MMU Research and Knowledge Exchange Blog

Funding opportunities, news and guidance from RKE at Manchester Met


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BHF Grant Applications Moving to Flexi-Grant

From January 2020 British Heart Foundation will be moving it’s application system for all their grants to a Flexi-Grant® management system. Current applications are still being processed via the exisiting GMS.

All applicants are required to complete and submit any applications currently in preparation on the existing GMS by the deadline specified on the grant they are applying for:

  • Project Grant deadline: 27th November 2019
  • Fellowship Grants (except for Nurses & Allied Health) deadline: 31st October 2019
  • Fellowships for Nurses & Allied Health deadline: 25th October 2019
  • Programme Grants, Special Project Grants & New Horizon Grans deadline: 4th December 2019
  • Infrastructure Grants and Personal Chairs deadline: 4th December 2019
  • Clinical Study Grants deadline: 5th February 2020
  • Translational Awards are not currently being accepted.

Please ensure that all outstanding grants are submitted and approved before the appropriate deadline. Any applications which have not been submitted by the Administrative Authority by the relevant deadline will be deleted and not migrated to the new Flexi-Grant® system.


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Pre-Announcement: ISCF Healthy Ageing Challenge Research Director and Social, Behavioural and Design Research Programme

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) has now announced its plans for delivering the Healthy Ageing Challenge, an investment of £98 million to enable businesses, including social enterprises, to develop and deliver products, services and business models that will be adopted at scale which support people as they age.

A Research Director is being sought who will provide strong, authoritative leadership on research for the Healthy Ageing Challenge. The role will involve leading and co-coordinating the successful research projects commissioned through the Social, Behavioural and Design Research Programme (call due early 2020). The Research Director will be responsible for the coherence of research across the portfolio of activity and for maintaining awareness of the domain and emerging evidence.

The successful application will be expected to have an outstanding track record of leadership within the area of healthy ageing, and a broad understanding of the potential for different disciples within and across the social sciences and arts and humanities to contribute to this research area.

The call for a Research Director will be led by ESRC in collaboration with AHRC and is expected to open in August 2019 with applicants indicating their intention to submit in September 2019 for a full proposal in October 2019.


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Updates from NIHR

Don’t Let Your Research Sit on the Shelf!

The RDS have a great post this month on why disseminating your research findings is an important component of the process, with tips and tricks on how to get the word out there – have a read here.

New Toolkit Launched

The NIHR Clinical Research Network have launched a new toolkit for researchers to help them deliver the high quality services research that the NHS needs. The Health Research Toolkit is a national resource which brings together ideas, guidance and support in one place.

Report of the Research Participation Survery 18/19

In order to understand the experience of patients taking part in clinical research, the NIHR Clinical Research Network has worked on ways to collect and understand patient feedback. You can read the full report here.

Upcoming Events

NWCTC: Clinical Trail Training for Investigators | 16th – 20th September, Liverpool

5th International Clinical Trails Methodology Conference | 6th – 9th October, Brighton

RDS NW Developing Funding Proposals in Applied Health and Social Care: NIHR Funding Programmes | 30th October, UCLan, Burnley

HTMR Network – How to be a good Chief Investigator | 19th November, Liverpool


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Latest News from NC3Rs

The National Centre for Replacement, Refinement & Reduction of Animals in Research (NC3Rs) are the go to funder for projects which look for alternative methods to animal testing. Their funding schemes include Project Grants, PhD Studentships and Training Fellowships.

Here’s an update on the latest news from NC3Rs.

A Pint of 3Rs Science

There will be three events held as part of the Pint of Science event – a worldwide festival that brings scientific researchers to your local pub!

There will be three events held in Birmingham, London and Newcastle. Topics include:

  • Happier animals, better science!
  • Replace, Reduce, Refine: The future of laboratory research
  • Stem cells getting on your nerves?

Tickets for the events are £4 and you can find out more about it here.

Explore the Evidence for Refined Mouse Handling Methods

NC3Rs have produced a table that summarises the research published to date on the tunnel handling and cupping methods for mice handling.

If your research involves mice you can take a look at their web page for more information or download the document here:

Improving the Welfare of Macaques in Research

Behavioural Assessment of Wellness and Pain in Macaques

A new observational study has been launched which will help to improve the wellfare of macaques used in research after identifying behavioural indicators of wellfare and pain.

You can read more about the new study here.

Efficient Transport Box and Chair Training of Rhesus Macaques

A new paper has been published in the Journal of Neuroscience Methods looking at refinements in how rhesus macaques used in fundamental neuroscience research are trained to enter transport devices.

You can read more about this story here.


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Antimicrobial Resistance: The UK Action Plan

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) have so far invested £44m into 78 interdisciplinary research projects into Antimicrobial Research (AMR) and with a new 20 year vision and 5 year action plan things are only set to increase.

With bacteria’s resistance to antibiotics increasingly spreading from one country to the next, antimicrobial resistance is now recognised as one of the most serious threats to human health this century. If things continue unchecked a 2014 AMR review paper estimates that by 2050 the cost of AMR could be up to $100 trillion and account for an additional 10 million extra deaths each year.

In response to this the UK’s Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, has announced a 20 year vision and 5 year action plan (2019 – 2024) with the intent to contain, control and mitigate antimicrobial resistance.

UKRI have committed £41m to support projects in partnership with members of the Joint Programme Initiative in AMR. To successfully deliver this research agenda the partnership will:

  • Support co-ordinated AMR related research areas.
  • Continue to influence global research strategies on AMR, ensuring alignment of UK-funded research, and emphasising the need for research to be useful for front-line teams.
  • Develop interdisciplinary networks and inform and develop interventions across all sectors.
  • Continue to develop the scientific capacity needed to support and deliver ongoing high-quality research in infectious disease, prevention and microbiology-related disciplines.

Both Matt Hancock and Theresa May have echoed the importance of this research and that it is pivotal it be conducted in a multidisciplinary and internal manor.

This is a summary of an article on which appeared on the MRC website. For the full article please click here.


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Research & Innovation in the NHS Long Term Plan

Last week the NHS released their long term plan with funding of £20.5 billion backing the new plans up to 2023, of course research and innovation features within the plan which is summarised below.


Research and innovation are key to both the NHS and UK economy. ‘Research-active’ hospitals have lower mortality rates with patients benefiting from earlier diagnosis, more effective treatments and faster recovery. The government plans to treble it’s industry contract and R&D collaborative research with the NHS over the next ten years to nearly £1 billion.

The NHS will be working to increase the number of people registered to participate in health research to 1 million by 2023/24, one way of doing this will be by allowing people to register their interest via an app by 2020.

There is a particular focus on investing in genomics research with the aim to be the first national health care system to offer whole genome sequencing as part of routine care. During 2019 seriously ill children who are likely to have rare genetic disorders, children with cancer, and adults suffering from certain rare conditions or specific cancers, will begin to be offered whole genome sequencing.

Uptake of proven, affordable innovations will be accelerated through a new Medtech funding mandate. This applies to health tech products (other than pharmaceuticals) assessed as cost saving by NICE. The number of NICE evaluations will also be significantly increased giving greater scope for assessment of digital products in particular.


For more information about the NHS long term plan you can visit the plans here.


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The Year Ahead for Physical Sciences, Engineering and the Environment

A version of this article first appeared on Research Professional 08/01/2019 

The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) and the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) will be announcing their priorities for the next five years in spring – so definitely worth keeping an eye on their websites!

Materials scientist Alison Davenport will report to the STFC this year on a review of the council’s consolidated grants, which account for £100m that the council awards annually in research grants each year.

Aerospace companies competing for a £92 million government contract to carry out a feasibility study on home-grown replacements for the EU’s Galileo Satellite Navigation System will find out if they are successful early this year. The UK is set to stop using Galileo for defense and critical national infrastructure after Brexit.

The NERC’s polar research ship (The RRS Sir David Attenborough) will be undergoing a year of sea trials before before it’s polar expeditions begin in 2020.

In the first few months of 2019 the government will review the implementation of the sector deals on automotive, artificial intelligence, aerospace and nuclear industries.

The year will close with a crucial meeting for UK space with the science minister and representatives from the UK Space Agengy attending the council meeting of the European Space Agency in November – the members will be tasked with setting funding levels.