MMU Research and Knowledge Exchange Blog

Funding opportunities, news and guidance from RKE at Manchester Met


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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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The Year Ahead for Biomedical Science & Biotechnology

A version of this article first appeared on Research Professional 04/01/2019.  

biomedical science

The long-term NHS plan is expected to be published within the next month with medical charities, and medical research organisations hoping it will make it easier for clinicians to conduct research. Meanwhile Industry and Government will start to implement the second life sciences sector deal, including the £1.3 billion investment in UK life sciences.

The Nuffield Council for Bioethics will be replacing members of their council, as their terms come to an end – you have until 28th January to apply (have a look here!). Towards the end of the year they will also be publishing a report on the ethical challenges of global health emergencies.

The MRC will be hiring a clinical director and along with the other eight bodies of UKRI will publish their first strategic delivery plans by the spring.

The Wellcome Trust have updated their priority areas – more to follow on this.

The Academy of Medical Sciences is expected to announce their first cohort of “future leaders” this month for their FLIER leadership programme. They will also be hosting a UK-India antimicrobial resistance symposium in February.

The NHS are hoping to sequence 1 million whole genomes in fives years and the Nuffield Council on Bioethics will be exploring the ethical issues with genome editing farmed animals.


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Wellcome to Review how Science is Funded

The Wellcome Trust has announced that it will be reviewing the way in which it supports science.

Wellcome’s mission is improve health for everyone. A large way in which this is achieved is through their support of science (£630 million a year) through various schemes. The way in which science is supported has varied very little over the decades of funding and Director of Science, Jim Smith, has decided it’s time to change this. With £1 billion earmarked by Wellcome for science, innovation and culture each year for the next five years any changes could have a major impact. 

The review will focus on the following questions:

  • What disciplines and areas of science should Wellcome support?
  • What career stages should Wellcome focus on?
  • Where should Wellcome fund?
  • With whom should Wellcome partner?

The review is expected to take a year to complete with any major changes to be introduced from October 2021

You can read more about the review on the Wellcome Website and on Research Professional


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Know Your Funder: The Wellcome Trust

wellcome trust

Research Professional recently posted an article which gave some insight into who The Wellcome Trust are and what they’re looking for in the applications they receive. To read the full article visit here, for a brief summary read on!

Some quick facts and figures about the trust

  • They’re the worlds second largest research charity.
  • Their remit isn’t just Biomedical sciences it also includes “humanities and social science research to improve and inform human health”
  • They offer 15 different schemes (although some are only available to current award holders)
  • The funding ranges from £5k – £7m
  • Most schemes are based on a responsive mode but occasionally there are themed calls available, as well as awards for career development.

What makes a good proposal and what are they looking for?

Whilst, like every funder, Wellcome are looking for an ambitious project it must also be feasible. Overall what the committee members want to see is:

  • Novel, ambitious ideas answering a specific research question.
  • A well thought out team with the knowledge and expertise needed to answer that question.
  • Robust and appropriate methodology.
  • Value for money.

Thinking of applying to Wellcome?

You can find what funding is currently available via the Wellcome Trust website.

If there is something you’d like to apply for, or simply want to discuss a potential Wellcome proposal then please get in touch with your Research Development Team.


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New Wellcome Trust Open Research Fund

wellcome trust

The Wellcome Trust have announced a new fund to support researchers to develop and test innovative ways of making health research open, accessible and reusable.

Examples of the type of activities that they’re considering to include (but not limited to):

  • Making outputs findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable (FAIR).
  • Developing open platforms or tools.
  • Improving research reproducibility.
  • Speeding up ways to find and share data.
  • Looking at the role of blockcahin technology could play in managing and disseminating research outputs.
  • Testing new metrics that offer transparent ways to evaluate open research.
  • Embedding incentives to encourage open research approaches.
  • Developing crowdsourcing approaches to increase participation in research.

Wellcome will review proposals based on the vision for your activity, including its aims, target audience and how you’ll advance open practices in your research field and beyond as well as how you’ll evaluate the outcomes and impact of the research.

Funding Amount: £50,000

Duration: 1 year

Deadline: Tuesday 7th August 2018

For more information please visit the Wellcome Trust website. If you’d like to apply then please get in touch with the Research Development Team via our email

 


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Wellcome Trust Seed Award – Can AI Improve Healthcare for Everyone?

wellcome trust

Wellcome Trust have announced a new Seed Award, in Humanities and Social Science, around the theme of artificial intelligence focusing on the ethical, social and political challenges of using artificial intelligence in healthcare and biomedical research.

Funding Amount: £25,000 – £100,000

Duration: 12 – 18 months

Wellcome highlights ten areas of particular interest where they believe new research is needed:

  • What effect will AI have on human relationships in health and care?
  • How is the use, storage and sharing of medical data impacted by AI?
  • What are the implications of issues around algorithmic transparency and explainability on health?
  • Will these technologies help eradicate or exacerbate existing health inequalities?
  • What is the difference between an algorithmic decision and a human decision?
  • What do patients and members of the public want from AI and related technologies?
  • How should these technologies be regulated?
  • Just because these technologies could enable access to new information, should we always use it?
  • What makes algorithms, and the entities that create them, trustworthy?
  • What are the implications of collaborations between public and private sector organisations in the development of these tools?

Your proposal may address one of the questions above or something along a similar topic.

For more information about the award please visit the Wellcome Trust website.

If you’d like to apply for this award then please get in touch with Research Development via our email.

 

The application deadline is  26th June.


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Curiosity: BBC Children in Need and the Wellcome Trust

Curiosity is a brand new £2.5m partnership between BBC Children in Need and the Wellcome Trust which will use the power of exciting and engaging science activities to create change for children and young people experiencing disadvantage in the UK.

They are inviting applications for grants of up to £10,000 to fund projects that engage children and young people in science based activities. Projects should encourage young people to be curious about the world around them and inside them, making a positive difference in their lives: building confidence and self-esteem, developing life skills and expanding horizons.

Applications are open now, and will close at midnight on 22 September 2017.

We’ll be running events in July offering opportunities to hear more about the fund, to share your ideas and meet potential partners, including experts in science delivery in an informal setting.

28th July, 12pm-4.30pm, BBC Media City, Salford.

For more information, please visit BBC Children in Need.