Innovation, impact and exploitation of results in Horizon 2020

The European IPR Helpdesk is holding a free IP training event on 11-12 September in Oxford. Horizon 2020 stresses the importance of systematic IP exploitation strategies to protect innovation and to reap commercial and economic benefits from EU-funded research. Day 1 will focus on IP and innovation management aspects at the proposal phase and day 2 will look at practical issues of IP exploitation during and after the project, including best practice in capturing and assessing IP as well as successful commercialisation of research results. More info and registration details. 


Horizon 2020 so far: news from the UKRO conference

Last week I attended the UKRO annual conference in Bristol. This was a great opportunity to get out of the office and immerse myself in the wonderful world of European funding, particularly Horizon 2020. It was well attended by a huge range of UK universities and a good mix of European Commission speakers. logo

Here are some quick facts I’ve gleaned that may be of interest to potential and current Horizon 2020 applicants.

  • Discussions have begun between the EC and member states on setting the strategic direction and work programmes for 2016-17. This is an opportunity for UK universities to feed in views to UKRO who speak regularly to BIS as the representatives of UK interests. UK is also well represented on the H2020 advisory groups. Lots of people, including member states and the EC, feel that something more than lip service needs to be paid to mainstreaming social sciences and humanities but no one is clear what this should look like! (Any ideas?)
  • H2020 will shortly include a new pilot activity: “fast track to innovation” for small industry-driven consortia, a bit like the UK Longitude Prize. The competition will be launched in autumn or early 2015. This can (and should) include academic involvement.
  • It was said again that MSCA fellowships lay the ground for applicants to successfully apply for ERC grants. It was pointed out that Advanced Grant applicants do not have to be mid-late career, the ERC has funded (a few) people in their 20s. It depends on the field. Also, no PhD is needed for Advanced Grants.
  • ERC Starting Grants call 2014: 20-25% of of the 3272 applications are resubmissions. For Starting and Consolidator Grants next year, the EC is considering extending the eligibility window for time post-PhD as well as reducing the minimum time commitment for Consolidator grantees to 40% from 50%. The EC expects to fund 330 grants under each call (Starting and Consolidator) in 2015. 20% fewer people applied for Consolidator Grants this year, numbers stayed the same for Starting Grants.
  • H2020 so far: 156 calls published, 59 have closed. More than 16000 proposals submitted, more than €4bn funding requested.
  • FP7 success rate was 1 in 5 over the whole programme. The first indications for H2020 suggest 1 in 9 is more likely. Health and energy areas are particularly over-subscribed.
  • There will be no negotiation phase before a contract signed and there is now an 8 month limit time to grant: 5 months evaluation, 3 months grant preparation. If budgets are overinflated, they will be scored low and not be funded- no negotiation. Although during grant preparation stage there will be an opportunity to take into account reviewers comments which may change the budget or proposed activities slightly. This will essentially be a voluntary process of about 3 weeks maximum.
  • MSCA ITNS expect to continue with around a 10% success rate as the number of proposals submitted to the 2014 call (1164) remains stable. ITNs can include non-academics partners. The EC wants to see innovative training programmes and are particularly keen on entrepreneurship, commercialisation, innovation skills, IPR etc. These must each be defined in individual career development plans. To date, the UK has done very well in ITNs – up to 80% of ITNs have at least one UK beneficiary. 28% have UK coordinators. The next call will be published on 2 Sept 2014. (There will be a batch of calls published then with Dec/Jan closing dates).

I have more information if you have any questions and all the presentatoins from the conference are available to UKRO subscribers here


Library will shed light on Endnote, open access and more at #NUResearch14

LightbulbGlow by Noe Lecocq CC BY-SA 2.5

This is a guest post by Suzie Kitchin, Research Support Librarian:

Members of the Library’s Research Support team are delivering workshops and providing a library stand at Northumbria’s Research Conference on Wednesday 21st and Thursday 22nd May. The purpose of this is to encourage you as academic staff and postgraduate research students to find out how the University Library can support your research. Details about the Conference can be found at

The Library team will be on hand throughout the event:

  • We are delivering workshops as part of the breakout sessions;
  • There will be an information stand in City Campus East foyer throughout the Conference;
  • You can register for ORCiD at the stand, including the opportunity to win £50 in vouchers! If you haven’t heard of ORCiD before, it is a digital identifier which uniquely identifies each researcher, and provides links between you as the researcher and your professional activities.

We encourage you to register for the conference, attend one of our workshops and join us at our stand in the foyer of City Campus East.

Our workshop will run three times during the event in room 021:

  • Wednesday 21st May – 09:30-11:00 and 2.00-3.30
  • Thursday 22nd May – 11:00-12:30

Do come along and chat with us about how we can support your research.


Watch the Horizon 2020 UK National Launch Event

The Horizon 2020 UK National Launch Event will be held on Friday. The event will run from 10am to 4:10pm  and can be watched at  This event is organised by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, and co-sponsored by the Technology Strategy Board and the Royal Society. It will include high-level speakers from business, academia and government. The agenda is available here.





Funding success for Northumbria Law School

northumbria city campus eastProfessor Chris Ashford and senior lecturer, Nicola Wake have been awarded funding from the Modern Law Review to run a seminar on ‘Consent, Compulsion and Sexual Offenders: The Compulsory Treatment of Sex Offenders’ to be held in March 2014.

This is only the second time this award has gone to a new university, the first time also being Northumbria in 2010 for a seminar on Expert Evidence in Criminal Proceedings.

This event will be run jointly by the School’s Centre for Evidence and Criminal Justice Studies and the Gender, Sexuality and Law Research Group. It aims to bring a new dimension to the approach of legal academics and legal practitioners to the “treatment” of sex offenders. It will bring together academics and practitioners for the first time to enable an inter-disciplinary dialogue on this topical area of criminal law and to develop a sustainable international research network.

The Gender, Sexuality and Law Research group was launched in 2013.  It draws together established, early career academics and postgraduate students from a range of disciplines across the University aligned with the core theme of gender, sexuality and law. The group acts a point of focus for this growing community of scholars, and organizes a seminar series together with a range of activities to support and develop a community of academic inquiry.  In the first six months of operation, the group has successfully attracted funding to explore LGBTQ law student identities, LGBTQ ‘communities’ within law schools (with Bradford University), and to explore conceptions of privacy in the context of mobile ‘dating’ Apps such as the popular Grindr and Scruff products (with Newcastle University).

For more info on the seminar or the work of the Gender, Sexuality and the Law Research Group, contact Chris Ashford


Conference Funding – Association of Commonwealth Universities


To mark its Centenary, the ACU is offering 100 Early Career Academic Grants to staff at ACU member universities (Northumbria is a member) to attend relevant conferences or academic meetings in another Commonwealth country. The scheme is aimed at early career academics who have not yet had the opportunity to work, study, or travel outside their own country.

  • Grants can be used to cover travel costs, conference fees, accommodation and subsistence, and, where appropriate, small-scale purchases of materials for use in future teaching or research.
  • Round 2 of applications is now open.
  • Each Early Career Academic Grant will be up to GBP 2,000 in value.

The closing date for applications is 7 February 2014.

For further details, see the Association of Commonwealth Universities webpage

If you wish to make an application please contact your relevant faculty Research and Funding Policy Manager.

Some tips when writing:

* Applicants must not have attended any overseas conferences in the last 5 years. Use the section of the application that asks you this to state some you would have liked to attend but did not have the opportunity.

* The overarching aim of the scheme is to help ‘grow and support the next generation of researchers, lecturers and university leaders’ In your 300 word free text section identify how attendance at your chosen conference can help you achieve this. You will obviously need to be brief. (This applies to the other sections where there is no world limit. ACU will receive alot of applications to read!)

* Is there someone else attending you would want to meet/listen to? Try to identify people you can build connections and exchange ideas with. If you have had some correspondence with people attending the conference already you can add it as an attachment to your applcation. This shows existing links and how the grant might strengthen them.

* Finally, try and calculate how much you will need for attendance and itemise where possible in section 17. Itemise perhaps into flight, accommodation, registration and subsistence. This shows you have adequately considered what your grant will cover, and will be able to attend the conference if successful.



Info Events for ERC Starting Grants applicants

The UK Research Office, UKRO, has announced January dates for events to support those interested in applying for the upcoming 2014 European Research Council (ERC) Starting Grants Call.

These information and proposal writing events will provide an overview of the grant scheme and key issues relatingerc_logo to planning, writing and costing a proposal. The sessions will be  held at:

  • University of Birmingham, Friday 10 January 2014
  • University of Edinburgh, Tuesday 14 January 2014
  • Natural History Museum, London, Wednesday 15 January 2014

To be eligible for the 2014 Starting Grant call, you must have received been awarded your PhD between 2 and 7 years prior to the publication date of the call (11 December 2013). The call deadline will be 25 March 2014.

You can register to attend on the UKRO website.


Integrable Systems Research Event at Northumbria

Line wave 1 by Anthony Mattox CC BY-NC 2.0This is a guest blog post by Dr Sara Lombardo, Senior Lecturer in Applied Mathematics at Northumbria University:

“A two-day meeting Integrable Systems in Newcastle will take place on the 4th and 5th of October 2013 at the Department of Mathematics and Information Sciences of Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne. The event, jointly supported by the London Mathematical Society and by the Northumbria Research Conference Support Fund, celebrates four newly appointed mathematicians (Dr Sara Lombardo, Dr Matteo Sommacal, Dr Antonio Moro, and Dr Benoit Huard, in order of appointment) and promotes the activity of the research group at Northumbria within the North East and in the neighbouring Universities of Newcastle and Durham, as well as Glasgow, Edinburgh, Leeds, Loughborough and Manchester.

The workshop covers a wide range of topics in the field of integrable systems and nonlinear waves, bringing together experts from the UK community and from abroad. The list of speakers includes:

F. Calogero (Università di Roma “La Sapienza”). A. Degasperis (Università di Roma “La Sapienza”), G. El (Loughborough University), E. Ferapontov (Loughborough University), B. Huard (Northumbria University), S. Lombardo (Northumbria University), ,P. Lorenzoni (Università di Milano “Bicocca”), M. Mazzocco (Loughborough University), A. Moro (Northumbria University), J. Sanders (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam), P. Santini (Università di Roma “La Sapienza”), M. Sommacal (Northumbria University), P. Sutcliffe (Durham University), J.P. Wang (University of Kent)”

Find out more about the group’s research at their research web pages:

Nonlinear phenomena appear everywhere in nature, from water waves to magnetic materials, from optics to weather forecasts, hence their description and understanding is of fundamental importance both from the theoretical and the applicative point of view. Nonlinear phenomena are generally described by differential equations whose solution often stands out as a challenging problem. Nevertheless, there is a special class of differential equations which are solvable (in some sense) – they are called integrable systems… [read more]