MMU Research and Knowledge Exchange Blog

Funding opportunities, news and guidance from RKE at Manchester Met

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Want to be nominated for the AHRC Peer Review College? Reminder: your EOIs by 20th Sep

AHRC 2   Just a reminder that if anyone is interested in being nominated to join the AHRC’s Peer Review College, there is an internal deadline for your EOIs – this Friday, 20th September.

The AHRC have an open call for new members of their PRC College in all areas – Academic Reviewers, International Reviewers, Strategic Reviewers, KE Reviewers and Early Career.

PRC members provide expert quality reviews of applications within their areas of expertise, which inform the AHRC’s decision making processes. Members can also be called upon to sit on assessment or moderation panels. As well as making an important contribution to the AHRC’s peer review processes, the experience gained by membership of the College provides benefits to individuals, departments and higher education institutions.

Emails with instructions on submitting an EOI will have come Professor Berthold Schoene for Faculty of Arts & Humanities and the Faculty Research Office for Education.

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EPSRC Associate Peer Review College

THe EPSRC invites expressions of interest from candidates who wish to join its Associate Peer Review College, a vital part of their assessment process that ensures the support of the highest-quality research.

This call is open to anyone who fulfils the initial selection criteria set out in thlink below. Final selection of candidates from the pool of expressions of interest will be on the basis of individual knowledge, need for expertise in particular research areas and the structure of the new EPSRC Delivery Plan.

The closing date for EOI is the 10th May 16.

For more information, please visit EPSRC.

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Horizon 2020 – New Year’s resolutions made easy!


For all of our readers interested in Horizon 2020 who may still have room to squeeze in a few last-minute New Year’s resolutions, here are the Blog’s suggestions for starting 2015 as you mean to go on:

1. Sign up to the UKRO Portal – you’ve seen the presentations, but are you taking advantage of the UKRO Portal? The portal is a useful source of information for anyone interested in EU funding including Horizon 2020. Signing up only takes a few minutes via this link – click on ‘Create Profile’ and follow the instructions.

Once you have signed-up you can create a profile, receive updates and news about specific research and policy areas of interest as well as search for articles.

2. Register on Participant Portal … – if you’re going to get involved in Horizon 2020 proposals, you’ll need to use the Commission’s gateway for Horizon 2020, Participant Portal. You can register by clicking the ‘Register’ button in the top right hand corner and following the instructions.

3. … and take some time to look around the site – Participant Portal provides access to a whole range of useful information. There is a dedicated ‘Funding Opportunities’ section where you can access key documents for current, forthcoming and past calls for proposals and search for opportunities. The ‘How to Participate’ section gives you access to reference documents and the Commission’s ‘H2020 Online Manual’. It also has an ‘Experts’ area, which brings us onto our next suggestion …

4. Sign up as an expert to advise the Commission – you can register details of your experience via the ‘Experts’ page of Participant Portal and these will be recorded on the Commission’s database. The Commission uses the database to identify experts to contribute to Horizon 2020. This could be as a peer reviewer evaluating proposals or monitoring actions or in some cases you might be approached to contribute to the design of the programme through input into working or advisory group. This can give you invaluable experience of H2020 from the inside and make some interesting connections to fellow researchers.

5. Don’t be a stranger – if you’re thinking about getting involved in a Horizon 2020 project, then get in touch (, we’re happy to discuss your ideas and provide advice on your plans. Don’t worry if you’ve not worked out the detail, the sooner you get in touch the better!



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Horizon 2020 – Experts wanted – your chance to be a H2020 evaluator

Horizon%202020The Commission have launched a call for independent experts to assist them with a range of tasks relating to Horizon 2020, including evaluation of proposals. This is a good opportunity to learn about what makes a good proposal and how the evaluation process works.  

You can register via the Expert Area of Participants Portal. Simply login (if you don’t have an account you’ll need to create one) and make sure that you tick the ‘Horizon 2020′ box when completing your details.

For those of you who are already registered, you can update your details by making sure you have selected ‘Horizon 2020’ in your existing profile.

The feedback that we’ve had from colleagues who have been involved is that this is an invaluable learning experience and well worth getting involved in.

If you’re still wavering and would like to know more about what’s involved do get in touch ( and we can link you up with colleagues who have had experience of evaluating in previous programmes.

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EPSRC Peer Review Survey


EPSRC has tasked an independent panel with reviewing how the Research Council obtains and utilises peer review advice to inform its funding decisions. This review was commissioned by EPSRC’s Chair, Dr Paul Golby, and will report to EPSRC Council by the end of this year. Further information about the background to this review, the membership of the panel, and how the review will be undertaken can be found here:

As part of this exercise, there is a community survey available here: This is open until 30 September 2013, and academic staff are encouraged to take the opportunity to feed in their views.

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NERC Peer Review changes


NERC is making changes to its peer review processes to strengthen and streamline the assessment of responsive mode grants and increase community confidence in the process.  The changes will apply to responsive mode research grant and fellowship calls with closing dates on or after 01 October 2013, and the main ones are ouitlined here:

Consistency of review number and expertise
For each scheme minimum and optimal number of peer review reports required have been agreed; these are detailed in the assessment process.

Standard grant process
There will no longer be a ‘sift’ to reject uncompetitive proposals. All proposals will reach the stage where there is an opportunity to respond to review comments. Proposals, reviews and responses will then be assessed by two panel members who will assign a ‘pre-score’ for excellence. The Chair will then prioritise the proposals to discuss at the moderating panel. NERC will aim to provide decisions on the majority of Standard Grant proposals within 20 weeks of the closing date.

Moderating panels
A preliminary panel structure will be announced in June 2013. Applicants will select the panel to consider their proposal during submission.

Panel members will be responsible for the content of feedback from panels to applicants. For any proposal discussed, moderating panel feedback will automatically be provided.

Peer Review College
Changes to the NERC Peer Review College from January 2014 are planned. A membership review and recruitment initiative (call opening June 2013) will take place to continue to increase the number of established academics and grant holders involved as College members and Chairs.

For further information please see the NERC website: