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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RLWC2021 Priority Ticket Sale

Exclusive to Manchester Met staff

Closes: Sunday 4th April 2021 – 20:21

It’s 200 days to go to the Rugby League World Cup 2021. As partners of the event, Manchester Met staff can benefit from priority access to ticket sales and secure a seat to the biggest and best Rugby League World Cup this October and November.  

Tell your friends, inform your family; it’s time to assemble your squad. History will be created as the world’s finest Rugby League stars take to the field at premier venues across the nation. After unprecedented sales in 2020, make sure that you secure your place early at international Rugby League’s biggest event before tickets are released to general sale (Tuesday 6th April 2021).
Many fixtures now have medium/low availability.

RLWC2021 will include an exclusive Wall Planner with every transaction and are offering you the chance to win back the cost of your tickets if you spend over £100 in a transaction.

To take advantage of this very special and exclusive offer, click here before 4th April 20:21

#RLWC2021 #SquadsAssemble

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British Academy Small Grant – Spring 2021

Scheme Opens: Wednesday 7th April 2021
Scheme Deadline: Wednesday 2nd June 2021

Website and Scheme Guidance Notes can be found here. Please familiarise yourself with the guidance before proceeding with an application.

The spring 2021 round of the British Academy Small Grants is opening on 07 April 2021 for applications of up to £10,000 for a clearly defined research project within the humanities and social sciences. Researchers must be of post-doctoral standing and funds are available to facilitate initial project planning and development; to support the direct costs of research; and to enable the advancement of research through workshops or conferences, or visits by or to partner scholars.

Please visit Research Development’s Sharepoint to access an information presentation that outlines the scheme, its aims and illustrates what a typical project and budget might look like:

All external grant applications require full economic costing from RKE and Worktribe approval. Please note that your application may also require formal peer review and you should contact RKE to check if any additional processes or checks are in place for your Research Centre or Faculty.

To discuss your research idea, the application process or the internal processes please contact Becky Hewlett in the Research Development team:

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Pre-call Announcement: recovery, renewal and resilience in a post-pandemic world (AHRC & ESRC)

The Trans-Atlantic Platform (T-AP) for Social Sciences and Humanities, an unprecedented collaboration between humanities and social science research funders from South America, North America and Europe, is pleased to announce its third joint research call on Recovery, Renewal and Resilience in a Post-Pandemic World.

The UK part of the proposal must be within ESRC’s or AHRC’s remit.

Your project can be between two and three years long.

Aim and scope of the call

The COVID-19 pandemic is a major crisis that touches on all aspects of health, social, economic, political, and cultural life. The T-AP research call on Recovery, Renewal and Resilience in a Post-Pandemic World (RRR) aims to address key gaps in our understanding of the dynamic and complex interaction of medium and long-term societal effects of COVID-19 pandemic. This understanding, in turn, should advance knowledge of how to mitigate the negative societal effects of COVID-19 pandemic and support recovery and renewal in a post-pandemic world. Applicants are required to submit novel interdisciplinary and significant SSH research proposals that address one or more of the following five challenges:

  • reducing inequalities and vulnerabilities;
  • building a more resilient, inclusive and sustainable society;
  • fostering democratic governance and political participation;
  • advancing responsible and inclusive digital innovation; and
  • ensuring effective and accurate communication and media.


Applicants must apply as a transnational research project partnership. Each project must comprise at least three eligible Principal Investigators from at least three different T-AP participating countries from both sides of the Atlantic. Applicants are encouraged to start discussing possible projects with prospective partners.

The following funding organizations intend to support the RRR call**

** Final decision pending

*** International Development Research Centre Canada is providing funding for researchers from Belize, Bolivia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay and Peru.

Tentative Timeline

Call announcement12th April 2021
WebinarsApril and May 2021
Compulsory Intention to submit form deadline14th June 2021
Closing date for submissions of full proposals12th  July 2021
Notice of funding decisionTBS
Successful Projects start date1st March 2022

The RRR call is expected to be launched on 12th April 2021. Please note that this pre-announcement is for information purposes only. It does not create any obligation for the T-AP nor for any of the participating funding organizations. All information provided in this pre-announcement is subject to change. The official call announcement (Call for Proposals and additional information) will be published on the T-AP website (

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Research Professional’s Best Kept Secrets

Research Professional is a subscription based website that boasts a huge database for searching for externally funded research. As an academic at Manchester Metropolitan you can access Research Professional by simply heading to the website – as long as you’re on the University Network. Many will already be familiar with the funding search (if you’re new to using RP then check out our quick start toolkit here) and may have already set up your own (free) account to personalise your searches and alerts for new opportunities.

Research Professionals offers a lot more than just the funding searches though, it’s also a treasure trove of information from news across the Higher Education sector to how academics won their awards.

Some of the most useful information to help hone your bid writing skills can be found under the funding tab on the website, specifically the ‘Know How’ section:

The ‘Know How’ section is an excellent resource for all academics who plan on submitting bids for funding regardless of career stage or disciple. This area can give you further insights into what is going on behind the scenes at particular funders (e.g. Does Wellcome’s strategy pass the test?), can give you a window into successful grant applications (e.g. the ‘My Winning Proposal‘ articles) and areas of impact you may not have even considered (e.g. How not to waste your time on social media).

Know the Basics should be your first stop, offering advice and tips that can help to improve your writing style or how to tailor your writing for specific funders, here are some examples of what you can find:

If you’re having any issues with your Research Professional account please contact the Research Development Team who will be happy to assist.

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You are invited to the Images of Research 2021 final

The Images of Research final will be held on Wednesday 24 March 2021 at 12pm. This year the competition was opened up to all current Manchester Met researchers as well as postgraduate researchers. 

With the challenges over the past 12 months, we wanted this year’s competition to be a celebration of the diversity of perspectives in research that takes place at Manchester Met.  

The event will not only showcase the finalists who will introduce their research, it will also be an opportunity to hear from our expert panel on their thoughts on diversity in research. The panelists include: 

  • Professor Richard Greene, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for RKE 
  • Professor Farida Vis, Professor of Digital Media and Head of Manchester School of Art Research Centre 
  • Dr Steph Curley, ESRI Research Fellow 
  • Dr Laura Breen, Impact and Engagement Manager for HPSC/Education and RKE Equality & Diversity Champion 

The two Judges’ Choice winners will be announced during the final as well as the People’s Choice winner – voted by colleagues and members of the public.

Voting is open until 1pm on Wednesday 24 March and we’d encourage you to have a look at the online gallery and cast your vote.  

Tickets to the final are available at  Come along to show your support to Manchester Met’s PGRs and researchers.  

Find out more about Images of Research 

Images of Research 2021 Finalists

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MS Society 2021 Grants Now Open

The MS Society have now opened their grant round for 2021. This round of funding will remain entirely focused on studies relevant to their Research Strategy and the needs identified by people affected by MS. Projects should fall within the remit of the societies longer-term strategies set out in their 5 year Research Strategy.

Available awards include:

  • Catalyst Award
  • Project Award
  • PhD Fellowship (a Career Development Award)
  • Early Career Fellowship (a Career Development Award)

Important Dates:

Deadline for lay Application Development: 12 noon Monday 12th April

Deadlines for full applications:

  • Catalyst Awards: 12 noon Tuesday 25th May
  • Project Awards and Career Development Awards: 12 noon Tuesday 15th June

For further information on the schemes available please visit the MS Society website.

If you wish to apply for any of these opportunities then please contact your Research Development Team.

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Opening soon: MRC – Infection and Immunity Grants

The Medical Research Council will soon be opening applications for their Partnership Grants and New Investigator Grants to for the Infection and Immunity Board.

Partnership Grants

These grants offer support to new form new partnerships between diverse groups of researchers within the areas of infection and immuniity.

The funding is available for between 1-5 years to establish new, high-value collaborative activities and capabilities or to add value to high-quality scientific programmes that are already supported by grants from MRC and other funders.

For more information please visit the call page on the UKRI website.

New Investigator Grants

The Infection and Immunity Board New Investigator grants are for researchers who are ready to take the next step towards becoming an independent principal investigator with clear host institution support.

There is no limit to the funding that can be requested but the amount should be appropriate to the project and justified. Awards are typically up to £1m.

New investigator awards usually last 3 years and fund up to 50% of your salary.

For more information please visit the call page on the UKRI website.

Key details

both schemes open: 14th June 2021 | Both schemes close: 8th September 2021

As with all research funding, if you wish to apply for either of these opportunities please do contact your Research Development Team as soon as possible.

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NIHR – Improving support for adult and/or older carers

NIHR are now accepting applications to the Improving support for adult and/or older carers call which is a part of the Health Services and Delivery Research (HS&DR) programme.

The HS&DR programme wishes to fund high-quality, theory-led work on effective approaches to supporting carers. New research of all kinds is needed, but specific priorities have been identified by carers, voluntary groups and others. Some examples identified include:

  • overview of what works to reduce social isolation for carers
  • evaluations of models of ‘centres’ to support carers
  • better ways of identifying and assessing carer support needs, particularly older individuals, and those in marginalised communities.

A webinar will be held in mid-April to support this funding opportunity. Please visit the NIHR website for further details as the time and date for this session are yet to be released.

If you are interested in applying to this call then please visit the NIHR website for further details including eligibility and supporting notes.

Please contact your Research Development Team for any applications for research funding as soon as possible.

Key Details

Deadline: 5th August 2021 | Stage 1 shortlisting: 8th October | Stage 2 deadline: November 2021 | Stage 2 decision: February 2022 | Study start date: May/June 2022

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Muscular Dystrophy UK – Grant Round 2021 Now Open

Muscular Dystrophy UK’s Grant Round for 2021 is now open for applications. Due to the financial impact of COVID-19 on the charity the funding available will be more limited this year.

A single award, up to 12 months in duration, will be available for each of the following conditions:

  • Becker muscular dystrophy
  • Collagen VI-related disorders
  • Congenital myotonic dystrophy
  • Myotonic dystrophy

The SMA PhD partnership with SMA UK will still continue this year to support one 4-year PhD studentship.

MDUK are looking to fund research projects that can demonstrate their relevance to the charities remit, goals and objectives. MDUK are looking to invest in research that increases our understanding of neuromuscular conditions and develop potential treatments as well as applications for research that will have a direct, positive impact of the qualities of people’s lives or helps to establish best practice in symptom management. This includes (but is not limited to) social or psychological research or projects with a focus on exercise, physiotherapy, fatigue or chronic pain.

For more information please visit the Muscular Dystrophy UK website. If you wish to apply for any of these opportunities please contact the Research Development Team.

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NIHR Upcoming Webinars

The National Institute for Health Research have a number of upcoming webinars and events that are free to attend and may be of interest:

Embedding ethical approaches to AI in health and care

NIHR has teamed up with NHSX’s NHS Artificial Intelligence (AI) Lab, and The Health Foundation, on a new funding call for research on artificial intelligence and racial and ethnic inequalities in health and care, opening at the end of March.

For more information please visit the NIHR website. The Webinar will take place 12:30 – 14:35 on Weds 10th March.

Using health and social care datasets in research

The Research Design Service are hosting two webinars on using health and social care datasets in research. These events are for researchers, including ECR’s, who are looking for practical guidance on how to find, access, and gain approvals to use health datasets.

RDS Public Health Research Programme half day

The Research Design Service is hosting a half-day event on Wednesday 28th April for researchers interested in the Public Health Research Programme. The session will cover what makes a successful application, how to engage with local authorities and public health practitioners, as well as insights and tips from researchers and the funding panel.