Researchers’ Weekly Bulletin: the Blog

News for researchers at the Manchester Metropolitan University

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: ]

BBSRC and RSE renew commitment to Enterprise Fellowships

Monday, March 16th, 2015

“The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and the Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE) have renewed their commitment to entrepreneurship within life sciences by re-entering into an agreement to support Enterprise Fellowships for three years.”

“Funded by BBSRC and delivered by RSE, Enterprise Fellowships encourage the development of new businesses building on previously funded BBSRC research.”

“Fellows receive a year’s salary providing time to gain business skills and training to develop a full business plan, access to mentors, business experts and professional advisors in order to seek investment successfully.”

“The scheme has been renewed until 2018, with the option to extend it for a further two years.”

“The next deadline for Fellowship applications is 27 April 2015.”

[Source BBSRC news: ]

Wellcome Trust-MRC Newton Fund Collaboration

Monday, March 16th, 2015

“The Newton Fund is a new UK government initiative intended to strengthen research and innovation partnerships between the UK and emerging knowledge economies. In partnership with the Medical Research Council (MRC), the Wellcome Trust will deliver Newton Fund research activities within its funding remit in South-east Asia.”

“We welcome applications that fall within the remit of the Newton Fund for the following schemes:

  • Collaborative Awards in Science
  • Collaborative Awards in Medical Humanities
  • Collaborative Awards in Society and Ethics
  • Portfolio Awards”

“Applications under this initiative should address research priorities which will meet the health needs of vulnerable communities in Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam or Thailand. Applications must propose innovative world-class research programmes, and can include plans to strengthen research training and build career pathways for researchers in the region.”

[Source MRC news: ]

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: ]

Being Human festival returns for second year

Monday, February 23rd, 2015

Being Human, the UK’s only national festival of the humanities, is back for another year and is now inviting applications from across the country for public event funding. The festival will once again 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.”

“The festival, now in its second year, offers a vibrant mix of discussions, performances, talks and exhibits to uncover the breadth of research in the humanities. It will run from 12–22 November 2015 and is led by the School of Advanced Study (SAS), University of London in partnership with the Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and the British Academy (BA). In 2014, the festival involved over 50 universities and hosted more than 160 events across the country.”

“Academics stepped outside the classroom last year to share their work and engage with the public. From philosophers in pubs, historians in coffee houses, classicists on social media, linguists prowling town centres – Being Human demonstrated the wealth and variety of humanities research in some unusual locations. In 2015, the festival promises to take over even more venues across the UK.”

“Grants are now available to fund creative programming which engages the public with leading humanities research, including debates, performances, virtual activities and exhibitions. All UK universities and independent research organisations are invited to apply for these small grants to participate in the festival by holding their own public events and activities to showcase humanities research.”

[Source SAS news: ]

The EU is recruiting post-doc researchers

Wednesday, February 18th, 2015

“If you are a scientist interested in supporting EU policies with your research, this is your chance. The JRC has just launched a call to recruit on fixed-term contracts. As the Commission’s in-house science service, the Joint Research Centre provides the science for EU policy making, providing a unique opportunity to make your work count. Successful candidates will work in one of the JRC sites, located in Germany, Belgium, Italy, Spain and the Netherlands.”

“The selection is open to applicants from the EU Member States or from one of the countries associated with the Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme [] who have a University degree or a doctoral diploma in one of the scientific fields listed in the call.”

“The selection process includes practical tests on the basis of which the successful candidates will be placed on a reserve list and can be called for an interview according to the needs of the services. The call is open until further notification.”

For further information go to:

[Source Heritage Portal: ]