MMU Research and Knowledge Exchange Blog

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

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Cross-Research Council Mental Health Network Plus call is now open

The seven research council have released a NETWORK PLUS funding call which will be managed be the ESRC.  Total funding available through this call is £9-10 million, with network plus applicants able to bid for up to £1.25 million (100% fEC) per network for up to 48 months’ duration.

The call for network plus proposals closes at 16:00 on 22 March 2018.


The aim of the call is to encourage the creation of multi-disciplinary networks that cross the remit boundaries of the research councils. These networks will address important mental health research questions that require an innovative, cross-disciplinary approach to accelerate progress; to build cross-disciplinary research capacity in the field; and to strengthen the UK mental health research base.


The cross council agenda document can be accessed here . Below is the highlighted research areas and cross cutting themes.

Research areas:

  1. Understanding mental health and mental health problems
  2. Connection between physical and mental health
  3. Public health, prevention and wellbeing
  4. Living with mental health problems

Cross-cutting themes

  1. Effective intervention(s)
  2. Technology and data
  3. Lifestyle and behaviour
  4. Inequalities
  5. Empowerment, ethics, confidentiality and trust

Please contact the central RKE team if you are interested in this funding call and/or are invited to be part of a Network!


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NIHR Fellowship Update

NiHR for Public Mental Health
The latest round of NIHR Fellowships (Round 11) has launched and applications are now open for doctoral and post-doctoral levels.

The fellowships programme offers opportunities at all levels; from PhD through to Senior Research Fellowships, and is aimed at anyone looking to further their career in applied health research and funds research from across the breadth of the NIHR’s remit.
The post-doctoral levels will be open for applications until 5 December 2017 and the doctoral level will be open for applications until 19 December 2017.

Further information can be accessed here

Please contact the RKE office for support and further guidance!

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Latest NIHR funding opportunities: Health Services and Delivery Research Programme

The NIHR Health Services and Delivery Research (HS&DR) Programme funds research to produce evidence on the quality, accessibility and organisation of health services. This includes evaluations of how the NHS might improve delivery of services. The audience for this research is the public, service users, clinicians and managers.

The latest round of funding calls to be announced are:

17/105 Perinatal mental health services
17/106 Secondary falls and fracture prevention services
17/107 Organisation of services and workforce interventions for the assessment and management of older adults with cognitive impairments in generalist health and care services
17/108 Health and social care services support for transition of Looked After children and Young people (LAYP) leaving care

Please contact the RKE team  for further information.

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New Calls Announced: NIHR Public Health Research Programme

NiHR for Public Mental Health

The NIHR Public Health Reseach Programme has announced the next round of commissioned calls.

The PHR Programme funds research to generate evidence to inform the delivery of non-NHS interventions intended to improve the health of the public and reduce inequalities in health. The scope is multi-disciplinary and broad, covering a wide range of interventions that improve public health.

Commissioned Calls for the 20th March 2018 are:

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NIHR Event: From research idea to funding application

NiHR for Public Mental Health


The North West Research Design Service will be holding an information event for academics interested in applying for NIHR funding on the 12 October 2017, 9.30am-3.00pm. The event will take place at The Storey Institute in Lancaster.

What will you get from the day? For those intending to develop and submit an application to NIHR, this event will highlight:

  • the funding opportunities available
  • the application process
  • what funders are looking for in a submission
  • the importance of a well-defined research question
  • how to design a study to answer your research question effectively
  • building a team of collaborators
  • the support that RDS NW can provide in the preparation of your application.

What do you need to do? As this event is aimed at those wanting to develop and submit a research funding application, we ask that:

  • you have at least an outline idea of your research question
  • you are prepared to discuss your idea with an RDS adviser.

To register your place please book on the Eventbrite page here.

For further information on the event, including the programme, please visit the RDS website here.


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Curiosity – Wellcome Trust partnership grant with BBC Children in Need

Children in Need images  untitled

Curiosity is a brand new £2.5m partnership between BBC Children in Need and the Wellcome Trust which will use the power of exciting and engaging science activities to create change for children and young people experiencing disadvantage in the UK.

BBC Children in Need and Welcome Trust are inviting applications for grants of up to £10,000 to fund projects that engage children and young people in science based activities. This is not about formal education. Projects should encourage young people to be curious about the world around them and inside them, making a positive difference in their lives: building confidence and self-esteem, developing life skills and expanding horizons. Examples of previous funded projects can be accessed here

Applications are open now, and will close at midnight on 22 September 2017. Grants will run from January 2018 to the end of September 2018 and In this first round of funding we anticipate that up to 20 grants will be awarded across the UK.

Further information on the funding call can be accessed here .

Please contact your Research Development Manager for further information and support.

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ESRC Global Challenges Research Fund: pre-announcement of new calls

GCRF Concept_v4

The ESRC has pre-announce the commissioning of four new calls under the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF). The calls will focus on the areas of mental health, education and skills, decent work and transitions towards sustainable and inclusive societies.

The formal launch of the calls will be in October/November 2017 with a total budget of around £16 million available.

Overview of focus areas:

Mental health

This area is likely to take a broad perspective on what constitutes mental health and includes mental, neurological, and substance use (MNS) disorders. It will encourage interdisciplinary research that explores how these categories might be conceptualised differently or not regarded as illnesses in some contexts, for example, how MNS disorders are understood and the implications for prevention, treatment-seeking and interventions. Research might also explore how MNS disorders affect families, communities and carers and what this means for those who should provide care and support. Research might address how ‘informal care’ networks shape understanding, attitudes and experiences in relation to MNS disorders. It might also look at how biological, cultural, economic, environmental and social factors determine MNS disorders and resilience with a view to tackling inequalities and supporting the most vulnerable and marginalised groups.

Education and skills

The skills agenda, like education, underpins many of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. Research on education and skills in this context might consider questions around what skills are needed across the life course to support decent work, the changing nature of work and how best to develop and enable access to these skills. What form of skills development will connect with strategies for economic and social development? How do intersecting inequalities within and beyond education affect access, experience and outcomes? How do the different forms of education and skills development delivery tackle inequalities?

Decent work for all

Goal 8 of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals cites ‘decent work for all’ as an integral part of the challenge of sustainable growth. It is estimated that around 470 million jobs will be needed globally for new entrants to the labour market by 2030. The aim of Goal 8 is to ensure not only that sufficient employment is created, but also that work is productive, fairly remunerated and meets minimum standards of security and prospects for personal development. Creating the conditions by which this can be achieved raises fundamental challenges in terms of raising productivity and competitiveness in lower income countries. This in turn relates to issues such as training and education, labour market regulation, and the capacity of the state to encourage and support innovation and appropriate business practices on the one hand and to provide adequate unemployment and social security support on the other.

Research could also address the intersections between labour markets and patterns of global trade or production and migration. The specific challenges associated with youth employment and improving access and employability of people with disabilities are also important, as are a greater understanding of how to reduce the obstacles that hold women and girls back in the workplace and how to eliminate forced employment and the worst aspects of child labour.

Transitions towards sustainable and inclusive societies

For all developing countries, there is a need to manage advances in wellbeing, equity and economic growth alongside the challenges of climate change, biodiversity and cleaner energy and air. Are there models or approaches to economic development that offer new insights into how to support sustainable, equitable growth? Research themes might include the potential offered by new models of production, with a stronger emphasis on locally based, small-scale enterprises; appropriate policies to encourage sustainable patterns of consumption; reform of trading relationships to encourage sustainable production patterns; and analysis of the opportunities offered by new digital technologies to improve access to finance and radically change models of production and distribution in low income countries. Governance and institutional dynamics are also crucial – what kind of institutions are needed to meet these challenges?

Further details to follow….

Please contact your Research Development Manager is you are interested in the above mentioned calls.