MMU Research and Knowledge Exchange Blog

Funding opportunities, news and guidance from RKE at Manchester Met

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Research Professional recently shared an article about how useful your Research Office can be and we couldn’t have said it better ourselves.

We may not be researchers but the Research Office can be a real help when you are thinking about writing a bid – and not just because you need us to develop your budget and navigate the institutional approvals!

Illustration of creative ideas conceptFUNDERS We know them. If you have a research idea but you’re not sure which funder you stand the best chance of success with, we will help you explore the funders and get to the bottom of what it is they want to identify where your research best fits amongst them.

FUNDING CALLS We read funding calls all day and we know what to look for when picking out key bits: where the emphasis lies and what the funder is really looking for in a proposal. If you’re not sure you are ticking the right boxes or would like some guidance on any particular scheme, we can help you with that.

TIMESCALES Sometimes it can be a difficult thing to establish a timeline either for writing a research proposal or for carrying out the project itself. Your Research Development Manager can help you to think realistically about your goals and map out how much time you will ideally spend on each aspect of the proposal or project.

LAY REVIEW Your Research Office can be a helpful place to get a lay person’s perspective on your proposal. When your project goes off to the funders for consideration, it is likely that those reviewing it aren’t going to be experts in your field. If your Research Development Manager is having a hard time grasping what your research is, then there’s a possibility that those reviewing it will too, and a project that isn’t easily understood is less likely to be funded than one that is.

You can read the full article here, but the main point is that we are here to help every step of the way so make sure you get in touch so we can get started!

Contact the Research Office:


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‘Changing the Story’: Large Grants research funding that considers how civil society organisations can support children and young people in post-conflict settings

Changing the Story Large Grants: Applications open 1 May

The GCRF programme Changing the Story: Building inclusive civil societies with, and for, young people in post-conflict countries is delighted to launch its Large Grants funding scheme for researchers at all levels, supporting research that considers how civil society organisations (CSO) can best support children and young people in post-conflict settings.

A key aim of Changing the Story is to deliver the first large-scale comparative study of CSO practice across a range of post-conflict societies, confronting the challenge of building strong institutions for the delivery of social justice for young people.

Adopting quantitative and qualitative, co-production and action-research methodologies, Changing the Story is working in partnership with researchers at Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) and Independent Research Organisations (IROs) across the UK and Official Development Assistance (ODA)-recipient countries, using our research findings to develop new methods, case studies and practical toolkits, for engaging children and young people with the many ways that violent national pasts continue to impact on their communities and countries. In the process we seek to generate new theory, as well as making a significant intervention both on the ground and at policy level.

This Large Grants scheme is the third round of projects to be administered by Changing the Story, and follows five proof of concept projects that are situated in Cambodia, Colombia, Kosovo, Rwanda and South Africa and eleven projects across 12 countries funded by our ECR Grants scheme, which closed in December 2018.

CTS Large Grants Awards range from £50,000-£100,000.


Changing the Story is a collaborative project which explores the following research questions:

  • What lessons can be learnt from the ways in which CSOs have attempted to deal with the legacy of past violence on the key issues facing young people in these societies today?
  • How can these lessons be shaped into practical, and sustainable, development projects on the ground, localising best practice to the situation faced by specific communities?
  • How can CSOs most effectively share best practice internationally? What are the higher-level policy implications of our research findings for development agencies and multilateral bodies seeking to roll out more extensive programmes on post-conflict resolution?

The project team applying for the CTS Large grant must be multi-institutional. It must include at least two researchers – one from the UK and one from an ODA-country, one of whom must be the Principal Investigator. It must also include at least one CSO partner working in the ODA recipient country.

Call Opens: 01/05/2019

Closing Date: 14/06/2019

Results expected: July 2019. Earliest start date for research: 15 September 2019

Please see:



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RDS NW Event – Developing Funding Proposals in Applied Health and Social Care: First Grants.

The Research Design Service North West will be holding an event on “Developing Funding Proposal in Applied Health and Social Care: First Grants”.

Date: Monday 3rd June, 9:30 – 15:00

Venue: Mayo Building, Salford Royal Hospital

Registration: Free via the Eventbrite page.

The event is for health and social care researchers in the North West who are looking to develop and submit a funding application. This is aimed at less early career researchers, particularly those with little experience in applying for external funding.

The event will help to develop your proposal skills and increase your chances of your research getting funded. This event will highlight:

  • The funding opportunities available
  • The application process
  • What funders are looking for in a submission
  • How to design a study to answer your research question effectively
  • Building a team of collaborators
  • What to consider when costing a strudy
  • The support the RDS NW can provide in preparation of your application

For more information and to book your place at the event please visit the RDS NW website. Remember the RDS Service are available to help with all medical related bids, not just those going to NIHR!

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Latest News from NC3Rs

The National Centre for Replacement, Refinement & Reduction of Animals in Research (NC3Rs) are the go to funder for projects which look for alternative methods to animal testing. Their funding schemes include Project Grants, PhD Studentships and Training Fellowships.

Here’s an update on the latest news from NC3Rs.

A Pint of 3Rs Science

There will be three events held as part of the Pint of Science event – a worldwide festival that brings scientific researchers to your local pub!

There will be three events held in Birmingham, London and Newcastle. Topics include:

  • Happier animals, better science!
  • Replace, Reduce, Refine: The future of laboratory research
  • Stem cells getting on your nerves?

Tickets for the events are £4 and you can find out more about it here.

Explore the Evidence for Refined Mouse Handling Methods

NC3Rs have produced a table that summarises the research published to date on the tunnel handling and cupping methods for mice handling.

If your research involves mice you can take a look at their web page for more information or download the document here:

Improving the Welfare of Macaques in Research

Behavioural Assessment of Wellness and Pain in Macaques

A new observational study has been launched which will help to improve the wellfare of macaques used in research after identifying behavioural indicators of wellfare and pain.

You can read more about the new study here.

Efficient Transport Box and Chair Training of Rhesus Macaques

A new paper has been published in the Journal of Neuroscience Methods looking at refinements in how rhesus macaques used in fundamental neuroscience research are trained to enter transport devices.

You can read more about this story here.

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Dunhill Medical Trust: New Joint Fellowship Schemes

The Dunhill Medical Trust have announced three new joint Fellowship schemes with the National Institute for Health Research, Alzheimer’s Research UK and British Geriatric Society.

NIHR – Doctoral Fellowship

Deadline: 4th June 2019

Aimed at anyone with a PhD who hasn’t yet been awarded a chair, this scheme is suited to:

  • Individuals who have recently completed a PhD but haven’t yet established as an independent researcher.
  • Individuals starting to establish themselves as independent researchers, or who are established but not yet recognised as an International leader in the field.
  • Individuals transitions into applied health research from a basic science/non-health research background.
  • Individuals looking to re-establish their research career following a significant break.

Full details on this scheme can be found here

ARUK – Clinical Fellowships

Deadline: 3rd July 2019

A training fellowship and full fellowship are available to apply for.

The training fellowship is designed to provide the means for clinically qualified candidates the opportunity to obtain the research track record and skills require to apply for a full clinical fellowship.

The Clinical Research Fellowships are designed for clinically qualified researchers who have delivered previous research projects with evidence of impactful outputs and have clear plans to establish their own ‘niche’.

Full details of the scheme can be found here.

BGS – Doctoral Training Fellowship

Deadline: 2nd August 2019

Designed to support front-line health professionals undertake relevant age-related diseases and frailty. Eligible candidates include; doctors, nurses and allied health professionals working with odler people. Applicants must be a member of the BGS.

Full details of the scheme can be found here.

Please contact your research development team if you wish to apply for any external research funding! Email us:

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GCRF – New Calls from British Academy

ba logo smallThe British Academy have announced two more competitive research calls supported through the Global Challenges Research Fund with a deadline of 22 May 2019. As with all GCRF funded projects, activities must be ODA-eligible, focusing on addressing challenges faced by countries in receipt of Official Development Assistance.

  • Urban Infrastructures of Well-Being – focusing on addressing the challenges of generating and maintaining well-being in the context of rapid urbanisation and infrastructure development. This call requires at least one researcher from the social sciences and humanities and one researcher from the engineering sciences.


  • Heritage, Dignity and Violence – focusing on projects that will deepen the understanding of the relevance and importance of the historical context of development, culture(s) and heritage(s), in promoting sustainable peace and preventing violence.

In both cases, PIs must be based in the UK, but collaborations are encouraged with partners in countries in receipt of Official Development Assistance, and applications are expected to demonstrate equitable international collaboration.

Projects must be 21 months in duration, starting 9 September 2019, and the maximum size of project is £300,000.

You can find out more about the calls via the links above, and if you are interested in applying please contact your Research Development Manager for support and guidance.


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My winning proposal: British Academy Small Grants

The British Academy Small Grant scheme has opened its doors to a new round of applications today with a submission deadline of the 5th June.

If you’re currently writing an application for this round, or thinking of writing one in the future, a recent article from Research Professional might offer some helpful insights. Alison Wray, a professor of language and communication at Cardiff University, talks about her experience of writing a successful application for the scheme and shares top tips and knowledge she picked up along the way.

Read the full article here.


rprofessional             ba logo small

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‘What Works Centre for Wellbeing’ linked funding opportunities with ESRC/AHRC

what works wellbeing 220px-esrc_logo  AHRC 2

There are currently 2 funding opportunities administered by the ESRC in connection with the What Works Centre for Wellbeing.

1) Approaches to Understanding and Measuring Wellbeing

The ESRC and the AHRC, in partnership with the What Works Centre for Wellbeing (WWCW),  invite proposals for innovative research projects that focus on a wide range of methodologies and approaches to understanding and measuring wellbeing.

Proposals are welcome that will look at a vast range of definitions of wellbeing, as well as different methodological approaches to the measurement of wellbeing. This could include debate and comparative study around different understandings and views of ‘wellbeing’ in addition to investigating different methodologies to utilising data resources to inform the measurement of wellbeing in varying contexts. The successful team will be expected to work closely with the WWCW Hub and any existing research projects.

The What Works Wellbeing Centre say:

Getting measurement right is important

Measurement enables us to make comparisons, track progress and articulate what success looks like using verifiable indicators. But measurement is also difficult, particularly when the phenomenon you are trying to measure is as complex as wellbeing. And imperfect measurement can focus attention in the wrong places.

The measurement of wellbeing has come a long way in recent years. We now have an agreed indicator set from the ONS, which includes four subjective measures of wellbeing. There is a growing recognition of the importance and validity, particularly of subjective measures of wellbeing, to understand the impact of government policy and local interventions.

Measuring the right things

But as the appetite to apply a wellbeing lens grows, the challenges and limitations of our existing toolkit of measures raises some important questions for research, policy and practitioners alike.

For example, when valuing the impact a policy:

  • How do you account for who’s wellbeing is affected, and what weightings would be appropriate to ensure policies improve overall wellbeing as well as reduce wellbeing inequalities?
  • How do wellbeing goals at a central level translate to measures that can be measured and implemented by different agencies?
  • How would you account for tradeoffs between different determinants of wellbeing?
  • What does the use of a single measure for wellbeing, such as life satisfaction miss or under-emphasise in terms of the aspects of life and society that we value (eg. power, sustainability) and how can these be accounted for?

It is questions like these that we are hoping that the Methods and Measures project will address.

We are looking forward to receiving proposals from teams of academics that want to work with us to explore some of these complex conceptual and empirical issues, in a way that will demonstrate both the value and pragmatism of a wellbeing approach, and working with that team to develop, translate and apply the outputs of this research project

Applicants can apply for up to £550,000 (100% fEC) of which UKRI will contribute 80%. The intention is to fund one grant. Deadline is  20 June 2019, 16.00. A shortlisting panel meeting will be held in June and interviews will take place in July. Funding decisions will be communicated to applicants by the end of August 2019. The successful grant must start by 15 November 2019

Full details:

2) Highlight notice for ESRC Secondary Data Analysis Initiative

The Secondary Data Analysis Initiative (SDAI) features ad-hoc competitions in collaboration with ESRC’s partner organisations. These calls may focus on exploitation of other datasets or research questions identified by the partner organisations that differ from those in the standard call. In these instances additional funding will be available which will be ring-fenced specifically for these projects.

What Works Centre for Wellbeing – highlight notice:

ESRC, in partnership with the What Works Centre for Wellbeing (WWCW), is seeking to fund up to six projects (dependent on quality of proposals and funding available) via a highlight notice to ESRC’s Secondary Data Analysis Initiative (SDAI) open call, we are inviting innovative proposals on ‘Understanding Wellbeing’ using secondary data.

Projects should use existing data resources to explore the concept of wellbeing in a range of contexts, including but not limited to:

  • work (including flexible, informal and self-employed)
  • community relationships (including trust, empowerment, belonging, social connections, loneliness and isolation, living conditions)
  • finance (including debt, financial uncertainty/precarity)
  • health (Including improving mental health and wellbeing through changes to nutrition, physical activity, arts/cultural intervention etc.)
  • wellbeing inequalities (for individuals or groups)

Deadline is 31 July 2019 for the November panel. Funding is available for up to 24 months with a maximum ESRC funding contribution per project of £300,000 (100% full Economic Cost (fEC)), of which ESRC will contribute 80%).

Successful research teams will work with the What Works Centre for Wellbeing for the duration of the project. Applicants must therefore contact the centre before applying. Applicants should also include relevant expert members of the WWCW as co-investigators or partners on the project

For full details (including a video on the opportunity) please see: