MMU Research and Knowledge Exchange Blog

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

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Horizon 2020: Do you know a talented researcher who wants to come to the UK?


Picture the scene. You know someone who would be a perfect addition to your research group – they have their PhD* and a good track record, their research is a great fit and they have good links to other organisations (including their current employer). The only snag is they’re not local, in fact they’re not even based in the UK.

If this sounds familiar, the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions “Individual Fellowships”, may be just what you’re looking for.

So how do they work?

The scheme provides fully funded fellowships of up to 24 months for researchers to come to Manchester Met from any country other than the UK. They can be working in any discipline and together with colleagues at Manchester Met, they can build their own programme of research in any field. The application is made jointly between the prospective fellow and Manchester Met and does not require a large partnership.

The really good news is you also have plenty of time to prepare your application – the next deadline will be 14 September 2017. However, the scheme is competitive, so we would advise you to start thinking now and get a head start on the competition!

If you’re interested in finding out more or think you may have someone who fits the bill, please get in touch (

(* even if they don’t have their PhD, if they have four years full time research experience they also qualify) 

Manchester Met Information Event

For those of you interested in the scheme, we will be holding an event on 23 May 2017, from 2.00-4.00 pm where you can find out more and also hear about Dr Emma Hodson-Tole’s experiences of securing funding from the scheme. If you are interested in attending please register here by 10 May 2017 – we have limited places available, so book early to avoid disappointment!

Unfortunately, attendance is restricted to our Manchester Met-based subscribers, but those of you based at different institutions may be interested in the events being run by UK Research Office.


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H2020: MSCA Individual Fellowships – Info Events


In preparation for the call for Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) Individual Fellowships, our  colleagues at UKRO (the UK National Contact Point for MSCAs) have announced details of two information events (Liverpool on 5 May 2017 and Bristol on 23 May 2017).

The events are free of charge, and you can find out more and register for the Liverpool event here and the Bristol event here.

Manchester Met information session

For those of you unable to make it to Liverpool or Bristol for the UKRO sessions, we are in the process of planning an information session of our own at Manchester Met.

So we can get an idea of interest, please drop us a line at if you would be interested in attending (Ed – please note that this session will only be open to colleagues from Manchester Met).

MSCA Individual Fellowships

The MSCA Individual Fellowships can support researchers to pursue a fellowship at Manchester Met for up to two years. The scheme targets individuals with a PhD or equivalent full time research experience. Manchester Met can apply for support to host researchers in any discipline who have spent less than 12 months of the past three years in the UK. The next call for proposals will open on 11 April 2017, with a deadline of 14 September 2017.

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H2020 Info Days and new gender equality resource

After a bit of an absence, a few updates for colleagues with an interest in the Science with and For Society and/or Secure Societies calls, news of a new guide to improving gender equality in research organisations and a quick reminder of forthcoming Horizon 2020 calls. As ever, if  anything catches your eye then we’d love to hear from you (!

H2020 Science With And For Society – presentations available from Information Day

Presentations and a video are now available from the recent SWAFS information day. The presentations covered the main topics for the 2017 call: Science Education; Public Engagement; Ethics and Research Integrity and Gender. The call will officially open on 12 April 2017 and deadline for applications will be 30 August 2017.

A new resource for improving gender equality

Science Europe have made a number of presentations available from the launch of their new practical guide on ‘Improving Gender Equality in Research Organisations’. The guide, and the presentations, include thoughts on: avoiding unconscious bias in peer review; monitoring gender equality and improving grant management practices.

H2020 Societal Challenge 7 – presentations available from Secure Societies Information Day

Presentations are now available from the recent information day on the latest calls under Societal Challenge 7. Amongst the sub-topics covered were: cybersecurity; research to support critical infrastructure protection; border security and external securityfight against crime and terrorism; and pan-European networks of practitioners and other actors in the field of security. All calls are now open and have a deadline of 24 August 2017.

Forthcoming H2020 Deadlines

With work well underway to define priorities for the last phase of Horizon 2020 (2018-20), there are still a number of opportunities open for the current 2017 call.

25 April LEIT – ICT
24 August Societal Challenge 7 – Security
30 August Science with and for Society
14 September Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions – Individual Fellowships

As ever, if you are thinking of applying, or want to know more, then please get in touch(


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Horizon 2020 – Draft topics announced


Following consultations and much work by the Horizon 2020 Advisory Groups and others, the European Commission have now published a set of draft scoping documents for 2018/20.

Although still subject to ratification (and as such open to some change), these documents give a clear indication of key topics which are likely to be adopted later in 2017. They set outline the main priorities over the next three years for each area of Horizon 2020 and will be used as the basis for developing work programmes.

You can access a zip file containing all of the scoping documents here. As these documents are in the public domain, you can also share them freely with your potential collaborators.

As ever if anything catches your eye, you want to know more, or just need help navigating the information do get in touch (

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A very Euro Christmas to you all!

2016 has been a very eventful year from a European perspective. You’ll all be aware of the happenings in June 2016 and subsequent debate, but there’s been a lot of good Euro news here at Manchester Met that has given us much to smile about. The following is just a quick snapshot of some of the highs of the past twelve months.

Starting with Horizon 2020, Prof Tristan McKay’s group are part of a European team developing therapies for Batten Disease through the BATCure project which aims to improve the lives of the estimated 1 million + children affected by this group of conditions. Moving out of the lab and towards the intersection of computing and biological imaging Prof Rene Doursat and colleagues will be lending their expertise to the ImageInLife Innovative Training Network. ImageInLife will train young European researchers in imaging complex biological systems. Taking our computing in a slightly different direction are Drs Keeley Crockett and Jim O’Shea, who are working with other research organisations and border agencies in the iCROSS project to examine new approaches to border control based on some of our existing technology (Silent Talker).

In the business arena, Prof Sally Randles’ new SMART-map project is connecting industry with research and civil society organisations to encourage responsible technology development and colleagues including the Prof Sue Baines and Prof Alberto Paucar-Caceres are working with European partners to make more links between the research base and business through the SAUNAC and DiTEM Erasmus + projects. Sally’s work on responsibility in research and innovation (RRI) comes to the fore again in the JERRI project, which will develop and pilot plans for RRI at two of the EU’s largest Research and Technology Organisations, the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft in Germany and TNO in the Netherlands.

Our ground-breaking work on apprenticeships is also being recognised at the European level, with Liz Gorb’s SME Gap Erasmus + project which focuses on exchange of best practices with other European players.

We’ve also seen our first Horizon 2020 projects in Arts and Humanities. Ulysses Sengupta and Rob Hyde will lead Manchester Met’s contribution to the Manchester hub of SynchroniCity, a large-scale IoT pilot creating a network of reference zones across Europe. And, in a truly interdisciplinary endeavour, Prof Felicity Colman will lead a philosophical think tank in developing recommendations for ethics in ICT based research through her Ethics of Coding project.

In the field of education, our knowledge is feeding into improving the quality of teaching in the UK and abroad through a range of Erasmus + projects. Dr Geraldine Lee-Treweek contribution to the TEACHER and REFLECT LAB projects will (respectively) develop new approaches to pre-school teacher education in Bosnia and Herzegovina and support the application of inquiry based learning. Prof Nicola Whitton’s contribution to the Learning Games project will share our expertise in the use of play in education with others across Europe and Rebecca Patterson and John Rainer will be using drama (and more particularly Shakespeare) to develop approaches to teaching English Language and European Values through the UDSTEL project. Geraldine features again with her PAPYRUS project, which will help to upskill youth workers to respond to the refugee crisis.

Coming back to research, Drs Bethan Owen and Ling Lim will be applying our climate change modelling expertise in the ATM4E project, which will explore the potential for environmentally-optimised flight operations.

Staying with the sustainability theme, a final mention for our colleagues in International Office who have secured funding from Erasmus + to enable staff mobility, which will allow a team from Manchester Met to build on their relationship with the College of African Wildlife Management through a series of activities planned for 2017.

And with that, have a very Euro Christmas and we look forward to working with you in the New Year!

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Europe: Festive Funding Opportunities


In a pre-Christmas flurry, a few opportunities have been announced which may be of interest to readers:

  • Innovative Medicine Initiative (IMI) – IMI has announced its tenth call for proposals supporting research in a variety of areas including hypoglycaemia; use of big data in diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer; improving care for patients suffering from acute or chronic pain; patient perspectives in medicines lifecycle; and personalised medicine in autism spectrum disorders. Deadline for stage one proposals is 28 March 2017 and details can be found here.
  • SESAR – has announced their new call for proposals on research focused on optimising Air Traffic Management (ATM) performance and intelligent air transport. The deadline for full proposals is 22 March 2017 and details on topics supported and conditions can be found here.
  • QuantERA – QuantERA is a new initiative which will support research in the field of quantum technologies, with the UK’s involvement supported by EPSRC. In a recently published pre-announcement, QuantERA have flagged that they will launch a call for proposals in January, with a likely deadline for stage one proposals of 15 March 2017.

In other news, those of you with Swiss partners will be interested to hear that Switzerland and the EC have successfully completed negotiations which will grant Switzerland the status of an Associated Country within Horizon 2020. This allows Swiss organisations to participate in Horizon 2020 on an even footing with EU Member States.

As ever, if you are thinking of applying, or would like more information about any of the enclosed do get in touch (!

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UKRO Visit – Register Attendance


We’re pleased to announce that we will be welcoming our UK Research Office (UKRO) European Advisor, Ian Devine, to Manchester Met.

Ian will be providing an update on Horizon 2020 and European funding opportunities for all those of you who are interested in the programme and you will be able to hear more about the support on offer to you from the RKE Office.

Speakers will also include the PVC for Research & Knowledge Exchange, Richard Greene, who will share some thoughts on International research at MMU.

9:00 – 1:00 20th January 2017

Geoffrey Manton Building Lecture Theatre 5

To register attendance and view the agenda, please click HERE.

If you have any questions, please contact