MMU Research and Knowledge Exchange Blog

Funding opportunities, news and guidance from RKE at Manchester Met

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GCRF: High level details of 2019 calls announced

UKRI have announced themes for a suite of calls to be launched in 2019 under the UKRI GCRF Collective Programme.

The Programme will reach across the six strategic GCRF Challenge portfolios (global health, education, sustainable cities, food systems, conflict and displacement and resilience), and calls will be launched throughout 2019.

Calls will be led via specific Research Councils on behalf of UKRI as a whole, and steered by challenge leaders.

Themes for calls will be:

Cities and Sustainable Infrastructure

  • GCRF (Re)thinking the off-grid city
  • GCRF Sustainable energy and international development: beyond technology


  • GCRF Education as a driver of sustainable development Network Plus
  • GCRF Education in conflict and crisis research
  • GCRF Education Interventions for Early Childhood Development

Food Systems

  • GCRF Cultures and histories of agriculture, food, and nutrition
  • GCRF A combined Food Systems approach to developing interventions to address the Double Burden of Malnutrition

Global Health

  • GCRF Health and Communities

Resilience to Environmental Shocks and Change

  • GCRF Equitable Resilience: ensuring resilience enhances the Sustainable Development Goals
  • GCRF Multiple and systemic Risks

Security Protracted Conflict, Refugee Crises and Forced Displacement

  • GCRF Development-based approaches to Protracted Displacement
  • GCRF Preventing Conflict, Building Sustainable and Inclusive Peace
  • GCRF Protection in Contexts of Conflict and Displacement

Calls that cut across the portfolios

  • GCRF Coherence Grants
  • GCRF Gender and Intersectionality Network Plus
  • GCRF Global Engagement Networks

Details have been launched regarding the Global Engagement Networks call (Deadline 14 February 2019), and we are expecting further announcements this week about other calls, so keep your eyes on the Blog.

(Ed – AHRC are already advertising their leadership of  various calls, and an indication of the types of project that willl be supported – e.g. networks, partnership building and research programmes).

As ever, if you’re interested in calls, please contact your Research Development Manager or International Research Development Manager as early as possible for advice and support.





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Erasmus+ 2019 Deadlines

The deadlines and procedures for the 2019 Erasmus+ projects has been announced by the British Council and the European Commission; a summary of the deadlines can be found here.  This post outlines the support available at Manchester Met and some of the key aspects of the 2019 calls.

Support at Manchester Met

Support is available from the Research & Knowledge Exchange Office to help prepare applications to the project-based schemes including assessing the strategic fit with the scheme, supporting the development of the application including the budget and ensuring the bid is signed off.  To help this process, please note the following dates:

All projects:

  • 30 November 2018: Please notify of your interest in applying so we can discuss the support available.

If Manchester Met is leading a project:

  • 1 month before the deadline: Peer Review should have started.
  • 10 days before the deadline: Signed partner mandates received, WorkTribe Approval started. RKE will then facilitate signature on the bid & mandates ahead of the funder’s deadline.

If Manchester Met is a partner on a project:

  • 10 days before the deadline: WorkTribe Approval started. RKE will then facilitate signature on the bid & mandates ahead of the funder’s deadline.  If the coordinator requires the mandate sooner, approval should start 10 days ahead of their deadline to allow time for approval & signature.

For some of the key schemes, here are the key dates:

  Peer Review Deadline  Man Met Internal Approval Funder Deadline (11am UK time)
Capacity Building (Higher Education) 7 January 2019


24 January 2019 7 February 2019
Knowledge Alliances 28 January 2019 13 February 2019 28 February 2019
Strategic Partnerships (Higher Education) 18 February 2019 6 March 2019 21 March 2019

NB For all mobility related inquiries please contact Natalie Cunningham in the International Office ( 

Key Changes to the 2019 Call

This is the 6th set of calls under the scheme which is due to end at the end of 2020 and therefore there are only minimal changes to the scheme.  However, some of the changes include:

  • Applications for most schemes will be managed via an online portal. Full details are emerging but support will be available both from the British Council and Manchester Met staff in due course.
  • The UK’s budget has increased though there is a particular drive to make sure funds are used by schools and other non-Higher Education institutions.
  • There are specialist funds for partnerships with Japan and additional funds for Serbia as a new Programme Country.
  • A pilot scheme to help create pan-European alliances with joint strategy, management structures and activities run by 5-8 universities. These require a significant strategic fit at institutional level.
  • The British Council has previously emphasised the following themes for 2019: (1) Tackling skills gaps and mismatches; (2) Promoting and rewarding excellence in teaching and skills development; and (3) Promoting more flexible and innovative learning.

As explained in this blog post: the UK remains eligible and – subject to the UK securing an exit deal – UK Higher Education Institutions will be able to participate throughout the scheme’s life.

To discuss any of the above, please contact



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Funding for Research with Syrian Academics

The Council for At-Risk Academics (Cara) has funded research and academics/scientists who are at grave risk so they can continue their work and their knowledge be preserved since the 1930s.

Cara are currently funding the Syria Research Fellowship Scheme (SRFS) as part of the Cara Syria Programme. They state that:

The aim of the Syria Programme is ‘To nurture and enable future opportunities for Syrian academics by facilitating professional connection and collaboration and continued academic development and contribution whilst in exile, as a major part of Syria’s intellectual and cultural capital and a group that is vital to the future of Syria.’

The scheme will fund up to 8 research projects, each lasting 9 months and with a maximum value of £15,000. The research team will need to involve a Principal Investigator (in this case, from Manchester Met) and two Syrian academics in exile in the Middle East as a result of the current Syrian Crisis.

A key criteria is that any funding will need to demonstrate both “impact and relevance to Syria or to Syrian populations in exile, and which support the integration of Syrian academics into the international arena”.  The scheme is open to all academic disciplines and further details can be found on Cara’s website or from the International Research Development Managers.




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Manchester Met Process for GCRF Global Engagement Networks Call

UKRI have announced an opportunity for UK institutions to support partners in ODA countries as they develop Global Engagement Networks to tackle Global Challenges. As this is a new type of networking call with specific eligibility and design rules, Manchester Met are putting in a process to support applications to this scheme including an initial, internal selection process.

To help support the development of these bids, Manchester Met are asking interested staff to complete a short form, based on the call form, to be completed by Monday 17th September so we can check eligibility & support the development of these projects.

Those projects selected internally will then go through the funder’s two phase application process:

  • Phase 1: Eligibility, relevance & fit to call checks.  11/10/18 1600
  • Phase 2: Full application to be peer reviewed.  Date TBC.

Further details and the form are available from

Call Details

The focus of the Global Engagement Networks are partners in ODA countries who will receive the majority of the funding though there is a possibility of a UK partner acting as a Co-Director (this role can also be fulfilled by a partner in an ODA country).

The call asks that the Director (based in a research institution in an ODA country) will:

  • Develop and deliver a clear strategy to grow a new multi-disciplinary network to find innovative solutions to development challenges.
  • Focus the network on one of the 6 portfolios: Cities & Sustainable Infrastructure; Education; Food Systems; Global Health; Resilience to Environmental Shocks & Change; Security Protracted Conflict, Refugee Crises & Forced Displacement.
  • Include research/non-researcher links and should include academic, business and stakeholder communities in DAC countries as well as staff at all career levels (postgraduate to professorial).
  • Increase engagement of fellow experts in ODA countries with GCRF and other development opportunities
  • Identify & provide letters of supports from the first 5 network members

UKRI will provide funds for structured activities to enable knowledge sharing and networking but NOT salary costs/attendance fees for these events.  However, funds will cover the Director, Co-Director (max 1), a Network Manager (usually based in the lead country) and some admin/overhead costs.  The maximum value is £150,000 and we anticipate between 1 and 3 networks will be funded per priority.