MMU Research and Knowledge Exchange Blog

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

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NIHR Funding Opportunity Alert

NiHR for Public Mental Health

The NIHR have released a funding alert of funding opportunities. Below is a list of funding highlights.

Health Services & Delivery Research Programme

17/51 Gender identity health services
17/52 Research on interventions to support service guideline implementation and the adoption of new models of care at scale
17/45 – Researcher-led evidence synthesis
17/49 – Researcher-led standard

Health Technology Assessment Programme

16/74 – Optimal treatment strategies for fistulising perianal Crohn’s disease
16/96 – Standardised diagnostic assessment tool as an adjunct to clinical practice in child and adolescent mental health services
16/97 – Antipsychotics for anorexia nervosa

Public Health Research Programme

17/53 – Changing drinking behaviours
17/54 – Digital interventions for sexual health promotion
17/55 – Promoting independence in older people

Policy Research Programme
Round 19:

1 – Evaluation of Supplementary Prescribing by Dietitians and Independent Prescribing by Therapeutic Radiographers
2 – Evaluation of the Transforming Care Programme

Please contact the research development managers if you are interested in any of the above calls.

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NIHR Public Health Funding Opportunity : Promoting Independence among older people, and disabled people

NiHR for Public Mental Health

The NIHR Public Health Funding Stream have released a commissioned call, ‘Promoting independence in older people’.

Do you think you could answer the following Research Question: What are the most effective* interventions which support (or create the conditions for) independence* in the everyday lives of older people, or disabled people** of any age?

Are you interested to find out more? If you are, you can access the commissioning brief HERE


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Health Foundation: Invitation to tender: Research proposals are invited on the topic of young people’s future health prospects

Health foundation


The Health Foundation is beginning to implement a long-term strategy to improve people’s health in the UK.

The Foundation are inviting proposals for research to further the understanding of factors that shape young people’s future health prospects, as part of a Health Foundation inquiry on the topic.

The project requires a research partner with a track record of high quality policy and practice research in the field of young people (specifically between the ages of 12 and 24 years old and transitions to adulthood).

The aim is to produce a quantitative picture of the factors that contribute to today’s young people having healthy lives, now and in the future, and recommendations for the actions necessary to improve future health prospects.

We anticipate bids of up to £180,000 for research completed over 18 months, by March 2019.

The foundation will hold an information call on Wednesday 17 May 2017 with a closing date for applications at 12 noon on Monday 5 June 2017.

Further details:,4X2BU,BS68Q5,INJXV,1

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The Physiological Society, Public Engagement Grants

Physoc Society

The Physiological Society is offering grants of up to £5000 to support public engagement.

The grants, which are available to both members and non-members, are designed to fund innovative and creative projects on any aspect of physiology. They particularly encourage collaborations between science communicators, artists, facilitators of public engagement, and their members.

The society is open to any ideas from you as to how physiologists can engage with the public and are especially keen to receive project applications which fit under their 2017 focus, ‘Making Sense of Stress’, and the societies 2018 focus, sleep and circadian rhythm.

The grant scheme aims to: Inspire creative public engagement with physiology Stimulate physiologists to share their stories, passion and expertise in innovative ways with wider audiences, particularly those that are traditionally hard to reach Increase dialogue between researchers and the public, in particular on topics such as the relevance of research to health, medicine and performance. Produce materials and resources which can be used for further public engagement and outreach work. The scheme is open year-round with two funding rounds. The next deadline for applications is Wednesday 14 June. The review period will take 6-8 weeks.

For more information please visit:

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Thoughts and advice from a Newton Fund panel reviewer

Dr Adam Taylor, Director of the Clinical Anatomy Learning Centre & Senior Lecturer in Anatomy, Lancaster University, shares what the British Council panel reviewers look for in applications to the Newton Fund.

As researchers, we’ve all been at meetings/conferences and met people who would be interesting collaborators, but for a variety of reasons it just isn’t feasible; costs, distance, or just an appropriate funding stream that provides the opportunity. The Newton Fund presents these opportunities, to engage in research and build long term collaborative links that benefit all involved, with the ultimate goal of aiding those most in need in developing countries.

As a reviewer for the British Council on their biomed review panel, I wanted to share my thoughts and insights which hopefully provide practical advice to those thinking of applying.


It varies, however there are some common themes that appear throughout which I will attempt to summarise here.

  1. Who benefits from the project? Is it relevant to economic development and social welfare?The underlying aim of the Newton Fund is to support research that has the ability to lead to a positive impact on the lives of people on low incomes, and contribute to the economic development and social welfare of the partner country in a reasonable timeframe.This criteria is potentially one of the weakest areas that applicants score in, either because it is not clearly articulated in their application how they are going to do this, or they just don’t articulate it at all.As reviewers we are realistic about the science and research contained in the application, and we don’t expect that they will right all of the existing problems overnight. However, a plausible pathway will contain details that suggest that both the UK and partner country applicants have a clear understanding of the size of the problem that they are trying to address, and how their research and results will lead to change and improvements. Again, “realistically” is the keyword, the timeframe for these benefits to work their way through this is 3-15 years.
  2. Strength of the partnership Following on from this we look at the partnership in the application, and whether this represents a viable match to accomplish what is proposed.  Partnerships can be the commencement of a new collaboration all together, or they can build from an existing collaboration, in which case they must clearly further existing links. Partnerships must also be a logical match; one side might have the technical expertise, and the other the access to data, samples or resources to be analysed.
  3. Project design and budgets As ever, a clear study design and timeline of what is expected to be achieved always helps! Where appropriate a clear budget and costing will help add weight to the project you are proposing, and show whether the outputs and objectives are realistic. Any offer of in-kind or matched funding is always welcome. This can be institutionally or from third parties, and just needs to be clearly articulated, particularly in the case of what the third party is bringing to the research.
  4. Institutional supportThere has to be support from both the UK and partner-country institutions for the project and the individual involved. Some applications detail what resources the institutions will make available and how they will help the applicants achieve the objectives – this is welcome.
  5. Capacity building and sustainabilityAlthough they may sound vague, ‘capacity and sustainability building’ are key strategic requirements of the Newton Fund. Reviewers look for clear descriptors of how this initial funding will sustain their collaboration over the longer term, beyond the initial grant period.Linked to this is the development of individuals involved; what does the individual gain and how will this be of benefit to them? And, how are others going to benefit in the longer term? This may be as simple as the learning and utilisation of new techniques to aid in front line diagnosis of a common disease found in the partner country. Longer term, this knowledge may then help to quickly diagnose many people who will then be in a position to contribute economically to the country. There are many ways that this capacity building and sustainability may appear, but it is fundamental that they are clearly articulated.

The full article can be assessed on the British Council Website

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Mental Health Research UK and The Schizophrenia Research Fund PhD Scholarships

Mental Health Research UK and The Schizophrenia Research Fund invite Universities to apply for a scholarship in the field of a) Children and Young People’s Mental Health and b) Schizophrenia. Each university is permit to submit ‘one’ application per scholarship for consideration.

The award(s) if successful would cover student fees (£4,195) and stipend (£14,553) over a 4 year period.

The funder supports research into:

  • The underlying causes of mental ill health
  • and Treatments for mental health problems

As we can only submit one application per scholarship, MMU is running an short internal Expression of Interest for proposals that meet the criteria of the funder. These will be reviewed by Faculty relevant Heads of RKE and Director of RKE, with one selected to be developed as MMU’s institutional application. The proposed timetable is:

Call for EOIs promoted – w/c 03rd April

  • Deadline for EOIs – Friday 28th April 2017.
  • EOIs discussed and nomination agreed by the relevant Faculty Heads of RKE and Director of RKE by 3rd May 2017.
  • Nominated bid (if any) then developed for submission deadline – 16th June 2017.

The expression of interest form  MentalHealthResearchUK EOI 2018.doc