MMU Research and Knowledge Exchange Blog

Funding opportunities, news and guidance from RKE at Manchester Met

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Research Matters: A Year in Focus

You can read the online version of Research Matters here or a PDF version here. Paper copies will be available at all reception points across MMU from next week.

This article is taken from ManMetLife – written by Gareth Hollyman, MMU Press Team – available in its original form here.


The University has produced its first cross-institutional research brochure called Research Matters – ‘World Class Research Impact’ 2014.

The 36-page glossy reviews the past year in research and knowledge exchange celebrating the quality and diversity of work and its relevance to industry and society.

Inspired by our impressive entry to the Research Excellence Framework, the brochure is being marketed to funding councils, commerce and industry and university and other collaborators.

Writing in his preface, Vice Chancellor Professor John Brooks says: “MMU has set a challenging 2020 vision to become a top 50 university for both teaching and research.


Create, communicate, commercialise

“We have a very strong foundation laid by the REF submission which demonstrates research with world-class outcomes is being produced by some 330 of our academic staff who were selected.

“The role of modern universities is to create, communicate and to commercialise knowledge. Our RKE strategy ensures that our research is relevant, has impact and informs our teaching.”

Research Matters includes case studies related to our five key areas of:

  • Lifelong Health and Wellbeing
  • Sustainability and Adapting to Climate Change
  • New Technology and Innovation
  • Education and Society
  • Arts and Humanities

Some highlights featured include: Nick Bowring’s ‘microwave’ security scanner, Jamie McPhee’s healthy ageing physiology work, Katherine Runswick-Cole’s work on new approaches to adoption, Cathy Parker’s retail management and high street research and Carl Payton’s work on disabled swimming to support Paralympians.

The cover features the high-profile work of artist Steve Dixon whose sculptures of Nobel Prize winners including Aung San Suu Kyi are on show at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum.

Public engagement

Vanda Murray OBE, Deputy Chair of Governors said: “I never cease to be amazed at the vibrancy and diversity of research within the University and this publication provides a timely review of the breadth and quality of our work.”

“Equally important is engagement with external communities which has become an expected part of everyday academic life. I am always struck by how grounded MMU academics are; experts in their field undoubtedly, but also able and, more importantly willing, to take time out to communicate their ideas to a wider audience.

“It is important that staff that engage in these agendas feel recognised for their efforts.”

Research Matters was overseen by Professor Dave Raper and Sam Gray in the RKE team and produced by the Marketing Communications and Development Team, with design by Jo Phillips.


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Leading a responsible recovery?

new economy

New Economy Breakfast Briefing
Cities Outlook 2014: Leading a responsible recovery
12.30 – 14.00, Thursday, 13 February 2014

Andrew Carter, deputy chief executive, Centre for Cities
Alan Harding, director, Heseltine Institute for Public Policy and Practice, University of Liverpool

Now in its seventh year, Cities Outlook 2014 is the authoritative economic index of the 64 largest cities and towns in the UK. This year’s report has a particular focus on devolution, growth and the relationship and links between London and other UK cities. At this session Andrew Carter will outline the key findings from the 2014 report and discuss implications for cities and more specifically Greater Manchester; Alan Harding will respond to the issues raised.

Breakfast Briefings are free to attend but places are limited.
If you would like to book a place, please email:
New Economy Boardroom,6th Floor Churchgate House, Oxford Street, Manchester M1 6EU

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Manchester partnership awarded £50,000 police grant



Links between academics and police in Manchester have been given a £50,000 boost with new funding from the College of Policing.

The professional body for policing in England and Wales has awarded the money to help academics from Manchester Metropolitan University and personnel from Greater Manchester Police test methods and techniques for tackling crime and help the service to become more efficient.

The grant will fund six police officers to study policing fellowships at Manchester Metropolitan University to evaluate police techniques or approaches.  The new money will also be used to share with police officers and staff the very latest academic research on tackling crime and public safety. The work carried out by the Manchester partnership will feed into the National What Works Centre for Crime Reduction providing robust and comprehensive evidence for police to tackle crime. 

Manchester Metropolitan University Professor of Criminology Jon Bannister said:
“I am delighted that the College of Policing has chosen to support the Manchester partnership. This award will enable MMU academics and students to work closely with officers from GMP to build and communicate the policing evidence base. We hope that the activities planned by our partnership will help deliver safer communities in Manchester and across the UK.”

Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner for Greater Manchester, Jim Battle, said:
“The new working relationship between Greater Manchester Police and our prestigious Manchester Metropolitan University has been boosted by these significant funds to explore new ways of working, stay ahead of the criminals, and make sure that our limited resources are being in the best way to build safer communities.”

Chief Inspector Shane O’Neill, GMP’s Head of Uniform and Crime Training, said:
“I am very pleased that the partnership between Greater Manchester Police and Manchester Metropolitan University has been recognised by the College of Policing, who have agreed to fund its continuing development.

“Working with local educational bodies to professionalise learning and development within the police service is key to delivering much better and more informed services to the community. This partnership has been developing over some time, and although we won this bid for additional money to support the partnership, I was pleased to see that we had agreed to continue to develop relationships whether we won the additional money or not, which shows real commitment. I look forward to seeing how academic research can enhance local policing in future.”

Head of Research at the College of Policing, Rachel Tuffin, said:
“As the home of the What Works Centre for Crime Reduction, the College of Policing wants to build links between police and academia so the way we go about policing is as efficient and effective as possible. This funding will be a springboard for future research and learning so police officers and staff get the best evidence to help them cut crime and keep the public safe.”

A mixture of 75 academic institutions and police forces submitted bids to the College for sums up to £50,000. Successful bidders can be found here:


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Gateway to Research launched – 42,000 research projects available to business and the public

RCUKResearch Councils UK (RCUK) has today launched Gateway to Research– a new web-based portal that gives businesses access to the latest research supported across all the UK’s seven Research Councils and the Technology Strategy Board (TSB) in a single website.

Gateway to Research aims to provide a mechanism for businesses and others to source new research developments that might just lead to the commercial opportunity they are looking for – an idea for a new product, a solution to a current business problem, understanding markets, society engagement, international collaborations and more. Importantly it will enable businesses to identify potential partners in universities so they can develop and commercialise knowledge and maximise the value and impact generated from publicly funded research.

Gateway to Research contains information such as who, what and where the Research Councils and TSB fund, as well as details about technologies, processes, outputs, and impact, enabling access to more than 42,000 research projects from over 33,000 researchers.

Minister for Intellectual Property, Lord Younger, who launched the website at the House of Commons, said:

“Publicly funded research should be freely available. We must build on the opportunities for businesses to connect with this research and collaborate with universities. The Gateway to Research will enable better information-sharing, and in turn lead to a greater take up of knowledge and commercialisation”.

Professor David Delpy, RCUK Impact Champion, said: “The Research Councils are committed to delivering excellent research with impact and we are very proud to have created this new portal that paves the way for even greater connectivity between the research we support and business thus reaping greater benefits to deliver both economic growth and improving the wellbeing of our society.”

Research Outcome Systems (ROS)

The  information in Gateway to Research is collated from the Research Outcomes Systems (ROS), anyone who has received Research Council or KTP funding needs to make sure that they keep updating the ROS system (outputs and outcomes can be added up to 5 years after the grant end date). For further information please see the ROS pages on the RCUK website here.

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CARPE – stimulating discussion and interesting connections

CARPE LOGOAs described in Man Met Life, the CARPE conference held earlier this month provided a productive forum for partners to connect and exchange ideas. 

For those of you who aren’t aware, CARPE is a network involving MMU and four like-minded institutions in Finland, Germany, the Netherlands and Spain. As a group our institutions are forming collaborations around a number of common areas of interests to share best practice and pursue joint projects.

Speaking to the Blog, conference organiser Prof Chris Fox, shared his thoughts on what the event had achieved, what value the network has in underpinning our European research activities and how colleagues can get more involved with CARPE.

Chris, from the feedback on the CARPE twitter feed, the conference was obviously well received. In your opinion, what did the event achieve?

The conference represented a valuable opportunity for staff from the different CARPE universities to come together and share knowledge and expertise about research and teaching. Perhaps even more importantly it was a chance for all of us to get to know our CARPE partners better, to renew links we have already made and form new working relationships with like-minded staff in other CARPE institutions.

As we look towards European opportunities in research, knowledge exchange and teaching and learning, what role do you think CARPE can play?

One of the keys to effective work in Europe whether it is research, knowledge exchange or teaching and learning is having strong pan-European networks and partnerships in place. I know from my own experience of bidding for large European research projects that a strong consortium with good European coverage is a pre-requisite for a successful bid. CARPE provides staff at MMU with the potential to develop such links and partnerships relatively quickly and with institutional backing.

CARPE however, is more than an asset to help develop effective European partnerships. Its emphasis on applied research and professional education, combined with the strong regional emphasis provides the basis for developing novel and innovative solutions to some of Europe’s more intractable problems whether those take the form of innovative, mixed method research projects or original, multi-disciplinary approaches to teaching and learning.

If colleagues are interested in getting more involved in CARPE, what steps can they take?

There is information about the network and its priorities on both the CARPE website and the CARPE pages on our website, so I would suggest colleagues take a look to see what areas they might be interested in. (Ed – colleagues might find the summary of Conference Papers a useful starting point). Obviously, I’m very happy to discuss ways of getting involved with CARPE, so colleagues should feel free to contact me directly (

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Innovation and evidence in policing – building collaborations research call

College of Policing

During the development of its Strategic Intent, the College of Policing has identified a need to build capacity to support police innovation. Academic stakeholders have outlined how delivery of innovation and research activity locally requires sustained relationships with forces and across further and higher education. The long-term College vision to tackle this gap is to help establish a network of regional centres or networks of expertise, involving partnerships between local academic institutions, forces and Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs). Regional groupings should stimulate innovation and research, involving officers in tackling frontline problems and developing skills to get research evidence used.

To support the capacity development required, and help build a regional engagement network for the future, the College is proposing a short-term boost, in the form of oneoff funding in 2013/14, to partnerships of educational establishments, police forces and PCCs, to create capacity for stronger collaboration. These partnerships might be broadbased in their interests, or might develop into centres of excellence on specific topics, or might address national capacity gaps. The intention is that this support will assist police and academic partners to develop future bids for funding from other sources.

  • The College will be particularly interested in regional networks or centres of expertise which seek to focus on the following:
  • application of innovative approaches or techniques to policing; research design and delivery support services;
  • delivery of collaborative primary research which tackles perennial issues or problems; mentoring, coaching or other arrangements for
    academic support to allow officersand staff to develop their research expertise; and
  • programmes of courses, workshops, other events or knowledge transfer activities tosupport innovation and the use of evidence.

The deadline for this call is 15th November 2013.
If you plan to submit anything, please make Nikki Lees aware as she is co-ordinating a united response: or ext 2151.
To find out more visit:

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ESRC: Future Research Leaders – Third call for proposals

ESRCESRC have announced the third call for proposals for our early careers scheme, Future Research Leaders. The Future Research Leaders scheme aims to support outstanding early career researchers to carry out excellent research and to develop all aspects of their research and knowledge exchange skills.

The call is open to high-quality candidates from anywhere in the world who have a maximum of four years’ postdoctoral experience and the support of an eligible UK research organisation

Please note applications will need MMU approval and all potential applicants must speak to the RKE office before they apply.

Grants will be for a maximum of three years with an overall limit of £312,500 (at 100 per cent full Economic Cost). ESRC aim to fund around 70 awards.

The closing date for proposals is 16:00 24 September 2013.

For further details, please see the ESRC pages here.