MMU Research and Knowledge Exchange Blog

Funding opportunities, news and guidance from RKE at Manchester Met

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Changes to EPSRC and NERC New Investigator Schemes


From 25 July 2017 a New Investigator Award scheme will replace the First Grant initiative. The New Investigator Award scheme will remove some of the current restrictions and will help improve the quality and ambition of research proposals submitted, recognising that different projects and new investigators have different needs.

For more information, please visit EPSRC.


The eligibility for the NERC New Investigator scheme has been amended. Applicants must now be within five years (as opposed to the previous three) of first becoming eligible for NERC funding as a Principal Investigator. This applies from January 2018.

For more information, please visit NERC.


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Early Career Researcher Camp: Research in the creative economy

The RCUK CREATe Centre is hosting a two day Early Career Researcher Camp to share and discuss strategies for research in the creative economy.

To support and encourage a community of new scholars in the digital and creative economy, the purpose of this event is to exchange useful knowledge gained though CREATe-affiliated projects, to impart strategies for successful career progression (both in academia and industry), and to map out and launch an affiliate research network for junior researchers. Participants will benefit from the collective expertise of senior UK and international scholars in intellectual property law, innovation policy, economics and social science.

The event is open to all early career researchers, including advanced PhD students, working on creative economy and related research topics.

4th – 5th May 2017

Centre for Contemporary Arts, Glasgow

For more information and to register, please visit the AHRC.

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Royal Academy of Engineering/Government Office for Science Fellowships

UK Intelligence Community Postdoctoral Research Fellowships

The Government Office for Science is offering UK Intelligence Community (IC) Postdoctoral Research Fellowships to outstanding early career science or engineering researchers. These Fellowships are designed to promote unclassified basic research in areas of interest to the intelligence, security and defence community. Members of the IC identify research topics and Postdocs work locally with University Research Advisors to develop and submit research proposals that align with the topics.

The research is conducted by the Postdocs while working in partnership with the University Research Advisor, and collaborating with an advisor from the Intelligence community (IC Advisor).

The Fellowships are aimed at early career researchers from all branches of science and engineering who have been awarded their PhD no more than five years prior to the submission deadline. PhD students are eligible to apply, but must have been awarded their PhD before they start the Fellowship or the offer will be withdrawn. The applicant must not hold a permanent academic position.

The deadline for applications is 4pm on Monday 10 April 2017. Fellowships are funded at 80% of full Economic Cost. The maximum grant is £100,000.

For more information on the proposed topics and to apply, please visit the Royal Academy of Engineering.

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Do you know an outstanding overseas early career researcher who could be hosted here for 2 years?


The Newton International Fellowships enable researchers to work for two years at a UK institution with the aim of fostering long-term international collaborations.

The Scheme aims to attract the most promising early career postdoctoral researchers from overseas in the fields of natural sciences, physical sciences, medical sciences, social sciences and the humanities. The Newton International Fellowships Scheme is delivered by the British Academy, Academy of Medical Sciences, and the Royal Society.


The aims for the Newton International Fellowships Scheme are to:

– Support the development and training of postdoctoral researchers at an early stage of their career from any country outside the UK, by providing an opportunity to work at a UK research institution for two years.

– Ensure the best postdoctoral researchers across all relevant disciplines from around the world are supported in the UK.

– Foster long-term relations between Newton International Fellows and the UK research base through the establishment of an alumni programme for former Fellows of this Scheme. 

Eligibility Requirements

The applicant must:

– Have a PhD, or applicants in the final stages of their PhD will be accepted provided that the PhD will be completed (including viva) before the start date of the Fellowship.

– Applicants should have no more than 7 years of active full time postdoctoral experience at the time of application (discounting career breaks, but including teaching experience and/or time spent in industry)

– Be working outside the UK

– Not hold UK citizenship

– Be competent in oral and written English

– Have a clearly defined and mutually-beneficial research proposal agreed with a UK host researcher.

Applicants should ensure that they meet all the eligibility requirements, which are explained in the scheme notes.

Value and Duration

Newton International Fellowships last for two years. Funding consists of £24,000 per annum for subsistence costs, and up to £8,000 per annum research expenses, as well as a one-off payment of up to £2,000 for relocation expenses. Awards include a contribution to the overheads incurred, at a rate of 50% of the total award to the visiting researcher.

Newton Fund

Additional Fellowships will be supported through the Newton Fund, specifically for applicants from Newton Fund partner countries. This new initiative aims to develop long-term sustainable growth and welfare of partner countries through building research and innovation capacity, and forms part of the UK’s Official Development Assistance commitment. Newton Fund countries (for applications in the humanities and social sciences) include Brazil, Mexico, South Africa and Turkey.

Application Process

Application form and scheme notes available from January 2017
Applicant deadline 15 March 2017
Referee deadline 22 March 2017
Results announced in September 2017
Awards available for start date 1 October 2017 – 31 March 2018

Please contact your Research Development Manager if interested

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Successful Career Planning for Researchers

As part of their current ‘Focus on’ theme, Vitae is running a YouTube Q&A on the topic of “New Year’s Goals: Successful career planning for researchers”.

Tune in on the 18 January at 2pm to explore career options for researchers and make sure your professional development planning becomes a successful life-changing habit rather than something you only consider once every few years.

The session will explore the following questions:

• How do you realise what strengths and talents you have?
• What kinds of career paths do researchers follow?
• How do you make a career development plan?
• Which qualifications and experience are required for various careers?

Visit Vitae for more information and to register.

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ECR Development: ‘Hack-a-demia’

The Exchange is delighted to announce ‘Hack-a-demia’ – a free one day conference on ‘Future Proofing your academic career’. This event is for PhD students and Early Career Researchers from Exchange partner HEIs.

Hack-a-demia will look at the challenges and opportunities for ECRs and how they can develop their research footprint. The day will feature a mix of presentations, panel discussions and workshops followed by networking drinks.

10am – 6.30pm 28th October 2016

For more information and to register, please visit The Exchange.

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Health Research Accelerator Grant

A reminder that we are now accepting applications for the Joint Health Research Accelerator Award.

This scheme is targeted at academics across the 4 Health Research Centres (Manchester Met) and academics within the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health (UoM). The aim is to forge collaborative research that addresses a health research problem of strategic significance within the two Universities. These awards should be used as pump-priming funds with the intention of providing preliminary data to apply for external funding to a major funding agency or charity. It is expected that any projects awarded will apply for external follow-on-funding within 24 months after the award has been made.

The scheme will focus on projects that fall within the broad definition of “health research”, though we particularly welcome Health Profession applicants from Nursing and Physio. Any project must outline a visionary research topic with strategic importance to the health research problem to be addressed and must fit strategically within the lead organization. The project must be led by a Principal Investigator within either Faculty and must include an Early Career Researcher as a co-applicant.

The maximum award is up to £10,000 and must be spent within 12 months of the award being made.

The closing date for applications is Friday 30th September 2016.

For full details and to apply, please visit MMU Research.

Applicants will be notified of the result toward the end of October. However, due to the scale of the scheme, in most cases only limited feedback will be provided.