Tagged / policy

Higher Education and Research Bill update

The HE and Research Bill had its second reading in the House of Lords yesterday and has now moved to the Lords Committee stage – battle lines were drawn.  It was a long debate, but if you weren’t able to watch it or follow the live tweeting, you can read the full debate in Hansard here.  At the committee stage (no dates available yet) amendments will be tabled and discussed in great detail.

The Bill has only had government amendments approved so far, and there has been a lot of criticism (of and by everyone) of the level of scrutiny so far – with time being severely limited in committee and third reading stage in the Commons, with all opposition amendments  rejected.  But as you saw from my update on the third reading in the Commons, the debate there centered largely on Brexit, student visas, TEF, and loans (none of which are actually covered by the Bill), with very little actual focus on the bill itself.

It is expected that the Lords, while they will discuss those issues as well, will also focus on the bill itself, particularly on the changes to the research landscape, but also on degree awarding powers and other aspects of autonomy – and that was reflected yesterday, as well as discussions about the TEF.

UUK have update their briefing note to focus on what they want from the Lords – read it here – it lists the same 7 issues as for the House of Commons third reading, so it is interesting to see that they have flagged three in particular in a joint letter to the Guardian with GuildHE, calling for the Lords to amend the Bill to address probationary degree awarding powers, to stop the OfS validating degrees and to stop the government interfering in academic standards and course funding.

It has long been expected that fees, loans and the linking of TEF to fees, will be a feature of the Lords debate – Wes Streeting wrote about student loan repayment yesterday: Wes Streeting MP: Labour Lords will fight student loan repayment ‘scandal’

Influencing Public Policy Workshop

Calling all researchers! Would you like your research to influence policy?

BU’s Policy Advisor, Jane Forster, will be running a workshop this Thursday 27 October to help you to use your research to influence policy makers.

Working alongside policy makers is a useful tool to get your research recognised and used by professionals in your relevant field, which can then have an impact on society.

Influencing policy is a great way of raising the profile of the research, this can also help benefit society and help raise the profile for the academic behind the research. This also creates room for new partnerships and future collaborations, for both the research and the academic.

Research is a useful tool to influence policy, as this provides evidence based change or amendment to legislation. This is a powerful way of developing research impact. As this can be a complex process, Jane Forster will explain the process of influencing policy and how your research can influence policy makers.

The workshop will run from 09:30-11:30 on Lansdowne Campus. You can find out more information here or you can complete the booking form here.

 

RCUK Policy Internships Scheme

PhD students! An exciting internship opportunity has come up. RCUK Policy are looking for PhD students, funded by the UK Research Councils, to work for three months in one of a selected group of highly influential organisations relevant to UK policy. Successful applicants will have the opportunity to work on one or more policy topics of interest. This will give you the chance to participate in a policy inquiry, organise a policy event and produce at least one briefing paper.

The internship is open to all Research Council-funded students. All applicants must be funded until 31 December 2017, to be eligible for the scheme.

Interested? All applications must be submitted by 4pm on Tuesday 1 September 2016. You’ll be notified by the end of September 2016 on the success of your application. If you’re successful, then you’ll be interviewed sometime in October or November.

Click here to find out more information and submit your application.

How does research influence public policy?

Informing government policy was the most commonly cited impact in REF 2014.  Join us on Wednesday 25 May or Thursday 26 May to find out how government policy is developed, and explore the ways in which policy can be influenced and informed by research.

In bitesize hour-long seminars, Jane Forster (Policy Adviser to the Vice-Chancellor) and Emma Bambury-Whitton (Policy and Public Affairs Officer) will explore successful routes to impact through policy engagement.  From giving evidence at Select Committee inquiries and creating policy briefing papers, to engaging in direct correspondence with MPs and Peers, this session will give practical tips and examples of how research filters into policy discussions.

The session will also outline the opportunities and resources available within BU and externally to support academic and support staff to engage decision-makers with research.

Book your place via Eventbrite:
Wednesday 25 May – Talbot
Thursday 26 May – Lansdowne

The session will take place on Wednesday 25 May in Kimmeridge House (KG03) Talbot campus from 13.30 – 14.30 and will be repeated on Thursday 26 May at 12.30 – 13.30 in the Executive Business Centre (EB708) Lansdowne campus.  Please feel free to bring your lunch along to the sessions.

impact wordle 3

This session forms part of a series of research impact seminars and workshops, organised by RKEO to explore the various pathways to achieving societal and economic impact.  Within the series, attendees will explore methods for effectively engaging a variety of research users throughout the research process, and develop new ways to plan, deliver and evidence impact.

 

View the other events in the series or email Genna West for further information.

 

ESRC have updated their Research Data policy

The ESRC has updated its research data policy .

The key points are:

  • it is the grant holder’s responsibility to incorporate data management as an integral part of the research project, and
  • data must be made available for re-use or archiving with the ESRC data service providers within three months of the end of the grant.

Please click on the link above for further information.

HEFCE are looking for views on a potential international REF in future…

HEFCE has published a survey inviting views on an internationalised system of research assessment.

This survey forms part of a project exploring the benefits and challenges of expanding the UK’s research assessment system, the Research Excellence Framework (REF), on an international basis. At the broadest level, this means an extension of the assessment to incorporate submissions from universities overseas.

This follows an invitation earlier this year from the then Minister of State for Universities and Science, David Willetts, for HEFCE to provide an opinion on the feasibility of an international REF. The project belongs in a wider context of international interest in the exercise, on which HEFCE frequently provides information and advice to higher education policymakers and university senior management from overseas.

The THE ran a story about this in April 2014: HEFCE looks at overseas links for research excellence 

Responses are invited from any organisation or individual with an interest in higher education research or its assessment. The survey will be open until Wednesday 12 November 2014.

The survey only has four questions –

1. What do you think the key benefits would be of expanding the REF internationally?

2. What do you think the key challenges would be in expanding the REF internationally?

3. In view of the potential benefits and challenges overall, how supportive would you be of further work to explore the issues in more depth?

4. Have you got any further comments relating to internationalisation of REF?

To complete the survey visit: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/refinternationalisation

HEFCE are looking for views on a potential international REF in future…

HEFCE has published a survey inviting views on an internationalised system of research assessment.

This survey forms part of a project exploring the benefits and challenges of expanding the UK’s research assessment system, the Research Excellence Framework (REF), on an international basis. At the broadest level, this means an extension of the assessment to incorporate submissions from universities overseas.

This follows an invitation earlier this year from the then Minister of State for Universities and Science, David Willetts, for HEFCE to provide an opinion on the feasibility of an international REF. The project belongs in a wider context of international interest in the exercise, on which HEFCE frequently provides information and advice to higher education policymakers and university senior management from overseas.

The THE ran a story about this in April 2014: HEFCE looks at overseas links for research excellence 

Responses are invited from any organisation or individual with an interest in higher education research or its assessment. The survey will be open until Wednesday 12 November 2014.

The survey only has four questions –

1. What do you think the key benefits would be of expanding the REF internationally?

2. What do you think the key challenges would be in expanding the REF internationally?

3. In view of the potential benefits and challenges overall, how supportive would you be of further work to explore the issues in more depth?

4. Have you got any further comments relating to internationalisation of REF?

To complete the survey visit: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/refinternationalisation

LIFE+ 2012 Call now open!

The sixth LIFE+ call opened recently and closes on the 26th September 2012. LIFE+ funds projects that implement, update and develop Community environmental policy and legislation. There are three strands:

There is a significant change to the application process this year as this must be done using a new eProposal online tool. There are user guides available on the LIFE+ website. In addition applicants submitting a Nature & Biodiversity project or an Information & Communication project related to Forest Fire Prevention will also need to submit an A8 form, signed by the relevant competent authority.

Beta Technology can review your project idea before you start taking time to fill in the application form, simply complete the project concept form and send it to Catherine Holt or Jane Watkins . You can also take a look at the Tips and Advice section of the Beta website for some great hints when completing an application.

There is also an Info Day for this call being held in London on May 29th  -povisional plans for the day include presentations from Stefan Welin, Technical Desk Officer at the EU LIFE Unit, Catherine Holt from BETA Technology and previous project funding recipients. Attendance is free but must be registered in advance, places are limited and will initially be allocated at one per organisation on a first come, first served basis; you can register here.

 

URGENT! Your chance to get involved in EC policy (and therefore funding priority) setting!

I have just been made aware that the European Commission has launched a call for expressions of interest for a new initiative, the “Voice of the Researchers”. The aim is to appoint 20 researchers to advise the Commission on a range of issues.  This is a key opportunity to get your views heard in Europe and help shape EU policy which will then influence funding calls for proposals.

The call for expressions of interest is targeted at researchers of all ages, nationalities and disciplines and it is hoped that  20 candidates will be appointed to advise on policy issues such as:

  • Defining the researchers’ role and contribution to global societal challenges;
  • Improving the career prospects and working conditions of researchers in Europe;
  • Strengthening the social prestige and recognition of researchers; and
  • Developing new, interactive communication channels between researchers and the Commission.

Selected candidates will be invited to a brainstorming session on 23 April 2012. This is an excellent opportunity for researchers to provide input into future policy. To apply you have to answer 4 questions with no more than a 150 word answer for each in an online expression of interest , but the deadline is Thursday (15th March)  so be quick!

Calls related to Health Policy released & InfoDay live online!

The Executive Agency for Health and Consumers (EAHC) has issued calls for proposals, based upon the Directorate for Public Health and Consumers (DG Sanco) Work Programme for 2012. This Programme supports the European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing, and the calls cover a wide area of public health issues. The deadline for these proposals is 09.03.12. Funds are available for projects, conferences, operating grants and joint actions, available through calls under the following headings:

      • 3.1.1. Protect citizens against health threats – Develop risk management capacity and procedures, improve preparedness and planning for health emergencies;
      • 3.1.2. Protect citizens against health threats – Develop strategies and mechanisms for preventing, exchanging information on and responding to health threats from communicable and non-communicable diseases and health threats from physical, chemical or biological sources, including deliberate release acts;
      • 3.1.3. Improve citizens’ safety – Scientific advice;
      • 3.1.4. Improve citizens’ safety – Safety and quality of organs and substances of human origin, blood, and blood derivatives;
      • 3.2.1. Increasing healthy life years and promoting healthy ageing;
      • 3.2.2. Identifying the causes of, addressing and reducing health inequalities within and between Member States in order to contribute to prosperity and cohesion; supporting co-operation on issues of cross-border care and patient and health professional mobility;
      • 3.2.3. Addressing health determinants to promote and improve physical and mental health and taking action on key factors such as nutrition and physical activity, and on addiction-related determinants such as tobacco and alcohol;
      • 3.2.4. Prevention of major and rare diseases;
      • 3.3.1. European Health Information System;
      • 3.3.2. Dissemination, analysis and application of health information; provision of information to citizens, stakeholders and policy makers; and
      • 3.3.3. Analysis and reporting.

Take a look at the DG Sanco web page for more information on the calls.

There is also an Information Day in Brussels on 11.01.12 where you will be offered the opportunity to clarify queries concerning the administrative procedure and the technical contents of the call, as well as network with others in the same field. The deadline for registration for this event is 09.01.12 January 2012 but don’t worry if you can’t make it as the Infoday will also be web-streamed, and the link to this will be available on the EAHC website in advance.

Inclusive, Innovative & Secure Societies: Report from Horizon 2020 Stakeholder Workshop

Horizon 2020 will replace FP7 in 2014. Stakeholder workshops on the proposed ‘societal challenges’ have been held, including one on Inclusive, Innovative and Secure Societies. The workshops confirmed that the strand will encompass research currently funded under the Socio-economic Sciences and Humanities (SSH) and Security themes of the FP7 Co-operation programme, as well as the Science in Society and Coherent Policy Development strands of FP7 Capacities and the ICT for society aspects of the ICT theme. 

The overarching conclusion from the two workshops was that although most of these areas could work together together to make a cohesive social sciences theme, the security element was a less comfortable fit (felt by both the security and the social sciences and humanities community). A new challenge entitled ‘Protecting the freedom of Europe and its citizens’ was suggested.

Hot off the press this week – 4 new EU calls for proposals and tenders!

Calls for Proposals
Information, Training & Assistance Centres in Latin America: Proposals should ensure the visibility of European satellite navigation activities, monitor local satellite navigation initiatives and support the EU satellite navigation industry through support of information, training and assistance centres and activities, in Latin America. Deadline 15.09.11

Youth Support Systems: This call for proposals aims at supporting partnerships with regions, municipalities, civil society actors and bodies active in corporate social responsibility in order to develop over the long-term projects which combine various measures of the ‘Youth in Action’ programme. This mechanism aims at encouraging synergies and cooperation between the European Commission — via the Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency — and the different actors working in the field of youth by pooling resources and practices with a view to maximising the impact of the programme and to reaching out to a higher number of beneficiaries. Deadline 03.11.11

Calls for Tenders
Stimulating Innovation for EU Enterprises through ICT: The objective of this action is to assess the policy context, concept, implementation, results and economic impact of the EU policy initiative eBSN (eBusiness support network for SMEs), focusing in particular on the initiative on ‘Stimulating innovation for European enterprises through smart use of ICT’, encompassing a series of industry-specific demonstration actions to stimulate innovation among European SMEs through smart use of ICTs. Deadline 06.10.11

Guidance for Active Age Management – Supporting Longer Working Lives of Older Workers: The aim of this Europe-wide study is to investigate how lifelong guidance is embedded in the European Union and national policies and strategies on active ageing as well as in employer’s age management strategies supporting older workers’ (55+) lifelong learning and skills development, and within this context to what extent various guidance services available to this target group in real terms address the issue of staying longer in employment (instead of making an early exit from working life). Deadline 26.09.11

latest Green Knowledge Economy focused EU funding calls

Literature Review on the Potential Climate Change Effects on Drinking Water Resources:proposal must complete a literature review on the potential climate change effects on drinking water resources across the EU and the identification of priorities among different types of drinking water supplies. Deadline: 1 August 2011.

European Red List of Marine Fishes: proposal must produce production of a European Red List of marine fishes according to IUCN Red List criteria. Deadline: 1 August 2011.

Assessment of Hemispheric Air Pollution on EU Air Policy: proposal must further underpin the policy development within the EU and the CLRTAP on aspects of intercontinental transport of air pollution. Deadline: 10 August 2011.

Blending of Biofuels with Fossil Fuels: proposal must focus on the blending of biofuels with fossil fuels and other ways to market biofuels in order to provide the Commission with the considerations and inputs necessary to report under the Renewable Energy Directive. Deadline: 12 August 2011.

Renewable Energy Policy Support: proposals must provide a thorough and regularly updated database of renewable energy measures, with a focus on financial support and market/grid access for each EU member state, as well as ad hoc analysis on specific relevant topics. Closing date: 19 August 2011