Horizon 2020 and beyond…Notes from UKRO Visit

Our UKRO Representative Jon Brookes visited Newcastle yesterday, here are some notes from the presentation:

Average success rate across all H2020 Programmes was 14.9% so far. This varied from scheme to scheme with some of the ERC fellowships at 4%. £4.6 billion came to the UK, of which 2/3 goes to HEIs.

There is now a dashboard on the Participant Portal that you can use to look at success rates by organisation.

For the remaining 2 years of H2020, calls will be clustered around 4 focus policy areas, you will need to reference the relevant policy area in your proposal, as well as referring to the relevant SDG. In Horizon Europe (FP9) this will be more prevalent. UKRO have a Factsheet on the Role of SDGs https://www.ukro.ac.uk/subscriber/Factsheets/factsheet_sdg.pdf

The remaining calls will be clustered around supporting the Commission’s political priorities:

  • A low-carbon, climate resilient future: €3.3 billion;
  • Circular Economy: €1 billion;
  • Digitising and transforming European industry and services: €1.7 billion;
  • Security Union: €1 billion; and
  • Migration: €200 million.

The new Horizon Europe Programme will have a budget of €100 billion and will be formed around 3 pillars:

  • Open Science – Building on the success of the European Research Council, the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions and the Research Infrastructures, the pillar adds more resources for projects with higher impacts.
  • Global Challenges and industrial competitiveness – It consists of clusters that aim at exploiting European strengths and assets by generating new knowledge and translating it into useful innovations, developing and applying digital and key enabling technologies along with a new mission approach.
  • Open Innovation – This new pillar will offer a one-stop shop for high potential innovators, aiming to put Europe at the forefront of market-creating innovation through a “bottom-up” approach.

There will be a new European Innovation Council with funding instruments for companies:

  • Pathfinder – risky projects & early stage ideas
  • Accelerator – taking existing ideas and bringing them to market

Horizon Europe will have a ‘Mission Orientation’ with different strands of the programme uniting to pursue Grand Challenges such as curing cancer, eliminating dementia, carbon neutral cities, plastic free oceans. It will therefore be essential that you read and reference the relevant European policy documents in your applications.

There was some discussion about Brexit and what that could mean for the UK. There are a number of documents on the UK Govt website detailing what will happen if there is no deal: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/horizon-2020-funding-if-theres-no-brexit-deal/horizon-2020-funding-if-theres-no-brexit-deal–2

The UK Government guarantees that it will cover all of the UK successful bids budgets submitted right up to the end of H2020. This only covers the UK element of the budget. This guarantee covers any bids put in on a competitive basis up to the end of 2020, including COST Actions, Erasmus etc.

Bear in mind that if there is a No Deal and the UK ends up as a Third Country then you will need to make sure that you have the minimum 3 Member States on the grant to ensure eligibility. Third Party countries CAN coordinate collaborative projects so the UK could still lead projects in the event of a No Deal.

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PhD opportunities available in collaboration with North East businesses

Are you interested in a funded PhD to start 1st October, working on exciting research in collaboration with regional businesses?

Check out the range of Intensive Industrial Innovation Projects funded by the European Regional Development Fund. Topics range from exploring the implications of smart devices on ageing at home to investigating the use of building information modelling to supplement planning processes.

Apply by midnight 16th July 2018. Full details here:

Northumbria University is seeking applications for PhD studentships, to work closely with business in the region, as part of the £3.9m Intensive Industrial Innovation Programme (IIIP) funded by the European Regional Development Fund.

The IIIP Programme aims to encourage a culture of innovation that benefits business, leading to greater export opportunities and increased graduate employment, particularly in science and engineering. The IIIP Programme is a collaboration between Northumbria, Durham, Newcastle and Teesside Universities.

During each PhD project, the research student will work closely with the collaborating business, using innovative research to support the development of new products and services. Students will spend up to 49% of their time working with the business and at least 51% of their time at Northumbria University.

The PhD projects will start on 1st October 2018, for three years. The eligibility criteria for PhD candidates:

  • The IIIP PhD funding is available to Home and EU students.
  • Academic excellence of the proposed student i.e. 2.1 (or equivalent GPA from non-UK universities; or a Masters, or APEL evidence of suitable practitioner achievement)
  • Applicants cannot apply for this funding if currently engaged in Doctoral study at Northumbria University or elsewhere

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Newton International Fellowships: 2018 Call Now Open

Globes and Maps by caruba CC BY-NC 2.0
Globes and Maps by caruba CC BY-NC 2.0

The latest call for Newton International Fellowships, released yesterday by the British Academy, Royal Society and the Academy of Medical Sciences.

https://royalsociety.org/grants-schemes-awards/grants/newton-international/

Applicants should hold a PhD (or expect to obtain one by the time funding starts) and not be UK citizens and be working outside of the UK at the time of application. In addition, applicants should have no more than 7 years of active, full-time postdoctoral experience at the time of application, discounting career breaks. Applicants should not have done their PhD at the institution they are applying to.

The opportunity covers the full range of subjects covered by the three funders, including engineering, computer science, earth and environmental sciences, pure/applied mathematics, human geography, astronomy and physics (see p2 of the scheme notes for full details).

The funding is to pay for their subsistence costs for a two-year full-time fellowship appointment (up to £24k/annum as a tax exempt stipend), up to £8k/annum for consumables, a one-off £2k relocation payment in year one, as well as a contribution to institutional overheads.

This is a highly competitive scheme, but if you know of a good quality candidate with an excellent research track record who is keen to work here, then it may be a good opportunity to apply for. The application deadline is 27th March 2018 at 3pm.

Please contact your Faculty aligned Research Funding and Policy Manager for a further discussion in the first instance.

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GCRF Networking Grants Now Available

The Academy of Medical Sciences, British Academy, Royal Academy of Engineering and Royal Society have jointly launched a new call for Global Challenges Research Fund Networking Grants.

The scheme allows researchers from across disciplines and from developing countries and the UK to hold networking events, to forge new links and generate innovative transdisciplinary research ideas to address global challenges. We expect that these new networks will then be better equipped to apply for larger grants offered by the GCRF programme and other funding initiatives.

This is an excellent opportunity for those who are starting to build networks with researchers and stakeholders in DAC List countries. The awards provide up to £25,000 over one year to hold networking events, supporting these collaborations.

The deadline for applications for this round is 21st March 2018. Successful projects must start between 1st July and 30th September 2018 and last for one year. Further details are available on the call page. Please contact us at an early stage if you are interested in applying.

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UK Intelligence Community Postdoctoral Research Fellowships – Royal Academy of Engineering

The Royal Academy of Engineering and the Government Office for Science have announced the latest round of the UK Intelligence Community Postdoctoral Research Fellowships scheme. The deadline for applications is 26th March 2018.

The fellowships are targeted at early career academics without a current permanent lectureship and within 5 years of their PhD award. They provide funding for two years (with an optional third year pending a review at the end of Year 1) with full salary costs covered, plus travel and subsistence linked to the research, and modest items of equipment (up to £3k incl. VAT), consumables and other expenses which are fully justified in connection with carrying out the research.

The research may be on any one of the 13 topics identified for 2018 by the UK intelligence community. Further detail on these is given in the topic list:

Topic Title No.
Research into methods to detect manipulated facial images in identity documents or on-line applications 1
Advanced research into archive, analysis and retrieval of video based data 2
Detecting malicious activity on distributed Internet of Things sensor/actuator networks 3
Non-conventional energy harvesters/power sources to provide power in remote locations for 10+ years 4
Security of Automatic Speaker Verification Systems to synthesis spoofing attacks 5
Micro-robotics 6
Crowd modelling in post-event emergency situations 7
Opportunities and risks in the application of deep learning to security screening applications 8
The use of Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR) and Mixed Reality (MR) to enhance briefing and training 9
Novel approaches to compact energy storage and lighter/more efficient autonomous systems 10
Understanding and mitigating side-channels in commodity hardware 11
Cross-linguistic approaches for representing place and movement 12
Quantum sensing and readout with cavity quantum phonodynamics 13

These awards are highly competitive and significant institutional support is required, including assigning a mentor, so if you have an idea and are considering applying please contact your relevant Research Funding & Policy Manager at an early stage.

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Royal Society – Research Grants: Deadline 19th December 2017

Do You Remember the Future by JD Hancock CC BY 2.0
Do You Remember the Future by JD Hancock CC BY 2.0
Do You Remember the Future by JD Hancock CC BY 2.0

The Royal Society has recently launched the latest round of their Research Grants scheme, with a closing date of 19th December 2017.

These awards provide up to £20k of ‘seed corn’ funding for early stage researchers for the purchase of specialised equipment, consumable materials and/or travel and subsistence for field research. The scheme covers all disciplines in the life and physical sciences (this includes engineering, computer sciences, earth sciences, and environmental sciences).

Find out more about the scheme and how to apply here:

https://royalsociety.org/grants-schemes-awards/grants/research-grants/

Northumbria staff: please send a near final draft of your proposal to your Faculty Research Funding and Policy Manager by 7th December 2017 at the latest so that we have time to do a basic review and check costs before sending for Faculty approval on the 12th December. If you are proposing to use the grant to purchase equipment, then please obtain a quote from a supplier (including VAT and any shipment costs) and include that in the documents you send over. You should also discuss any proposed equipment purchase with the relevant technical team.

Please ensure you meet the eligibility criteria outlined below before you start working on a proposal. If you are unsure or wish to discuss further, please get in touch:

  • Hold a PhD or equivalent qualification.
  • Be based at an eligible UK organisation and a UK resident at the time of application
  • Be within the first five consecutive years, at the time of application, of either:
    • their first permanent independent academic research post
    • a named limited-tenured/fixed-term academic research post, obtained in open competition (Note that tenure must cover the duration of the award).
  • Be fully independent researchers with access to their own lab space (in other words post-doc researchers funded by a grant on which someone else is PI are not eligible)

Northumbria staff can have a look at a few previously successful proposals here (though please note these were prepared in eGap, so the forms will look a little different to the new Flexi-Grant system): https://one.northumbria.ac.uk/service/rbs/Pages/Research-Resources/Applying-for-Funding/Developing-Costing-Proposals/Northumbria-Research-Bid-Repository/Royal-Society.aspx

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Newton Fund: Call for Applications – Newton Advanced Fellowship and Newton Mobility Grant

The British Academy has released details of the following funding opportunities from the Newton Fund:

Newton Advanced Fellowship
This fellowship supports mid-career group and network leaders in partner countries to develop their research with groups and networks in the UK; by supporting the development of a research community, strengthening research excellence and links between the UK and partner country and establishing long term professional links.  The partner countries are listed below, and these countries are offering similar opportunities for UK researchers wishing to visit:
– Brazil (in partnership with CONFAP)
– Mexico (in partnership with CONACYT)
– South Africa (in partnership with the National Research Foundation)
– Turkey (in partnership with TUBITAK)
Grants for these countries are offered up to a maximum of £37,000 for two years. Applications must be submitted using the British Academy’s Grant Management System by 17.00 (UK time) on Wednesday 20 December 2017.

For further information have a look here.

Newton Mobility Fund
This fund will strengthen the research capacity and capability of the partner country by facilitating training and skills transfer from the UK, as well as supporting excellent research and links between the UK and partner country and establishing long term professional links.  The partner countries are listed below, and these countries are offering similar opportunities for UK researchers wishing to visit:
– Brazil (in partnership with CONFAP)
– Mexico (in partnership with CONACYT)
– South Africa (in partnership with the National Research Foundation)
– Turkey (in partnership with TUBITAK)
Grants for these countries are offered up to a maximum of £10,000 for one year. Applications must be submitted using the British Academy’s Grant Management System by 17.00 (UK time) on Wednesday 20 December 2017.

For further information have a look here.

 

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