Researchers’ Weekly Bulletin: the Blog

News for researchers at the Manchester Metropolitan University

Competition launch to develop an app that empowers women in STEMM

Monday, November 30th, 2015

“The Rosalind Franklin app competition has been launched by UCL to develop new mobile apps to empower and recognise women as leaders in STEMM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths and Medicine).”

“The organisers want to hear from everyone – whether they are a complete novice with a great idea, a wannabe coder or a seasoned app developer.”

“The competition has two different challenges:

  • To develop new mobile phone apps to empower women in STEMM. The competition is open to both women and men.
  • To recognise leading women in STEMM who have pioneered new apps for research and societal good. Help to identify and support the female role models who are making a difference by submitting a 200-word nomination statement.”

To find out more ago to the Rosalind Franklin App Competition website:

Applications close on 04 January 2016

[Source EPSRC news: ]

New prize competition seeks innovative ideas to advance open science

Monday, November 9th, 2015

“The Open Science Prize invites applicants to develop new products or services that harness the power of “big data” to improve health.”

“The Wellcome Trust has partnered with the National Institutes of Health and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute to launch a global science competition for new products or services to advance “open science”, a movement to make scientific research data broadly accessible to the public.”

“Up to six teams of technology experts and researchers stand to win $80,000 each to develop their ideas into a prototype or to advance an existing early stage prototype. The prototype judged to have the greatest potential to further open science will receive $230,000.”

“The volume of digital information generated by biomedical research often called “big data” is growing at a rapidly increasing pace. Researchers’ ability to derive knowledge from data is hindered by their ability to find, access and use it. The goal of the Open Science Prize is to support the development and prototyping of services, tools and platforms to overcome these hurdles to ensure data can be used to advance discovery and spur innovation.”

“The first phase of the competition is accepting applications until 29 February 2016. Based on the advice of a panel of experts, six teams will be selected to receive the prize money to advance their ideas to prototypes, and will be required to submit their prototypes by 1 December 2016. The overall winner is expected to be selected on 28 February 2017.”

More information can be found on the Open Science Prize website

[Source Wellcome Trust news: ]

EPSRC launches Science Photo Competition 2015

Monday, October 19th, 2015

“The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) has launched its third Science Photo competition which will run until midnight on Saturday 19 December 2015.”

“The competition is open to all EPSRC-supported researchers and EPSRC-supported doctoral students, giving them the opportunity to share their research through pictures and the chance to win prizes.”

“Share your photos to support excellence and promote outstanding UK engineering and physical sciences research.”

For more information and details of how to enter go to:

[Source EPSRC news: ]

Students and staff invited to pitch ideas for inclusive learning technologies

Monday, October 12th, 2015

“Digital technologies charity Jisc [has launched] a competition for students and staff to come up with new digital solutions that will improve accessibility and inclusion in post-16 education.”

“Called Accessible by design, the competition will invite ideas for how technology could support the access and inclusion of the UK’s learners, staff and researchers, with the best ones being offered the opportunity of funding to get their ideas off the ground.”

“Three of the ideas will be selected to receive £5,000 in funding plus expert support from Jisc to take them through the discovery phase and help develop tangible solutions.”

“Any student or member or staff that works in the area of accessibility and inclusion in further education (FE), higher education (HE) or skills is eligible to enter, either individually or as a team.”

“Entries must be made via Jisc’s elevator website by 26 October and need to include a short video and summary of the idea. The general public will then be able to vote until 2 November with the final projects being taken forward announced in late November.”

For more information go to the Accessible by design webpage:

[Source Jisc news: ]

Call for contributions: Wellcome Image Awards 2016

Monday, July 6th, 2015

“The call for contributions for the Wellcome Image Awards 2016 is now open. The deadline is 9 September 2015, and all submitted images will be considered for the Awards, to be held in March 2016.”

“First held in 1997, the Wellcome Image Awards are organised each year to celebrate the best science-imaging talent and techniques. The winning images will be exhibited in galleries and science centres throughout the UK and around the world.”

“Wellcome Images is always on the lookout for high-quality imagery that relates to biomedical science and contemporary healthcare. Its collections cover all artistic media and imaging techniques, from hand-drawn illustrations to super-resolution microscopy and functional MRI scans. Placing images in a picture library such as Wellcome Images is an excellent way for researchers and scientists to engage with the public and to increase understanding of their work. The Wellcome Image Awards are an opportunity to celebrate both the aesthetic beauty of scientific images, and the range of incredible techniques used to create them.”

The deadline for submissions to the 2016 Wellcome Image Awards is 09 September 2015.

[Source Wellcome Trust news: ]

Image of the Week: Smartphone Microscope

Thursday, April 9th, 2015

“2015 is the UN’s International Year of Light, and to celebrate, the Institute of Biological Chemistry, Biophysics and Bioengineering at Heriot-Watt University is launching a smartphone microscope competition for students.”

“‘Enlightenment: Build it, See it, Show it’ aims to get schoolchildren across Scotland building their own microscopes from kits, and using them to take amazing close-up images to reveal the hidden details of the world around them.”

“The Enlightenment team recently demonstrated the smartphone microscopes at the Scottish launch of the International Year of Light, which took place at the Royal Society of Edinburgh. The image above shows a smartphone that has been transformed into a microscope being used to examine a leaf.”

“School pupils and adults alike were amazed by what they could see using their own phones and a simple piece of kit. We took visitors on a hands-on journey of fluorescent microscopy, demonstrating how animals such as corals, fluoresce under certain light. The light emitting molecules from coral and jellyfish (e.g. green fluorescent protein) have had a huge impact on biological sciences, allowing us to visualise complex microscopic systems.”

“The Enlightenment project will also showcase the importance of interdisciplinary science, using the beauty of biological images with the combination of cell biology and optical physics. The project is supported by the Wellcome Trust, the EPSRC Impact Acceleration Account, and Heriot-Watt University.”

[Source Wellcome Trust blog: ]

2015 Applications now open for the L’Oréal UK & Ireland Fellowships For Women in Science.

Monday, March 2nd, 2015

“The L’Oréal UK & Ireland Fellowships For Women in Science were launched in January 2007. The Fellowships are awards offered by a partnership between L’Oréal UK & Ireland, the UK National Commission for UNESCO and the Irish National Commission for UNESCO, with the support of the Royal Society. From 2015, Five Fellowships are awarded annually to outstanding female postdoctoral researchers. Each worth £15,000 (equivalent € for candidates in Ireland), the Fellowships are tenable at any UK or Irish university / research institute to support a 12-month period of postdoctoral research in any area of the life, physical sciences, mathematics and engineering.”

“The Fellowships have been designed to provide practical help for the winners to undertake research in their chosen fields. For example, winners may choose to spend their fellowship on buying scientific equipment, paying for child care costs, travel costs or indeed whatever they may need to continue their research.”

“Another important part of the Fellowship programme is the support, training and networking opportunities that it provides. Fellows make valuable friendships and connections that can lead to interesting collaborations, publications and wider appreciation of their work.”

Applications close on Friday the 13th March 2015.

[Source Science and Technologies Facilities Council: ]

RCUK and PraxisUnico Impact Awards for KEC Professionals Opens for Entries

Monday, February 23rd, 2015

“RCUK and PraxisUnico are delighted to announce their collaboration on the Impact Awards 2015, celebrating the outstanding work of Knowledge Exchange, Technology Transfer and Commercialisation Teams (KEC) across the UK, which opens for entries today.”

“The Impact Awards highlight best practice and innovative approaches to KEC in UK research organisations and beyond, showcasing the vital contribution made by KEC professionals in developing excellent research into tangible, real-life benefits to society and business. RCUK and PraxisUnico are working together to highlight how the excellent work being done in this field contributes significantly to the UK’s position as a world-leading destination to research, innovate and grow business.”

“The competition, which is open for entries from Monday, February 16, 2015, will recognise four different categories:

  • Contribution to Business: recognising the outstanding contribution that knowledge exchange, knowledge transfer and/or commercialisation activities have had in benefitting (or have the potential to benefit) a company and/or the economy
  • Contribution to Society:  recognising the outstanding contribution that knowledge exchange, knowledge transfer or commercialisation activities have had in benefitting (or have the potential to benefit) society
  • Outstanding KEC initiative: recognising how  an innovative approach to knowledge exchange and commercialisation  has the potential to be transformative for the community of KEC professionals
  • International Award: recognising outstanding KEC practices, or contribution to business or society by institutions outside of the UK”

“The overall competition winner will be drawn from the first three categories. The competition winner will be awarded ‘KEC team of the year’ and will receive £50,000 award money. Only those institutions eligible to receive RCUK funding are eligible to receive the monetary award.”

The competition closes at midnight on Thursday, April 16, 2015.

[Source AHRC news: ]

Is it time for you to join the Wellcome Trust Engagement Fellowship?

Monday, February 2nd, 2015

“Interested in becoming a Wellcome Trust Engagement Fellow? Find out what we’re looking for, and what makes this scheme different from the average academic fellowship. With the deadline for applications for the 2015 Engagement Fellowships coming up, Tom Ziessen from our Engaging Science team explains the scheme and answers some frequently asked questions…”

“At the Wellcome Trust, we’re not only interested in funding scientists and researchers to do science, we also want to encourage the public to explore health and wellbeing through the lens of scientific, historical and social research. We do this by funding public engagement projects (both directly and indirectly connected to research we fund), supporting the development of communities of artists, science communicators, researchers and others who deliver such projects and by directly delivering public engagement activity such as our exhibitions and events at the Wellcome Collection or our major education initiatives such as In The Zone.”

“We consider it important to connect and engage the public with the conversations around science and health. The Public Engagement Fellowship aims to support and develop upcoming stars in public engagement with science. We want to support future leaders to make a step change in their careers – helping them bridge the gap to something new.”

To find out more go to:

[Source Wellcome Trust blog as above]

First phase of RDS complete – now it’s time to cast your votes!

Monday, January 26th, 2015

“The first phase of Research Data Spring concluded on January 12th with 70 ideas posted, 159 comments, 1005 votes and 603 users! But the process isn’t over yet. Now Jisc needs your input to help identify which ideas should be taken forward to the next stage of the process.”

“The votes and comments space is still open, so please continue the conversation. Jisc encourages all stakeholders, including researchers, developers, librarians, IT staff, research managers, publishers whether in UK universities or potential collaborators or interested parties to use the comment space to offer their skills and expertise to the idea owners, thus joining forces and collaborating on the solutions they are proposing.”

[Source Digital Curation Centre: ]