partners, are investing in a new three-year programme to progress the understanding and application of wellbeing evidence. Four evidence-based programmes relating to wellbeing will be commissioned, these being:

  • community
  • work and learning
  • culture and sport
  • cross-cutting capabilities

Guidance for the call will be released on 29th October 2014, the deadline will be 2nd December, and a workshop for potential applicants will be held on 5th November in Birmingham.

Further information is available at http://www.esrc.ac.uk/funding-and-guidance/funding-opportunities/32283/what-works-wellbeing.aspx

AHRC to hold roundtable on arts and humanities perspectives on risk

AHRC are inviting expressions of interest from arts and humanities researchers with an interest in risk to take part in a roundtable discussion, with a deadline of 16th June and the event to take place on 14 July. The one day event will offer the opportunity for post-doctoral researchers at all stages of their careers to contribute insights and identify potential future research agendas. In particular, AHRC are looking for the following areas:

* language and creative/cultural perceptions of risk;

* ethics, rights, values, trust and risk

* historical and temporal perspectives on risk

* risk in relation to creativity and innovation, including in areas such as health, science and the emergence of new technologies.

If you are interested in taking part in the roundtable, you need to submit a one page CV and 500 word account detailing your specialism, relevant research, publications and interest to AHRC. Travel costs will be paid for those selected to attend the event. Further details are available at http://www.ahrc.ac.uk/News-and-Events/Events/Documents/EOI%20Roundtable.pdf.

Grants Academy Diary – Day One

For most of us the world of grant-making elicits more fear than inspiration. Like many colleagues, I struggle to keep up with the ever-changing cycles of remits, impact guidelines and highlight notices. Carving out the time to write a journal article already feels like a feat. So it is difficult to imagine spending months writing a document that will never be published, to enter into a competition with 1 in 12 success rate. But, whether we like it or not, the reality of budget cuts, promotion tracks and ever-growing data sets has made grant-writing an essential component of research activity.

While I’d like to claim enthusiasm brought me to the Grants Academy, it was more this ambivalent combination of frustration, fear and facing reality. Grants Academy is a staff development programme on bid writing offered to us by R&KE OPs.  After acceptance, an 18-month long membership kicks off with a two day intensive training workshop providing background knowledge and strategies for bid development. The workshop is currently run by Dr. Martin Pickard, a highly experienced and trained consultant.

Arriving at our first session, Martin began by exploiting our fears and delivering some harsh truths: Grant writing is a competition. Funding bodies are businesses. We have to sell our research. For those of us academics who still carry a critique of the marketisation of Higher Education, these words are difficult to swallow. If there ever were good old days of scholarship for scholarship’s sake—they’re certainly over.

But, Martin reassured us after dramatic pause, this doesn’t mean we can’t do the research we want. It just means that if we want funding, we have to learn how to play the grant writing game. Like all competitions, to win we need to train.

Throughout the first day of the workshop we learnt a number of different skills, including how to: use grant language, structure our research projects into measurable tasks, and move from sounding interesting to sounding necessary. For one of our hands-on activities we were asked to write a 10 point summary of why we should get grant funding. Below I offer a glimpse into how much changed in just a few hours:

Here’s an excerpt from 10:30am:

This project is on less lethal weapons which are used on a daily basis around the world to quell protest and dissent.  There is a lack of information on the human and environmental impacts of less lethal weapons in real-world situations. Through a collaborative research network, the project bridges quantitative and qualitative methods, bringing together researchers with medical practitioners, lawyers, investigative journalists and humanitarian field workers.

By the end of the day, this was shaped into my Unique Selling Point (still a work in progress):

To respond to the need for more cross-sector knowledge exchange and publicly accessible information regarding the effects of less lethal technologies, this AHRC Research Network project brings together, for the first time, a cross-disciplinary team of researchers from Communications, Geography, Law, International Relations and Medical Sciences. Employing a stakeholder-oriented approach to research networking, the project is designed to connect academic researchers with those who regularly face the real-world impacts of less lethals on civilian populations: medical practitioners, security professionals, journalists and humanitarian field workers.

While it was a long day of attempting to move from interesting to necessary, there was plenty of caffeine and amusing anecdotes to get us through. Plus, in place of triangle sandwiches, we were treated to a hot lunch in lovely Green House Hotel dining room.

Anna Feigenbaum is a Lecturer in the Media School. As part of her CEMP Fellowship she is creating a diary of her time at the Grants Academy. 

AHRC Success Story- Block Grant Partnership

 

Continuing on the AHRC Success Story, we wanted to look at the Block Grant Partnership, (studentships for MSc and PhD students) which was awarded on April 2011 and is now nearing its end, with the final students recruited last September.

We had a chat with supervisors and students, to see both sides of the studentship experience.

 Paula Hughes- MA Graduate

I received the AHRC grant to study the MA in Post Production Editing in 2011/2012.

Receiving the grant was absolutely fantastic. I would not have enrolled on the course without getting the grant. It allowed me to fully dedicate my time to studying without having to get a job and worry about finances. I have noticed the benefit too since graduating. Again I did not have to worry about debt and paying off money spent and so this enabled me to pursue jobs in editing and to not have to get any old job for the sake of paying of a loan. This has meant that my progress as an editor has perhaps been faster than if I had not received the grant.

I have just finished working on a feature documentary which is expected to be released later this year. I am also attending my first premiere in February, which I assisted on. I also have been accepted on to Skillset Craft and Tech Trainee scheme.

I have benefitted very much from the grant and I am very grateful for receiving it.

Ella Egberts, PhD student, Applied Sciences

Getting this PhD position has been very good for me. I wanted to continue in the field of research I got into during my masters. Preferably I wanted to do this in England as my research interests go out to the Palaeolithic of Britain. Moreover being able to do a PhD in another country (I am from the Netherlands) seemed to me a great experience and an opportunity.
Studying in different countries increases my international network of friends and colleagues.
So far I am still getting started, but it is all going very well. I have pushed myself already in so many new situations and have done things I would not have done if I wasn’t doing a PhD.
I have studied collections of hand-axes in the museum of Salisbury which was great. Some of these pieces are over 300.000  years old, touched by our very early ancestors and now I get the chance to see them, feel them and reveal their story to a wider public.

 

 

Professor Hugh Chignell, Media School

This was a collaborative application which brought me, my colleague Neal White from the Media School and Kate Welham from the School of Applied Sciences working closely together for this proposal. We found it challenging as it is a long process which has different levels that required a lot of work but we have also found it very positive, as we have learnt so much in the process and of course once awarded that was a real bonus, as it is very competitive.

We were awarded a studentship by the AHRC and then received internally a match funded studentship as well, which was a great boost for the Centre for Media History and has benefited the students immensely as they work closely together.

It is an exciting opportunity for students and supervisors, students can focus on their research for 3 years, producing the best possible quality work.

The AHRC funded studentship went to Tony Stoller to study classical music on radio and the match funded BU studentship went to Kathryn McDonald to study the development of the radio interview.  They have both been an inspiration to work with.  

To close, the key thing for a successful application apart from it being well written, well budgeted and so on is the research idea, once you have a good idea, that jumps from the paper, the rest will slot into place.

Find out more about the Grants Academy and the sessions coming up in February. The internal peer review has been credited with producing higher quality research proposals and increased success rates, find out more details about it here. Don’t miss Friday’s post on funding opportunities coming up at AHRC.

 

International, Interdisciplinary, Innovative: the AHRC brings grant bidding advice to BU

On January 20, 2014 Bournemouth University played host to a lunchtime visit from the AHRC. The funding advice seminar covered general information about the Arts & Humanities Research Council, as well as tips and advice on AHRC bid writing here at from BU. In the lead up to the AHRC visit, the BU Research Blog offered a great round up of key facts and figures. Reiterated at the event were the AHRC’s commitments to:

  • Influence public policy
  • Engage with the creative economy
  • Impact internationally
  • Increase their profile with public

The AHRC offers research grants, fellowship grants, network grants and a special international stream. Across all funding lines, international collaboration was stressed, as were innovation, interdisciplinary work and making a clear case that your planned output matches the target audience for your research agenda.

Our AHRC visitors also highlighted their focus on developing management and leadership skills for Early Career Researchers. If you are out of your PhD for less than 8 years or in an academic post for less than 6 years, you are eligible to apply for their ECR streams. While ECRs go through the same grant process, the success rate is higher, as the ‘bar’ for a fundable project rests below their standard streams.

The Pivotal Peer Review

The AHRC reps also gave valuable insight on the evaluation process. Every proposal is ranked on a 1-6 scale by a group of up to four peer reviewers, selected from their list of 1,000 senior academics. If your proposal includes technical components, such as developing a digital archive, it will additionally be reviewed by someone who knows the technologies you’re engaging.

If your proposal scores a 4 our higher by the majority of reviewers, you’ll make the second round. Here you’ll have a chance to respond to reviewer feedback and clarification questions. “Don’t underestimate the importance of this response,” we were told. The clarity and directness of your PI response can make your application a success.

Also illuminating the evaluation process, the reps from AHRC attempted to demystify the term “impact.” In recent years the notion of ‘impact’ has caused much controversy – especially in the arts and humanities. “Impact is not just economic,” they assured us. Influencing quality of life, public service, policy and creative output also count as impact. To figure out how to articulate the impact of your research, they advised us to “simply ask yourself who, what and how” people benefit from your research.

The AHRC reps also said to keep an eye out for highlight notices that feature key strategic research themes. These themes–currently, Care for the Future, Digital Transformations, Science in Culture, and Translating Cultures—are intentionally broad and intended to offer space for a wide range of research subjects and activities.

Improving our Bids at BU

Bringing their advice home, to end the seminar, the AHRC reps offered some excellent tips for improving our bid writing here at BU.

  • BU has 9 AHRC reviewers, let’s take advantage of their expertise and experience.
  • The BU research blog is full of grant writing advice and info on the grants academy
  • Our BU research office offers an internal review process, use it!
  • Check out the peer review college section of the AHRC website.
  • Give yourself 3 months to develop your bid from research to writing to final edits.
  • Don’t be too repetitive in the bid and watch your spelling!
  • Make sure your methods of dissemination are appropriate for your stakeholders.
  • The reviewers love to see clear timescales and ‘value for money
  • Always ask yourself: Is this the best way to do this research?
  • If you get to the PI response round, it is crucial and can move up your overall ranking.
  • Remember, it’s not just about having a great proposal, you’re in a big pool competing against other really good research.

 Added to this are a couple reflections I had from my perspective as an Early Career lecturer in the Media School, a CEMP fellow and Fusion Fund committee member:

  •  ‘Rise-Up Collaborations’ – Early Career Researchers can pair with senior academics as CIs for the AHRC’s various ECR strands. As emergent researchers, we are often scared of the ‘big bids’ and tempted to stay small or follow professors onto their large-scale research projects. The in-built collaborative nature of the AHRC ECR routes are a great opportunity to push forward with our own initiatives and lead a team, supported by more experienced CIs.
  •  ‘The Three I’s’ – International, Interdisciplinary and Innovative research tops the agenda of the AHRC. This means great opportunities to be thinking about projects both across Schools at BU and with international university’s we have MoUs and Erasmus partnerships with. These ‘three Is’ are also embedded in Fusion. Pump-priming SMN Fusion Grants could be a great place to initiate the early stages of an AHRC bid for those of us in the arts and humanities seeking to expand our research horizons.

AHRC – a success for BU

AHRC are visiting BU today (find out how you can join in) and so it is timely to highlight our success with obtaining funding from them.

BU’s success rate of applying for funding with the AHRC has improved over the last few years from 33% in 2011/12 (the AHRC’s financial year runs from April to March), to 50% in both 2012/13 and 2013/14.

Since 2008, notable successes have occurred in the following Schools/Faculties:

Faculty of Science and Technology have a 45% success rate from 20 projects submitted with 9 funded

Business School have a 60% success rate from 5 projects submitted with 3 funded

Media School have a 44% success rate from 25 projects submitted with 11 funded

So, what is it that we need to know about the AHRC? 

Firstly, they have more than 50 disciplines within its remit. The arts and humanities is a large, dynamic and diverse body of disciplines and activities.  They range from practice-based work through to scholarly enquiry into history and culture. What they have in common, however, is a distinctive approach to ways of thinking about the conceptual, creative and historical basis of the human world.  You can find out more about their strategic priorities here.

Since receiving its Royal Charter in 2005, the AHRC has made a total of more than £700 million of funding available for arts and humanities research.  The AHRC’s Delivery Plan 2011-15 commits them to spend 72 percent of research funding in responsive mode schemes and 24 percent on targeted programmes, including International and Knowledge Exchange activities.  Since 2005, more than 16,400 research outputs have been published as a result of AHRC funding.  Of all disciplines in the UK, the humanities produce the largest world share of published articles at nearly 11 percent.

The RAE (Research Assessment Exercise) 2008 revealed the scale of the arts and humanities research base, with 14,000 active researchers, representing 27 percent of researchers in the UK. Across all disciplines, arts and humanities researchers achieved the highest proportion of top-rated 4* work, defined as ‘world-leading in terms of originality, significance and rigour.’  The latest available statistics suggest that there are 17,000 academic staff within the arts and humanities who are involved in research either wholly or coupled with teaching duties in UK institutions.

How have BU benefitted from AHRC funding? 

AHRC have funded several types of grants in BU including responsive mode, early career, and large grants.  The biggest impact has been the Block Grant Partnership that has led to several Masters and PhD students being funded in the School of Applied Sciences and the Media School.  These have helped fund students researching areas such as ‘Physiochemical past integrating geochemical & geophysical approaches to site location & interpretation’, ‘Identifying activity areas in Neolithic sites through ethnographic analysis of phytoliths & geochemical elements’, and ‘Film, digital & media production’.  As mentioned above, several research grants have also been won, the most recent being research into ‘Music publishing’ in the Business School and a large grant researching ‘Cultural and scientific perceptions of human-chicken interactions’ in the School of Applied Sciences.

How do I go about applying to the AHRC?

The key message here is to spend time writing and refining applications, making use of the support available (such as the internal peer review and the Grants Academy), and making sure your applications are of as high a quality as possible prior to submission.  BU is especially keen to reduce the number of bids submitted to Research Councils whilst significantly increasing the quality of those which are submitted. BU initiatives, such as the internal peer review scheme – RPRS (please note this is mandatory for research council applications) and the Grants Academy, have been specifically established to support academics to design, write and structure competitive, fundable research proposals and to maximise their chances of being awarded funding. It is excellent to see that these initiatives are so popular amongst academic colleagues and I would encourage you to make use of the support available. 

RKEO recently published a blog article that listed fifteen top tips for getting research funding, as advised by an AHRC panel member.  This should help to increase your chances of being successful when applying for research funding.  Other useful information can be found in the research toolkit on the blog, which provides guidance on applying to research councils.  Advice is giving on how to write a research summary, case for support, impact statement, justification of resources, and a data management plan, as well as advice on ethics.  As all research councils require electronic submission of applications with a two-stage institutional check and approval, you need to have finalised your application five working days before the funder cut off in order for RKEO to check and approve your application to ensure it stands the best possible chance of being successful.  As soon as you think you might apply for funding, do get in touch with your RKE Operations contact and we will help you through the process.

So, if that has whet your appetite and you’re keen to find out more, do come along to the AHRC visit today at 12 noon (registration details can be found here).

Book Now! AHRC visiting BU – Monday 20th Jan and British Academy in Feb and Leverhulme Trust in March 2014

Attention!! Funder visits – many of you may have missed this Blog post sent by Corrina at the end of November 2013 however it is not too late to get yourself booked in….

Working on a variety of initiatives in R&KEO over the years, one element of development which we receive consistently excellent feedback, is the events we arrange where funders to come to BU and present their organisations funding priorities and advice on making an application. We have arranged for several funders to visit BU in 2014, and are re-advertising the first three in order for you to block out time in your diary now!

On Monday 20 January 2014, the AHRC will be visiting to discuss their research priorities, calls and their top tips for making a submission. On Wednesday 19 February 2014, The British Academy will be visiting to discuss proposals they fund and share their tips on making an application. On Wednesday 19 March 2014, The Leverhulme Trust which funds all academic disciplines will be visiting to discuss their grants and give advice on making an application.

Spaces on all these events are limited due to the rooms available so booking is essential! Grants Academy members can be guaranteed a space by emailing Dianne. The booking hyperlinks are:

AHRC funder visit

British Academy funder visit

Leverhulme Trust  funder visit

AHRC, Leverhulme Trust and British Academy visits to BU in 2014

Working on a variety of initiatives in R&KEO over the years, one element of development which we receive consistently excellent feedback, is the events we arrange where funders to come to BU and present their organisations funding priorities and advice on making an application. We have arranged for several funders to visit BU in 2014, and are advertising the first three in order for you to block out time in your diary now!

On 20 January, the AHRC will be visiting to discuss their research priorities, calls and their top tips for making a submission. On 19 February, the British Academy will be visiting to discuss proposals they fund and share their tips on making an application. On 19 March the Leverhulme Trust which funds all academic disciplines will be visiting to discuss their grants and give advice on making an application.

 

Spaces on all these events are limited due to the rooms available so booking is essential! Grants Academy members can be guaranteed a space by emailing Dianne. The booking hyperlinks are:

AHRC funder visit

British Academy funder visit

Leverhulme Trust  funder visit

New AHRC guide to working in partnership

Working in partnership offers benefits to both academics and to businesses and cultural organisations. These may include identification of new research questions, opportunities for publication and dissemination through events, student projects, new knowledge and skills, increased turnover and greater customer satisfaction. But how do you go about developing partnerships? What about intellectual property? How do you deal with practical issues such as academic versus industry language, disagreements and planning the project? How can impact be maximised? Some answers to all these questions and more can be found in the AHRC publication Partnership Working in the Arts and Humanities: A guide to good practice. This offers insights from both the AHRC and their stakeholders, and is available online at http://www.ahrc.ac.uk/News-and-Events/Watch-and-Listen/Pages/Partnership-Working-in-the-Arts-and-Humanities.aspx – a hardcopy can also be ordered from the same link.

How can you use your research to build partnerships and entrepreneurial capacity in the Creative Economy?

The AHRC has committed to ensuring that the research it funds can be properly exploited and applied in areas where it can make a difference.  In particular, the AHRC’s new delivery plan puts KE, external engagement, collaboration, partnership working, public and policy engagement and impact at the very heart of all that it does.

The AHRC has made a huge investment of £20m fEC to establish four ‘Knowledge Exchange Hubs for the Creative Economy’ over the next 4 years. The purpose of these hubs will be to build new partnerships and entrepreneurial capacity in the ‘Creative Economy’ and in addition increase the number of arts and humanities researchers actively engaged in research-based knowledge exchange.

Take advantage of this investment  and look at how you can engage with the creative economy; perhaps through a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP)?  An excellent example of knowledge exchange, KTPs are run by the Technology Strategy Board and are co-funded by a range of bodies such as the AHRC.

KTPs provide academics with the opportunity to:

  • Apply knowledge and expertise to important problems facing businesses
  • Develop relevant teaching and research material
  • Identify new research themes and undergraduate and post graduate projects
  • Publish high quality journal and conference papers
  • Gain an improved understanding of business requirements and operations
  • Contribute to the (REF)
  • Participate in rewarding and ongoing collaboration with innovative businesses
  • Supervise and act as mentors for past graduates working on business based projects

Why not consider the benefits of knowledge exchange and use your research to move forward in building partnerships and entrepreneurial capacity in the creative economy……

All you need to know about the AHRC review process

What is the review process?

As anyone submitting a proposal to a research council at BU knows, once you hut the Je-S ‘submit’ button, the proposal then gets sent to R&KEO to undertake final checks. These are all done to ensure your proposal has the best chance of success.  This is also a critical stage in the process, as we know from our contacts in the Research Councils that reviewers won’t even see an application if the proposal has not adhered to the guidance criteria.

Stage 1 of the process is where proposals are sifted by a group of staff who reject immediately any which do not meet the published eligibility criteria; either related to documentation requirements or where it does not meet the aims or criteria of the scheme.  When we return your application to you before submitting in Je-S, it is to ensure your proposal gets through this team of sifters and makes it to Panel.

One element which we often find have been overlooked in applications is matching the Case for Support headings on the attachments, with those outlined in the guidance. The sifting process may reject your application for this reason and it is therefore important you make sure they match up. The headings have been developed based on feedback from peer reviewers and so following this structure will also put you in a favourable position with them. The other stages for most grants can be found in the diagram below.

 

What do reviewers looking for in proposals?

Quality & Importance of Research Proposed

  • the proposal meets the specific aims of the scheme to which the applicant is applying
  • the project is significant and important and the  contribution it will enhance or develop creativity, insights, knowledge or understanding of the area in a national or international context
  • the research questions, issues or problems that will be addressed are defined and their importance and appropriateness specified
  • the research context and specification of why it is important that these particular questions, issues or problems are addressed is articulated
  • the appropriateness, effectiveness and feasibility of the proposed research methods and/or approach is outlined
  • the quality and importance of the applicant’s work to date is demonstrated
  • the applicant is able to monitor the project and bring it to completion as demonstrated in the application

Research Team

  • the level and balance (in terms of time and seniority) of the proposed staffing on the project is appropriate and opportunities will be made available for less experienced researchers
  • the other named participants have the appropriate experience and expertise to deliver the project.
  • the lines of responsibility and accountability are clearly articulated.
  • a realistic timetable, incorporating milestones is presented which will achieve the project’s aims and objectives within the proposed timescale
  • the applicant has demonstrated that they understand the amount of work to be involved, allocated sufficient time and resources to achieving each aspect.

Value for Money

  • the likely outcome of the research will represent value for money, and in particular the relationship between the funds that are sought and the significance and quality of the projected outcomes of the research
  • the resources requested are reasonable in the context of the proposed research.

Outputs, Dissemination & Impact

  • the dissemination methods are appropriate and effective
  • the research process is documented or recorded in a way to enable dissemination of research outcomes to the widest possible audience
  • the outputs and outcomes of the project will be highly valued and widely exploited, both in the research community and in wider contexts where they can make a difference
  • plans to increase impact are appropriate and justified, given the nature of the proposed research
  • sufficient attention has been given to who the beneficiaries of the research might be and appropriate ways to engage with them throughout the project.
  • the research and its outcomes are disseminated to as wide an audience as possible, and where appropriate to engage in communication, dissemination and exploitation activities throughout the period of the project.
  • the audiences to whom their research could be of interest are specified, and how they propose to engage with those audiences about their research.

 

How can I increase my chances of success?

Firstly, let your RKE Operations Officer know as soon as you want to apply for a scheme. They have many years’ experience of reading the eligibility criteria and guidance and can help you make sure you tick all of these boxes. They will also cost your proposal and get it approved by Legal and through the APF Quality Approval Process as well as submitting it via Je-S when the time comes.

Your proposal will automatically go through our internal peer review process (RPRS) and you will receive useful feedback on how to really strengthen this. We have a number of AHRC award holders and a reviewer on our database which will be a huge help for you. If you are a member of the Grants Academy you also have access to our successful applications to help you write yours as well as unlimited support from Dr Martin Pickard in creating a fantastic application. 

If you haven’t won much funding before, then team up with more experienced academics in your field to make a submission that way.

Finally, the best piece of advice is to dedicate enough time to writing a great application. Many of the big schemes don’t have deadlines, and those which do have these dates announced usually quite far in advance so you have plenty of time to prepare. With so many areas to cover in your proposal and to do so better than your competition in other institutions, you really can’t write these applications in a week.  A Research Grant is a very prestigious one to have on your CV and is worth dedicating the time and energy to get.

Latest Major Funding Opportunities

The following opportunities have been announced. Please follow the links for more information:

  • The AHRC are running an International placement scheme providing funded research fellowships at leading international research institutions.  The maximum award is unspecified, Closing date is 15 Jan 14.
  • The AHRC are offering Collaborative research grants in partnership with the São Paulo Research Foundation enabling transnational British and Brazilian teams to apply for funding for collaborative research projects. This is an open call with no set deadline.  The proposal total should not exceed £2 million.
  • The BBSRC are offering Modular training partnerships  designed to help develop master’s-level training in areas of significant need for industrial sectors. The award maximum is unspecified with a closing date of 28 Jan 14.
  • The BBSRC invite proposals for their Welfare of managed animals strategic priority area.  The maximum award is not specified, closing date: 09 Jan 14.
  • The BBSRC are offering funding for the Animal health research club.  The club’s research focuses on improving the resistance of farmed animals. A maximum of £5.5 million is available to support a variety of projects at 80% full economic cost.  Projects usually last 3 -4 years but funding of up to £2m for a maximum of 5 years will be considered. Closing date: 11 Dec 13.
  • The EPSRC ICT pioneers competition is now open,  providing recognition for UK PhD students who can communicate and demonstrate the excellence and exploitation potential of their research.  There are four prizes of £2000 each are available.  Closing date is 04 Dec 13.
  • The fourth call from CHIST-ERA is now open from ERA-Net CHIST-ERA.  Proposals for this call should be transformative and highly multidisciplinary research projects in ICST. The indicative budget is approximately €11.6 million, closing date 21 Jan 14.
  • EUREKA’s Eurostars programme  is supporting SME’s using research to gain competitive advantage.  Funding is provided on a country by country bases with an average project budget of €1.4 million.  The maximum award is unspecified with a closing date of 13 Mar 14.
  • The MRC are offering UK-Japan collaborative proposals, specifically looking at neuroscience disease challenges and the use of next generation opitical microscopy technologies.  The maximum MRC contribution will not be more that £120,000 over three years.  Closing date 05 Dec 13.
  • The MRC are offering a  Senior non-clinical fellowship  providing non-clinical researchers opportunities to become research leaders. The maximum award is not specified and the closing date is 30 Apr 14.
  • The MRC are awarding funds in Stratified medicine to support investigator-led methodological research into the challenges raised by stratifying patient groups. Over the next 4 years, £60 million will be committed to this area of research. Maximum award is not specified, closing date: 23 Jan 14.
  • The Royal Society of Edinburgh are offering Scottish Enterprise/RSE enterprise fellowships to encourage the development of a new Scottish businesses based around a technological idea.  Fellowships cover the fellow’s salary for one year.  There is no maximum award and it will close 28 Nov 13.
  • The Royal Society are offering funds to run small three-day South Africa-UK scientific seminars to bring together groups of early- to mid-career scientists from South Africa and the UK.  Grants are worth up to £12,000 to be used to cover costs of international airfares for up to 5 scientists, local travel costs, accommodation and organisational support.  Award maximum is £12,000, closing 18 Feb 14.
  • The TSB are offering Infrastructure for offshore renewables.  Funds will be given to collaborative, business led projects looking to reduce costs associated with offshore wind, wave and tidal stream energy generation through technology.  Registration closes 29 Jan 14 with a final submission date 05 Feb 2014 .
  •  Improving cell and tissue analysis for stratified medicine.  The TSB seek development of innovative technologies to enhance cell and tissue sample analysis.  Projects should be between £200,000 and £1.5 million and last up to three years.  Award maximum not specified, closing date: 04 Dec 13.
  • The Wellcome Trust are offering Doctoral studentships in medical humanities.  The award will cover stipend, conference travel, research expenses, overseas fieldwork, and university and college fees for up to 3 years.    Maximum award unspecified, closing date: 02 Apr 14.
  • The Wellcome Trust People Awards support projects to explore the impact of biomedical science on society, its historical roots, effects on different cultures, or the ethical questions that it raises. Up to £30,000 is available per project.  Closing date: 31 Jan 14.
  • Wellcome Trust are offering Capital funding for learned societies. This scheme provides funding, usually for up to £200,000, to projects that support the scholarly activities of learned societies. There is no specified deadline or maximum award.
  • Society and ethics doctoral studentships are available from the Wellcome Trust to enable scholars to undertake full-time research on a topic related to the ethics and society programme.  Maximum award is not specified, closing date: 02 Apr 14.
  • Research training fellowships are available from the Wellcome Trust to support medical, dental, veterinary or clinical psychology graduates who have limited research training, but who wish to develop a career in academic medicine. Award amount maximum not specified. Closing date is 07 Feb 14.
  • Society and ethics small grants are available from the Wellcome Trust to  support small-scale research projects, scoping exercises or meetings whose subject matter falls within the remit of the ethics and society programme. The maximum grant is £5,000. There is no closing deadline.