PhD Futures: Changing research landscape


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This presentation covers the research funding landscape. There is also information on funding sources for early career researchers.

© Copyright rests with authors. Please cite appropriately.

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  • Hello ladies and gentlemen Thank you for your interest in attending this session. My name is Vera Barron and I am the University’s Research Funding manager and European liaison officer, responsible for supporting academic colleagues in securing funding for research projects from competitive sources – these include the European Commission, the UK Govmt Departments, various UK and international charities and trusts, the Research Councils and industry, but the list of possible funders is vast.
  • Go through the proposed session and then ask them what they are intersted in
  • So, because we only have 1 hour, I propose that I will provide you with an overview of the support that is available to research colleagues here at salford and then we will look some examples of funding streams and I wil go through some hints and tips for good proposal writing. Hope that we can then have a discussion……
  • Research Councils – recognise Full Economic Costing and fund at a generous grant rate of 80%. However, highly competitive. A mix of open calls, specific schemes with set deadlines and, increasingly, strategic initiatives. EU -
  • 1. Research Funding for Beginners This session could provide a summary of funding schemes targeted at, or accessible to, early stage researchers (early career or post-doctoral researchers) such as the ESRC/EPSRC First Grant schemes, the new AHRC Fellowship scheme and other opportunities for small grant awards. The session would also cover what support is available at the University when making an application for funding, and touch on hints and tips for successfully designing a research project and then subsequently developing a good application. Finally we could provide a list web resources and search engines for suitable funding sources. 2. Designing a research project and succesful project application This session would cover tips on defining writing a successful project application for external funding sources and would outline the key issues in effective bid writing and offer tips for good practice. It would also touch upon relevant sources of information and on the University submission processes and support that is available. Finally it would also include tips for reading Calls correctly and identifying the correct sources of funding relevant for their activities. 3. Introduction to project costing and budget development This session will cover the issues such as costing projects and then developing budgets for applications. It will explain the Full economic costing methodology, which has been adopted across all UK HEs and will clarify different types of costs such as directly allocated and directly incurred costs and the varying eligible costs of the funding streams the students may wish to submit an application to. This session will also look at completing the Full Economic Costing spreadsheet.
  • PhD Futures: Changing research landscape

    1. 1. Changing research landscape: where are the opportunities? Vera Barron Research Funding Manager © Copyright rests with the authors. Please cite appropriately.
    2. 2. Purpose of presentation <ul><li>Look at the latest developments in the research funding landscape </li></ul><ul><li>Provide you with an overview of research funding opportunities after the completion of your period of study </li></ul><ul><li>Overview of the grant application process: relevant funds; costing and hints & tips for good proposal writing </li></ul><ul><li>Questions and discussion </li></ul>
    3. 3. Who are the Funding Team and what do we do? <ul><li>Promotion of opportunities and calls </li></ul><ul><li>Identification of appropriate funding programmes for your individual idea </li></ul><ul><li>Proposal preparation and development </li></ul><ul><li>Search for suitable project partners </li></ul><ul><li>Budget preparation </li></ul><ul><li>Liaising with project partners </li></ul><ul><li>Liaising with relevant funding bodies </li></ul><ul><li>Internal approval process </li></ul><ul><li>Proposal submission </li></ul><ul><li>Post award advice and guidance </li></ul>
    4. 4. Changing funding landscape <ul><li>Economic crisis and Government debt </li></ul><ul><li>Low interest rates </li></ul><ul><li>30% reduction in financial contributions to charities </li></ul><ul><li>Increase in applications to funding bodies </li></ul><ul><li>= competition tighter than ever </li></ul><ul><li>Originality and excellence </li></ul><ul><li>Understanding of funders’ objectives and priorities </li></ul><ul><li>Approaching funders in advance to ensure your project fit with the scheme </li></ul>
    5. 5. Funding for postgraduate studies <ul><li>The Commonwealth Scholarship Commission </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>The Overseas Research Students Award Scheme </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>UK-China Scholarship for Excellence </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>Graduate Prospects </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>International Office </li></ul>
    6. 6. External funding opportunities – types of funder <ul><li>Research Councils (RCs) </li></ul><ul><li>AHRC, ESRC, EPSRC, NECR, BBSRC, MRC and STFC </li></ul><ul><li>EU Commission </li></ul><ul><li>FP7 Programme (Cooperation, Ideas and People specific programmes, Lifelong Learning, TEMPUS) </li></ul><ul><li>Trusts and charities </li></ul><ul><li>The British Academy </li></ul><ul><li>Leverhulme Trust </li></ul><ul><li>Wellcome Trust </li></ul><ul><li>Royal Society </li></ul><ul><li>Medical Charities and Trusts </li></ul><ul><li>UK Government </li></ul><ul><li>KTP scheme – co-sponsored by both RCs, the Govt & industrial/public bodies </li></ul><ul><li>Knowledge Catalyst – AHRC </li></ul><ul><li>National Institute for Health Research </li></ul><ul><li>Industry </li></ul>
    7. 7. Beginning of your research career… <ul><li>Early Career </li></ul><ul><li>First project as a P.I. and a time limit from 1 st appointment or award of PhD. Often contain additional support such as mentoring from a senior colleague and funds for career development activities such as training </li></ul><ul><li>ESRC/EPSRC - First Grant </li></ul><ul><li>AHRC – Early Career Researcher Grant (not intended to support individual scholarship i.e. should have an RA or Co-I, up to £200k, up to 5 years) </li></ul><ul><li>Nuffield Foundation – New Career Development Partnerships (role of senior colleague crucial – a “partnership”) </li></ul>
    8. 8. Beginning of your research career… <ul><li>Small Grants & pilot studies </li></ul><ul><li>Several schemes fund smaller scale research projects (perhaps travel costs only) and can usually be used for preliminary/feasibility work too. </li></ul><ul><li>British Academy - Small Research Grants (up to £7500) </li></ul><ul><li>Nuffield Foundation – Social Science Small Grants Scheme (up to £7500) </li></ul><ul><li>ESRC/EPSRC – Small Grant (£15k - £100k) </li></ul>
    9. 9. Beginning of your research career… <ul><li>Standard Research Grants </li></ul><ul><li>These are open to any idea within the funders subject remit and are often intended for a collaborative approach e.g. Principal investigator + Co-investigator (internal or external) or P.I. + RA. </li></ul><ul><li>Research Councils - Standard Grants (responsive mode and also specific Calls for Proposals </li></ul><ul><li>British Academy – BARDA (£15-£150k, 3 years, FEC) </li></ul><ul><li>Leverhulme Trust – Research Grant (up to £250k, 2-3 years, research staff plus investigator replacement costs, not FEC) </li></ul>
    10. 10. EU funded research <ul><li>International research funds </li></ul><ul><li>Framework 7 – Social Science & Humanities theme </li></ul><ul><li>(Annual Work Programme, will move to large projects, min. of 3 EU partners – in practice many more) </li></ul><ul><li>HERA – Humanities European Research Area </li></ul><ul><li>(brings together national research funding agencies (AHRC) to coordinate European research partnerships) </li></ul><ul><li>UK funds with an international element – for example ESRC, British Academy have bi-lateral agreements with overseas funders and some allow overseas co-investigators </li></ul><ul><li>COST programme – networking of researchers </li></ul>
    11. 11. Developing a good application <ul><li>The schemes offer both opportunities and restrictions which will help you shape your bid – make sure your application fits the aims of the call </li></ul><ul><li>Think about the following when drafting: </li></ul><ul><li>WHAT? The research aim, questions & objectives </li></ul><ul><li>WHY? The context, the “gap” & the business case </li></ul><ul><li>HOW? Research methodology, work-plan, roles </li></ul><ul><li>WHO? Who will be interested? Target audience/s </li></ul><ul><li>RESULT? Outputs and deliverables </li></ul><ul><li>Key point : COHERENCE : a ‘golden thread’ that links the above </li></ul>
    12. 12. Developing a good application <ul><li>Within the above, ensure the following are evidenced as these are the assessment criteria common to all funders: </li></ul><ul><li>Promise of excellent research/work you wish to do </li></ul><ul><li>Value to potential users </li></ul><ul><li>Convincing ability to deliver the work </li></ul><ul><li>A well managed project </li></ul><ul><li>Value for money </li></ul><ul><li>Key point: BALANCE: all of these should be demonstrated. An idea might be excellent but the bid must also show how it will be delivered etc… </li></ul>
    13. 13. Future training sessions <ul><li>1. Research Funding for Beginners - October 2010 </li></ul><ul><li>2. Designing a research project and successful project application – October/November 2010 </li></ul><ul><li>3. Introduction to project costing and budget development – November 2010 </li></ul><ul><li>© Copyright rests with the authors. Please cite appropriately. </li></ul>
    14. 14. Hints and tips for success <ul><li>Do your research! </li></ul><ul><li>Approach your research proposal from the funder’s point of view? (why should they want to fund it?) </li></ul><ul><li>Consider what is unique/innovative about your proposal? </li></ul><ul><li>Discuss it with your tutor / parents / friends / colleagues if possible – they may offer very useful suggestions for improvements </li></ul><ul><li>Persevere! </li></ul>