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Updated daily at www.ResearchProfessional.

Founded by William Cullerne Bown
25 November 2015

Universities UK calls for
restrictions on FOI requests – p5
Gearing up Director shares his plans
for the Alan Turing Institute – p6
Metrics Time to sink or swim – p22

Councils’ independence
still under threat
Nurse review fails to win over critics concerned about merger

Royal Society president Paul Nurse’s recommendation
to merge the research councils in all but name has
been met with varying degrees of caution by experts.
Ensuring a Successful UK Research Endeavour, published on 19 November, went further than many had
expected by recommending the creation of a new nondepartmental public body to be called Research UK.
Although Nurse argues that the seven research
councils should remain, they look set to lose their nondepartmental public body statuses. He does not spell
this out, but recommends that the councils’ chief executives no longer be required to report to government.
This statutory role, officially called an accounting officer, will transfer to the chief executive of Research UK.
Research Fortnight has been told that several chief
executives fought to retain this status. But they
eventually agreed that there needed to be just one
accounting officer if there was to be an effective core
of administrative functions.
The move from seven bodies to one would suit business secretary Sajid Javid’s agenda of cutting the
Department for Business, Innovation and Skills’ quangos. “BIS will be able to claim that it is taking a few
scalps,” says Pam Tatlow, chief executive of the Million+
group of post-1992 universities. However, she says this
could be the start of something “more radical”, such as
reducing the number of research councils to reflect the
four Research Excellence Framework panels.
Nurse has likened the relationship between the
councils and Research UK to a “university with seven
faculties”, but it is not yet clear how this would work
on a day-to-day basis. “There is still a lot to be worked
out in how the councils would operate and what level
of independence they would retain,” says Michael
Jubb, director of the research company Research
Information Network. “I’m not totally convinced by
Nurse’s university analogy.”
One member of the committee that advised Nurse
says that the details have been left deliberately vague
due to requests from officials within BIS. “The BIS people advised Paul on the degree to which we should try
to be specific, and on the degree to which we should

by Cristina Gallardo

leave the details to be worked out subsequently.”
It is also unclear how the executive committee of
Research UK will work with the ministerial committee that Nurse recommends creating to oversee UK
research. The ministerial committee, he says, should
be chaired by a senior minister and be a place to discuss broader UK research policy. It would also offer
research a stronger presence within government and
could be used as a platform to make the case against
cuts to departmental R&D, he suggested. Its members
would include the minister for universities and science, senior civil servants and officials such as the
government chief scientific adviser Mark Walport.
The prospect of Walport being more closely involved
in discussions on research funding and allocations is
a concern for Jack Stilgoe, lecturer in social studies
of science at University College London (UCL). “The
blurring of the roles of the government chief scientific adviser and of the director-general responsible for
the research councils could be problematic,” he says.
“Having a government chief scientific adviser who is
also a cheerleader for investment in science could be
seen as compromising his independence.”
Nurse suggests this committee could either replace
the prime minister’s Council for Science and Technology
or be advised by a revamped version of the council. “A
number of people who participated in our meetings,
including Paul, have been long-time members of the
council and felt that it is just a talking-shop, without any
influence,” the source in the advisory committee says.
Meanwhile, Graeme Reid, chair of science and
research policy at UCL, says the
councils must take the opporEvery new opportunity
tunities offered by the review’s
for research funding
recommendations. “Successful
from every sponsor in
delivery now depends on Research
the UK, EU, US & beyond
UK gaining independence, attracting top quality leadership and
Every discipline
securing a ring-fenced budget of
Every fortnight
sufficient size to do its job,” he says.
Issue No. 468

2  editorial

Research Fortnight, 25 November 2015
Edited by Ehsan Masood
Tel: 020 7216 6500
Fax: 020 7216 6501
Unit 111, 134-146 Curtain Road, London EC2A 3AR

A Pyrrhic victory
Paul Nurse stumbles in his high-wire act
In his much-anticipated review of the UK’s research councils Royal
Society president Paul Nurse has tried to balance sometimes opposing
forces. When that happens the end result risks not satisfying anyone.
By far the largest force was the Department for Business, Innovation
and Skills and its quango-blasting secretary of state Sajid Javid who wants
to cut the number of BIS’s partner bodies in half. That helps explain why
the seven research councils are to live in a new non-departmental public
body to be called Research UK.
An opposing force is the collective weight of disciplinary communities.
Despite the many highs and lows that have characterised their relationships to the research councils, researchers are fiercely protective of what
they see as their councils.
Nurse tried to reflect these concerns by avoiding a formal merger and
saying to chief executives that they should immerse themselves in strategy and content. But it is clear that, in the long run, they are likely to
lose. The imperative to cut quangos means councils will need to lose their
non-departmental public body status, and the protection that it affords.
This could see the power of the heads worn away over time.
Nurse has also had to placate a formidable third force; Mark Walport,
the government chief scientific adviser, a title that belies his influence.
In a concession to Walport, Nurse has recommended the creation of a
second-world-war-style Whitehall committee to oversee the research
enterprise. This will give Walport a formal voice in policy for research,
something that has not happened for the best part of twenty-five years.
This parallel with history is not an accident. In a speech to the Royal
Society at the start of his tenure in 2013, Walport talked about reading up
on the history of his position. And it is clear from the Nurse review that he
sees himself apart from his immediate predecessors; the ecologists John
Beddington and Robert May, and the chemist David King.
Walport puts himself more in the mould of the biologist Solly Zuckerman
or the physicist Frederick Lindemann, who stalked the Whitehall corridors
during the second world war and who succeeded in getting things done
through the force of their high-level networks.
Although Nurse namechecks Haldane on page seven of his report, the
creation of the Whitehall committee, along with the proposed folding of
quality-related funds into Research UK, would take the government one
step closer to dismantling his principle. (Nurse describes it as a ‘truism’.)
Some commentators have remarked that this could be good for science,
as it will provide a voice at the top table in a government that has not yet
finished cutting the public sector. There is much truth in this. But there
are downsides. On the whole, researchers need to be trusted to get on
with things, and, as readers know all too well, closed policy-making by
small groups of unaccountable people often leads to bad decisions.
These were among the reasons why the UK research system evolved as
it did, with disciplinary autonomy coupled to transparency and accountability. It seems that in its zeal to reform how UK research is organised
and funded the government will lose the good along with the bad.

“There is a lot more than just money
at stake. Reputations and trust are on
the line.”
An investigation has shown that hackers
are hijacking journals’ web addresses to con
people into parting with fees or passwords.
Phil Davis, a former university librarian and
now a consultant in the scholarly publishing
industry, says publishers need to start taking
cybersecurity seriously. Science, 20/11/15.
“My PhD research asked the question: is
Robin Thicke the new swine flu? Looking
through the data, his Blurred Lines journey through the media had not one but
four epidemics, and so my conclusion was
no—he’s much worse.”
Online viral phenomena are as much a part
of modern life as biological epidemics, says
Marily Nika, data programme manager at
Google. Tech City News, Autumn 2015.
“For a government that has introduced so
many public service reforms, it is odd that
spending reviews have not changed more
On the inner workings of a spending review,
Nick Timothy, home secretary Theresa May’s
former chief of staff, asks whether it could be
done better. Conservative Home, 17/11/15.
“I never thought I’d write this, but I
believe that it is time for experts who
advise on biosafety and biosecurity to
learn from specialists in nuclear security.”
Tim Trevan, a biosafety consultant based in
Maryland, United States, says that biologists
might think the large-scale safety measures
employed by the nuclear industry won’t
transfer to hospitals and labs, but they
should heed nuclear’s ‘culture of safety’.
Nature Comment, 11/11/15.
“In an age of growing interdependency,
it is foolish to intentionally cut ourselves
out of the networks that the European
Union provides.”
Vice-chancellor of the University of Exeter
Steve Smith says that UK universities would
be disadvantaged if the country were to leave
the EU. The Guardian, 9/11/15.

“The university system is
changing but HEFCE does not
seem to have a strategy to
cope with this.”
Peter Saunders, honorary secretary
for the Campaign for Science and
Engineering, doesn’t rate the Higher
Education Funding Council for England’s
2006-11 strategic plan.
Research Fortnight, 23 November 2005

Research Fortnight, 25 November 2015

what’s going on  3

what’s going on
BIS to reinstate its ‘super civil servant’ for science
The role of director-general for knowledge and innovation at the Department for Business,
Innovation and Skills—currently held by Gareth Davies—is to be strengthened and renamed.
The position of director-general for business and science, for which an open competition will be
announced shortly, will be extended to cover: advanced manufacturing and services; energy,
materials and agri-tech; enterprise and small business policy; and the Office for Life Sciences.
McDonnell commits Labour to 3% research spending target
A Labour government would create an innovation policy and increase R&D investment to 3 per
cent of GDP, shadow chancellor John McDonnell has said. In a speech at Imperial College
London on 20 November, McDonnell said Labour would also ring-fence innovation support and
create a long-term investment plan for research.
Government publishes details of green bank privatisation
The UK government has announced its strategy for privatising the Green Investment Bank, with
plans to sell off a majority stake in 2016. A policy statement published on 18 November says
that businesses will be required to commit to the bank’s green objectives if they want to buy a
share, which should allay fears about companies choosing to invest in less-than-green energy
Royal Society tackles unconscious bias
The Royal Society has said it will brief the members of its selection panels about unconscious
bias and how they can prevent it. The briefing includes recommendations for selection panels to
slow down the speed of decision-making, reconsider the reasons for decisions, and be prepared
to identify unconscious bias in others.
Wilsdon review group reconvenes…
The metrics review group chaired by James Wilsdon is preparing its response to the questions
that the higher education green paper poses on the Research Excellence Framework and the
use of metrics in assessment. The group will reconvene on 27 November in light of the plans
set out in the green paper, which include abolishing the Higher Education Funding Council for
England, the body that administers the REF.
…while HEFCE seeks citation indicator datasets
A government invitation to tender for a contract to provide the Higher Education Funding
Council for England with a dataset of citation indicators closed on 10 November. The work,
valued at £16,667, was due to start on 20 November and finish on 4 December. The contract
summary said the data would be used to “inform internal policy discussions and development”.
A contract is thought to have gone to either Elsevier or Thomson Reuters, but neither publisher
confirmed this as Research Fortnight went to press.
Osborne plans to double cybersecurity spending
Chancellor George Osborne has said that the UK will increase its cybersecurity spending by
£1.9 billion by 2020, taking the total investment to £3.2bn in the next five years. In addition,
he announced the creation of a national cyber centre at GCHQ and £20 million for an Institute
for Coding that will train the next generation of coders.

4  news

Research Fortnight, 25 November 2015


Emergencies fund will need
speedy decision-making
The fund for emergency responses proposed by Royal
Society president Paul Nurse as part of his review of the
UK research councils will only be effective if it can act
quickly and in a coordinated way.
In his review, Nurse called for provisions for funding
in emergencies. He suggested that this be decided on an
as-and-when basis, funded from the research councils’
individual budgets, which would themselves be set every
three to five years. Nurse has proposed that the Research
UK umbrella body would lead on emergency responses.
This would put Research UK’s chief executive in the
position of leading negotiations between the councils
on what constitutes an emergency and how much funding would be made available.
At the launch of the review in London on 19 November,
Nurse said he had been “deliberately opaque” on the
fund’s size. It is also not clear whether each council
would be expected to ring-fence some of its budget for
crisis responses, or indeed whether each council would
be expected to contribute to emergency funds outside
their research fields.
Anne Harmer, programme manager at Enhancing
Learning and Research for Humanitarian Assistance,
who leads the Research for Health in Humanitarian
Crises programme—which ran its first rapid response call
during the Ebola pandemic last year with funding from
the Department for International Development and the
Wellcome Trust—says that flexibility can be helpful.
“We didn’t set a hard budgetary ceiling, our determin-

in brief

EPSRC to consult on forthcoming
delivery plan
The Engineering and Physical
Sciences Research Council will
open a consultation on its 2016-20 delivery plan in
December. The EPSRC is expected to publish its plan,
which will outline the council’s research strategies and
aspirations, in March 2016. The council said in June that
it would focus on people and careers, competition and
metrics, infrastructure and intellectual property.
University harassment taskforce starts work
The Harassment on Campus Taskforce—a group led by
the vice-chancellors’ group Universities UK and set up
to address violence, harassment and hate crime in its
institutions—has met for the first time. The taskforce,
which is due to publish a set of recommendations in
September 2016, says it will begin by assessing the scale
of the problems faced by universities.

by Rebecca Hill

ing factor was the quality and potential impact on the
immediate response,” Harmer says. “In the event, we
spent £2.2 million on nine proposals, but had there been
another half a dozen that were really strong, the funders
were open to us having more.”
It will be crucial that those decisions are taken
as quickly as possible, says Nancy Lee, senior policy
adviser at the Wellcome Trust, which last year launched
and awarded a call for Ebola vaccine research within a
month. “It’s definitely about speed and coordination,”
she says. “It also needed significant resources and lots
of discussion at senior levels to get things signed off.”
She adds that carrying out the calls through Research
UK would hopefully “give greater oversight and coordination of the elements that one might need in an
emergency situation”.
Nurse notes the importance of supporting interventions in emergencies in the review’s section on
engaging with government-funded R&D. But some of
these research needs could be met within government
or by researchers in public sector research establishments, he says, recommending opening out research
council funding to them. At the launch he acknowledged that this was an unpopular suggestion within
universities, but he said that “not to fund it out of principle to defend a certain sector of research is not the
way to think about it”.
Open research culture breeds excellence, says HEFCE
International experience, staff training and high levels
of autonomy for researchers are all qualities shared by
high-performing research institutions, a report looking at the traits of such institutions has said. The study,
published by the Higher Education Funding Council for
England, also identifies two pre-requisites for research
excellence: choosing the right people and cultivating
good culture, values and leadership.
Whitehall makes admin savings
The cost of Whitehall administration has fallen by
£18.6 billion since 2010, according to the Institute for
Government’s Whitehall Monitor 2015 report. It says
that nearly all departmental budgets have decreased,
with the exception of those protected by a ring-fence.
The admin savings occurred despite an overall increase
in government spending, from £688bn in 2009-10 to
£738bn in 2014-15.

news  5

Research Fortnight, 25 November 2015

Vice-chancellors call for freedom of
information restrictions
The Freedom of Information Act should be amended
to reduce the administrative and financial burdens on
institutions, the vice-chancellors’ group Universities UK
has said.
The calls were made in response to a consultation on
the Freedom of Information Act from the Information
Commissioner, which closed on 20 November. In its
response, sent to Research Fortnight, Universities UK
said that the burden imposed on universities under the
act is “increasingly disproportionate to the public interest in the public’s need to know”.
The average number of FOI requests received by UK
universities each month has increased by 19 per cent
since 2013, reaching an average 18.2 requests per month
per institution in 2014, Universities UK said. According
to the group’s estimates, it costs a university about £145
to deal with each FOI request.
To reduce that burden, Universities UK suggests
reforming Section 36—the effective conduct of public
affairs exemption—of the act, which covers information
that a public body needs to withhold but that doesn’t fit
with other exemptions in the act. In order to make use of
this exemption, the law states that a “qualified person”
must give a “reasonable opinion” on the matter. This is
the head of the institution for universities. Universities

by Cristina Gallardo

UK suggests that “the need to consider the public interest test is removed from the internal review process”.
Instead, the Information Commissioner should be able
to express a view on the use of the exemption, it says.
In addition, the group wants to see a reduction in the
so-called appropriate limit, which allows universities to
refuse to deal with a request on the grounds of its cost.
This is set at £450 for public institutions.
The government’s green paper on higher education,
published on 6 November, proposes exempting public
universities from FOI requests, so that they can compete with private institutions. Universities UK echoes
this idea, saying that “competition can only be fair and
effective if all institutions are operating on a level playing field, subject to the same requests”.
But Paul Gibbons, an FOI consultant and former
information compliance manager for SOAS, University
of London, disagrees. He says that universities can’t
divorce themselves from the wider public sector. “If
they want to create a level playing field, the government
should extend the FOI to the private universities because
increasingly all universities are getting students with
loans paid by the state,” he says.

Cuts at Defra have led to 7,000 lost jobs
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
and its associated agencies have lost nearly 7,000 fulltime members of staff since 2010, according to analysis
from the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB).
Although the data are not broken down by profession,
some of the largest reductions in staff have been at Defra
agencies that employ researchers. The Environment
Agency, the biggest employer, has lost one-fifth of its
13,181 staff, a total of 2,946 people.
The Animal and Plant Health Agency and Natural
England have also both lost around one-fifth of their
workforces (672 and 682 respectively) between 2010 and
2015. The Food and Environment Research Agency has
lost 303, representing a drop of 35 per cent to 566.
The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and the Centre for
Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science have suffered fewer losses at just 8 per cent and 6 per cent of their
staff respectively. In contrast, the Veterinary Medicines
Directorate has seen its staff numbers remain stable at 161.
Staff numbers at the Joint Nature Conservation Committee
increased from 118 in 2010 to 170 in 2015.
Defra and its agencies have had to shoulder a 34 per

by Lindsay McKenzie

cent cut in resource budgets since 2009-10, according to Martin Harper, the RSBP’s conservation director
and author of the analysis, which was published on 11
November. Further cuts announced in the spending
review will mean Defra’s expenditure in 2019 will be half
of what it was in 2010. For Harper, the loss also represents a loss of a certain ideal, that of civic-mindedness.
“None of us got into it for the money,” he says. “When I
see job losses of that scale I see a massive loss of highly
trained people who committed their lives to protecting
something bigger than themselves.”
Conservation groups say they fear that the extent of
the cuts place the UK’s statutory conservation requirements at risk. These include obligations to ensure water
quality, as well as the network of Natura 2000 sites.
Stephen Trotter, director for England at the conservation charity The Wildlife Trusts, told Research Fortnight.
“Defra has been cut so severely, already, that cuts of this
scale may impact significantly on its ability to perform
even basic functions.”

6  news

Research Fortnight, 25 November 2015

interview  andrew blake

Oiling the machine
The Alan Turing Institute for data science opened this month with no shortage of
ambition. Lindsay McKenzie asks its director Andrew Blake how he plans to deliver.
The Alan Turing Institute, announced in the March 2014
budget, was trailed as the centre that would allow the UK
to capitalise on the promise of big data. The institute’s
recently appointed director, computer scientist Andrew
Blake, says that, although there are many centres springing up that call themselves data science institutes, his is
“a bit special”.
This, he says, is because the Turing institute has a
far broader remit than many of the others, such as the
Medical Research Council’s Farr Institute of Health
Informatics Research. For Blake, the Turing institute is
unique because it will focus on developing, inventing
and understanding the algorithms that allow you to get
value out of data across all fields. The crucial part, he
adds, is to focus on more than just the data itself. “Data
is not information. You have to really process data using
algorithms to get information out of it.”
The institute has four main missions, Blake says. The
first is to become “really good at fundamental research”.
Blake and his governing board will decide the research
programmes in the next few months, but he wants them
to have influence academically, societally and economically. At the same time, Blake wants the institute to
make the most of this basic research and the technical
discoveries it makes by transferring it into practice: “We
want people to use the stuff we do.”
The third part of the institute’s work is training the
next generation of computer scientists through doctoral
and fellowship programmes. Blake acknowledges that
there is a considerable skills gap in data science, but says
that his aim is not to train people to work as data scientists in industry. He wants to train the researchers who
will help develop the field. “We’re really trying to participate in the invention of the subject of data
science,” he says.
Finally, Blake wants the institute to
collaborate as widely as possible—from
universities to charities—and seems keen
to position the institute as an adviser to
both government and industry. “I think
government will call on us for our views,”
says Blake, suggesting this might involve
writing reports on technologies and their
implications. “We’re enthusiastic about
being involved in that kind of activity, and
I’m sure there will be quite a lot of it.”
When asked if the institute is trying

‘We’re going
to put it
together a
piece at a
time. We’ll
start with
hiring the
right people.’

to do too many things at once, Blake seems unfazed by
the question. “We’re going to put it together a piece at a
time. We’ll start with hiring the right people first.” This is
the part that the former laboratory director of Microsoft
Research UK is most excited about: the chance to establish his own lab, and this is clearly why he took the job
as director. “I did run a lab before,” he explains, “but
then it began to get under my skin: this idea of building
a lab from scratch, one that has a national agenda and
will do something for the UK’s strength in this incredibly
important area.”
It will take four or five years for the institute to
reach its full size—there are plans for 200 people to be
based in its main hub at the British Library and further
researchers based in its five spokes, the institute’s university partners. These are University College London
and the universities of Cambridge, Edinburgh, Oxford
and Warwick.
Blake is looking for people who love what they do,
and want to experiment and try things out. “The best
research comes when people are doing what they love.
Some of the most interesting results are serendipitous,”
he says. “I really want to nurture a creative atmosphere.”
Although the idea for the institute is only 18 months
old, it has attracted an enviable amount of funding. Over
the next five years, it will receive £42 million from the
government—£20m for capital investment and £22m
for running costs—along with £5m from each of the
five universities. Strategic partner the Lloyd’s Register
Foundation will contribute £10m and Intel has yet to disclose the amount of its in-kind and cash contribution.
More partners are to come, says Blake, and finding them will be one of his main tasks in the next few
months. But he is coy about who he’d like to have on his
dream team. “Ah, you’d love to know, but you’ll have to
wait and see,” he says. “The great appeal of becoming a
strategic partner at the beginning is that they can help
shape our scientific strategy.”
This scientific strategy is still under development, but
Blake says it will be based on a roadmap published earlier
this month that takes into account the institute’s four
main missions.
Will the institute achieve Blake’s goal of global
renown? “The omens are good,” says Blake. “It’s looking
very promising that we can build something that really is
significant on the international stage.”
More to say? Email

funding opportunities

Research Fortnight
25 November 2015

every new opportunity  every discipline


focus points

Opportunities from previous issues of
Research Fortnight, listed by closing
date. European Commission and
associated funders marked EU.

Issue no. 468

Global innovation fund
The Global Innovation
Fund, together with other
funders, invites proposals
for innovation projects.
Grants are worth between
US$230,000 (£151,300)
and US$15 million each [3].
EPSRC laser production
The Engineering and
Physical Sciences Research
Council, via the Centre for
Innovative Manufacturing
in Laser-based Production
Processes, invites
proposals for laser-based
production innovation
projects. Each project may
receive up to £50,000 [7].
Newton UK-China research
Innovate UK, Research
Councils UK and the
Ministry of Science
and Technology for the
People’s Republic of
China, via the Newton
Fund, invite registrations
for their UK-China
research and innovation
bridges competition.
The total budget is
£16 million [26].
NIHR public health
The Department of
Health’s National Institute
for Health Research
invites applications,
under the public health
research programme, for
its researcher-led call
for proposals. There are
no fixed limits on the
duration of projects or
funding [28].
not to be
ph o t o c o pie D
For subscriptions call +44 20 7216 6500

Each entry is followed by a Web id




EPSRC future manufacturing
research hubs 1182044
MRC improved measurement methods for population science research
– highlight notice 253450
MRC improving cross-sector comparisons – beyond QALY 1185864
MRC methodology for eliciting
expert opinion 1186169
MRC methodology for stratified medicine – highlight notice
National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement and Reduction
of Animals in Research (NC3Rs) 3Rs
prize 186582
Society for Latin American Studies
postgraduate and postdoctoral
bursaries 200458
University of Greenwich Natural
Resources Institute/WYG International/DFID sustainable agricultural
intensification research and learning in Africa (SAIRLA) 1187235
US Department of Defense US
Special Operations Command
broad agency announcement for
extramural biomedical research and
development 1184867
Chartered Institute of Building
master's dissertation award
Geologists' Association Curry fund
RCUK analytical support for science
and innovation audits 1187259
Royal Society of Medicine otology
Norman Gamble research prize
Wellcome biomedical resource and
technology development grants
Wellcome multi-user equipment
grants 1163337
CRUK drug development project
award 1182009
CRUK new agents committee trial
grants 201936
EU Directorate-General for Health
and Food Safety study on pig castration 1187255
EU EUREKA Eurogia2020 call for
projects 1161448






JRF international policy and practice review: how do cities lead an
inclusive growth agenda? 1187168
Royal Geographical Society with
the Institute of British Geographers
Ralph Brown expedition award
Royal Geographical Society with
the Institute of British Geographers geographical club award
Wellcome pathfinder awards
BBSRC tools and resources
development fund call 2 – support
for novel bioinformatics and
computational approaches 1186920
Innovate UK innovation in urban
spaces 1187078
EPSRC/Korea Institute of Energy
Technology Evaluation and Planning
(KETEP) call for collaborative
research between the UK and Korea
in smart grids 1187089
EU European Centre for MediumRange Weather Forecasts global
climate projections: data access,
product generation and impact of
front line developments 1187188
EU European Food Safety Authority
crowdsourcing – engaging communities effectively in food and feed
risk assessment 1187314
Frontex study on the set-up and
management of border securityrelated research in and outside
Europe 1187296
industrial biotechnology catalyst
– late-stage technical feasibility
studies – round 4 1185106
Institution of Engineering and
Technology travel awards 1158280
Alzheimer's Drug Discovery
Foundation biotechnology grants
EU Education, Audiovisual and
Culture Executive Agency Erasmus+
civil society cooperation grants
EPSRC/RCUK/Innovate UK urban
living partnership – pilot phase
Innovate UK smart grants 1162409
AHRC/National Football Museum
research consortium/collaborative
doctoral partnerships 1187299
British Library/AHRC collaborative
doctoral partnerships 1187305
British Society for Rheumatology/
British Health Professionals in
Rheumatology educational bursary
EPSRC platform grants 149904

Online Funding Search
For full details of every funding opportunity, visit
Online subscribers can view full details of any funding opportunity by
simply searching for the Web id number as free text in a funding search.

Funding search
Free text: 1234567 x


Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow medical elective
scholarship 1184402
Royal College of Surgeons of
Edinburgh Ethicon Foundation Fund
travel grants 257378
Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh small research pump priming
grants 255235
Society for Endocrinology earlycareer grant 1164990
University of East Anglia Sainsbury
Research Unit for the Arts of Africa,
Oceania & the Americas visiting
research fellowships 206641
University of London Warburg Institute short-term fellowships 208513
Royal Society of Edinburgh/James
Weir Foundation prizes for public
engagement 1161562
Agricultural Economics Society
prize essay award 203340
Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board aerial oomycetes
– advancing knowledge of Bremia
lactucae and Peronospora farinosa
spinaciae for the UK salad industry
Archives and Records Association UK and Ireland international
engagement bursaries 257616
Association for Computing Machinery Eugene L Lawler award 1168915
Association for Computing Machinery Grace Murray Hopper award
Association for Computing Machinery Karl V Karlstrom outstanding
educator award 1170389
Association for Computing Machinery Panis Kanellakis theory and
practice award 202803
Association for Computing Machinery software system award 202790
Association for Computing Machinery/Infosys Foundation award in
the computing sciences 251822
Association for Radiation Research
travel bursaries 1174267
Australian Rangeland Society
scholarships 1170386
Bayer early-career investigator
award 197657
Bayer fellowship project award
Bayer special project award 197667
British Council/Newton Fund workshop on resilient structures and
infrastructures 1187141
British Ornithologists' Union
research grants 195512
British Society for Plant Pathology
travel fund 1171888
Dan David Foundation prizes
EU Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion
study on integrated delivery of
social services aiming at the activation of minimum income recipients
in the labour market – success factors and reform pathways 1187237
ESRC IJSRM seminar competition
EU Euorpean Defence Agency course
correction fuse integration with
artillery systems in the EU 1187281
European Academy of Neurology clinical fellowship programme 190976


8  funding opportunities
New opportunities from UK-based funders.

Network support grants
Alcohol Research UK invites applications
for its network support grants. These fund
conferences and other research network
development activities. Grants are worth
up to £3,000 each.
Web id: 1187569
No deadline [1]

Biology of ageing prize
The Anatomical Society invites applications for its aging cell best paper prize.
This recognises a paper published in Aging
Cell Journal, addressing fundamental
issues in the biology of ageing. The prize
comprises a sum of £1,000, and up to
£1,000 for travel.
Web id: 1187681
No deadline [2]

Global innovation fund
The Global Innovation Fund, supported by
the Department for International Development, the United States Agency for
International Development, the Omidyar Network, the Swedish International
Development Cooperation Agency and
the Department for Foreign Affairs and
Trade in Australia, invites proposals for
its innovation projects. Funding supports
innovative, cost-effective solutions that
address any major development challenge
in any country or countries in the developing world. Grants are worth between
US$230,000 (£151,300) and US$15 million depending on the type of innovation
stage funding is requested for.
Web id: 1187671
No deadline [3]

STFC astrobiology
The Science and Technology Facilities
Council invites applications for its call on
subterranean astrobiology. Funding enables access to the Boulby International
Subsurface Astrobiology Laboratory to
conduct experiments covering any area
of deep surface biology and astrobiology
or planetary exploration.
Web id: 1187501
No deadline [4]

Research Fortnight, 25 November 2015
research strengths with a partner in the
UK through training, collaboration and
visits. Fellowships are available for two
years, and cover research support, travel
and subsistence, and training.
Web id: 1187560
Deadline: 9 December 2015 [6]

EPSRC laser manufacturing
The Engineering and Physical Sciences
Research Council, via the Centre for
Innovative Manufacturing in Laser-based
Production Processes, invites proposals
for laser-based production innovation
projects. Funding supports projects at
technology readiness levels 1 to 3, that
address one of the following four research
themes: micro-machining; laser development and engineering; fusion-based processes; and sensing and process control.
Each project may receive up to £50,000
at 80 per cent full economic cost for up
to six months.
Web id: 1187517
Contact: Andy Rutherford
Deadline: 10 December 2015 [7]

Food innovation
The British Council and the Thailand
Research Fund, via the Newton Fund,
invite submissions for their call for a
research delegation on innovative and
sustainable competitiveness in food and
drinks technology. This call enables UK
researchers to participate in a five-day
scientific and technological research
delegation, to be held from 7 to 13 February 2016 in Bangkok, Thailand, in order
to create research links between the UK
and Thailand through a partnership which
contributes to understanding and implementing improved green productivity and
food safety standards. Funding covers
travel, accommodation and subsistence
costs for the duration of the visit.
Web id: 1187503
Email: chanya.tangsuk@britishcouncil.
Deadline: 30 December 2015 [8]

Energy award
The Royal Society of Chemistry invites
applications for its energy sector PhD
thesis award. This aims to spotlight UK
PhD research in the energy sector. The
award is worth £500.
Web id: 1184112
Deadline: 31 December 2015 [9]

Wheat grain quality

NIHR innovation awards

The Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board, via its cereals and oilseeds
division, invites expressions of interest for its wheat grain quality research
project. This aims to improve the understanding of the relationship between
pentosans, starch damage and water
absorption of flours, and improve the
understanding of how this relationship
impacts on wheat baking quality. The
budget is worth up to £180,000 over
three years.
Web id: 1187635
Deadline: 9 December 2015 [5]

The Department of Health's National
Institute for Health Research invites
applications for the following awards
under its invention for innovation (i4i)
•challenge awards. Web id: 1187594
•product development awards.
Web id: 1187585
Deadline: 13 January 2016 [10]

Newton fellowships
The British Academy invites applications
for the Newton advanced fellowships for
China. These enable early- and mid-career
international researchers to develop their

Innovate UK satellite apps
Innovate UK, via the Satellite Applications Catapult, invites applications for the
Regional Centres of Excellence in satellite
applications. Funding enables organisations that are involved with satellite
applications research and development
to collaborate with business partners and
stimulate further ideas and innovation,
and create regional centres of excellence.

Each centre may receive up to £100,000
per year for three years, representing
no more than 50 per cent of the total
project costs.
Web id: 1187566
Contact: Nafeesa Dajda
Email: centresofexcellence@sa.catapult.
Deadline: 13 January 2016 [12]

Web id: 1187592
•two-stage proposals on several different topics. Web id: 1187583
•antenatal versus intrapartum defibulation surgery for women who have undergone female genital mutilation.
Web id: 1187600
Deadline: 21 January 2016 [17]

MRC UK-Korea awards

Astronomy PhD prizes

The Medical Research Council and the
Korean Health Industry Development
Institute invite proposals for their UKKorea partnering awards. These provide resources to biomedical and health
researchers in the UK and Korea that will
allow them to forge long-term collaborations and establish and strengthen partnerships. 10 awards, worth £20,000 each,
are available for a period of one year.
Web id: 1187675
Email: aaron.holliday@headoffice.mrc.
Deadline: 15 January 2016 [13]

The Royal Astronomical Society invites
applications for its PhD thesis prizes.
These recognise the best PhD theses in
astronomy and geophysics completed
in the UK. Two prizes are available: one
for astronomy and one for geophysics. A
prize of £1,000 is available for the winners
along with an invitation to present their
results at a meeting of the RAS, whereas
runner-ups will receive £50 book tokens.
Web id: 1187664
Deadline: 31 January 2016 [22]

Oxford humanities visits
The University of Oxford's Humanities
Division, under the Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities and the Women
in the Humanities programme, invites
applications for its women in the humanities visiting fellowship. This aims to support scholars working on women's lives,
identities and representations in the
humanities, broadly defined, by covering
some of the costs associated with undertaking research in Oxford. The fellowship
is worth £1,500.
Web id: 1187577
Deadline: 15 January 2016 [14]

Colorectal surgery bursary
The Royal College of Surgeons of England
invites applications for the Alban Barros
D'Sa bursary. This enables surgical trainees at all levels to attend an appropriate
course in gastrointestinal or colorectal
surgery held at the Royal College of Surgeons of England in London. The bursary
is worth up to £1,000 and will go towards
the course fee.
Web id: 1187388
Deadline: 17 January 2016 [15]

Oxford economic growth
The University of Oxford's International
Growth Centre invites proposals for its
research grants for economic growth
policies in developing countries. These
focus on cutting-edge, policy-relevant
academic research shaping effective economic growth policies in the global south.
The total budget is worth £3.3 million.
Web id: 1187672
Deadline: 17 January 2016 [16]

NIHR commissioned calls
The Department of Health's National
Institute for Health Research invites
outline proposals for the following calls,
under its health technology assessment
commissioned funding stream:
•primary research on improving adherence to tuberculosis treatment.
Web id: 1187599
•treatment of extravasation injuries in
babies and young children.
Web id: 1187591
•cognitive behavioural therapy.

Anatomical research grants
The Anatomical Society invites applications for the Symington Bequest grants.
These contribute to costs associated with
anatomical research, or for presenting
and participating in scientific meetings.
Grants are worth up to £500 each.
Web id: 1187680
Deadline: 11 February 2016 [23]

NIHR NHS efficacy
The Department of Health's National
Institute for Health Research invites preproposals for the following calls under
its efficacy and mechanism evaluation
programme :
•researcher-led work stream.
Web id: 1187620
•commissioned research calls on delirium, graft versus host disease, use of cell
therapies and mechanisms of action of
health interventions. Web id: 1187618
Deadline: 15 March 2016 [24]

Innovate UK/RCUK UK-China
Innovate UK, the Research Councils UK
and the Ministry of Science and Technology for the People's Republic of China, via
the Newton Fund, invite registrations for
their UK-China research and innovation
bridges competition. Funding supports
collaborative R&D projects that propose
new commercial solutions to critical challenges impacting the socio-economic
growth and development of China in relation to energy, healthcare, urbanisation
and agri-food. The total budget is worth
up to £16 million. The total UK project
cost is expected to range in size from
£800,000 to £1m over two years.
Web id: 1187617
Deadline: 23 March 2016 [26]

Anaesthesia awards
The National Institute of Academic
Anaesthesia, in collaboration with the
Association of Anaesthetists of Great
Britain and Ireland, the British Journal
of Anaesthesia/Royal College of Anaesthetists, the Obstetric Anaesthetists'
Association, and the Neuroanaesthesia
and Critical Care Society of Great Britain and Ireland, invites applications for
the John Snow anaesthesia intercalated
BSc awards. These support intercalated

funding opportunities  9

Research Fortnight, 25 November 2015
research projects and aim to encourage
medical students' interest in anaesthesia
and its related disciplines. Awards are
worth between £1,000 and £2,000.
Web id: 1187700
Deadline: 31 March 2016 [27]

ISSN 1358-1198
Published every two weeks with
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Research Fortnight
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Enquiries to
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NIHR public health
The Department of Health's National
Institute for Health Research invites
applications, under the public health
research programme, for its researcher-led call for proposals. This supports
research that evaluates public health
interventions, specifically to provide new
knowledge on the benefits, costs, acceptability and wider impacts of non-NHS
interventions intended to improve the
health of the public and reduce inequalities in health. There are no fixed limits
on the duration of projects or funding,
and proposals should be tailored to fully
address the problem.
Web id: 1187641
Deadline: 4 April 2016 [28]

Innovate UK India collab
Innovate UK and the Government of India,
via the Newton Fund, invite registrations
for their collaborative R&D competition
on clean-tech, affordable healthcare
and ICT. Funding supports industrial, collaborative R&D projects that demonstrate
new solutions to challenges impacting the
socio-economic growth and development
of India, in relation to its clean-tech,
healthcare and ICT sectors. The total
budget is worth up to £2.5 million. Each
project may receive up to £450,000 over
two years.
Web id: 1187518
Deadline: 13 April 2016 [29]

Renewed opportunities from funders based
in the UK.

AHRC research grants
The Arts and Humanities Research Council
invites applications for the following
•collaborative research grants, in
partnership with the São Paulo Research
Foundation, worth up to £2 million each.
Web id: 1161041
•follow-on funding for impact and
engagement grants, worth up to £100,000
over one year. Web id: 1161124
•early-career grants, worth up to
£250,000 over five years.
Web id: 1187657
•standard route grants, worth up to
£1m over five years.
Web id: 210569
•research networking scheme, with
grants worth up to £30,000 each over two
years. Web id: 252596
No deadline [30]

CRUK cancer conferences
Cancer Research UK invites applications
for its conference and meetings support
grants. These support specialist conferences and meetings that are run by CRUK
grant holders and researchers. The total

budget is worth up to £15,000.
Web id: 1173271
No deadline [35]

Biotechnology vouchers
The Crossing Biological Membranes Network invites applications for its business interaction vouchers. These enable
academics to carry out work with an
industrial partner within the network's
remit. Vouchers are worth £5,000 over a
maximum period of six months.
Web id: 1180831
No deadline [36]

EPSRC workshops/networks
The Engineering and Physical Sciences
Research Council invites applications for
its bilateral research workshops. Funding
supports workshops that exchange ideas
and expertise internationally, with the
objective of exploring the possibility of
more substantial future collaboration.
Grants cover travel and accommodation
expenses of UK participants and core
costs for meetings in the UK.
Web id: 206466
No deadline [37]

and at slaughter. Previous grants have
ranged from £750 to £5,600.
Web id: 182367
No deadline [41]

Transport engineering
The Lloyd's Register Foundation invites
applications for its research grants. These
support engineering-related research
into improving the safety of the critical
infrastructure on which modern society
relies. Funding does not support capital
works or infrastructure, and equipment
is funded only as a small proportion of
research programmes.
Web id: 1181362
No deadline [42]

Chemistry travel
The Royal Society of Chemistry invites
applications for its journals grants for
international authors. These enable RSC
authors to travel to other countries to
collaborate actively in research, or to give
or receive special expertise and training.
Grants are worth up to £2,500 each.
Web id: 256366
No deadline [43]

Innovation grants

Vascular care bursaries

Enhancing Learning and Research for
Humanitarian Assistance, under the
Humanitarian Innovation Fund, invites
applications for its early stage innovation
grants. These support organisations and
individuals who are looking to identify,
nurture and share innovative solutions
to the challenges that operational agencies are facing in the delivery of effective
humanitarian aid. Grants are worth up
to £20,000.
Web id: 1186622
No deadline [38]

The Society of Vascular Nurses invites
applications for its bursaries. These assist
members in undertaking any educational,
research or developmental pursuit relating to improving vascular nursing care.
Four awards, worth up to £500 each, are
Web id: 203327
Contact: Jayne Burns
No deadline [44]

Experimental psychology
The Experimental Psychology Society
invites applications for its grants for postgraduate and postdoctoral workshops.
This scheme supports workshops that
bring together postgraduate students or
junior postdoctoral researchers within
two years of their PhD who are working on
a particular topic or wish to learn about a
particular technique. The maximum grant
for a one-day meeting is £1,200 and for a
two-day workshop £2,500.
Web id: 251633
Contact: John Towse
No deadline [39]

Research fellowships
The University of Edinburgh, through
the Institute for Advanced Studies in
the Humanities, invites applications for
its nominated fellowships. This scheme
encourages schools within the college
of humanities and social sciences to
nominate scholars from other universities
whose research will contribute directly
to the research plans of the sponsoring
unit and the current research themes of
the institute.
Web id: 1181177
No deadline [45]

Wellcome biomedical awards

The Healthcare Infection Society invites
applications for its travel grants. These
enable trainees and junior members of
staff to attend meetings of educational
benefit, particularly if work is to be presented. Grants are worth up to £750, and
cover travel, accommodation, subsistence
expenses and registration fees.
Web id: 204051
No deadline [40]

The Wellcome Trust invites proposals for
translational medicine and therapeutics
programmes. These offer an opportunity for translational medicine training
in the UK. The duration and nature of
support provided varies between the
schemes, but may include a clinical salary,
PhD registration fees at UK or EU rate,
research expenses, and costs for travel
and training.
Web id: 207944
Contact: John Williams
No deadline [46]

Humane animal slaughter

Alcohol grants

The Humane Slaughter Association invites
applications for its research grants. These
support projects aiming to improve animal welfare during transport, at market

Alcohol Research UK invites applications
for its research innovation grants. These
support projects that address emerging
issues in alcohol research, employ novel

Healthcare travel grant

10  funding opportunities

Research Fortnight, 25 November 2015

theoretical or methodological approaches, or pilot new work in treatment or
service delivery. Grants are worth up to
£60,000 over 24 months.
Web id: 251985
Deadline: 9 December 2015 [47]

diagnosis, treatment, care and management of dystonia. The budget is worth up
to £50,000.
Web id: 1175817
Contact: Joanne Day
Deadline: 18 December 2015 [55]

Medical education research

Science/engineering posters

The Association for the Study of Medical
Education and the GMC invite applications
for their excellent medical education
awards. These support high quality medical educational research, development
and innovation. Awards are worth up to
£5,000 each.
Web id: 1181311
Deadline: 10 December 2015 [48]

SET for Britain invites applications for
its call on Parliamentary and Scientific
Committee exhibition of posters. These
awards recognise the best posters in
each of the following five areas: biological and biomedical science, chemistry,
physics, engineering and mathematics.
Three awards, worth between £1,000 and
£3,000, are available in each of the five
subject areas.
Web id: 260686
Deadline: 21 December 2015 [56]

American studies essay
The British Association for American
Studies invites applications for its postgraduate essay prize. This is awarded for
the best essay on an American studies
topic. The prize is normally worth £500.
Web id: 202204
Deadline: 11 December 2015 [49]

Security and justice
The Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust
invites applications for the following
•peace and security programme grants,
worth up to £100,000. Web id: 1180728
•power and accountability programme
grants, worth up to £100,000.
Web id: 1180729
•rights and justice programme grants,
worth up to £100,000. Web id: 1166756
Deadline: 14 December 2015 [50]

AHRC festival contributions
The Arts and Humanities Research Council
invites expressions of interest for its call
to contribute to the Connected Communities Festival, to be held across the
UK during the summer of 2016. Funding
enables researchers, communities and
other partners to develop a wide range of
community engagement activities on the
theme of community futures and utopias.
Standard awards are worth up to £5,000
each and augmented awards are worth up
to £15,000 eachs.
Web id: 1183624
Email: connectedcommunities@ahrc.
Deadline: 16 December 2015 [53]

Innovate UK digital media
Innovate UK invites registrations for
its cross-platform production in digital
media. Funding supports collaborative
R&D projects that address convergence
in digital media technologies, including film, television, online video, animation and video games, as well as
pre-production, production and postproduction processes particularly for
visual effects. Each project may receive
between £300,000 and £750,000. The
total budget is worth up to £4 million.
Web id: 1175754
Deadline: 23 December 2015 [57]

Ornithology research
The British Trust for Ornithology invites
applications for its research grants. These
support research on all aspects of field
ornithology, with preference for those
most relevant to the trust's core research
activities. Grants are worth up to £500
Web id: 258591
Deadline: 31 December 2015 [58]

Scottish psychiatry prize
The Royal College of Psychiatrists in Scotland invites submissions for its research
prize. This recognises the best paper
published in a peer reviewed journal in
2015 related to psychiatry. The prize is
worth £500.
Web id: 152807
Deadline: 31 December 2015 [59]

DH policy research

Surgery prize

The Department of Health including
NIHR, via the policy research programme,
invites outlines for its radiation protection research initiative. This aims to
provide further evidence to inform the
system of radiation protection applied
at national and international level for
ionising radiation, which is based on
existing scientific knowledge and models
derived from it. The total budget is worth
£2.5 million.
Web id: 1186855
Deadline: 18 December 2015 [54]

The Association of Surgeons of Great
Britain and Ireland invites submissions
for the Moynihan prize. This is awarded to
the author of the best research work read
at the International Surgical Congress.
The prize is worth £1,000.
Web id: 154376
Deadline: 4 January 2016 [60]

Dystonia research
The Dystonia Society invites applications
for its seed grant scheme. This funds seed
projects for research within the aetiology,

Leverhulme life sciences
The Royal Society and the Leverhulme
Trust invite applications for their senior
research fellowships. These enable academic researchers to be relieved of all
their teaching and administrative duties
and to concentrate on full-time research.
Research expenses of up to £2,500 are
available to cover the cost of consuma-

bles, equipment and travel.
Web id: 259385
Email: seniorfellowships@royalsociety.
Deadline: 11 January 2016 [61]

Medical training fellowships
The Dunhill Medical Trust invites applications for its research training fellowships. These provide opportunities for
individuals who would like a future career
in research aimed at improving care for
older people. Fellowships include either
a PhD stipend or an individual's salary at
the appropriate grade, plus a grant of up
to £10,000 annually.
Web id: 260195
Deadline: 15 January 2016 [62]

Chemistry awards
The Royal Society of Chemistry invites
nominations for the Beilby medal and
prize. This recognises work of practical
significance in chemical engineering,
applied materials science, energy efficiency or a related field. The prize is
worth £1,000.
Web id: 206311
Deadline: 15 January 2016 [63]

Spinal cord injury
InnoCentive invites applications for the
conquer paralysis now challenge. This
aims to accelerate the development of
treatments for spinal cord injury in order
to provide significant improvements in
patients' quality of life. There will be
12 grants available, with one grant of at
least US$50,000 (£32,900) available in
each category, and a further six grants,
according to those categories that have
the strongest applications.
Web id: 1183519
Deadline: 21 January 2016 [64]

Wellcome PhD programmes
The Wellcome Trust invites applications
for funding under its clinical PhD programmes. These enable institutions to
deliver PhD training to clinicians. Each
award provides a clinical salary, university
fees at UK or EU student rate, research
expenses, overseas allowances where
appropriate, and a contribution towards
travel to conferences and meetings.
Web id: 1170084
Contact: Anne-Marie Coriat
Deadline: 25 January 2016 [65]

Alcohol research
Alcohol Research UK invites applications
for its studentships for postgraduate
research. These aim to encourage research
in the alcohol field and to improve the
quality of service provided for those with
drinking problems. Up to three studentships are available, each worth up to
£10,000 per year for three years.
Web id: 1173032
Deadline: 26 January 2016 [66]

Pancreatic cancer innovation
Pancreatic Cancer UK invites applications
for its research innovation fund. This aims
to spur creative and cutting-edge ideas
and approaches in pancreatic cancer,

including repurposing those successful in
other areas of cancer that have justifiable
promise for pancreatic cancer. The total
budget is £500,000. Each award is worth
up to £75,000.
Web id: 1169802
Deadline: 27 January 2016 [67]

Industrial fellowships
The Royal Commission for the Exhibition
of 1851 invites applications for its industrial fellowships. These aim to encourage
profitable innovation and creativity in
British industry by supporting research
leading to a patented product or process
in conjunction with a PhD, EngD or industrial doctorate. Fellowships are worth up
to £21,000 per year for up to three years,
with an enhancement of £2,000 per year
and £15,000 towards research project
costs for doctoral fellows. All fellows will
receive up to £3,500 per year to cover
travel costs and the university research
department will be paid an honorarium
of £10,000 on completion.
Web id: 209190
Contact: Nigel Williams
Deadline: 28 January 2016 [69]

Oxford visiting scholarships
St John's College at the University of
Oxford invites applications for its visiting scholarships. These aim to support
academics in a current programme of
research. Six scholarships, tenable for up
to six weeks during the period mid-July
to mid-September 2016, are available.
Web id: 194738
Deadline: 29 January 2016 [70]

Medical education travel
The Association for the Study of Medical
Education, in collaboration with WileyBlackwell, invites applications for its
medical education travelling fellowship.
This enables an individual or research
group to gain further experience, training
or knowledge and strengthen the health
professional education research efforts,
through a visit to another team or hosting a visiting researcher. The fellowship
is worth up to £2,000.
Web id: 257827
Deadline: 31 January 2016 [71]

Biochemistry awards
The Biochemical Society invites nominations for the following awards:
•Biochemical Society award, worth
£2,000. Web id: 172573
•Novartis medal and prize, worth
£3,000. Web id: 182840
Email: rowena.mitchell@biochemistry.
Deadline: 31 January 2016 [72]

Primary care awards
The Society for Academic Primary Care,
in collaboration with the Royal College
of General Practitioners, invites applications for the Yvonne Carter award for outstanding new researcher. This supports
the international development of young
researchers in primary care and enables
them to collaborate with researchers in
other countries, as well as enables them
to attend and present work at an international research meeting. The award is

jobs  11

Policy, Management & Support – plus Expert Committees

Research Development Team
Lead/Research Support Partner
College of Engineering and
Physical Sciences,
University of Birmingham
Closing date: 29/11/2015
Project Development Manager
White Rose University
Closing date: 30/11/2015
Contact: Dr Craig Walker
External Partnerships Project
Research & Enterprise Services,
University of Sussex
Closing date: 30/11/2015
Tender Support Executive
Centre for Ecology and Hydrology
Closing date: 01/12/2015
Tel: 01793 867000
Tender Support Assistant
Centre for Ecology and Hydrology
Closing date: 01/12/2015
Tel: 01793 867000
Senior Policy Adviser £25,000
(£36,500 pro rata)
Campaign for Social Science,
Academy of Social Sciences
Closing date: 03/12/2015
Contact: Helen Spriggs
Knowledge Exchange
Commercialisation (KEC)
The Genome Analysis Centre
Closing date: 04/12/2015
Licensing Executive,
Engineering and Physical
Financial & Business Services
(BEIS) – Commercialisation,
University of Nottingham
Closing date: 07/12/2015
Tel:0115 951 5206
For more details and the complete
list of jobs, please visit:

25 November 2015

Building rapport in researcher mentoring
The importance of mentoring in research cannot
be underestimated, but it can be challenging to
build a good mentor-mentee relationship.
Amy Iversen is a consultant psychiatrist and
visiting senior lecturer at King’s College London’s
Institute of Psychiatry, and is involved in the
Academy of Medical Sciences’ mentoring scheme
for clinical researchers. She says it all comes down
to the first meeting. This needs to last at least 90
minutes, she says, and for the first half of the
meeting you can pretty much forget about the nuts
and bolts of research.
Instead, you should work on building rapport.
“Rapport is about letting the mentee know that you
can take a genuinely empathic, impartial and nonjudgemental stance towards what they bring to the
meeting,” Iversen says. “It will help mentees and
mentors to get under the surface in subsequent
sessions and to talk about issues that might be too
personal or difficult to discuss.”
She suggests talking about common values or
shared hobbies, as well as discussing the mentee’s
career objectives. The mentor should take this on
board, and relate it to their own experiences.
In the second half of the meeting, both parties
need to agree on what they expect from each other
during the mentoring process. This should start by
covering the basics, such as where and how often

by Cristina Gallardo

they will meet and whether they will keep notes of
the meetings, she says.
But the pair should also think about the
more sensitive aspects of the relationship. They
should ask themselves what will happen if there
is a risk of a conflict of interest, she says, or in
circumstances that might force the mentor to
breach confidentiality, for instance if there has
been a case of research misconduct.
“A clear working agreement is the foundation of
a productive learning relationship,” Iversen says.
“It frees both parties from getting distracted by
extraneous concerns.”
She recommends a minimum of four sessions a
year, and that these be organised well in advance
so they don’t slip off the radar. At the end of each
session, Iversen recommends that mentees send an
email to their mentors saying what they found useful
in the meeting, as well as what wasn’t so helpful.
But, Iversen says, it’s sometimes better to
cut your losses early if there isn’t any chemistry.
“Sometimes a mentee will hang on to a mentor
because they feel guilty about letting them go,”
she says. “But if something is limiting the value
you’re going to get from this conversation it is
better to say so.”

Interdisciplinarity champions for York
The University of York has appointed seven
champions for interdisciplinary research.
The idea for the champions came in the
university’s five-year research strategy, published
in January. They have been awarded in themes
including the creative arts, health, environment,
technology and evidence-based policymaking.
Damian Murphy, a reader in audio and music
technology, began as champion of the creativity
theme on 1 September, having just returned
from a 10-month sabbatical at research groups in
Stockholm, Montreal and Helsinki. He has 20 years’
experience in research, but is having to develop a
whole new set of skills for this role.
He says that the job requires interpersonal
abilities and a passion for interdisciplinary
learning. He has started off by meeting with the
other six champions as well as academics, heads
of departments, the university management and
representatives from the funding bodies.
He acts as a bridge between departments,
helping researchers form new interdisciplinary
groups. He also makes sure that researchers
working on related areas are brought into bids
that they might not have known about otherwise.
Although Murphy acknowledges that doing
something like this looks good on his CV, that’s
not why he applied for the job. “I did it because I’m
passionate about working across disciplines in the

by Cristina Gallardo

field of creativity,” he says. “For me personally this
is a great opportunity to connect with individuals,
groups and departments across the university that
someone would not normally be able to do.”
The initial response to the champions has been
positive, Murphy says. “There is some curiosity
about our roles. Departments see that the research
themes within the strategy are very important, and
want to engage with this initiative and see what
they might do to play a bigger part,” Murphy says.
“We aren’t telling people what to do, this is about
making sure that everyone is informed about what
initiatives there are across the university.”
However, there are still plenty of challenges.
The position requires more leadership skills
than Murphy had needed in his previous role
as a researcher, and good time management is
crucial. His contract stipulates that he will spend
half of his working hours fulfilling the champion’s
duties, and the rest on research and teaching.
But this has to be juggled from week to week,
he says. This includes managing the demands of
other departments and universities, as well as
external partners and funders. “We’re still learning
about how to manage this, while still being good
researchers and teachers in our own respective
fields,” he says.

12  jobs
Tel: 020 8417 3118

Clinical Trials Unit
Contracts Manager
£33,822-£39,934 (inc LW)
Research Support and
Nuffield Department of Primary
Development Office,
Care Health Sciences,
Brunel University
University of Oxford
Closing date: 27/11/2015
Closing date: 27/11/2015
Contact: Human Resources
Contact: Recruitment
Technical Director, CENSIS NS
Research and Enterprise
Research Strategy and
Co-ordinator £25,023-£29,847
Lord Ashcroft International
University of Glasgow
Business School,
Closing date: 29/11/2015
Anglia Ruskin University
Contact: Recruitment
Closing date: 27/11/2015
Details: For further information
about the role, and to apply
Business Development Manager
online, please visit
(DS-Cubed) £36,672-£46,414
Directorate of Research, Business
& Innovation,
Tel: 0845 196 4778
De Montfort University
Closing date: 29/11/2015
Research Operations Manager
Contact: Human Resources
£36,485-£39,646 (inc. LW)
Faculty of Business & Law,
Tel: 0116 250 6018
Kingston University
Closing date: 27/11/2015
Chair in Sociology
Details: For a full description of
Department of Sociological
the role, and to apply online,
Studies, Faculty of Social
please visit

University of Sheffield
Closing date: 30/11/2015
Details: Further information is
available at
Email: e-recruitment@sheffield.

Closing date: 30/11/2015
Contact: Human Resources

Knowledge Exchange and
Impact Officer

Research and Enterprise Office,
Associate Head of School –
Goldsmiths University of London
Enterprise & Commercial, School Closing date: 11.59pm,
of Humanities
Contact: Human Resources
Faculty of Arts and Humanities,
Coventry University
Commercialisation Executive
Closing date: 30/11/2015
c. £30,000
Contact: Human Resources
Queen Mary University
Associate Head of School –
Closing date: 30/11/2015
Enterprise & Commercial, School Contact: Recruitment
of Economics, Finance and
Accounting £47,334-£59,058
Innovation Consultant/Proposal
Faculty of Business and Law,
Coventry University
Innovative Technology and
Closing date: 30/11/2015
Science Ltd (InnoTecUK)
Contact: Human Resources
Email: Closing date: 01/12/2015
Details: Applicants should email
Associate Head of School –
their CV, highlighting 'Innovation
Enterprise & Commercial, School Consultant' in the subject line.
of Computing, Electronics and
Research Policy Administrator
Faculty of Engineering,
Environment and Computing,
Coventry University
Research Strategy and

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jobs  13
University of Glasgow
Closing date: 02/12/2015
Details: Further information is
available at
Research Development Manager
(maternity cover)
Research Services,
University of Reading
Closing date: 02/12/2015
Contact: Human Resources
Email: recruitment@reading.
Tel: 0118 378 6771
Research Impact Officer
Research and Enterprise,
University of Reading
Closing date: 03/12/2015
Contact: Human Resources
Email: recruitment@reading.
Tel: 0118 378 6771
Research Administrator
Department of Sociology,
School of Arts and Social
City University London

Closing date: 04/12/2015
Details: Further information is
available at
Tel: 020 7040 3085
Senior Contracts Manager (three
Research Operations Office,
University of Cambridge
Closing date: 06/12/2015
Contact: Margaret Perry
Email: margaret.perry@admin.
Research Contracts & Grants
Research Office,
University of Cambridge
Closing date: 06/12/2015
Contact: Margaret Perry
Email: margaret.perry@admin.
Research Administrator
School of Engineering and
Physical Sciences,
Heriot-Watt University
Closing date: 11.59pm,
Contact: Human Resources
Tel: 0131 451 3022

Looking for a
new job?
You’ll find a wide range of
research and academic
management and support roles at
Plus you can register for free
email alerts and get new
vacancies sent directly to your
inbox every week.

Research Administrator
Faculty of Social & Human
University of Southampton
Closing date: 08/12/2015
Contact: Recruitment
Email: recruitment@
Tel: 023 8059 2421
Research Manager (Technology)
University of Exeter
Closing date: 10/12/2015
Details: For a full job description,
please visit
Head of Research (Cornwall)
University of Exeter
Closing date: 10/12/2015
Details: For a full job description,
please visit
Knowledge Transfer Manager
(maternity cover)
Enterprise and Innovation,
Coventry University
Closing date: 13/12/2015

Details: For more information, or
to apply online, please visit
Knowledge Exchange and
Commercialisation Officer
£25,000- £28,000
Research Management Office,
Animal Health Trust
Closing date: 15/12/2015
Details: Recruitment
Research Administrator (parttime)
School of Computing and
University of Huddersfield
Closing date: 16/12/2015
Contact: Human Resources
Head of Department
Food and Markets Department,
University of Greenwich
Closing date: 16/12/2015
Contact: Interested candidates
are encouraged to discuss the
post with Professor Andrew
Westby, Director of NRI, and
Professor Ben Bennett, Deputy
Director of NRI

Daphne Jackson Fellowship Opportunities
at the University of Oxford
Daphne Jackson Fellowships offer STEM
professionals wishing to return to a research career
after a break of 2 or more years, the opportunity to
balance an individually tailored retraining programme
with a challenging research project. Fellowships are
held part-time over 2 years and include at least 100
hours retraining per year.
Applications are invited for 3 Fellowships to be hosted
and half sponsored by the University of Oxford, to be
held in departments within the Mathematical, Physical
and Life Sciences Division (MPLS) or the Medical
Sciences Division (MSD). The remaining funding will
be secured by the Daphne Jackson Trust from an
additional sponsor.
Closing date for applications is 12.00 noon
Friday 8th January 2016
For information on our eligibility criteria and how
to apply please visit
or phone the Daphne Jackson Trust office on
01483 689166

14  jobs

The EARMA Annual Conference 2016 is in Luleå, Sweden
from 20th to 23rd June in cooperation with the Luleå University of Technology.


Call for Topics/Abstract Submission is now open on:

EARMA – Supporting Research
for our Common Future.

Experience the EARMA Annual Conference in 2016 on
Midsummers in Northern Sweden where the sun will never set!

EarmaA5Advert.indd 1

02/10/2015 14:13

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funding opportunities  15

Research Fortnight, 25 November 2015
worth £1,000.
Web id: 1170080
Deadline: 31 January 2016 [74]

Arthritis clinical trials
Arthritis Research UK invites applications
for its clinical studies awards. Proposals
must provide hypothesis-led assessment
of clinical management and outputs
required to conduct assessment of clinical management. There is no financial
limit to a clinical studies grant application, and costs may be attributed as
research, support or treatment. Running
and equipment costs may be requested
up to a maximum of £30,000.
Web id: 1158223
Contact: Jo Chalmers
Deadline: 3 February 2016 [75]

STFC particle physics
The Science and Technology Facilities
Council invites applications for the theoretical round of its particle physics and
particle astrophysics consolidated grants.
These support research in the areas of
experimental and theoretical particle
physics and certain aspects of astrophysics. This round considers proposals in
the field of theoretical particle physics.
Grants are tenable between one and
three years.
Web id: 191496
Deadline: 4 February 2016 [76]

ScotGov research fellowships
The Royal Society of Edinburgh, the Scottish Government and the Caledonian
Research Fund invite applications for
their personal research fellowships. These
aim to provide outstanding researchers
who have the potential to become leaders
in their chosen field with the opportunity
to build an independent research career.
Fellowships are tenable for up to five
years. The annual stipend is within the
scales for research staff in HEIs, normally
spine points 23 to 39, which are approximately from £25,769 to £41,255 at August
2015 rates. An additional support grant
of up to £10,000 per fellowship year is
Web id: 212982
Deadline: 15 February 2016 [77]

Pain relief awards
The Pain Relief Foundation invites applications for the following opportunities:
•prize PhD studentship, worth up to
£18,000 per year for three years.
Web id: 209632
•research grants, worth up to £30,000
each.Web id: 209631
Deadline: 17 February 2016 [78]

Wellcome investigator awards
The Wellcome Trust invites applications
for its investigator awards in biomedical
science. These enable researchers at any
career level to address important research
questions relevant to human and animal
health and disease. Awards are worth up
to £3 million for up to seven years.
Web id: 1159096
Deadline: 26 February 2016 [80]

Kidney disease
Kidney Research UK invites applications
for its innovation grants. These fund
stand-alone research that will advance
knowledge of kidney disease, particularly new hypotheses where initial pilot
or supporting data is required prior to a
full research project. Funding is worth up
to £40,000 per project.
Web id: 210676
Deadline: 4 March 2016 [81]

Collections research
The Museums Association invites applications for the Esmée Fairbairn collections
fund. This supports time-limited collections work that falls outside the scope of
an organisation's core resources. A total
of £1 million is available, with grants
worth between £20,000 and £100,000
Web id: 1163760
Contact: Sally Colvin
Deadline: 23 March 2016 [82]

CRUK cancer prizes
Cancer Research UK invites nominations
for the following prizes:
•future leaders in cancer research
prize, worth £10,000. Web id: 1158600
•lifetime achievement in cancer
research prize, worth £25,000.
Web id: 1158597
•translational cancer research prize,
worth £25,000.Web id: 1158599
Contact: Lucy Shaw
Deadline: 31 March 2016 [83]

Industrial design awards
The Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851 invites applications for its
industrial design studentships. These aim
to stimulate industrial design capability
among UK engineering or science graduates. Funding covers all tuition fees up
to the normal level for UK students, a
stipend of £10,000 plus £2,500 London
weighting where applicable, and an allowance worth £850 for materials.
Web id: 1166015
Contact: Nigel Williams
Deadline: 28 April 2016 [86]

gramme which will enable a team working
in anaesthetics, scrub, surgery or recovery
to meet personal development goals. The
grant is worth £2,000.
Web id: 174586
Deadline: 30 May 2016 [88]

Hand surgery prize
The British Society for Surgery of the
Hand invites applications for the Pulvertaft prize. This recognises an essay that
contributes to the knowledge of surgery
of the hand, and the topic for the 2016
prize is education in hand surgery. The
prize is worth £1,500.
Web id: 203864
Deadline: 30 June 2016 [89]

Environmental science award
The Institution of Environmental Sciences
invites applications for the John Rose
award. This provides funding to publicise
a piece of outstanding postgraduate
environmental science research that will
inform and motivate the general public.
The award is worth £1,000.
Web id: 261141
Deadline: 11 August 2016 [90]

Kidney research grants
Kidney Research UK, in partnership with
The Stoneygate Trust, invites applications for the John Feehally research
awards. These support projects that will
advance knowledge of kidney disease and
refine current treatments or lead to new
advances in the future. Grants are worth
up to £50,000 for innovation grants or
£300,000 for project grants.
Web id: 1186287
Deadline: 30 September 2016 [91]

Molluscs studies
The Malacological Society of London
invites nominations for its annual award.
This recognises promising contributions
to the study of molluscs. The award is
worth £500.
Web id: 191705
Contact: Jon Ablett
Deadline: 1 November 2016 [92]

Primary healthcare award
The Royal Society of Medicine, in collaboration with the General Practice with Primary Healthcare Section and the Centre
for the Advancement of Interprofessional
Education, invites submissions for its
general practice with primary healthcare
and CAIPE John Horder award. This recognises an interprofessional team working
within the primary healthcare community,
with the aim to promote more effective interprofessional collaboration and
highlight examples of best interprofessional, collaborative practice. The award
is worth £1,500.
Web id: 1175875
Contact: Gemma Lamb
Deadline: 23 May 2016 [87]

Perioperative care
The Association for Perioperative Practice invites applications for the Siobhan
Rankin award. This supports an educational event, resource, course or pro-

New opportunities from European funders,
excluding funders based in the UK.

EU procurement procedure
The Directorate-General for Internal
Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and
SMEs invites tenders for the support of
the internal market policy for growth:
feasibility study concerning the actual
implementation of a joint cross-border
procurement procedure by public buyers
from different member states covering
managerial, legal and organisational
aspects. The contract is worth €130,000
(£90,900) over seven months.
Web id: 1187524
Contact: Joaquim Nunes de Almeida
Deadline: 14 December 2015 [93]

EU food risk assessment
The European Food Safety Authority
invites tenders for a literature review of
baseline information on RNA interference
that could support the food, feed and
environmental risk assessment of RNA
interference-based genetically modified
plants. Contracts for lot one and lot two
are worth up to €100,000 (£69,900) each
over 15 months.
Web id: 1187502
Deadline: 14 December 2015 [94]

Transplantation abstracts
The European Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation invites submissions
for its abstract awards. These are awarded
to the best abstracts at the society’s
annual congress. Award are worth up to
€5,000 (£3,500) each.
Web id: 1187669
Deadline: 15 December 2015 [95]

EU technology mapping
The European Defence Agency invites
tenders for a technology watch follow-on
– technology mapping and foresight project. The tenderer will further develop two
aspects related to the technology watch
activity. The contract is worth €192,000
(£134,200) over nine months.
Web id: 1187586
Deadline: 16 December 2015 [96]

EU ICT in education
The Directorate-General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology invites tenders for its second survey
of schools – ICT in education call. The
tenderer will conduct a study to measure progress on the use of and assess
the impact of ICT-use in schools for the
purpose of teaching or learning. The
contract is worth €1 million (£699,100)
over 16 months.
Web id: 1187505
Contact: Patricia Manson
Deadline: 17 December 2015 [97]

EU tuberculosis
The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control invites tenders for
the assessment of tuberculosis underreporting through inventory studies. The
tenderer will conduct studies in selected
EU and EEA member states to assess the
completeness of tuberculosis notification
data using the methodology described
in the World Health Organisation report
‘Assessing TB under-reporting through
inventory studies', and determine whether data collected at national level reflect
the real TB situation in the country. The
contract is worth €175,500 (£122,700)
over three years.
Web id: 1187544
Deadline: 22 December 2015 [98]

EU sea-ice cloud screening
EUMETSAT invites tenders for its call on
sea-ice cloud detection for Copernicus
sentinel-3 sea and land surface temperature radiometer. The tenderer will
conduct a study evaluating and assessing
current cloud screening techniques over
the sea-ice and marginal ice zones for
dual-view infra-red sensors, with a focus
on probabilistic or Bayesian methods.
The contract will last approximately five

16  funding opportunities
to six months.
Web id: 1187626
Contact: Simonetta Tribuzio
Deadline: 11 January 2016 [99]

EU energy labels
The Directorate-General for Energy invites
tenders for a single framework contract
for the provision of consumer understanding studies for product-specific draft
energy labels. The tenderer will provide
the DG with highly qualified external
expertise to ensure objectivity and highlevel technical services; and support the
DG in the design of the energy label for
specific product groups in the preparation
of possible regulations under the energy
labelling framework. The contract is worth
€1.2 million (£838,900) for a period of
three years.
Web id: 1187523
Email: ener-tender-2015-631@ec.
Deadline: 12 January 2016 [100]

The European Society for Blood and
Marrow Transplantation invites applications for the Jon J van Rood award. This
recognises the best paper related to
immunology of allogeneic hematopoietic
transplantation in the cellular therapy
and immunobiology working party, presented at the EBMT annual meeting in
April 2016 in Valencia. The award is worth
€5,000 (£3,500).
Web id: 1187668
Contact: Chiara Bonini
Deadline: 14 January 2016 [101]

Laser technology award
The European Laser Institute and Arbeitskreis Lasertechnik invite applications for
their innovation award in laser technology. This recognises innovative work in
the field of laser technology. The prize is
worth €10,000 (£7,000).
Web id: 1187526
Email: award@innovation-award-laser.
Deadline: 15 January 2016 [102]

EU digital Europe 1
The Digital Agenda for Europe and the
Innovation & Networks Executive Agency
invite proposals for the Connecting EU
Facility initiatve. Funding aims to improve
the interoperability and interconnectivity
of the European digital service ecosystem.
Funding aims to support projects of common interest and build the missing links
between digital service infrastructures.
The total budget is approximately €39
million (£27.3m).
Web id: 1187458
Email: inea-cef-telecom-calls-2014@ec.
Deadline: 19 January 2016 [103]

EU labour standards
The Directorate-General for Employment,
Social Affairs and Inclusion invites tenders for the provision of targeted surveys on the application of core labour
standards. The tenderer will deliver a
survey assessing the application in law
and practice, of the International Labour
Organisation core labour standards in
selected third countries: Colombia, Georgia, Guatemala and Pakistan. The contract
is worth €150,000 (£104,900) .
Web id: 1187588

Research Fortnight, 25 November 2015
Contact: Thomas Bender
Deadline: 22 January 2016 [104]

Africa health capacity
The European and Developing Countries
Clinical Trials Partnership invites applications for the Dr Pascoal Mocumbi prize.
This recognises an individual in recognition of their outstanding achievements in
advancing health research and capacity
development in Africa. The award consists of a recognition trophy and a cash
prize of €50,000 (£35,000) that must
be used to further capacity development
and networking activities and promote
international cooperation between Africa
and Europe.
Web id: 1187563
Contact: Michelle Singh
Deadline: 31 January 2016 [105]

EU Baltic sea research
ERA-Net BONUS invites collaborative
proposals via its research and innovation call. Funding supports multi-partner
and transnational projects that address
strategic research objectives related to
the Baltic Sea region. Projects will start
in January 2017 at the earliest and will
last up to three years. Each project may
receive up to €3 million (£2.1m).
Web id: 1185616
Deadline: 9 February 2016 [106]

EU transport
The Innovation & Networks Executive
Agency invites proposals, under its Connecting European Facility scheme, for its
transport general call. This supports projects of common interest in the transport
sector. The total budget is €1.09 billion
Web id: 1187530
Deadline: 16 February 2016 [107]

Type 2 diabetes
The European Foundation for the Study
of Diabetes, supported by AstraZeneca,
invites tenders for a diabetes project on
patient-centred treatment to support a
holistic approach towards type 2 diabetes.
This aims to develop novel evidencebased approaches for the patient-centred
management of type 2 diabetes, based
on a validated algorithm to be assessed
in a real world setting. One grant, worth
up to €500,000 (£349,600), is available.
Web id: 1187562
Deadline: 1 March 2016 [108]

EU digital Europe 2
The Digital Agenda for Europe and the
Innovation & Networks Executive Agencyinvite proposals for the Connecting
EU Facility initiatve. Funding supports
projects of common interest, deploying
identified trans-European digital service
infrastructures and will contribute to a
European ecosystem of interoperable
and interconnected digital services, by
supporting the flow of public and private
investment towards mature solutions. The
total budget is approximately €17 million
Web id: 1187694
Email: inea-cef-telecom-calls-2014@
Deadline: 15 March 2016 [109]

Cyber-security and integrity
Nordforsk, the Economic and Social
Research Council and the Netherlands
Organisation for Scientific Research
(NWO) invite proposals for their collaborative research projects on society,
integrity and cyber-security. These aim
to explore research questions on society, integrity and cyber security through
approaches from a variety of perspectives and social science disciplines, and
to enable and encourage multidisciplinary research. The total budget is worth
€4.2 million (£2.9m), which may fund up
to five projects. Each project may receive
between €750,000 and €1.25m for three
to four years.
Web id: 1187593
Deadline: 15 March 2016 [110]

EU H2020 nuclear prize
The European Commission Horizon 2020:
Euratom invites applications for its H2020
SOFT innovation prize. This aims to highlight and reward the excellence in innovation that can be found in fusion research
as well as the quality of the researchers
and industries involved. The indicative
budget is €90,000 (£62,900).
Web id: 1186836
Deadline: 7 April 2016 [111]

Renewed opportunities from European
funders, excluding funders based in the UK.

EU atmospheric measurement
The Aerosols, Clouds, and Trace gases
Research Infrastructure Network invites
proposals for its transnational access call.
This enables researchers and research
teams to access research facilities in the
context of remote sensing of the vertical
aerosol distribution, measurements of
the in-situ chemical, physical and optical
properties of aerosols, measurements
of atmospheric trace gases, and clouds
and aerosol quality-controlled observations. Support includes administrative
and logistical support, free use of the
infrastructure, technical and scientific
support and specific training. Travel and
subsistence costs may also be covered.
Web id: 1173214
Email: actris-co@opgc.univ-bpclermont.
No deadline [112]

Research administration
The European Association of Research
Managers and Administrators invites
applications from active EARMA members
for its fellowship programmes. These
aim to reduce barriers to international research administration, create an
administrative environment conducive to
international collaboration and promote
mutual learning.
Web id: 1162433
No deadline [113]

Paediatric diseases
The European Society for Paediatric Infectious Diseases invites applications for
its general travel awards. These enable
members to attend scientific meetings
by contributing to travel, accommodation

and registration costs. Awards are worth
up to €1,000 (£699) for travel to the US
and the Americas, €600 for travel within
Europe and €200 for travel within the
applicant's own country.
Web id: 252635
No deadline [114]

Brain research visits
The International Brain Research
Organization invites applications for its
InEurope short stay grants. These allow
researchers living and working in Europe
to undertake visits of up to four weeks'
duration at other European institutions
with the aim of acquiring new methods
or specific techniques that are necessary for their work. Grants are worth up
to €3,000 (£2,100) each for travel and
local expenses.
Web id: 1159590
No deadline [115]

Rheumatism education
The European League Against Rheumatism invites applications for its knowledge
transfer programme. This is designed
for patient organisations who wish to
improve their skills by learning from
the experience of other organisations in
the EULAR network. The total budget is
€15,000 (£10,500).
Web id: 187035
Deadline: 31 December 2015 [116]

Shoulder surgery
The European Society for Surgery of the
Shoulder and the Elbow invites applications for its Europe-USA travelling
fellowships. These enable two European
candidates to visit American centres specialising in shoulder and elbow surgery for
five to six weeks.
Web id: 259564
Contact: Denise Eygendaal
Deadline: 31 December 2015 [117]

Urology awards
The European Association of Urology
invites applications for the following
•clinical visits, with awards worth up to
€4,000 (£2,800) each. Web id: 252514
•lab and clinical scholarships, worth up
to €40,000 each. Web id: 252519
•short visit scholarships, worth up to
€2,000 each. Web id: 252521
•visiting professor programme.
Web id: 252522
Deadline: 1 January 2016 [118]

EU green economy
The Interreg IVA 2 Mers Seas Zeeën invites
applications for its 2nd call for proposals. This aims to develop an innovative,
knowledge and research based, as well as
sustainable and inclusive, two seas area,
where the natural resources are protected
and the green economy is promoted. The
total budget is €241 million (£169m).
Web id: 1183457
Deadline: 4 January 2016 [122]

Triple diploma Erasmus master
The École Normale Supérieure, in collaboration with the University of Amsterdam,
Vrije University of Amsterdam and University la Sapienza, invite applications

funding opportunities  17

Research Fortnight, 25 November 2015
for the Erasmus Mundus AtoSiM master
of science scholarships. These enable
postgraduate students to undertake a
two-year triple diploma joint master's
degree in atomic scale modelling of physical, chemical and biomolecular systems.
Funding covers tuition fees, travel and
installation cost contributions, a monthly
allowance and up to €4,000 (£2,800) per
semester for participation costs.
Web id: 1165174
Deadline: 8 January 2016 [123]

Clinical immunology travel
The European Academy of Allergy and
Clinical Immunology invites applications
for its conference scholarships. These
enable the authors of accepted abstracts
to attend the annual congress, to be
held from 11 to 15 June 2016 in Vienna.
Recipients of the 100 available scholarships receive complimentary registration
to the congress, as well as shared accommodation for up to four nights and travel
costs of up to €500 (£350).
Web id: 260076
Deadline: 10 January 2016 [124]

EU advanced computing
The Partnership for Advanced Computing
in Europe invites applications for its third
call under its SME high-performance computing in Europe programme. This aims
to raise awareness and provide European
SMEs with the expertise necessary to take
advantage of the innovation possibilities
created by high-performance computing,
thus increasing their competitiveness.
Web id: 1182699
Contact: Marjolein Oorsprong
Deadline: 14 January 2016 [125]

The European College of Neuropsychopharmacology invites nominations for its
neuropsychopharmacology award. This
recognises research achievements in
applied and translational neuroscience.
The award winner receives a cash prize
of €20,000 (£14,000), a review article
for publication in European Neuropsychopharmacology, and an invitation to
present the award lecture during the
ECNP congress.
Web id: 257389
Deadline: 15 January 2016 [126]

Evolutionary biology travel
The European Society for Evolutionary
Biology invites applications for the following awards:
•the Godfrey Hewitt mobility award,
worth up to €2,000 (£1,400).
Web id: 1176407
•the John Maynard Smith prize, worth
€2,500. Web id: 209991
Contact: Ute Friedrich
Deadline: 15 January 2016 [127]

Scientific fellowship
Society in Science invites applications
for the Branco Weiss fellowship. This
enables researchers to undertake unusual
research projects at the frontiers between
science and society on a topic of their
choice at any academic institution of their
choice throughout the world. Fellowships
are worth up to CHF100,000 (£64,500)

per year for up to five years.
Web id: 260294
Contact: Katharina Poiger
Deadline: 15 January 2016 [129]

Health management
The European Health Management Association invites applications for the Karolinska award. This recognises the best
publication associated with a doctoral
thesis related to health management. The
award is worth €1,000 (£699).
Web id: 193070
Deadline: 18 January 2016 [130]

Mobility grants
The National Research Fund Luxembourg
invites applications for funding under its
INTER mobility programme. This promotes
scientific exchange between research
groups of the Luxembourg public research
institutions and research groups abroad,
in order to foster innovative, internationally competitive research and support
knowledge exchange. Grants cover salary
costs for the researcher, travel costs,
and a mobility allowance of up to €1,500
(£1,050) per month.
Web id: 1172551
Deadline: 20 January 2016 [131]

Computer science prize
The European Association for Theoretical
Computer Science and Association for
Computing Machinery, Special Interest Group on Algoriths and Computation Theory invite nominations for the
Gödel prize. This recognises outstanding
research papers or series of papers in the
field of theoretical computer science. The
prize is worth US$5,000 (£3,300).
Web id: 1161231
Deadline: 31 January 2016 [132]

Medicinal chemistry awards
The European Federation for Medicinal
Chemistry invites nominations for the
following awards:
•Nauta award for pharmacochemistry,
worth €7,500 (£5,000). Web id: 1173177
•prize for young medicinal chemist in
academia, worth €1,000.
Web id: 1173176
•prize for young medicinal chemist in
industry, worth €1,000. Web id: 1173175
•the Prous Institute-Overton and
Meyer award for new technologies in
drug discovery, worth €7,500.
Web id: 1173179
•the UCB-Ehrlich award for excellence
in medicinal chemistry, worth €7,500.
Web id: 1173178
Deadline: 31 January 2016 [133]

EU solar research
Solar Facilities for the European Research
Area invites applications for its call for
access. This enables user groups to access
Solar Facilities for the European Research
Area's solar research facilities.
Web id: 1172225
Deadline: 31 January 2016 [138]

Pulmonary research prize
The European Respiratory Society and
Boehringer Ingelheim invite nominations
for the chronic obstructive pulmonary

disease gold medal. This recognises a
researcher who has made outstanding
clinical, scientific research contribution
in any sector of respiratory medicine,
and who is pursuing an active research
project in the same field. The prize is
worth €50,000 (£35,000).
Web id: 1184163
Deadline: 28 February 2016 [139]

Biochemistry courses
The Federation of European Biochemical Societies invites applications for its
advanced lecture courses grants. These
enable individuals to organise events
such as FEBS lecture courses, workshops
and practical courses in fields relating
to biochemistry, biophysics, molecular
biology, cell biology and developmental
biology. Grants are worth up to €25,000
(£17,500) each.
Web id: 1179476
Contact: Beáta G Vértessy
Deadline: 1 March 2016 [140]

Acute medicine research
The Laerdal Foundation for Acute Medicine invites applications for its centre
support. This aims to support a three
year research centre in practically oriented research and development in acute
medicine. The grant is worth NOK1 million
(£76,300) per year over three years.
Web id: 1177491
Deadline: 1 April 2016 [141]

EU telecommunications
EUREKA invites proposals for its CelticPlus call. This supports information and
communications technology projects
that focus on research related to a smart
connected world. The average budget
for a Celtic-Plus consortium is between
€1 million (£699,100) and €70m.
Web id: 1158474
Deadline: 25 May 2016 [142]

rest of world
Opportunities from funders outside of the
UK, Europe and the US.

Education awards
The Qatar Foundation invites applications
for its world innovation summit for education (WISE) awards. These recognise and
promote successful innovative projects
that are addressing global education
challenges and that have demonstrated
a transformative impact on communities and societies. Six awards, worth
US$20,000 (£32,800) each, are available.
Web id: 1171966
Deadline: 15 January 2016 [143]

Prader-Willi conference
The Foundation for Prader-Willi Research
Canada and the International PraderWilli Syndrome Organisation invite nominations for their scientific conference
awards. These recognise researchers who
have contributed to the research of PraderWilli syndrome. Awards also cover travel
costs to the IPWSO scientific conference.
Web id: 1187500
Deadline: 1 February 2016 [144]

Opportunities from the National Institutes
of Health. Recurring NIH calls include the
next closing date only.

Ancillary studies to major ongoing clinical research studies to advance areas of
scientific interest within the mission of
the NIDDK (R01): Aids–related
NIH ref: PAR-16-034
Web id: 1187537
Deadline: 7 January 2016 [145]
BRAIN initiative: development and
validation of novel tools to analyse cellspecific and circuit-specific processes in
the brain (R01)
NIH ref: RFA-MH-16-775
Web id: 1177023
Deadline: 2 February 2016 [146]
Advancing understanding, prevention
and management of infections transmitted from women to their infants (R01)
NIH ref: PA-16-032
Web id: 1187516
Deadline: 5 February 2016 [147]
Improving outcomes in cancer treatment-related cardiotoxicity (R01)
NIH ref: PA-16-035
Web id: 1187690
Deadline: 5 February 2016 [148]
Ancillary studies to major ongoing clinical research studies to advance areas of
scientific interest within the mission of
the NIDDK (R01)
NIH ref: PAR-16-034
Web id: 1187536
Deadline: 5 February 2016 [149]
Stimulating haematology investigation:
new endeavours (R01)
NIH ref: PAS-16-033
Web id: 260932
Deadline: 5 February 2016 [150]
Discovery and development of novel
therapeutics for eukaryotic pathogens
NIH ref: RFA-AI-15-054
Web id: 1187325
Deadline: 10 February 2016 [151]
Metabolomics data analysis (R03)
NIH ref: RFA-RM-15-021
Web id: 1187456
Deadline: 11 February 2016 [152]
Advancing understanding, prevention
and management of infections transmitted from women to their infants
NIH ref: PA-16-031
Web id: 1187513
Deadline: 16 February 2016 [153]
Examination of survivorship care planning efficacy and impact (R21)
NIH ref: PA-16-011
Web id: 1169506
Deadline: 16 February 2016 [154]
Improving outcomes in cancer treatment-related cardiotoxicity (R21)
NIH ref: PA-16-036
Web id: 1187691
Deadline: 16 February 2016 [155]
Applying metabolomics to drive biomarker discovery in symptom science
NIH ref: PA-16-029
Web id: 1187493
Deadline: 16 February 2016 [156]

18  funding news
US funding opportunities available to UK

International Association for Dental
Research GlaxoSmithKline innovation in
oral care awards
Web id: 207139
Deadline: 11 December 2015 [168]
Brain & Behavior Research Foundation
independent investigator award
Web id: 186970
Deadline: 14 December 2015 [169]
American Schools of Oriental Research
Research Institute in Nicosia graduate
student fellowships
Web id: 254720
Deadline: 15 December 2015 [170]
American Society of Pharmacognosy
Norman R Farnsworth research achievement award
Web id: 1172372
Deadline: 15 December 2015 [171]
YIVO Institute for Jewish Research American Jewish studies fellowships
Web id: 1187632
Deadline: 31 December 2015 [172]
YIVO Institute for Jewish Research Baltic
Jewish studies fellowships
Web id: 1187629
Deadline: 31 December 2015 [173]
YIVO Eastern European Jewish studies
Web id: 1187633
Deadline: 31 December 2015 [174]
American Society for Microbiology/CDC
programme in infectious disease and
public health microbiology
Web id: 209638
Deadline: 15 January 2016 [179]
ISHLT/HeartWare award for translational
research in mechanical circulatory support
Web id: 1187649
Deadline: 15 January 2016 [180]
International Society for Heart and Lung
Transplantation Norman E Shumway
career development award
Web id: 1176868
Deadline: 15 January 2016 [181]
International Society for Heart and Lung
Transplantation nursing, health sciences and allied health research grant
Web id: 210520
Deadline: 15 January 2016 [182]
International Society for Heart and Lung
Transplantation pulmonary hypertension research grant
Web id: 1187648
Deadline: 15 January 2016 [183]
Smithsonian National Air and Space
Museum A Verville fellowship
Web id: 197295
Deadline: 15 January 2016 [187]
Smithsonian Institution Guggenheim
Web id: 197292
Deadline: 15 January 2016 [188]
North American Native Fishes Association resaerch conservation grant
Web id: 189724
Deadline: 22 January 2016 [191]
Smithsonian Institution JS Lee memorial fellowships
Web id: 1182805
Deadline: 27 January 2016 [192]

Research Fortnight, 25 November 2015

policy diary
  2 National Co-ordinating Centre
for Public Engagement: Engage
2015, Bristol. To 3.
  • Universities UK: Equality and
Diversity in HE, London.
  3 AHRC: Collaborative Doctoral
Award Scheme 10th Anniversary
event, Birmingham.
  • CSaP: Inside the Nudge Unit,
  • WHEF: Improving Student
Attainment and Retention, London
  4 AHRC: Inspire and Engage
Workshop, London.
  9 WHEF: Investing in the Future
of Science in the UK, London.
  • Praxis Unico: Fundamentals of
Software Commercialisation,
Loughborough. To 11.
  • Universities UK: Enhancing the
Student Experience, London.

WHO highlights TB funding gap
The World Health Organization has called for an additional
$1.3 billion a year for research on tuberculosis. In its annual
global assessment of TB, the WHO said that more money was
needed for diagnostic testing alongside drug and vaccine
development. About 1.5 million people died from TB in 2014,
placing it alongside HIV as a leading cause of death worldwide.
Biotech catalyst ‘postponed’
The Industrial Biotechnology Catalyst is to be “temporarily
postponed” pending the outcome of the government's
spending review. The programme’s funders—Innovate
UK, the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research
Council and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research
Council—said they would agree on the next steps once their
budgets were confirmed beyond 2015-16.
NERC plans ecosystems and poverty call dates
The National Environment Research Council has said that the
next call for proposals through the £40.5-million Ecosystems
Services for Poverty Alleviation programme will open in
early 2016. There will be a town meeting on 28 January in
London to allow applicants to meet potential collaborators,
gain more information on the scheme and help refine the
programme's focus.

14 WSPF: Developing Regional
Powerhouses in England –
Infrastructure, Economic Development and Skills, London.
18 Centre Forum: Ambitions for
English Education, tbc.
26 Vitae: Developing the Next Generation of Research Leaders,
  • AMRC: Essential Research Management, London.
28 WHEF: Future for Charity Law,
Funding and Social Investment, London. http://rsrch.

UK and India focus on boosting joint research
The Indian and British governments announced the winners
of £8.5 million of joint research funding on 13 November, to
coincide with the Indian prime minister Narendra Modi's visit
to the UK. £6 million was awarded to seven projects looking at
the health needs of women and children in areas with few health
resources, while £2.5m went to two projects on substance abuse.

11 WHEF: Next Steps for Computer
Science Teaching in HE,

NIHR antimicrobial spending tops £15m in 2015
The National Institute for Health Research has spent more
than £15.8 million this year on projects to tackle antibiotic
resistant infections such as tuberculosis. Meanwhile, the
pharmaceutical and biotech industries are urging government
to change the way it funds antibiotic development to increase
the number of novel drugs reaching the market.

22 WHEF: The Future for the Catapult Network, London.
  7 WHEF: Next Steps for Postgraduate Research: Funding, Student Experience and Transition
to Post-doctoral Roles, London.
12 WHEF: Improving Graduate
Employability, London.

Defence innovation agency closes submission portal
The UK's Centre for Defence Enterprise, part of the Defence
Science and Technology Laboratory, introduced a new
submission portal on 12 November. The centre said that
if applicants wanted to keep proposals from the previous
portal they should publish, download and save their PDFs
locally before 16 December.

Firms to fund cybersecurity research
Eighteen technology companies have been persuaded
to contribute £6.5 million to its cybersecurity research
programmes through the CyberInvest fund. The government
says it wants more companies to invest in the fund, which
will be administered jointly by GCHQ and the Department for
Culture, Media and Sport.

  europe  19

Research Fortnight, 25 November 2015


Horizon 2020 funding set for 2016
The European Parliament has failed in its bid to restore
Horizon 2020 funding in a 2016 budget deal struck in
the early hours of 14 November.
Negotiators from the Council of Ministers and the
Parliament agreed to set commitments for Horizon 2020
at €9.5 billion (£6.7bn), a €31.8-million increase on the
draft figure proposed by the European Commission. This
falls short of the €707m increase in commitments set as
a target by MEPs in a resolution on 13 October, requested to mitigate the effects of a planned €2.2bn reduction
in research spending by 2017 for the European Fund for
Strategic Investments.
In its position, the Council had advocated a figure of
€9.4bn for Horizon 2020, €105m less than the final deal
struck. Before the meeting, member states had said they
would not budge on this figure because it would mean
going back on the agreement on Efsi. However, on 13
November the Commission presented a compromise proposal that included a small rise for Horizon 2020, which
it said could be justified “in line with normal budgetary
“Should programmes be over subscribed and performing well, we have leeway of up to 10 per cent,” said
vice-president for the budget Kristalina Georgieva, pre-

in brief

Parliament pushes for directly
elected president
The European Parliament has
adopted a proposal to change the
European Union’s legislation so that future presidents
of the European Commission are directly elected by EU
citizens, from a list of candidates endorsed by political parties. The proposal continues long-term attempts
by the Parliament to give elections a bigger role in the
selection of Commission president.
Regulations should be statutory, report says
Voluntary schemes such as industry self-regulation are
no substitute for statutory regulation when dealing
with social and environmental challenges, a UK wildlife
conservation group has said. Using Regulation as a Last
Resort, published by the Royal Society for the Protection
of Birds, found that voluntary regulations performed
poorly: 82 per cent of the 161 schemes assessed failed.
French representative to head Science Europe
Chemical engineer Michael Matlosz has been elected
president of Science Europe, the association of funders
and research organisations. He is president and chief
executive of the French National Research Agency. The
appointment follows the decision of Miguel Seabra to
step down in July.

by Amanda Stringfellow

senting the compromise to the Ecofin council of finance
ministers. “That is the spirit in which we have looked at
the implementation of Horizon 2020.”
Overall, the budget deal sets 2016 spending at €155bn
in commitments and €143.9bn in payments, with more
than €2bn in commitments set aside for tackling migration. Horizon 2020 payments—the amount of money
that can be paid out next year—stand at €10bn.
“The Council was more generous than it said it would
be,” said an EU source close to the negotiations. “The
Council made some compromises, but it has been supported unanimously by all member states.”
A spokesman for the Socialists and Democrats group in
Parliament said: “The €31m increase on the Commission
agreement for Horizon 2020 does have important symbolic value, but obviously we are disappointed not to
have been able to secure as much as we hoped for.”
The negotiations, which began at 10am on
13 November, ended at 1am on 14 November. The
Council and the Parliament will formally adopt the compromise, with the Council set to do so on 24 November
and the Parliament on 25 November.
EU extends university network support
The European Commission has pledged a further
€25 million (£17.5m) to the longstanding GÉANT project, a Pan-European high-speed computer network.
The network offers 10,000 education institutions security, authentication and authorisation services for large
research collaborations, cloud-computing space and
high-performance computing.
Austrian funder backs ORCID
The Austrian Science Fund, FWF, will require an Open
Researcher and Contributor ID for all research applications
from January 2016. The FWF said it had chosen to use the
16-digit ORCID system to ensure clear recognition and
assignability of its researchers. It follows similar moves
by the Portuguese national funding agency, the Swedish
research council and the Wellcome Trust.
Plan to monitor carbon emissions from space
The European Commission has proposed a strategy for
building an observation system to monitor carbon dioxide emissions from space. The proposal, which would
allow the European Union to verify compliance to international climate agreements, was released ahead of
the COP21 meeting of the UN Framework Convention
on Climate Change in Paris from 30 November to
11 December.

20  view

Research Fortnight, 25 November 2015

v i e w f r o m t h e t o p    k i e r o n f l a n a g a n

If Research UK is the solution,
then what’s the problem?
When Paul Nurse’s review of the UK research councils
was announced late last year there was widespread suspicion that it was motivated by the desire of one or two
like-minded figures at the top of the science establishment to reshape the system more to their own liking. But
the political landscape has changed since then, with the
election of a majority Conservative government, a new
secretary of state and a new science minister.
In this context, and with the spending review looming, the Nurse review took on new significance. It has
increasingly been seen not as a threat to the status quo
but as a defence against wholesale restructuring.
Ministers, keen to cut the number of organisations
that were partnered with the Department for Business,
Innovastion and Skills, were thought to be after a quickwin merger. Instead Nurse has recommended a strategic
merger—a single council in all but name.
A new non-departmental public body, Research UK,
would encompass the existing councils. This body would
provide oversight, analysis and strategic thinking, manage interdisciplinarity, and control a top-sliced fund for
strategic or emergency areas, while simultaneously refereeing the competing demands of each discipline.
Nurse argues that a single Research UK with discretion
to spend this strategic fund on emergencies, emerging
priorities and interdisciplinary research will improve UK
support of such research. There’s no real evidence, however, either that this has been a particular problem or
that a single cross-discipline funder would do any better.
The research councils had emerged unscathed from the
coalition government’s 2010 bonfire of the quangos and
from last year’s triennial review, which looked at operational need and took the policy framework as a given.
In contrast Nurse—and, written in the first person,
this is very much Nurse’s report, rather than the work
of a panel that Nurse chaired—audaciously rewrites
the rationales for UK science policy on his own terms.
The result is somewhat idiosyncratic in its
emphases, a little dated in its intellectual
references, and not without internal contradictions. It also, perhaps inevitably, reflects
a view of science grounded in the specificities of biomedical research. Even so, the
Nurse review is still far more thoughtful and
nuanced than most policy statements.
This is both a radical rethink of the
underlying logic of UK science policy and
radical proposals for reform. However, it’s
not clear to me that the recommendations

rewrites the
rationales for
UK science
policy on his
own terms.’

offered here necessarily follow out of the analysis in the
first pages of the report, rhetorical tricks about removing “artificial barriers” aside.
Rather, I suspect the recommendations are driven by
two considerations. First, the advent of mega-initiatives
like the Crick and Royce institutes. These are, essentially, too big to fail. In the same way that the existence
of banks felt to be too big to fail required a rethink of
regulation and emergency support, these innovations
necessitate a reshaping of the funding system to fit them.
Second, the report implies that the recipe for effective
science policy is not to concentrate power in councils of
the great and the good, accountable downwards to their
scientific communities and upwards to ministers and parliament. Rather, power should lie in the hands of a few
figures, people like government chief scientific adviser
Mark Walport—whose shadow looms over the report even
if his name is never mentioned—or Nurse himself.
Research UK would give a great deal of power to
research council leaders, especially the new organisation’s chief executive and board. Decisions about
funding allocations between the broad disciplines represented by the seven councils might be taken out of
politicians’ hands, although the report is fuzzy about the
precise balance of power. And who would win a battle of
wills between a council and the board or CEO?
An effective single funder will reduce diversity in the
UK funding system, something widely thought to be its
core strength. I can’t think of a major national system
that puts all public research funding in the hands of a
single organisation, beyond perhaps the Soviet-era
academy of sciences—not generally seen as a role model.
The problem would be exacerbated if, as seems
likely, the research functions of the Higher Education
Funding Council for England are merged into Research
UK. Could decisions about these budgets really be insulated from each other, especially given that HEFCE’s
block research funding is England-only while the
research councils are UK-wide?
To be credible, Research UK will have to address these
challenges, preserving a healthy diversity of funding
modes and maintaining an internal diversity of perspectives, ensuring that no one view, disciplinary or
otherwise, wins out.
More to say? Email
Kieron Flanagan is a senior lecturer in science
and technology policy at the Manchester Institute of
Innovation Research at the University of Manchester.

Research Fortnight, 25 November 2015

  view  21

i s m a i l e t a l    v i e w f r o m t h e t o p

Doctors’ contract would reopen
divide between lab and clinic
Ten years ago, recruitment to academic medicine in the
UK was in crisis. There was a lack of clear entry routes
into clinical academic careers and an ad hoc career
structure that deterred high-calibre clinicians from pursuing research.
In response, the UK Clinical Research Collaboration
commissioned a report from the then director of the
Wellcome Trust Mark Walport on the future of medical
training. This marked a sea change, both in acknowledging the “perilous” state of academic medicine in
the UK and in identifying ways to stop this decline,
such as the introduction of competitively awarded fellowships. These were adopted rapidly in the following
years, alongside wider changes to the health research
system to support clinical researchers recommended by
former director of the Bank of England David Cooksey in
A Review of UK Health Research Funding in 2006.
As a result, many more young clinicians have been
drawn to academic research. Between 2006—when the
National Institute for Health Research was established—
and 2013 there was a 35 per cent increase in full-time
lecturers in medical schools, and a 5 per cent overall
increase in clinical academics. The number of women in
academic medicine increased by about a third between
2004 and 2013.
The Department of Health’s decision this summer
to change junior doctors’ contracts from August 2016
threatens this progress.
Under the new contract, academic work will no longer
contribute towards pay progression. Junior doctors taking time out of formal clinical training for a PhD will lose
the incremental pay rises of their colleagues who remain
in clinical training, even though many gain clinical
experience part-time alongside their research.
Instead, “flexible pay supplements” may be used to
compensate clinicians doing research, but it is not clear
who will be eligible. The proposals imply that decisions
may be made on a case-by-case basis for those doctors
requiring a higher degree as part of their clinical specialist training, but considerable uncertainty remains.
The implications of the government’s recommendations are clear. First, there will be a strong financial
disincentive against pursuing academic training or taking
Sharif Ismail and Jonathan Pearson-Stuttard are at
Imperial College London; Benjamin Bray is at University
College London; Geraint Thomas is at the University of
Oxford. The authors are all NIHR-supported academic
trainees. They write here in a personal capacity.

up academic clinical fellowships or lectureships. Second,
more experienced trainees, or those who switch specialty, are likely to be deterred from applying for research
positions because of loss of income. This would be a loss
for clinical research, which benefits enormously from its
ability to recruit people from a wide range of disciplinary
backgrounds and with varying levels of experience.
Third, the loss of incremental pay rises—alongside
other recommendations on working hours from the
Review Body on Doctors’ and Dentists’ Remuneration—
will discriminate against trainee researchers who take
maternity or paternity leave, or who need to work
flexibly. This will be a major problem for the many early-career researchers who combine work with raising a
family or other commitments, and will undermine recent
progress towards gender equality in academic medicine.
For clinical academics working now, contract implementation in August 2016 will result in overnight pay
cuts, as any pay progression accrued from past clinical
academic experience will be lost.
Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales have all
announced that they will not impose the review body’s
contract proposals for junior doctors.
The UK holds a leading position in health and biomedical research internationally, and has historically
enjoyed a strong return on research investment across
the board, when compared with other leading economies. The benefits of health research to both the
population and the wider economy are well documented
and substantial. However, even with the reforms of the
past decade, translating research into improved clinical
practice for best patient outcome has long been recognised as a weakness.
Strength in translational research depends on the
existence of a suitably trained clinical-research workforce. Amid the broad hostility to the proposed complex
and multifaceted contract changes, the
implications for health research have
received little scrutiny. But as long as
the Department of Health remains committed to implementing these proposals
next year, the risk of a return to the days
when academic medicine was a secondclass career pathway for doctors, and the
threat to population health that would
come with this, is high.
Something to add? Email comment@

‘The changes
risk a return to
the days when
medicine was
a second-class

22  view

Research Fortnight, 25 November 2015

v i e w f r o m t h e t o p    g e m m a d e r r i c k

Surf the tide or risk a wipeout
To read the recent higher education green paper, you
would think that a university’s worth to its students lies
solely in its teaching. But students, of course, are also consumers of research and research expertise. Teaching and
research are intertwined aspects of university excellence.
Postgraduate teaching in particular depends heavily on the expertise and reputation of the researcher,
department and university. The green paper, in contrast,
reinforces the idea that teaching and research are separate tasks and that, selfishly, universities and academics
value research prestige over good teaching.
No sooner have researchers got their heads around
the green paper than along comes chancellor George
Osborne’s spending review, due on 25 November. Among
other things, this will reveal how the 2014 Research
Excellence Framework (REF) results have influenced politicians’ perceptions of the value of research and its role in
university education.
With UK research funding hanging in the balance, we
must wonder what a new focus on teaching excellence, the
loss of the Higher Education Funding Council for England
(HEFCE), and the inability to see how research power benefits students will mean for university education.
Universities and academics need to make the case
that policy should take a joined-up view of university
research and teaching, and that impoverishing the former will harm the latter. What do we stand to lose by
ignoring the contribution of world-leading research to
students’ education? And what tools might researchers
use to show the value of research to the UK?
Step forward, the REF—that in-depth, governmentendorsed audit of UK higher education. As well as
highlighting areas of research strength, areas of need
and the overall resourcefulness of academics in the
UK, the impact criterion has provided thousands of
case studies showing how UK research has influenced
society worldwide. Combined with research metrics, we
can use the REF to understand how the UK can challenge the production and quality of
global research heavyweights such as
the United States and China.
Now more than ever, academics
should see the REF, research metrics
and even research impact as political
tools to promote the incredible value of
research and universities. And yet, so
much attention is paid to how research
metrics in particular are used badly that
we have failed to grasp the extent to
which they could be useful.
The most obvious example of this
demonisation is the suggestion of a bad

‘So much
attention is
paid to how
metrics are used
badly, we have
failed to grasp
how they could
be useful.’

metric prize in The Metric Tide, a report commissioned by
HEFCE on the use of metrics in research assessment. This
calls for an annual award for “the most egregious example of an inappropriate use of quantitative indicators in
research management”. In general, the report concludes
that metrics cannot replace peer review, describing at
length the pitfalls of metrics while dismissing the arguably equally serious perils of peer review.
The report’s recommendations were generally benign;
its errors were more of emphasis than analysis. The trouble
is that by ridiculing misuse, rather than rewarding correct use, those in research risk undermining arguments in
favour of more investment—arguments based largely on
the very same, endlessly belittled, research metrics.
Metrics are powerful because they can communicate
complex information efficiently. The reconvening of the
expert panel in light of the tender for metrics from the
Department for Business, Innovation and Skills shows
how they can infiltrate political thinking. The government
seems intent on using metrics despite expert advice, advocating a metric-based Teaching Excellence Framework
(TEF), and a secondary REF to “refresh” the primary results.
Some wariness is warranted—these policy intentions
blatantly contradict the recommendations of The Metric
Tide—but this is not the same as assuming all metrics
are evil. Here is a chance to make metrics work for us,
rather than against us. If instead academics continue
to demonise research metrics and assessment, it risks
handing the government reasons to doubt the contribution research plays in strengthening both the UK
economy and university teaching.
We have metrics, we have impact, and we have an
assessment process that emphasises both of these. We are
in an enviable position, but it is a position that we put at
risk by continually rubbishing the tools that highlight our
strengths. With the TEF being based on a number of metrics
that are more open to misinterpretation or manipulation—
such as student satisfaction—perhaps the humble citation
can be turned from research pariah into research tool.
Metrics alone are not enough, and reducing the assessment of research or teaching to a metric risks obscuring
how they interact. But by not promoting these tools for
our own benefit, we risk them being used as excuses to cut
an already stretched research budget. Ironically, to do so
would jeopardise the quality of higher education, thereby
going against all the green paper’s recommendations.
More to say? Email
Gemma Derrick is an Economic and Social Research
Council Future Research Leader Fellow in the health
economics research group at Brunel University, London.

  view  23

Research Fortnight, 25 November 2015

j a m e s h a r t l e y    v i e w f r o m t h e t o p

How scientometrics changed
my (writing) life
Scientometrics is the development of computer-based
tools to measure text and its features. It is a rapidly
evolving discipline and it has allowed me to do more
substantial research on features of text than I could ever
have done by hand.
I have always been interested in what makes a text
easy to read, in both appearance and content. My PhD
thesis in the 1960s compared linear teaching programmes, which followed a proscribed sequence, with
branching programmes that allowed more flexibility.
Layout was an important consideration here.
In the 1970s I began work with Peter Burnhill, a brilliant typographic designer. Peter, who died in 2007,
focused on what we now call information design, rather
than on the aesthetics. Together, we sought to understand how effective typical information design layouts
were. This work culminated in Designing Instructional
Text, which was published in 1974 and ran to three editions over 20 years.
We used many and varied methods but none involved
computers. Now I have access to vast datasets and study
populations at the drop of a hat. Scientometrics has provided computer-based tools to measure the readability
of text and its features, such as tables and graphs.
Generally speaking, there are two groups of methods
for assessing text: reader-based and text-based. Readerbased methods involve presenting different versions of
a text to a readers and assessing the time it takes them
to read each version, their comprehension and preferences, and so on.
Text-based methods use computers to measure the
readability of sentences and passages in terms of words,
grammatical features, and sentence and paragraph
length. Many authors now use these tools when submitting papers to journals.
Scientometric tools have played a large part in helping me to do better what I did before. I have benefited
both as a researcher and a writer from how simple it is
to use them. Indeed, I recently did scientometric analyses of my own writing to see whether my efforts to write
readable, influential articles and books—and to improve
with age—had paid off.
I was somewhat surprised to find that the style of my
books and papers appears to have changed little over
James Hartley is emeritus professor of psychology at Keele
University. This piece’s Flesch score (on his computer) is
49/100, suggesting it is accessible to those aged 17 and
above. See also Scientometrics vol 103, p 1073 (2015).

time. I now use shorter sentences and my titles are more
varied. Many of my articles with colleagues appear to
have been cited more than the ones I wrote alone.
But, we must recall, these judgements are based on
analyses of the finished products. How I achieved these
products has changed, from using paper and pencil and
re-writing copious drafts by hand, to typing with two fingers, to using word-processing programmes.
Scientometric tools come at a price. Just because we
can now measure quickly and easily what we used to
measure slowly and with difficulty, the new measures
are not necessarily better. Some of these measures are
now used for purposes for which they were not intended.
The Flesch Reading Ease score, for example, was
originally designed in the 1940s by American journalist
Rudolf Flesch to measure the readability of newspapers.
It has become the main readability test used today for all
kinds of text, and is easily available online or as a tool in
word-processing software.
The Flesch score—calculated by counting and combining different features of text, such as the number and
length of words, the percentage of passives, and so on—
omits many features of reading difficulty, in particular
what the actual words mean. For example, I have seen
it used on French and Polish prose, although it was not
designed for use on languages besides English. And if
you entered the text backwards you would get the same
readability score.
The same is broadly true of many scientometric measures. The notorious journal impact factor is so full of
statistical holes that it can give misleading conclusions.
But once we have a simple test that seems to work then
weaknesses are forgotten and it becomes difficult to
install a more sophisticated replacement. There are better tools for measuring a paper’s impact,
but it will take years to remove impact
factors from our lexicon of measures.
So how has scientometrics changed my
life? Well, it is clear that such measures
have rejuvenated studies like mine in the
field of scientific communication. These
tools have allowed me to employ much
greater sample sizes, more texts, and to feel
a bit happier about the validity of my studies—despite a nagging feeling that we have
not quite got there yet.
Something to add? Email comment@

tools come at
a price...Some
are now used
for purposes
for which
they were not

24  interesting if true

Research Fortnight, 25 November 2015

interesting if true
Document details At the culmination of his year-long
review into the research councils in London last week,
Royal Society president Paul Nurse was rolling out the
witty one-liners. He began by telling the room of journalists looking to pose him difficult questions on the
30-odd page report they’d received just 30 minutes earlier, that he hadn’t included an executive summary. “I
always think it’s better to read these documents,” he
said. He later acknowledged the challenge they faced,
referring to his report as “dense”.
My precious Scientists in Brazil have looked to Oxford for
inspiration when it comes to naming a newly discovered
species of harvestman arachnid. Lurking in the caves of
Minas Gerais in the east of the country is Iandumoema
smeagol. The creepy-crawly has been awarded the name
because it, like its namesake in J R R Tolkein’s Lord of
the Rings trilogy, has pale skin from living for years in
dark moist caves.
Bum deal They’ve dominated popular culture for years,
and in 2014 one family member was charged with breaking the internet. Now, though, it’s academics who
need to be on the lookout: the Kardashians have had
an academic conference dedicated to them. In the first
Kimposium, due to take place on 26 November at Brunel

University, London, researchers will discuss the phenomenon that is this all-star family. One presentation
will focus entirely on Kim Kardashian’s derrière.
Flying high Good news last week for researchers and
engineers working on medical imaging techniques. It
emerged that pigeons were almost as good as people
at identifying cancerous tissue in microscope images
after just a few weeks of training. Study leader Richard
Levenson of the University of California, Davis, told
Smithsonian magazine, “Pigeons may not be able to write
poetry, but they’ve had millions of years to develop the
abilities that they need to navigate a very complicated
and dangerous world, so it doesn’t surprise me that they
can do pathology.”
Open case The Royal Academy of Engineering published
its Connecting Data report last week, which said that
although the UK was well placed to take advantage of
the “wide-ranging and diverse” opportunities offered
by big data, a number of legal, regulatory and organisational obstacles remain. Your correspondent was left
wondering which of these big-data obstacles had led to
a rather mysterious PDF being published alongside the
report. When opened, the document simply said: “Case
studies will be available soon.”

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