Horizon 2020: Innovative Training Networks call open – deadline 10 Jan 2017

D Social Networking by StockMonkeys CC BY 2.0

The 2017 Innovative Training Networks call has opened with a deadline of 10 January 2017. This is part of Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions within Horizon 2020.

ITNs are the main strand of funding in Horizon 2020 aimed at supporting Early Stage Researchers (doctoral researchers). The scheme supports joint training and/or doctoral programmes implemented by partnerships of universities, research institutions, research infrastructures, businesses and other socio-economic actors. There are three different strands to apply for: European Training Networks (ETN), European Industrial Doctorates (EID) and European Joint Doctorates (EJD).MCA

The 2017 call documents, including the Guide for Applicants, and links to online submission are available on the Participant Portal.

UKRO, in its capacity as MSCA National Contact Point, is organising an ITN Information event at the University of West London on 12 October 2016. If you’re interested in attending, register online here.



Mentoring Essentials – New workshop for Northumbria researchers, 15 September on City Campus

As part of our commitments to the Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers and HR Excellence in Research Award, two research mentoring workshops will be held on Thursday 15 September.

Effective mentoring involves not only knowledge and expertise grounded in research and organisational experience, but also the fundamental skills of effective listening and questioning and an ability to generate insight and convert that into accountable action.

This workshop is an opportunity to:

o   Understand the context for research mentoring at Northumbria

o   Hear from successful mentors and mentees

o   Share good practice with peers and colleagues

o   Work practically through some core mentoring approaches including:

o   a practical model for mentoring conversations

o   setting accountable actions

Whether established or new to mentoring at Northumbria you are encouraged to attend one of the workshops. This is also a good way to meet other mentors and refresh or learn new mentoring techniques. If you are still in the early stages of your research career and are interested in developing your mentoring skills, you are also welcome to attend. 

Workshop Dates and Times:

Thursday 15th September 2016, 09.30 – 12.00, City Campus

Thursday 15th September 2016, 13.00 – 15.30, City Campus

If you wish to attend please email hr.development@northumbria.ac.uk or ring extension 4343.

A Research Mentoring Framework has been developed as part of the Researcher Development Programme to ensure all research-active staff have access to mentors. As part of the framework, regular training opportunities are provided for existing mentors and those interested in developing their mentoring skills or becoming a mentor in the future.




European Research Council calls 2017

ERCThe European Research Council has launched the 2017 Starting Grants call today. The deadline is 18 October. Starting Grants are for talented researchers with 2-7 years of post-PhD experience and strong track records. Attractive long-term funding of up to € 1.5 million is available for projects of up to 5 years duration.

The Consolidator Grants call (for researchers with 7-12 years post-PhD experience and a track record showing scientific talent) will open on 20 October with a deadline of 9 February and the Advanced Grants call  (for researchers with a 10 year track record of leadership in their field) will open on the 16 May 2017 with a deadline of 31 August next year.

If you are interested in applying to any of these calls, please contact your faculty Research Funding and Policy Manager who can advise you on the next steps.




ERC Starting Grant Information Events in September

UKRO, as UK National Contact Point for the European Research Council, is holding two events for academics interested in applying to the next ERCERC Starting Grants call (which will have an October 2016 deadline). The events will be held at the University of York on Monday 5 September from 13:30 – 17:00 and at King’s College London on  Tuesday 6 September 2016 from 10:00 – 13:00. Attendance is free but you must register to confirm your place.

ERC Starting Grants are for early career researchers who completed their PhD between 2-7 years prior to 1 January 2017. The grants are extremely attractive (offering up to € 1.5 million) funding promising researchers with a great track record to undertake an excellent and innovative research project.


Early Career Researchers Forum this Thursday, 21 April, 12.00-13.30, CCE1 012

Question Mark Sign by Colin Kinner CC BY 2.0

The next Early Career Researcher Forum will be held on Thursday 21 April, 12.00-1.30 in room 012, CCE1 (the Faculty of Business and Law building on City Campus East).

This will be an opportunity to meet the ECR Working Group, the ECR representatives from each faculty who represent ECRs on various university and faculty committees and groups.

We do not have a strict definition of ECR that we adhere to and any colleague in the early stages of their research career, irrespective of career stage, discipline etc., is very welcome to come along to meet fellow ECRs and hear about some of the initiatives and ideas taking place across the university.

As well as giving an informal opportunity to meet and network with ECRs from across the University, the meeting will also include:

Question Mark Sign by Colin Kinner CC BY 2.0
Question Mark Sign by Colin Kinner CC BY 2.0
  • an update on ECR activities from Tora Smulders-Srinivasan, Chair of the ECR Forum
  • a discussion on sharing best practice in supporting staff undertaking doctorates
  • Professor George Marston, PVC (Research and Innovation) will also give an update on the University’s multi-disciplinary research themes
  • an update on plans for ECR training for next academic year and an opportunity to share your views on the kinds of training and development that would benefit you the most.


There is no need to sign up, just come along if you are free. Feel free to bring your lunch with you.



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.



ADSS Research and Enterprise Drop-In Session- Thursday 26th November 12.30-1.30

We would like to extend an invite to Arts, Design and Social Sciences colleagues to come along to our next monthly drop-in session on Research and Enterprise. The session will be held 12.30-1.30 in the Design Staff Room on the 2nd floor of CCE2, room 207.

Members of staff from the Faculty Bidding Support Group and RBS will be on hand to talk with colleagues about any issues or questions relating to commercial engagement or research funding. You can discuss an idea you have, identify possible funders or partners, bring along a draft you are working on or anything in between.

Look forward to seeing you there!





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.


Interested in applying for a Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellowship?

British Academy/Leverhulme

There will be a short information event on Tuesday 1st December at 4pm in Ellison Building A Block room 101 (EBA101) on the Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellowship Scheme. Victor Toom from the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences will give an overview of the scheme and the application process. Victor is coming to the end of his Leverhulme-funded fellowship and will share his insights and experience with any colleagues considering applying. RBS colleagues will also be on hand to answer questions and support bid development.

This meeting is very timely as the 2016 application round opens on 1 January and will have a deadline of 10 March.

Leverhulme Fellowships provide an opportunity for those at an early stage in their academic careers to develop a sustained piece of research subsequent to their doctoral period. They involve a match-funding arrangement between the Leverhulme Trust and a hosting institution. Applicants must not yet have held a full-time permanent academic post in a UK university and must have had their doctoral viva after 10 March 2011.

There is no need to sign up, just come along if you’re interested. In the meantime, if you have any questions on this fellowship scheme, please contact your faculty Research Funding and Policy Manager.