The UK Parliament wants more academics to engage with them

From York to Dundee, over 50 academics and professional staff attended Wednesday’s information-packed Research, Impact and the UK Parliament event held here at Northumbria.

The key message was that the UK Parliament want academics and the research community to engage with them. They really really want to hear from YOU! This is great news as it could help you get your research into Parliament and make an impact on policy.

Here are their top tips:

  • The UK Parliament Universities Team have created a new Research Impact and Parliament webpage which is full of contact details and
    Palace of Westminster

    how to guides. Visit this page and explore all the links and resources.

  • Be active on twitter. Tweet about your research and follow @POST_UK and @YourUKParl.
  • Blog about your research. Write for informed, interested non-experts. This will make it easier for the research staff at UK Parliament to digest the information and recognise its value in meeting their specific needs and make it more likely that they will interact with you.
  • Sign up for email updates or follow relevant select committees on Twitter
  • If you respond to requests for evidence or make contact with Parliamentary staff, ensure you are writing for informed, interested, non-experts. Be concise, don’t use jargon and don’t expect them to already know about your expertise or research. When setting out your academic expertise (beyond answering the question asked or point of knowledge you are putting forward) link to your profile or additional pdf documents. This will ensure that the key message is not lost. Committees are cross-party, and you are most likely to be listened to if you are objective and do not (even unintentionally) appear to take a political side.
  • If you find out about an inquiry too late, yet think you have something valuable to say, email and ask if you can still submit.
  • Use the Parliament website to research which MPs, Lords, Parliamentary staff or committees will be interested in your research and make contact with them.

Find out more!

www.parliament.uk/research-impact

Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology’s website

Caroline Kenny’s blog about the impact of academia on Parliament

Current open calls for evidence

See what the Universities Programme offers for academics

View Research Briefings from Parliament

www.parliament.uk/get-involved

Follow UK Parliament on Twitter:

@POST_UK

@YourUKParl

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UK Parliament – new web hub for academic researchers

The UK Parliament has announced the launch of a new web hub for academic researchers.

‘Research Impact at the UK Parliament’ provides comprehensive information for researchers and universities on how they can engage with Parliament.

The hub answers three key questions:
•      What is Parliament interested in?
•      How does Parliament use research?
•      Why engage with Parliament?

It provides essential information on ways to engage with Parliament and stay up to date, as well as contact details of parliamentary teams and staff who work with research to support Parliamentarians.

The pages feature a variety of case studies in which researchers from across the UK, and from diverse disciplinary backgrounds, write about their experiences of working with a number of parliamentary offices.

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REF 2021: Guidance Released

This afternoon HEFCE released the decisions on staff and outputs for REF 2021. Our very own Ruth Hattam was digesting the details over lunch and has come up with a useful bitesize summary. If that’s not enough REF for you you can always read the full thing (it’s only 19 pages): http://www.ref.ac.uk/media/ref,2021/downloads/REF%202017_04%20Decisions.pdf

  • All staff with significant responsibility for research are returned to REF provided they are independent researchers.  As expected, institutions not going with 100% submission will be able to determine the criteria for identifying staff with significant responsibility.  My reading of the guidance is that it will be possible to consider different criteria for different UoAs, although the rationale for all decisions will need to be captured in the Code of Practice (guidance summer 2018, provisional submission spring 2019).  Further guidance on significant responsibility criteria (determined in conjunction with main panels) will form part of the Guidance on submissions/Panel criteria – the final versions of which will not be available until January 2019.
  • Independent researcher criteria will build on REF 2014 definition and will be worked on with the main panels.
  • ORCID strongly encouraged by not mandated.
  • Average number of outputs is 2.5 per FTE submitted.
  • Minimum of one, maximum of 5 outputs per member of staff (this is a soft 5 with no limit on co-authored papers).  Staff can be returned with zero outputs through an individual circumstances process.  The unit of assessment can also make  case for ‘unit circumstances’ to reduce the overall number of outputs required.
  • Impact case studies will be 2 for up to 15 FTE, then one for each additional 15 FTE (up to 105 FTE when one additional per 50 FTE)
  • Staff census date is 31 July 2020.  Hefce intend to work with HESA ‘to enable close alignment between the information collected and the staff record and the submission requirements of REF.
  • Output portability is the simplified model (i.e. outputs can be returned at current and previous institution – with some caveats).  (85% of the 157 respondents supported this model).
  • The original Open Access requirement (i.e. deposit within 3 months of date of acceptance) will be implemented from April 2018, although there will be the opportunity to record exceptions when deposit is 3 months after publication.

 

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Horizon 2020 New Societal Challenges calls published

With thanks to UKRO for their summaries, the European Commission has published a raft of new Horizon 2020 calls for proposals for the period 2018-2020. This will include a number of Societal Challenges calls which are listed below. For further information click the links to the full call information on the H2020 Participant Portal. Northumbria staff who are considering applying should contact their Research Funding and Policy Manager in the first instance.

Regarding Brexit, please note that there will be no immediate changes to the UK’s participation in Horizon 2020 and the UK Government has reconfirmed that it guarantees to underwrite awards where the application is submitted before the UK’s departure from the EU and is subsequently approved. This includes proposals which are informed of their success but, at the point of exit, have not signed a grant agreement, and proposals which have been submitted before exit and that are only informed of their success following exit.

Societal Challenge 2: Food Security

Call: Sustainable Food Security

The Sustainable Food Security call is Horizon 2020’s main contribution to research and innovation in relation to Food and Nutrition Security in Europe and beyond. Its commitment to sustainability implies that particular attention is given to the interfaces between the economic, environmental and social dimensions of food production. The call advocates for food system approaches to tackle the inherent links between ecosystems, food production, the food chain and consumer health and wellbeing.

– CE-SFS-25-2018: Integrated system innovation in valorising urban biowaste.
– DT-SFS-14-2018: Personalized Nutrition.
– LC-SFS-03-2018: Microbiome applications for sustainable food systems.
– LC-SFS-15-2018: Future proofing our plants
– LC-SFS-19-2018-2019: Climate-smart and resilient farming (two-stage)
– SFS-01-2018-2019-2020: Biodiversity in action: across farmland and the value chain (two-stage)
– SFS-05-2018-2019-2020: New and emerging risks to plant health (two-stage)
– SFS-06-2018-2020: Stepping up integrated pest management (two-stage)
– SFS-07-2018: Making European beekeeping healthy and sustainable (two-stage)
– SFS-08-2018-2019: Improving animal welfare (two-stage)- SFS-11-2018-2019: Anti-microbials and animal production (two-stage)
– SFS-16-2018: Towards healthier and sustainable food (two-stage)
– SFS-27-2018: Monitoring food R&I investments and impacts (two-stage)
– SFS-28-2018-2019-2020: Genetic resources and pre-breeding communities
– SFS-29-2018: Innovations in plant variety testing (two-stage)
– SFS-30-2018-2019-2020: Agri-Aqua Labs (two-stage)
– SFS-32-2018: Supporting microbiome coordination and the International Bioeconomy Forum
– SFS-33-2018: Support to the implementation of the EU-Africa Research and Innovation Partnership on Food and Nutrition Security & Sustainable Agriculture (FNSSA)
– SFS-38-2018: Highly efficient management of soil quality and land resources (two-stage)

The deadlines for single stage topics is 13 February and two-stage topics is 13 February and 11 September 2018.

Call: Rural Renaissance

The Rural Renaissance call will enhance the natural, social, cultural and economic potential of rural areas (the term “rural” is understood in a wide sense and also includes peri-urban, remote, mountain and coastal areas, unless otherwise specified in the topic description) and support policy coherence. It will boost economic development, ecosystem services and entrepreneurial innovation. This will be achieved by building on diversification and modernisation strategies, improving governance models, supporting innovative food and non-food (non-food chains include wood) value chains, and capitalising on local assets, including human, natural and cultural capital.

– CE-RUR-08-2018-2019-2020: Closing nutrient cycles (two-stage)
– DT-RUR-12-2018: ICT Innovation for agriculture – Digital Innovation Hubs for Agriculture
– RUR-01-2018-2019: Building modern rural policies on long-term visions and societal engagement
– RUR-01-2018-2019: Building modern rural policies on long-term visions and societal engagement (two-stage)
– RUR-02-2018: Socio-economic impacts of digitisation of agriculture and rural areas (two-stage)
– RUR-03-2018: Contracts for effective and lasting delivery of agri-environmental public goods (two-stage)
– RUR-04-2018-2019: Analytical tools and models to support policies related to agriculture and food (two-stage)

– RUR-09-2018: Realising the potential of regional and local bio-based economies
– RUR-13-2018: Enabling the farm advisor community to prepare farmers for the digital age
– RUR-14-2018: Digital solutions and e-tools to modernise the CAP
– RUR-15-2018-2019-2020: Thematic networks compiling knowledge ready for practice

The deadline for single stage is 13 February and for two-stage, 13 February and 11 September 2018.

Call: Blue Growth

The Blue Growth Call aims at sustainably harvesting the potential of resources from seas, oceans and inland waters for different uses and across the range of marine and maritime industries, while protecting biodiversity and enhancing climate resilience. It supports sustainable growth in the marine and maritime sectors through a responsible management of marine resources for healthy, productive, safe, secure and resilient seas and oceans, which are essential for thriving ecosystems, climate regulation, global food security, human health, livelihoods and economies.

– BG-01-2018: Towards a Baltic and North Sea research and innovation programme
– BG-02-2018: Blue Bioeconomy Public-Public Partnership
– BG-08-2018-2019: All Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance Flagship
– BG-08-2018-2019: All Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance Flagship (two-stage)
– DT-BG-04-2018-2019: Sustainable European aquaculture 4.0: nutrition and breeding
– LC-BG-03-2018: Sustainable harvesting of marine biological resources (two-stage)

The deadline for single calls is 13 February and for two-stage topics, 13 February and 11 September 2018.

Societal Challenge 3: Secure, clean and efficient energy.

Call: Building a low-carbon, climate resilient future

Achieving climate neutrality in the energy sector – while ensuring at the same time more efficient energy use, a secure supply of energy, affordable prices and low environmental impact – is a complex endeavour which requires R&I activities on multiple fronts.

– LC-SC3-JA-4-2018: Support action in preparation of a Joint Programming activity
– LC-SC3-RES-11-2018: Developing solutions to reduce the cost and increase performance of renewable technologies (two-stage)
– LC-SC3-RES-4-2018: Renewable energy system integrated at the building scale (two-stage)

Deadlines on 31 January 2018 for the single stage and 31 January and 23 August 2018 for two-stage.

Societal Challenge 4: Smart, green and integrated transport.

Call: Building a Low-Carbon, Climate resilient future: green vehicles

The Calls will focus on the most critical aspects supporting a massive introduction of electrified vehicles: 1) advances in electric batteries (production of elementary cells and pack assembly), 2) new architectures, concepts and components to support the advent of the 3rd generation of electrified vehicles, 3) improve the recharging experience from the view-point of the end-users, 4) supporting the competitiveness of European industries through the development of digitalised production environments and the use of advanced material, 5) addressing the urban dimension of introducing electrified vehicles.

– LC-GV-01-2018: Integrated, brand-independent architectures, components and systems for next generation electrified vehicles optimised for the infrastructure.
– LC-GV-02-2018: Virtual product development and production of all types of electrified vehicles and components.

Both topics are single stage and the deadline for submission of proposals is 4 April 2018.

Call: 2018-2020 Mobility for growth

Transport is changing at an accelerating pace as a result of several factors in many diverse but interconnected fields. In order to address these new challenges, targeted efforts are needed to develop and validate new solutions that can be rapidly deployed. They will address in a systemic way means of transport, infrastructure and operation models and integrate them into a user friendly European transport system of smart connected mobility for passengers and freight with significantly reduced impact on climate and environment.

– LC-MG-1-1-2018: InCo flagship on reduction of transport impact on air quality (two-stage)
– LC-MG-1-2-2018: Sustainable multi-modal inter-urban transport, regional mobility and spatial planning.(two-stage)
– LC-MG-1-3-2018: Harnessing and understanding the impacts of changes in urban mobility on policy making by city-led innovation for sustainable urban mobility (two-stage)
–  LC-MG-1-4-2018: Hardening vehicle environmental protection systems against tampering (two-stage)
– LC-MG-1-3-2018: Harnessing and understanding the impacts of changes in urban mobility on policy making by city-led innovation for sustainable urban mobility
– MG-2-1-2018: Human Factors in Transport Safety (two-stage)
– MG-2-2-2018: Marine Accident Response (two-stage)
– MG-2-3-2018: Airworthiness of mass-market drones
– MG-2-4-2018: Coordinating national efforts in modernizing transport infrastructure and provide innovative mobility services.
– MG-2-5-2018: Innovative technologies for improving aviation safety and certification in icing conditions (InCo flagship)
– MG-3-1-2018: Multidisciplinary and collaborative aircraft design tools and processes (two-stage)
– MG-3-2-2018: The Autonomous Ship (two-stage)
– MG-3-3-2018: “Driver” behaviour and acceptance of connected, cooperative and automated transport (two-stage)

– MG-4-1-2018: New regulatory frameworks to enable effective deployment of emerging technologies and business/operating models for all transport modes
– MG-4-2-2018: Building Open Science platforms in transport research
– MG-4-3-2018: Demographic change and participation of women in transport
– MG-4-4-2018-2019: Support for dissemination events in the field of Transport Research
– MG-BG-01-2018: Unmanned and autonomous survey activities at sea

All two-stage topic deadlines are 30 January and 19 September 2018 and single stage ones 4 April 2018.

 

Call: 2018-2020 Digitising and Transforming European Industry and Services: Automated Road Transport

The previous call on “Automated Road Transport” in the Transport Work Programme 2016/17 focused on vehicles with functions for automated driving level 3, which are expected to enter the market in the next few years. The overall objective of this call is to promote a wide market introduction of highly automated driving systems towards SAE level 4 (“the driving mode-specific performance by an automated driving system of all aspects of the dynamic driving task, even if a human driver does not respond appropriately to a request to intervene”).

– DT-ART-01-2018: Testing, validation and certification procedures for highly automated driving functions under various traffic scenarios based on pilot test data
– DT-ART-02-2018: Support for networking activities and impact assessment for road automation

The deadline for this call is 4 April 2018.

 

 

 

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Horizon 2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowships call open, deadline 14 Sept

This year’s call for Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowships has launched with a deadline of 14 September 2017. Full call information, including the Guide for Applicants, is available on the European Commission’s Participant Portal.

Individual Fellowships (IF) are aimed at individual fellows who already have a doctorate or equivalent research experience. They enable researchers to advance their careers and gain new skills through advanced training, international mobility, and optional intersectoral secondments. European Fellowships are held in EU Member States and are open to researchers either coming to Europe or moving within Europe. Global Fellowships are based on a secondment to a third country and a compulsory 12 month return phase in a Europe host organisation.

Applications are developed jointly between the fellow and their intended host organisation. As well as a strong programme of research, the application needs to describe the benefits of the fellowship to both the researcher and the host institution and how the programme of research and training for the fellow will be implemented and managed. Industrial secondments can also be included.

UKRO, as UK National Contact Point for Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions, is holding two information events on the call to be held in Liverpool on 5 May and Bristol on 23 May. These events will provide participants with an in-depth overview of the IF scheme. Participants should gain a clear understanding of the proposal format for each scheme and the key issues relating to planning, writing and submitting proposals. Attendance is free but you must register on the UKRO website to reserve a place.

If you are thinking about developing an application, please contact your relevant Research Funding and Policy Manager who can advise and support you through the application process as well as share resources such as previously successsful applications.

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ECR event on the HEFCE consultation on the next REF, Tues 14 Feb

As you have no doubt heard, the Higher Education Funding Council for England has launched a consultation on the next Research Excellence Framework. This includes proposals intended to streamline the REF process and make it less burdensome for UK universities whilst maintaining and improving incentives for research excellence.  It includes recommendations relating to: the submission of staff and outputs, the approach to the assessment of impact, and the introduction of an institutional level assessment.

Northumbria University is preparing a response and would like to give the ECR community an opportunity to feed into this. We are holding an event on Tuesday 14th February from 1.00-2.30 in room 209, Sutherland Building, City Campus. If you are able to attend, please sign up on this doodle poll to reserve your place: http://doodle.com/poll/fdkxmmr7mvaw8mee

Responses to the consultation must be submitted by midday on Friday 17 March 2017. Full details of the consultation can be found on the HEFCE website here.

 

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UK Information Day on H2020 Societal Challenge 5 2017 Calls

partnershipThe Enterprise Europe Network, in partnership with Innovate UK, is organising a National Information Day on the 2017 round of calls for Horizon 2020 Societal Challenge 5 – Climate action, environment, resource efficiency and raw materials on 23 November in Birmingham.

The event will introduce the content of the forthcoming calls, present insights and priorities from the European Commission, provide information on the support available to UK applicants and offer networking opportunities to help find new project partners. In addition, National Contact Points (NCPs) from the UK, Ireland, Poland and Cyprus will be present to answer questions and help develop new collaborations. There will also be an opportunity to pitch ideas and expertise to representatives of industry and research organisations.

The event is free to attend but you must register in advance. More info is available on the event website.

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