MMU Research and Knowledge Exchange Blog

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


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Erasmus+ 2019 Deadlines

The deadlines and procedures for the 2019 Erasmus+ projects has been announced by the British Council and the European Commission; a summary of the deadlines can be found here.  This post outlines the support available at Manchester Met and some of the key aspects of the 2019 calls.

Support at Manchester Met

Support is available from the Research & Knowledge Exchange Office to help prepare applications to the project-based schemes including assessing the strategic fit with the scheme, supporting the development of the application including the budget and ensuring the bid is signed off.  To help this process, please note the following dates:

All projects:

  • 30 November 2018: Please notify euro_res@mmu.ac.uk of your interest in applying so we can discuss the support available.

If Manchester Met is leading a project:

  • 1 month before the deadline: Peer Review should have started.
  • 10 days before the deadline: Signed partner mandates received, WorkTribe Approval started. RKE will then facilitate signature on the bid & mandates ahead of the funder’s deadline.

If Manchester Met is a partner on a project:

  • 10 days before the deadline: WorkTribe Approval started. RKE will then facilitate signature on the bid & mandates ahead of the funder’s deadline.  If the coordinator requires the mandate sooner, approval should start 10 days ahead of their deadline to allow time for approval & signature.

For some of the key schemes, here are the key dates:

  Peer Review Deadline  Man Met Internal Approval Funder Deadline (11am UK time)
Capacity Building (Higher Education) 7 January 2019

 

24 January 2019 7 February 2019
Knowledge Alliances 28 January 2019 13 February 2019 28 February 2019
Strategic Partnerships (Higher Education) 18 February 2019 6 March 2019 21 March 2019

NB For all mobility related inquiries please contact Natalie Cunningham in the International Office (N.Cunningham@mmu.ac.uk). 

Key Changes to the 2019 Call

This is the 6th set of calls under the scheme which is due to end at the end of 2020 and therefore there are only minimal changes to the scheme.  However, some of the changes include:

  • Applications for most schemes will be managed via an online portal. Full details are emerging but support will be available both from the British Council and Manchester Met staff in due course.
  • The UK’s budget has increased though there is a particular drive to make sure funds are used by schools and other non-Higher Education institutions.
  • There are specialist funds for partnerships with Japan and additional funds for Serbia as a new Programme Country.
  • A pilot scheme to help create pan-European alliances with joint strategy, management structures and activities run by 5-8 universities. These require a significant strategic fit at institutional level.
  • The British Council has previously emphasised the following themes for 2019: (1) Tackling skills gaps and mismatches; (2) Promoting and rewarding excellence in teaching and skills development; and (3) Promoting more flexible and innovative learning.

As explained in this blog post: the UK remains eligible and – subject to the UK securing an exit deal – UK Higher Education Institutions will be able to participate throughout the scheme’s life.

To discuss any of the above, please contact euro_res@mmu.ac.uk

 

 

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UPDATED: Brexit and Participation in EU-Funded Projects including Horizon 2020 and Erasmus+

Following announcements from the EU Commission and the publication of No Deal Advice by the UK Government, we have updated our advice on Brexit and EU funding.

Below is the latest summary of what we know in order to provide reassurance that the UK can continue participating in projects funded by the EU.  A version can be downloaded here to share with partners and further details are available from euro_res@mmu.ac.uk

We will continue update as new information becomes available.

EU Summary September 2018 Image

[1] “UK Participation in Horizon 2020” (Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, March 2018)  https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/686810/Horizon_2020_Core_lines.pdf
[2] Joint Report from the Negotiators of the European Union and the United Kingdom Government (UK Government & European Commission, December 2017) https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/665869/Joint_report_on_progress_during_phase_1_of_negotiations_under_Article_50_TEU_on_the_United_Kingdom_s_orderly_withdrawal_from_the_European_Union.pdf
[3] Draft Agreement on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community (European Commission, March 2018) https://ec.europa.eu/commission/sites/beta-political/files/draft_agreement_coloured.pdf
[4] Erasmus+ in the UK if there’s no Brexit deal https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/erasmus-in-the-uk-if-theres-no-brexit-deal/erasmus-in-the-uk-if-theres-no-brexit-deal
[5] Horizon 2020 in the UK if there’s no Brexit deal https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/horizon-2020-funding-if-theres-no-brexit-deal/horizon-2020-funding-if-theres-no-brexit-deal–2
[6] Chancellor Philip Hammond guarantees EU funding beyond date UK leaves the EU (13 August 2016) https://www.gov.uk/government/news/chancellor-philip-hammond-guarantees-eu-funding-beyond-date-uk-leaves-the-eu
[7] Funding from EU programmes guaranteed until the end of 2020 (24 July 2018) https://www.gov.uk/government/news/funding-from-eu-programmes-guaranteed-until-the-end-of-2020
[8] PM speech on our future economic partnership with the European Union(2 March 2018) https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/pm-speech-on-our-future-economic-partnership-with-the-european-union
[9] European Council (Art. 50) (23 March 2018) – Guidelines (European Council, March 2018) http://www.consilium.europa.eu/media/33458/23-euco-art50-guidelines.pdf


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Funding for Research with Syrian Academics

The Council for At-Risk Academics (Cara) has funded research and academics/scientists who are at grave risk so they can continue their work and their knowledge be preserved since the 1930s.

Cara are currently funding the Syria Research Fellowship Scheme (SRFS) as part of the Cara Syria Programme. They state that:

The aim of the Syria Programme is ‘To nurture and enable future opportunities for Syrian academics by facilitating professional connection and collaboration and continued academic development and contribution whilst in exile, as a major part of Syria’s intellectual and cultural capital and a group that is vital to the future of Syria.’

The scheme will fund up to 8 research projects, each lasting 9 months and with a maximum value of £15,000. The research team will need to involve a Principal Investigator (in this case, from Manchester Met) and two Syrian academics in exile in the Middle East as a result of the current Syrian Crisis.

A key criteria is that any funding will need to demonstrate both “impact and relevance to Syria or to Syrian populations in exile, and which support the integration of Syrian academics into the international arena”.  The scheme is open to all academic disciplines and further details can be found on Cara’s website or from the International Research Development Managers.

 

 

 


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Manchester Met Process for GCRF Global Engagement Networks Call

UKRI have announced an opportunity for UK institutions to support partners in ODA countries as they develop Global Engagement Networks to tackle Global Challenges. As this is a new type of networking call with specific eligibility and design rules, Manchester Met are putting in a process to support applications to this scheme including an initial, internal selection process.

To help support the development of these bids, Manchester Met are asking interested staff to complete a short form, based on the call form, to be completed by Monday 17th September so we can check eligibility & support the development of these projects.

Those projects selected internally will then go through the funder’s two phase application process:

  • Phase 1: Eligibility, relevance & fit to call checks.  11/10/18 1600
  • Phase 2: Full application to be peer reviewed.  Date TBC.

Further details and the form are available from researchapplications@mmu.ac.uk

Call Details

The focus of the Global Engagement Networks are partners in ODA countries who will receive the majority of the funding though there is a possibility of a UK partner acting as a Co-Director (this role can also be fulfilled by a partner in an ODA country).

The call asks that the Director (based in a research institution in an ODA country) will:

  • Develop and deliver a clear strategy to grow a new multi-disciplinary network to find innovative solutions to development challenges.
  • Focus the network on one of the 6 portfolios: Cities & Sustainable Infrastructure; Education; Food Systems; Global Health; Resilience to Environmental Shocks & Change; Security Protracted Conflict, Refugee Crises & Forced Displacement.
  • Include research/non-researcher links and should include academic, business and stakeholder communities in DAC countries as well as staff at all career levels (postgraduate to professorial).
  • Increase engagement of fellow experts in ODA countries with GCRF and other development opportunities
  • Identify & provide letters of supports from the first 5 network members

UKRI will provide funds for structured activities to enable knowledge sharing and networking but NOT salary costs/attendance fees for these events.  However, funds will cover the Director, Co-Director (max 1), a Network Manager (usually based in the lead country) and some admin/overhead costs.  The maximum value is £150,000 and we anticipate between 1 and 3 networks will be funded per priority.


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Erasmus+ Calls in 2019

The British Council is already looking forward to its 2019 calls for Erasmus+ Key Action 2 Strategic Partnerships.  These projects help EU-wide collaborations develop resources and networks to improve teaching/education in all disciplines and for all learners.

In 2019 we’re expecting the UK’s priority themes to be:

  • Tackling skills gaps and mismatches
  • Promoting and rewarding excellence in teaching and skills development
  • Promoting more flexible and innovative learning

Deadlines for Strategic Partnerships are expected to be the third week of March 2019.   The UK remains fully eligible for Erasmus+ in the coming year and in 2018 there was about a 1 in 3 chance of success for Strategic Partnership applications led by UK partners.  Further details will be published on the British Council website in due course and, of course, available from euro_res@mmu.ac.uk


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Brexit and Participation in EU-Funded Projects including Horizon 2020 and Erasmus+

THIS POST WAS UPDATED IN SEPTEMBER 2018 AND THE LATEST ADVICE CAN BE FOUND HERE. 

There continues to be much discussion about the future of the UK in European Funding Schemes.  Below is a summary of what we know in order to provide reassurance that the UK can continue participating in projects funded by the EU.  A version can be downloaded here to share with partners and further details are available from euro_res@mmu.ac.uk

EU Summary July 2019 Image

[1] “UK Participation in Horizon 2020” (Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, March 2018)  https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/686810/Horizon_2020_Core_lines.pdf
[2] Joint Report from the Negotiators of the European Union and the United Kingdom Government (UK Government & European Commission, December 2017) https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/665869/Joint_report_on_progress_during_phase_1_of_negotiations_under_Article_50_TEU_on_the_United_Kingdom_s_orderly_withdrawal_from_the_European_Union.pdf
[3] Draft Agreement on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community (European Commission, March 2018) https://ec.europa.eu/commission/sites/beta-political/files/draft_agreement_coloured.pdf
[4] Chancellor Philip Hammond guarantees EU funding beyond date UK leaves the EU (13 August 2016) https://www.gov.uk/government/news/chancellor-philip-hammond-guarantees-eu-funding-beyond-date-uk-leaves-the-eu
[5] Funding from EU programmes guaranteed until the end of 2020 (24 July 2018) https://www.gov.uk/government/news/funding-from-eu-programmes-guaranteed-until-the-end-of-2020
[6] PM speech on our future economic partnership with the European Union(2 March 2018) https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/pm-speech-on-our-future-economic-partnership-with-the-european-union
[7] European Council (Art. 50) (23 March 2018) – Guidelines (European Council, March 2018) http://www.consilium.europa.eu/media/33458/23-euco-art50-guidelines.pdf


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The Minister, the Civil Servant and the Vice Chancellor

I am afraid this is not the start of a salacious tale but actually a reflection of some of the meetings I’ve been to recently.  And at each of them, I’ve been left feeling hopeful about European & International funding, whatever the Prime Minister does (or does not) say in her latest Brexit speech (2 March).  And here’s a few reasons why:

  1. European and International Research is valued at the heart of Government. 

When Sam Gyimah, Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation, took questions at Manchester Met last week, he emphasised the importance of research and the importance of continued participation in Horizon 2020.  He’s working with his EU counter-parts towards continued UK participation, contingent on excellence and value for money, as well as establishing research agreements with countries such as China, the USA and Israel.

  1. Research underpins multiple UK policies

But it’s not just the Minister for Universities who thinks research is important as it features in other national strategies.  Manchester Met’s Pro-Vice Chancellor for Research & Knowledge Exchange gave a presentation recently about the UK Government’s Industrial Strategy and how it mapped on Manchester Met in terms of our location, research strength and networks.  Likewise, through the Global Challenges Research Fund, research is being linked to international development.  Research remains important to the UK, its economy and its role in the world.

  1. Work is well underway to ensure continued UK participation in EU-funded Research

At a presentation by a Civil Servant from the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, it was clear that the department is carefully preparing for a range of scenarios post-Brexit.  There is quiet hope for continued UK participation in EU research projects up to the end of 2020 and detailed work happening to ensure a smooth transition as the UK leaves the EU.  There’s lobbying for continued participation in the Framework 9 programme when it launches in 2021 – and the UK’s and EU’s politicians seem genuinely aware of the importance of British Universities.

  1. Research is at the heart of what we do as a university. 

At his all-staff presentation, the Vice Chancellor talked of Manchester Met as being involved in knowledge generation, dissemination and translation.  He emphasised how our research informs our teaching and, indeed, all our work as an institution.

And there’s some really interesting international activity happening at the moment, ranging from work on historic site preservation in Myanmar to European research infrastructure development, from improving speech & language therapy in Rwanda to creating tools to help Hydrogen Education in Schools.   All these are funded by different funders and are at different stages in the research process: from early stage conception to translation & dissemination.

When closing the Question & Answer session with the Minister for Higher Education, Manchester Met’s Vice Chancellor ended by saying that it is easy to look back but we should look forward as there are many positive things happening in the sector, including in EU & International research. So keep your eyes on this blog for further updates on research policy and funding opportunities as things will continue to evolve rapidly.