Royal Society Fellowships Workshop – 6 September 2018


Royal Society covers life & physical sciences including engineering but excluding medical

Lucy Saddleton and Katie Lisanti @Royal Society

Katie Saddleton- Scheme Manager, UK Grants (particularly Fellowships)

Fellowships – they are really flexible, encourage shared parental leave, can accommodate sick leave, parental leave etc. You are all humans and RS will support you.

There are additional free training opportunities available for RS Fellows, workshops, training, mentoring, MP pairing scheme. Funding schemes include:

  • University Research Fellows can apply to have a PhD student included in the Fellowship
  • ECR Fellowships
  • Senior Research Fellowships
  • Industry & Innovation – Fellowships & New Short Industry Fellowships
  • Industry & Innovation – APEX Award, Paul Instrument Fund
  • Research Capacity & Infrastructure – Research Grants

Lucy Lisanti – International Exchanges Manager

International Collaboration & Travel – International Exchanges, JSPS Postdoc Fellowship, Newton International Fellowship (ECR from Newton Countries), Newton Advanced (Early to Mid from Newton Countries), Royal Society Newton Fund (International Fellowships)

GCRF – International Collaboration (bolstering current collaborations), Challenge Led Grants (one off award), FLAIR Fellowships (African researchers to work in sub Saharan /Africa Universities

 Application Process – Flexi-Grant – Flexi grant deadline is now 3pm not midnight

 What are we looking for?

Think of it like a job interview, track record, creativity, excellent scientific merit

Royal Society don’t mind if you stay at your institution or if you move, and you can transfer your grant/fellowship if you move.

 Tips for the Interview

  • For ECRs – how is this a route to independence
  • Why do you want to stay at institution – having family nearby is a valid reason.
  • Need to do an Elevator Pitch
  • Hold mock interviews before hand
  • There are videos about the interview process on RS website
  • Need a really good lay summary, understandable by someone who does not have a discipline specific knowledge.

Scheme notes can change between rounds!! Make sure you are accessing the most up to date version.

 Other things to Note

RS do not publish success rates due to variation of award year on year – for some schemes success rates are not high so don’t want to put people off!!

Limited feedback at each stage – further down process you get the more feedback that you get.

Can apply again if unsuccessful (except Henry Dale which is joint with Wellcome Trust, where you need to complete a pre-application pro-forma).

 Fellowship Case Studies

Claudia Schneider – Newcastle

University Research Fellowship

Leave lots of time for application

View another person’s proposal

Good to do a mock interview

Route to independence – how is work different to what you have been doing before,
how can you expand your group, what is your next publication

Lars Erik Holmquist- Northumbria

Wolfson Research Merit Award

Salary increase to help recruit someone you might not have been able to recruit otherwise

Biggest benefit is being part of RS network & accessing training

Digital Disruption Network

Del Atkinson – Durham

Royal Society Industry Fellow (can be either way, industry to academic or academic to industry)

Having a great idea and why you are the right person to do this at this time – why you, why now – what are you skill sets?

Working with industry, start small and build, be flexible

Don’t do it if you’re not interested


RS are not risk averse, they expect a project to have ambition and stretch the applicant.


Horizon 2020 and beyond…Notes from UKRO Visit

Our UKRO Representative Jon Brookes visited Newcastle yesterday, here are some notes from the presentation:

Average success rate across all H2020 Programmes was 14.9% so far. This varied from scheme to scheme with some of the ERC fellowships at 4%. £4.6 billion came to the UK, of which 2/3 goes to HEIs.

There is now a dashboard on the Participant Portal that you can use to look at success rates by organisation.

For the remaining 2 years of H2020, calls will be clustered around 4 focus policy areas, you will need to reference the relevant policy area in your proposal, as well as referring to the relevant SDG. In Horizon Europe (FP9) this will be more prevalent. UKRO have a Factsheet on the Role of SDGs

The remaining calls will be clustered around supporting the Commission’s political priorities:

  • A low-carbon, climate resilient future: €3.3 billion;
  • Circular Economy: €1 billion;
  • Digitising and transforming European industry and services: €1.7 billion;
  • Security Union: €1 billion; and
  • Migration: €200 million.

The new Horizon Europe Programme will have a budget of €100 billion and will be formed around 3 pillars:

  • Open Science – Building on the success of the European Research Council, the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions and the Research Infrastructures, the pillar adds more resources for projects with higher impacts.
  • Global Challenges and industrial competitiveness – It consists of clusters that aim at exploiting European strengths and assets by generating new knowledge and translating it into useful innovations, developing and applying digital and key enabling technologies along with a new mission approach.
  • Open Innovation – This new pillar will offer a one-stop shop for high potential innovators, aiming to put Europe at the forefront of market-creating innovation through a “bottom-up” approach.

There will be a new European Innovation Council with funding instruments for companies:

  • Pathfinder – risky projects & early stage ideas
  • Accelerator – taking existing ideas and bringing them to market

Horizon Europe will have a ‘Mission Orientation’ with different strands of the programme uniting to pursue Grand Challenges such as curing cancer, eliminating dementia, carbon neutral cities, plastic free oceans. It will therefore be essential that you read and reference the relevant European policy documents in your applications.

There was some discussion about Brexit and what that could mean for the UK. There are a number of documents on the UK Govt website detailing what will happen if there is no deal:–2

The UK Government guarantees that it will cover all of the UK successful bids budgets submitted right up to the end of H2020. This only covers the UK element of the budget. This guarantee covers any bids put in on a competitive basis up to the end of 2020, including COST Actions, Erasmus etc.

Bear in mind that if there is a No Deal and the UK ends up as a Third Country then you will need to make sure that you have the minimum 3 Member States on the grant to ensure eligibility. Third Party countries CAN coordinate collaborative projects so the UK could still lead projects in the event of a No Deal.


NIHR Latest Funding Opportunities

The following new funding opportunities are available from NIHR:

Health Services and Delivery Research Programme
18/73 Health Services and Delivery Research Programme researcher-led (standard)
18/74 Health Services and Delivery Research Programme researcher-led (evidence synthesis)
18/75 HS&DR Mental Health Themed Call

Health Technology Assessment Programme
18/65 Health Technology Assessment Programme researcher-led (evidence synthesis)

18/66 Health Technology Assessment Programme researcher-led (primary research)
18/67 HTA Mental Health Themed Call (evidence synthesis)
18/68 HTA Mental Health Themed Call (primary research)

Invention for Innovation Programme
Product Development Awards – Call 16

Public Health Research Programme
18/69 Benefits of the provision of health and wellbeing education during Initial Teaching Training and Continual Professional Development of qualified teachers
18/70 Fire and rescue visits to improve health outcomes
18/71 Sex and relationship interventions for young people with learning disabilities
18/72 Gang violence and gang related harms to health



Latest Funding Opportunities from NIHR

Efficacy and Mechanism Evaluation Programme
An NIHR and MRC partnership
18/62 EME Mental Health Themed Call – round 2
18/58 EME Researcher Led – new brain tumour highlight notice added

Public Health Research Programme
18/61 PHR Mental Health Themed Call – round 2
18/60 Researcher-led – new brain tumour highlight notice added

Research for Patient Benefit Programme
Competition 36 – including Mental Health Themed Call round 2

For more information and a list of all current funding opportunities, please visit the NIHR website.


Latest call from NIHR

Latest calls from NIHR

Clinician Scientist Award
Round 18

Efficacy and Mechanism Evaluation Programme
An NIHR and MRC partnership
18/55 Improving Safety and Efficacy Through Targeted Drug Delivery
18/56 Neurodegenerative Disorders
18/57 Type 2 Diabetes
18/58 EME Researcher Led
18/59 Mechanisms of action of health interventions

Health Technology Assessment Programme

18/24 Early reoperation for patients with residual glioblastoma
18/25 Microstructural scaffold insertion following microfracture for chondral knee defects
18/26 Surgical management of pressure ulcers
18/27 Alternative bisphosphonate regimens for the prevention of osteoporotic fracture in adults
18/28 Paediatric wrist fracture
18/29 Preventing job loss in people with long term physical health conditions
18/30 Hysteroscopic removal of retained placenta
18/31 Discontinuation of growth hormone treatment in pubertal children
18/32 Management of orthostatic hypotension
18/33 Valuing the benefits and harms of antenatal and new born screening programmes in the UK
18/34 Routinely used interventions for improving attachment in infants and young children
18/35 Behavioural intervention to treat anxiety in adults with autism and  moderate to severe learning disabilities
18/36 Anticonvulsant augmentation of antipsychotic medication in the management of psychosis
18/37 Repair of digital nerve injury
18/38 Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor for the treatment of anxiety in adults with autism
18/39 Earlier active management of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome
18/40 Short-term use of benzodiazepines for the acute management of acute low back pain
18/41 Clinical and cost effectiveness of alternative urinary catheter design
18/42 Cystic fibrosis
18/43 Rotation of the fetal head at full cervical dilatation
18/44 Pre-hospital pain management
18/45 Proton pump inhibitor therapy for refractory gastro-oesophageal reflux symptoms
18/46 Pharmacological management of post-traumatic seizures  
18/47 Outpatient cervical ripening for induction of labour
18/48 Radiotherapy in first-line treatment of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma
18/49 Radiofrequency denervation for low back pain
18/50 Frail older people in primary care
18/51 Extended duration haemodialysis
18/52 Management of isolated or incidental subsegmental pulmonary embolism
18/53 Clozapine for children and young people with treatment resistant schizophrenia

Integrated Clinical Academic Programme for non-medical healthcare professionals
An NIHR and Health Education England partnership
Round 4

Public Health Research Programme
18/60 Researcher-led (including complex health and care needs in older people and London Devolution Deal highlight notices)

For more information and a list of all current funding opportunities, please visit the NIHR website.


NIHR – Latest Funding Opportunities

Here are the latest funding opportunities from NIHR:

Health Technology Assessment Programme
18/14 Anti-reflux therapy in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis
18/15 Non-surgical vs surgical management of unstable ankle fractures
18/16 Nebulised saline in patients with COPD
18/17 Antenatal computerised cardiotocography
18/18 Active case finding of coeliac disease
18/19 The cost effectiveness of venous thromboembolism risk assessment tools for hospital inpatients
18/20 Bronchodilators and corticosteroids in bronchiectasis
18/21 Strategies for testing and treating TB infection
18/22 Foot orthoses for children with symptomatic flat feet
18/23 Calcium supplementation for women at high-risk of pre-eclampsia

Public Health Research Programme
Public Health Review Team


NIHR Themed Calls: Promotion of good mental health and the prevention or treatment of mental ill health

NIHR Themed Calls: Promotion of good mental health and the prevention or treatment of mental ill health
A call for research for the promotion of good mental health and the prevention or treatment of mental ill health  across the whole life course. The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) welcomes proposals for clinical and applied health research that evaluate healthcare interventions, health services, social care or public health measures operating at either the individual, or the population level. Issues of particular interest include proposals that utilise new digital health technologies or investigate their effects.

Applications are encouraged that include geographic populations with high disease burden which have been historically under served by NIHR research activity. Relevant information is available as a guide for applicants (2015 Compendium) and NIHR recruitment data provided by the Clinical Research Network.

Applicants should justify the importance of their proposed research and identify how these support aspirations for research in mental health set out in the Five Year Forward View For Mental Health and the ‘Framework for Mental Health Research in the United Kingdom’ led by the Department of Health.

17/110 EME Mental Health Themed Call
Closing date:  27 March 2018
17/113 HTA Mental Health Themed Call (Primary Research)
Closing date:  28 March 2018
17/152 HTA Mental Health Themed Call (Evidence Synthesis)
Closing date:  28 March 2018
17/111 PHR Mental Health themed Call
Closing date:  10 April 2018
17/112 HS & DR Mental Health Themed Call
Closing date:  26 April 2018
18/06 Enabling people to live well with dementia through interventions in a community setting
The Public Health Research Programme are accepting stage 1 applications to their commissioned workstream for this topic
Closing date:  24 July 2018
18/05 Interventions for looked-after children and young people that aim to enhance quality of life
The Public Health Research Programme are accepting stage 1 applications to their commissioned workstream for this topic
Closing date: 24 July 2018

For further information and details of how to apply please visit the NIHR Funding Opportunities website


UK COST (EU Networking) Information Day

Newcastle University will be hosting a UK information day on COST in preparation for the first 2018 COST collection date (20 April 2018, details here).

Event: UK COST information day

COST Actions are a flexible, fast, effective and efficient networking instrument for researchers, engineers and scholars to cooperate and coordinate nationally funded research activities. COST Actions allow European researchers to jointly develop their own ideas in any science and technology field.

Date and time: 08 Feb 2018, 10:30-15:30

Venue: Research Beehive, Newcastle University

Details: The Department for Business, Energy  and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), in partnership with Newcastle University, are hosting the UK COST Information Day on Thursday 8 February 2018. The UK is a proud founding member of COST, the longest running intergovernmental framework for European Cooperation in Science and Technology. It allows UK researchers and stakeholders from all disciplines and industry to lead on and take part in bottom-up networks (called COST Actions) and collaborate with top scientific communities in Europe and worldwide. This event offers an opportunity to find out more about taking part in COST Actions and share best practice with current and past members of UK COST Actions. It is also a chance to meet and have discussions with Mr Christer Halén, the Senior Administrator for Science Operations at the COST Association (based in Brussels) and with UK COST officials based at BEIS.

Registration (closes on 01 Feb 2018):

Speakers include:

  • Christer Halén, Senior Administrator for Science Operations at the COST Association (based in Brussels)
  • Julia Lewis, UK COST Senior Official, BEIS
  • Herbee Thomas, UK COST National Co-ordinator, BEIS
  • Prof. James School of Law, Education, Communication and Language Sciences, Newcastle University, Chair Cost Action IS1406
  • Prof. Volker Straub, Institute of Genetic Medicine, Newcastle University, Chair Cost Action BM1304
  • Dr Simona Francese, Centre for Mass Spectrometry Imaging, Sheffield Hallam University, Chair Cost Action CA16101 (awarded in 2016)



Latest Events from NHS and NIHR

Latest Events from NHS and NIHR

NIHR i4i Mental Health Challenge Awards reopen
Following a successful 2017 competition, the NIHR i4i Mental Health Challenge Awards will re-launch on 1 Feb at the 2018 MQ Mental Health Science Meeting. Find out more about the event and the Challenge.

NHS Digital Innovation Workshop
As part of the Research Advisory Group, NHS Digital is hosting an Innovation Workshop on Thursday 25 January 2018. Read more