MMU Research and Knowledge Exchange Blog

Funding opportunities, news and guidance from RKE at Manchester Met


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Horizon 2020: Final work programmes published

As some of you may have seen, the Commission have now launched their final update to the 2018-20 work programme. This update contains details of the last calls under Horizon 2020. It will also form a bridge to the next EU framework programme for research and innovation – Horizon Europe.

A further €11bn will be made available through these calls, including support for the Commission’s political priorities in:

  • Low carbon, climate resilient future
  • Circular economy
  • Digitising and transforming European industry and services
  • Security Union

You can access work programmes through the ‘reference documents’ function on the Commission’s Funding and Tenders Portal (Ed – click on ‘Work Programmes’, ‘2018-20’ and then  ‘Main WP’ to access).

UK participation in calls for proposals

As an EU Member State, the UK remains eligible to participate in, and apply for funding from Horizon 2020 until the UK’s date of exit from the EU (currently set at 31 October 2019). After this date, the UK’s status will change and we anticipate that there may be changes to the parts of Horizon 2020 which are open to the UK.

The UK government have committed to underwrite participation in Horizon 2020 through its underwrite guarantee, and following our exit through an extension to this guarantee which will support successful projects where we are still eligible to apply.

Where to get support

If you are thinking of getting involved in Horizon 2020, or would like more information please don’t hesitate to contact us. Details of the appropriate person to contact can be found below:

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Research & Innovation in the NHS Long Term Plan

Last week the NHS released their long term plan with funding of £20.5 billion backing the new plans up to 2023, of course research and innovation features within the plan which is summarised below.


Research and innovation are key to both the NHS and UK economy. ‘Research-active’ hospitals have lower mortality rates with patients benefiting from earlier diagnosis, more effective treatments and faster recovery. The government plans to treble it’s industry contract and R&D collaborative research with the NHS over the next ten years to nearly £1 billion.

The NHS will be working to increase the number of people registered to participate in health research to 1 million by 2023/24, one way of doing this will be by allowing people to register their interest via an app by 2020.

There is a particular focus on investing in genomics research with the aim to be the first national health care system to offer whole genome sequencing as part of routine care. During 2019 seriously ill children who are likely to have rare genetic disorders, children with cancer, and adults suffering from certain rare conditions or specific cancers, will begin to be offered whole genome sequencing.

Uptake of proven, affordable innovations will be accelerated through a new Medtech funding mandate. This applies to health tech products (other than pharmaceuticals) assessed as cost saving by NICE. The number of NICE evaluations will also be significantly increased giving greater scope for assessment of digital products in particular.


For more information about the NHS long term plan you can visit the plans here.


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The Year Ahead for Physical Sciences, Engineering and the Environment

A version of this article first appeared on Research Professional 08/01/2019 

The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) and the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) will be announcing their priorities for the next five years in spring – so definitely worth keeping an eye on their websites!

Materials scientist Alison Davenport will report to the STFC this year on a review of the council’s consolidated grants, which account for £100m that the council awards annually in research grants each year.

Aerospace companies competing for a £92 million government contract to carry out a feasibility study on home-grown replacements for the EU’s Galileo Satellite Navigation System will find out if they are successful early this year. The UK is set to stop using Galileo for defense and critical national infrastructure after Brexit.

The NERC’s polar research ship (The RRS Sir David Attenborough) will be undergoing a year of sea trials before before it’s polar expeditions begin in 2020.

In the first few months of 2019 the government will review the implementation of the sector deals on automotive, artificial intelligence, aerospace and nuclear industries.

The year will close with a crucial meeting for UK space with the science minister and representatives from the UK Space Agengy attending the council meeting of the European Space Agency in November – the members will be tasked with setting funding levels.


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Wellcome – New Areas in Development

The Wellcome Trust are exploring two new areas in development to investigate what impact their involvement could have and decide whether these should be taken forward as new priority areas.

Data for Science and Health

What can Wellcome do to drive innovative and imaginative uses of data to improve science and health? They’ll be looking to transform three key areas:

  • Access to data. They wish to improve access e.g. by helping to make datasets more interoperable, or simplifying complex regulatory frameworks. Researchers can access the data they need for their research.
  • Diversity of the Workforce. Datascience does not have adiverse workforce, this could be due to researchers with different skillsets not having the opportunity to collaborate.
  • Public confidence in data use. Nuilding up public trust around new uses of data so that everyone can benefit.

Snakebites

Snakebites are one of the most neglected health problems in low and middle income countries, between 80,000 and 140,000 people die each year from being bitten by venomous snakes with 400,000 left with life changing disabilities. Wellcome will be investigating:

  • Reviving and stabilising the market for effective antivenoms.
  • Accelerating research and innovation to improve existing antivenoms and develop alternatives.
  • Working with funders, researchers and policymakers and industry.

More details will follow about the programmes of work – keep an eye on the Wellcome Trust website for more details.


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Dunhill Medical Trust Research Grants

Dunhill

The Dunhill Medical Trust have announced that they are now accepting outline research project grant applications.

The trust will consider applications in the following areas:

  • Bioscience underpinning the mechanisms of ageing, providing there is a clear statement of how the research will be used for the benefit of older people within a reasonable timeframe.
  • Research relating to improving the effectiveness and efficiency of health services and social care delivery for older people.
  • Research relating to improving technology and the built environment, to meet the needs of an ageing population.
  • Behavioural research.
  • Clinical and applied research.
  • Health services research.
  • Public health research.
  • Research carried out on a multidisciplinary basis.
  • Pilot and proof-of-concept studies that can provide sufficient evidence for larger studies which can attract support from major funding bodies.
  • Activities that will expand the research capacity in the above areas.
  • Research related to modifiable risk factors for well-being and health: for example, environmental factors, diet, stress, exercise, social participation, recreation etc.

The application is a two-stage process with the first stage deadline on 11th January 2019, giving you plenty of time to get started on your outline application. Successful ideas will be invited to submit a full application by 1st February 2019.

Deadline: 11th January 2019

Award Amount: £25k – £300k

Duration: up to 3 years

If you’re unsure on your eligibility to apply then you can take Dunhill’s eligibility quiz! For more information on the scheme please visit The Dunhill Medical Trust website.

If you would like to apply then please get in touch with your Research Development Team.

 


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Last places remaining – UK Research Office Visit – 8 November 2018 – ‘The Future of EU-funded Research’

Just a quick reminder that we have a few places left for this event, so please book now to avoid disappointment!

We will be welcoming our UK Research Office (UKRO) European Advisor, Dr Branwen Hide, to Manchester Met on the 8th November, 2018.

As part of her visit, Branwen will be presenting a forward-looking update on EU research, which will provide insights into the new Horizon Europe programme and life after Brexit, as well as a consideration of the increasing importance of global sustainability and international collaboration.

This is likely to be a popular event, so places will be allocated on a first come, first serve basis. For details of timings and location, and to book a place, please visit our event registration page here.

PLEASE NOTE – this event is only open to employees of Manchester Met.

About UKRO

The UK Research Office (UKRO) is the European office of the UK Research Councils. It delivers a subscription-based advisory service for research organisations and provides National Contact Point services on behalf of the UK Government. UKRO’s mission is to maximise UK engagement in EU-funded research, innovation and higher education activities.

For further information about Manchester Met’s subscription to UKRO, or EU-funded research please contact(euro_res@mmu.ac.uk).


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Developing your NIHR Proposal

Last week the Research Design Service North West (RDS NW) hosted an event on developing funding proposals in applied health and social care. The event was aimed at academics putting their first bid in to any NIHR scheme – I went along to find out what NIHR are looking for.

What is the RDS?

The Research Design Service is a free service offered by NIHR to help you design and develop your research and offer methodological support to health and social care researchers. The service isn’t just for NIHR though, you can seek their advice for any funding application going to a national peer-reviewed funding programme.

The team are able to help develop your ideas, help you chose the correct funding stream and give advice to improve your research. They recommend getting in touch as soon as you decide you’d like to apply – at least 6 months in advance, if possible.

Woman taking notes - work, writing, laptop, notebook, write, wrist, working, business, electronics, fountain pen, jds,...

 Developing your research question

A well-structured question is an important aspect to your proposal and the RDS had a few good acronyms to help to guide your question formation, you should look to include the following elements:

PICOPopulation – Intervention – Comparison – Outcome

CIMOContext – Intervention – Mechanisms – Outcome

SPICESetting – Population – Intervention – Comparison – Evaluation

Hit all of the points in your chosen acronym and you should be well on your way to a clear and structured question.

Doctor suggesting hospital program to patient - doctor, medical, healthcare, clinic, hospital, treatment, senior,...

The Importance of PPI

Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) is a major focus for NIHR, they want to see bids that have been developed, not just with beneficiaries in mind, with them helping to shape the entire proposal. NIHR want to see that you’ve engaged with the public to understand what end users want to gain from your research, how it can improve the NHS and to make sure it’s an area worth researching!

Many proposals give PPI as an afterthought, simply conducting a few interviews and treating it as a tick box exercise but, on the Research for Patients Benefit panel (RfPB), 15% of reviewers are lay people and for them it’s an important issue. I met with a reviewer on the RfPB panel who explained the importance of being able to clearly understand the proposal (no unexplained acronyms or technical jargon!) and how lay reviewers often go straight to the PPI section to see what work you’ve already been conducting.

It’s important that you don’t treat this like a tick box exercise, like it or not PPI is here to stay. For anyone looking to carry out PPI work prior to an application the RDS offers a small pot of money (£350) to allow you to conduct some small scale work – see here for details.