MMU Research and Knowledge Exchange Blog

Funding opportunities, news and guidance from RKE at Manchester Metropolitan University

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Climate and Transport challenges explained – updates from Horizon 2020 InfoDays

Climate TransportFor those of you with an interest in the Climate or Transport Challenges of Horizon 2020 it’s worth taking a look at the presentations and webstreams from the recent events in Brussels.

 The Transport event saw presentations from a range of Commission representatives on topics covering the vision for the current Call for Proposals along with practical advice on the mechanics of submitting a proposal, the rules for Horizon 2020 and the criteria which will be used to evaluate your proposal. A webstream is also available.

You can also access a provisional list of contacts at the Commission for specific topics here (you will need to log in to the UKRO Portal to access).

The Climate event included a similar blend of the technical and practical. Presentations from the Commission led sessions and also from the networking event are available via the European Commission’s CIRCABC repository here. As with the Transport session you can also watch proceedings in full via the event webstream.

If you’re interested in getting involved in Horizon 2020 don’t forget to let us know (


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Horizon 2020 InfoDays – forthcoming attractions

deadlineAs you’re all aware, the Commission’s information and networking events for Horizon 2020 are coming thick and fast. These are a great opportunity to find out more about what research will be funded in Horizon 2020 and also to network with potential partners. Even if you can’t attend the events, it’s worth taking a look at websites as an increasing number are being streamed live with online networking sessions.

Amongst the latest events to be announced are:

 Focus on Social Sciences and Humanities Research – events linked to Societal Challenge 6

The Commission will be holding a range of events for linked to Societal Challenge 6 ‘Europe in a changing world – inclusive, innovative and reflective Societies’. The first of these is ‘Achieving Impact: Socio-economic Sciences and Humanities (SSH) in horizon 2020’ which will take place in Athens between 26 and 27 February 2014.

Four further events are being planned:

  • Workshop on the ‘Financial Crisis’ – May 2014, Brussels
  • ‘Social Inequalities in Europe’ – 20 June 2014, Athens
  • ‘Europe as a Global Actor’ – June 2014, Brussels
  • ‘Reflective Societies’ – September 2014, Rome

As ever, if you’re thinking of attending any of the sessions for Horizon 2020, we’d love to hear from you (

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MRC – New Methodology Research Highlight Notices

MRC and NHSThe Medical Research Council, through the MRC-NIHR Methodology Research Programme (MRP), has announced the launch of four new highlight notices, calling for applications addressing strategically important areas of unmet methodological need. These areas, as defined by MRC and NIHR, in consultation with policy partners such as MHRA, NICE, CSO, NISCHR and others, are:

Methods Research to support use of observational data in clinical decision making
Development of innovative methods for identifying, synthesising, interpreting and presenting observational data for use in guidance development and in clinical decision making (at patient and national levels), and in particular, how one may interpret and rationalise data from different sources e.g. RCT vs. observational clinical effectiveness data.

Multiple testing/Subgroup analyses – deriving minimally biased estimates
Development and testing of methods addressing issues of bias in multiple testing and subgroup analyses elements of randomised controlled trials, in particular addressing quantification of the extent of bias created by multiplicity, development of techniques for minimising bias and looking at trade-off between variance and bias.

Methods research for assessing quality of life in carers
High quality methods development research aimed at assessing quality of life of carers of people with cognitive impairment and specifically dementia.

Missing Data and the Use of Propensity Scores
Methods research for dealing with missing data in observational datasets, and high quality methods development research aimed at further understanding the robustness of propensity scores and whether the results of the analysis adjusting for them are robust.

Application process and schedule
Applications are invited through the normal MRC grant schemes and will be considered at the regular Methodology Research Programme Panel meetings. Applications are invited to the 23rd January 2014 deadline, and to subsequent deadlines. It is essential to discuss proposals with MRC Head Office at an early stage. All applications must be approved by the Methodology Programme Manager prior to submission. Please contact:

Dr David Crosby

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Do you want to tell the world about your work? AHRC & BBC call for “New generation of Thinkers”

AHRC 2       shoutIf you are the kind of person that finds themselves arguing with radio discussions, or you have a programme idea that you believe would be perfect for the airwaves then the New Generation Thinkers 2014 scheme is for you. On Monday 6 January the Arts and Humanities Research Council and BBC Radio 3 are opening a call for academics with a focus on arts and humanities topics to apply for the opportunity to develop programme ideas.

This AHRC and BBC Radio 3 initiative to find the next generation of public intellectuals could be for you. We are looking for emerging academics from the arts and humanities who are currently in UK universities and who have a passion for communicating the excitement of modern scholarship to a wider audience.

BBC Radio 3 and its programmes Free Thinking (opens in new window)(previously known as Night Waves), the Verb, the Essay and the Sunday Feature have provided a platform for debate and commentary from scholars across the world. You could now join them on air.

The New Generation Thinkers scheme also works with BBC TV Arts who will be looking to develop New Generation Thinkers and their ideas into arts television.

The New Generation Thinkers Scheme is intended to support up to sixty early career researchers with an opportunity to spend the day at the BBC to hear first-hand about the commissioning process and develop their programme ideas alongside experienced BBC producers. Of these sixty, up to ten will become Radio 3’s resident New Generation Thinkers for 2014. They will benefit from a unique opportunity to develop their own programmes for BBC Radio 3 across a year and a chance to regularly appear on air.

Applicants do not have to be funded by the AHRC to apply; the scheme is open to all early career researchers based in a UK Research Organisation (either Higher Education Institution or Independent Research Organisation [IRO] [opens in new window]).  We also encourage those people who have previously applied unsuccessfully to the scheme, even if they made it to the workshop.

We welcome applications from researchers working in all areas of the arts and humanities. This year we are extending the call for researchers who work in areas of social sciences and medical science whose work intersects with the arts and humanities. There are a series of interfaces, and many areas of common ground between. This can be seen in both cross-council programmes, Connected Communities and Life Long Health and Wellbeing.

The subject coverage for this year’s schemes covers all disciplines covered by the AHRC, including additional subjects that intersect with the work of our sister councils the Economic and Social Research Council and Medical Research Council. Further information will be available on the disciplines covered by the scheme in the New Year at the New Generation Thinkers call page.

This is the fourth year of the scheme. Previous participants have presented documentaries, taken part in on air discussions on BBC Radio 3, made pilot films for TV and spoken at public festivals. Listen to previous winners experience in the AHRC podcast and hear this year’s winners programme on the Essay on Iplayer now (opens in new window).

Previous winners 2012 (opens in new window) and 2011 (opens in new window)

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Addressing the Challenges of Disconnection, Division and Exclusion: AHRC Connected Communities Workshop (with possible funding)

AHRC 2  cropped-cropped-CC-lo-res-logo division      This open call invites expressions of interest to attend a research development workshop addressing the challenges of Disconnection, Division and Exclusion, being held as a part of the cross-Council Connected Communities Programme on 18-20 March 2014 at the Novotel Sheffield Centre Hotel. The aim of this workshop is to stimulate the development of innovative, cross-disciplinary, community-engaged, research projects to better understand the disconnections that can occur from, within and between communities and the consequences, positive and negative, of disconnection in different cultural contexts. It will explore the potential for research to engage with the assets and creativity within diverse communities, to address some of the challenges that can be associated with ‘disconnection’, such as loneliness, isolation, exclusion, alienation, marginalization, discrimination, conflict and extremism and low levels of civic participation and/or engagement. A key priority will be the sharing, understanding and further development of creative approaches to engaging with diverse communities in the co-production and co-design of the research projects to address issues of disconnection.

Connected Communities are seeking applications to participate in the workshop from:

  • Researchers and project partners supported under the Connected Communities Programme who are interested in working with others to address the challenges of disconnection, division and exclusion.
  • Researchers from a wide range of disciplines who are not currently involved in the Connected Communities Programme with expertise relevant to the themes of this workshop (disconnection, division and exclusion etc.) interested in working collaboratively with other academic and non-academic partners to explore these issues.
  • Individuals from outside the higher education sector (e.g. from community, voluntary or policy organisations or from the heritage and creative arts sectors) with experience or expertise in exploring issues such as  disconnection, division and exclusion and who are interested in working collaboratively with academic and other non-academic partners to explore these issues.

The facilitated workshop will be highly participative, interactive and open to innovative ideas from participants about future research opportunities and priorities. Attendees at the workshop will have an opportunity to apply for ring-fenced funding for follow-up projects of up to £100,000 to support inter-disciplinary collaborative grants combining arts and humanities expertise with other research disciplines and community, policy and practice partners, to take forward the most innovative research ideas that emerge during the workshop that would contribute to the aims outlined above

The workshop is being organised by the AHRC as a part of the cross-Council Connected Communities Programme, in collaboration with RCUK partners in the ESRC, NERC, MRC and EPSRC. Through the workshop we are also keen to explore links to other initiatives and potential collaborations with other research funders and with a range of other policy, practice, charitable and voluntary organisations.

Closing date for applications is 30th January 2014. All the info is here:

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New dates added to RKE Staff Development Programme – including mandatory sessions for new staff

staff developmentAs part of the RKE Staff Development programme there are two mandatory sessions for staff:

  • RKE Induction Programme (mandatory course to all new academic staff at the University) P.54 of the Staff Development brochure – 14 March 2014, 09:30-12:30 BZ403 Benzie Building (New Art and Design Building), All Saints Campus
  • The Value of Research and Knowledge Exchange Activity to MMU (mandatory course for all managers at MMU, especially Heads of Departments and Deans) P.47 of the Staff Development brochure, 14 February 2014, 10:00-13:00 G.34 New Business School, All Saints Campus

You can book on these courses, as well as a variety of others run by RKE here:

Other development sessions on offer are:

  • Introduction to Knowledge Transfer Partnerships 24 January 2014, 14:00-16:00, 3.20 New Business School
  • University & External Ethical Procedures 29 January 2014, 13:30-16:00, 3.23 New Business School
  • Professional development workshop for Knowledge Exchange Practitioners 5 March 2014, 13.30-15:30, 222 Geoffrey Manton Building
  • Early Career Researcher Workshop 12 March 2014, 09:30-12:30, 2.05 Sandra Burslem Building
  • Building Impact into your Research 26 March 2014, 10:00-13:00 2.05 Sandra Burslem Building

For other teaching related courses run in RKE please book via the Graduate School pages here:

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us at this address

RKE website
Development and Training website

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Horizon 2020 – Time to update your favourites!

Horizon%202020Now that the first calls for Horizon 2020 are finally with us, the Commission have been reorganising their web presence, with interim sites being replaced by shiny new ones.

For those of you who want to find out more and keep up to date on latest developments, we’d suggest adding the following to your favourites:

Participants Portal – the gateway site for Horizon 2020 is now located here:

Official Horizon 2020 website – the functional interim site has now been replaced with the site here:

The Official Horizon 2020 site still carries a list of events, but these are now located here:

You can also follow the latest developments on Twitter (@EU_H2020).