MMU Research and Knowledge Exchange Blog

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

Leave a comment

Asthma UK: Innovation Grants Opens for Applications

ASTHMA UK Asthma UK Innovation is now accepting applications for it’s ‘Innovation Grants’.

The Innovation Grants will provide funding for up to £50,000 for up to 18 months to explore original ideas, services or products that are new to asthma, or applied in a way that is new to asthma, which could significantly enhance the quality of health and care for people with asthma, in line with Asthma UK’s research priorities.

You can access the funders research strategy HERE

Asthma UK will support studies designed to answer a single question or a small group of related questions about a specific aspect of asthma which has been highlighted as a priority research area.

Deadline for applications, through the funders on-line grant application system is 1pm, Tuesday 2 December 2015.

Further details can be assessed via the funders webiste


1 Comment

Invitation to Informatics Research Centre (IRC) Launch – September 16

save the date

Dear colleagues, Professor Martyn Amos warmly invites you to attend the formal launch of the Informatics Research Centre (IRC), to be held in the Business School on September 16.
The IRC coordinates leading research in computer science and informatics within MMU, and we encourage colleagues from across the University to attend and find out how we might work together in future. The event will include the first showing of our new promotional video, strategic presentations, and plenty of time for discussion.
In order that we can accurately gauge numbers for catering purposes, it would be helpful if you could please register at



Leave a comment

Opportunities for research mobility to Brazil


CONFAP – (the National Council of Brazilian State Funding Agencies), in collaboration with the UK Academies, have launched a call to support UK researchers to work with Brazilian Universities. The funding will support a number of initiatives to support UK researchers to work in Brazil, including mobility awards which will support short missions between two weeks and three months in length.

To apply you will need to have a Brazilian-based co-applicant and a permanent academic post or a position which extends beyond the end of the grant.

More information on the call and eligibility criteria for individual awards is available here, and the closing date is 23 October 2015.

Leave a comment

Horizon 2020: (More) National Contact Point Events for 2016/17 Calls


The UK National Contact Points for Societal Challenge 2 (take a deep breath …) Food security, sustainable agriculture and forestry, marine and maritime and inland water research and the bioeconomy and Societal Challenge 5 Climate action, environment, resource efficiency and raw materials have announced more events to support the launch of the new work programme for 2016/17.

As we’ve said before, for those of you who can’t make it to info days in Brussels, these are a really valuable source of information and insight.

Events will focus on key strands as follows:

The events are free and open to all, so we’d encourage you to register if you’re interested in applying to any of the areas above. As ever, if you’re thinking of attending let us know (

We’re expecting more events to be announced over the coming weeks, so keep an eye on the Blog!

Leave a comment

Social mobility prospects of non-graduates

The Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission is inviting proposals for research into the social mobility and life chances of non-graduates. The focus of this research is not those with low, few, or no qualifications. It is those who have achieved secondary-level education but have not achieved a university degree. It should therefore consider primarily those qualified at or above level 2 (5 A*-C at GCSE-level) but below level 6 (Honours degree). The purpose of this work is to understand for which groups the ‘non-graduate’ route is leading to positive social outcomes and for which groups it is not. This project has a quantitative element at its core. This should describe the life chances of different groups of non-graduates across the country on the basis of their characteristics and social background. This should be supported by a succinct review of relevant literature. Bids will be welcomed that include qualitative elements to ground findings in lived experience. The Commission seeks original, ambitious and robust proposals. Bids will be judged primarily on the proposed approach, expertise of team and value for money.

Deadline: 11 September 2015

Estimated Value of Requirement: £25,000

Period of Work Start date: 18/09/15

Period of Work End date: 15/01/16

For more details contact Sinéad McGovern or Richard Waggott in the RKE office

Leave a comment

Child sexual abuse: understanding risk and vulnerability


The Early Intervention Foundation (EIF), working with the Home Office, invites bids for a review of the evidence on the early indicators for becoming a future victim or perpetrator of child sexual abuse or exploitation. They want to examine the indicators of risk for becoming in the future either i) a victim or ii) a perpetrator of child sexual abuse (CSA), which encompasses child sexual exploitation (CSE). They are interested in indicators that demonstrate heightened or reduced likelihood that an individual might become a victim or perpetrator of CSA.

Deadline: 9 September 2015

Estimated Value of Requirement: £ 12,000

Period of Work Start date: 21/09/2015

Period of Work End date: 08/01/2016

For more details contact Sinéad McGovern or Richard Waggott in the RKE office.

1 Comment

The Dangers of Open Access

Predatory Publishing and Open Access – a Researcher’s View by Edward Randviir
In this post, Edward Randviir from the Faculty of Science and Engineering cautions colleagues against a rise in predatory publishing practices as a result of the Open Access agenda.

Open Access (OA) is defined as the unrestricted online access to research, and encompasses journal articles, conference proceedings, chapters, monographs, posters, and now datasets. The immediately obvious benefits include enhanced visibility of research and improved chances of author citations, potentially leading to higher societal impact. HEFCE’s Open Access in the post-REF2014 policy states that universities should make any articles and conference proceedings with an ISSN available through an OA route within 3 months of acceptance to be eligible for submission to the next Research Excellence Framework. The University has established Symplectic, as the research information management system that will enable compliance with the OA agenda for staff.

A danger with OA is the plague of predatory OA publishers that have emerged in the past five years. A predatory publisher is one that offers OA publishing, for huge nominal fees that are often undisclosed when they invite academics to write for them, often without providing proper editorial and publishing services. This means that final versions appearing online are incorrect, not proofed properly, and in the majority of cases not even peer reviewed – and whether we like it or not, the peer review process improves the quality of published work and filters out the papers that may not be up to scratch. This also extends to conference proceedings.

How can we tell if a publisher is predatory? Firstly, their emails are generally dubious in the first instance and constitute what I consider to be spam. Secondly, if an invite has come out of the blue, it is best to check online if they are a predatory publisher by accessing Beall’s List, which is essentially a blacklist of predatory publishers compiled by American librarian and researcher, Jeffrey Beall. Beall’s list of predatory publishers is available here:

The list does have its critics, but it acts as a safety net for those who are unsure about publishing to an unknown journal.

Having encountered a predatory OA publisher called OMICS, I have experienced the unpleasant nature of these companies. I will be happy to assist anybody who is unsure of whether they are dealing with predatory publishers, so please don’t hesitate to contact me. Please don’t make the same mistake I made.

Edward Randviir