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ESRC meets PhD students Professor Chris Phillipson ESRC Training and Development Board.

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Presentation on theme: "ESRC meets PhD students Professor Chris Phillipson ESRC Training and Development Board."— Presentation transcript:

1 ESRC meets PhD students Professor Chris Phillipson ESRC Training and Development Board

2 Role of the Training and Development Board The role of the Board is: to support the growth and development of a high quality UK social science research base wherever it exists The Board currently supports: over 2, and +3 studentships over 100 postdoctoral fellowships advanced training provision, through specialist activities such as the accreditation of research training and the Researcher Development Initiative New First Grants Scheme

3 Research Careers for a New Strategy Centres Research Masters +3 Studentship Postdoctoral Fellowship Small Grant Large Grant Mid-career Fellowship First Grant Scheme Professorial Fellowship Priority Networks/ Groups Research Opportunities On-going Training and Development

4 ESRC Studentship Support Current stock of 2275 research studentships with 700 new awards each year Not funding students to do a PhD Funding the training of new researchers

5 The value of 1+3 research training Equipping young researchers to undertake cutting edge research either within or outside academia Training in quantitative and qualitative methods and in transferable skills Demonstrate ability to apply rather than merely acquire skills Advanced training throughout doctoral period Training outcomes are what counts, not the PhD Development of highly skilled and professional researchers

6 What ESRC Studentships Offer Quality Training in Recognised places Fees payments Maintenance Grants Research Training Support Grants Overseas Fieldwork Expenses Language Training Other Additional Financial Support

7 Beyond the PhD Postdoctoral Fellowships one year of funding for new researchers immediately after the submission of their doctorate First Grants (up to £400k) to assist new researchers and academics at the start of their careers to gain experience of managing and leading research projects. Small Research Grants (up to £100k) for new researchers making their first application to the ESRC

8 Research Fellowships an opportunity for both senior and less experienced researchers to undertake a two to three year period of concentrated research activity. Other targeted initiatives Such as the interdisciplinary early career research fellowship scheme offered as a part of the following three cross-Council research programmes

9 The Researcher Development Initiative (RDI) New scheme introduced in 2005 The purpose of the RDI is to provide opportunities for deepening and refreshing the skills base development throughout the academic life-course How will it do this? a range of training and development activities link activities with other activities and resources funded by ESRC e.g National Centre for Research Methods (NCRM) development of a robust training infrastructure

10 Type of activities Three strands: 1. Activities specifically for research students 2. Activities for research students and/or researchers 3. Development of new tools and packages to stimulate the uptake and use of new and emerging methods 15 projects currently underway RDI website is and gives details of current projects funded and the activities taking place over the next few years

11 Future Developments More strategic capacity building activities through a process of targeted interventions More flexible in developing training provision to meet the different needs and challenges of specific disciplines Impact on quality of research base and career structure

12 Finished a PhD… Now what? Melanie Knetsch ESRC Research Training and Development

13 PhD funding (700 each year) Joint Research Council Studentships (MRC and NERC) Joint Collaborative Studentships (With Government) CASE studentships Quota Nominated Studentships Open Competition Studentships Grant Linked Centre Linked

14 Who is Eligible to Apply for a Studentship? Students in the first 2 years of their PhD are eligible EU Nationals and UK permanent residents are eligible Interested? Speak to your department

15 Finished my PhD What Options Are There? Centres Research Masters +3 Studentship Postdoctoral Fellowship Small Grant Large Grant Mid-career Fellowship First Grant Scheme Professorial Fellowship Priority Networks/ Groups Research Opportunities On-going Training and Development

16 What is a Postdoctoral Fellowship? You must start within 1 year of completing your doctorate (including Professional Doctorates) Applications are welcome from all disciplines /nationalities Designed to enable new researchers to: Produce publications Disseminate their research Improve research skills Carry out LIMITED research related to PhD work (CONSOLIDATION)

17 Postdoctoral Fellowships They are not designed for new research Applicants must be employed by institution (and eligible to work in the UK) Applicants required to have a mentor (submit a 1 page plan outlining their involvement and CV) Applicants required to nominate referee at institution where award is held (cannot be mentor)

18 Post Docs: Process of Applying Through responsive (open) mode Sent to external referees (nominated one?) for grading There will be three Panel meetings held throughout the year - end of March, July and November You must allow at LEAST 18 weeks before the panel meeting (refereeing process) Via on-line form – Joint Electronic Submissions https://je-s.rcuk.ac.uk

19 The First Grant Scheme - Eligibility For staff at HEIs and Independent Research Organisations Must not have been a PI or Co-I on a successful award Must be within 6 years of completing doctorate OR Within 4 years if academic appointment immediately followed Doctorate completing

20 First Grants – General Information Up to 3 years in length Up to £400,000 (100% FEC = £320,000 ESRC 80%) Note: Only able to request 40% of investigator time Call opens once a year (advertised in the fall)– the last call closed 11 Jan 2006 Refereed and considered at a Panel meeting Designed to allow new researchers to gain experience Apply Via J-eS

21 Small Grants Applications up to £99,999 Researchers attached to HEI can apply Assessed by a) ESRC staff (eligibility) b) A member of Research Grants Board c) A member of the Virtual College Process takes approx 14 weeks Apply via J-eS

22 ESRC Web site:

23 How to Apply for These Schemes Check the ESRC website Reading the Funding Guidelines Read the Guidance Notes for the Scheme Read the J-eS Guidance Notes for the scheme If you require assistance: 1) speak to someone in your department 2) Contact the person at the ESRC – name should be in Guidance Notes or on web page

24 Filling in the J-eS Form You must be a registered user in J-eS – your institution will approve you Complete all sections carefully: check word / character limits Read the Guidance Notes and Scheme Specific Help Text again! Give yourself time Give your department and J-eS approver time at the institution Remember, closing dates and times are strict – it will not be submitted immediately!

25 Writing a Case for Support – Some Tips Referees can only read what you put in your application Dont assume people will infer details / facts Sub-headings – they help organise Have you explained the How and Why? Has Dissemination been innovative? Have you re-read the scheme Guidance Notes and answered ALL aspects required

26 How to Improve Your Application Inform your nominated referee BEFORE submitting application (you cannot contact them after submission) State clearly WHAT you are planning Show a timeline Ensure you complete the form (case for support) – but ask for advice Check the costs: expected salary, equipment necessary?

27 Contacts at the ESRC Postgraduate Studentships: Postdoctoral Fellowships: Research Grants (including small grants):


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