Academic Development and Researcher Training Programme for University staff – March 2018

These training sessions are coming soon as part of our Academic Development and Researcher Training Programme for University staff. They are aligned to the Vitae Researcher Development Framework and contribute to your continuous professional development. View the rest of the programme here.

European funding: individual fellowships

6th March 2018, 10am – 11am

This session focuses on the fellowship awards available for individuals in Horizon 2020, including both Marie Sklodowska Curie Actions and the European Research Council.

Potential applicants with a strong track record can apply for independent fellowships that do not require collaboration with other institutions. Generous grants are offered for academics at various stages in their careers and this session will acquaint participants with the components and eligibility requirements of the scheme.

Aims and Objectives

  • The awards available
  • The eligibility criteria
  • How to apply

Independent Non Examining Chair Briefing

7th March 2018, 10am – 12pm

The Independent Non-Examining Chair College was created to ensure equity and fairness in the examination process. ICs should be current members of the Universty’s academic staff who have:

  • successfully supervised to completion at least one research degree candidate (PhD or Professional Doctorate);
  • experience of examining for, or has attended as supervisor, the degree being examined

Members of the University’s Research Degrees Committee are automatically members of the IC College. Faculty Associate Pro Vice-Chancellors (Research and Innovation) should nominate sufficient members who satisfy the above criteria, to make certain that enough capacity is available in each Faculty to ensure the volume of annual research degree examinations can take place.

Aims and Objectives

  • Know the nature of the role as specified in the current regulations
  • Consider the actions & good practice required in the role
  • Wrestle with some of the typical challenges and dilemmas inherent in the role.

Writing Retreat

9th March 2018, 9.30am – 4pm

This is a session dedicated to writing, whether that be grant writing or writing for publication. It will allow people a space away from their office where they can come along and write free from distraction. There will be a quiet room to work in (with no talking and phones on silent please!). This will also be an opportunity to meet and talk to colleagues from across the university.

Please note that you must must bring your own writing instruments/electronic writing device.

Aims and Objectives:

  • Developed your academic writing skills
  • Will have completed a personal writing aim
  • Will have planned your next writing aim

Examining a Doctorate

14th March 2018, 1pm  – 3pm

This session is aimed at those who are new to examining doctoral candidates and the primary responsibilities involved. It will focus on the procedures at Northumbria University and in addition will discuss how examiners can ensure that the work is of an appropriate standard.

Aims and Objectives

  • How a doctoral examination proceeds
  • How to support doctoral candidates through the process

Book your places here!

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Staff Training Now Available

Northumbria University’s Academic Development and Research Training Programme for semester 2 of 2017/18 is now online at northumbria.ac.uk/StaffResearcherDevelopment

To book your place for any of the sessions, visit the online booking system here.

We are also now launching our new Blackboard resource which contains new online training content which can be accessed where this proves more convenient than attending face-to-face training sessions.

Here are some instructions on how to access this:

Any questions regarding researcher development can be directed to researchsupport@northumbria.ac.uk

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PGR Training in person and online – Available now!

Northumbria University’s Professional Development and Research Training Programme for semester 2 of 2017/18 is now online at northumbria.ac.uk/PGRResearcherDevelopment.

To book your place for any of the sessions, visit the online booking system here.

We are also now launching our new Blackboard resource which contains new online training content which can be accessed where this proves more convenient than attending face-to-face training sessions.

Here are some instructions on how to access this:

On our Researcher Development web page  you will find other resources which you may find useful for example:

  • details of our Postgraduate Research Bursary Schemes
  • career support
  • training offered by the University Library etc.

You can find helpful information from The Graduate School here.

Any questions regarding researcher development can be directed to researchsupport@northumbria.ac.uk

Any non-researcher development questions should be directed to the Graduate School staff aligned to your faulty:

Faculty Mailbox
Arts, Design and Social Sciences ad.graduateschool@northumbria.ac.uk
Business and Law bl.graduateschool@northumbria.ac.uk
Engineering and Environment ee.graduateschool@northumbria.ac.uk
Health and Life Sciences hl.graduateschool@northumbria.ac.uk

 

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Information Day Notes – NIHR Public Health Research Programme

Here are some notes from an Information Day hosted by Research Design Service North East in December 2017 on the NIHR Public Health Research Programme.

Research Design Service Information Day – NIHR Public Health Research Programme

Andrew Cook – Consultant Advisor

NIHR consists of the following:

  • Faculty – to develop people through fellowships and training awards
  • Infrastructure, including the Clinical Research Network, Research Design Service and Clinical Research Facilities
  • Programmes, including PHR, RfPB, EME, HD&SR, i4i etc

The Public Health Research Programme covers non NHS (ie not doctors or disease course. There is no cap on the funding (other than the overall PHR budget), and they are not wedded to any particular methods.

There does need to be a health or wellbeing outcome, so having a healthy lifestyle is necessary, training with a URBNFit Amazon ball and having a good nutrition.

PHR does not cover intervention costs, these will need to come from local authorities or from charities or from in kind contributions. PHR will not fund the development of a new intervention. they will however fund the adaptation of bringing an intervention to the UK, eg adapting a US intervention into UK standards/procedures. Intervention costs could be funded RfPB or PGfAR.

PHR are looking for projects that change practice. The key users should be evidence users, for example charities, public health workers.

There is an expectation that there will be a multi-disciplinary team which includes:

  • Delivery
  • Statistician
  • Qualitative specialist
  • Public

Money for NIHR programmes is top sliced from the health service budgets so the outcome needs to demonstrate an impact on society and improve health, reducing health inequalities. PHR are interested in projects which change policy rather than impact individual behaviour. They are open to joint funding projects with charities where the charity pays the intervention cost for example. They like projects which inform local decisions eg policy, urban regeneration, bus pass travel, turning off street lights vs crime, road accidents…

There are 2 funding streams, commissioned research (with the next round closing in March) and Researcher-led, apply at any time with panel dates per year.

PHR will fund pilot studies.

You need to check out what has been funded before and say what your project can do to add to this work.

 

Eileen Kaner – Institute for Health & Society, Newcastle University

Eileen also sits on the NICE Board which draws on evidence from NIHR projects.

You can take a look at the NICE Guidelines to identify the gaps in literature.

PHR looks at funding projects which improve publis health at a non=-NHS level (health & wellbeing improvement within 5 years).projects need to be relevant and important to policy makers, practitioners and people.

It is a two stage process and following the outline proposal you will receive feedback. Once the proposal has passed the first submission stage it then goes to Board where it is given a DBM (Designated Board Member) who will introduce the project. A further two DBMs are assigned to the project. Once introduced, the Board will vote anonymously and the proposal receives an average score. Board members are looking for research excellence as well as real world relevance.

Bear in mind that it can take 12 months or more before funding is agreed and you reach the contracting stage.

Inequalities are key in PHR, especially modifiable differences between groups of people eg. Income, socio-economic position, location etc. They want to move away from looking at individuals to population level, looking at groups of people where you can have the most benefit.

PHS will fund quasi and natural experiements.

Some tips:

  • If you are doing a pilot study you will neeed to have clear stop/go criteria and think about how you could broaden out the study.
  • Justify your sample size.
  • Evidence value for money.
  • Need a logical model or theory of change.
  • Clearly describe how the project can lead to change.
  • What will this mean in terms of impact per cost.
  • Respond to the Board comments fully.

If the Board like the proposal they will work with the team to develop a sundable proposal if it is important and of relevance.

Bear in mind that these are contracts for delivery, they are not grants. As such NIHR will monitor what you are doing and will expect regular reports. If things change throughout the lifetime of the project, Research design Service can advise the best course. You will have to go back to the admin team at Public Health to find a solution.

 

Raghu Lingham –  Institute for Health & Society, Newcastle University

Go back to the call and look at the PICOS Framework:

  • Population
  • Intervention
  • Comparitor group (eg what is the usual care)
  • Outcome
  • Study design

Then look at your research question and flesh out the PICOS framework.

One person can’t know everything so you need a multi-disciplinary team.

PPI is really important. Public Health research is about research in the real world so you need to engage with the public about their views (see INVOLVE guidance). How can the public change your ideas and how can their opinion inform your protocol?

It can be useful to get letters of support from Local Authorities for example. They can also be used to support intervention costs (which are not covered by the Programme). Ask them what they are already doing and what can the project do to tweak this. The project can’t pay for the intervention  but it could pay for training costs for people who are delivering interventions by giving them a new set of skills for example.

You are able to work in more than one geographical area and can use the FUSE network to disseminate or to find partners. (Can also use the School for Primary Care).

Try to conceptualise the whole study in a diacgram, to see how each of the parts fit together.

 

Luke Vale – Associate Director, Research Design Service North East

Some final points:

RDS can provide advice on methodology, quant vs qual, statistics, cost effectiveness, links with CTUs.

Proposals need to clearly state what it is that they want to achieve and what the best way of achieving this will be. Is it plausible? Look at a logiv model.

The public need to be involved in defining the research topic. They need to be involved and embedded throughout the research. Be sure that you ask for funding for your PPI as part of your project. Also, RDS has small amounts of money available to fund travel for PPI.

Where the project has commercial partners you will need to be really careful about IP and what happens to the results.

RDS manage a PPI Panel which meets two times per month. There are sixteen members of the public involved in a round table discussion and you can pitch your ideas to them.

There is also a Young Persons Advisory Group (YPAG) where you can access young people who have been trained in research and ethics where you can pitch your project and have it challenged.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The UK Parliament wants more academics to engage with them

From York to Dundee, over 50 academics and professional staff attended Wednesday’s information-packed Research, Impact and the UK Parliament event held here at Northumbria.

The key message was that the UK Parliament want academics and the research community to engage with them. They really really want to hear from YOU! This is great news as it could help you get your research into Parliament and make an impact on policy.

Here are their top tips:

  • The UK Parliament Universities Team have created a new Research Impact and Parliament webpage which is full of contact details and
    Palace of Westminster

    how to guides. Visit this page and explore all the links and resources.

  • Be active on twitter. Tweet about your research and follow @POST_UK and @YourUKParl.
  • Blog about your research. Write for informed, interested non-experts. This will make it easier for the research staff at UK Parliament to digest the information and recognise its value in meeting their specific needs and make it more likely that they will interact with you.
  • Sign up for email updates or follow relevant select committees on Twitter
  • If you respond to requests for evidence or make contact with Parliamentary staff, ensure you are writing for informed, interested, non-experts. Be concise, don’t use jargon and don’t expect them to already know about your expertise or research. When setting out your academic expertise (beyond answering the question asked or point of knowledge you are putting forward) link to your profile or additional pdf documents. This will ensure that the key message is not lost. Committees are cross-party, and you are most likely to be listened to if you are objective and do not (even unintentionally) appear to take a political side.
  • If you find out about an inquiry too late, yet think you have something valuable to say, email and ask if you can still submit.
  • Use the Parliament website to research which MPs, Lords, Parliamentary staff or committees will be interested in your research and make contact with them.

Find out more!

www.parliament.uk/research-impact

Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology’s website

Caroline Kenny’s blog about the impact of academia on Parliament

Current open calls for evidence

See what the Universities Programme offers for academics

View Research Briefings from Parliament

www.parliament.uk/get-involved

Follow UK Parliament on Twitter:

@POST_UK

@YourUKParl

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Latest statistics on UK participation in Horizon 2020

UKRO has just flagged up a report from the UK Government’s Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) on the UK’s participation in Horizon 2020. The key message is positive: the UK remains one of the strongest participating countries in Horizon 2020 and our funding success rate has remained at about 15%. The UK ranked second in terms of the overall number of participations in Horizon 2020 projects and also in terms of EU funding received with the UK share of all participations and EU funding awarded equalling 12.6% and 14.9% respectively.

The data release also provides details of the UK’s totals across Horizon 2020 in terms of participations and EU financial contributions; a breakdown of UK participation and financial contributions by organisation type, across the different programme parts and by region of the UK; and the top 50 participating Higher Education Institutions in the UK.

To read the report click here!

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REF 2021: Guidance Released

This afternoon HEFCE released the decisions on staff and outputs for REF 2021. Our very own Ruth Hattam was digesting the details over lunch and has come up with a useful bitesize summary. If that’s not enough REF for you you can always read the full thing (it’s only 19 pages): http://www.ref.ac.uk/media/ref,2021/downloads/REF%202017_04%20Decisions.pdf

  • All staff with significant responsibility for research are returned to REF provided they are independent researchers.  As expected, institutions not going with 100% submission will be able to determine the criteria for identifying staff with significant responsibility.  My reading of the guidance is that it will be possible to consider different criteria for different UoAs, although the rationale for all decisions will need to be captured in the Code of Practice (guidance summer 2018, provisional submission spring 2019).  Further guidance on significant responsibility criteria (determined in conjunction with main panels) will form part of the Guidance on submissions/Panel criteria – the final versions of which will not be available until January 2019.
  • Independent researcher criteria will build on REF 2014 definition and will be worked on with the main panels.
  • ORCID strongly encouraged by not mandated.
  • Average number of outputs is 2.5 per FTE submitted.
  • Minimum of one, maximum of 5 outputs per member of staff (this is a soft 5 with no limit on co-authored papers).  Staff can be returned with zero outputs through an individual circumstances process.  The unit of assessment can also make  case for ‘unit circumstances’ to reduce the overall number of outputs required.
  • Impact case studies will be 2 for up to 15 FTE, then one for each additional 15 FTE (up to 105 FTE when one additional per 50 FTE)
  • Staff census date is 31 July 2020.  Hefce intend to work with HESA ‘to enable close alignment between the information collected and the staff record and the submission requirements of REF.
  • Output portability is the simplified model (i.e. outputs can be returned at current and previous institution – with some caveats).  (85% of the 157 respondents supported this model).
  • The original Open Access requirement (i.e. deposit within 3 months of date of acceptance) will be implemented from April 2018, although there will be the opportunity to record exceptions when deposit is 3 months after publication.

 

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