MMU Research and Knowledge Exchange Blog

Funding opportunities, news and guidance from RKE at Manchester Met

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Focus on JPIs – opportunities for funding


Those of you interested in European funding may find a new guide to opportunities for funding offered by the Joint Programming Initiatives (JPIs) useful. JPIs offer a mechanism for bringing together funding from different Member States to support research in areas of common interest.

Projects need to be multi-country, but can offer opportunity for smaller scale projects than Horizon 2020. As with Horizon 2020, specific challenges are defined in the calls.

The UK is a full member of the following JPIs, with contributions managed through Research Councils and others:

Urban Europe – supporting research focused on increasing sustainability and ‘livability’ of urban environments SUGI/Food-Water-Energy Nexus call open – full details here

Cultural Heritage – supporting research which has the aim of safeguarding cultural heritage No calls open at the momen– details of future calls will appear here

Water – research contributing to achieving sustainable water systems for a sustainable economy in Europe No calls open at the moment, but expect future calls on Water-related UN Strategic Development Goals (2017) and Closing the water cycle gap – sustainable water management (2018) – details of calls will appear here

More Years Better Lives – research offering a contribution to addressing issues associated with demographic change and the ageing population Call expected in January 2017 pre-announcement here NOTE: UK involvement is not yet confirmed

Climate – research to transition towards a low-emission, climate-resilient economy, society and environment No calls open at the moment – details of future calls will appear here

FACCE-JPI – research to support sustainable agricultural production and economic growth, balancing the emerging bio-economy with he need to restore and retain biodiversity Call expected in January 2017 – pre-call announcement here

JPND – research into neurodegenerative disease  Call expected in January 2017 – pre-call announcement here

Healthy Diet for a Healthy Life – research focused on health, nutrition, health and physical activity to prevent or minimise diet-related chronic illness No calls open at the momen– details of future calls will appear here

JPI AMR – research to reduce the incidence of bacterial infection, create approaches for rational use of antibiotics and develop diagnostic tools and better surveillance methods  Call expected in January 2017 – pre-call announcement here NOTE: UK involvement is not yet confirmed

Oceans – marine and maritime research and technology development No calls open at the momen

In all cases the UK’s membership doesn’t automatically mean that UK participation is guaranteed, so you should always check that the UK has signed up to specific calls (Ed – it makes sense for the UK to prioritise involvement where the call topic and national priorities align well. If there isn’t a strong alignment UK funders will sometimes choose not to invest meaning that UK researchers can’t participate on a funded basis).

As ever, if you’re interested in applying for any of the above or would like to discuss your ideas then please do get in touch (




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Nexus Network: Think Pieces and Working Papers on Food, Water, Energy and the Environment






The Nexus Network provides grants for pilot projects, blue-sky ideas, working papers and placements which can address the interconnected challenges of the nexus – food, water, energy and the environment. The outputs from these projects, ideas, papers and placements will be publicised through the network and may also lay the foundations for larger projects, to be funded by the ESRC or other sources.

In this start-up phase of the Nexus Network, they will fund an initial series of up to ten ‘think pieces’ or working papers, of no more than 8,000 words in length, which can help to scope and define nexus approaches, and stimulate debate across the linked domains of food, energy, water and the environment. These can address theoretical, methodological, policy, business or other practical aspects.

This first call is deliberately open-ended to invite a diverse and creative mix of topics and approaches. The resulting short papers may identify topics and research agendas that could subsequently be developed into pilot projects or larger research collaborations.

Proposal needs to include:

–    Name and contact details of applicant(s) & a brief summary of relevant qualifications to undertake this work;
–    A title for the think piece/working paper;
–    A clear statement of your core idea(s);
–    A short explanation of how your paper will advance new thinking, stimulate debate and/or develop practical approaches to the challenges of the nexus;
–    An outline of how your paper might impact and inform future research, policy and practice;
–    How much funding you require (up to £5,000), and what this will be spent on (research, salary, fixed costs etc.).

Proposals from early career researchers (defined as having five years or less research experience post-PhD) are particularly encouraged, as are collaborative proposals, involving applicants from more than one sectors. International collaborations are also welcome, provided the lead applicant is based in a UK organisation.

These are small grants of up to £5,000 per proposal. Short proposals of up to 2 sides of A4 should be submitted by 4pm on Friday 4 July 2014 by email to

Further information about this call can be found here:

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Nesta’s £10 million Longitude Prize 2014 – what challenge should the call go to?



Help decide which of the six challenges put forward by the Longitude Committee should become the £10 million Longitude Prize 2014. The vote is open until 25 June. Cast your vote now.

The six challenges are:


How does the prize work?

The vote takes place between 22 May and 25 June, and will be held by the BBC on its Horizon website and by text.

The winning challenge will be announced on 25 June and will become the focus of the £10 million prize fund.

The Longitude Committee will then finalise the criteria for how to win the prize, and from September you will be able to submit your idea to win it.

The Longitude Prize will run for five years, or until the prize is won.

Further information 

For further information see the Longitude Prize 2014 webpage here

For further information about Nesta see the webpage here.

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Horizon 2020: Commission go public with draft priorities for Climate Action

Horizon%202020The Commission have made what they are caveating as a draft/subject to change/not final version of priorities for the Climate Action … societal challenge publicly available. Our colleagues at UKRO have shared this with us and you can access a copy here (you’ll need to be logged in).

Priorities are in line with the intelligence that has been trickling down to us here at the Blog, so may not come as a surprise to some of you. For 2014, the focus is set to be on priorities in the areas of waste as a resource, water innovation and growing a low-carbon, resource efficient economy.

The feedback from the official launch in Brussels was that whilst the 2014 priorities appear pretty firm, the 2015 priorities remain provisional. All also seems on course for the projected launch date of 11 December 2013.

As ever, if you want to discuss Horizon 2020, please get in touch (