MMU Research and Knowledge Exchange Blog

Funding opportunities, news and guidance from RKE at Manchester Met

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Global Challenges Research Fund: Call for Evidence

Research Councils UK

The Government Spending Review on 25th November 2015 announced “a new £1.5 billion Global Challenges Research Fund, to ensure UK science takes the lead in addressing the problems faced by developing countries, whilst developing our ability to deliver cutting-edge research”. The Global Challenges Research Fund is a BIS initiative which operates across a number of delivery partners, including the Research Councils, National Academies and HEFCE.

The Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) represents the largest portion of this Fund. RCUK have launched a call for evidence to gather your views on the high-level challenges that will form the basis of the funding calls from the GCRF Collective Fund, the information gathered will also be share with the other delivery partners so that it may inform their own strategies.

They would also like your views on the most effective ways of delivering GCRF.

RCUK are seeking inputs from individuals and institutions across all academic disciplines, non-governmental organisation and industrial sectors both in and outside of the UK.

The results from the survey will be reviewed alongside feedback from the Town Meetings and they will share a short summary of evidence which has been collected and outline how that has informed their strategy in the autumn.

This call for evidence forms part of a broader programme of strategic engagement activities taking place under the GCRF programme. RCUK will be running focus groups later this year and opening a Call for Ideas early next year to generate priority themes within each challenge.

You can complete the survey by clicking the link below. The survey closes at 16.00 on 22 August:

Respondents are encouraged to familiarise themselves with the following background information whilst completing the survey:

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Digital Catapult Researcher in Residence Programme

Research Councils UK and the Digital Catapult Centre invite applications for their researcher in residence programme. This enables researchers at any career stage to spend time at the Digital Catapult Centre or a relevant partner organisation to undertake a project that will generate impact for the digital economy in the broadest sense. Projects can either be applied or strategic in nature.

Deadline for proposals: 19 June

Funding Available: £25,000

For more information, please visit the Digital Catapult Centre.

For support with your application, please contact Research Development.

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RCUK Joint Calls under the Global Challenges Research Fund

Translating Cultures and Care for the Future Innovation Awards on International Development

The call aims to support projects that take innovative approaches to the following research strands: Languages, cultural exchange and development assistance; Pressures in global mobility; Cultures and development; Cultural heritages, interpretation and representation. Proposals should clearly demonstrate the value of arts and humanities research to international development issues and provide a platform for further research in the relevant area.

Deadline for proposals: 21 July

GCRF Foundation Awards for Non-Communicable Disease (NCDs)

The aims of this call are to both address new research opportunities and develop capability and capacity to particular research areas, such as: Cardiovascular and metabolic research; Cancers of high prevalence in LMICs; Mental health and neurocognitive development; Adolescent, maternal, and childhood health; Impacts of demographic/behavioural changes across the lifecourse; Environmental change; Technologies, designs and methods suited to LMICs.

Deadline for proposals: 22 June

GCRF Foundation Awards for Infection Research

This call will develop new or expand existing strands of ODA applicable research and partnerships targeting LMIC infectious disease priorities. Areas of opportunity include: Detection and diagnostic development; Epidemiology; Cultural, social, economic, environmental and political influences on the emergence and spread of infections; Modelling; and many more.

Deadline for proposals: 22 June

GCRF Foundation Awards for Global Agricultural and Food Systems Research

This call highlights five broad research challenges as follows: Systems that deliver safe and nutritious food for all; Resilience of the food system to climatic variability; Reducing losses throughout the agri-food chain and reusing unavoidable food waste; Agriculture within the context of the wider landscape; Urban agriculture.

Deadline for proposals: 22 June

Tackling antimicrobial resistance: behaviour within and beyond the healthcare setting

The call aims to expand understanding of how the behaviour of public, professionals and organisations impacts on AMR: how it can enhance or control the spread of AMR; how it is affected by social, psychological and organisational context, cultures and history; and how it can be influenced to create different future scenarios.

Deadline for proposals: 20 July (Pump priming grants), 27 July (EOI for collaborative grants)

ESRC/AHRC Call for proposals on Forced displacement

This is a joint call for innovative, interdisciplinary projects focusing on the experiences of the forced displaced (both internationally and internally) whether due to poverty, war, conflict, persecution or human rights violations.

Deadline for proposals: 7 July

GCRF / PaCCS: Inter-Disciplinary Research Innovation Awards on Conflict and International Development

This call aims to support inter-disciplinary research innovation and international collaboration focussed on the interconnections between conflict and international development and with the potential to contribute to the welfare (broadly defined) and/or economic development of Low and Middle Income Countries (LMICs).

Deadline for proposals: 28 July

For support with your application, please contact Research Development.

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RCUK Opportunities

Check out these fudning opportunities from the EPSRC and NERC respectively.

3D printing-enabled redistributed manufacturing feasibility studies

This call aims to convene a multidisciplinary research and multi-industry user network that provides research capabilities to define and disseminate the research agenda for 3D printing-enabled redistributed manufacturing.

Deadline: 22 Feb 16

Large grants

These support adventurous, large-scale and complex research tackling big science questions that cannot be addressed through other NERC funding opportunities.

Deadline: 15 Mar 16

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

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Researchfish: Have you been awarded a research grant? What you need to know and what you need to do

researchfish logoA brief background to Researchfish

As of 2015 over 90 research funders will require research outcomes to be submitted to them as part of the terms and conditions of the awarded research grant. Previously, different systems may have been used to record this information but now there is one central system – Researchfish. Researchfish is an online portal that researchers can use to record their research outcomes and submit them to their funder.

How do you know if you need to use Researchfish?

If you have funding from any of the 7 RCUK’s research councils (AHRC, BBSRC, EPSRC, ESRC, MRC, NERC, STFC) you will need to record your research outcomes via Researchfish and submit them to your funder. There are also 90 other public and charity funders that also use Researchfish to collect research outcomes. A full list of funders (as well as Research Institutions) can be found here.

If you have previously submitted your outcomes to your funder via Researchfish, you do not need to do this again but you are encouraged to continue to update your outcomes.

What happens if you don’t record and submit your research outcomes?

In a word – SANCTIONS. All the funders in Researchfish have signed up to the agreement that from 2015 onwards anyone not submitting their outcomes within the advertise submission period will face sanctions. This could mean payment on your grant could be stopped and the funder may not accept any further applications from you. Only the Principal Investigator on the grant has to record and submit outcomes.

What do you have to record?

There are common set questions regarding publication, impact and engagement etc. which you can record against your award. You may also have funder specific questions to answer, for example if your grant has a medical or ethical element to it.

When do you have to record your research outcomes?

You can add your research outcomes to your Researchfish profile and award at anytime – 24 hours a day, 365 days a year BUT you can only submit those outcomes via Researchfish to your funder during a submission period. Submission periods are set by the funder, you can submit your outcomes and resubmitted them anytime within that submission period.

When do you need to submit your research outcomes?

You will receive an email from RKE to notify you of when you should submit your outcomes.

Once you have recorded your outcomes you can submit them to your funder during the funder’s submission period. There are currently no submission periods set. Last year all RCUK grants had the submission period – 16 October 2014 to 13 November 2014, so we are expecting a similar time period this year.  You can check when your submission period is by either logging into your Researchfish account and checking against your funder or logging into the Researchfish page of the RKE Intranet (under the heading Submit).

What happens if your research grant has only just been awarded and you have no outcomes yet to report?

Even if your research grant has only recently been rewarded you will still be expected to submit something, even if that is a blank ‘nil submission’.  Details of how to do this as well as the general submission process are all on the RKE Intranet.

How to guides and further information

Introductory Video – For anyone new to Researchfish we recommend that they watch the introductory video here which goes through all the steps of activating your account, adding outcomes and submitting your outcomes to your funder.

Please log onto the RKE Intranet for the MMU guide to Researchfish including crib sheets on:

How to add research outcomes
Submit your outcomes
Submit a nil submission
Common set questions

If you need any help with Researchfish there is a live chat function within the Researchfish pages but you can also contact the RKE Office if you are having any issues or anything you would like to clarify – please email


Quick guide to research management systems within MMU

We are currently looking into interoperability between the various systems used in research management; to make the most efficient use of the systems, to reduce the amount of duplication of inputting information as well as duplication of records.

Brief explanations of the various systems currently used are below:

Researchfish  –used to research record outcomes and submit them to funders (all RCUK funders as well as others).

Symplectic  – used to record and ‘harvest’ from internet publications, articles etc by using your name and search details (used by all faculties apart from Business and Law)

Digital Measures – Business and Law’s version of Symplectic (see above) in use until 2016.

E-space – MMU’s open Access repository, e-space collects the work of MMU researchers and makes it freely available on the Web.

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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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Did you know? Three Research Councils allow joint bids with NSF in the US….


US Flag      AHRC 2  BBSRC     ESRC                                        nsf_logo

In Sep 13 , Research Councils UK (RCUK) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) in the United States  entered into a new agreement designed to help support international research partnerships between the two countries.

This new two-way lead agency agreement enables a simplified and flexible process for researchers wishing to apply for UK-US collaborative research funding, using the usual systems and processes of the respective funding agencies.

The new agreement is first being implemented by the Social Behavioral and Economic Sciences Directorate of the NSF (SBE) in partnership with the ESRC, The Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC).

Research is becoming increasingly global in nature and scope, and as such it’s important to enable researchers to work together to achieve goals of mutual interest in more flexible ways.

One of the main goals of the agreement was to reduce the current barriers that exist to researchers with an international remit. Previously a researcher would have needed to submit separate proposals to their respective funding agencies with no guarantee both would take on the research. This two-way agreement overcomes this problem.

This first agreement allows researchers to follow a familiar procedure to the ones they are used to. Proposals will go through the normal submission and assessment processes of the lead agency and, if selected for funding, the non-lead agency will agree to fund the research in their country.

It also allows the submission of joint proposals between US and UK researchers to either the NSF or one of the participating councils, depending on the balance of research and funds. The agency which the proposal is submitted to is considered the lead agency.

The agreement will enable a more flexible mechanism. It will be researcher led so they will decide whether their proposal is to be UK- or US-led. No matter where they are based, the researchers will have the freedom to apply for funds to conduct research in any area which falls within the remit of the NSF Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences Directorate and the participating councils.

UK-led proposals will be submitted via the standard responsive mode calls of the respective Research Councils which are open year-round which allows researchers to decide when they want to submit.

A plan has been put in place, which will lay the foundation for future collaborations between the Research Councils and other NSF Directorates, as well as between RCUK and other national funding agencies.

ESRC Chief Executive Professor Paul Boyle said: “This agreement not only strengthens the existing valuable research links between the UK and the US but by avoiding ‘double jeopardy ‘in funding applications, it removes some of the barriers facing international research collaboration. As two of the strongest research systems in the world and the best resourced, the UK and the US have long been partners in research. The US is the first choice partner for many of the UK’s best researchers, so we are delighted to enter into this agreement to make the process for collaborative research between our two countries as simplified and flexible as possible for our world-leading researchers.”