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!

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

Follow UK Parliament on Twitter:




Virtual Information Day on Horizon 2020 Energy Societal Challenge Calls, 20th September

clean fuelA virtual information day will be held on 20th September for potential applicants to the calls for project proposals under the 2016-2017 Horizon 2020 Work programme ‘Secure, clean and efficient energy’. Presentations by European Commission speakers will cover:

  • Relevant Horizon 2020 topics that will open for submission in 2016, in particular the novelties and changes in the updated Work Programme;
  • Submission and evaluation process;
  • Best practices from successful applicants.

The Secure, Clean and Efficient Energy Challenge is based on the following research areas:

  • Reducing energy consumption and carbon footprint
  • Low-cost, low-carbon electricity supply
  • Alternative fuels and mobile energy sources
  • A single, smart European electricity grid
  • New knowledge and technologies
  • Robust decision making and public engagement
  • Market uptake of energy and ICT innovation.

You need to register in advance in order to participate in the info day.


UK info events on Marie Sklowdowska-Curie Actions Individual Fellowships call

Brukselka by Barbiez Creative Commons
Brukselka by Barbiez – CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

As UK National Contact Point for Horizon 2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA), UKRO is holding information events for anyone interested in applying to this year’s MSCA Individual Fellowships call (deadline 14 September 2016).

There will be an event at the University of Edinburgh on 11 May and another in London, hosted by the University of Greenwich on 27 May 2016.

The events will give participants an overview of the application process, the aims of the scheme and key considerations related to planning, writing and submitting proposals. These events are free of charge but you must register to secure a place.

Individual Fellowships are for researchers who already have a doctorate or equivalent research experience. They provide attractive funding to enable researchers to develop their careers through training, international mobility and optional intersectoral secondments. European Fellowships are held in Member States and are open to researchers either coming to Europe or moving within Europe. Global Fellowships are based on a secondment to a third country and a compulsory 12 month return phase in a European host organisation.

If you’d like more info on the individual fellowships scheme or advice on developing an application, please contact your faculty Research Funding and Policy Manager.



Faculty of Business and Law research funding drop-in, Wed 23 March 2-3.30

Louise Wyers and I are holding the next research funding drop-in on Wednesday 23 March from 2-3.30 in the staff room on the ground floor of CCE1. Please come along if you would like to discuss research proposals in development or future funding opportunities. You can either drop-in and see us or make an appointment beforehand. To book a particular time slot, please email me.



HLS Research & Enterprise Drop In Session – Wednesday 20 January 2016

Do you have a question about a research or enterprise proposal or want to discuss ideas for funding your research? We are piloting Drop-In Sessions in the Faculty on a Wednesday afternoons. Whether you have a research or enterprise idea and are looking for funding, or you have a proposal which is nearly ready for submission, or indeed anything in between, come along and get advice and assistance from colleagues in RBS.  The following date has free slots waiting to be booked:

  • Wednesday 20 January from 2:30-4pm in the Café Central in Northumberland Building  at  City Campus: Emma Barron, Business and Engagement Manager, Susan Duffy and Louise Wyers (Pre-Award Coordinators), Sam King, Research Funding & Policy Manager

You can either drop-in and see us or make an appointment beforehand.  To book a specific time, please email



ECR Forum this Friday!

Just a reminder that we’re holding the first Northumbria Early Career Researchers Forum of this academic year on  Friday 13 November from 12-1 in the Mea House auditorium. This is open to anyone in the early stages of a research career, including PGRs. For more info on the content of the meeting see my earlier blog post.

There is no need to sign up, just come along on Friday and feel free to bring your lunch with you.


Faculty of Business and Law research funding drop-in on Wednesday 21 October

We’re holding our next research funding drop-in for the Faculty of Business and Law on Wednesday 21 October 2pm – 4pm. Louise Wyers (Pre-Award Coordinator) and I (Research Funding and Policy Manager) will be available in the CCE1 staff room on the ground floor to discuss draft research proposals or any ideas for future funding opportunities. You don’t need an appointment but if you’d like to reserve a specific time slot, please email me in advance.


Save the date! Annual UKRO visit on Friday 18 September

We have our annual UKRO visit coming up on Friday 18 September.  Alexandra Berry, Northumbria’s UKRO logoadvisor, will run a number of sessions on City Campus open to all staff and PGR students. I will post further details on how to sign up in early September but for now we can tell you that Alex will run the following sessions throughout the day:

  • Applying for EU funding – top tips and lessons learned from the first round of Horizon 2020 calls
  • Opportunities for academics to work with industry in Horizon 2020: FET, Industrial Leadership and Societal Challenges
  • Clinic session with 15-20 minute bookable slots – your chance to ask questions about EU funding and to start preparing for the upcoming 2016 Horizon 2020 calls.

If there is anything else you would like to see, please let me know asap and we can try to fit it into the day.

As always, if you are interested in EU funding and policy we would recommend you sign up for daily UKRO alerts. As the UK Research Councils’ European Office, they support and enable UK HE to access EU funding and to influence relevant EU policy initiatives.

We are also excited to have a visit from Jude Kirton-Darling, one of the regional MEPs, in the morning of the 18th to talk about how Europe benefits the North East, including through research and innovation funding. More details to follow shortly.