MMU Research and Knowledge Exchange Blog

Funding opportunities, news and guidance from RKE at Manchester Met

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Royal Society International Exchanges Now Open

The first Round of 2019 International Exchanges funded by the Royal Society are now open for submissions.

The aim of the scheme is for UK based scientists to better interact with other scientists around the world, to explore opportunities for building lasting networks or for bilateral visits to strengthen emerging collaborations. This scheme is not intended to support continued research activities.

Award Amount: £3,000 / £6,000 / £12,000

Duration: 3 months / 12 months / 24 months

Deadline: Wednesday 13th March – 3pm

There are three variations of the scheme available depending on how long a duration is required for your project;

3 month project – Budget of £3,000 to cover one-off travel costs only.

12 month project – Budget of £6,000 for multiple visits within one year including a maximum of £1,500 for research expenses.

24 month project – Budget of £12,000 for multiple visits including a maximum of £3,000 for research expenses.

For more information on this scheme please visit the Royal Society website.

If you would like to apply for this scheme please contact your Research Development Team for support.


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GCRF: High level details of 2019 calls announced

UKRI have announced themes for a suite of calls to be launched in 2019 under the UKRI GCRF Collective Programme.

The Programme will reach across the six strategic GCRF Challenge portfolios (global health, education, sustainable cities, food systems, conflict and displacement and resilience), and calls will be launched throughout 2019.

Calls will be led via specific Research Councils on behalf of UKRI as a whole, and steered by challenge leaders.

Themes for calls will be:

Cities and Sustainable Infrastructure

  • GCRF (Re)thinking the off-grid city
  • GCRF Sustainable energy and international development: beyond technology


  • GCRF Education as a driver of sustainable development Network Plus
  • GCRF Education in conflict and crisis research
  • GCRF Education Interventions for Early Childhood Development

Food Systems

  • GCRF Cultures and histories of agriculture, food, and nutrition
  • GCRF A combined Food Systems approach to developing interventions to address the Double Burden of Malnutrition

Global Health

  • GCRF Health and Communities

Resilience to Environmental Shocks and Change

  • GCRF Equitable Resilience: ensuring resilience enhances the Sustainable Development Goals
  • GCRF Multiple and systemic Risks

Security Protracted Conflict, Refugee Crises and Forced Displacement

  • GCRF Development-based approaches to Protracted Displacement
  • GCRF Preventing Conflict, Building Sustainable and Inclusive Peace
  • GCRF Protection in Contexts of Conflict and Displacement

Calls that cut across the portfolios

  • GCRF Coherence Grants
  • GCRF Gender and Intersectionality Network Plus
  • GCRF Global Engagement Networks

Details have been launched regarding the Global Engagement Networks call (Deadline 14 February 2019), and we are expecting further announcements this week about other calls, so keep your eyes on the Blog.

(Ed – AHRC are already advertising their leadership of  various calls, and an indication of the types of project that willl be supported – e.g. networks, partnership building and research programmes).

As ever, if you’re interested in calls, please contact your Research Development Manager or International Research Development Manager as early as possible for advice and support.




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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.




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The Alliance Hubert Curien Programme


The British Council and Campus France have come together to offer the Alliance Hubert Curien Programme. This is an opportunity for French and British researchers to work together to strengthen current research projects or strengthen collaborative links for the future.

Programme Summary:

The programme will fund the travel and subsistence of research teams in Britain and France to visit each other with the aim to encourage reciprocal mobility in both countries.

Amount: £2,240 (€2,500) available for each partner in each year.

Duration: 2 years

Deadline: Tuesday 4th October.

The outcome of the application will be received in February 2019 with travel in the first year to take from March in the first year.


Applicants must be early career researchers (no more than 10 years post PhD) and must not hold a senior position.

Funding areas include:

  • New nuclear
  • Battery technologies
  • Applied technologies to tackle climate change
  • Mobility of the future


For more information about this scheme please visit the British Council Website.

If you’d like to apply for this programme please get in touch with your International Development team.

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Royal Society International Exchanges

royal society

The Royal Society International Exchange Awards are now open for applications. The current schemes that are available to apply for are:

China Cost Share Programme

£12,000 is available from the Royal Society and an additional £12,000 is awarded by the cost share partner, National Natural Science Foundation of China, to cover both teams international travel and subsistence.

£2,000 of the total budget may be used for research expenses or consumables.

The Duration of award is 2 years.

Closing Date: Tuesday 25th September

Japan/Taiwan Cost Share Programme

£12,000 is available from the Royal Society and an additional £12,000 is awarded by the cost share partner, Ministry of Science and Technology of Taiwan or Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, to cover the teams travel expenses for the international visits.

£2,000 of the total budget may be used for research expenses or consumables.

The Duration of award is 2 years.

Closing Date: Tuesday 2nd October

Standard Programme

This programme is available for travel to/from all countries outside of the UK with funding varying dependant of the project duration:

  • £3,000 for 3 months to be spent on travel only.
  • £6,000 for 12 months with £1,000 allowable for consumables.
  • £12,000 for 24 months with £2,000 allowable for consumables.

Closing Date: Tuesday 2nd October

Are you eligible?

Activities must be based within the natural sciences including: physics, chemistry, mathematics, computer sciences, engineering, agriculture, biological and medical research, geography and experiment psychology. Social sciences, clinical and patient orientated research is not covered by this scheme.

Both sets of applicants must hold a PhD or have equivalent research experience and hold a contract at their institution that will extent beyond the project dates.


For more information about the schemes please visit the Royal Society website. If you’d like to apply for any of these schemes please contact the Research Development Team.


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 (
  • 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


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.