MMU Research and Knowledge Exchange Blog

Funding opportunities, news and guidance from RKE at Manchester Met


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Images of Research Competition Deadline Extended

The Images of Research deadline has been extended to 12pm Friday 7 February 2020.

This year we are looking for images that demonstrate with flair, ambition and enthusiasm, the research competed here at the University.

Please consider applying if you are a Postgraduate or Early Career Researcher.

The competition represents an amazing opportunity for you to demonstrate the impact of your research while thinking about how to holistically showcase it in a new and visual way.

If you have any questions, please contact us at ImagesofResearch@mmu.ac.uk or visit the Images of Research webpage. 

Images of Research 2019 winner. ‘Data incoming!’ by Sarah Scott


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Calling all PGRs and ECRs: There is still time to enter the Images of Research photography competition

Manchester Metropolitan researchers are invited to showcase their projects

Postgraduate Researchers and Early Career Researchers are invited to take part in the hugely popular Images of Research photography competition. 

The competition aims to showcase the breadth and depth of research taking place at the University by telling stories about our research projects through a single image and accompanying abstract. 

Last year’s winning entry – ‘Data Incoming!’ by Sarah Scott, Faculty of Science and Engineering

Professor Richard Greene, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research and Knowledge Exchange, tells us more:  

“The Images of Research competition is an exciting opportunity to showcase the excellent research that is going on across Manchester Metropolitan – using powerful imagery to explain its significance to a wider audience.” 

Dr Justine Daniels, Director of Research and Knowledge Exchange, adds:  

“This is a great opportunity for us to celebrate the work of our exciting emerging researchers and emphasises our commitment to research that engages with the world beyond the University – delivering real benefits to society, culture, the environment and the economy.” 

The strongest entries will be exhibited in the Benzie Building during the spring term and will be shortlisted by the Images of Research judging panel: 

  • Professor Richard Greene (Pro-Vice Chancellor, RKE)
  • Dr Justine Daniels (Director, RKE)
  • Ian Christon (Head of External Communications, External Relations) 
  • Sam Gray (Head of Impact and Environment, RKE) 

There are three awards up for grabs, including the People’s Choice award that is voted for by staff members, students and members of the public, and each award winner will also receive £100 Amazon voucher.  

Please visit the Images of Research webpage for further competition details and make sure you submit your entry by Friday 24 January (12:00pm)


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Images of Research 2020: Flair, Ambition and Enthusiasm

The second Manchester Metropolitan Images of Research photography competition is now open for entries!

The Challenge

You are invited to submit a photograph and accompanying abstract that communicate with flair, ambition and enthusiasm, the impact of your research to a non-specialist audience.

Who Can Enter?

Please submit an entry if you are one of the following:

  • A postgraduate research student (PGR) at Manchester Met
  • An early career researcher (ECR)* at Manchester Met

What Prizes are Available?

Shortlisted entries will be printed and displayed on the ground floor of the Benzie Building from Monday 24 February to Friday 20 March 2020.

There will be three prizes available:

  • Judges’ Choice (PGR): £100 Amazon gift voucher
  • Judges’ Choice (ECR): £100 Amazon gift voucher
  • People’s Choice: £100 Amazon gift voucher

How Do I Enter?

To enter, and for more information please visit the competition website.

The deadline for entries is 12:00pm on Friday 24 January 2020.

*An early career researcher (ECR) is defined for the purpose of this exhibition as a member of research staff, or teaching and research staff, who are within eight years of receiving their doctoral award. For example, Lecturer, Research Assistant, Postdoctoral Research Assistant. Please get in touch to discuss your eligibility if you are unsure.


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Importance of Personal Approaches to Researcher Development

On Friday, I attended the fifth annual Researcher Education and Development Conference (#REDsconf19). This year the event was held in the impressive surroundings of the Great Hall in King’s Building, Kings College London. This conference was originally held in response to increasing professionalisation of the researcher developer role, the aim being to strengthen networks, share best practice and associated underpinning research.

This year, the theme of the conference was Identity, Agency and Choice – personal approaches to researcher development. I was particularly keen to attend this conference due to my involvement with Manchester Met’s development programmes, Future RKE Leaders and Good to Great. These programmes take a personalised approach to career development, supporting individuals to address their goals with a bespoke programme of support and development opportunities.

The morning session explored the importance of acknowledging varied and evolving researcher identities, and enabling researcher agency when designing and implementing development initiatives. Speakers explored the importance of dress as a method of emphasising agency and how different groups, eg women, still encounter structural barriers when working to develop their academic careers. The afternoon was spent showcasing different development initiatives plus methods of supporting individuals to have meaningful development experiences.

One of the key points I took away from the conference was an increased awareness of the role researcher developers can have in contributing to imposter syndrome. This can occur by advocating a set form of development linked to a specific ideal of an academic career trajectory. I plan to trial development initiatives discussed at the conference to further encourage researchers to take ownership of their career development, helping them to navigate the complexities of the academic landscape in a way that is meaningful to them.


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Calling all UK early- and mid-career researchers: a group of UK ECRs would like your ideas for future engagement in science and society

Consultation on the possibility, desirability and feasibility of setting up a UK-wide early career researcher (ECR) forum to support and empower UK based ECRs.

To date more than 40 such forums have been established around the world to promote research excellence and support ECRs to contribute to research and policy discussions.

This survey has been compiled by a group of ECRs from across the UK, working in a range of disciplines. It is the result of a meeting of UK ECRs in March 2019, hosted by the Royal Society and the British Academy, to explore how best to support and empower UK ECRs.

The survey is anonymous and open to all UK-based researchers.

Please compete the survey here.

 The deadline for completion is 27 October 2019.


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Opportunity to contribute to national review of researchers’ experiences of training and support

All institutional research staff are invited to complete a survey around their experiences of training and support and have the chance to win one of four £50 Amazon vouchers. 

The survey can be found here.

Deadline is Friday 29th November

The survey is being hosted and the data processed by Vitae on behalf of the University of the Highlands and Islands and Oxford Brookes University. 

It is different from the consultation to Support the Career Development of Researchers, which ran last year, and in addition to the Principal Investigators and Research Leaders Survey (PIRLS), as the current survey focuses specifically on the training aspect of researcher development.

This  survey is open for research-active academic staff, regardless of career stage or level of engagement, across the UK’s Higher Education Institutions and results will provide an evidence-based outline of the current position across the UK to help improve training, support and professional development in higher education. 

The survey will help identify examples of good practice that can be shared and mainstreamed and will also identify whether there are important gaps in researcher development and training provisions at key stages of a research-active member’s career that should be filled.

By taking part in the surveyyou will help make a contribution to achieving a good and healthy research environment, and helping further embed the reputation of UK Higher Education in an increasingly competitive world research environment.


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Launch of the new Researcher Development Concordat: setting the standards for researcher development

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Following review and sector consultation the new Researcher Development Concordat was launched at the UUK conference in Birmingham on 12th September.

This Concordat is an agreement between stakeholders to improve the employment and support for researchers and researcher careers in higher education in the UK.

The publication of the original Concordat in 2008 paved the way to widespread improvements in the research environment and opportunities for professional development for researchers across the sector.

The new version is structured around three principles of Environment and culture, Employment, and Professional and career development. These principles are underpinned by obligations for four key stakeholder groups, funders, institutions, researchers and managers of researchers, to realise the aims of the Concordat.

This revised Concordat recognises the critical role of research and innovation in delivering the UK’s ambitious economic and industrial strategies, and aims to set the gold standard in researcher development and use it as a competitive advantage.

An institution demonstrates its compliance with the Researcher Development Concordat via the EU HR Excellence in Research Award. The process involves the submission of an action plan followed by regular monitoring and independent review at structured intervals. Manchester Metropolitan have held this award since 2013. Our past action plans can be found here. Please also watch this space for an updated action plan reflecting the principles of the new Concordat.

For more information on what the Concordat means for researchers, please see the Vitae website here. Manchester Met are members of Vitae so you can access any ‘members only’ materials by creating an account with your Man Met email address.