Tagged / AHRC

AHRC report measures value of public investment in culture

ahrcA new report, published today, addresses the challenge that cultural institutes face when trying to capture the full value of their work to individuals in society.  Commissioned by the AHRC’s Cultural Value Project and using two of the UK premier cultural institutions, the Natural History Museum (NHM) and Tate Liverpool (TL), the report explores alternative approaches and practical evaluation techniques to measuring the value of culture.

The report addresses an evidence gap as far as cultural policy is concerned and has the potential to bring quantitative economic techniques to policy debates which, say the authors of the report, have been “fragmented and curiously ungrounded in empirical evidence”.

View the AHRC press release and link to the report here and find out more.

Latest Major Funding Opportunities

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

Arts and Humanities Research Council, GB

The Arts and Humanities Research Council invites applications for its short-term fellowships at the Harry Ransom Center under the international placement scheme, Fellowships allow the recipient to undertake research at the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas. The centre specialises in literature, photography, film, art and the performing arts, and is dedicated to advancing the study of the arts and humanities by acquiring, preserving and making accessible original cultural materials. Applicants must be resident in the UK and be one of the following: doctoral students who are enrolled at an approved UK research organisation and receive AHRC fees or full funding for their PhD; doctoral-level research assistants who have a PhD or equivalent research experience; early-career researchers, who must have a contract of employment with an approved UK research organisation and who may either be within eight years of the award of their PhD or equivalent professional training, or within six years of their first academic appointment. Placements last two to three months and may be taken between 1 September 2016 and 31 May 2017. Fellowships are worth up to £750 towards travel, coverage of visa costs and include a monthly allowance of £1,200. Fellows also receive a shared office space as well as access to the collections, resources, facilities, curators and other scholars at the centre and at the university. Networking and collaborating opportunities are also available.

Maximum award: Not specified. Closing date: 4pm, 21/01/16.


The AXA Research Fund invites applications for its chairs programme. The scheme aims to create an academic full time position in the host institution and at encourage a step change in the career of the appointed AXA professor, whilst promoting scientific excellence, innovative and groundbreaking research relevant beyond the borders of the institutions geographic location. The focus areas are: environmental risks including climate change, natural hazards and human-driven environmental changes; life risks including ageing, biomedical risks and addictions and risky behaviours; socio-economic risks including geopolitical risks, macro-economic and systematic financial risks, individual and collective behaviours when facing uncertainties and large corporate risks. There are two types of chairs; the AXA chair position, held on a long term basis by an individual chair holder, and the AXA successional chair programme, where the endowment will serve to support a series of temporary short term appointments. The proposed chair holder must have at least 10 years of experience since receiving his or her PhD. The schemes is tenable from five to 30 years and long term partnerships are favoured by the AXA scientific board. The grant for the AXA chair position is €90,000 to €120,000 a year and the successional chair grant is €80,000 to €90,000 a year. Funding is expected to cover salary for the chair holder, but can also be used on PhD and postdoc expenses, equipment and costs incurred while attending academic and public engagement activities.

Maximum award: Not specified. Closing date: 12pm (Paris time), 04/12/15.

Bank of England, GB

The Bank of England invites applications for the Houblon-Norman and George fellowships, which  promote research into, and disseminate knowledge and understanding of, the working, interaction and function of financial business institutions in Great Britain and elsewhere, and the economic conditions affecting them. These are full-time Fellowships (between one month and one year) and will be on an economic or financial topic studied with particular advantage to the Bank of England. The trustees will pay particular regard to the relevance of the research to current problems in economics and finance. Senior fellowships will be awarded to distinguished research workers who have established a reputation in their field.  Fellowships are also available to younger postdoctoral or equivalent researchers. The total amount distributed in any one year will not normally exceed £120,000. A further allowance may be made to cover travel expenses or other costs incurred.

Maximum award: Not specified. Closing date: 01/11/15.

Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, GB

The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council invites applications for its stand-alone LINK programme. This supports pre-competitive research projects that address any topic within the council’s remit, and where industry contributes funding. Applications should be made to the following committees according to the research topic: research committee A – animal disease, health and welfare; research committee B – plants, microbes, food and sustainability; research committee C – genes, development, science, technology, engineering and mathematical approaches to biology; research committee D – molecules, cells and industrial biotechnology. Teams must include at least one company, (preference will be given to small and medium-sized enterprises), and one science-based partner. Principal applicants must be resident in the UK and hold an academic staff appointment, at the lecturer level or equivalent, at a higher education institution, research council institute or a BBSRC approved research organisation. Company partners should be registered in the UK or have a UK research and development or manufacturing site. Where a suitable company cannot be found in the UK, an overseas company may be used. Industry partners must contribute in cash at least 50%of the fEC of projects.

Maximum award: Not specified. Closing date: 13/01/16.

The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council invites applications for its new investigator scheme, which helps early-career researchers to secure their first major element of research funding. Applications should be made to the following committees according to the research topic: research committee A- animal disease, health and welfare; research committee B evaluates – plants, microbes, food and sustainability; research committee C – genes, development, and science, technology, engineering and mathematics approaches to biology; research committee D – molecules, cells and industrial biotechnology. Applicants should be newly employed university lecturers, fellows at the lecturer level whose awards were secured in open competition, or researchers in research council institutes at the unified research council band E or its equivalent. Applicants must not have more than three years of full-time employment at lecturer or equivalent level. They must not have received competitive research funding as a principal investigator from any source that included postdoctoral research assistant staff support costs.

Maximum award:  Not specified. Closing date: 4pm, 13/01/16.

The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council invites proposals for its tools and resources development fund programme call one. The aim of this call is to pump prime the next generation of tools, technologies and resources required by bioscience researchers within BBSRC’s remit. The fund will support small or short-duration pump priming projects, enabling excellent bioscience; encourage development of novel tools, technologies and methods within BBSRC’s remit; underpin research in BBSRC’s strategic priorities and the wider biosciences. Proposals should demonstrate collaborative connections with interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary approaches and must be relevant to the output of new biological knowledge. Types of proposals eligible are: early concept, exploratory investigations of new tools, technologies and resources. The key feature of a successful ‘early concept, exploratory’ research project application is a technology or methods oriented approach that is enabling and adventurous, and encapsulates the concept of ‘high-risk/high reward’. Funded projects are expected to test the ‘high-risk, high reward’ concept and, where successful, demonstrate proof-of-principle’; rapid access to, and novel deployment of, the very latest cutting edge technology. It is anticipated that these proposals would include collaboration with the technology provider; radical, novel modifications to existing tools, technologies and resources to facilitate new biological understanding and an expansion in use.

Maximum award: £150k. Closing date: 4pm, 04/11/15.

The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council and the State of São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP) invite applications for their joint research funding. This supports applications that cut across national boundaries and involve international collaborative teams. Proposals may be submitted in any area of science within the remit of both supporting organisations.

Maximum award: Not specified. Closing date: 4pm, 13/01/16.

The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council invites applications for its industrial partnership awards. These support science-led research projects that address any topic within the council’s remit, and where industrial partners contribute in cash funding. Applications should be made to the following committees according to the research topic: research committee A – animal disease, health and welfare; research committee B – plants, microbes, food and sustainability; research committee C – genes, development, and science, technology, engineering and mathematics approaches to biology; research committee D – molecules, cells and industrial biotechnology. Principal applicants must be resident in the UK and hold an academic staff appointment, at the lecturer level or equivalent, at a higher education institution, research council institute or a BBSRC approved research organisation. Company partners should be registered in the UK or have a UK research and development or manufacturing site. Where a suitable company cannot be found in the UK, an overseas company may be used. Industrial partners must contribute in cash at least 10 per cent of the full economic cost of projects.

Maximum award: Not specified. Closing date: 4pm, 13/01/16.

The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council and Science Foundation Ireland invite applications for their joint research funding. This supports applications that cut across national boundaries and involve international collaborative teams led by researchers from the UK and the Republic of Ireland. The scope of pertnerships is restricted to research projects, including technology development projects but excluding embryonic stem cell research. Principal applicants must be resident in the UK and hold an academic staff appointment, at the lecturer level or equivalent, at a higher education institution, research council institute or a BBSRC-approved research organisation. Irish co-investigators must be based at a research body which is eligible for SFI support, they must be members of the academic staff of an eligible research body, and must have the capability and authority to mentor and supervise postgraduate students and team members.

Maximum award: Not specified. Closing date: 4pm, 13/01/16.

British Council, GB

The British Council, invites expressions of interest for its UK-Iran researcher links workshop on water management. This workshop wll bring together early career scholars and experienced researchers from the UK and Iran to discuss water management with subthemes of hydrology, extreme events, agriculture and food security, climate change, and water management/policy. participants will share their knowledge and build links for future collaboration. There will also be sessions on finding and applying for funding opportunities. Applicant must hold an academic position in the UK or Iran; have been awarded their PhD no earlier than January 2005; be able to evidence that their publications and awarded degree are relevant to the workshop themes; be proficient in English to level 6 IELTS (Iranian applicants). Visa, travel, subsistence and accommodation costs will be covered.

Maximum award: Not specified. Closing date: 15/10/15.

Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, GB

The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council invites outline proposals for its future manufacturing research hubs. The hubs will address major, long-term challenges facing manufacturing industries and capture opportunities from emerging research areas. Each hub can receive up to £10 million over seven years, to support a programme of innovative research in the engineering and physical sciences, related to the challenges in commercialising early stage research. The Hubs will feature high quality, multidisciplinary research, strong engagement with relevant manufacturing industries, and will take a leadership role in their national network. Each programme must: draw on advances in underlying science and technology; focus on the design and development of new and existing manufacturing processes, systems and networks; explicitly consider the pathway to manufacture. Funding can be used as platform research funding, grand challenge research funding, operational funding, or pathways to impact and commercialisation activities. Funding may also cover equipment costs.

Maximum award: £10m. Closing date: Outline proposals by 4pm, 19/11/15. Invited full proposals late March.

Research Councils UK and Innovate UK invite expressions of interest for their call on urban living partnership – pilot phase. This call will promote integrated research and innovation to address challenges in urban areas of the UK and help them realise their visions for future urban living. Partnerships will bring together the capabilities needed to address a wide range of challenges in areas such as infrastructure and environment; crime and social inclusion; health and wellbeing; heritage and culture; economy and employment; smart cities and big urban data. Consortia can include cross-disciplinary research expertise, city leaders, businesses, civic organisations and community groups, public, third sector and other urban innovators. Each of the consortia will be expected to conduct an initial pilot diagnostic phase focused on building integrated understanding of the challenges, opportunities and future visions of a specific UK city / urban area and developing agendas for future research and innovation.

Maximum award: £400k. Closing date: EOI 26/11/15. Full applications by 4pm, 21/01/16.

European Railway Agency, EU

The European Railway Agency  invites tenders to conduct a study on implementation of fees and charges in the framework of the fourth railway package. The tenderer will: collect and analyse data with a view to establishing a framework for fees and charges; propose models for financial apportioning between the ERA and the national authorities; establish a list of criteria for differentiating fee structure, with special attention given to small and medium-sized enterprises. Legal and natural persons based in EU member states are eligible and must apply as a joint venture or consortium with a nominated leader.

Maximum award: €120,000 and €150,000 over six months. Closing date: 31/10/15.

Horowitz Foundation for Social Policy, US

The Horowitz Foundation for Social Policy invites applications for its research grants. Grants are awarded for work in major areas of the social sciences, including anthropology, area studies, economics, political science, psychology, sociology and urban studies, as well as newer areas such as evaluation research. Preference will be given to projects that deal with contemporary issues in the social sciences and issues of policy relevance. Phd candidates whose projects have received approval from their appropriate department head or university are eligible to apply.

Maximum awarrd: US$7,500. Closing date: 31/01/16.

Innovate UK, GB

Innovate UK and the Department for Culture, Innovation and Media invite applications for the nuisance calls competition. The competition aims to address and find solutions for the problem of nuisance calls, especially to vulnerable members of society who are at higher risk of financial harm and personal distress. Solutions can use any technology including, but not limited to, any of the following areas: Home- installed equipment that filters and blocks calls, based on Calling Line Identification (CLI) or other techniques; As before but with a “community” or central database to block calls from known “problem sources”; A network level solution that will filter and block calls before they are offered to the end user. Key challenges that bids will need to address are: Blocking/filtering calls as an option where the number is ‘withheld’ or ‘unavailable’, including where these are international in origin; How legitimate callers using networks that present with no CLI are processed, for example gathering a list of legitimate callers (sometimes referred to as ‘whitelists’); How the system can block calls that offer malformed CLI; Whether the system is capable of detecting spoofed but valid CLI; How calls from mobile and non-geographic numbers are handled – i.e. can they be configured as blocked/filtered; How a network level solution can be implemented on existing communication networks.

Maximum award: £50k. Closing date: Registration by 12pm, 04/11/15. Full applications by 12pm, 11/11/15.

Middle East Economic Research Centre, TR

The Middle East Economic Research Centre invites applications and nominations for the Ibn Khaldun prize, whic recognises outstanding individual and co-authored papers by young scientists on Middle East economics. Candidates must be no more than six years post-PhD .Winners of the award receive a certificate, a cash award of $250 and exemption from dues and submission fees for two consecutive calendar years.

Maximum award: $250. Closing date: 10/12/15.

Natural environment Research Council, GB

The Natural Environment Research Council, in collaboration with the Medical Research Council in the UK, and the Earth System Science Organisation, Ministry of Earth Sciences, and the Department of Biotechnology in India, invites initial proposals for the atmospheric pollution and human health in an Indian megacity programme. This aims to provide new knowledge on air pollution issues and impacts on health in a rapidly urbanising society and the evidence to support cost effective measures for health improvements related to atmospheric pollutants in Delhi, India. The programme is split into four themes; emission validation and sources; processes: physical and chemical; exposure validation and health outcomes; mitigations and interventions. Applications must be collaborative between UK and Indian researchers.

Maximum award: Not specified. Closing date: initial proposals 4pm, 10/12/15. Full proposals due early July 16.

Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research, SE

The Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research invites proposals for its industrial research centres, which aim to improve long-term problem- and application driven research centres comprising collaborative research ecosystems between industry, research institutes and academia. Centres should be strategically defined around formulated industrial needs with formidable research challenges. Research problems should be defined and pursued by both the industrial and academic partners. Research centres must be concentrated on disruptive innovation, including new enabling technologies or emerging technology shifts in a long-term perspective.Each centre will have two to five industrial partners, with one to five academic or research institute partners. At least one of the partners must be a department at a Swedish university, which will administer the grant. The main applicant must be a researcher based at a Swedish university or research institute. Partners can be researchers from industry, public authorities, research institutes and university departments. Companies should normally be registered in Sweden or close to Sweden so that the exchange can work practically and be justified strategically for Sweden. Industrial partners may be hospitals if the centre involves clinical research. International partners may participate on their own budget. Industry partners must fund their participation with a combination of in-kind and cash by at least 20 per cent of the total budget of the centre.

Maximum award: SEK100m. Closing date: 2pm CET, 04/05/16.

Wellcome Trust, GB

The Wellcome Trust and the Academy of Medical Sciences invite applications for their springboard awards, which enable UK biomedical scientists to develop their independent research careers. Applicants must be within three years of being appointed their first independent post, hold a current post with salary, not be receiving significant research funding, be supported by the host organisation.

Maximum award: £100k. Closing date: 07/12/15.

The Wellcome Trust invites applications for its collaborative awards in science, supporting teams of independent researchers pursuing problems across the areas of science, humanities and social science and innovation. Interdisciplinary research collaborations between basic scientists or medical and veterinary clinicians, and non-biologists, such as mathematicians, physicists, chemists, engineers and social scientists, are encouraged. Funding may be used for research expenses, travel and subsistence, overseas allowances, research management and support costs. A provision for public engagement costs may also be awarded.

Maximum award: £4m. Closing date: preliminary applications due 05/01/16. Full applications by 13/04/16.

The Wellcome Trust invites applications for its our planet, our health awards. These support high-quality, transdisciplinary programmes of research that investigate novel aspects of, and build evidence for, how complex changes in our environment affect our health. Supported proposals will consider the interplay between different environments, drive collaborative research and  lead to outputs with a significant impact on our health. Programmes should use a range of relevant disciplines and research methodologies and may consist of predictive modelling, developing innovative products or processes, policy development or evaluating specific interventions. Proposals from a broad range of disciplines  involving cross-sector collaborations are encouraged. Eligible costs include salary costs for research staff, consumables and small equipment costs, travel costs for conferences and research meetings, office support and communication cost.

Maximum award: £10m. Closing date: 29/01/16.

The Wellcome Trust invites applications for its society awards. These support projects that encourage the public to explore biomedical science, its impact on society and culture, its historical roots and the ethical questions that it raises Projects should stimulate interest, excitement and debate about biomedical science and/or the history of medicine; support formal and informal learning; reach audiences of all ages and from all walks of life and inform, inspire and involve them; encourage high-quality interdisciplinary practice and collaborations; investigate and test new methods of engagement, participation and education. Applicants and activities must be based in the UK or the Republic of Ireland and applicants may be mediators, facilitators and practitioners of science communication; science centre or museum staff; artists; educators; film-makers; theatre producers; games developers; public participation practitioners; health professionals; and academics in bioscience, social science, bioethics, and medical history and the humanities.

Maximum award: Not specified. Closing date: 5pm, 11/03/16.

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.

AHRC Research Networking call for funding

The AHRC Research Networking Scheme is intended to support forums for the discussion and exchange of ideas on a specified thematic area, issue or problem. The intention is to facilitate interactions between researchers and stakeholders through, for example, a short-term series of workshops, seminars, networking activities or other events. The aim of these activities is to stimulate new debate across boundaries, for example, disciplinary, conceptual, theoretical, methodological, and/or international. Proposals should explore new areas, be multi-institutional and can include creative or innovative approaches or entrepreneurship. Proposals must justify the approach taken and clearly explain the novelty or added value for bringing the network participants together.

Proposals for full economic costs up to £30,000 for a period of up to two years may be submitted. The exact mechanism for networking and the duration is up to the applicants to decide but must be fully justified in the proposal. An additional threshold of up to £15,000 full economic cost may be sought to cover the costs of any international participants or activities in addition to the £30,000 fEC scheme limit. Proposals will need to be submitted by an eligible Research Organisation but must involve collaboration with at least one other organisation, as well as having significant relevance to beneficiaries in the UK.

A highlight notice is currently in operation under the research Networking Scheme. It encourages applications that explore innovative areas of cross-disciplinary enquiry across the remits of the AHRC and other Research Councils. The highlight notice will close at midnight on 31 July 2015. Further information can be found on the Highlight Notice page.

This scheme operates without formal deadlines.  You are able to submit proposals at any time of year.

All applications to this scheme must be submitted via the cross-council Joint Electronic Submission – (JE-S) System (opens in a new window). If you need any assistance to use the system, please contact the JE-S helpdesk on 01793 444164 or on JesHelp@rcuk.ac.ukAHRC Funding Guide (PDF 919KB) (opens in a new window) provides an overview of the Research Networking Scheme. It details the eligibility criteria, assessment criteria, information on how to apply, application deadlines, eligible dates and terms and conditions of awards.

You must contact your RKEO Funding Development Officer in the first instance if you wish to apply to this call.

AHRC call for Nominations to their Peer Review College

The Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) is seeking nominations for new members to be appointed to its Peer Review College (PRC). 

Peer review lies at the heart of the AHRC’s operations, and they are fully committed to the principle of peer review for the assessment of proposals to their schemes and programmes. PRC members provide expert quality reviews of proposals within their areas of expertise, which inform the AHRC’s decision making processes. As well as making an important contribution to the AHRC’s peer review processes, the experience gained by membership of the College will provide benefits to you, your department and to Bournemouth University.

Nominations are welcomed for either of the below Calls:

Call for Early Career Researchers (ECRs)

Eligibility – Nominations for all candidates who meet the eligibility for the PRC Academic group (ECR) and who meet the AHRC ECR criteria.  At the point of nomination to the college the nominee must be:

  • Within eight years of the award of their PhD or equivalent professional training or
  • Within six years  of their first academic appointment

Please be aware that current AHRC PRC members do not need to apply for this call. Former PRC members are only eligible to apply if their PRC membership ended before 16th April 2013.  For further information, read the ECR Call for Nominations advert (PDF 71KB, opens in a new window).

Call for membership of the Strategic and Technical reviewer groups

Eligibility – Nominations for all candidates, from any career stage, who meet the criteria for the Strategic or Technical groups of the AHRC PRC.  Current members are eligible to apply for this Call if they meet the criteria for one or either of these groups. Former PRC members are only eligible to apply if their PRC membership ended before 16th April 2013.  For further information, click here to view read the Strategic/Technical group Call for Nominations advert (PDF 85KB, opens in a new window).

The deadline for nominations to both Calls is 12 noon on 16th April 2015.

If successful, College members will be appointed for a term commencing 1 October 2015 and ending 31 December 2018.

If you have any queries regarding the nomination process please do not hesitate to contact:

Matthew Carr, AHRC Peer Review College Coordinator (Membership)

Email: m.carr@ahrc.ac.uk; Tel: 01793 416069

AHRC Advisory Board vacancies

The Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) is seeking expressions of interest from suitably experienced individuals in the academic and non-academic sectors to join the Advisory Board in 2015.

AHRC funds research and post graduate training across a wide disciplinary remit as well as facilitating opportunities for researchers to engage in international, knowledge exchange, partnerships and public policy activities. It is a non-departmental government body sponsored by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and is governed by the Council, which is responsible for the overarching strategic direction of the organisation.

The role of the Advisory Board is to advise AHRC Council and Executive on the development and implementation of strategic approaches to funding which reflect the challenges and opportunities arising for the arts and humanities research and those that engage with it.

The Board is looking particularly for expertise in the following areas:

  • Classics and/or Archaeology
  • Design
  • Digital Humanities
  • Performing Arts
  • Music
  • Theology
  • Modern Languages
  • Voluntary Sector

Please see the Terms of Reference for the Advisory Board (PDF 35KB, opens in a new window) and the Role and Person Specification (PDF 90KB, opens in a new window), which outline the skills and experience AHRC require for potential Board members.

If you are interested in becoming a member of the Board please submit an Expression of Interest form (Word 37KB, opens in a new window) (no longer than 500 words) outlining (in no more than 500 words) how you meet the criteria required, together with a short CV (no longer than 2 sides of A4) and the Equal Opportunities form (Word 41KB, opens in a new window) (which is not seen by the panel) to Rose Easton (r.easton@ahrc.ac.uk) by the deadline of 4pm on 20 April 2015.

Interviews will take place at Medical Research Council, Kemble St, London on 14 May 2015.

AHRC will seek to ensure a healthy balance of institutional and regional representation on the Board. AHRC is committed to openness and transparency of process and to provide equal opportunities to all, irrespective of age, gender, race, disability, marital status, religion, sexual orientation, transgender and working patterns.

If you have any question concerning the vacancies, please contact Rose Easton on 01793 416014 or email r.easton@ahrc.ac.uk.

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.