Last year, RKEO revised and re-published the BU guide to full Economic Costing, know as fEC (which some people choose to pronounce in a ‘Father Jack’ style). The full guide can be found on the BU intranet.
If you are applying for external funding for your research and knowledge exchange activities then you need to read the guide and understand what makes up the costs of a project. The guide fully explains what fEC is, how it’s calculated, the difference between cost and price, estimating staff time, and explanation of the terminology, i.e. what is directly incurred, directly allocated, estates, indirect costs, and exceptional items.
For more information and assistance with costing your external research or knowledge exchange application, please contact your RKEO Funding Development Officer.
MRC have written to us outlining a recent update to its funding policy to allow the inclusion of a one-page ‘methodology and experimental design’ annex to the case for support.
MRC have stated “The methodological rigour of all applications to the MRC is scrutinised closely during the peer-review process. However, we are increasingly aware that applicants often focus on presenting a compelling scientific rationale at the expense of providing sufficient methodological detail to persuade reviewers that the study will deliver robust and convincing findings. To help address this deficit, and in response to feedback from the community, we are making an important change to our application process; with immediate effect, the MRC is introducing an optional one page annex to the case for support within all research proposals. This will allow applicants to specifically detail the methodology and experimental design aspects of their proposals, and to include figures, tables and/or diagrams relevant to this, where appropriate. Full details can be found in the MRC Guidance for applicants (Sections 2.4.3 and 4.1.4).”
You are strongly encouraged to use the new guidance. Applications for funding will be rejected outright if they do not provide sufficient detail to convince MRC Research Boards and Panels that the proposed experiments will be carried out appropriately; i.e. in the context of a robust study design; with the necessary statistical power to answer the research question; and with an analysis plan that is fit for purpose.
If you are interested in applying to the MRC then please contact the RKEO Funding Development Team in the first instance.
I previously posted about the new Research Funders’ Guide available on the Research Blog under the Research Toolkit. This introduced the major funder pages, which include a wealth of information about their research strategies, what they fund, impact reports, funder guides and success rates.
These pages have now been expanded to include:
- a table of BU’s success rates with the major funders. These figures are provided in order to encourage applications to be submitted to these funders;
- a list of the standard calls by major funders that BU submits to. This includes closing dates where known.
Don’t forget, we also have the Research Lifecycle on the blog where you can see how RKEO can support you with your research plans.
The Research Funders’ Guide was launched last week on the Research Blogs ‘Research Toolkit’ (hover over the link to see what is available to assist you with your external application for funding).
This has since been updated to include success rate data and past awards for the Research Councils. These are a good indication of what the Research Councils are interested in and what they’re prepared to invest in. If you’re interested in applying to a Research Council then do have a look around.
In addition, we’ve tidied up the charities so that the major funders are now shown at the top and also contain links to past awards and some have the quick guides that RKEO have produced to help internal applications understand the process at BU.
Do also have a look at the Research Lifecycle on the blog to see how RKEO can support you with your research plans.
Introductory Session: Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowships 2015 – European (EF) and Global (GF)
WHAT: Two brief overview sessions (1 hour) introducing the fellowships, the support being offered to staff applying and a mapping of the processes both internal and external.
WHERE: Lansdowne (B407) : Tuesday 27th January 10.30am-11.30am , Talbot (P335): Wednesday 28th January 3.30pm-4.30pm (it’s the same session – one for each campus).
The 2015 call for these very popular fellowships is launching 12/03/15. The scheme involves a Researcher, potentially from anywhere in the world, coming to BU for 1 or 2 years with generous funding for salary and other costs.
Come along and find out more!
In an attempt to sharpen the response time of some of our knowledge exchange activities, a new process is to be introduced . During the last 18 months feedback from academics engaged with BU’s knowledge exchange (KE) vehicles suggests that our RKE processes do not always provide the speed and flexibility to operate effectively within a commercial environment. In light of this feedback and under the direction of Professor Bennett, the Research and Knowledge Exchange Office (RKEO) has worked with academics to review the current processes and, in collaboration with Legal Services, have drafted a series of recommendations. These measures should enable those with a proven track record for KE activity to have greater autonomy and empower them to negotiate and close deals with clients in a more flexible manner, thereby providing a more responsive service.
The new process, ‘Fast Track status’, allows for expedited procedures to operate (within selected KE units) thereby enabling them to operate in a more entrepreneurial manner. Fast Track status will be provided by application to KE units that request such status and subject to central audit by both RKE Operations and Legal Services to ensure that the processes are operating within agreed BU policies and the KE strategies of Schools.
Please refer to the Fast Track Status policy document for greater detail of the Fast Track status and guidance on completing the application form.
All applications will require authorisation by the Dean of School/Faculty. If an application is successful, this signed form will act as the APF for all bids/projects from the individual/unit that meet the criteria agreed for Fast Track Status (e.g. individual KE projects under £25k (exclusions apply)). The application will seek confirmation that it aligns to the Schools KE strategy and this will need to be confirmed by the Dean. Recognising that the processes are there for good reason it is not appropriate to change them for all KE work. Instead it is recommended that special status be applied to certain individuals/units to allow them to operate under licence outside of some of these processes enabling a more entrepreneurial approach. To clarify, this status isn’t something that would be available to everyone and would only be awarded on the basis of set criteria against with units apply for such status (see the policy document for more information).
The timeline for implementation is shown below for information:
||Fast Track Status call opens: RKE Ops advertise application process and notify interested parties.
||Collation and preparation of applications: RKE Ops collate applications and, together with Legal Services and Finance, provide input on the track record of applicants and ensure that BU’s charitable status is not impinged by such work (i.e. to ensure that the public benefit is clear) before forwarding documentation on to the PVC.
||3/2/14 – 13/2/14
||Review of applications: PVC reviews applications and approves/ rejects; RKE Ops notify applicants of results.
||13/2/14 – 21/2/14
||Drafting of standard contractual documentation and daily rates: Legal Services meet with successful applicants to agree contractual documentation required for activity; RKE Ops create competitive daily rates for each successful applicant.
||24/2/14 – 14/3/14
||Fast Track Status operational
The application process is now open. Please note that the closing date is 31 January 2014 and late submissions will not be accepted. Applications must be submitted by the Dean of School/Faculty to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have any queries then please contact Jo Garrad at email@example.com.
The academic profile in BRIAN can hold a wide range of information about professional activities, publications and (shortly) grants. As the information in BRIAN is used to populate the profile page which is available to anyone on the web, it is important that there is a minimum set of information that everyone maintains. This minimum set of information will ensure that everyone’s academic profile contains entries for the same types of data, ensuring a consistent level of information across all profiles within the University.
The profile pages are displayed whenever anyone from inside or outside the University seeks information on a member of academic staff. The external viewers include other academics who may be seeking collaboration partners, potential students, commercial enterprises investigating research or enterprise possibilities etc. It is particularly important that those who are potentially being put forward for the REF have full external profiles.
To attain the minimum standard that has been defined for BRIAN, please ensure you have entries in the following areas.
- Research theme
In line with the new version of BRIAN, we have prepared a document ‘BRIAN – Minimum data requirements‘ containing examples of the information required. This is especially relevant for the biography where recent examples of engaging biographies demonstrate what can be achieved.
Once the new version of BRIAN is deployed, we will add some more areas to the minimum standard. These are:
In the new version of BRIAN, you will be able to maintain your photograph yourself.
Academic staff are encouraged to go beyond this minimum level and to record and maintain as much of their academic lives in BRIAN as possible. We encourage you to use BRIAN as a living academic CV and to ensure that your research information and publications are always up to date.
There is no need to delay in adding and updating your information in BRIAN. All the information you add to the current version of BRIAN will be carried across to the new version at the end of the month.
Another feature of the new version of BRIAN, when it is released later this month, will be the ability to record details of grants.
What makes a grant suitable for inclusion in BRIAN? Well, it must have been awarded but you can include those that have been completed. It is advisable to only include grants that are significant such as those from prestigious funders, of significant value, etc. Courses and conferences are not suitable and so should not be included.
The reason for the above is that the grant information that you put into BRIAN will be displayed in the new staff profile pages (live in October).
Another useful feature is that you can mark a grant as a favourite. Grants marked in this way appear on the home page of your external profile and have increased visibility.
Grant information can be added to BRIAN in the same way as you add publication or professional activity information. The mandatory information required to enter a grant consists of: PI name, project title, funder name, start and end date, value and status (awarded, in progress or completed). Other information can also be captured. Grants can be linked to other BU staff and also to your publications.
More guidance will be provided at the launch of the new version of BRIAN. In the interim, please give some thought to any grants that would be suitable for your BRIAN profile.
When the new version of BRIAN is released later this month, a new Research field will be included.
The research field is intended to be used to capture information on your research projects, themes, areas of interest etc. Use this field to provide up to date information on your current activities and future plans such as conference presentations, attendance etc.
It is important that you update your research information on a regular basis to ensure your profile page contains the most recent information. Bi-weekly/weekly updates are ideal. The research information will appear on the front page of the new staff profile pages so it will be easily visible outside BU.
The maximum number of characters for this information is 2,000.
Here is an example of how a research entry could look:
I am currently conducting a research study examining the use of digital imagery in news reporting during times of crisis.
My most recent book, Great Expectations, was published by Chapman and Hall, in June 2013.
My overseas work is largely based in Peru where I am involved in the evaluation of a community-based project funded by Amantani. This involves connecting communities, and in particular, school aged children with global changes. I will be visiting Lima and Arequipa in October ’13 to continue with my research and hope to establish a network with Guayaquil in Ecuador.
I am organising a conference to be held on 13th November 2013 on the ‘Transparency and accountability of journalism’. Applications for papers to be submitted will be open on 1st October. More details can be found here: www.journo.conf@BU.ac.uk
If you are interested in journalism in countries in conflict then please contact me for potential collaboration opportunities at joe.bloggs@BU.ac.uk
If you have time in the next couple of weeks, please prepare your research entry so that it can be pasted into BRIAN when the new Research field becomes available.
When the new version of BRIAN is released on 23 September 2013, you will notice several improvements in the look and feel of the application.
BRIAN continues to provide information on your publications and professional activities, With the new version, we will also be introducing the ability for you to enter information on significant grants that you have won. Look out for more information on grants on Wednesday.
The new BRIAN homepage includes a new navigation menu on the left side of the screen. The My Profile options presents the information in BRIAN in a CV format and importantly includes the ability to upload and maintain your own profile picture. You will only be able to upload one picture at a time but you can change your profile pictures as often as you wish. Explore allows you to search the information in BRIAN and save searches for re-use.
We will be showcasing some of the new features of BRIAN in a series of posts this week. We will also be organising some training in BRIAN on both campuses in early October to help any new or existing BRIAN users get to grips with the application and how it can help you.
If you have any comments, feedback or items you would like us to feature on the blog, please contact us at BRIAN@bournemouth.ac.uk
Tomorrow we will explain the changes being made to the recording of your current research activities in BRIAN.