Dunhill Medical Trust – Research Project Grant Scheme

Dunhill Medical Trust – Research Project Grant Scheme

Applications are invited from academics and clinicians from all health professions (including allied health professionals) who wish to undertake a research proposal aimed at improving the understanding of the mechanisms of ageing, the treatment of age-related disease and frailty or identifying and developing new and effective ways to improve the lives of older people.

Research Project Grants should be completed in a maximum period of three years. The minimum grant available is £25k and the maximum is £300k.

Host institutions for the research project grant should be a recognised university department, teaching hospital or other recognised research centre within the UK.
The deadline for receipt of applications is 5pm on 5th January 2018

Scheme guidelines and details of how to apply: http://dunhillmedical.org.uk/research-project-grants/


Nuffield Foundation launches 2 New Funding Programmes

Nuffield Foundation have launched two new funding programmes, which now are open to applications for research and innovation projects.

Economic Advantage and Disadvantage will fund projects that examine the distribution of all aspects of individual and household economic well-being, from poverty and benefits to wealth and savings. They are also interested in the factors that drive them, from labour markets to tax policies. Another priority will be work that looks at the causal role played by economic disadvantage and advantage on both economic and non-economic outcomes.

Finances of Ageing will fund projects that examine aspects of finance, economics, and transfers related to individual and population ageing. They are interested in the level and distribution of resources and outcomes, both across and within groups. They will also fund projects that examine the effects of policy changes or implementation, such as changing pension policy, changing policies on the finances of social care or other policies related to inter-generational transfers.

Nuffield have previously funded some projects in these areas through their Open Door, which funds work outside their main programmes. Trustees have now decided to establish distinct funding programmes, reflecting the growing importance of economic issues to their mission to improve social well-being. Each of the new programmes has several key themes. These themes are likely to be expanded over the next few months, so interested applicants should watch for new announcements.


Update on EU health funding and policy

If you are interested in EU health policy and funding, there have been a few recent announcements which might be of interest:health

  • A report from the recent European Summit on Innovation for Active and Healthy Ageing has been published.
  • You can also check out the presentations from the eHealth Week held in Riga as part of the Latvian Presidency of the EU. This was attended by 1334 health experts and 81 exhibitors from across Europe.
  • And finally, the European Commission has published the EU Health 2015 work programme AND the calls for this year which have just been launched with a deadline of 15th September. The calls cover topics such as gathering knowledge and exchanging best practices on measures reducing availability of alcoholic beverages; early diagnosis and treatment of viral hepatitis; and support for the implementation and scaling up of good practices in the areas of integrated care, frailty prevention, adherence to medical plans and age-friendly communities.



Horizon 2020 ICT Proposers’ Day 2014: Presentations Available

D Social Networking by StockMonkeys CC BY 2.0

The presentations, agendas and notes from the recent Horizon 2020 ICT Proposers’ Day 2014 are now available to view. From Learning and Teaching to Big Data, from Factories of the Future to Active and Healthy Ageing, this was the largest information and networking day in Europe for ICT themed calls in Horizon 2020. Find out more here: https://ec.europa.eu/digital-agenda/events/cf/ictpd14/agenda.cfm


Horizon 2020 – Health – key areas identified for 2016-17 Workprogramme

An Advisory Group set up by the European Commission to look at priority areas for the 2016-17 Workprogramme for the Societal Challenge ‘Health, Demographic Change & Wellbeing has recommended  to deliver a  a coherent research programme with interdisciplinary, shared competences and convergence between research areas, including social science and humanities and science, technology and medicine. The programme needs to focus on the evidence-based use for new drugs and ICT solutions, and new algorithms for how to organize health care and public health.

The Group also identified 8 key strategic areas for the 2016-17 Workprogramme:

  • Ageing at large
  • Personalized medicine
  • ICT for health
  • Population health and health promotion
  • Infectious diseases
  • Early development
  • Sustainable health and care systems
  • Environment and health challenge

For full details of the recommendations see the Advisory Group Report.



Workshop on the long-term care revolution

Old by Marco Nedermeijer CC BY-NC-ND 2.0Following the Technology Strategy Board’s announcement in March of its “Long-term care revolution” call for sandpit participants, the Ageing Research Special Interest Group at Northumbria are planning to hold a two-hour workshop for staff who’ve expressed an interest in the call and potential applicants.

This will take place on 22nd May in City Campus, Lipman Building, Room 035 between 12 – 2pm. If you haven’t already, please get in touch with me to let me know if you’d like to attend as space is limited.

The workshop is designed to provide an overview of the call and to start generating potential collaborative research activity in and around this area. It has the following agenda:

  1. A brief overview of the call, including deadlines and what will follow from participation in the TSB Sandpit;
  2. An update from the TSB event in London on 9th May: the kinds of ideas that might be considered ‘revolutionary’; the sorts of people and organisations who are likely to be involved; and the strategic context of the call;
  3. A chance to get to know other members of the group and work out who you might be able to collaborate with, either on this call or subsequent related funding calls. Rather than the usual technique of going round a table asking everyone to introduce themselves, we are going to try “Research speed dating”. For those who haven’t done this before, this is based on the concept of romantic speed dating, which is a formalized matchmaking process whose purpose is to encourage people to meet a large number of new people quickly. You will have 30, 45 or 60 seconds (depending on numbers) to get your message across to the person sitting opposite you. The other person has the same time to get their message across. It will be informal and fun, but experience has shown that this approach is effective at generating collaborations. Paul Rodgers (Professor of Design Issues), who has experience of running this kind of event, is going to facilitate this;
  4. Following this we plan to split into small groups to discuss either applications for the TSB call or other potential areas of research collaboration which may emerge during previous discussions and the speed-dating section.



Promoting Physical Activity into Older Age: Call for Research Proposals

This has turned out to be an ageing-themed research week. Earlier this week we had news of the MRC and ESRC’s Extending Working Lives call, now those two funders together with 7 others have released a new call for research on Promoting Physical Activity in Older Age.

At a glance: call facts

  • Applications must be interdisciplinary and must be aligned specifically to this call, rather than Design for Wellbeing or NIHR Public Health Research
  • Older age and later life refers to 60+ years of age
  • The call is focused on prevention of ill health, rather than rehabilitation
  • Up to £1M is available per application (of a total £5.5M pot)
  • Studentships may not be requested as part of the funding
  • Collaborations with users, service providers, stakeholder organisations and government departments are strongly encouraged
  • Applications should include costs of up to £10k for networking activities
  • The deadline is 4pm, Thursday 18th October
  • Applications should be made via Je-S (the Joint Electronic Submission system)
  • If there are large numbers of applications the funders may undertake a triage of proposals before sending them out for external peer review

What are they looking for?

Interdisciplinary proposals which focus on the following three areas:

  • Physiological effects of activity and sedentary behaviour on older people’s health
  • Understanding the determinants of physical activity and sedentary lifestyles in later life
  • Measurement of activity and inactivity in older populations
Further detail on anticipated research focus in each of these areas is available on the MRC call page.


The call is part of the Lifelong Health and Wellbeing theme. Apart from ESRC and MRC, the funders involved are: AHRC, BBSRC, EPSRC, Chief Scientist Office of the Scottish Government, NIHR, Health and Social Care Research and Development Office, Northern Ireland and the National Institute for Social Care and Health Research, Wales. The fact that there have been so many calls about ageing released recently, as well as the fact that most research councils are involved demonstrates the importance that UK government places on research in this area.

Applicants interested in submitting a bid to this call are encouraged to contact RBS at an early stage for advice and proposal support.


Extending Working Lives: MRC and ESRC release two calls

Hot on the heels of the Design for Wellbeing: Ageing and Mobility in the Built Environment call released a couple of months ago, the Medical Research Council (MRC) and Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) have jointly released two major new calls for research on the theme of Extending Working Lives:

Extending Working Lives: Research Partnerships Awards

This calls for proposals which comprise “partnerships of academics and public/private employers or stakeholders addressing research challenges and employer needs associated with an ageing workforce, within a workplace or policy setting.”

Extending Working Lives: Interdisciplinary Research Consortia

This calls for proposals which “bring together existing UK academic expertise to understand the determinants of working later in life and the relationship between work, health and wellbeing of older workers.”

The deadline for both calls is 4pm on Tuesday 4th December 2012. These are both outline stage proposals, and successful applicants will be invited to develop full stage proposals in early 2013. In addition, for the MRC call an initial “partnership building workshop” will take place from 8th – 10th October. To attend this you need to fill out a short Expression of Interest form by 4pm, 5th September 2012.

Like Design for Wellbeing, these calls are part of the cross-Council Lifelong Health and Wellbeing theme. The two calls come in the context of unprecedented demographic change (i.e. an ageing population), the recent abolition of the default retirement age, and the linking of state pension age to rising life expectancy. But what does a growing proportion of older workers mean for government policy makers, employers and employees themselves?

Research challenges

Both calls seek research addressing one of the following two challenge areas:

Determinants of working in later life:

  • What is the relative importance of, and interaction between, individual and external determinants affecting workforce participation in later life including an individual’s decision to stop paid employment or transition to a different type of job or role?
  • How might these factors change over time, and how might they interact with each other?
  • Which determinants are modifiable and how?
  • What models can be built to predict outcomes from these variables?
  • What factors, including retraining and skills development, impact on engagement of older employees and can this knowledge be used more effectively in the workplace?

Work, health and wellbeing:

  • What are the relationships between work, physical and mental health and wellbeing? How does retirement or leaving the workplace in later life affect health and wellbeing?
  • How does design of the workplace or workplace interventions including training impact on productivity of the older worker and how can these be modified to everyone’s benefit?
  • How is older workers’ health and wellbeing affected by actual and potential work related policies?
  • What are the perceptions and expectations of health in old age and how do these affect work participation?
  • Can different outcome measures used by different disciplines be effectively combined, compared or standardised to assess common issues in the field?

Partnerships and Consortia

The MRC Research Partnerships call is focused on building up partnerships and networks between academia and and public/private employers or key stakeholders who would “not normally interact”. To this end they have arranged a Partnership Building Workshop over three days in early October (8th – 10th). You need to complete an Expression of Interest by 5th September to attend this event, and participants are expected to develop applications to the outline call for proposals.

It is never explicitly stated that attendance at the workshop is compulsory, but given the emphasis the MRC place on it and access to potential stakeholders it is likely that participants will stand a better chance of developing successful outline applications in the research partnerships call.

Note that applicants to the MRC call can be from across population science, health, economic and social sciences.

The ESRC Research Consortia call seeks to join up existing disparate and complementary research groups to address the research challenges outlined above. The research may include:

  • secondary data analysis and linkage of existing data, surveys and labour force data; augmentation of existing surveys and cohort data collection eg qualitative questions to add value to quantitative data
  • some primary research
  • theoretical work

International collaboration will be encouraged for this call. Applications should be up to three years in length for a total value of £1.5M (at 80% FEC).

Given the interdisciplinary and strategic nature of both calls, prospective applicants are encouraged to contact RBS to discuss applications at the earliest opportunity.


Design for Wellbeing: Collaboration Space

Following the recently released EPSRC/AHRC/ESRC Design for Wellbeing call, Research and Business Services have organised a collaboration meeting for all interested parties to discuss the call and how they might contribute to any proposals which go forward.

It will take place on Friday 15th June, 10 am – 12 midday in City Campus East building 1, room 007. It is open to researchers and research support staff from all Schools. If you have not already done so, please contact me (david.g.young@northumbria.ac.uk) if you would like to attend as space is limited.

There will be a short outline summary of the call but most of the meeting will be devoted to participant discussion. This will be a chance to share ideas and potential project partners relevant to the Design for Wellbeing call to ensure as many people as possible are aware of activity going on around the University and to avoid any duplication of effort. It may lead to joint proposals and collaborations where these build on shared strengths and complementary expertise/partners.

If you’re interested in taking part, but can’t make it please consider sending me a short summary of your relevant experience and what you feel you could bring to this call (research expertise or partners) before the 15th June. I’ll make sure this feeds into the discussion. We’ll also take notes and make sure that these are circulated following the event so everyone is aware of areas of activity and future actions.


ESRC NIHR Dementia Call Timetable Released

Further to our post earlier this week, ESRC has just release more information about the Dementia initiative it is running in collaboration with NIHR:

ESRC-NIHR Dementia Initiative

The call will address the following areas:

  • Prevention, including public awareness and early presentation
  • Public health of behaviour change, including the role of social interventions in slowing cognitive decline
  • Delivery of interventions in hospitals care homes and carers, including the interface between professionals, lay people and patients, sometimes The Medical Negligence Experts recommend to report any bad treatments there might be regarding hospitals.

If you’re interested in applying you can register to attend a meeting for all potential applicants to be held in mid-late June: Register here.