Tuesday, 31 August 2010
'In an age of information overload, we need more filters, not fewer. Yes, peer-review can be improved, and yes, if one could actually generate participation, post-publication review could be tremendously valuable.'
He concludes: 'the best bet for the future is adding to peer-review rather than doing away with it altogether.'
Is that enough acronyms?
Anyway, they've put together an interesting document that lists all the FP7 funding available to SSH researchers. It's not just in the SSH stream itself, but also in areas such as Health, Environment and Transport. It's a tough document to chew on, with turgid eurospeak, acronyms and reference numbers throughout, but interesting to see how many places SSH, and particularly social sciences, feature. And it's a useful lesson to bear in mind: if you work in - say - health research don't just limit yourself to the Health stream, but look at other areas too.
Wednesday, 25 August 2010
The workshop will be helpful to those considering developing a research project in an applied health and social care setting and will describe the RfPB funding stream, such as who can apply, what types of research are covered by the scheme, the value of the grant, and the application process itself.
It will be on 29 Sept 2010 starting at 9:30am. Contact Sylvia Francis if you want to take part.
The journal posted four articles on their website and invited comments. 41 people joined in, leaving 350 comments. The revised essays were then reviewed by the editors, who made the final decision as to whether to include them in the printed journal.
Whilst I don't think there's going to be a rush by other journals to follow suit, let alone super-cautious funders, it does raise an interesting point. Peer review is a tried and trusted method that allows selected reviewers, whose expertise and knowledge has been validated, the veil of anonymity to comment intelligently on articles or proposals. However, it's creaking and bureaucratic, slow and expensive, and seems out of step with the quick, cheap and egalitarian world of the web. Is there a way of getting the best of both?
For now, maybe not, but the Shakespeare Quarterly should be applauded for making a move to explore the possibilties offered by new technology. I wonder if the results of their experiment differed vastly from the results they would have got under peer review? When I worked at the AHRC it was often easy for us officers to guess which applications had a chance of success, even before they'd been sent out for peer review.
So good luck to those seeking to challenge the old system. The web offers a great opportunity to improve the way things are currently done. Just be mindful of any babies swimming in the bathwater...
Monday, 23 August 2010
The spreadsheet is split into two worksheets: one for open deadlines, for which you can apply anytime, the other for set deadlines.
Click on the tabs at the bottom of the spreadsheet to access the different lists. For the set deadlines, a rough indication has been given of what faculties may be interested in each funding scheme. You can ‘filter’ the list using the arrows at the top of each column. So, if you just want opportunities offered by, say, the Wellcome Trust, you can tick ‘Wellcome’ on the filter. Alternatively you can filter by colour on the faculties columns to select only the opportunities relevant to your faculty.
Friday, 20 August 2010
Previously, the topics or the hosts for the Seminars have been chosen by us. This year I’d like to open it up and ask for your suggestions. Ideally they should be topics which have the potential for interdisciplinary cross-over (particularly across faculties), or involve speakers who are open to, and have some record of, interdisciplinary collaboration.
I hope to prepare the programme in September, so if you could get back to me before then, that would be great.
Details of last year’s programme are available here.
- reviews (desk research)
- innovation in research design
- primary research (collection and analysis of new data)
- secondary analysis
Thursday, 19 August 2010
All details are available here.
Wednesday, 18 August 2010
- Invest Northern Ireland, Belfast: 10 Sept
- Aston University, Birmingham: 17 Sept
- Royal Society, Edinburgh: 20 Sept
- Natural History Museum, London: 28 Sept
The event is free for UKRO subscribers (of which Kent is one). Places are allocated on a first come first served basis, so be quick and put your name down here.
Tuesday, 17 August 2010
In the Plan EPSRC outline four somewhat banal priorities:
- Shaping research capability to ensure we have critical mass in areas of strategic importance for the UK.
- Developing leaders by providing the best possible training and support to those with greatest potential.
- Delivering impact for society and the economy by creating the environment for excellent long-term research to provide maximum benefit to the UK.
- Solving global challenges through working in partnership with other funders, business and government.
Anyway, EPSRC finish by saying that they will 'continue to seek advice and feedback' - no yawning at the back - 'from the research and business communities during the development of our plans. During July and August we will be holding a series of meetings with university Pro-Vice Chancellors, strategic business partners, learned societies and professional institutes, and government.'
And if that's not enough, 'EPSRC Council will oversee the development of the plans, with significant input from our Technical Opportunities Panel, User Panel and Societal Issues Panel.'
The results of the Spending Review will be announced by Government on 20 October after which individual Research Council allocations will be determined. EPSRC’s Delivery Plan for 2011-14 is expected to be published by early 2011.
Friday, 13 August 2010
- Option 1: 1-3 year Standard Grants;
- Option 2: Additional 6 year Core Grants. This option would provide a degree of funding stability for key generic “core” staff (technical, engineers, IT and administrative staff);
- Option 3: 5 year Rolling Exploitation Grants alongside Standard Grants (the current system). STFC believe that, with the anticipated cuts and the lack of flexibility this option offers, the level of support/number of grants that could be funded would be at a significantly reduced.
Thursday, 12 August 2010
- Identifying opportunities in FP7
- Submission and evaluation
- Financial issues in proposal writing
- Hints and Tips for Success
Tuesday, 10 August 2010
An overview and FAQs on the scheme are available, via UKRO, here.
'Those who want to be heard in the corridors of power need to start identifying influential thinkers. Willetts is important as the minister in charge. But he is not in the Cameron inner group. The so-called ‘Cameroons’ with research interests include the Conservatives’ policy guru Oliver Letwin, Nick Boles and Michael Gove, co-founders of the Policy Exchange think tank.
RF also suggests that, counter-intuitively, it might be a good time for critical researchers. After a time of boom when the government was giving a good deal of money to researchers, the relative dearth of funding will release critical researchers from any attachment to the government, and allow them to really speak their mind.
'Second, researchers should begin to find ways of working with the grain of coalition priorities. Instead of banging on about how state support for technology creates jobs, say how research can support the Big Society or free schools. Researchers with ideas and insights on these and other issues will have a guaranteed hearing in Whitehall.'
Good to hear that some are seeing the current situation as a glass half full...The full text of the article is available here (you'll need an RF login or campus access).
- University of Birmingham, Tuesday 7th September 2010
- University College London, Wednesday 8th September 2010
- University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Thursday 16th September 2010
- School of Advanced Study, University of London, Friday 17th September 2010
Attendance will be free of charge. More info is available here, and you can sign up here.
- Just adaptation responses to climate change in the UK, and
- A socially just transition to a low carbon economy and society.
Monday, 9 August 2010
You can follow us here.
If you would like to talk about your research and your funding plans, do drop Jo a line. Alternatively, if you want specific help identifying funders or preparing an application she can help with this. Her contact details can be found in the Campus Online directory.
Now I'm as keen a cyclist as anyone, and any excuse for pedal...but times must be pretty tough if the BA is sending out its President to wheeze around the country drumming up funds. And £2k will only go so far: it's less than a third of one BA Small Grant.
But I appreciate the gesture: if nothing else it highlights the difficult times ahead for research funding in the UK. So give generously via Sir Adam's Just Giving page; you never know, your donation could come back to you as part of your next grant...