MMU Research and Knowledge Exchange Blog

Funding opportunities, news and guidance from RKE at Manchester Met

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BBSRC Tree Health and Plant Diversity call


The Living with Environmental Change (LWEC) programme has announced a call for research proposals as part of the second phase of the Tree Health and Plant Biosecurity Initiative. The first phase of this initiative supported a number of capacity and consortium-building awards, details of which can be found here:

This initiative will provide a commitment of up to £9M over the next few years to support high quality, multi-disciplinary strategic research in this area. The purpose is:

• To generate natural and social scientific knowledge to inform the development of innovative ways of addressing current and emerging threats to trees and woodland ecosystems from pathogens and pests
• To support the future health and resilience of trees, woodlands and their associated ecosystems
• To facilitate collaboration between specialists in tree or forest research, and leading-edge scientists from the wider natural, biological, social, economic or other relevant research communities
• To encourage and make best use of interdisciplinary and systems approaches, and improve the impact and integration of social research and economics in this area

Translation of knowledge and evidence from studies of pests and diseases of agricultural crops, and from ecological and environmental studies is of particular interest.

The deadline for applications is 02 July 2013, 4pm
For more information please visit the BBSRC website:


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Learn about clinical effectiveness research and the impact of the Health Technology Assessment Programme

NHS - research logoLearn more about clinical effectiveness research and the impact the HTA Programme is having on clinical and public health research at the NIHR HTA Conference.

The two-day event in central London on 9-10 October 2013 will examine the future of clinical effectiveness research and how we can benefit from best practice internationally with presentations from Dr Sean Tunis, Director of the Center for Medical Technology Policy, USA and Dr Richard Horton, Editor-in-Chief, The Lancet, among others.

Find out how the HTA Programme can help researchers achieve impact and shape the NHS with presentations by Professor Dame Sally C. Davies, Chief Medical Officer for England, Professor Sir Michael Rawlins, president of the Royal Society of Medicine and Professor Jon Nicholl, Professor of Health Services Research in the School of Health and Related Research.

Register now for the HTA Conference 2013 to get the early bird rate of £395 for two days and £250 for one. This rate will finish on 31 May 2013.

To book your place or to view the programme please visit the conference website:

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Horizon 2020 – latest on timetable


More information about the likely timetable for Horizon 2020 is starting to emerge, and UK Research Office (UKRO) have provided an interesting overview on their website ( – you will need to be logged in to read it!) 

The aim is still to provide an internal draft of workprogrammes (the documents which set out the areas of research that will be supported)  by the end of June 2013, followed by an internal consultation on content which will take place in early autumn. The official launch is due to take place in November 2013 and calls for proposals are expected to open from January 2014.

Based on this timetable, it’s possible that topic areas could be pre-announced from July 2013. There is however a note of caution as lack of agreement on budgets could cause the timetable to slip.

We understand that the topics previewed in our earlier post (available here) are likely to remain the key focus (although other areas may be included).

On a technical note, it also looks as if the Commission will be moving away from annual workprogrammes, and instead adopting workprogrammes for two years. Topics for Year 1 would be effectively set in stone with topics for Year 2 being provisional and finalised through a “refresh” of the workprogramme.  

Things seem to be moving, and we’ll bring you more news as we get it!

PS  For those of you who have applied to become members of Horizon 2020 Advisory Groups, we are expecting membership to be announced in the next couple of weeks. Please do let us know if you hear anything (!

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Horizon 2020 – budget discussions continue


It seems as if we are still some way from resolving the financial details of Horizon 2020. Reports from Brussels suggest that disagreements persist about changes to the funding model. 

These are currently holding up efforts to finalise budgets and detailed planning for the content of the programme.

The gist of discussions are captured by Laura Greenhalgh writing for Research Professional in her latest article here:

As Laura observes, the clock is ticking as we head towards a change in the Presidency of the EU. With Lithuania set to take over the driving seat from Ireland on 1 July 2013, failure to resolve differences before this date could mean further delays.

As we wait for further details, all of us here at the blog are keeping our fingers crossed for a flurry of activity and some positive news soon! 

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Talk at MMU Weds 5th June: Speaker from ‘New Economic Models in the Digital Economy’ network will outline their funding schemes


NEMODE (New Economic Models in the Digital Economy) is an initiative under the Research Councils UK (RCUK)’s Digital Economy (DE) research programme to bring together communities to explore new economic models in the Digital Economy. The project, which began in April 2012, has funding of £1.5 million over the next three years.


NEMODE focuses on New Economic Models, one of four RCUK DE Challenge Areas (the other three being IT as a Utility, Communities and Culture, and Sustainable Society). It aims to create a network of business people, academics and other experts who will identify and investigate the big research questions in new economic models that have arisen as a result of the digital economy’s fast-paced growth.

We are pleased to say that David Lopez-Berzosa from the NEMODE Network will visit MMU next Weds 5th June  to  speak about NEMODE’s funding schemes. His presentation will be for half an hour and will be informative about the priorities, types of funding and procedures.

This is likely to take place in room 5.03 in the Business School building but please contact Sofiane Tebboune ( or Angel Salazar ( from the Business School for more information.


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Inspiration for those of you looking at the current ‘Digital Transformations in Community Research Co-production in Arts & Humanities’ Call

In this AHRC podcast we hear from Professor Andrew Prescott, Chair of Digital Humanities at King’s College London. Prof Prescott is the Leadership Fellow for AHRC’s Digital Transformations theme and describes the theme in this short film:

One of the areas he mentions is the possibilities around 3-D printing and cultural heritage and I’ve come across this great film (with thanks to the ‘New Economic Models in the Digital Economy’ network website):

3D printing may be reaching highstreet soon as 3D ‘Photobooth’ opens in Tokyo.

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The Guardian Higher Education Network: Live Web Chat Friday 31st May Focus Public Engagement in Universities

Meeting 2



What public engagement means to universities and academics in today’s higher education landscape. Join the debate with a fantastic panel of experts to discuss benefits and drawbacks, media coverage vs engagement, and innovative practice between 12-2pm on the 31st May.

Further information will be released next week on the Guardian Website