MMU Research and Knowledge Exchange Blog

Funding opportunities, news and guidance from RKE at Manchester Met

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ESRC call – Secondary Data Analysis Initiative Phase 2

ESRC 2Phase 2 of the Secondary Data Analysis Initiative (SDAI) is now open for applications. ESRC are seeking innovative and creative projects of up to £200,000 (fEC) each and with a maximum duration of 18 months. This Phase 2 call offers the opportunity to apply for self-managed clusters of several projects giving a larger network of linked grants.

This call is not thematically driven and ESRC are seeking research proposals within ESRCs remit that exploit any pre-existing data resource to deliver high quality research, knowledge exchange and policy and practitioner impact. However, proposals which address the gaps and hence opportunities in our strategic priorities would be particularly welcome.

It is a requirement of this call that proposals include non-academic partners to ensure the co-production of knowledge and to directly address the wider impact aims of the initiative. Proposals utilising international datasets and/or with an international comparative focus are also encouraged.

The closing date for full proposals is 16.00 on 26 November 2013. Proposals should be submitted electronically using the Research Councils’ Joint Electronic Submission (Je-S) form which is available from 16 August 2013.

For full details please see the ESRC website here.


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ESRC Call – Future of the Armed Forces: understanding issues around integration of Regular and Reserve personnel

ESRC 2The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) in collaboration with the British Army and the Ministry of Defence (MOD) is seeking to commission innovative research projects to help inform some of the pressing issues facing the Armed Forces in the process of integrating Regular and Reserve components into a ‘Whole Force’ structure.

Significant changes that are expected as a result of the transformation process require high quality social science analysis. Research can help to identify, explain and understand the cultural, social and economic issues that impact on both Regular and Reserve components and to identify additional external factors which may have an influence on the successful integration.

Proposals for this call are invited to address one or more of critical issues which will inform the transformation process, for example:

•Social, economic and cultural issues that impact on regulars and reserves
•Attitudes of families, employers and wider society towards reserve service
•Empirical evidence of the impact of amendments to personnel and training policies
•Any cultural change for both Regular and Reserve components.

The closing date for proposals is 16.00 14 November 2013. Proposals should be submitted electronically using the Research Council’s Joint Electronic Submission (Je-S) form.

For full details please see the ESRC website here.

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ESRC – China call for collaborative research on The Green Economy and Understanding Population Change

ESRC 2The Agence Nationale de la Recherche (ANR France), Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG Germany), the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC UK), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC China) and the Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek (NWO Netherlands) are pleased to announce a call for collaborative projects between European and Chinese researchers in the areas of ‘The Green Economy’ and ‘Understanding Population Change’.

Applications are invited for joint projects under the following priority themes, addressing key issues where true added value can be gained from collaboration.

The Green Economy

  • The ‘greenness and dynamics of economies’
  • Metrics and indicators for a green economy
  • Policies, planning and institutions (including business) for a green economy
  • The green economy in cities and metropolitan areas
  • Consumer behaviour and lifestyles in a green economy

Understanding Population Change

  • Changing life course
  • Urbanisation and migration
  • Labour markets and social security dynamics
  • Methodology, modelling and forecasting
  • Care provision
  • Comparative policy learning

Proposals should include leading European researchers wishing to develop contacts with leading researchers in China, and involve participation from at least two different participating European countries and a Chinese consortium.

The closing date is 16.00 3 December 2013. Proposals should be submitted electronically using the Research Council’s Joint Electronic Submission (Je-S) form.

For full details please see the ESRC website here.

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What makes a good NIHR application?

As part of their Antimicrobial Resistance Themed Call the National Institute for Health Research have produced a video with Professor Chris Salisbury, Professor in Primary Health Care at the University of Bristol. In the video below, Prof Salisbury gives some useful tips and advice on how to make a good NIHR application.

For further details including other videos please see the NIHR website and the Antimircobial Resistance Themed Call page which list the various funding opportunities and deadlines under the call.



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EPSCR call Research challenges in carbon capture and storage


EPSRC, as part of the RCUK Energy Programme, invites proposals for collaborative research projects to undertake fundamental research to tackle challenges in carbon capture for carbon capture and storage (CCS). An indicative budget of up to £4M is available from EPSRC for this call. Cross-institutional bids are welcome, but there must be a single submission for each application, led by a single principal investigator, with only one proposal form.

The remit of this call is derived from the outputs of a scoping workshop which was held on 15 August 2013, where the following areas have been prioritised in order to complement the current CCS research portfolio:

  • Technology Integration, Intensification, Scale-up and Optimisation
  • Development of Capture Materials

The deadline for proposal is 30 January 2014. Further details of the call can be found here:

EPSRC expects to fund up to 4 projects, with research running for up to 4 years.

Anyone intending to submit a proposal to this call must register their interest by email to by 29 November 2013, including in the email:

• Names and institutions of the principal and co-investigators

• Any non-academic project partners

• The subject area (see the call remit)

• The approximate value of the funds to be requested.

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Getting started in Europe – real life experiences (Part 6)

People - VoicesThe sixth instalment in our series comes from Dr. Elias Symeonakis from the School of Science and the Environment in the Faculty of Science and Engineering. Elias is something of a serial European fellow having spent time in Spain, Australia, Argentina and his native Greece through mobility programmes of Frameworks 5 and 6. His latest success has come in securing funding for a Marie Curie Career Integration Grant through Framework 7 which will provide him with a contribution to his research activities over the next four years.

What was the first European project you were involved in and what was your role?

My first involvement was in Framework 5. I was awarded an individual fellowship that allowed me to move to the University of Valencia to undertake research. The project – ‘Land use changes and land degradation in Mediterranean agricultural systems’ – lasted for two years. It was very well financed, and provided for a very comfortable lifestyle!

How have you found partners to work with in Europe?

Most of my experience has been through individual mobility projects, but I have had to find potential host institutes to work with. A good example was for my Outgoing International Fellowship, which I was awarded under Framework 6. For this project I needed links in a European country and an international country. I approached a number of my existing contacts in Greece and one at the University of the Aegean said yes. For the international organisation I thought a link in the US, Canada, Australia or Japan would work best. I didn’t have any links, but used links from a previous post-doc position at an international research organisation. I asked my colleagues there about their contacts and one suggested that work with the CSIRO in Australia would be perfect for what I wanted to do and recommended me to his contacts there.    

What have you gained from being involved in European projects?

This is easy: being involved in European projects has provided the backbone of my CV. For someone who wants to progress in the academic world, European funding is great. It has paved the way for me and I believe that this is one of the main reasons that I have been successful in a number of appointments. As well as career progression and leading to publications, it’s given me a great opportunity to travel and live in different countries. From my time in Spain and Australia I’ve experienced all the things that go with settling into a new country and have developed great friendships along the way. It’s also been really helpful in changing my perspective. The other bonus has been that the schemes I’ve applied to have all been good from a financial perspective. This helps you to focus on the research without having to worry about anything else.

What would be your three top tips for anyone wanting to get involved in European funded research?

I can only really offer advice for my involvement with Marie Curie, but many of the points hold for whatever European projects you’re looking at:

  • Don’t be disheartened – you may need to make many attempts for one success. Keep trying if you have failures, you can learn a lot from the reviewers’ comments. Your work isn’t wasted; it can be recycled and changed. There is an element of chance and which reviewers are involved can make a difference. I think of it like renting a house – you may need to look at a few before you find the one that’s right for you – or writing papers – you might get a few rejections before you succeed.
  • Contact the right people – it pays to make contact with your central research support team who can often support you with advice and examples of successful proposals. (Edit: the Blog would like to point out that no money changed hands in exchange for this tip!)
  • Use all possible links – think about colleagues that you’ve met at conferences or in previous posts. Take care to maintain these links: they are an invaluable source of advice and might just be able to offer you support, collaboration or the link to that perfect partner!

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New round of AHRC Cultural Value funding to open on 4th October!

AHRC 1 culture

Cultural Value Project: Second Phase Activities and Funding

A new round of funding will be launched on 4 October 2013 under the Cultural Value Project. The call will invite applications in a number of specific research areas. It will support three types of activities: Critical Reviews, Research Development Awards and Expert Workshops. Further details of the call will be available on the AHRC website on 4 October and the deadline for applications will be 7 November 2013.

Cultural Value is a  two-year initiative launched by the  AHRC earlier this year. They wish to “make a major contribution to how we think about the value of arts and culture to individuals and to society. Recent years have seen many attempts to capture that value in straightforward ways, not least in order to make the case to governments for public funding, but none have commanded widespread confidence. The AHRC decided that something more ambitious was needed.The Cultural Value Project seeks to establish a framework that will advance the way in which we talk about the value of cultural engagement and the methods by which we evaluate that value”.

You can find all the info on the project including a list of the awards made in the first round here: