Cross-Disciplinarity and Co-Creation in ICT Research – New EPSRC Call

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Design for Engaged Experience by Mads Boedker CC BY

EPSRC have recently published an advance announcement for a call which they first trailed in their February review of research areas.

Summary: The Cross-Disciplinarity and Co-Creation in ICT Research call “seeks to encourage active collaboration between researchers working in different disciplines and/or with users of research. The ICT landscape has rich opportunities for closer working between disciplines and many of the most exciting opportunities emerge at the interface between established areas. Cross-disciplinary research includes novel collaboration within the ICT community, with researchers across the EPSRC portfolio and with researchers funded by other research councils. It also includes collaboration with users of research. Co-creation is the joint creation of a research project by collaborators.”

How much: Up to £5M is available for the call and EPSRC expects to fund 6-10 programmes of work, suggesting somewhere between £500K-£750K per project is the expected size.

Eligibility: The PI must be “a member of the ICT research community”, and the proposal must include ICT research. But, given the title, it must also demonstrate evidence of cross-disciplinarity and co-creation. I assume there will be questions and answers on precisely how one should or could demonstrate this at the information event (see below). Any investigator can only appear on one proposal, either as PI or Co-I.

How do I find out more: An information event is taking place on 4th May at Amba Hotel, Charing Cross, London, the day after the call launches. You need to book a place by emailing EPSRC Events by 28th April. You should also read the full call specification.

What are the timescales: There is a call for outlines which opens on 3rd May and closes on 14th June. Then the outline panel meets 31st July – 1st August to rank these against the outline proposal criteria. Following this decisions are made about which proposals to take forward to the full call which closes on 27th September. This means anyone invited to submit to the second stage will have to devote substantial time over peak holiday period (August) to preparing a detailed proposal.

Please contact your Research Funding and Policy Manager to discuss further if you are interested in submitting a proposal. Demonstration of strong institutional support is one of the key criteria for this call, so it’s important this aspect is considered carefully at an early stage.

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EPSRC Sandpit: New Industrial Systems

A day at BCIT aerospace technology campus by Mike CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
A day at BCIT aerospace technology campus by Mike CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
A day at BCIT aerospace technology campus by Mike CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

EPSRC is running an Ideas Factory Sandpit on New Industrial Systems in May 2017. The deadline for expressions of interest is 2nd March 2017.

New Industrial Systems Sandpit

What’s the theme?

The sandpit seeks to address the challenge of competitiveness in the future UK economy by focusing on manufacturing technologies and trends. Four research visions have been identified by the Manufacturing the Future theme:

  • Sustainable Industries (e.g. a future where business models take account of resource usage, resilience and security)
  • Digital Manufacturing (e.g. simulation and visualisation of design and manufacturing)
  • 21st Century Products (e.g. smart and multi-functional products)
  • New Industrial Systems, which sits at the intersection of the other three areas

The sandpit aims to build a better understanding of the opportunities and challenges in developing new industrial systems, identify a common language between disciplines, facilitate interactions between researchers and users, and identify and address the key research challenges in this area. It is expected that up to £5M of EPSRC funding will be made available to fund research projects arising from this sandpit.

Who should attend?

EPSRC give the following examples of disciplines which could apply to attend: engineering, design, materials science, physical sciences, mathematics, computer science, economics, social sciences, sustainability, life sciences, energy systems. Attendees need not have worked on the problem before and need not have previously secured EPSRC funding. The emphasis will be on people who are open to explore new ideas and connections with other disciplines.

What will happen at the sandpit?

The Sandpit event itself will take place over five days from 15-19 May 2017 at Stratford Manor, Stratford-upon-Avon. The events will draw on ideas from a broad range of disciplines so attendees should expect to be able to develop relationships with other participants and communicate concepts and ideas in a way that is understandable and engaging to those outside your immediate area.

There is more information in the guidance on how sandpits work, but they are generally very intensive and rewarding experiences which offer an excellent chance of securing funding (as this is restricted to attendees).

How do I apply?

The deadline for expressions of interest to attend the Sandpit is 2nd March 2017. 25-30 participants will be selected and must be available for the full five-day duration. To apply you will need to complete the EoI form on the call page.

Given the high likelihood of securing EPSRC funding as a result of sandpit attendance, these calls are often highly competitive. The assessment will be based on the ability to develop new, adventurous and highly original research; the potential to contribute to research at the interface between disciplines; the ability to work in a team; the ability to explain research to non-experts. You will need to give evidence of your ability to meet these criteria in the EoI.

Please contact your Faculty Research Funding and Policy Manager if you are interested in discussing this further.

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H2020 Info Day and Brokerage Event “Innovative by Nature: Responding to Societal Challenges through Nature-Based Solutions and Cultural Heritage, 8 Dec, Brussels.

The European Commission has recently launched new Horizon 2020 calls for projects related to nature-based solutions for inclusive urban regeneration, heritage-led rural regeneration and nature-based solutions for hydro-meteorogical risk reduction.

An information and brokerage day will be held on the 8th December for those interested in applying to these calls. The event aims to:Funds

      • Present the Horizon 2020 Work Programme for the 2017 “Innovating with Nature and Culture” calls. Keynote speakers and Commission officers will provide tips and information on: innovative nature-based solutions in cities; cultural heritage as a driver for sustainable growth; nature-based solutions for hydro-meteorological risk reduction
      • To facilitate networking, information exchange and the development of new project partnerships during the afternoon brokerage event.

The event is free to attend but you need to register in advance to secure your place. Further information including the programme, a list of speakers and the registration link are available here.

 

 

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APEX Awards 2017

Curve 80 by Andreas Levers CC-BY
Curve 80 by Andreas Levers CC-BY
Curve 80 by Andreas Levers CC-BY

The British Academy, Royal Society, Royal Academy of Engineering and Leverhulme Trust have joined forces to offer a new award for established, independent researchers to pursue interdisciplinary, curiosity-driven research to benefit wider society. Known as the ‘APEX’ Awards (Academies Partnership in Supporting Excellence in Cross-disciplinary research awards), up to £100,000 will be available for projects of up to 24 months which spans the remit of more than one of the academies involved in the scheme.

The objectives of the APEX scheme are to:

  • support outstanding interdisciplinary research which is unlikely to be supported through conventional funding programmes
  • promote collaboration across disciplines, with a particular emphasis on the boundary between science and engineering and the social sciences and humanities
  • support researchers with an outstanding track record, in developing their research in a new direction through collaboration with partners from other disciplines
  • enable outstanding researchers to focus on advancing their innovative research through seed funding

The costs are primarily to cover teaching replacement to enable the applicant to concentrate on the research, but up to 25% can be used for associated costs related to the research (e.g. consumables, equipment, travel).

Full guidance and an FAQ can be found on the Royal Society website. The deadline for proposals is 13th January 2017 and applications must be submitted via the eGap system. Please contact your Faculty RFPM for a discussion before embarking on an application.

 

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Horizon 2020 Societal Challenge 5 National Information Day, 23 Nov, Birmingham

kbbe-illu-smThe UK National Contact Point for EU Horizon 2020 – Climate action, environment, resource efficiency and raw materials (Societal Challenge 5) is holding an information day on 23 November in Birmingham.

The day will feature presentations from a number of speakers including the European Commission, National Contact Points from the UK, Ireland, Cyprus and Poland, Enterprise Europe Network and the Knowledge Transfer Network. The event will give lots of useful information about the themes of the upcoming calls under Societal Challenge 5 as well as related priorities under Societal Challenge 2. The day will also include a best practice UK SME speaker, and an opportunity to pitch your project idea or collaboration opportunity.

The event is free to attend but you must register in advance.

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Early Career Researchers Forum next week, 12.10.16 3.00-4.30 EBA 002

We are holding the first ECR Forum of this academic year on Wednesday 12 October from 3.00-4.30 in room EBA 002 in Ellison Building A Block.

This will be a cake, coffee and networking event which, as well as allowing you an opportunity to network with colleagues from other disciplines, will provide an update on HEA accreditation, training and development opportunities for ECRs, the Staff Doctorates Forum and an introduction to the ECR working group for this academic year.

There is no need to sign up, just come along if you can. Feel free to forward this to colleagues who may be interested in attending, regardless of whether they fit a funder or other definition of ECR. The ECR Forum is open to anyone who feels they are in the early stages of their research career.

 

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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. 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.

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

http://www.hefce.ac.uk/pubs/rereports/Year/2016/interdis/Title,110229,en.html

 

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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.

 

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H2020 Innovative Training Networks info events in Sept and Oct

As National Contact Point for Horizon 2020 Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions, UKRO is holding two info events on the current Innovative Training Networks call. This call will open on 15 September and will close on 10 January.

The events will be held on 26 September at the University of Manchester and 12 October at the University of West London. They  are aimed at those interested in applying to this call and will take participants step by step through the proposal format and issues to consider when developing an application.

In both cases attendance is free but registration is essential. This can be done on the UKRO website. If you are not an UKRO member, you can sign up here.

Innovative Training Networks support joint research training and/or doctoral programmes, implemented by European partnerships of universities, research institutions, industry and other non-academic organisations. The research training programmes are intended to provide doctoral students with excellent research skills, coupled with experience outside academia, hence developing their innovation capacities and employability prospects.

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