Horizon 2020 Information Days – Registration now open



ESRC have arranged a series of Information Days discussing Societal Challenge Six and Embedding SSH, but also wider research funding available in the 2018-20 H2020 Work Programme.

On 22 November, Newcastle University are hosting the regional Information Day – for further information and to book your place (first come first served) click here. The events are free but you must register to secure your place. Registration is open until 3 November.


British Academy/Leverhulme Small Research Grants – 2017 Round Open

Piggy bank with coins by 401k CC BY-SA 2

The ever-popular British Academy/Leverhulme Trust Small Research Grants scheme is now open for applications.

Grants are available to support primary research in the humanities and social sciences. Applications should be between £500-£10,000 over up to two years. Applications for collaborative or individual research projects are equally welcome under this scheme. Applications from international groups of scholars are also welcome, provided there is a UK-based scholar as lead applicant.

Funds are available to: facilitate initial project planning and development; to support the direct costs of research; and to enable the advancement of research through workshops or conferences, or visits by or to partner scholars. Applicants may seek support for any combination of eligible activity and cost up to the overall limit of £10,000. The Academy will assess applications equally on their merits, with no preference as to the mode of enquiry.

The deadline for applications is 5pm UK time on 24th May 2017. 

PLEASE NOTE: Please contact your Faculty Research Funding and Policy Manager as soon as possible if you intend to apply to check your own Faculty’s internal deadlines: as this scheme usually gives rise to a high volume of applications, there are internal processes in place to ensure any bids submitted are high quality and are supported by the relevant Faculty.


HEFCE Case Study on Interdisciplinary Research at Northumbria and the Institute of the Humanities

Northumbria University was recently approached to provide a Case Study for a HEFCE Report on HEI’s approaches to Interdisciplinary Research.

HEFCE were particularly interested in our Institute of the Humanities due to our strong REF performance in this area, and the new research found in the Humanities area in the Institute in Israel where you can find the MA In Israel among more degrees and subjects.

A series of interviews were conducted with staff involved in the foundation of the Institute, and the report and Case Studies have now been published by HEFCE.

There were no big surprises, with the focus on how not if to implement Stern’s recent recommendations. However there are a few significant revelations we can glean from the consultation:

Institution-level case studies could play a major role in the next REF, accounting for 10-20% or up to 25% of impact scores in two different proposals being consulted upon. However, as I explain below, this proposal has the potential to achieve the opposite of Stern’s intention to better capture interdisciplinary and collaborative impacts;

Larger units may only be allowed to submit 1 case study for every 20 staff they submit, based on the proposed definition of “research active” staff and HESA data that show there were approximately 130,000 eligible staff employed across the sector in 2014. It appears that HEFCE are not minded to accept Stern’s recommendation to “relax the tight coupling between the number of staff submitted to a Unit of Assessment and the number of case studies required”. Rather, a fixed ratio is being consulted on, based on the number of research active staff, with flexibility being granted for smaller submissions (which would only have to submit 1 case study, thereby revealing their scores). As a result, some less research intensive Universities (that were more selective in the staff they submitted to REF2014) could have to find twice the number of case studies they needed in 2014 if they want to make a submission in 2021. For example, a unit with 80 academic staff that only submitted their 10 best researchers could have done so with two impact case studies in REF2014 but may need to find four case studies to be able to make a submission to REF2021. This may incentivize the submission of low grade and in some cases “unclassifiable” case studies that are not based on credible research in order to enable submissions to be made;

They are available at the links below, and Northumbria University features on page 56 in the Case Study Review:



Webinar on impact in Horizon 2020 Societal Challenge 6

Net4Society, the Network of National Contact Points for Horizon 2020 Societal Challenge 6 “Europe in a changing world – Inclusive, innovative and reflective societies”, has recorded a webinar on impact in Societal Challenge 6 projects, focusing on how the impact of proposals is assessed by evaluators. It is an hour long but worth a watch if you are developing an application to this Societal Challenge or have a H2020 project proposal with a significant Social Sciences and Humanities element.


RCUK Global Challenges Research Fund- what we know so far…

The Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) is a £1.5 billion fund announced by the UK Government to support cutting-edge research that addresses the challenges faced by developing countries through:

  • challenge-led disciplinary and interdisciplinary research
  • strengthening capacity for research and innovation within both the UK and developing countries
  • providing an agile response to emergencies where there is an urgent research need.

Below are some slides summarising what we know so far…


British Academy/Leverhulme Trust: Small Research Grants – Deadline: 11th May 2016

Domesday-book-1804x972 - Public Domain
Domesday Book – Public Domain

The ever-popular British Academy/Leverhulme Trust Small Research Grants scheme is now open and this round closes on 11th May 2016.

British Academy/Leverhulme Trust – Small Research Grants

Up to £10,000 is available to fund primary research in the humanities and social sciences.

Funds may be used to:

  • facilitate initial project planning and development;
  • support the direct costs of research;
  • enable the advancement of research through workshops or conferences, or visits by or to partner scholars.

If you’re interested in applying to this round, please get in touch with your Faculty Research Funding and Policy Manager as soon as possible.


Trans-Atlantic “Digging into Data” funding available

Digging a hole by Adam Bindslev CC BY-NC
Digging a hole by Adam Bindslev CC BY-NC
Digging a hole by Adam Bindslev CC BY-NC

The AHRC have recently announced the launch of the fourth “Digging into Data” challenge, funded by a consortium of funders known as the Trans-Atlantic Platform (including AHRC and ESRC in the UK):

Trans-Atlantic Platform: Digging into Data

What’s it about?

The funders are looking for projects that address social science and/or humanities research questions through the development and innovative application of tools and methods for capturing and analysing “big data”.

Who can be involved?

This time the challenge has been expanded to incorporate new funders in new countries: ESRC and AHRC will fund UK partners, but it will also be possible to work with partners in Canada, Mexico, USA, Argentina, Brazil and a number of European countries (Finland, France, Germany, Netherlands, Portugal). For the full list of countries and funders, see: http://www.transatlanticplatform.com/2016/02/29/trans-atlantic-platform-announces-the-2016-t-ap-digging-into-data-challenge/

Proposals must include “teams from at least three member countries, and must include partners from both sides of the Atlantic. Projects must address any research question in humanities and/or social sciences disciplines by using large-scale, digital data analysis techniques, and show how these techniques can lead to new insights. Successful applicants will receive funding from their own national funding agencies for projects that can last for up to 36 months.”

Anything else?

Applications should be submitted through the Digging into Data website, and you can find out more about the call there. The submission system will be available after 15th April. The deadline for proposals is 29th June 2016. Please get in touch with your Faculty Research Funding and Policy Manager at an early stage if you are interested in applying.


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!





Social Sciences and Humanities in the H2020 2016-17 work programmes

Net4Society, the international network of National Contact Points for Societal Challenge 6 “Europe in a changing world: inclusive, innovative and reflective societies” has published a report on the opportunities for social sciences and humanities (SSH) research across Horizon 2020. It analyses all the SSH-relevant topics that have been identified in the Horizon 2020 2016-17 Work Programmes and is a useful guide for SSH researchers looking to find an entry point into H2020 and the Societal Challenges in particular. You can download the document here.




Registration now open – ‘’Trust – Research Co-creating Future Societies’’ Conference and Societal Challenge 6 Information Day…

on 29th and 30th October 2015 in Brussels. The event is being organised by the European Commission (DG RTD) and Net4Society, a network of Societal Challenge 6 national contacts points.

This conference will discuss the 2050 perspective of Europe in a Changing World. Information on funding opportunities for Social Sciences and Humanities under the 2016-17 Work Programme will also be presented.

For the agenda and registration details click here