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.

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.


BIS Launches Global Challenges Research Fund Survey

Globe by Simon Tong CC BY-SA-NC 2.0
Globe by Simon Tong CC BY-SA-NC 2.0

Yesterday BIS launched a call for evidence to inform the high level challenges which will form the basis of the funding calls for the Global Challenges Research Fund. We summarised what we know so far about the GCRF last week.

“We are looking for inputs from individuals and institutions across all academic disciplines, non-governmental organisations and industrial sectors both in and outside of the UK. Please alert colleagues who may wish to respond.

The results from the survey will be reviewed alongside other feedback. We will share a short summary of evidence we have collected and outline how that has informed our strategy in the autumn.”

This is your chance to have your say on how the programme should be steered. The survey is via an online webform and it closes on 22nd August.


Brazil funding opportunities workshop 21st September 2015

Northumbria University’s International Development Partnerships Team invite you to attend a workshop being provided by the Assistant Director of Programmes and Operations at the International Unit; Tania Lima on the 21st September, 15:00 – 16:30 in MEA House Auditorium – City Campus. The workshop is open to all academic and service staff interested in finding out about opportunities in Brazil.

 International partnerships with Brazil: an overview

Brazil has been investing 0.8% of its GDP for research and innovation, in addition to funding the very ambitious mobility programme “Science without Borders”. State funding agencies, such as FAPESP and FAPERJ, are also big funders of international collaborations. Brazil’s scientific output has greatly increased in the past five years, with many excellent groups producing outstanding research. The UK government launched the Newton Fund programme in 2014, to fund scientific international collaborations with 15 countries, including Brazil and other Latin American countries.

In this workshop, Tania Lima will present an overview of the research landscape, funding programmes, both from Brazil and the UK, and discuss pathways to engage with these funding possibilities. Click here for Tania’s profile.

Please register your attendance here:

Kind regards,


International Development Partnerships Team

Northumbria University

Newcastle upon Tyne

NE1 8ST, United Kingdom


Newton Advanced Fellowships and Mobility Grants
Globe by Steve Cadman CC BY SA 2.0

Newton Advanced Fellowships and Mobility Grants calls from British Academy and Royal Society are now live with a 16th September 2015 deadline.

The Advanced Fellowships enable early-mid career international researchers to develop their research strengths and capabilities through training, collaboration and visits with a partner in the UK. Countries covered are Malaysia, Mexico and Thailand (plus China for the Royal Society).

Both the British Academy and Royal Society are running this scheme so it covers most disciplinary areas. There are some differences in countries between the two funders – please check the links for further details and get in touch with us if you have any questions.

The Newton Mobility Grants provide support to international researchers to establish and develop collaboration with UK researchers by providing funding towards travel, subsistence and research expenses for short visits. Countries covered are Malaysia, Mexico, South Africa and Thailand. The British Academy currently has a call open to this scheme.


ESRC-AHRC-CASS International Centre Partnerships

A reminder of the call announced by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS)  to support China-UK International Centre Partnerships with the following aims:

  • Enable excellent international research collaboration between centres of excellence in the UK and China
  • Support the development of ambitious joint research agendas and stimulate the development of international and interdisciplinary collaborative research proposals
  • Promote mobility and develop capacity, thus contributing to the development of an internationally networked cohort of researchers who have the skills to work globally
  • Enhance pathways to international impact

Funding for this initiative is being supplied by the Newton Fund which is aimed at developing science and innovation partnerships that promote the economic development and welfare of developing countries

Further information including eligibility and how to apply can be accessed here.

The closing date is 16.00 (GMT) on 5 March 2015.



The British Academy invites applications …

.. for its international partnership and mobility scheme which  aims to support the development of partnerships between the UK and other areas of the world where research excellence would be strengthened by new, innovative initiatives and links.The Scheme intends to strengthen research capacity of all collaborative partners and to develop long-term links between the UK and overseas scholars whilst also encouraging an intra-regional exchange of expertise and knowledge.

Closing date: 5pm on 11 Feb 2015

Further information can be found here.





Newton Research Collaboration with Brazil – Royal Academy of Engineering

Brazil 2014 by Adrien Sifre CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Brazil 2014 by Adrien Sifre CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

The Royal Academy of Engineering is currently running a short call for research collaborations with Brazil.

The deadline is 26th Jan 2015 and collaborations must start between 1st March 2015 and 31st March 2015. Funding is provided at a flat rate of £2,000/month regardless of which direction the visits are in. Projects should be between 3 and 12 months in duration.

Successful projects should focus on an engineering research challenge that will enhance social welfare or economic development in the selected partner country and demonstrate a tangible benefit to the Partner Country by enhancing its capacity to carry out excellent research in engineering.

RAEng counts a broad range of disciplines as ‘engineering‘ for the purposes of this call, including biotechnology, petrochemicals, offshore engineering, geotechnics, water resources, building services, telecommunications, optics, lasers, information technology, energy conservation, manufacturing, applied mechanics and materials.

A larger call for collaborations with all Newton Partner Countries (Brazil, China, Mexico, South Africa, Turkey, and Vietnam) will open up early this year. Please contact your Faculty RFPM as soon as possible if you are interested in applying to this call.


10,000th Item Deposited in Northumbria Open Access Repository

My 10000th public image on Flickr by Leo Reynolds CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Northumbria Research Link (NRL), the University’s Open Access Repository for research outputs and publications, has recently passed a milestone of 10,000 items. As reported in the University’s Insight magazine:

“The landmark 10,000th publication was a paper by Anniversary Research Fellow, Dr Frank Lewis, from the Department of Applied Sciences, on processes which attempt to reduce the radioactive lifetime of used nuclear fuels by separating out the hazardous radioactive elements.

In the last year almost 150,000 items were downloaded from the repository by more than 100,000 visitors to its website, with significant numbers based in the USA, India and China.

Almost 30,000 downloads originated in the United States, with 8,000 from India and 7,000 from China. These three countries alone account for approximately 30% of downloads from the repository.

Professor Peter Golding, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research and Innovation, said: “These impressive figures confirm the continuous growth in the scale of research activity at Northumbria University and the interest shown in it from all over the world.

“In the past twelve months alone, more than 4,000 new research outputs have been placed in Northumbria Research Link. The sheer volume increase in deposits shows that growth in the quality and quantity of research undertaken by our staff is creating international interest in what we do.””

If you’re a researcher at Northumbria and you’d like to find out more about the repository, why you should use it, and how to upload your research to it, Library staff run periodic training via the HR People Development programme. Alternatively, you can contact the NRL Site Administrator.


Marie Curie Fellowships – North East Information Day

marie curieOn Wednesday 8th May Durham University hosted a Marie Curie Information Day on behalf of the NE regional universities.

Marie Curie Actions have been renamed Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions to distinguish the new MC scheme in Horizon 2020 from the MC scheme in Framework 7.

The aim of Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions is to contribute towards a strong high-quality research landscape in Europe by fostering the international and cross-sectoral mobility of researchers, offering attractive employment and training opportunities, promoting professional standards in research careers and equipping researchers with the skills needed in the modern economy. 40% of the MCA budget is allocated to the training of early-stage researchers. Under FP7, by 2013, the programme expects to have supported 50,000 researchers and funded 10,000 PhDs.

There were presentations from the UKRO Marie Curie National Contact Point, the European Commission Marie Curie Office, as well as Case Studies from current and past Marie Curie Fellows, highlighting the highs and lows of being a MC Fellow. Speakers looked at schemes still available under FP7 as well as new opportunities in the upcoming Horizon 2020.


Sobia ASlam, UKRO MC National Contact Point – Marie Curie 2013 Calls – Overview of Schemes

Sobia gave an overview of the Marie Curie Schemes available in Framework 7, with some hints and tips for success, as well as analysis of success rates. There are still a few schemes open under FP7 so there is still time to apply under the current round of funding:


Call identifier Budget (EUR million) Deadline
Career Integration Grants (CIG) FP7-PEOPLE-2013-CIG 40 18 September 2013
Intra-European Fellowships (IEF) FP7-PEOPLE-2013-IEF 134 14 August 2013
International Incoming Fellowships (IIF) FP7-PEOPLE-2013-IIF 44.5 14 August 2013
International Outgoing Fellowships (IOF) FP7-PEOPLE-2013-IOF 44.5 14 August 2013

Following Sobia’s presentation there was a Q&A Session, which raised the following points of interest:

  •  There is a clear definition of Roles in Marie Curie Fellowships:
    • Coordinator – researcher
    • Scientist in Charge – supervisor
    • Main contact – European Incoming/Outgoing Organisation (there should be a Partnership Agreement in place with host institution)
  • Referees not compulsory but recommended, better not from host institution, as therevcould be conflict of interest.
  • Make is easy for the reviewers to provide positive comments:
    • Mention European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers in your research proposal.
    • Impact tips, need to refer to the strategy documents and how your research will impact….how it responds to European Policy, eg Youth on the Move
    • Write for a more general audience, also your evaluator’s first language may not be English. You need to tell a good story about how this will be beneficial for both the Fellow and for Europe.
  •  EU prefers that Fellow is employed under an employment contract, rather than a stipend if possible.
  •  Earliest start date is the 1st of the month after you’ve signed the contract….latest start date is 12 months after
  •  Any claims for funding for partners and dependents is based on marital status is at the time of application see Annex 3 of the workprogramme for a definition of what constitutes a ‘partner’ or ‘dependent’.
  •  The MC Fellow has to work 100% of their time on the project….but there are guidelines for a career development plan which allows scope for dissemination, so some teaching could be possible in this context.
[notice]One point of particular note which was repeated throughout the day was that the budget is split by discipline depending on the spread of applications received…so the budget is split between Panels depending on application number, there is no pre-defined split of budget between subject areas. Members of the audience from an Arts/Social Science discipline had expressed concern that there did not appear to be as good a chance of success from this discipline background. This was completely refuted by the speakers, the simple fact is that they receive fewer applications from these disciplines so fewer MC Fellows are funded. So the advice was we need to encourage more Arts/Social Scientists to apply.[/notice]


Paul Harris, Policy Officer, European Commission – Value of MC/mobility to the EU

Points to note from Paul’s presentation & questions throughout the session.

  • NE success rates – 106 MC awards to NE HEIs since 2007
  • UK is most successful in MC actions.
  • There is a key link between MC programme and Innovation Union in that we need 1million new researchers across Europe.
  • Again it was emphasised that funding is based on number of applications – so Panels budgets are based on which subject areas apply, the budget is not pre-set by Panel disciplines.


Paul Harris, Policy Officer, European Commission – Marie Sklodowska Curie in Horizon 2020

Marie curie horizon 2020 from kingkatz

Main points to note from Paul’s presentation were:

  • The Commission is still hoping that first calls and workprogramme can be launched Dec 2013, but this will depend on budget decisions being made on time.
  • Actions have been streamlined into 4 main schemes, early stage, experienced, exchange of staff & COFUND (regional, national, international programmes funding doctoral and postdoctoral researchers).
  • 10,000 postdoctoral researchers funded under MC, hope to fund 25,000 early stage researchers….looking at extending experience to non-academic organisations (NGOs, Industry etc). There is a possibility to do a secondment in an Individual Fellowship out to industry/NGOs etc
  • Support for joint doctorates brought into MC (currently under Erasmus Mundus)
  • Still an emphasis on the Triple I dimension……inter-sectoral, international, inter-disciplinary.

There were also 4 Case studies presented from present and past Marie Curie Fellows highlighting their personal experience of having been a MC Fellow. All 4 had  extremely positive and worthwhile experiences. One of the Fellows recommended a webpage and discussion group which had handy hints and tips from other MC Fellows.


Dajana Dzanovic, European Funding Manager at Durham University &  Deirdre Dodd, European Funding Manager at Newcastle University – Application and Post Award Support.

Finally there was a presentation from the European Funding Managers from Durham and Newcastle Universities on the support available at each organisation, and with some tips for success.

Some points to note from this presentation:

  • State where supervised PhDs have gone to after they have been at the host institution….this demonstrates calibre of organisation
  • Stock paragraphs on assistance that can be provided from host institution, for example how the organisation can provide help with language training, pastoral care etc.
  • Impact section, add text from European Policy, documents establishing FP7 etc…reviewers can then quote this back in the feedback
[important]NOTE: There is similar support available here at Northumbria University – get in touch with one of the Research Funding Managers in the first instance if you are interested in applying to the August 2013 deadline: Sam King or David Young[/important]



Northumbria Organising International Workshop on Urban Cycling

Cycling in Stockholm by Richard Matthews CC BY 2.0A Northumbria University PhD student, Godwin Yeboah, and his supervisor Dr Seraphim Alvanides are two key members of the organising committee for an international workshop on Urban Cycling which takes place on 14th May in Leuven, Belgium:

Cycling Data Challenge 2013: Understanding Urban Cycling

The workshop takes place in advance of the 16th AGILE conference on Geographic Information Science from the 14th-17th May. The focus of the workshop is on data cleaning and analysis of GPS tracking of individual cyclists in order to understand movement data and the constraints imposed on cyclists in an urban context.

The urban cycling data challenge aims to offer a productive environment where a selected “special working group,” can work on and exchange, ideas regarding possible ways to:

  • isolate cycling tracks from messy GPS tracks in order to understand cycling behaviour in an urban area
  • reconstruct and visualize the actual cyclists’ movement behaviour using the isolated cycling tracks using any available agent-based modelling platform(s)

The call for proposals for the workshop is open until 31st March and you can find more information on the workshop website.