Tagged / funding schemes

Review and changes to BU Prestigious Funders scheme

The Prestigious Funders scheme was launched in August 2017, revised in February 2018 and October 2018.  The revised policy document can be found here or on the BU staff intranet under ‘policy/ research/ pre-award’.

The main changes are as follows:

  • There is no longer a requirement for applicants to make a case for the BU costs of funding a PGR. If your application meets the eligibility criteria (based on value) then you will be advised by the RKEO Funding Development Officer when they receive the completed intention to bid form.
  • The BU income value threshold for ECRs applying to external prestigious research funders has been revised to £100k (before full economic costing (fEC)) for both pathways: PGR studentships and Postdoctoral research staff.
  • The value threshold for all those adding a BU funded PGR student when applying to an external prestigious research funder has been revised to £100k (before fEC).
  • Applications to other funders (from those listed in the scheme document) are now eligible to add a BU funded PGR to applications when costed at BU income over £350K (before fEC) or £100k (before fEC) for ECRS for the PGR studentship pathway only.
  • The value threshold for the postdoctoral research staff pathway 2 remains at £350k but has been revised to £100k for ECRs (both before fEC).  Only funders listed in the scheme document are considered for this pathway.
  • Clarification has been given that a postdoctoral researcher will normally be included within an application at 1FTE post for the duration of the project (applicants can choose to reduce this so that it is appropriate to their research plan).

No retrospective requests will be considered (i.e. any applications submitted before 25 October 2018 who now meet the new eligibility criteria will not be able to apply). The scheme continues to be open for applications where BU lead and where we are a Co-Investigator to another institution, as long as the eligibility requirements are met.

Please read the full scheme document for clarification of the above.  You will need time to build this into your application and so please speak with your RKEO Funding Development Officer as soon as you think you might meet the eligibility criteria for either pathway.

Review and changes to BU scheme to invest in research capacity for externally-funded projects with prestigious research funders

The scheme to invest in research capacity for externally-funded projects with prestigious research funders was launched in August 2017 and has been revised in February 2018.  The revised policy document can be found here or on the BU staff intranet under ‘policy/ research/ pre-award’.

The main changes are as follows:

  • Applications to prestigious funders when BU is non-lead, i.e. Co-Investigator, will now be considered as long as the value threshold for BU income is met (see below).  This is available for both pathways.
  • The BU income value threshold for ECRs applying to external prestigious research funders has been lowered to £75k (before full economic costing (fEC)) for both pathways: PGR studentships and Postdoctoral research staff.
  • The value threshold for all those requesting a PGR student when applying to an external prestigious research funder has been lowered to £75k (before fEC).
  • Other funders (from those listed in the scheme document) will be considered when projects are valued as BU income over £350K (before fEC) or £75k (before fEC) for ECRS for the PGR studentship pathway only.  A case will need to be made to the Pro Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation (see scheme notes for case criteria).
  • The value threshold for the postdoctoral research staff pathway remains at £350k or £75k for ECRs (both before fEC).  Only funders listed in the scheme document are considered for this pathway.
  • Information on how to include details of the BU funding in your application for external funding have been made clearer.
  • No retrospective requests will be considered.

Please read the full scheme document for clarification of the above.

Engagement Fellowships – Funding call


Wellcome exists is a global charitable foundation, both politically and financially independent. It exists to improve health for everyone by helping great ideas to thrive.

They currently offer number of funding schemes and one of them is engagement fellowships.


Engagement Fellowships support and develop the careers of emerging leaders in public engagement.

Engagement Fellowships are open to a wide range of people, including:

  • professional science communicators
  • academics exploring health and wellbeing (eg, biomedical or social scientists and medical historians)
  • clinicians or healthcare professionals
  • professionals working in the arts and creative industries.

Scheme at a glance

Where your audience is:

UK, Republic of Ireland

Level of funding:

Salary and research expenses covered

Duration of funding:

Up to 2 years

For more information and how to apply click here.

Santander Mobility and Scholarship Awards 2013 14

Santander is committed to supporting higher education and are once again, through the Graduate School, offering Scholarships and Mobility Awards to any registered BU Postgraduate Research Student.



4 x £5,000 Scholarships

Scholarships are available to PGRs to undertake a specific piece of work and build or develop links with international researchers through travel to:

4 x £2,000 Mobility Awards

Mobility Awards are available to PGRs to:

  • Argentina
  • Brazil
  • Belgium
  • Chile
  • China
  • Colombia
  • Germany
  • Korea
  • Mexico
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Puerto Rico
  • Russia
  • Singapore
  • Spain
  • USA
  • UAE
  • Uruguay


Full details, including application forms and the relevant policy documents can be found on myBU – Graduate School PGR Community (follow the Funding – Development and Mobility Awards Tab).  Remember you will need to log on to myBU with your student username and password.

The closing date for applications is 5 pm on Thursday 9th January 2013.


HEA Teaching Development Grants – Collaborative Scheme

The HEA have announced the call for the next round of Teaching Development Grants  (collaborative grant scheme).

The collaborative grant scheme invites proposals from two or more departments or other groupings within or between HEIs that support the enhancement of learning and teaching.

Successful applications will demonstrate scope for long-term impact, and provision for evaluation and dissemination will be clearly defined. The hosting institution will be expected to contribute towards the project in the form of match funding.

The project lead must be a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and the lead institution must be a subscriber to the Higher Education Academy. Proposals submitted under the Collaborative scheme may request up to £60,000 from the Higher Education Academy. Projects will run for eighteen months.

  • Call opens – Monday 7 January 2013
  • Deadline for submissions – 5pm on Thursday 28 February 2013

If you are interested in  this scheme, please inform Caroline O’Kane by Friday, 30th November.  The HEA will only make 7 awards in total.  If multiple bids from BU are anticipated, we expect to set up an internal competition, to ensure that only the strongest applications are submitted.





New round of the Research Development Fund – large grants scheme – now open!

This week BU is proud to launch a new round of the BU Research Development Fund (large collaborative grants scheme)!

The deadline for applications to have been received by the RDU is: Friday 17 February 2012

The Fund is open to BU academics and will provide selective support to research initiatives considered to be of strategic importance to BU. This call is for the Large Collaborative Grants Scheme (up to £25k per annum, must include two or more Schools). The Small Grants Scheme is also currently open with a closing date of 28 February – further details are available here:

The RDF – Large Collaborative Grants Scheme aims to provide funding for the development of large-scale, complex, inter/multi-disciplinary collaborative research activities leading to external funding. Applications must involve academic staff from at least two BU Schools. Priority will be given to applications that meet the following criteria:

  • In line with BU’s emerging Research Themes
  • Include external organizations (particularly SMEs and/or international organizations)
  • In line with the strategic priorities of major funding bodies (such as the UK research councils, European Commission, etc)
  • Clearly beneficial to BU’s submission to REF2014

Examples of research activities covered by the RDF include:

  • Pilot projects
  • Pump-priming
  • Meeting expenses
  • Travel to proposed collaborators
  • Attendance at external networking events with the aim of expanding the network
  • Preparation of specialist material or data
  • Short-term Research Assistant support or replacement teaching
  • Consumables and equipment (providing it is clear these would not normally be purchased by the School)
  • Fees for external proposal support and review

Awards will only cover direct costs (i.e. overheads and established staff costs will not be reimbursed). Applications need to include a precise breakdown of costs calculated using full economic costing (fEC) methodology – this will be calculated for you by the RKE Operations team.

For further information please read the Research Development Fund policy – Large Grant Round 2.

To apply for a Large Collaborative Research Grant, please complete the RDF Large Grant application form.

‘I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by’

That wasn’t me, it was Douglas Adams.  Unlike Mr Adams, I’m not a big fan of the whooshing sound.   I prefer my deadlines neatly pinned down. 

The Research Councils, British Academy and the Leverhulme Trust issue calls for proposals which have deadlines at around the same time each year. 

In the interest of deadline-pinning, I have  pulled these annual deadlines together into a 2012 Deadline Guide.  Hopefully, knowing about these deadlines will help you to plan your submissions, and maximise the support available to you.   


What the guide includes:

  • links to specific calls
  • brief descriptions
  • expected deadlines

Why is this guide useful?

  • being aware of deadlines can help you plan
  • good planning gives you time to consider your idea and adapt it to the specific call
  • and gives you time for peer review and general bid writing support

What the guide does not include:

  • information about specific calls that appear on an ad hoc basis

How can you find out about these, and other deadlines ? 

  • Use your Research Professional account to set up personalised funding opportunity searches across all funders, big and small.   RP will also alert you about other calls from the Research Councils etc.  


If you have identified a future deadline and would like some support with your proposal please let me know.  Don’t forget – the earlier I am contacted,  the more effectively I can support you by:

  • helping you through our internal peer review service
  • organising grant writing training
  • giving you examples and guidelines to follow
  • offering general bid-writing advice and answering queries


To find out more about RPRS, the 2012 Deadline Guide , or Research Professional please contact Caroline O’Kane.

Funding Opportunities: HEA & MS Society

We have received information on the following funding opportunities which may be of interest to staff.

Teaching Development Grants from the Higher Education Academy

1. Round 2 of the Individual Grants scheme will open on January 3rd 2012, with a maximum of £7,000 per project, with a focus on employability or internationalisation.

•          The submission deadline is February 19th 2012.

•          Unsuccessful bids from the previous round could be re-submitted if they can be revised in line with the feedback you received from the HEA.

•          However, any bids that do not satisfy the two key principles of student engagement and outputs of benefit beyond BU, or do not thoroughly address ethical issues, will not be considered by the reviewers. So it is critical to get these sections as strong as possible.

•          Successful bids from the July 2011 round are here: http://www.heacademy.ac.uk/teaching-development-grants

2. The Collaborative Grants scheme opens on February 27th 2012, with a submission deadline of April 22nd 2012.

•          The maximum funding per project is £60,000, one bid per institution.

•          These can be either collaborative bids between BU and external bodies, or interdisciplinary between different departments within BU.

•          With collaborative bids, there must be a minimum of two UK HE partners, but other partners could include FECs, private providers or overseas HEIs.

•          The project must be led by a Fellow of the HEA and matched funding is required. 

•          Some further details are available here to support early thinking, but more information will be available in January.

If you would like to discuss potential projects, please contact Jennifer Taylor, Janet Hanson or Linda Byles (both Janet and Linda are TDG reviewers for the HEA).

MS Society Grants 2012

The MS Society intends to run three grant rounds in 2012:

  • Grant Round 1 – PhD Studentships and Innovative Awards
  • Grant Round 2 – Project grants and Junior Fellowships
  • Grant Round 3 – PhD Studentships and Innovative Awards

The MS Society 2012 Grant Round 1 for Innovative and PhD Studentship awards will open on the 17 January 2012, with a deadline for applications 12 noon on 10 February 2012.

For an overview of all the intended 2012 grant rounds and guidance on how to apply for an MS Society research grant please see thier website: http://www.mssociety.org.uk/ms-research/for-researchers/applying-for-research-grants

What do they fund?

As the largest dedicated charitable funder of MS research in the UK, the MS Society welcomes applications for projects that will increase the understanding of, and find new effective treatments for MS, as well as improve care and services for people affected by MS. The Society will consider any application that is relevant to MS. Applications are divided into two funding streams:

  1. Care and Services Research Research proposals that are focussed on relieving the symptoms of MS, developing and evaluating services for people affected by MS or exploring the social and economic impact of MS are classified as care and services research applications.
  2. Biomedical Research Research proposals that are focussed on identifying the causes of MS and/or identifying and developing disease modifying therapies are classified as biomedical research applications. In response to a strategic review the Society has issued a highlight notice for translational and clinical biomedical research and would particularly encourage applicants to submit proposals with this focus.

If you have any questions the society’s research team are happy to answer them at: research@mssociety.org.uk or on: 020 8438 0822.

Research Council Success Rates

The Research Councils have created central web-hubs with all the key data on success rates in addition to other useful data on funded grants and overall budgets.

The data for each council can be accessed from the following links:

The ESRC seems to have one of the lowest success rates.  In the Nov/Dec 2010 round of their responsive mode grants there was only an 8% success rate.

The success rates for NERC varied by the scheme, in the last round of the Consortium grants only 1 was funded.  If your research falls within the remit of NERC and you are within 3 years of your first academic post I would encourage you to consider putting together an application for the new investigator scheme as this had the highest success rate of 23% in the last round.  Unfortunately their small grants scheme is about to be withdrawn after the September 2011 deadline.

For the AHRC the schemes with the highest success rates were the fellowship schemes and the research networking scheme.  The success rates were 40% and 50% for the fellowships and early career fellowships, and 48% for the research networking in 2010-11.

If you would like guidance on which funder and scheme to apply to then our internal peer review service can provide this along with feedback on your application.

Changes to research schemes at NERC

Yesterday the Natural Environment Research Council announced changes to the Consortium and Small grants responsive mode schemes.

The Small Grants Scheme will close after 2011 with the last application deadline being 1st September 2011.

The Consortium Grants Scheme will be modified to operate via one grant round per year rather than two, and an outline stage assessed by members of the Peer Review College will be introduced. The final closing date for submissions to the Consortium scheme in the current format will be 1 December 2011 (concept notes to be submitted by 1 September 2011).  From 2012 additional resources will be committed to the Consortium Grants scheme.

These changes are part of the NERC Delivery Plan 2011-2015 which includes the following targets for Responsive Mode:

  • reduce demand for research grants,
  • consolidate RM schemes and processes, and balances between them, to deliver NERC strategic needs

The full news item can be viewed here.

Funding for ‘risky research’ foreseen at the ESRC

The Economic and Social Research Council is set to announce changes to its funding schemes, according to the blog Research Fundermentals.  Reporting on an ESRC event in London on 2 June, Phil Ward, research funding manager at the University of Kent, said the council would introduce a mechanism for funding innovative or risky research.  This would involve a pilot stage, which, if successful, would be followed by a second stage of funding, said Ward.

According the blog, the council announced that its Centres and Large Grants schemes would have a strong steer towards areas of priority, such as analysing economic performance, influencing behaviour and social mobility.  According to Ward, full details of the changes will be made available on the council’s website in the next few weeks.