Presentation on theme: "Research Grants & Contracts Office"— Presentation transcript:
1 Research Grants & Contracts Office Applying for research fundingLiz FrancisHead of Research Grants & ContractsFinance DepartmentFirst Floor, Egmont House
2 Research Grants and Contracts Office (RGCO), Finance Department The Research Grants and Contracts Office provides administrative, financial and support services related to externally funded research projects for academic and research staff.The main roles of the office are to:provide funding informationassist in the preparation of applications, esp. financial details - salaries, overheadsadvise on contracts and terms and conditions of awardsundertake project accounting and financial reportingprovide management information for research
3 Summary University research funding Major research funders and their schemesA successful application?Sources of information
4 Who funds university research? UK Government through HEFCE: quality-related (QR) funding through the ‘block grant’BIS Research CouncilsCharities – UK and overseasUK Government departments, eg. DoH, DfECommercial sponsorsEuropean and others
6 Types of funding Fellowships Project / programme grants Small grants Travel & Subsistence / conferenceOther, e.g. large scale equipment grants
7 Social Sciences Economic and Social Research Council British Academy Leverhulme TrustWellcome Trust – Biomedical EthicsOthers…
8 Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) 2009/10 Research budget: £211mThematic Priorities :Economic Performance & Sustainable Growth – enable the development of robust government and private sector strategies to ensure the sustainable growth of the UK economyInfluencing Behaviour and Informing Interventions - Create a better understanding of how and why people and organisations make decisions, and how these can be managed or influencesA Vibrant and Fair Society – Develop ways to enhance the role and contributions of citizens, voluntary sector organisations and social enterprises to create a vibrant national and global society.
9 Future Research Leaders scheme (Early career researchers) This scheme replaces the Postdoctoral Fellowship and First Grants schemes. Awards are for a maximum of 3 years with an overall limit of £215,000 (at 100 per cent full Economic Cost).The scheme aims to: enable outstanding early career social scientists – in partnership with their host institution – to develop the skills to become future world leaders in their fieldThe first year of the scheme, 2011, had an open call with proposals involving secondary data analysis and the application of innovative research methodology are particularly encouraged. The ESRC fund a maximum of 60 per cent of the applicant’s time and the institution must support the remainder of the applicant’s normal salary. Early career researchers with less than four years postdoctoral experience are eligible.A minimum of 70 awards funded
10 British AcademyThe British Academy is the UK’s national academy for the humanities and social sciences (inc. psychology).2011/12 programmes budget: £25mStrategic prioritiesIdeas, individuals and intellectual resourcesInternational engagementCommunication and advocacyFellowshipIdeas, Individuals and Intellectual Resources: Advance the humanities and social sciences by providing distinct career and research opportunities for outstanding scholars at all levels – including those at an early career stage. Support long-term scholarly infrastructural projects, which create the resources on which future research can be built.International Engagement: Promote UK humanities and social sciences internationally and build international collaboration; create opportunities for UK researchers overseas, and help attract outstanding international talent to the UK; support a British research presence overseas and facilitate dialogue and understanding across cultural and national boundaries.Communications and Advocacy: Increase the scope and impact of communications and policy work; create and support events and publications that communicate new research and perspectives; encourage public debate and demonstrate the value of humanities and social science scholarship to a wide range of audiences.Fellowship: Strengthen opportunities and structures by which Fellows can contribute their expertise to the intellectual life of the Academy and the country.
11 British Academy Postdoctoral fellowships 3 years salary support for outstanding recent (within 3 years ofaward of doctorate) postdoctoral scholarsAims:experience of independent researchintroduction to teachingcareer developmentoutput and disseminationIntended to improve prospects of permanent posts at the end of the fellowshipTwo stage application process:Outline application October, notification JanuarySecond stage closing date Feb, notification May45 awards annually, usually 5% success rate11/12 budget is £10m for this scheme.Applicants must be a UK or EEA national, or have completed a doctorate at a UK university. Any applicant who does not fall into one of these categories must demonstrate a strong prior association with the UK academic community, for example through already having been employed in a temporary capacity (longer than six months) at a UK universitySmall Grants – closed then opened for Nov 11, another round expected in Can apply as an individual or through a HEI
12 Leverhulme TrustScholarship for the purposes of research and educationAnnual budget £60mSuitability of research applications to Leverhulme:the originality of the proposed workcourageous research (avoidance of the incremental; and the applicant’s ability to take informed risk/blue skies research)a mixture of disciplines (blurring boundaries/lateral impact)individual exploration (hesitation with data banks/cataloguing)the impact of the research outcome on other fields of study and within the immediate field of researchresearch design transcends traditional boundariesa departure from the established working patterns either of the individual or of the disciplineThe Trust tends to avoid funding bids in those disciplines which other Trusts or agencies (such as Wellcome, the MRC, Department for Education and Skills, ESRC etc. are disposed to support). In particular:Medicine and general school education….but might consider bids such as those which concentrate on the sociological, philosophical, economic, legal or psychological aspects of medicine or education…
13 Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellowship researchers at a relatively early stage of their academic careers but with a proven record of research3 year award – all fields are eligible80 Fellowships available in 2012Trust pays up to 50% of the employment cost plus research expenses up to £6,000 paClosing date – online submission 8th March 2012Project grants, programme grants, etc. – Post doc Research Assistant
14 Wellcome TrustIndependent charity funding research in biomedical science, medical history and humanities, ethics and society.Spend £600m p.a. on activities.Research FellowshipsPost doctoral, not in established academic postSalary and research expenses2 stage processPrelim applications June or DecemberFull applications August or FebruaryUniversity Awardsattract important research staff to academic positionsGradual change from fellow to permanent staff member, must be agreed by host institution at time of application5 year award (3 years full, 50% in 4th yr, 25% in 5th Year)Two stage application process as aboveWe are a global charitable foundation dedicated to achieving extraordinary improvements in health by supporting the brightest minds.Also Small Grants scheme
15 Other current social science funders at Birkbeck Arts and Humanities Research Council (check subject eligibility with funder before applying)Nuffield FoundationEuropean UnionHarry Frank Guggenheim FoundationBridging TrustSocio-legal Studies AssociationEsmee Fairbairn FoundationSince both the AHRC and the ESRC will fund research projects in areas of overlap between the arts and humanities and the social sciences, applicants should not artificially seek to focus their proposals in one area or the other.
16 A successful application: What the funder looks for High-quality research: an original contribution to knowledge in the fieldOutputs: what will be the impact of the research?Academic record: evidence of research potentialMuch of this is applicable to research grant applications in general – so also relevant to when you have your first academic job.Not all funders are the same. General principles - but always be aware of the differences.For PDs potential to go on to a successful academic careerEvidence: degree results, any publications, references,Original contribution – ‘High quality’Awareness of other relevant research in your fieldContextualising your workWho is going to use your knowledge?
17 A strong proposal (1)Addresses the funder’s research priorities and the aims of the schemeClear language without jargonEstablishes the context for the researchWell-defined aims and objectivesDetailed methodology – why these methods?Has the right people on board, i.e. mentor / co-applicant(s), host institutionDefine your research question and why is it important?How does it relate to research you’ve already done?How does it advance knowledge? What further research might it lead to?Is the researcher supported by appropriate experts in the field? Research EnvironmentSome funders will want to see how you will develop this research in future
18 A strong proposal (2)Anticipates potential problems – how will you deal with them?Has realistic ambitionsIdentifies and addresses training needsSpecified outputs and dissemination plansTraining plans for career development fellowshipsDissemination plans – show the impact of the research.
19 Practical points (1) Allow plenty of time, months not weeks! Read all guidelines, terms and conditionsCheck your eligibilityConsider ethical aspects / approvalCheck application form requirements, e.g. referee reports, signatures, length of proposalElectronic submission – may need to set up an account prior to deadlineEligibility of individual and of subjectUniv. will need to commit resources – space, sometimes salary, continuation of contract – make early contact with the institution.Follow all requirements as stated – provide all information requested, font size, don’t send extra material, keep to page limits.
20 Practical points (2)Research previously funded applications to same funder / schemeChoose referees carefully – check they have time.Get the finances right – check with Research Grants Office and justify costs requestedGet as much feedback on your draft proposal as possible – INTERNAL PEER REVIEWConsult with the funder if you have any questionsReferees – make sure they’re available, know what’s required. Remind them to do it. Consider changing referees – don’t necessarily use the same ones.Ask your referees to comment on a draftInvolve research grants as soon as possible – especially with full economic costing.Contact the funder if you have any questions, esp. on eligibility.
21 Proposal writing guides ESRC – Advice on writing proposals.EPSRC: ‘How to Apply’
22 Funding Information Funders’ websites Supervisor Research grants website for funding information and list of forthcoming deadlines for major fundersFunders’ websites on later slides.Always go to funders websites as well to check most up to date information, not just on deadlines but also changes in policy, new schemes, information events.Sign up to newsletters.ResearchProfessional – University subscribes – only accessible from campus with your ID and password.Search by discipline, type of scheme, type of funderTravel grants, publication grants, grants for postdocs is a categoryAlso guides to grant writing; funding and policy news.
23 Links to you directly to the scheme information – no need to search through funders’ websites trying to find details of the particular scheme