MMU Research and Knowledge Exchange Blog

Funding opportunities, news and guidance from RKE at Manchester Met


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NERC Expressions of Interest

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The demand management measures implemented by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) mean that there are restrictions on the number of research applications that Manchester Metropolitan University is permitted to submit to each Standard Grant round. This can include applications that are externally led.

In order to manage the process, researchers who wish to develop an application for the next NERC Standard Grant round (deadline of 16 January 2018) are required to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) by 17:00 on Monday 02 October using the form available here.

The EOI form includes guidance notes about demand management and the internal selection process. To return the completed EOI form – or if you have any questions about a possible NERC application – please email Justin Smith justin.smith@mmu.ac.uk.


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NERC Demand Management

NERC Demand Management: call for Expressions of Interest

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The demand management measures implemented by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) mean that there are restrictions on the number of research applications that Manchester Metropolitan University is permitted to submit to each Standard Grant round. This can include applications that are externally led.

In order to manage the process, researchers who wish to develop an application for the next NERC Standard Grant round (deadline of Tuesday 18 July 2017) are required to submit an Expressions of Interest (EOI) by 17:00 on Tuesday 28 March using the form available here.

The EOI form includes guidance notes about demand management and the internal selection process. To return the completed EOI form – or if you have any questions about a possible NERC application – please email Justin Smith justin.smith@mmu.ac.uk.

 


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Malaysia-UK Research and Innovation Bridges

Innovate UK

Innovate UK, Research Councils UK (RCUK) and the Malaysia Industry-Government Group for High Technology (MIGHT) are to invest up to £14.4 million in collaborative research and development projects to stimulate innovation in response to Malaysia’s urbanisation challenges.

This competition focuses on finding new commercial solutions to challenges that Malaysia is facing as climate change increasingly impacts upon its cities and its urbanisation trajectory, with the solutions expected to emerge through the translation of existing, excellent research.

The aim of the competition is to bring together companies, research and technology organisations, academics, public sector bodies and charities from Malaysia and the UK for joint industrial research to develop innovative products, processes or services that meet critical challenges existing within the following sectors:
  • health and well-being
  • improving environmental resilience and energy security
  • future cities
  • agritech (used to solve explicit urban food and nutrition issues)
  • digital, innovation and creativity
This investment from the UK side has been made possible through the UK Department of Business, Innovation and Skills-managed Newton Fund: www.newtonfund.ac.uk.

Projects must be collaborative, involving both UK and Malaysian participants. There must be a minimum of one UK business, one UK research organisation, one Malaysian business and one Malaysian research organisation in each project. On the UK side, projects can be business-led or research organisation-led, and should preferably involve other non-business partners. The lead partner should be able to demonstrate a clear route to commercialisation of the proposed product/s or service/s, and should have a primary focus on the translation of research and/or knowledge.

Given the heavy focus on translation of research, research organisations’ participation can be up to 50% of total project costs. Small or micro businesses could receive up to 70% of their eligible project costs, medium-sized businesses 60% and large businesses 50%. For each project the total UK and total Malaysian participant project costs to be £1m-£1.75m on each side, although we would consider projects outside of this range. Projects should last 24-34 months.

The competition involves a two-stage application process.
Applicants must register by noon UK time 30 September 2015.
The deadline for expressions of interest is at noon UK time on 7 October 2015.
The deadline for invited applications will be noon UK time on 27 January 2016.
Information about the competition can be found here.


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Exhibition Launch: Are we there yet? 150 years of progress towards equality

cropped-logo.png Are we there yet?

Dr Kate Cook (as part of her role as Co-Chair for the University’s Staff Gender Forum) invites colleagues to attend the launch event for an exhibition that looks at the progress made towards equality in the UK – with a focus on Manchester. The launch is on Thursday 24 September from 5 to 7pm, and will take place at the Special Collections Gallery on the 3rd Floor of the Sir Kenneth Green Library at MMU.

From Peterloo to the Pankhursts to Pride, the people of Manchester have played an important role in bringing about change. This exhibition surveys the progress made towards equality in the UK by tracking key events, figures and legislation, with Manchester as a focus. It highlights change through archive photographs, magazines, films, posters and campaign material. Alongside this, children’s books selected from MMU Special Collections reflect changing attitudes to women, disability, race and sexual orientation over the last 150 years. The exhibition invites viewers to consider the present in the light of the past and ask themselves “Are we there yet?”

Are we there yet? has been curated by members of Manchester Metropolitan University’s Equality and Diversity Team and Fora. The exhibition runs from 17 August – 6 November 2015.

Please send r.s.v.p. to Pat Kelly: p.kelly@mmu.ac.uk or telephone 0161 247 3096.


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Innovate UK call: Enhancing the end-to-end journey

Innovate UK

Innovate UK is investing up to £10 million in collaborative R&D projects to catalyse innovation to improve the efficiency and experience of the end-to-end journey for people and freight.

Innovative proposals are sought that facilitate seamless end-to-end journeys for people and goods. The concept of end-to-end journeys aims to expand the thinking around mobility as a service, by developing truly multi-modal travel options and a single point of access for the customer (whether traveller or goods mover).

Proposals should cover one or more of the following thematic areas:

  • network and data connectivity within modes and to users
  • infrastructure
  • customer interaction and experience

Proposals must be collaborative and led by a business. Innovate UK expects to fund mainly industrial research projects. Small businesses could receive up to 70% of their eligible costs, medium-sized businesses 60% and large businesses 50%. University participation will be capped at 50% of overall project costs. Expected project costs will be between £250k and £3m, and projects are expected to last for up to 3 years.

This is a two-stage competition that opens for applicants on 10 August 2015. The deadline for expressions of interest is at noon on 18 November 2015. There will be a briefing event for potential applicants in London on 19 August 2015.

Details of the call can be found here.


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Centre for Defence Enterprise Enduring Challenge Competition

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The Centre for Defence Enterprise (CDE) has a regular Enduring Challenge competition, which was previously known as the Open Call. CDE typically funds proposals for proof-of-concept research in the range of £40,000 to £100,000 for work of 3 to 9 months duration.  The total budget is worth £3 million each year.

This following areas are covered by the programme:

Protection (personnel, platforms, facilities, digital systems, materials)

Situational awareness (sensors, precision navigation and timing, reduced GPS dependability, persistent surveillance, status of digital systems)

Power (provision/sources, non-fossil, hybrid, management, fuel efficiency)

Communications (secure, unsecure, mobile, novel forms)

Data (cyber, information, big data, management and processing, sense-making, visualisation, delivery, interoperability)

Lethality (weapons – conventional, novel, directed energy, defence, less-than-lethal)

Mobility (platforms [air, land, sea, space, human], means of propulsion)

Human performance (physical and mental, systems interface, survivability, training, medical)

Lower cost of ownership (platforms, equipment, facilities)

The competition is open to all highly innovative research ideas that challenge existing conventions and have a high potential benefit for the military end user.

Further information about the competition can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/cde-enduring-challenge-competition.

Deadlines are monthly, with the next ones being:  25 June, 23 July, 25 August and 22 September. Applications must be submitted through the CDE online portal: https://innovative.ideas.mod.uk.

The Centre for Defence Enterprise (CDE) holds regular events to promote its competitions. This allows networking with technical and military experts, as well as helping to build relationships to encourage working with other science and technology providers. Details of these events can be found here:  https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/centre-for-defence-enterprise-innovation-network-events.


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EPSRC Blog Launch

EPSRC

A new science and engineering blog will provide debate and opinion pieces from leading thinkers on research, innovation and science funding policy. The blog, launched by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), will seek contributions from scientists and engineers as well as EPSRC staff.

Announcing the launch, Professor Philip Nelson, Chief Executive of EPSRC says; We want the EPSRC blog to host debate, share thinking and provide different perspectives on topics affecting the engineering and physical sciences community.

It is vital that as a community we remain engaged on developments and issues. I hope the EPSRC blog will prove an additional and very useful tool in doing just that.

Within the first blog post Professor Nelson sets out EPSRC’s strategic plan and outlines discussions around how research is best supported, the university eco-system and opportunities to support innovation.

Dr Nick Hawes, from the University of Birmingham, argues why scientists working in robotics and artificial intelligence need to engage with the public. His blog post sets out tips for public engagement, gives examples of robot demonstrations and tweeting robots, with data to demonstrate the worldwide online impact.

The EPSRC invests around £800 million a year in research and postgraduate training and is the UK’s main agency for funding research in engineering and the physical sciences.


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NERC Demand Management

NERC

The Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) has announced new demand management measures for their Standard Grant schemes (what used to be known as responsive mode). See ttp://www.nerc.ac.uk/latest/news/nerc/demand/ for details. The rationale for such demand management is to improve NERC success rates (which are now down to around 12%) and reduce the pressure on the peer review community.

The measures apply to the next two Standard Grant rounds (21st July 2015 and late January 2016) and will place restrictions on the number of proposals that MMU can submit to NERC as the lead organisation.

Anyone planning an application for these two deadlines should contact one of the Research Development Managers in Research & Knowledge Exchange (RKE) to discuss their application well before the deadline. The contact details for the Research Development Managers are:

Gareth Cantello – 0161 247 3818; g.cantello@mmu.ac.uk

Kelly Lavender-Smith – 0161 247 2927; k.lavender-smith@mmu.ac.uk

Germaine Loader – 0161 247 2960; g.loader@mmu.ac.uk

Justin Smith – 0161 247 2926; justin.smith@mmu.ac.uk


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UK and China Low Carbon Cities Research

RCUK Energy

EPSRC

 

 

 

Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and the Natural Sciences Foundation of China (NSFC) are jointly funding a call for Low Carbon Cities Research http://www.epsrc.ac.uk/files/funding/calls/2015/low-carbon-cities-research/.

Low Carbon Cities combines research to reduce the carbon emissions of existing technologies and fundamental research into alternative energy sources and a reduction of energy demand, all with a focus on future urban environments. Such research requires a multi-disciplinary approach, combining technological expertise with an understanding of societal factors including public policy that govern uptake. Significant sub-themes include:

  • Low Carbon Transportation
  • Smart and Efficient Buildings
  • Low Carbon District Heating/Cooling

This is a call for proposals that aims to foster collaboration between UK and Chinese academics who work in the field of Low Carbon Cities. Proposal should include at least one academic from both the UK and China and should demonstrate truly collaborative working which will lead to impactful outcomes.

Remit of the call – part one (EPSRC funded)

Proposals should be focused on one of the following challenges:

1) Delivering economic and energy-efficient heating and cooling to city areas of different population densities and climates.

2) Integration of monitoring and modelling to achieve better operational performance of built assets (which includes transport and buildings infrastructure)

3) Mitigating the impact of localised climate change through built assets (which includes transport and buildings infrastructure), the urban environment and low carbon transport systems within cities

Remit of the call – part two (Newton Fund)

Proposals submitted under this strand must comply with requirements under the Newton Fund. The proposals for this part of the call must be focused on the following challenge:

4) How can we develop new built assets (which includes transport and buildings infrastructure) that allows flexibility to meet future needs in China?

Applicants must ensure that identical proposals are submitted by the closing date to both EPSRC and NSFC. A UK based lead partner and a China based lead partner should be identified.

The call closes at 16.00 on 23 April 2015. Grants of up to £800K are available from EPSRC for this call. Applicants must choose to apply for either the EPSRC funded or Newton funded streams. EPSRC expects to fund up to 4 projects. Projects may be for up to 3 years.


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EPSRC: SUPERGEN Wind Challenge 2015

EPSRCRCUK Energy

EPSRC invites proposals are invited for collaborative research projects to undertake fundamental research that will underpin the development of Wind Energy technologies. The following themes have been identified as priority areas for the remit of this call:

  • Turbine Component Development
  • Foundation Systems
  • Asset Management
  • Whole-Systems Understanding

For each project application there should be a single submission with a single PI. The institutions involved in the successful proposals will be expected to become members of the SUPERGEN Wind Hub.

Up to £3M is available for this call. The duration of the grants may be up to three years.

Anyone intending to submit a proposal to this call must register their intent by email to energyteam@epsrc.ac.uk by 16:00 on 20 January 2015, including in the email any project partners, names of the PI and any Co-Is, the subject area and an approximate value of funds to be requested. This is not intended to restrict detail in the final submission as changes will be allowed, but will give us an indication of the level of interest and enable the prompt identification of reviewers.

The deadline for applications is 26 February 2015. Full details of the call can be found at the website here.