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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Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions Research and Innovation Staff Exchange (RISE) Call 2018: Information Event

The UKRO has arranged an information event for those who are interested in applying to the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Action (MSCA) Research and Innovation staff Exchange (RISE) Call, which will open on 22 November 2017 and has a deadline of 21 March 2018.

The Information Event will take place on Tuesday 9 January 2018, at the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Conference Centre in London. It will include talks from successful previous applicants, and will equip attendees with an overview of the call and the proposal format. To register for the event (allocated on a first come first served basis) visit the UKRO’s events page.

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Writing Retreat – Monday 27th November, 0930 – 1600, NDC

This is a free session, open to staff and PGRs, 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.

Staff must bring their own writing instruments/electronic writing device.

The retreat will be held off campus at the Northern Design Centre, Abbotts Hill. Baltic Business Quarter, Gateshead, NE8 3DF and lunch will be provided.

Staff can book a place here 

PGRs can book a place here

Please note the retreat is self led and support staff will not be delivering a presentation. 

 

 

 

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ERC Consolidator Grant Call 2018, Information Sessions – Registration Reminder

Just a reminder about these two ERC Consolidator Grant call information sessions – registration is still open!

The UK Research Office, in partnership with hosting institutions, is holding two events for researchers who are interested in applying for the 2018 ERC Consolidator Grant call. The events are scheduled as follows:

Further information and registration are available via the links above and places will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. The sessions are aimed at researchers based in the UK who are planning to submit a proposal to the ERC Consolidator Grant call.

The 2018 Consolidator Grant call opened on 24 October 2017 and will close on 15 February 2018. Applicants are expected to be active researchers and to have a track record of excellent research. To be eligible for the 2018 call, the PI must be 7-12 years from their PhD on 1 January 2018, which is extendable in certain limited cases.

Those Northumbria staff who are considering applying should contact their Research Funding and Policy Manager in the first instance.

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ERC Consolidator Grant Information Session – Leeds, 29th November

The ERC National Contact Point are running an information session on the 2018 Consolidator Grant call at the University of Leeds on 29 November, running from 14.00 to 17.00. There are still spaces available in this workshop, and if you are interested in applying for the Consolidator Grant call (either this year or in future), you can register for the Leeds workshop at the UKRO ERC event page.

The session will provide participants with a detailed practical overview of the ERC Consolidator Grant scheme. Participants should gain a deeper understanding of the proposal format and the key issues they are required to address in planning, writing and costing a proposal. There will also be ample opportunity to ask questions. Attendance is free of charge, but registration is required.

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Horizon 2020 New Societal Challenges calls published

With thanks to UKRO for their summaries, the European Commission has published a raft of new Horizon 2020 calls for proposals for the period 2018-2020. This will include a number of Societal Challenges calls which are listed below. For further information click the links to the full call information on the H2020 Participant Portal. Northumbria staff who are considering applying should contact their Research Funding and Policy Manager in the first instance.

Regarding Brexit, please note that there will be no immediate changes to the UK’s participation in Horizon 2020 and the UK Government has reconfirmed that it guarantees to underwrite awards where the application is submitted before the UK’s departure from the EU and is subsequently approved. This includes proposals which are informed of their success but, at the point of exit, have not signed a grant agreement, and proposals which have been submitted before exit and that are only informed of their success following exit.

Societal Challenge 2: Food Security

Call: Sustainable Food Security

The Sustainable Food Security call is Horizon 2020’s main contribution to research and innovation in relation to Food and Nutrition Security in Europe and beyond. Its commitment to sustainability implies that particular attention is given to the interfaces between the economic, environmental and social dimensions of food production. The call advocates for food system approaches to tackle the inherent links between ecosystems, food production, the food chain and consumer health and wellbeing.

– CE-SFS-25-2018: Integrated system innovation in valorising urban biowaste.
– DT-SFS-14-2018: Personalized Nutrition.
– LC-SFS-03-2018: Microbiome applications for sustainable food systems.
– LC-SFS-15-2018: Future proofing our plants
– LC-SFS-19-2018-2019: Climate-smart and resilient farming (two-stage)
– SFS-01-2018-2019-2020: Biodiversity in action: across farmland and the value chain (two-stage)
– SFS-05-2018-2019-2020: New and emerging risks to plant health (two-stage)
– SFS-06-2018-2020: Stepping up integrated pest management (two-stage)
– SFS-07-2018: Making European beekeeping healthy and sustainable (two-stage)
– SFS-08-2018-2019: Improving animal welfare (two-stage)- SFS-11-2018-2019: Anti-microbials and animal production (two-stage)
– SFS-16-2018: Towards healthier and sustainable food (two-stage)
– SFS-27-2018: Monitoring food R&I investments and impacts (two-stage)
– SFS-28-2018-2019-2020: Genetic resources and pre-breeding communities
– SFS-29-2018: Innovations in plant variety testing (two-stage)
– SFS-30-2018-2019-2020: Agri-Aqua Labs (two-stage)
– SFS-32-2018: Supporting microbiome coordination and the International Bioeconomy Forum
– SFS-33-2018: Support to the implementation of the EU-Africa Research and Innovation Partnership on Food and Nutrition Security & Sustainable Agriculture (FNSSA)
– SFS-38-2018: Highly efficient management of soil quality and land resources (two-stage)

The deadlines for single stage topics is 13 February and two-stage topics is 13 February and 11 September 2018.

Call: Rural Renaissance

The Rural Renaissance call will enhance the natural, social, cultural and economic potential of rural areas (the term “rural” is understood in a wide sense and also includes peri-urban, remote, mountain and coastal areas, unless otherwise specified in the topic description) and support policy coherence. It will boost economic development, ecosystem services and entrepreneurial innovation. This will be achieved by building on diversification and modernisation strategies, improving governance models, supporting innovative food and non-food (non-food chains include wood) value chains, and capitalising on local assets, including human, natural and cultural capital.

– CE-RUR-08-2018-2019-2020: Closing nutrient cycles (two-stage)
– DT-RUR-12-2018: ICT Innovation for agriculture – Digital Innovation Hubs for Agriculture
– RUR-01-2018-2019: Building modern rural policies on long-term visions and societal engagement
– RUR-01-2018-2019: Building modern rural policies on long-term visions and societal engagement (two-stage)
– RUR-02-2018: Socio-economic impacts of digitisation of agriculture and rural areas (two-stage)
– RUR-03-2018: Contracts for effective and lasting delivery of agri-environmental public goods (two-stage)
– RUR-04-2018-2019: Analytical tools and models to support policies related to agriculture and food (two-stage)

– RUR-09-2018: Realising the potential of regional and local bio-based economies
– RUR-13-2018: Enabling the farm advisor community to prepare farmers for the digital age
– RUR-14-2018: Digital solutions and e-tools to modernise the CAP
– RUR-15-2018-2019-2020: Thematic networks compiling knowledge ready for practice

The deadline for single stage is 13 February and for two-stage, 13 February and 11 September 2018.

Call: Blue Growth

The Blue Growth Call aims at sustainably harvesting the potential of resources from seas, oceans and inland waters for different uses and across the range of marine and maritime industries, while protecting biodiversity and enhancing climate resilience. It supports sustainable growth in the marine and maritime sectors through a responsible management of marine resources for healthy, productive, safe, secure and resilient seas and oceans, which are essential for thriving ecosystems, climate regulation, global food security, human health, livelihoods and economies.

– BG-01-2018: Towards a Baltic and North Sea research and innovation programme
– BG-02-2018: Blue Bioeconomy Public-Public Partnership
– BG-08-2018-2019: All Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance Flagship
– BG-08-2018-2019: All Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance Flagship (two-stage)
– DT-BG-04-2018-2019: Sustainable European aquaculture 4.0: nutrition and breeding
– LC-BG-03-2018: Sustainable harvesting of marine biological resources (two-stage)

The deadline for single calls is 13 February and for two-stage topics, 13 February and 11 September 2018.

Societal Challenge 3: Secure, clean and efficient energy.

Call: Building a low-carbon, climate resilient future

Achieving climate neutrality in the energy sector – while ensuring at the same time more efficient energy use, a secure supply of energy, affordable prices and low environmental impact – is a complex endeavour which requires R&I activities on multiple fronts.

– LC-SC3-JA-4-2018: Support action in preparation of a Joint Programming activity
– LC-SC3-RES-11-2018: Developing solutions to reduce the cost and increase performance of renewable technologies (two-stage)
– LC-SC3-RES-4-2018: Renewable energy system integrated at the building scale (two-stage)

Deadlines on 31 January 2018 for the single stage and 31 January and 23 August 2018 for two-stage.

Societal Challenge 4: Smart, green and integrated transport.

Call: Building a Low-Carbon, Climate resilient future: green vehicles

The Calls will focus on the most critical aspects supporting a massive introduction of electrified vehicles: 1) advances in electric batteries (production of elementary cells and pack assembly), 2) new architectures, concepts and components to support the advent of the 3rd generation of electrified vehicles, 3) improve the recharging experience from the view-point of the end-users, 4) supporting the competitiveness of European industries through the development of digitalised production environments and the use of advanced material, 5) addressing the urban dimension of introducing electrified vehicles.

– LC-GV-01-2018: Integrated, brand-independent architectures, components and systems for next generation electrified vehicles optimised for the infrastructure.
– LC-GV-02-2018: Virtual product development and production of all types of electrified vehicles and components.

Both topics are single stage and the deadline for submission of proposals is 4 April 2018.

Call: 2018-2020 Mobility for growth

Transport is changing at an accelerating pace as a result of several factors in many diverse but interconnected fields. In order to address these new challenges, targeted efforts are needed to develop and validate new solutions that can be rapidly deployed. They will address in a systemic way means of transport, infrastructure and operation models and integrate them into a user friendly European transport system of smart connected mobility for passengers and freight with significantly reduced impact on climate and environment.

– LC-MG-1-1-2018: InCo flagship on reduction of transport impact on air quality (two-stage)
– LC-MG-1-2-2018: Sustainable multi-modal inter-urban transport, regional mobility and spatial planning.(two-stage)
– LC-MG-1-3-2018: Harnessing and understanding the impacts of changes in urban mobility on policy making by city-led innovation for sustainable urban mobility (two-stage)
–  LC-MG-1-4-2018: Hardening vehicle environmental protection systems against tampering (two-stage)
– LC-MG-1-3-2018: Harnessing and understanding the impacts of changes in urban mobility on policy making by city-led innovation for sustainable urban mobility
– MG-2-1-2018: Human Factors in Transport Safety (two-stage)
– MG-2-2-2018: Marine Accident Response (two-stage)
– MG-2-3-2018: Airworthiness of mass-market drones
– MG-2-4-2018: Coordinating national efforts in modernizing transport infrastructure and provide innovative mobility services.
– MG-2-5-2018: Innovative technologies for improving aviation safety and certification in icing conditions (InCo flagship)
– MG-3-1-2018: Multidisciplinary and collaborative aircraft design tools and processes (two-stage)
– MG-3-2-2018: The Autonomous Ship (two-stage)
– MG-3-3-2018: “Driver” behaviour and acceptance of connected, cooperative and automated transport (two-stage)

– MG-4-1-2018: New regulatory frameworks to enable effective deployment of emerging technologies and business/operating models for all transport modes
– MG-4-2-2018: Building Open Science platforms in transport research
– MG-4-3-2018: Demographic change and participation of women in transport
– MG-4-4-2018-2019: Support for dissemination events in the field of Transport Research
– MG-BG-01-2018: Unmanned and autonomous survey activities at sea

All two-stage topic deadlines are 30 January and 19 September 2018 and single stage ones 4 April 2018.

 

Call: 2018-2020 Digitising and Transforming European Industry and Services: Automated Road Transport

The previous call on “Automated Road Transport” in the Transport Work Programme 2016/17 focused on vehicles with functions for automated driving level 3, which are expected to enter the market in the next few years. The overall objective of this call is to promote a wide market introduction of highly automated driving systems towards SAE level 4 (“the driving mode-specific performance by an automated driving system of all aspects of the dynamic driving task, even if a human driver does not respond appropriately to a request to intervene”).

– DT-ART-01-2018: Testing, validation and certification procedures for highly automated driving functions under various traffic scenarios based on pilot test data
– DT-ART-02-2018: Support for networking activities and impact assessment for road automation

The deadline for this call is 4 April 2018.

 

 

 

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ERC Consolidator Grant 2018, Information and Proposal Writing Events – November 2017

The UK Research Office, in partnership with hosting institutions, is holding two events for researchers who are interested in applying for the 2018 ERC Consolidator Grant call. The events are scheduled as follows:

Further information and registration are available via the links above and places will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. The sessions are aimed at researchers based in the UK who are planning to submit a proposal to the ERC Consolidator Grant call.

The 2018 Consolidator Grant call opened on 24 October 2017 and will close on 15 February 2018. Applicants are expected to be active researchers and to have a track record of excellent research. To be eligible for the 2018 call, the PI must be 7-12 years from their PhD on 1 January 2018, which is extendable in certain limited cases.

Those Northumbria staff who are considering applying should contact their Research Funding and Policy Manager in the first instance.

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