Tagged / internal funding

The GCRF Additional call is Now Open (to existing PIs only)

The GCRF panel has £3600 available to support GCRF eligible activities that can be completed by the end of July 2021. Considering the limited funds and the time constraint, we are opening a very quick call targeting GCRF PIs of current or recently finished projects.

Any requests must demonstrate that the activity is ODA compliant, feasible (no risk of non-spending) and that it will enhance project impact. If funds are to be sent to partners, agreements must be in place and valid until completion of submitted project. Applicants are responsible for assessing their eligibility before submission.

Please submit your application via email to GCRF@bournemouth.ac.uk by close of business 4th June 2021 with the following:

– Name of the GCRF project (funded through BU or UKRI) that will benefit from this extra funding
– Description of activity (what will be done, when and by whom) – all activities must be completed by end of July 2021
– Impact expected (how will this activity enhance project impact? How will this benefit people or the economy of the ODA recipient country?)
– Budget

Please be succinct but informative in your application and address any queries to GCRF@bournemouth.ac.uk

Putting the GCRF Fund into strategic context, under BU2025, the following funding panels operate to prioritise applications for funding and make recommendations to the Research Performance and Management Committee (RPMC).

There are eight funding panels:

  1. HEIF Funding Panel
  2. GCRF Funding Panel
  3. Research Impact Funding Panel
  4. Doctoral Studentship Funding Panel
  5. ACORN Funding Panel
  6. Research Fellowships Funding Panel
  7. Charity Support Funding Panel
  8. SIA Funding panel

The ACORN Fund Additional Round is Closing Soon

As advertised earlier, the ACORN Fund (Acceleration OResearch & Networking) for Early Career Researchers is open for applications  for projects that can be delivered before the end of July 2021. This round differs from previous rounds due to the short turnaround time, smaller budget and limited activities eligible for funding.

The  closing date is Tuesday, 4th May 2021 (5pm) and all applications must be submitted to the email account: acorn@bournemouth.ac.uk. Please use only this email address for submitting your applications.

On BU OneDrive, you can find out more by reading the updated ACORN Fund Policy (the guidance document) and apply using the Application Form for this round. In addition, to assist with the budget section, please refer to the RKE Internal Funding Sample Costs. As this does not require Full Economic Costing, you should not contact your faculty’s Funding Development Officer to complete the costing for you.

This scheme will provide c. five awards, of up to £3,000 each, to support BU’s ECRs, with the most promising talent, to gain experience of managing and leading their own pilot research projects.

Research Impact Funding Panel

This week, our series of blog posts focus on the internal funding panels. Today’s post shares some insights from the Research Impact Funding Panel.

About the Research Impact Funding Panel

The Research Impact Funding Panel was established in Spring 2019 to support the development of impact and to gather evidence of the impact of BU’s research, in line with the BU2025 Research Principles.

Over 50 projects have been funded across three strands:

  1. To support the development of new research partnerships and networks, to lay the groundwork for future research projects.
  2. To provide support for emerging impact from existing underpinning research.
  3. For the development of impact case studies for REF2021.

The Panel is chaired by Professor Dinusha Mendis, with Dr John Oliver as Deputy Chair.

Funded projects

The Research Impact Funding Panel have funded a wide variety of projects, ranging from £10,000 for larger scale activities to just a hundred pounds for travel and networking.

Team based approaches

Successful projects have embodied BU’s research principle of developing teams, with 94% of funded projects including internal and/or external partners. For example, Amanda Korstjens (FST) worked with colleagues from BU’s Department of Life and Environmental Sciences and Department for Creative Technology, BU MRes and PhD students, as well as charities and community groups in Indonesia to create science-based artworks to assist local communities to curtail forest degradation and wildlife killing, and develop tourism engagement activities. You can read more about the project here.

Impact development

Almost half of the funded projects have contributed to impact case studies for BU’s REF 2021 submission, and the funding received has helped to increase the quality of the case studies. Here are just a few examples of how research impact funding has supported our REF impact case studies:

  • Ann Luce from FMC used funding to create the Suicide Reporting Toolkit for Journalists and Journalism Educators which is now used by journalists worldwide.
  • Jane Murphy from FHSS used funding to incorporate her research findings into a new resource developed by the National Association of Care Catering (NACC), and to disseminate at the NACC Training and Development Forum.  As a result, the recommendations from Jane’s research are now being used by the catering sector in the provision of food and nutritional care.
  • Vasilis Katos from FST and Maurizio Borghi from FMC used funding in to work with colleagues from the EU Intellectual Property Office to produce software tools to complement and accompany the Law Enforcement Guide for Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) investigations, resulting in increased visibility and use of the guide.

The Research Impact Fund has also supported many fantastic examples of emerging impact. Anita Diaz (FST) and her interdisciplinary team, have used funding to work collaboratively with the National Trust to create a Habitat Management Spatial Database for the Purbeck Heaths National Nature Reserve (NNR). Relationships were built with Purbeck Heaths NNR Management Steering Group and the Wild Purbeck Partnership to facilitate use of the database among the wider community of conservation organisations and land managers. Over the coming years, this will benefit the conservation management and monitoring of the nationally important Purbeck Heath’s NNR.

External funding

Several of the funded projects have been successfully awarded external funding, following initial internal funding from the Research Impact Fund. For example, Anna Feigenbaum (FMC) was awarded UKRI/AHRC funding for a project entitled “Comics in the time of COVID-19” which built on the initial projects enabled by the Research Impact fund.

 Future of the Research Impact Fund

The Research Impact Fund has now reached the end of its agreed three-year funding. This continuation of the Fund will be considered as part of the development of the next three-year plan for research development (2021-2024).

The ACORN Fund Additional Round is Now Open for Applications!

The ACORN Fund (Acceleration OResearch & Networking) for Early Career Researchers is now open for applications  for projects that can be delivered before the end of July 2021. This round differs from previous rounds due to the short turnaround time, smaller budget and limited activities eligible for funding.

The  closing date is Tuesday, 4th May 2021 (5pm) and all applications must be submitted to the email account: acorn@bournemouth.ac.uk.

This scheme will provide c. five awards, of up to £3,000 each, to support BU’s ECRs, with the most promising talent, to gain experience of managing and leading their own pilot research projects. These awards support BU’s commitment to the Concordat to Support to Career Development of Researchers and are made possible by BU’s QR (Quality Research) allocation for 2021 financial year.

For eligibility, you must be able to comply the following:

  • All applicants must have completed their PhD
  • All applicants must have a post at BU (established or fixed term) for the full duration of the award and the post-award commitments or longer
  • To be considered an early career researcher (ECR) applicants should have held a 0.2 or above research contract for no more than six years in total, excluding periods where the applicant was involved in non-research employment or not at work (e.g. caring responsibilities)
  • ACORN award holders cannot hold more than one BU internal award concurrently
  • Note that funds cannot be used to cover open access fees and travel

On BU OneDrive, you can find out more by reading the updated ACORN Fund Policy and apply using the Application Form for this round. In addition, to assist with the budget section, please refer to the RKE Internal Funding Sample Costs. As this does not require Full Economic Costing, you should not contact your faculty’s Funding Development Officer to complete the costing for you. Please address any queries as below.

The closing date for applications is 4th May 2021. As these require faculty support, please start your application and obtain faculty approval as soon as possible. Applicants are responsible for obtaining faculty sign-off and for submitting the application to the email provided in this post.

Please address any queries to Theresa MacManus at RDS via acorn@bournemouth.ac.uk

——

Putting the ACORN Fund into strategic context, under BU2025, the following funding panels operate to prioritise applications for funding and make recommendations to the Research Performance and Management Committee (RPMC).

There are eight funding panels:

  1. HEIF Funding Panel
  2. GCRF Funding Panel
  3. Research Impact Funding Panel
  4. Doctoral Studentship Funding Panel
  5. ACORN Funding Panel
  6. Research Fellowships Funding Panel
  7. Charity Support Funding Panel
  8. SIA Funding panel

Please see separate announcements regarding each initiative.

These panels align with the BU2025 focus on research, including BU’s Research Principles. Specifically, but not exclusively, regarding the ACORN Fund, please refer to:

  • Principle 5 – which sets of the context for such funding panels;
  • Principle 6 and Outcome 9 – which recognises the need for interdisciplinarity and the importance of social science and humanities (SSH);
  • Outcomes 4 and 5 – where ECRs are provided with the mechanisms for support such as mentors and, through schemes including the ACORN fund, gain budgetary responsibility experience.

BU Research Matters: What support is on offer internally and growing capacity at BU- part 3

Following on from yesterday’s blog post on the support on offer for research applications for external funding, this post will focus on what’s available from internal funding, and how all the support on offer grows research capacity at BU.

Research Funding Panels: To help us further develop our research capacity in line with BU2025, the Research Performance and Management Committee (RPMC) oversees research investment and performance. Under the auspices of the RPMC, Funding Panels have been established to have oversight of funding allocations, in order to further build the research environment, our external engagement and the quality and impact of research endeavours. There are seven funding panels and future calls will be released on the BU intranet. You can find out more information about each panel here, including previous funded projects. The panels include the extensive Research Impact Programme.

Strategic Investment Areas: As articulated within BU2025, our Strategic Investment Areas (SIAs) build on our existing academic strengths and future opportunities aligned to external priorities, including policy direction and funding. The four Strategic Investment Areas are:

  • Assistive Technology
  • Animation, Simulation & Visualisation
  • Medical Science
  • Sustainability, Low Carbon Technology & Materials Science.

Each SIA has an academic steering group and are supported by External Advisory Boards, made up of experts from industry and the not-for-profit sector, to ensure our research activities are informed by wider society. The purpose of these groups is to ensure that we align internal and external resources appropriately to secure the growth of BU’s research profile. All of our SIAs are inherently interdisciplinary and build on existing excellence within the University. You can find out more here, including the opportunities available to get involved and who to contact.

Stop Press: An open call for expressions of interest will go out on the BU intranet this week. The University are seeking to identify game changing research ideas and enable these to become a reality. Keep your eyes out for the launch of the call!

STEAMLabs: These offer the opportunity to meet new people from all disciplines and sectors, and to spend dedicated time developing novel ideas for research projects. We will select topics for STEAMLabs and advertise these for participants. For example, each year we run a STEAMLab for each of the four SIAs. These seek to come up with highly innovative and urgently required research which is ambitious in scope and will require a high level of expertise, commitment and funding. The research must address challenges in the topics advertised. As a result of each STEAMLab, we anticipate the development of innovative, ground-breaking and ambitious projects which have the capacity to attract significant, high value funding from the public and private sectors.

STEAMLabs used to be an all day event, in person, but we’ve amended them to online and for two hours duration. You can see here the details of the last event held in February on the SIA for Animation, Simulation & Visualisation. Check the blog for the next events coming up shortly. These will be for the remaining SIAs, Global Challenges and Industrial Challenges and will take place in April – July 2021.

Open Access Publication Fund: BU operates a dedicated central Open Access Publication Fund (OAPF). The BU Open Access Publication Fund policy and procedure has recently been reviewed and revised to reflect changes to this year’s budget. The newly revised policy and checklist can be found here.  BU now also benefit from various Open Access agreements through JISC deals including with publishers like Wiley, Sage and Springer. Please see the recent blog post, including the relevant links to publishers.

RDS: I mentioned in the two previous posts the support on offer from Research Facilitators for bid development. In addition, RDS have several faculty-facing staff (an overview and contacts are here) and areas of expertise that can support you in your research activities. The latter include:

  • Research Commercialisation Manager – Lesley Hutchins, whose overarching role is the exploitation of BU’s research IP for commercialisation and societal benefit
  • Engagement and Impact Facilitator – Genna Del Rosa and Engagement Officer – Adam Morris – support academics to develop research impact with external stakeholders. This includes supporting public engagement events, and working with academic colleagues to develop engagement strategies to enhance funding bids, and supporting colleagues to deliver and evidence impact.
  • Knowledge Exchange Adviser – Rachel Clarke has a focus on Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs) and the HEIF.
  • Research Outputs Adviser – Pengpeng Hatch, who works with academic colleagues to increase output volume, quality and impact, and for championing open access publishing across the institution.
  • Research Governance Adviser – Sarah Bell and Clinical Governance Adviser – Suzy Wignall – are all things ethics and governance.

Growing research capacity at BU: Research is a key component of Fusion and plays a critical role in the achievement of our BU2025 outcomes to help us achieve our vision of inspiring learning, advancing knowledge and enriching society. In this context, BU2025 set out ambitious plans and targets for research at BU.

As Julie Northam said in her blog post on why BU research matters, research is a priority for BU. It is central to our institutional strategy and ethos and it is fundamental to Fusion. Our research capacity has grown considerably over the past few years. More staff are now engaging actively in research, as demonstrated through the proportion of staff submitted to the Research Excellence Framework (REF). This has increased from less than a third of staff (REF 2014) to over three quarters of staff (REF 2021). We have invested in the Strategic Investment Areas and new institutes (such as the Institute for the Modelling of Socio-Environmental Transitions, IMSET and the Institute for Medical Imaging and Visualisation, IMIV) to bring research to life through programmes of research and collaborative, multidisciplinary research teams. We are applying for and winning longer and larger research projects with more being sent to the prestigious funders.

This weeks posts have outlined the support on offer to BU staff to develop their research activities, regardless of career stage, showing the commitment of the university to grow capacity and build on the excellent work of our ECRs through to the excellent Leadership of our Professors, ensuring research is inclusive to all. The posts have also highlighted the extent to which support is on offer for interdisciplinary work, especially through the opportunities shown above in today’s post.

This weeks three part posts have been a snapshot of what’s available to support you in your research as a BU staff member. Do contact RDS to find out more about how we can support you in your research career. Working together, we can continue to grow research at BU.

COVID-19 competition: BU call for Expressions of Interest

On 6 April, BU launched a COVID-19 internal competition, with a call for EoIs. This opportunity is open to all staff. The EoI deadline is at 23.59 on Tuesday, 14 April, and the winners will be announced on Tuesday, 20 April.

There are three modest cash prizes available, sponsored by the National Research Centre for Computer Animation in the Faculty of Media and Communication. Successful ideas will be selected to go forward to a second competition in conjunction with the universities of Southampton and Portsmouth. Building on our close regional relationships with an aligned response to the COVID-19 crisis and attendant calls for relevant research is a priority for all institutions right now. We at BU are committed to joining forces with our neighbours at this time.

BU staff can find more details about the call on the expression of interest form.

ACORN Funding – Current and Previous Award Holders

As BU Early Career Researchers apply for the current round of ACORN funding, it is timely to remember and celebrate the current and previous award holders.

If you are interested in applying for this internal funding call, please refer to the the launch blog post. The introductory session which took place on 25th September is being repeated, due to popular demand.

The ACORN Fund panel members are looking forward to reviewing the applications to this third round.

Additional ACORN Fund Introductory session

Due to popular demand, we will be re-running the introduction to the ACORN Fund just before the next ECRN meeting on 9th October. To read more, please see the launch blog post. Please come to B204 for 12:15.

No need to book for the ACORN Fund Intro but if you are staying for the ECRN meeting, please book via the event on the ECRN community calendar to ensure sufficient catering.

 

The ACORN Fund is now open for applications!

The ACORN Fund (Acceleration OResearch & Networking) for Early Career Researchers is now open for applications.

This  closing date is Wednesday, 30th October 2019 and all applications must be submitted to the email account: acorn@bournemouth.ac.uk.

This scheme will provide c. five awards, of up to £5,000 each, to support BU’s ECRs, with the most promising talent, to gain experience of managing and leading their own pilot research projects. These award support BU’s commitment to the Concordat to Support to Career Development of Researchers and is made possible by BU’s QR (Quality Research) allocation.

There is a strong link to BU’s ECR Network and the forthcoming  ECR Showcase event. In this way, those who do not benefit directly from the ACORN Fund scheme by receiving funding, will benefit indirectly though interaction with those ECRs who receive support via the scheme.

For eligibility, you must be able to comply with these:

  • All applicants must have completed their PhD
  • All applicants must have a post at BU (established or fixed term) for the full duration of the award and the post-award commitments or longer
  • All applicants should have held a 0.2 or above research contract from no more than six years in total, excluding periods where the applicant was involved in non-research employment or not at work (e.g. caring responsibilities)
  • ACORN award holders cannot hold more than one award concurrently

Within the Research > Pre-award area on the staff intranet, you can find out more by reading the updated ACORN Fund Policy and apply using the Application Form for this round. In addition, to assist with the budget section, please refer to the RKE Internal Funding Sample Costs . As this does not require Full Economic Costing, you should not contact your faculty’s Funding Development Officer to complete the costing for you. Please address any queries as below.

The closing date for applications is 30th October 2019. As these require faculty support, please start your application and obtain faculty approval as soon as possible. Applicants are responsible for obtaining faculty sign-off and for submitting the application to the email below.

Help and Support: There will be a one hour information session on 25th September 2019 and a two hour pre-application workshop on 21st October 2019. You must reserve your place by emailing acorn@bournemouth.ac.uk and specify which sessions you wish to attend. You are welcome to attend both but places are limited.

Please address any queries to Emily Cieciura, Research Development & Support lead for this scheme, via acorn@bournemouth.ac.uk


Putting the ACORN Fund into strategic context, under BU2025, the following funding panels operate to prioritise applications for funding and make recommendations to the Research Performance and Management Committee (RPMC).

There are eight funding panels:

  1. HEIF Funding Panel
  2. GCRF Funding Panel
  3. Research Impact Funding Panel
  4. Doctoral Studentship Funding Panel
  5. ACORN Funding Panel
  6. Research Fellowships Funding Panel
  7. Charity Support Funding Panel
  8. SIA Funding panel

Please see separate announcements regarding each initiative.

These panels align with the BU2025 focus on research, including BU’s Research Principles. Specifically, but not exclusively, regarding the ACORN Fund, please refer to:

  • Principle 5 – which sets of the context for such funding panels
  • Principle 6 and Outcome 9 – which recognises the need for interdisciplinarity and the importance of social science and humanities (SSH)
  • Outcomes 4 and 5 – where ECRs are provided with the mechanisms for support such as mentors and, through schemes including the ACORN fund, gain budgetary responsibility experience

ACORN Fund 2019 – update

In response to queries, the ACORN Fund application form and policy have both been updated to provide greater clarity, especially regarding eligibility. See the launch blog post for details. Please replace any previous downloads with the revised versions (Research>Pre-award)

Thank you to those who raised these queries for your help in making the scheme clearer for all.

The QR GCRF Fund is now open for applications – Deadline 26th March

Today marks the launch of the second round of an internal competition to allocate BU’s Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) grant.

Bournemouth University receives an annual block grant funding from Research England to undertake research as part of the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) that is an integral part of the UK’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) commitment. At BU this funding will once again be allocated via an open competition in accordance with BU QR GCRF three-year institutional strategy. The aim is to support a diverse portfolio of research activities with the common feature that they all in some way address the challenges defined for developing countries in the UN Sustainable Development Goals (the SDGs).

Funding available
The University has established a dedicated GCRF Panel to oversee respective funding allocations, monitor GCRF project performance and ensure awards support the BU QR GCRF three-year institutional strategy.

There will be two BU-GCRF calls in spring 2019. The first call is open to all existing GCRF/ODA compliant projects or activities that require additional funding to extend or enhance their impact. A second call will be open in spring 2019 to encourage and consider new GCRF and ODA related activity with projects starting from September 2019.

Eligibility
This first call will give priority to existing GCRF and ODA compliant activities and projects. Applications are welcome from academic and research staff from all faculties and departments at BU. For staff on fixed-term contracts, their existing employment contract must outlast the duration of the project.

Application process

Colleagues interested in applying should read and download the BU HEFCE GCRF call specification and guidelines and complete the application form (annex 1 to the guidelines).

 The deadline for submissions is 5 pm (GMT) on the 26th March 2019 Successful applicants will receive notification early April 2019.

Completed application forms should be sent to Alexandra Pękalski, Panel Secretary (GCRF@bournemouth.ac.uk ).


Putting the GCRF Fund into strategic context, under BU2025, the following funding panels operate to prioritise applications for funding and make recommendations to the Research Performance and Management Committee (RPMC).

There are eight funding panels:

  1. HEIF Funding Panel
  2. GCRF Funding Panel
  3. Research Impact Funding Panel
  4. Doctoral Studentship Funding Panel
  5. ACORN Funding Panel
  6. Research Fellowships Funding Panel
  7. Charity Support Funding Panel
  8. SIA Funding panel

Please see further announcements regarding each initiative over the coming weeks.

These panels align with the BU2025 focus on research, including BU’s Research Principles. Specifically, but not exclusively, regarding the GCRF Fund, please refer to:

  • Principle 5 – which sets of the context for such funding panels
  • Principle 6 and Outcome 9 – which recognises the need for interdisciplinarity and the importance of social science and humanities (SSH)
  • Outcomes 4 and 5 – where ECRs are provided with the mechanisms for support such as mentors and, through schemes including the GCRF fund, gain budgetary responsibility experience

The ACORN Fund is now open for applications!

The ACORN Fund (Acceleration OResearch & Networking) for Early Career Researchers is now open for applications.

This year’s closing date is Thursday, 18th April 2019 and all applications must be submitted to the email account: acorn@bournemouth.ac.uk.

This scheme will provide c. five awards, of up to £5,000 each, to support BU’s ECRs, with the most promising talent, to gain experience of managing and leading their own pilot research projects. These award support BU’s commitment to the Concordat to Support to Career Development of Researchers and is made possible by BU’s QR (Quality Research) allocation.

There is a strong link to BU’s ECR Network and the forthcoming 2019 ECR Showcase event. In this way, those who do not benefit directly from the ACORN Fund scheme by receiving funding, will benefit indirectly though interaction with those ECRs who receive support via the scheme.

For eligibility, an ECR in this case is defined as someone who started their research career on or after 1 August 2014. This is the point at which they held a contract of employment of 0.2 FTE or greater, which included a primary employment function of undertaking ‘research’ or ‘teaching and research’, with any HE or other organisation, whether in the UK or overseas. 

Within the Research > Pre-award area on the staff intranet, you can find out more by reading the ACORN Fund Policy (2019) and apply using the Application Form for this round (2019). In addition, to assist with the budget section, please refer to the RKE Sample Costs . As this does not require Full Economic Costing, you should not contact your faculty’s Funding Development Officer to complete the costing for you. Please address any queries as below.

The closing date for applications is 18th April 2018. As these require faculty support, please start your application and obtain faculty approval as soon as possible. Applicants are responsible for obtaining faculty sign-off and for submitting the application to the email below.

Please address any queries to Emily Cieciura, Research Development & Support lead for this scheme, via acorn@bournemouth.ac.uk


Putting the ACORN Fund into strategic context, under BU2025, the following funding panels operate to prioritise applications for funding and make recommendations to the Research Performance and Management Committee (RPMC).

There are eight funding panels:

  1. HEIF Funding Panel
  2. GCRF Funding Panel
  3. Research Impact Funding Panel
  4. Doctoral Studentship Funding Panel
  5. ACORN Funding Panel
  6. Research Fellowships Funding Panel
  7. Charity Support Funding Panel
  8. SIA Funding panel

Please see further announcements regarding each initiative over the coming weeks.

These panels align with the BU2025 focus on research, including BU’s Research Principles. Specifically, but not exclusively, regarding the ACORN Fund, please refer to:

  • Principle 5 – which sets of the context for such funding panels
  • Principle 6 and Outcome 9 – which recognises the need for interdisciplinarity and the importance of social science and humanities (SSH)
  • Outcomes 4 and 5 – where ECRs are provided with the mechanisms for support such as mentors and, through schemes including the ACORN fund, gain budgetary responsibility experience

An update to all applicants to the Fusion Investment Fund!

We received 65 proposals across the three strands which was very encouraging and with the workshops we ran in June being well attended, I am pleased there has been a lot of interest in this new initiative. 

I received 39 applications for Co-Creation and Co-Production Strand (budget £400k), 7 for Study Leave Strand (budget £750k) and 19 for Staff Mobility & Networking Strand (budget £200k).  The committees meet this week to decide which proposals get funding and Matthew Bennett will be in touch to relay these decisions to all our applicants.  Applicants will know the outcome by 30th July.

If you were not successful in this round, I hope you won’t be discouraged from applying again to the fund in December, which is when we will open again applications.  There is an opportunity to receive face to face feedback from a member of the panels, this is helpful in shaping future applications and our committee members are keen to help you secure funding in December.

For any other queries about the fund, contact me Sam Furr.

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’.