Monday, 30 November 2009
Thursday, 26 November 2009
Prof Derrington will be heading off to be PVC at Liverpool in the new year, and we wish him well. In his absence the 'Grants Factory' will develop into an ongoing internal peer review system, with 'monthly mock panels' being led by senior academics who have had experience of sitting on funders' panels. Applicants will be able to bring their proposals along to the mock panels and have them reviewed by their peers. More details to follow.
Tuesday, 24 November 2009
Monday, 23 November 2009
- resources and management.
"For a supposedly independent research council, it's a disgracefully biased and loaded specification," she said of the ESRC call. She added that "a number of universities are bidding even though there is a widespread cynicism about it".
Friday, 20 November 2009
But somehow that doesn't quite have the same ring as 'cry havoc...'
The full list of the fEC dogs of war is available here.
Thursday, 19 November 2009
'Interpreting signals from government ministers, the research councils have been rapidly increasing the resources they dedicate to programmes that generate impact,' says the article, citing the EPSRC's move to increase its commercialisation spend by £4m over the past 4 years. In addition David Lammy, HE minister, has said that the goverment will be taking a more 'strategic approach', and will “provide funds for the projects with the most tangible economic benefits”.
As the article concludes, 'suddenly those innocuous impact statements on grant applications look like less of a waste of time.'
Wednesday, 18 November 2009
Friday, 13 November 2009
- University of Edinburgh, Tuesday 24th November 2009
- University of Leeds, Wednesday 25th November 2009
- University College London, Friday 27th November 2009
- Cardiff University, Monday 30th November 2009
More detail on the workshops is available here.
Wednesday, 11 November 2009
The Grants Factory had been a valuable experience, and we're hoping to offer something along these lines on an on-going basis - such as a monthly mock panel. It has the potential to benefit from the pros of Internal Peer Review - getting objective feedback on applications prior to submission - whilst avoiding the cons - such as it being time-consuming, burdensome, and bureaucratic.
In the meantime there will be the last of Andrew Derrington's Grants Factories in SSPSSR on 26 November, which is open to all members of the Social Science Faculty. Contact Jacqueline if you would like to take part.
Tuesday, 10 November 2009
Monday, 9 November 2009
Friday, 6 November 2009
The same holds true for funding applications: the people assessing applications are rarely in exactly the same specialism as you, so you've got to talk to a general audience. The 'Summary' section, often overlooked as an afterthought, is key: it's your chance to get your foot in the door, to 'hook' the time-poor panel member, and explain, in simple terms, what your research question is, why it's important, how you're going to answer it, and how you're going to disseminate it effectively. Sounds obvious, but you'd be surprised how many people don't.
So avoid jargon if you can; there's usually easier ways to explain your research. Keep in mind Brecht's wooden donkey, mentioned in Ollie's blog, which apparently had a sign around its neck that said: 'even I must understand it'.
Elsewhere the Science and Technology Policy Research unit at Sussex is attempting to pin down the humanities using citations, in a way that is currently used in the sciences. Although more robust than the systems currently used, it's had a sniffy reception by the sector. 'No one in the humanities agrees we need bibliometrics,' said Judi Loach of Cardiff. 'We don't think it is appropriate to our disciplines.'
All appointments are initially for a period of up to four years, and members are eligible for re-appointment for a further period of up to four years. Members of Council are part-time and are expected to spend some 20 days each year on Council business. An annual honorarium of £6,740 is paid to council members and £8,970 is paid to members who chair boards.
I'd encourage all senior staff to consider applying; as I've said before, involvement with the Councils is incredibly valuable not only for raising your profile (and that of the University), but also for gaining an insight into the way the Councils work. More details of the call, specification, and forms are available here.
Thursday, 5 November 2009
- 'Sustain our world class research base by continuing to focus on excellence, concentrating research funding where needed to secure critical mass and impact; and
- Encourage collaboration between universities on world class research, especially in high cost science.'
More information on the report is available on the BIS site here.
Wednesday, 4 November 2009
It should be interesting: Charlotte's idea is that, rather than have each participant give individual talks about their research (which we've done in the past), they will discuss issues raised by the topic, similar to Radio 4's 'In Our Time.'
All welcome: it starts at 12:30 in Keynes Seminar Room 14.
Tuesday, 3 November 2009
- The current requirement for a 5000 word End of Award Report has been dropped;
- In its place is a new system to collect evidence on impacts of your research.
This consists of:
- A much shorter ‘End of Award Report’, due 3 months after the end of the project;
- An ‘Impact Report’, due 12 months after the end of the project.
They insist that the new system will be ‘more economical in terms of its demand on award holders’ time’, and that ‘award-holders who report only scientific contributions will not be disadvantaged in any way in the Council's evaluation process. It will be possible to achieve the highest evaluation grades for scientific and/or practical impacts.’
More details of these changes are available here.