MMU Research and Knowledge Exchange Blog

Funding opportunities, news and guidance from RKE at Manchester Metropolitan University


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GCRF: 7 Questions & Links about Official Development Assistance through Research

In the Chancellor’s Budget Speech (22 November 2017), he’s confirmed that there’s an additional £2.3bn in the research budget to make sure the UK is a world leader in research & innovation.  As alignment of research to international priorities continues to increase in importance, we thought it might be helpful to set some of the opportunities in context and give a quick reminder of where to find out more information about opportunities.

What is the Global Challenges Research Fund? 

The UK government has committed to deliver a key element of its international aid (Official Development Assistance, ODA) through “cutting-edge research and innovation that addresses the global issues affecting developing countries”.  The resulting Global Challenges Research Fund aims to use research & innovation to reduce poverty, address development challenges and build capacity in developing countries.

Why is the government funding GCRF? 

The UK government has committed to spending 0.7% of GDP on International Aid.  Meanwhile, in Autumn 2016 the government committed to spending an extra £2 billion on research and wants to ensure the UK has a University sector which delivers global impact.  At a time when budgets are tightening, one of the ways that government can make both targets is by creating an explicit link between research and international development.  Through careful selection, each £1 invested in the Global Challenges Research Fund can be counted as an additional £1 in the Research AND International Aid budgets.  This funding also helps the government meet some of its other international aspirations: improving & maintaining the UK’s influence and brand as well as helping the UK deliver its commitments to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

What sort of research can be undertaken? 

The UK Research Councils state that: The GCRF aims to support excellent research that directly contributes to the development and welfare of people in developing countries.  These projects need to demonstrate benefits to those countries in receipt of international aid (ODA recipient countries).  This can either be through activities to enhance capability & capacity in the target country and/or research which is aligned to the key challenges faced by that country. GCRF funding is challenge-led, focusing on research which will support Equitable Access to Sustainable Development, Sustainable Economies and Societies, and Human Rights, Good Governance and Social Justice.

Which countries are eligible? 

The funding is target at the countries which are in receipt of Official Development Assistance (ODA), as defined by the OECD, and there’s a handy map on the UK Collaborative on Development Sciences (UKCDS) website.

 How much money? 

The UK government has committed £1.5bn by 2020-21.  In 2016-17 there is £112m in the budget but by the final year this will have increased to £492m.

Who are the big funders? 

GCRF funds are being distributed via:

There are also parallel funding streams for funding Research in Development. The Newton Fund brings together UK funding agencies with their counterparts in countries in receipt of ODA.  Through a set of partnership agreements, the Newton Fund supports activities including developing links, research and translation of research, which align to the priorities of the partner country in question. Money will also be invested in combatting disease and drug-resistant infection through the Ross Fund and the Fleming Fund.

What do we need to consider in order to be ready to bid?  

In order to be ready to bid for funds, there are four key questions which should be asked:

  • Is the project addressing economic development and welfare in the country in question?
  • What evidence is there of the need for this project from national and international strategies?
  • Are the countries involved on the DAC List of ODA Recipients?
  • Do you have existing links in the country, with delivery partners and/or academics?

Where can we find out more? 

  •  GCRF calls managed through the UK Research Councils are listed on the RCUK’s specific page and the UK Collaborative on Development Sciences (UKCDS) also maintains a wider list of funding opportunities here.
  • You can also find opportunities using Research Professional (Ed – all Manchester Met academics have access to Research Professional. If you have any issues accessing please let us know (researchapplications@mmu.ac.uk))
  • The Blog! We regularly share key opportunities.

Manchester Met’s International Research Development Managers (Margaret Eastcott & Christopher Grinbergs) in conjunction with colleagues in Research & Knowledge Exchange are available to discuss opportunities and provide more information.

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Newton Fund launches in Peru

Newton-Fund-chosen-logo

Peru has recently become a Newton partner country with the launch of the Newton-Paulet Fund.

This government-level partnership will allow researchers from both countries to work together to promote science and innovation that contributes to economic development, improves the quality of life in Peru and strengthens ties to face future global challenges.

The Newton-Paulet Fund is named in honour of the renowned Peruvian scientist Pedro Paulet. The Fund will focus on research, innovation and capacity building in three priority areas:

  • Health, specifically malnutrition and anaemia
  • Clean water, including the impact of glacier retreat
  • Biodiversity and the unique geography of Peru.

Calls for proposals will be soon launched and promoted by Concytec via its Cienciactiva research funding initiative.

For more information, please visit the Newton Fund.


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HERA funding Call ‘Public Spaces: Culture and Integration in Europe’

The Arts and Humanities Research Council, various humanities funding organisations and the European Commission are pleased to announce a new €20 Million Joint Research Programme (JRP) for arts and humanities researchers in Europe.

Organised by HERA (Humanities in the European Research Area), and facilitated in the UK by the AHRC, this joint research programme will fund innovative and exciting international research projects on ‘Public Spaces: Culture and Integration in Europe’.

The research programme will fund new and exciting humanities-centred projects involving researchers from four or more participating countries. Proposals can be up to €1 Million in value, and 24-36 months in duration.

The deadline for the submission of Outline Proposals is Tuesday 24 October 2017.

For more information, please visit the AHRC and HERA.


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International Research: Newton Fund

Newton-Fund-chosen-logo

A number of opportunities are currently available via the British Council as part of the Newton Fund. These are initiatives which can support you in developing and expanding links internationally. Full details are available on the Newton Fund website. Amongst the opportunities are the latest announcements for Institutional Links and Researcher Links, which can help you to develop links with specific countries:

Opportunity Country UK Funder Deadline
Newton Fund Institutional Links Grants  Egypt, Turkey, Thailand

 

British Council 19 Sept 2017

 

Newton Fund Researcher Links Workshops China, Philippines

 

British Council 19 Sept 2017

 

Newton Fund Researcher Links Travel Grants

 

Indonesia, Philippines, South Africa British Council 19 Sept 2017

 

If you’re interested in applying for these or any other opportunities then please do get in touch with the Research Development Team (researchapplications@mmu.ac.uk).

Context

As readers of the Blog will be aware, UK research funding is taking on a much more international flavour, with a number of new opportunities aligned to research which will have demonstrable benefits to countries receiving official development assistance (Ed – for those of you interested, there is a list of ODA recipient countries via the OECD website here).

The Newton Fund is a key initiative in which UK funding bodies including the UK research councils, Innovate UK, British Council and academies and learned societies have partnered with funding agencies in target countries to support science and innovation partnerships. In some cases these are thematic, addressing a specific challenge area and in others they are more general capacity building activities. In all cases, the key driver is responding to the needs of the partner country and activities need to be ODA compliant (Ed – there are some helpful pointers on the Newton Fund website here, and colleagues in the Research Development Team can help you to think about whether your project ideas fit requirements).

 


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International Research: Newton Fund Update

deadline

As readers of the Blog will be aware, UK research funding is taking on a much more international flavour, with a number of new opportunities aligned to research which will have demonstrable benefits to countries receiving official development assistance (Ed – for those of you interested, there is a list of ODA recipient countries via the OECD website here).

The Newton Fund is a key initiative in which UK funding bodies including the UK research councils, Innovate UK, British Council and academies and learned societies have partnered with funding agencies in target countries to support science and innovation partnerships. In some cases these are thematic, addressing a specific challenge area and in others they are more general capacity building activities. In all cases, the key driver is responding to the needs of the partner country and activities need to be ODA compliant (Ed – there are some helpful pointers on the Newton Fund website here, and colleagues in the Research Development Team can help you to think about whether your project ideas fit requirements).

All opportunities are published on the Newton Fund website’s funding pages, but for ease we’ve listed a selection of forthcoming deadlines below:

Opportunity Country UK Funder Deadline 
Joint UK-China Offshore Renewables Energy (ORE) China EPSRC/NERC 2 Mar 2017
Energy Demand Reduction in the Built Environment India ESRC/EPSRC 15 Mar 2017
Newton Mobility Grants Malaysia, Mexico, South Africa, Thailand, Turkey Royal Society 15 Mar 2017
Newton Advanced Fellowships China, Malaysia, South Africa, Thailand, Turkey Royal Society 23 Mar 2017
Fellowships for UK Researchers Turkey British Academy, Royal Academy of Engineering, Royal Society 31 Mar 2017
Urban innovation in Brazil Brazil Innovate UK 3 May 2017

If you’re interested in applying for any of these opportunities then please do get in touch with the Research Development Team (researchapplications@mmu.ac.uk).


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ESRC-DFID Development Frontiers Research Fund call open

A new funding opportunity is being launched as part of a decade-long partnership between the UK’s Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the Department for International Development (DFID) which aims to place innovation and appetite for risk at the centre of world-class research.

Sitting within the ESRC-DFID Joint Fund for Poverty Alleviation Research, the Development Frontiers Research Fund aims to fund innovative, strategic and catalytic research with the potential to radically impact on sustainable development concepts or practices, or lead to new thinking and action on poverty reduction.

Proposals are invited for projects with a full economic cost (fEC) value between£200,000 and £300,000. Projects can be between 12 and 18 months long, but must finish no later than 31 March 2019. They expect to fund around 14-18 awards, depending on the quality of the proposals received.

This call has been designed to enable researchers to conduct exploratory, small-scale projects with a view to developing ideas, collaboration, and research capacity for future larger grants for other calls, whether to ESRC or DFID or other funders. This second call within the Development Frontiers Research Fund will support innovative, interdisciplinary research that is focused on new ways to tackle the challenges encountered at the intersections between poverty, environmental sustainability and conflict/fragility in specific developing country contexts

West Africa:Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Saint Helena, Senegal, Sao Tome, and Principe Togo

Horn of Africa: Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan

South/Southeast Asia: Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, Lao PDR, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines ,Timor Leste

This call is open to proposals from researchers based anywhere in the world. A requirement of this call is that at least one developing country researcher and at least one early career researcher must be included in the research team, either as principal investigator or co-investigator

NOTE: Eligible research organisations from the UK and other developed countries can lead on a maximum of up to two proposals to this call so, if you are interested, please get in touch with your Research Development Manager a.s.a.p.

http://www.esrc.ac.uk/funding/funding-opportunities/esrc-dfid-development-frontiers-research-fund-2016-17/

 


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BA Call: Tackling the UK’s International Challenges

The British Academy invites proposals for its tackling the UK’s international challenges programme. This aims to develop projects that will bring new research ideas and methods to bear on existing international challenges and to deliver specific policy-relevant outputs. Projects will need to demonstrate an innovative and interdisciplinary approach yielding new conceptual understanding in the following themes:

•urban futures;
•conflict, stability and security;
•justice, rights and equality;
•Europe’s futures;
•knowledge frontiers.

Awards are worth up to £50,000.

The deadline for applications is 02 Nov 16.

For more information, please visit the British Academy.