MMU Research and Knowledge Exchange Blog

Funding opportunities, news and guidance from RKE at Manchester Met

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Consensus and conflict: what do responses to Stern tell us about the future of the REF?

Check out this article from Wonkhe, Higher Education: Policy, People and Politics, written by James Wilsdon:

For the higher education sector, the past six months have seen policy proposals emerge so thick and fast that a degree of consultation fatigue is setting in. The most recent process, which closed in late March, was for Lord Stern’s review of the Research Excellence Framework (REF). And with a white paper lying just around the corner, the machinery of consultation will soon be cranking up again.

As a service to the Wonkhe community (and to reassure the response-drafters among you that you have at least a few devoted readers), I’ve spent the past couple of weeks digesting all the submissions to the Stern Review I could lay my hands on. I’ve read thirty-six in total – most of them publicly available, and a few private – from a mix of HEIs, mission groups, learned societies and lobby groups.

Taken together, what do these responses tell us about the likely direction of the Stern Review? And what hints do they offer about the design of the next REF? Nothing is certain, of course, as Lord Stern and his panel could head off in their own direction. But based on the responses I’ve read, let me highlight four points on which there is widespread agreement, and four where positions diverge. I’ve anonymised quotes from those responses which haven’t been made public.

To continue reading, please visit Wonkhe.

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Using Research to Inform HE Policy and Practice

In this one day event, sponsored by the Office for Fair Access and delivered in partnership with the Society for Research into Higher Education, the Society for Research into Higher Education will highlight how early career researchers are seeking to shape HE policy and practice, whilst addressing some of the challenges that they may face in seeking to do so.

Friday 15th April 2016: 9.00-16.30

Office for Fair Access, Nicholson House, Lime Kiln Close, Bristol, BS34 8SR

For more information and to reserve a place, please visit SRHE.

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Grab a Grant

Take a look at these research proposal funding opportunities.

Society for Research into Higher Education Prize for Newer Researchers

This provides support for early stage researchers in the field of higher education research by enabling them to undertake a research project in their own right, or develop research skills which will help advance their research career.

Deadline for applications: 31 Mar 16

Parkinson’s UK Small Grants

This supports small-scale research projects and pilot studies focused on finding a cure and better treatments for Parkinson’s.

Deadline for applications: 05 Oct 16

British Society for Population Studies International Travel Grants

These enable candidates to attend conferences and professional meetings outside the UK.

There is no deadline for applications.

Burdett Trust for Nursing Small Grants

These support projects that focus on improving care for patients through nursing and may include multi-professional or team-working interventions.

There is no deadline for applications.

For support during your application, please contact Research Development.

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Society for Research into Higher Education – prize for Newer Researchers


Each year the Society for Research into Higher Education (SRHE) invites applications from Newer Researchers to enter a research proposal for a small scale project under an SRHE Prize scheme.  The  winner receives a number of benefits from the Society in addition to the prize money awarded to fund the selected project. Entry is open to all and not restricted to current SRHE Members.  The SRHE Prize for Newer Researchers is jointly sponsored by SRHE and Routledge Taylor & Francis Group.

In 2015 there will be up to three prizes of £3,000 available for a research project of one year’s duration. These awards are intended to provide support for early stage researchers in the field of higher education research to enable them to:-

  • undertake a research project in their own right
  • develop research skills which will help advance their research career.

Benefits of the Awards

The primary purpose of these awards is to offer support to Newer Researchers intending to pursue a career in higher education research by providing funding for an initial research project and offering access to the resources of the Society.  Successful award holders are provided with the support of a mentor and, for UK based applicants, invited to become a member of the Society’s prestigious Research & Development Committee which affords a wider involvement in higher education research developments.

Value of the Awards

The SRHE Prize for Newer Researchers provides:-

  • £3,000 research funding
  • the support of a SRHE senior researcher as mentor
  • publication by the Society of a paper on the research project undertaken
  • presentation of the final paper at SRHE Newer Researchers Conference
  • one year’s free membership of the SRHE
  • one years free subscription to the Society’s main journals, Studies in Higher Education, Higher Education Abstracts & Higher Education Quarterly.


Eligible researchers are those with a minimum of a first undergraduate degree and currently registered as a student with, or undertaking research associated with, a university or college department and with an interest in pursuing a career in higher education research.

These awards are not available to support study towards a postgraduate qualification or to support research work intended as the basis for a PhD submission. Research proposals submitted for these awards must demonstrate that they relate to different research questions than those covered by a PhD, or equivalent, if this is yet to be awarded or completed. To qualify as a newer researcher you should be within 6 years of the completion of your PhD or equivalent professional qualification.

Call closes: 31st March 2015

Please see: