MMU Research and Knowledge Exchange Blog

Funding opportunities, news and guidance from RKE at Manchester Met

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Latest News from NC3Rs

The National Centre for Replacement, Refinement & Reduction of Animals in Research (NC3Rs) are the go to funder for projects which look for alternative methods to animal testing. Their funding schemes include Project Grants, PhD Studentships and Training Fellowships.

Here’s an update on the latest news from NC3Rs.

A Pint of 3Rs Science

There will be three events held as part of the Pint of Science event – a worldwide festival that brings scientific researchers to your local pub!

There will be three events held in Birmingham, London and Newcastle. Topics include:

  • Happier animals, better science!
  • Replace, Reduce, Refine: The future of laboratory research
  • Stem cells getting on your nerves?

Tickets for the events are £4 and you can find out more about it here.

Explore the Evidence for Refined Mouse Handling Methods

NC3Rs have produced a table that summarises the research published to date on the tunnel handling and cupping methods for mice handling.

If your research involves mice you can take a look at their web page for more information or download the document here:

Improving the Welfare of Macaques in Research

Behavioural Assessment of Wellness and Pain in Macaques

A new observational study has been launched which will help to improve the wellfare of macaques used in research after identifying behavioural indicators of wellfare and pain.

You can read more about the new study here.

Efficient Transport Box and Chair Training of Rhesus Macaques

A new paper has been published in the Journal of Neuroscience Methods looking at refinements in how rhesus macaques used in fundamental neuroscience research are trained to enter transport devices.

You can read more about this story here.

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MRC Researcher-led Funding

mrf-logoThe next round of Researcher-led opportunities will be open for applications from 23rd July with a deadline of the end of September. Awards will be available across the following boards:

For more information please visit the MRC website.

To instead view the specific themed calls you can visit here.

If you’d like to apply for any of these opportunities then please get in touch with Research Development via our email.

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Latest NIHR Funding Opportunities


A number of new funding opportunities are available with the NIHR, please visit the links for further details about each scheme.

Health Services and Delivery Research Programme:

Health Technology Assessment Programme:

Invention for Innovation Programme:

Public Health Research Programme:

*Please note the three themed calls listed above are participating in: Promotion of good mental health and the prevention or treatment of mental ill health across the whole life courseThere will be a webinar held on 1st May to provide more information about the call.

If you would like to apply for any of these funding opportunities then please get in touch with the Research Development team via our email.

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UK in a Changing Europe – commissioning fund

Two weeks left to apply for the ESRC UK in a Changing Europe commissioning fund:

The ESRC initiative on the UK in a Changing Europe aims to promote high quality social scientific research into the nature of the relationship between the UK and the EU, with a particular emphasis on making the findings of this research easily available to non-academic stakeholders. Its ambition is to become an authoritative source of expertise recognised by all sides in the debate over the UK’s relationship with the EU. Through funding academics of the highest calibre, and producing research findings in ways that are easily accessible to non-academic audiences, its ambition is to establish itself as an irreplaceable source of research based knowledge on the UK-EU relationship.

The commissioning fund has been created to ensure that funding is available in a timely manner for applicants interested particularly in pursuing dissemination and impact focused activities related to the overall aims of the initiative. The purpose of the fund is to enable UK RO-based academics to make the findings of social science research available to key stakeholder groups. The kinds of activities covered under the scheme include, but are not confined to:

  • the synthesis existing research findings
  • the production of policy briefs presenting the findings of academic research
  • the holding of briefings or workshops bringing together academics and non-academic stakeholders

For more information, please visit:

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

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Researchfish – what you need to know and what you need to do

researchfish logoWhat is it?

Researchfish is an online research outcomes system for researchers and funding organisations. The Researchfish system will be used to replace ROS (Research Outcomes System) to collect the outcomes of any research that is funded by RCUK research councils (AHRC, BBSRC, EPSRC, MRC, NERC, STFC).

Why is this happening?

Previously some research councils used ROS (Research Outcomes System), while others used Researchfish – this caused some confusion and could mean recording research outcomes on both systems.  RCUK have now chosen to use just Researchfish to record all research outcomes.

What happens next?

Currently underway is the ‘Research Harmonising Project’ – the ROS was frozen in April 2014 and cleansed data has been migrated from ROS to Researchfish.

What do you need to do?

  • Create an account – Every PI funded by the Research Councils is required to have a Researchfish account. If you have not already, you will automatically receive an email from Researchfish inviting you to create an account. If you have previously created a Researchfish account, you can continue to use that account and do not need to create a new one. The email sent to you by Researchfish will also detail what other steps you need to take.
  • Check migrated data and add new outcomes – please note that irrespective of whether you have an existing Researchfish account or have created a new one, you will now be able to see previously reported information that has been migrated into the new system. We would ask you to check this migrated data to ensure that it is accurate. You may notice some warning alerts (black triangles) against some recorded outcomes. These indicate that a record is missing one or more data items that are now mandatory. Please take care to review and complete these records before submission. Full details on how to do this can be found here.

You will be able to add new outcomes in preparation for this year’s data submission period (16th October – 13th November 2014) as well as delegate others to add information on your behalf.

If your research has not yet produced any outputs, you will still need to submit a nil-return using this new system to confirm that there are no outputs to report this year. Full details on how to do this will be found here.

Please note, a submission is not required for a grant which ended more than 5 years ago, but you may submit an up-to-date record for such a grant if you wish.

For more detailed instructions on how to check migrated data, add outcomes and other Help and Guidance please see the RCUK webpages.

Want to know more?

There is lots of useful information on the main Researchfish webpages here

RKE will be sending out further information and guidance as we receive it. You can sign-up for a webinar here and see the FAQs here there is also an introductory video below. If you have any questions in the meantime please email us at

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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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Urban Europe – 2nd Pilot Joint Call


The ESRC is participating in the Urban Europe Joint Programming Initiative’s second pilot joint call. Urban Europe is dedicated to strengthening European research and innovation in the field of urban development. This call combines resources available for research and innovation that has traditionally been allocated nationally, and will enable the funding of transnational projects with the potential to observe, explore, understand, and experiment with aspects of urban life. This goes beyond what can be addressed in a single country, and makes possible cooperation between researchers and inventors in different countries.

Proposals are invited to address at least one of two topics

  • governance of urban complexity
  • urban vulnerability, adaptability, and resilience

Applicants will be required to submit a pre-proposal by means of the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG) electronic submission system

A total of approximately €15 million (£12.8 million) is jointly made available by 13 funding organisations in 10 countries. There are no fixed minimum or maximum limits for a project size. Medium-sized projects with total budgets in the range of €1-2 million (£850,000-£1.7 million) are typically expected, which will allow approximately 10 projects to be granted funding. The ESRC has made available €2 million (£1.7million) to fund British aspects of proposals.

  • pre-proposal – 18 September 2013
  • shortlist published – November 2014
  • full proposal – 21 January 2014
  • announcement of results to main applicants – April 2014
  • start of projects – May-September 2014

Please see:

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ESRC Secondary Data Analysis – phase 2 call with Nov deadline announced

ESRC   secondary data

ESRC are providing advance notice of phase 2 of the Secondary Data Analysis Initiative. They are seeking innovative and creative projects of up to £200,000 (fEC) each and with a maximum duration of 18 months. This Phase 2 call also offers the opportunity to apply for self-managed clusters of several projects giving a larger network of linked grants.

This call is not thematically driven and they are seeking research proposals within ESRC’s remit that exploit any pre-existing data resource to deliver high quality research with high policy and practitioner impact. However, proposals which address the gaps and hence opportunities in their strategic priorities would be particularly welcome.

Data-sets can include (but are not restricted to) things like Understanding Society, BHPS, the Census, the European Social Survey and the birth cohorts held by the Centre for Longitudinal Studies

It is a requirement of this call that proposals will include non-academic partners to ensure the co-production of knowledge and to directly address the wider impact aims of the Initiative. Proposals utilising international datasets and/or with an international comparative focus are also encouraged.

They are advertising this call with a long lead-in period to aid potential applicants in developing proposals and undertaking preparatory work (such as working with non-academic partners or negotiating data access arrangements).

To give you a flavour of what might be covered, projects funded under Phase 1 included things like an analysis of older people’s experience of dignity and nutrition during hospital stays using the Adult Inpatient Survey or trends and experiences of volunteering using Mass Observation, BHPS and the British Social Attitudes Survey.

The closing date for full proposals is expected to be late November 2013 and will be confirmed as soon as possible. Proposals should be submitted electronically using the Research Councils’ Joint Electronic Submission (Je-S) form available by September 2013 (exact date to be confirmed).

The Call spec is available here:

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Pre-announcement of a pending ESRC call for European-Chinese joint research projects

ESRC  chinaflag

Societal Challenges – Green Economy and Population Change

The research funding organisations of France (ANR), Germany (DFG), The Netherlands (NWO) and the United Kingdom (ESRC) are delighted to launch a new multi-lateral collaborationwith the NSFC in China consisting of a joint research programme on two basic societal challenges:

  • The challenges of the Green Economy
  • The challenges of Population Change

There will be a number of priority areas within these themes and researchers from these countries will be invited to submit proposals for joint projects in these areas. Researchers may have any disciplinary background within the social sciences and beyond, however, the proposal should be predominantly within the social sciences and applicants must satisfy the eligibility criteria of their home funding agency. Projects will also need to involve a number of Chinese and European partners; full guidance will be announced in the call.

The call, its decision procedure and funding mechanisms will be based on the Open Research Area for Social Sciences (ORA), a process established on international standards. Funding will be distributed among the partners according to the place of work of the researchers, and according to the funding rules of each individual agency.

Further information about the priority areas will be made available by the end of June 2013 with the full call launched in September. The closing date of the call will be in early December 2013


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AHRC ‘Care for the Future’ Theme Large Grants – insights and info from their recent launch event

AHRC 1 The AHRC recently held a Town Hall meeting in Birmingham to launch the call for Care for the Future Theme Large Grants opportunity. They are aiming to fund 2-4 projects of £1-£2m (fEC) each over 3-5 years. Here’s my notes from the event:

Care for the Future theme generally and the plans of the Theme Leadership Fellow, Prof Andrew Thompson, University of Exeter

  • A workshop for early career researchers whose work may relate to this Theme is planned  in Dec 13/Jan 14. There will be a competitive call for participants sometime in the Autumn. ***Attendees might be eligible for follow-on funding to develop ideas emerging from the workshop*****
  • They are considering further small development type awards (they’ve previously run calls for £20-£30k exploratory projects) in areas that they consider under-represented so far
  • In September 2013, they will run a conference in line with the centenary of the 1913 Ancient Monuments Trust with English Heritage, the National Trust and the Society of Antiquity.
  • The Theme will run a major international conference in January 2015
  • A separate Theme website will be launched soon (June?)
  • The point was made that at least 70% of AHRC is still responsive mode i.e. available for you as researchers to propose your own ideas rather than responding to a specific thematic call. So, if your idea really doesn’t fit a Theme call it really makes no sense to try and squeeze it in!

Large Grants Call

(in no particular order)

  • Large Grants are expected to “support research activities of a scale and ambition beyond that normally required for a standard AHRC grant”. This means a higher level of collaboration (both across universities, disciplines, and outside HE), a greater degree of capacity building and a substantial legacy
  • Projects should display” significant transformative potential within the relevant theme area” and act as “beacons for the Theme”. They should be ambitious with the” sum being more than the parts”.
  • Applications should include a emphasis on  support for Post-Doc RAs, Early Career researchers and PGR students:  this can include studentships and  training and the activities should have a wider capacity building element including networking and training opportunities for other students, etc (not just those directly funded by the project) with links to existing  institutional training. Don’t forget the career development  possibilities for the Research Associates due to these projects having a long duration.
  • Applicants do not need to have been engaged with the Theme previously and there is no advantage in having already been awarded an exploratory grant.
  • Remember that the Theme covers a very wide “time horizon” from the distant past into the future.
  • AHRC already had a great response to an earlier Care for the Future call related to the environment and sustainability so are unlikely to replicate funding that here.
  • Projects should make a contribution towards knowledge exchange, public engagement and public policy.
  • International participation is encouraged. As ever, this is costed at 100% with a maximum of 30% of the total fEC cost relating to the international costs.
  • Make sure that you frame the project using the Theme terminology and make reference to existing projects (these are listed on the AHRC Theme webpages)
  • You must demonstrate a high level of institutional support and show how the project fits with the partners Research Strategies
  • Include “Theme related” activities  – i.e. plans to work with other Large Grants
  • “Non-standard” outputs such as documentaries are welcome
  • These are big projects – Do not neglect the project management and intellectual leadership aspects (and consider these as separate). AHRC find it frustrating if there’s a great idea but they can’t fund it through fear that it won’t be delivered. Bring in specialist support – project management, public engagement experts, technical support
  • When the other Themes ran similar calls they receive around 40 bids each, shortlisted 8 and funded 2-4.