MMU Research and Knowledge Exchange Blog

Funding opportunities, news and guidance from RKE at Manchester Met


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ARMA 2019

Last month RKE Research Development Officers, Rachel Colley and Becky Hewlett, attended with annual ARMA conference in Belfast. ARMA is the Association of Research Managers and Administrators and the conference is a way of colleagues across the sector, and across the country, to get together and share best practices, build new networks and get informed about the current and future research landscape.


Alongside Alison Lloyd, Research Ethics and Governance Manger, and Justine Daniels, Director of Research and Knowledge Exchange, the team attended a number of sessions and plenaries – and even held some of our own! – over the two days.

As a way of sharing some of the knowledge picked up in those sessions the Research Development Officers have put together a Sway, and a short YouTube video, presenting just some of the team’s experiences.

SWAY


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Opportunity to take part in UKRI and Research England RESEARCH INTEGRITY study

Would you like to contribute to a study about research integrity?

Vitae is inviting researchers at all career stages (from PhD candidate upwards) to participate in a workshop on research integrity on Friday 9 August (pm) at the University of Manchester.

This workshop forms part of a study commissioned by Research England, on behalf of UKRI, led by Vitae in partnership with UKRIO.

Background

Research integrity means doing research in a way that ensures it is trustworthy and ethical. The 2012 Concordat to Support Research Integrity defines core elements of research integrity as:

  • Honesty
  • Rigour
  • Transparency and open communication
  • Care and respect for all participants in and subjects of research.

This study will consider

  • the effects of incentives in the research system on researcher behaviour in the context of research integrity,
  • how these incentives are perceived by different stakeholders, and
  • the impact of these incentives on researcher behaviour and organisational practices more broadly.

As part of the project’s first stage, workshop outputs will help inform the design of future components of the study.

Outline workshop agenda, 9 August 

  1. Welcome and introductions (15 min)
  2. Part 1. Discussion questions and brainstorming in small groups (1 hour)
  3. Refreshment break
  4. Part 2. Group activity, modelling the landscape of research integrity (1 hour)
  5. Part 3. Final reflections (15 min, individual basis, including option for anonymity)

For further information and to register for this event please visit https://www.vitae.ac.uk/events/research-integrity-workshop

You can also use this registration page to ask for updates on workshops in other parts of the UK and a researcher survey in the autumn.


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Images of Research is On Tour!

We are excited to announce that Images of Research is going on tour! Don’t miss your chance to see the shortlisted entries, and read about the exciting research that’s being completed by Man Met’s emerging researchers. The images will be on display at the following locations and times.

Time period Venue
20/05/2019 – 14/06/2019 Science & Engineering – ‘The Street’
17/06/2019 – 19/07/2019 Business School – South Atrium
02/09/2019 – 20/09/2019 Brooks – Ground floor
23/09/2019 – 31/10/2019 Righton – Open Space


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MS Society PPI Day

The MS Society will be holding a Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) training event for researchers. More and more funders are looking for meaningful PPI within your research, so this is an excellent opportunity to see how you can improve your proposal and understand what funders want.

The training will cover:

  • What PPI is and why it’s important
  • How and when to involve people affected by MS
  • Planning involvement in your own research
  • How to communicate your research effectively

The session will be held on Thursday 31st January at the MS offices in London.

Spaces for the session are limited, if you’re interested in attending please sign up via this link. For more information you can contact MS Society via their email.


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GDPR and Research – An Overview

UKRI

Since the arrival of the new GDPR  (General Data Protection Regulations) there has been some confusion over the impact that this will have on researchers and their data. UKRI have produced an overview to give guidance and support.

The overview is specifically tailored to academics and researchers and covers topics that are relevant to data collection and sharing within a research environment. The overview covers the following areas of key concern:

  • What is GDPR?
  • What counts as ‘personal data’?
  • How does GDPR impact research?
  • How do I make sure my data processing for research is lawful?
  • What do I need to do to be fair and transparent?
  • What are the implications for sharing my data?
  • What are GDPR safeguards?
  • Who’s responsible?

The full document can be found here.

 

 


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Developing your NIHR Proposal

Last week the Research Design Service North West (RDS NW) hosted an event on developing funding proposals in applied health and social care. The event was aimed at academics putting their first bid in to any NIHR scheme – I went along to find out what NIHR are looking for.

What is the RDS?

The Research Design Service is a free service offered by NIHR to help you design and develop your research and offer methodological support to health and social care researchers. The service isn’t just for NIHR though, you can seek their advice for any funding application going to a national peer-reviewed funding programme.

The team are able to help develop your ideas, help you chose the correct funding stream and give advice to improve your research. They recommend getting in touch as soon as you decide you’d like to apply – at least 6 months in advance, if possible.

Woman taking notes - work, writing, laptop, notebook, write, wrist, working, business, electronics, fountain pen, jds,...

 Developing your research question

A well-structured question is an important aspect to your proposal and the RDS had a few good acronyms to help to guide your question formation, you should look to include the following elements:

PICOPopulation – Intervention – Comparison – Outcome

CIMOContext – Intervention – Mechanisms – Outcome

SPICESetting – Population – Intervention – Comparison – Evaluation

Hit all of the points in your chosen acronym and you should be well on your way to a clear and structured question.

Doctor suggesting hospital program to patient - doctor, medical, healthcare, clinic, hospital, treatment, senior,...

The Importance of PPI

Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) is a major focus for NIHR, they want to see bids that have been developed, not just with beneficiaries in mind, with them helping to shape the entire proposal. NIHR want to see that you’ve engaged with the public to understand what end users want to gain from your research, how it can improve the NHS and to make sure it’s an area worth researching!

Many proposals give PPI as an afterthought, simply conducting a few interviews and treating it as a tick box exercise but, on the Research for Patients Benefit panel (RfPB), 15% of reviewers are lay people and for them it’s an important issue. I met with a reviewer on the RfPB panel who explained the importance of being able to clearly understand the proposal (no unexplained acronyms or technical jargon!) and how lay reviewers often go straight to the PPI section to see what work you’ve already been conducting.

It’s important that you don’t treat this like a tick box exercise, like it or not PPI is here to stay. For anyone looking to carry out PPI work prior to an application the RDS offers a small pot of money (£350) to allow you to conduct some small scale work – see here for details.


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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.