EPSRC Expressions of Interest: Building a Pervasive and Ubiquitous Computing Community & Physical Sciences ECRs

Laser diffraction monofotogrammetry by Jorma Palmen CC BY-SA 4.0
Laser diffraction monofotogrammetry by Jorma Palmen CC BY-SA 4.0
Laser diffraction monofotogrammetry by Jorma Palmen CC BY-SA 4.0

EPSRC have recently issued two calls for expressions of interest for workshops:

  1. Building a Pervasive and Ubiquitous Computing Community: “The workshop will be highly multidisciplinary as well as bringing together those who are developing platforms and standards with researchers deploying and evaluating in real world environments. Pervasive and Ubiquitous Computing (PUC) is the fundamental and applied research that aims achieve the integration of computing into any device in any location that interacts with our lives… This will require novel computer science and engineering while incorporating research from the social sciences, humanities and law.” If you would like to attend the workshop then complete the short EOI form on the webpage: https://www.epsrc.ac.uk/funding/calls/puccommunityworkshopeoi/ Deadline: 14th Feb 2018
  2. Physical Sciences Early Career Researchers Workshops: “The workshops will provide an update to EPSRC and Physical Sciences strategies and will communicate recent and upcoming policy changes, such as the New Investigator Awards. The workshops will be attended by a number of EPSRC staff but also by experienced academics and current or previous Early Career Fellowship holders from across the Physical Sciences portfolio who will provide guidance and mentoring.” If you’re not sure which research areas are included in EPSRC’s Physical Sciences remit, you can check here. The process for applying to attend is the same as above – complete the short EOI form on the webpage: https://www.epsrc.ac.uk/funding/calls/psecrworkshopseoi/ Deadline: 31st Jan 2018



Public Affairs and Media Training Opportunity for EPSRC-Funded Researchers

Pappers by Flashflash CC BY-SA

EPSRC is currently advertising an opportunity to apply for a place on a Public Affairs and Media Training course to run on 3rd – 4th October 2017:


RISE: Making Connections will:

  • Provide the opportunity for EPSRC researchers to make connections across a range of Stakeholders to help promote EPS to a wider audience
  • Support individuals in maximising their potential and making their own connections
  • Provide political awareness training and media training

The opportunity is open only to researchers currently supported via EPSRC grants. The deadline for applications is 31st July 2017.

Application is via a web-form at the link above but you also need to include a signed statement which includes a signature from the University Research Office to confirm the grant, so please get in touch with your Faculty RFPM as soon as possible if you’re interested in applying.


EPSRC Introduces New Investigator Award Scheme to Replace First Grant

Laser diffraction monofotogrammetry by Jorma Palmen CC BY-SA 4.0
Laser diffraction monofotogrammetry by Jorma Palmen CC BY-SA 4.0
Laser diffraction monofotogrammetry by Jorma Palmen CC BY-SA 4.0

Today the EPSRC has announced it is introducing a New Investigator Award Scheme to replace the First Grant Scheme.

The First Grant scheme will close on 24th July 2017 at 4pm and the New Investigator Awards will open on 25th July 2017. Like the First Grant there are no deadlines for the NIA scheme.

The full details are available here and I have summarised the main changes below:



Like the First Grant scheme, the NIA scheme is directed at individuals who have “recently acquired their first academic lectureship position, have not previously led an academic research group or been the recipient of a significant grant”. There is no specific requirement around time since PhD or time since first academic post in the NIA scheme.

Regarding previous grants, the wording is “Applicants should not hold, or have held, grants or industry sponsorship which have provided funds to set up a research group. This includes any previous funding which provides PDRA time, equipment over £10k or, normally, any research grant over £100,000.” I’ve checked with EPSRC and they’ve told me that someone who has received, say, £15k from the Royal Society Research Grants scheme would be eligible.

Like the First Grant, an application to the NIA scheme should be your first application to EPSRC as Principal Investigator (except Postdoctoral Fellowships, overseas travel grants or unsuccessful Early Career Fellowships).

Size/structure of projects

The limit of £125k FEC has been removed to provide more flexibility. EPSRC have indicated that projects would typically comprise a PI (for a proportion of time, e.g. 20% FTE) plus a PDRA for 1-3 years. Normally Co-Is are not permitted, unless they clearly bring complementary skills to the project and are from a different discipline to the PI.

There is a significant emphasis on career development and university support which “should be appropriate to the foundation of a research group, including allocation of resources (e.g. students, access to facilities, PDRA time etc.)”. In recent First Grant bids we have generally been seeing positive reviewer comments about the level of support offered for applicants, but given this is a revised scheme we will need to review this.

There is further information on the scheme available at the link above and in the FAQs. Research Funding and Policy Managers will be contacting all staff who have expressed an interest in or are developing an application for the scheme, but in the meantime Northumbria staff should please contact us if you have any questions.


UK Intelligence Community Postdoctoral Research Fellowships

CCTV by Ian Britton CC BY-NC

Are you an early career researcher in science, computing or engineering disciplines? The Royal Academy of Engineering, in conjunction with the Government Office for Science, are offering a number of postdoctoral fellowships in areas of interest to the intelligence, security and defence community. Applications must be submitted by 10th April at 4pm.

The topics available are in the table below with full descriptions available from the RAEng website (PDF):

Topic Title No.
Environmentally stable rechargeable batteries for flexible wearable electronics 1
Calculus of privacy 2
Magnon algorithmics 3
An examination of the role and impacts of automation in security 4
Stored energy detection in complex environments 5
Voice liveness detection 6
Heterogeneous network analysis 7
Ultra-Narrowband Transceiver Design for Long Range Low Power and Low Profile Communication 8
Advanced research into archive, analysis and retrieval of video based data 9
Quantum and Optical Sensors 10
Through the Earth Information 11
Electronic Materials and Components for Low Power Flexible Devices 12
Advancing direct-write printing methods for the fabrication of electronics on complex surfaces 13

Eligibility: Fellowships must be held at a UK Higher Education Institute in a department capable of supporting the research project and researcher. The fellow must have been awarded a PhD no more than five years prior to the submission deadline, and must not currently hold a permanent academic post. Full details on eligibility are available at the RAEng site.

Funding available: Applications are costed on a Full Economic Cost basis for up to two years of full-time postdoctoral fellowship. Costs covered in the grant include the applicant’s salary, travel, consumables, small items of equipment (less than £3k), plus technical staff, estates and indirect costs.

How to apply: Applications are made online at https://grants.raeng.org.uk/. The application includes sections on the profile and track record of the proposed fellow, the research topic, methodology, relation to previous work, potential significance and application of the results, resources requested and host institution support (which is added separately via a letter).

Please get in touch with your Faculty-aligned Research Funding and Policy Manager at an early stage if you would like to apply.


L’Oréal fellowships for women in science, deadline 25 Jan 2017

L’Oréal UK and Ireland, the UK National Commission for UNESCO and the Irish National Commission for UNESCO, with the support of the Royal Society, invite applications for the L’Oréal UK and Ireland fellowships for women in science. These promote, enhance and encourage the contribution of women pursuing their research careers in the UK or Ireland in the fields of the life and physical Women in Sciencesciences, including mathematics and engineering.

Female early-career researchers who have been awarded their research doctorate may apply if they have no more than 10 years of active full-time equivalent postdoctoral experience do not currently hold  a permanent academic post. Applicants may be citizen of any country but must be resident in the UK or Ireland at the time of application.

Five fellowships worth £15,000 are available. The fellowship funding to assist with research over a 12-month period. The Fellowship money can be spent in any number of ways to enable women scientists to pursue their careers and facilitate world class research – such as buying equipment, paying for childcare or funding travel costs to an overseas conference.

The deadline is Wednesday 25th January 2017.


More on Select Committee inquiry on leaving the EU call for evidence

CaptureFurther to my blog post yesterday on the House of Commons Select Committee inquiry into the implications for science and research of leaving the EU, the official transcript of the proceedings is now available. A further call for evidence was also launched to assist in developing a list of risks and opportunities which shoudl be included in the Government’s future EU negotiating strategy. Submissions should be made online by Monday 22 August.


SET for BRITAIN 2016 Poster Competition for Early Career Researchers

Godwin Yeboah SET for BRITAINSET for BRITAIN is an annual poster competition held at the House of Commons which encourages, supports and promotes Britain’s early-stage and early-career research scientists, engineers, technologists and mathematicians. Competition winners will be invited to present their poster to parliamentarians and other policy makers. Up to 60 early-career researchers (PhDs and postdocs) will be able to present their posters and the winners receive Gold (£3,000), Silver (£2,000) or Bronze (£1,000) Awards.

SET for BRITAIN 2016 takes place on Monday 7th March 2016 and applications are now open for the poster competition. The deadline for entries is Monday 21st December 2015 at 5pm. To enter, simply fill out the online application form, provide an abstract of your work and a reference.

Godwin Yeboah, a PhD researcher from Northumbria, has previously presented at this event and you can read his account of the 2013 event on his blog: http://godwinyeboah.blogspot.co.uk/2013/03/northumbria-university-academic-takes_18.html


Presentations from ‘Science with and for Society’ Information Day

A touch of science - P Mars (CC by 2.0)
A touch of science – P Mars (CC by 2.0)

The presentations are available on the conference website and cover four 2015 SWAFS calls with a deadline of 16 September 2015.

The event took place in May 2015 in Brussels and was organised by the international network of National Contact Points (NCPs) for Science with and for Society in Horizon 2020 (SiS.net2) in co-operation with the European Commission. The network unites more than 70 representatives from countries participating in Horizon 2020, in Europe and beyond.

The ‘Science with and for Society’ programme will be instrumental in addressing the European societal challenges tackled by Horizon 2020, building capacities and developing innovative ways of connecting science to society. It will make science more attractive (notably to young people), increase society’s appetite for innovation, and open up further research and innovation activities.

It allows all societal actors (researchers, citizens, policy makers, business, third sector organisations etc.) to work together during the whole research and innovation process in order to better align both the process and its outcomes with the values, needs and expectations of European society. This approach to research and innovation is called Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI).

More information on ‘Science with and for Society’ available here.


University Research Fellowships from the Royal Society

Academic by Tim Ellis CC BY-NC 2.0
Academic by Tim Ellis CC BY-NC 2.0

Are you a postdoctoral researcher in the life or physical sciences with between 3 and 8 years’ experience post-PhD?

The Royal Society’s prestigious University Research Fellowship scheme opens for applications tomorrow, 15th July. The fellowships fund “outstanding” early career researchers in a broad range of science disciplines, including engineering but excluding clinical medicine and biomedicine. Eligible applicants should have a PhD, with between 3-8 years of research experience, and not have a permanent academic post.

The awards provide five years of funding initially for 80% of the basic salary costs of the applicant, plus estates and indirect costs. After the five years, an opportunity is available to apply for a further three years of funding. Research expenses (up to £13K in the first year, and £11K thereafter) are also provided. In addition all successful fellows are eligible to apply for a “start up” grant of £150K in their first year.

Proposals should be submitted via the Royal Society’s eGap system by 3rd September 2015. Please contact your Research Funding and Policy Manager at an early stage. This is a highly competitive scheme and track record will play a role in assessment. It is critical that prospective applicants discuss their intentions to apply as soon as possible to ensure support is in place to help them to write a strong proposal.



Can you convey a science or engineering concept in an exciting way? FameLab could be for you.

The International competition in science engagement is back for another great year of head to head communicating.  Providing researchers in academia and industry the chance to engage a wide public audience, FameLab is a great way to get your research out there. Previous winners have gone on to travel the globe, and appear on radio and TV.

Contestants have just three minutes to convey a science or engineering concept in an exciting and engaging way. If that sounds like your sort of challenge, FameLab wants to hear from you. The competition is open to anyone currently working science, technology, engineering or maths. More details can be found here.

UK competitors have the chance to win £1750 in prize money and a weekend Master Class with experts in media & communication skills, not to mention a chance to appear in the FameLab International Final at the Cheltenham Science Festival in June 2015.

The Newcastle heats and final are taking place at the Stand Comedy Club on the 24th February 2015. The heats will run during the day and the final in the evening. To sign up please fill out this registration form.