Researchers’ Weekly Bulletin: the Blog

News for researchers at the Manchester Metropolitan University

Evidence Centre for Housing

Tuesday, May 24th, 2016

“The AHRC [Arts and Humanities Research Council] is collaborating with the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) to commission an independent, multidisciplinary evidence centre for UK housing.”

“The AHRC is looking to encourage Art and Humanities researchers to consider involvement in bids for the call for collaborative applications and where interested to sign up for the associated Consortium Building Event on 2 June 2016.”

“The funders are looking for the Centre to focus on connectivity, accessibility and integration of evidence, and joining up different stakeholders and sectors to provide recommendations for housing policy and practice. It will be tasked with synthesising existing research, bringing together survey data, and developing a pipeline of evidence on housing, conducting and facilitating new research in areas where knowledge gaps are identified. Further details of the call are available on the ESRC Website:

[Source AHRC website: ]

Crowdfunding Good Causes

Monday, May 16th, 2016

“Join us for the launch of our new report exploring how charities, social enterprises and community groups can make the most of crowdfunding.”

“This event will bring together charities, social enterprises, community groups, crowdfunding platforms, funders and policy makers to debate the most important insights from this new study and share their own experiences.”

“Over recent years there has been a rapid growth in crowdfunding. In 2015 alone, more than 1 million people took part in crowdfunding £3.2 billion worth of loans, investments and donations in the UK. Previous studies have shown how crowdfunding could help charities, social enterprises and community groups boost volunteering, increase giving and improve their marketing and awareness raising. Yet many of these organisations are still not using crowdfunding, with crowdfunding for good causes making up less than 1% of all giving in the UK.”

Event venue: Nesta 1 Plough Place London EC4A 1DE

Event date: 6 June 2016 – 9:00am — 1:00pm

For more details about the event go to:

[Source Nesta website]

Being Human festival call for participation

Wednesday, April 27th, 2016

Being Human, the UK’s national festival of the humanities, led by the School of Advanced Study, University of London, in partnership with the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the British Academy, is inviting applications for public event funding.”

“Now in its third year, the festival will bring together leading academics, artists, writers, filmmakers and others for eleven days of events in November to celebrate the richness and diversity of the humanities and their place in the national culture of the UK. This year’s theme is ‘Hope & Fear’.”

“Funding is available to support activities during the Festival. Although it is anticipated that the majority of awards available will be for under £2,000, applications for funding of up to £5,000 may also be considered if of exceptional quality or if institutions are willing to coordinate between 5-10 events as Being Human ‘Festival Hubs’.”

Being Human will run between 17-25 November. Further information is available on the Being Human website:

[Source British Academy news: ]

Supporting new researchers towards independence

Monday, February 29th, 2016

“To support early career researchers with what can be a challenging step to independence, the Medical Research Council [MRC] has increased the flexibility of its funding schemes available to post-doc researchers and provided clearer guidance.”

“Recognising that speed of progression can be affected by factors unrelated to an individual’s scientific potential we have removed time bound eligibility criteria from MRC New Investigator Research Grants.”

“New, simplified guidance is now available for MRC Clinician Scientist Fellowships, Career Development Awards and New Investigator Research Grants, explaining the difference between the funding schemes. We have clarified which form of support may be most appropriate in terms of an individual’s long term career goals and chosen career route.”

“The guidance also makes clear the type of skills and experience applicants should be able to demonstrate in order to be competitive when applying for an MRC fellowship or research grant.”

“We have made these changes in response to a review we conducted in 2014 which followed up people in the first ten to twenty years after their MRC award. The most frequently cited transition points at which respondents felt they could have benefitted from further advice included that from PhD to post-doc, and from post-doc to research independence or Principal Investigator.”

[Source MRC news: ]

Call for grants for young researchers involved in graphene-related research activities to attend ESOF2016 now open

Monday, February 29th, 2016

[The] “European Science Foundation (ESF) and Graphene Flagship in collaboration with EuroScience have opened a call for young researchers who are involved in graphene and related materials research activities to help cover the costs of registration, travel and accommodation to attend ESOF2016.”

“The ESOF2016 event to be held in Manchester, 23-27 July 2016 will bring 4,500 leading thinkers, innovators, policy makers, journalists and educators from more than 90 countries, to discuss current and future breakthroughs in contemporary science. ESOF is one of the best opportunities for everyone from leading scientists, early careers researchers, business people, policy makers, science and technology communicators to the general public to come together to find out more about how science is helping us advance today.”

The deadline for applications is March 31st 2016, 12:00 pm CET.

The full call information and online submission platform is available here:

[Source ESF news: ]

First STARS awards target vulnerable skills in the life sciences

Monday, February 1st, 2016

“BBSRC [Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council] has funded five universities across the UK to provide training programmes in strategically important and vulnerable skills for bioscientists in the first round of its Strategic Training Awards for Research Skills (STARS) scheme.”

“In total BBSRC will fund around £150,000 over three years to provide the postgraduate-level training, in areas of significant need for clearly defined academic and industrial sectors.”

“These will include bioinformatics and computational biology skills, entomology and plant pathology training and mathematical biology training for around 400 scientists.”

“These are the first set of awards made by the programme, which was set up following a BBSRC community consultation on vulnerable skills and capabilities in the biosciences.”

The next funding call for STARS closes on 3 February 2016. For more information, visit:

The successfully funded institutions are the universities of Bath, Bristol, Edinburgh, Newcastle, and Warwick.

[Source BBSRC news: ]

Visiting Research Fellowships – Henry Moore Institute, Leeds, UK

Tuesday, January 26th, 2016

“The Henry Moore Institute is a world-recognised centre for the study of sculpture. We host a year-round programme of exhibitions, conferences and lectures, as well as developing research and publications, to expand the understanding and scholarship of historical and contemporary sculpture. Each year, we offer a number of Fellowships to enable researchers of different backgrounds and disciplines to develop their work. Research Fellowships are intended for artists, scholars and curators working on historic and contemporary sculpture who can make particular use of the Institute’s resources: our Research Library, Archive of sculptors’ papers, and the Leeds sculpture collections.”

“Up to four Research Fellows will be given the opportunity to spend a month in Leeds. In addition we will support up to two six-week Senior Fellowships, which are intended to give established scholars time and space to develop a research project free from usual work commitments.”

For more information and how to apply (by Tuesday, March 1, 2016), go to:

[Source Heritage Portal 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: ]

RCUK / Innovate UK Urban Living Partnership – Call for pilot phase

Monday, October 19th, 2015

“The Urban Living Partnership brings together all seven research councils and Innovate UK to promote integrated research and innovation to address the challenges faced by urban areas in the UK and to help them realise their visions for future urban living.”

“Through working together the partners aim to combine strengths across the UK’s research and innovation ecosystem to understand key interconnected urban challenges, to co-produce practical responses and exploit emerging market opportunities and capacity for social innovation. Taking a ‘whole city’ approach, the partnership brings together the capabilities needed to address a wide range of challenges from infrastructure and environment to crime and social inclusion, from health and wellbeing to heritage and culture, from economy and employment to smart cities and big urban data, to give just a few examples.”

“In this first pilot phase, the partnership is seeking applications from consortia which bring together leading cross-disciplinary research expertise, city leaders, businesses, civic organisations and community groups, public, third sector and other urban innovators. Each of the consortia will be expected to conduct an initial pilot diagnostic phase focused on building integrated understanding of the challenges, opportunities and future visions of a specific UK city or urban area and developing agendas for future research and innovation.”

“The deadline for research organisations to submit full applications via Je-S on behalf of consortia is 16:00 on 21 January 2016, with a deadline for submitting initial expressions of interest on 26 November 2015.”

[Source Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) website: ]

Next Generation Science Communicators

Monday, May 18th, 2015

“Experience in presenting research findings and participating in the scientific dialogue are important aspects to the professional development of researchers early in their careers. Advancing scientific discovery relies on scientists at all career levels to clearly communicate their results, their rationale for working on a project and more.”

“To recognize their efforts and support their growth as science communicators, PLOS is offering up to ten travel awards to early career researchers to communicate their work at an upcoming conference. To be eligible researchers must have published with PLOS, be presenting work at a scientific conference, and currently be part of a graduate program or have received a graduate degree within the last five years.”

“If you are an early career researcher, we invite you to share your thoughts on what is the biggest hindrance for communicating science and what you or your peers can do to address this issue. Apply for a chance to win $500 to offset travel expenses associated with presenting work at a scientific conference taking place between August – December 2015.”

The deadline for submission is June 30, 2015. Further details are available at:

[Source PLOS blog: ]