Tagged / internal funding

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’.