MMU Research and Knowledge Exchange Blog

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

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Horizon 2020 UKRO events at the MMU and the University of Manchester – September

UKRO and Horizon 2020

It’s all happening in September! As previously advertised on the RKE Blog, the UK Research Office European Adviser, Ian Devine, will be at MMU to speak to colleagues on Friday 12th September about opportunities under the Marie Skłodowska Curie Actions. If you haven’t booked already, please sign up via Eventbrite

One-to-one advice

As part of his visit, Ian will also be available in the afternoon to meet for short one-to-one sessions to provide advice on your Horizon 2020 project ideas. We still have a couple of 25-minute slots up for grabs, so if you would like the opportunity to meet with Ian, please email us at  with an indication of what you’d like to discuss.

University of Manchester – Horizon 2020 Information Day – Special Interest Sessions

Ian will also be running a number of special interest sessions at The University of Manchester on Thursday 11th September and our colleagues have kindly opened up the invitation to MMU staff. The day will include sessions on gender, ethics, open access and research data management, and evaluation, and you can attend as many or a few sessions as you like. If you would like to attend please email us at and we will arrange registration.


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Wellcome Trust presenting on their expanded “Medical Humanities” and “Society & Ethics” funding streams

wellcometrust_logosalfordThe Wellcome Trust have recently expanded the remits of their Medical Humanities and Society & Ethics funding streams to include more social science and less of an emphasis on the history of medicine. They recently presented these changes in a NW Roadshow at the University of Manchester and are coming back to the North West on Tuesday 14th October for another presentation at the University of Salford.

Uni. of Salford have kindly offered to throw the event open to any MMU colleagues who would like to attend. The talk will take place at The Old Fire Station (Council Chambers) on the main campus on The Crescent at 1pm.

If you want to attend please let me know so that I can pass numbers onto to Salford at

If you can’t make the talk then you can read my full report of the earlier workshop including details of the funding opportunities available within these schemes on an earlier Blog post here:

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New Horizon 2020 Work Programme Available


The Commission have now refreshed the Horizon 2020 Work Programme documents to firm up deadlines, budgets and topics for the 2015 calls for proposals.

Most of the changes are minor, but colleagues looking at bidding should make sure they use the most up to versions, which can be accessed here – simply choose your area of interest from the list of documents that appears under Main WP (about halfway down the page!).

As ever, if you’re thinking of getting involved in Horizon 2020 or have any questions about the programme, we’d love to hear from you (

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Early Career Grants from Regional Studies Association – up to £10k


Who is it for?

This award is open to single applicants in their early career. Applicants must be based within an eligible higher education institution (HEI) and must be a current, early career member of the Regional Studies Association and throughout the duration of the grant.

How does it work?

The RSA Early Career Awards are provided to support a discrete piece of regional studies and/or regional science research. The value of the award is up to £10,000 (or its equivalent in dollars or euros depending upon the agreed exchange rate at the time of the award). The award has a maximum time span of 18 months and reporting conditions apply. Only one award will be made to any successful applicant.


The Regional Studies Association has earmarked up to £40,000 for Early Career Grants in 2014. This will be distributed across the one round of the competition but the allocation of monies will be determined by the quality of applications. The Association may choose to release further funds. The Scheme will continue in 2015 and more details will be announced in due to course.

The full Terms and Conditions governing awards will be provided to successful applicants as part of the formal offer, based on the general terms and conditions set out below.

Candidates should ensure that their application:

  • Is ambitious in their scope and have a clear international impact;
  • Includes the full research specification within the main application document instead of an attached document;
  • Includes a CV that lists only the top 5 relevant publications to the research proposal;
  • Includes a copy of the PhD certificate showing the date of the award;
  • Excludes the mentor letter;
  • Asks why the RSA should fund the research and how the research fits within the Association’s themes of development.


The 2014 submission deadline is 8th September 2014, 10am GMT.

Please see:

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Grants available from the Society for Research into Higher Education

SRHE  Applications For New Research Funds 2014

As part of the Society’s programme of strategic initiatives aimed at sustaining research into higher education, the Society is offering a series of annual research awards. These awards are funded entirely by the Society, and intended to support new research into higher education.

The Society is offering:

  • Up to four awards annually of £10,000 each for research focused on any aspect of higher education submitted under three overarching themes: Higher Education Policy, Higher Education and Society, and Higher Education Practice. 

    These Awards are only open to individual members of the Society at the date of application and thus are part of the benefits of membership. Where a proposal is submitted by a research group or team, the lead proposer must be an individual member of the Society. For information about joining the Society, visit SRHE Membership

  • Two to four scoping awards annually of £5,000 each for the exploration of any new or emerging area of higher education research leading to the development of a plan for further research.These awards are open to all and applications are welcome from members and non members of the Society. Apply using the on-line form below.

Applications open on 1st July 2014 and close on 1st September 2014.

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Latest data on ESRC proposal success rates

ESRC 2     secondary data

As part of a move to harmonising transparency of feedback to research organisations, in Nov 13 the seven Research Councils agreed to provide more feedback to applicants including the relative position of proposals (rank, score or percentile).  ESRC publish data for individual calls on their website here:

For the latest round of their Research Grants Open Call (which were decided in March 14) the figures are as follows:

Total applications: 98

Funded: 22

Score range (out of 10):

9-10 = 3 proposals – all funded

8 – 8.9 = 10 proposals – all funded

7 – 7.9 = 37 proposals (the top 9 of these were funded, 28 were not)

5 -6.9 = 35 proposals (not funded)

1 – 4.9 = 4 proposals (not funded)

N/A = 9 proposals (not funded). This means they were rejected as ineligible or withdrawn.

So, discounting the ineligible bids, that gives a success rate of just under 25%.


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You can join ‘The Conversation’ – an independent source of news and articles written by academics and experts


The Conversation is an independent source of news and views, sourced from the academic and research community and delivered direct to the public. The website aims to

  • Give experts a greater voice in shaping scientific, cultural and intellectual agendas by providing a trusted platform that values and promotes new thinking and evidence-based research.
  • Unlock the knowledge and expertise of researchers and academics to provide the public with clarity and insight into society’s biggest problems

Their team of professional editors work with university and research institute experts to unlock their knowledge for use by the wider public, aiming to  allow for better understanding of current affairs and complex issues. And hopefully allow for a better quality of public discourse and conversations.

They only allow authors to write on a subject on which they have proven expertise, which they must disclose alongside their article.

The Conversation has a monthly audience of 1.6 million users, and a reach of 6.2 million through Creative Commons republication so this could be a great tool for your Pathways to Impact plans. You can register to their growing community of  contributors  ( more than 12,900 academics and researchers from 840 institutions) and pitch an article.  See what some of your MMU colleagues have already  contributed here: