MMU Research and Knowledge Exchange Blog

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

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International Research: Newton Fund Update


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 (

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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.



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.

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Newton Fund – New Calls

The Newton Fund have released the following new funding opportunities for researchers:

Newton-Bhabha PhD Placements Programme

This programme enables UK and Indian PhD students to spend between two and four months in Indian and UK higher education or research institutions, with a focus on the following priority research areas: biological and medical sciences; engineering, physical and space sciences; environment, agriculture and food sciences;public health and wellbeing.

Deadline for applications: 16 Aug 16

Newton Research Collaboration Programme

This facilitates international exchanges between engineering researchers in the UK and their counterparts in selected Newton Fund partner countries.

Deadline for applications: 14 Sep 16

Newton advanced fellowships – China, Malaysia and Mexico

These enable established international researchers to develop the strengths and capabilities through training, collaboration and reciprocal visits with a partner in the UK. Supported work may be on any subject within the natural sciences.

Deadline for applications: 14 Sep 16

Newton Institutional Links Grants

These grants enable leading researchers and established researchers from the UK and Newton partner countries to build research and innovation collaborations centred on shared research and innovation challenges, which have direct relevance to social welfare and economic development.

Deadline for applications: 19 Sep 16

Newton Researcher Links Workshop Grants – Malaysia, China, Mexico and Thailand

These grants give early-career researchers from the UK and partner countries the opportunity to form international connections that can improve the quality of their research through bilateral workshops. Workshops should tackle global challenges and multidisciplinary proposals, including arts and humanities.

Deadline for applications: 19 Sep 16

Newton Researcher Links Travel Grants

These enable early-career researchers from the UK and partner countries Thailand and South Africa to travel between the UK and the partner countries to support research areas relevant to the development of partner countries. Travels should to tackle global challenges and multidisciplinary proposals, including arts and humanities.

Deadline for applications: 19 Sep 16

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British Academy International Partnership and Mobility Scheme

The British Academy is now inviting applications to its International Partnership and Mobility (IPM) Scheme 2015-16.

The International Partnership and Mobility Scheme aims to support the development of partnerships between the UK and other areas of the world where research excellence would be strengthened by new, innovative initiatives and links.

The deadline for applications is 10 Feb 16.

For more information, please visit:

For support during your application, please contact your relevant Research Development Manager.

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Newton Fund International Fellowships

The Newton Fund are offering a variety of international fellowships in physical, natural and social sciences, the humanities, and engineering:

DST – NRF Fellowships for Early Career Researchers from the UK 2016

The programme will support the placement of UK early career research (with up to seven years post PhD experience) in South African public research institutions for a maximum period of 6-months in order to enhance and strengthen collaboration, build research capacity and enhance career opportunities for researchers in South Africa and the UK.

The application deadline is 11 January 2016

For more information, please visit:

The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey

The program aims to promote Turkey’s scientific and technological collaboration with countries of the prospective fellows. Three types of visit are granted within this program.

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

For more information, please visit:

For advice on applying, please contact your relevant Research Development Manager.

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The Japan Foundation Fellowships and Grants

Aiming at the efficient promotion of Japanese Studies and intellectual exchange between Japan and the rest of the world, the Japan Foundation offers fellowships for Japanese studies scholars overseas and grant programs for collaborative research and dialogue projects carried out to contribute to solving the problems confronting the world.

Deadline for fellowship and grant applications is 1 Dec 2015.

To view the various opportunities, please visit:

For advice on applying, please contact your relevant Research Development Manager.