Tagged / early career

Wessex REACH Initiative – ECR group discussion dates

Are you interested or involved in research?
Wessex REACH Initiative- training/mentorship/funding support

  • The Wessex REACH Initiative is an NIHR funded Incubator working to increase health and social care research capacity in the Wessex region. To help ensure that everyone has access to the training and support they need, we are undertaking a series of group discussions to explore experiences of accessing training/mentoring/funding opportunities. All discussions will be held online.
  • We would really like to speak to anyone who is in the early stage of their research career. You may be an early career researcher, a first time Principal or Lead Investigator or someone who has not held research funding previously but would like to.

    Available dates

  • Mar 21: 12pm-1pm
  • Mar 28: 10am-11am
  • Mar 29: 11am-12pm
  • Apr 4 : 1pm-2pm

    Expression of interest

Email your preferred date to info@wessexreach.org.uk

  • Further enquiries:

Eunice Aroyewun, info@wessexreach.org.uk

The Early Career Physics Communicator Award 2015

The Institute Of Physics (IOP) has recently announced its Early Career Physics Communicator Award 2015. This is an amazing opportunity for an early career physicist to be acknowledged as a leader in their field, and also to win £250!


Applicants do not need to be a member of the IOP, but should be one of the following:

  • A person currently studying an undergraduate degree in physics or engaged in postgraduate study of physics within five years of their first degree qualification
  • An undergraduate physicist
  • A person working as a physicist in UK or Eire within the first five years of their physics career


Submission of a report of their communication activities which should be no more than 1500 words long.

Further details and the application form are available by clicking the ‘Group Prize’ tab here:

Application Deadline:

Monday 5th October 2015

The Prize

The winner of the 2015 IOP Physics Communicators Group award will receive £250 and an award certificate at an event to be held on Monday 23 November. As well as providing recognition of the winner’s work through the prize money, the process will also facilitate networking opportunities for all participants.

Award Ceremony:

Four finalists will present their work at the prize final on Monday 23rd November 2015 at IOP, Portland Place, London, W1B 1NT.

The prize will be awarded by materials scientist, engineer, broadcaster and writer, Mark Miodownik

For more details, please get in contact with the Physics Communicators Group Secretary, Chris Sinclair:

christopher.sinclair@ucl.ac.uk or click here to see a further breakdown of the results from the 2014 Prize Event.

At an early stage in your research career? Then come to one of our ECR Forums!

Last year we ran a series of forums for academic colleagues who are at an early stage in their research career.  You can find out more about the September session here

The forums are an open, informal sessions where you can meet with experienced academics and members of R&KEO to discuss anything you like to do with research. From publications to projects to funding to research strategy we will be on hand to help and advise.  Going forward we plan to hold these forums on a School by School basis.  If you would be interested in attending one of these events, please contact Nikki Gloyns here.

The next forum will be a Media School event and will be held on 27 March 2013 from 12:30 – 15:00 on Talbot Campus.  If you wish to attend the Media School forum, please contact Nikki Gloyns to book. Lunch will be provided so booking is essential.

Leverhulme Trust – Early Career Fellowships

Early Career Fellowships aim to provide career development opportunities for those who are at a relatively early stage of their academic careers but with a proven record of research. It is anticipated that a Fellowship will lead to a more permanent academic position. Applications are welcomed in any discipline, and approximately 80 Fellowships will be available in 2012. Fellowships can be held at universities or at other institutions of higher education in the UK.


The Trust will contribute 50% of each Fellow’s total salary costs up to a maximum of £23,000 per annum and the balance is to be paid by the host institution. Given the prestige of the awards each Fellow may request annual research expenses of up to £6,000 to further his or her research activities.

Please ensure that applications do not include any of the ineligible costs listed here.


Fellowships are normally tenable for three years on a full-time basis, but requests to hold the award part-time over a proportionately longer period will be considered if this is appropriate for the nature of the research proposed and the career development of the individual. Please note that Fellowships of 24 months are no longer offered by the Trust. Fellowships will commence between the beginning of the 2012/2013 academic year and 1 May 2013.

Please read the following before submitting and application.


If your query has not been answered in these pages Andreas Heiner (020 7042 9863).

The RKE Operations team can help you with your application.

AHRC – Collaborative Skills Development Funding Opportunity

The AHRC’s new Collaborative Skills Development call is aimed at supporting the development of innovative, collaborative training packages that will meet a range of capacity issues in the arts and humanities. It focuses on developing skills amongst students and Early Career Researchers for future careers in research and other contexts.

The call has two strands:

  • The Organisation-led strand will enable Research Organisations (ROs) to offer training and skills development activities to groups of students and Early Career Researchers (ECRs) in several institutions, involving a variety of different partners. 
  • The Student-led strand will support doctoral students to establish and run smaller-scale collaborative programmes. 

The call will offer funds of up to £60,000 for Organisation-led skills development packages, or up to £3,000 for student-led programmes. Proposals can be submitted by any Research Organisation, including Independent Research Organisations, and the Student-led strand is not restricted to AHRC-funded students.

Applications should propose the development of skills within one of the following areas:

  • Partnership working including public engagement
  • Entrepreneurship and the Creative Economy
  • Research Skills Enrichment

Proposals will be eligible from any discipline within the AHRC’s subject remit, although AHRC particularly encourage applications addressing specific capacity building needs and skills gaps encompassed by their strategic themes and priority areas (see application guidance for more details).

Proposals must be collaborative, involving at least two separate ROs, or an RO and a non-academic organisation.

Full application guidance is now available on the AHRC website. The application form will be available via the Je-S system by the end of July and the deadline for applications is Thursday 20 September 2012.

If you have any questions or wish to discuss your application, please contact Jessica Bacon on 01793 41 6071 or Myriam Volk on 01793 41 6076.

 The RKE Operations team can help you with your application.

BSG Calls in Geomorphology

The British Society for Geomorphology has issued three calls in Geomorphological research. 

The first is Innovative and Emerging Techniques in Geomorphology.

Up to £10,000 (ideally £5,000) is available to support the development of new technology and/or analytical techniques in geomorphology as stated in the BSG Mission, Sections 1.5 and 1.6. It is envisaged that the pump-priming of new techniques in geomorphology will support applications to the RCUK. Applications must have a geomorphological focus.

Deadline: 30 September 2012

The second is Early Career Researcher.

Up to £10,000 (ideally £5,000) is available to pump-prime geomorphological research undertaken by an Early-Career Researcher (ECR). We define an ECR as a member of staff who holds an employment contract of 0.2FTE or greater and who started their academic career within four years of the closing date of applications. Note that to be eligible for this scheme, the primary employment function of applicants must be in ‘research’ or ‘teaching and research’, within any HEI or other organisation, whether in the UK or overseas.

PLEASE NOTE: Applicants should state the start date of their career on the application form.

There is no restriction on the type of support eligible for funding (e.g. conference, workshop, field visit, data purchase, lab costs), although consistent with other BSG grant schemes, they will not support salaries. Applications will be evaluated both for the quality of the research, and for its potential to pump-prime subsequent work.

Applicants to the ECR scheme cannot be a Principal Investigator on any other grant bids to the BSG in the same funding round.

Deadline(s): 30 September and 1 February

The third is in Research Networks in SE Asia and China.

Up to £10,000 (ideally £5,000) is available to support development of research networks in SE Asia and China. The purpose of this grant is to bring together global partners with a research interest in the SE Asia or China region. It is envisaged the £10,000 may support one or more workshops or conferences hosted within the region by SE Asia or China colleagues. The region supported by these awards includes India but excludes Japan.

Deadline: 30 September 2012

All applications should be applied for Online through the BSG’s site.

The RKE Operations team can help you with your application.

You reap what you sow? The importance of seed-corn funding

Obtaining ‘seed-corn’ funding to get a new research idea off the ground can be crucial in developing your work, especially for early-career researchers. Whilst the initial ‘seed’ may be a relatively small amount of money, if spent wisely then watch it grow! This is particularly relevant at the moment due to the internal funding opportunities currently open for BU academics.

To show how seed-corn money could work for you, here’s an example of where it helped me. Back in 2009, the then School ofConservation Sciences (CS) ran an internal research funding scheme where the maximum amount awarded per project was £3000 and priority was given to applications with match funding. So I firstly had to formulate my research question and obtain some match-funding. After much reading and thinking I finally settled on my question (in a relatively new area for me but related to my other research) and successfully approached the Environment Agency for a modest amount of match-funding. The subsequent application to the CS scheme was successful.

Given the limited amount of money available, it had to be spent very carefully. A part-time researcher was used to complete the data collection and as the work progressed, further seed-corn funds were secured from external sources. These enabled us to expand the work and resulted in the subsequent publication of several journal articles. These were important in underpinning further funding applications as we could now show the work was relevant and we were competent in doing it! Inevitably, a number of these funding applications failed but through perseverance and refining the ideas (reading, discussions with colleagues etc), we have recently been awarded two separate PhD studentships by external funders. This includes a NERC CASE studentship, where the industrial partner is the same Environment Agency collaborator I first approached in 2009. Looking ahead, as these PhDs deliver their research then this should enable the development of more ambitious projects ideas that enable larger grant applications to be submitted.

So – hopefully- this example of showing how seed-corn funds can quite literally grow has motivated you to take advantage of those open internal funding schemes. Remember, the process of then turning seed-corn funds into something more substantial and long-term may not be easy: I have not mentioned the long hours spent putting together the funding applications that were turned down. But as a collaborator put it when I recently asked him how he managed to increase his NERC standard grant application success rate from 0 to 40 %:

‘…….the more I practised, the luckier I got’.

AHRC to hold four broadcast media training events in July and September 2011

Following on from the recent AHRC/Radio 3 New Generation Thinkers pilot scheme and the over-subscribed AHRC Broadcast Media workshops , the AHRC will be running four further broadcast media training events across the UK in July and September 2011.

These events will allow early career researchers in the arts and humanities to benefit from a day of radio/broadcast training.  

Each workshop will be led by at least three production and editorial staff from national broadcasters, including Radio Five.

Each day-long workshop will consist of:

· an introduction to programme-making;

· what you need to do to become the expert that programme producers will value;

· best practice tips based on experiences of academics already successful in broadcast media;

· developing and pitching your programme idea based on your research

· one to one sessions with a broadcaster for those who want detailed feedback on their programme idea.

With each workshop having only forty spaces available we will be allocating those spaces to the first forty people to email applying for a space. The four workshops will take place as follows:

1 – London July 8th

2 – Northumbria University July 11th

3 – London September 16th

4 – Manchester Metropolitan University September 19th

To apply to attend one of these workshops you need to email Jake Gilmore (j.gilmore@ahrc.ac.uk) and put your preferred venue and date in the subject line e.g. London July 8th.

Think broader – bid internationally!

There are literally thousands of funding opportunities open to researchers in the UK, and many of these are offered by international funding bodies. You can see a basic list of non-UK funding bodies offering large pots of funding here: Large non-UK funding pots 

The chart on the left shows how much income a selection of the regional universities received for research contracts from non-EU sources in 2008-09 (click on the chart to see it full screen). BU has not previously actively promoted these funding pots but they are there for the taking and as our national research funding pots are reducing coupled with ever-increasing competition for funds, we should be actively targetting alternative sources.

In addition to the large funding pots available, there are thousands of funding bodies offering relatively small amounts of funding. If you are a new researcher then these are an excellent way to start/develop your research career. Winning a handful of these smaller grants will put you in a much better position to start winning larger, more prestigious grants, such as those from the UK Research Councils. They will give you project management experience and give future funders the confidence that you are capable of conducting good research and delivering a project.

As the world’s largest funding database, Research Professional is an excellent place to start identifying non-EU funding opportunities. We have put together a guide on how to set up a personal search in Research Professional so you can start to identify and apply to these funding pots. You can download the guide here: RP international funding guide.

To discuss possible international funding opportunities or for support in submitting a proposal contact the CRE Operations team who will happily advise and guide you through the process.