Friday, 22 July 2011

Blog Roll

Since starting this blog I've come across a wealth of new and existing blogs that cover the same or complementary areas. I wanted to highlight some of these, and encourage you to have a look at what they're saying. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you, in a very random order:
  • Exquisite Life: the Research Professional blog. Very good, informed comment on a range of issues in higher education. Especially good at deconstructing the backroom politics that underlies HE and research in the UK.
  • Bournemouth University EU Blog: a hidden gem, this is very good with up to date info on developments in European funding.
  • Social Science Space: a wider ranging blog run by the Campaign for Social Science that looks at issues more generally in the Social Sciences.
  • Cash for Questions: a brilliant, deliciously honest new blog from Nottingham's Adam Golberg, highlighting and questioning research funding issues in the Social Sciences.
  • Athene Donald's Blog: Written by a BBSRC panellist and one of the great and good, a refreshingly open take on research, teaching and life generally as an academic.
  • Lincoln University Research Office Blog: Another university blog, this time from Lincoln. Good, basic institutional-level updates. How RO blogs should be done.
  • A University Blog: Ferdinand von Prondzynski's take on academic life. Like Athene Donald, this is an honest view of the reality of the modern university.
  • Mind the Gap: and, from the other end of the university food chain, a blog by a jobbing RA, Jenny Rohn. The highs, the lows, the frustrations, the triumphs: it's all there.
  • BishopBlog: another academic insight, this time from Deevy Bishop of Oxford, highlighting both the good and bad of life as a Prof.
  • LSE Impact Blog: an interesting, exhaustive look at impact (and more) in research, with a good selection of guest posters.
  • Science Fundermentals: a great new blog by my colleague Carolyn Barker that concentrates on science research funding. Good first post on EPSRC changes.
  • Research Whisperer: stepping outside of the UK/EU goldfish bowl, this is one from Australian colleagues. Interesting how many of the issues are the same...
  • Wonkhe: great name, great blog. Covering more of the nuts and bolts of HE policy, this is an informed and informative insight into the choppy waters on which we float.
  • The University Blog: in a similar vein, but aimed more at students and their perspective.
  • Registrarism: another blog from Nottingham (what is it with Nottingham??), which looks more at admin and management issues - the remit of the Registrar - at universities.
I'm sure there's plenty I've missed, but I hope to keep this list updated as a blog roll at the side of mine. Do have a look at these when you have a chance. You'll come away a smarter, more informed and - let's be frank - better person.

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Statement on Impact: Why?

HEFCE, RCUK and UUK have issued a joint statement on the joys of impact. Like Cameron's take on the UK/US relationship, things have moved from being 'special' to being 'essential.'
The statement is all a bit, well, yadda, yadda, yadda: 'committed to working together', 'embedding througout', 'engage with business', 'beneficial outcomes', 'continue to work together', 'work coherently together' etc etc

But why did the three august institutions feel the need at this time to issue a generic statement that says almost nothing? It might have something to do with the REF: the Guidance on Submissions was published on the 14th July, and it's clear (if you were at all uncertain) how important impact is going to be this time around. Still, that doesn't really explain the reason for such a statement.

To me, it has the feel of whistling in the dark, to ward off the unbelievers and dissenters, of repeating something over and over, sotto voce, to reassure yourself that what you know is right, right? and what you believe will prevail. But something like this often has an opposite effect: it makes you think, 'why are they telling me this? Do they know something I don't?'

So beyond whistling in the dark, what's the point? I'd love to know. If you work for HEFCE, RCUK or UUK do drop me a line explaining the background to the statement. Alternatively, if you don't work for any of these three wise monkeys, just guess. The more conspiratorial the better. They'll be a prize for the best of a superb non-flashing pen, crafted from pure transparent plastic with colour coded lid and end stopper detailing.

Friday, 15 July 2011

RCUK Announce Global Uncertainties Fellowships

The AHRC, ESRC, MRC and STFC have announced a call for Global Uncertainties Leadership Fellows. ‘Global Uncertainties’ is a cross council scheme that focuses on global security challenges, and provides research that will help governments, businesses and societies to better predict, detect, prevent and mitigate threats to security, focussing on six core areas:
  • Ideologies and beliefs
  • Terrorism
  • Transnational organised crime
  • Cyber security
  • Threats to infrastructures
  • Countering the proliferation of chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) weapons and technologies.
These grants will provide up to three years’ funding for up to 60 per cent of the Fellows’ time with an overall limit of £500,000 (fEC) per grant. 8-10 Fellows will be funded. The proposals should include:
  • A programme of activities to help to achieve further focus within one or more of the GU Programme core areas (for example through producing overviews or syntheses of existing research in the area, convening discussion meetings or seminars, leading possible public engagement and media outreach activities).
  • A programme of activities to help to build relationships and networks between researchers in the area and between researchers and potential beneficiaries and users of the research, potentially including the business community and/or the public sector and/or the third sector in the UK and internationally.
  • A well-defined, high-quality, innovative and ground-breaking research project relevant to one or more Global Uncertainties core areas. The capacity to make, and the possibility of achieving, a significant impact on relevant research fields must be demonstrated. Consideration should also be given to appropriate pathways through which this research might have a significant impact beyond academia.
Across the period of the grant, at least 20 per cent of the Fellow’s time should be expected to be devoted to the first two activities, with the balance of up to 40 per cent for personal research.

Deadline for Expressions of Interest:16.00 on 28 September 2011 by email to global.uncertainties@esrc.ac.uk.

Expression of Interest decisions will be announced in November 2011. Shortlisted applicants will be invited to submit a full proposal by early January 2012, with successful applicants commencing August/September 2012.

Changes to EPSRC Funding Schemes

News is coming through from Polaris Towers about changes in the pipeline for EPSRC funding schemes:
  • The leadership, career acceleration and postdoc fellowships are to be stopped. They will be replaced by a single fellowship scheme - where you can apply anytime, at any stage of your career.
  • Increased number of calls in strategic areas (although responsive-mode grants will continue to get the vast majority of their funding)
  • Increased support for key UK-based academics - individual, long term support.
  • Possible changes to the way first grants will be assessed (i.e. not just against first grants). However, detail of this was not forthcoming.
  • No plans for a UK equipment register; it will be up to academics to find shared equipment.
Full details of these will be announced next week (around 20 July). Thanks to my colleague Carolyn Barker for this. Incidentally Carolyn's planning to start up her own, science-focused funding blog, so watch this space...

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Understanding the FP7 SSH Call

The 2011-12 Fp7 calls are now only days away and now is a good time for a quick overview of the Socioeconomic Sciences and Humanities theme, so that you don't feel too lost amidst the 68 page work programme.

SSH provides funding through two basic 'instruments' or funding schemes:
  • Large Collaborative Projects, to answer 'grand challenges'. These are behemoths, and the EC expects consortia to be at least 7 members from 7 different countries, and the EC's contribution to be at least €5.5m;
  • Small/Medium Collaborative Project/Support Actions, to answer specific 'topics'. Here, the scale is much less ambitious: the minimum number of partners is 3, and the EC contribution is at most €1m/€2.5m.
Both these types of funding fit within eight broad 'activities':
  • Growth, Employment & Competitiveness
  • Economic, Social & Environmental Objectives in Europe
  • Major Trends in Society and Their Implications
  • Europe and the World
  • The Citizens in the European Union
  • Socio-Economic & Scientific Indicators
  • Foresight Activities
  • Horizontal Activities
Now it may seem a little confusing as to how they all fit together, so I've done a grid (pdf) showing which challenge or topic fits under which activity. However, this is just an overview, a road map: to really understand what the EC is after for each of these you'll have to take a deep breath and jump into the Work Programme. This will give you the background, objectives and expected impact of each area. The latest version of the draft Work Programme is available via UKRO, though you need to be a subscriber (as Kent is) in order to access it.

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

EC Work Programme: Polish Presidency 2011

I know the blog's been a bit eurocentric recently, but hell, that's the way le petit gateau sec crumbles. Anyway, UKRO are reporting what the EC's got lined up for the Polish presidency (ppt) in 2012. Hmm. Not relevant to us, surely? Au contraire. See, there's a few research-related dates you should be aware of:
  • 27 Sept 2011: a Communication on 'Partnering in Research and Innovation'. Not sure what this will be, but perhaps it will give us a clue as to how the EC wants business and academia to collaborate in the future.
  • 30 Nov 2011: full proposal for Horizon 2020, including necessary legislation, specific programmes, and rules of participation;
  • Dec 2011: a Communication on developments in the area of access to scientific information. Open Access ahoy!
  • 5-7 Dec 2011: Innovation Convention, and report on progress towards an Innovation Union.
Looking further forward, in 2012 we've got these policy gems to look forward to:
  • ERA Framework, which as UKRO understands, will include a large scale public consultation (this was originally planned for late 2011 but has been put back due to the development on Horizon 2020).
  • Communication on enhancing and focussing international cooperation in Research and Innovation
  • Communication on the state of implementation of the Innovation Union and mainstreaming of innovation in EU policies
  • Recommendation to Member States on Structural changes in universities and research in institutions to promote gender equality
  • Communication on the establishment of a new Europe 2020 headline indicator to monitor progress in innovation.
Finally, it will be pushing forward on its Joint Programming Initiatives. As I'm sure I don't need to tell you, the aim of these is 'to pool national research efforts in order to make better use of Europe's precious public R&D resources and to tackle common European challenges more effectively in a few key areas.' And what are those few key areas? I'm glad you asked. UKRO's sources say that they are:
  • More years, better lives (already launched in July 2011)
  • Water challenges for a changing world
  • Healthy and productive seas and oceans
  • Climate change
  • Antimicrobial resistance (Planned for 3rd quarter 2011)
  • Urban Europe (Planned for 4th quarter 2011)

Saturday, 9 July 2011

ERC Launches New 'Synergy' Scheme

At the UKRO Conference yesterday the EC’s Ben Turner gave some more detail of the European Research Council’s (ERC) new scheme, ‘Synergy’, which will be launched shortly with the new Work Programme in July. The Council already runs three schemes:
  • Starting Grants: offering €2m over 5 years
  • Advanced Grants: offering €3.5m over 5 years
  • Proof of Concept: which provides existing award holders with funding to explore the commercial viability of the products of their research.
These – and in particular the first two – had proved to be very successful. The first round of the Starting and Advanced grants had been heavily oversubscribed, and the resulting success rate was around 4%. Since then it had risen to around 15%.However, whilst the budget had increased so had the number of applications; Starting Grants had risen by 42% for the last call. This is still a tough funder.

The Synergy Grant will be piloted in 2011-12. It will be allocated €150m so, whilst smaller than the Starting Grants (€730m) and Advanced Grants (€680m), it will be larger than FET. The intention of the new scheme is to provide funding for new collaborations. It will fund small groups of investigators (2-4) who can make the case that together they can achieve more than they can individually. They will fund 10-12 projects initially. The scheme is very open: the ERC has avoided being at all prescriptive. It’s been debating the new instrument for around two years, and intially toyed with the idea of restricting it to interdisciplinary projects, or cooperation with colleagues outside the EU. In the end it kept it simple. Almost nothing has been ruled out. There is an ‘expectation’ that it will be interdisciplinary, and that the investigators will be physically in the same place. But this is an expectation, not a requirement.

What the FET's it All About?

Now here’s a hidden gem. At a time when funders are increasingly risk averse and focused on established academics, the EU is providing funding for technology projects undertaken by anyone at any stage of their career that are inherently uncertain. The Future and Emerging Technologies (FET) scheme funds research that seeks fundamental understanding, but that is inspired by everyday problems. Think Louis Pasteur.

There are three schemes within FET:
  • FET-Open: bottom up funding for small scale, novel and fragile ideas. It has a light 2 step assessment process, and an open deadline.
  • FET-Proactive: top down ‘managed’ funding that focuses on transformative, thematic research and emerging communities. It’s targeted and is aimed at developing a critical mass. There are fixed deadlines.
  • FET-Flagships: One step up from the ‘FET-Proactive’ are these large, roadmap-driven research initiatives.
Now if you’re still with me then you must still be interested. So stick with me and we’ll drill down for more detail on the first of these, the FET-Open. The deadlines are open, but applications are batched in 6 month groups. There are five different streams within the scheme:
  • Challenging Current Thinking (€75m): Provides funding for 3-6 partners, with each award of about €1.5 – 3m. They’re looking for new and alternative ideas that are risky and unconventional. They don’t want research that just provides incremental improvements. It’s all about foundational breakthroughs, ambitious proofs of concept, and new, interdisciplinary collaborations.The success rates initially appear low: 4%. But that’s the total number of outline applications divided by the total number of projects finally funded. If you use the more realistic number of full applications divided by the number of awards, it’s a much more respectable 35%.
  • High Tech Research Intensive SMEs in FET Research (€9m): This provides funding for research outside large labs. Like the ‘Research for the Benefit of SMEs’, this is intended for SMEs who are willing to take the driving role in research, and get the primary benefit from it. The EC is not interested in projects that seek short term commercial outcomes.
  • FET Young Explorers (€6m): This is aimed at catching the creativity, potential, and openness of young researchers, and to develop their leadership, empowering them to be independent. By ‘young’ they mean less than 6 years from the submission of their PhD.
  • International Cooperation Top up Call (€3m): This provides funding to extend existing FET projects with complementary research activities that develop collaborations with new non-EU research partners. It’s restricted to on-going FET projects, and there must be 18 months left of the award.
  • Science of Global Systems (€3.5m): Here, they are seeking IT projects that are developing models that will be used to understand global systems – eg ecological, socio-economic – and improve their ability to respond to changes. There’s a deadline 17 Jan 2012.

Pass Notes: the Innovation Union

Innovation Union’ has become a buzz word in the world of European funding recently, and it’s a key influence on the development of Horizon 2020.

I’d just got used to the European Union. What’s the ‘Innovation Union’ when it’s at home?
Oh do keep up. The Innovation Union was introduced in October 2010, and set out 34 commitments aimed at creating a supportive and stimulating environment for innovation.

And innovation is...?
Where have you been? Innovation is the universal panacea, the cure for all known evils, the magic pill that will save us from the Great Recession, and help us to leapfrog our competitors in a single bound.

No seriously.
It’s the development of ideas to the stage of commercial exploitation. But most funders do see it as the universal panacea, and all are keen to get on the innovation bandwagon.

Okay. Gotcha. So how will the Innovation Union encourage innovation?
It hopes to learn from those countries that have successfully embedded innovation. It was clear that success has been no accident there: they had strong strategies for innovation that were integrated across the board, in education, skills, regional development, standardisation, and tax policies. It was backed, steered and monitored at the highest levels. If Europe is serious about innovation, it’s got to do likewise.

Can’t imagine the UK is keen on being told to prioritise innovation by those pushy Brussels bureaucrats.
Au contraire. The British government sees innovation as the key to recovery, and wants to give it a bigger share of the depleted national budget.

Alright, so Europe has got to learn from its competitors. Then what?
Then, my dear friend, it implements the 34 commitments. For higher education these include:
  • 1: Member states have to have strategies in place ‘to train enough researcher to meet national R&D targets and to promote attractive employment conditions in public research institutions.’
  • 2: Better benchmarking, to produce evidence for business/academic collaborations, and development of new curricula.
  • 4: ERA framework single market, including measures to remove obstacles to mobility and cross border cooperation.
  • 9. The European Institute of Technology (EIT).
  • 29. European Innovation Platforms (EIP), a new funding mechanism (or instrument) for meeting societal challenges, such as climate change and energy security. There’s currently a pilot ‘EIP on healthy ageing’, with a goal of adding an average of two healthy years to older EU citizens. There will be others, including ‘smart cities.
  • 30. Attracting highly skilled third country nationals...

Zzzz...
Wake up!

Sorry, you lost me amidst all those acronyms and aspirations.
Well let me make it simple for you. Innovation is going to be a key to research at a European level, so if you want to get some European funding, you’d better start talking to business.

Do say: ‘innovate to accumulate’
Don’t say: ‘Innovate? I’m quite happy in my ivory tower, thank you.’

New Marie Curie Schemes

Two new pilot schemes will be introduced for the next round of Marie Curie Actions, due to be published on 20 July. They are intended to fill a perceived gap in the provision of training for early stage researchers (ESRs).
  • Innovative Doctoral Programmes (IDPs). This replaces the ‘Monosite Initial Training Networks (ITNs)’, and aims to encourage crossovers between disciplines, sectors and states. Whilst there are plenty of doctoral schools across Europe, it's relatively rare to see ones with genuinely international, interdisciplinary, cross-sectoral programmes. The IDP is intended to rectify this.
  • European Industrial Doctorates (EIDs). This is intended to encourage companies to get involved in doctoral training. The EID should involve at least two participants (one from each sector), and possible associated partners in any sector/discipline/country. Each researcher must be enrolled in a doctoral programme, be employed by at least one of the participants, spend at least 50% in private sector, and be jointly supervised by both participants. There should be 1-5 researchers per project.
There is considerable flexibility in the new schemes, but if all goes according to plan there will be even more flexibility in Horizon 2020. The EC is intending to simplify the current range of eight Marie Curie schemes into four broad schemes (as mentioned in an earlier post):
  • A scheme for early stage researchers (i.e. doctoral students): this would allow a host institution to put in place a network for providing training for doctoral students from across Europe;
  • A scheme for more experienced researchers: this would provide individual fellowships to encourage mobility and career development opportunities;
  • A scheme for research staff: a smaller fund for short term exchange and secondments between institutions.
  • A scheme to match fund national fellowship schemes: this would be see the continuation of the 'cofund' scheme.
Part of this push has come from the responses to the consultation on the FP8 Green Paper, in which there was a specific question about strengthening and promoting research mobility (question 23). 70% of respondents considered Marie Curie to be important, but felt that it needed a higher budget, more collaboration with business, and more streamlining.

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Research for the Benefit of SMEs

The Research for the Benefit of SMEs is one of the less well known areas of European funding. It could be because it’s hidden away in that catch-all area of the Framework Programme, ‘Capacities’. Although the Commission would demur, I’ve always seen the ‘Capacities’ pillar as the dumping ground of FP7. Like a skip for all those schemes that don’t fit neatly into ‘Cooperation’, ‘Ideas’ or ‘People’. Rather than spoil the neat lines of FP7, the Commission added ‘Capacities’ as a miscellaneous holdall.

The scheme does what it says on the tin: it funds research for the benefit of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), which make up some 99% of all EU businesses. That’s a substantial group, and is responsible for 54% of the overall value of commercial sector and 67% of the workforce.

Targeting SMEs has both its positives and negatives. It's a good way of encouraging SMEs to prioritise research and development, but HEIs might lose out in terms of funding and intellectual property.You see, it's very much SME-led, and they get the benefit in terms of intellectual property. Moreover, as it's EU funding, it doesn't pay the full cost of the research (it's actually 75%), so you need to be sure that it would benefit you, your research and your department before committing yourself.

So how does it work? Well, an SME (that is, a commercial organisation with less than 250 employers and a turnover of less than €50m) identifies a research need, sets the objectives and contracts out the underlying work to identify the solution to researchers in academia. The SME then owns the intellectual property, although the EC is open to other arrangements.

There are three types of funding:
  • Research for SMEs
  • Research for SME Associations
  • Demonstrations
The first two are bottom up schemes (i.e. the applicant comes up with the idea) which provide funding to SMEs or groups of SMEs (the clue is in the title). For the first scheme, the typical budget is €0.5m-1m and last up to two years; for the second the budget and duration are larger and longer: €1.5-3m and up to 3 years.

‘Demonstrations’ take the project one step further. You’ve got to have had funding from one of the other two schemes already. It provides 50% funding for testing prototypes, scale up studies, or performance verification. It’s not meant for further research and development.

So do have a look at the funding, but don't rush headlong into it without talking to us first about the potential pros and cons. There’s a new call out on 20 July, with a deadline of 6 December. They’ve allocated some €150m for the first scheme, €49.7m for the second, and €20m for the third. Best of all, the success rate is a respectable 20-30%, and the UK has, in the past, got around 20% of the funding.


European Funding: What's on the Horizon?

Keith Sequeira, Policy Officer for the Framework Programme and Simplification Unit, gave an insight into the development of the future framework programme, Horizon 2020, in his keynote address to the UKRO Conference in Newcastle on Thursday.

This was an important time for Horizon 2020: the proposed budget had been announced last week, and the starting gun for negotiations had been fired. Horizon 2020 would combine elements of FP7, the Competitiveness & Innovation Programme (CIP), and the European Institute of Technology (EIT), as well as linking to relevant parts of regional and structural funds. An increase of 46% had been proposed (to €80bn), but Sequeira made it clear that, whilst this sounded like a large increase, it represented a steady increase on the funding levels reached at the end of FP7.

In terms of the content of Horizon 2020, there would be three broad ‘pillars’, with a fourth set of cross cutting priorities:
  • Supporting excellence in science base: to face the imbalance with the USA, and the challenges from China, by attracting, developing and supporting world class research, through the continuation of such streams as the European Research Council (ERC), Future and Emerging Technologies (FET), Marie Curie Actions (MCA) and research infrastructures.
  • Tackling societal challenges: identified as health, food security, secure and green energy, smart, green and integrated transport, raw materials and climate, and inclusive societies.
  • Integrating innovation and links with business: including leveraging private finance.
  • Cross cutting priorities: in particular simpler access and openness to newcomers.
Overall, Horizon 2020 aimed to integrate research and innovation, and meet the objectives of Europe2020 and the Innovation Union. The EC wanted to move away from prescriptive descriptions of tools and methods, and instead present the problem to be solved and leave it to individuals to decide best way to do so.

There was a strong appetite for simplification. But then, how many times have we heard that before? However, they do sound serious this time. Inter alia, they intended to introduce:
  • a rationalised set of funding schemes and instruments;
  • a single set of rules for eligibility, accounting, reporting and auditing;
  • a simplified approach to cost reimbursement;
  • a broader acceptance of usual accounting practice and greater use of lump sums and flat rates;
  • shorter negotiation and selection phases;
  • a unique IT portal, common support structures, and guidance which would build on EPSS of FP7;
  • more use of external management of the programme, through such bodies as the Research Executive Agency (REA), which already runs the MCA.
The budget and structure would continue to be discussed in the final years of FP7, and UKRO would continue to inform the UK HE sector on developments.

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

TSB: What's It All About?

David Bott, the Director of Innovation Programmes at the Technology Strategy Board, visited the University today to give an overview of the background and the ethos of the organisation. Innovation, he said, had become a talisman for many. But what does it mean, and how does the TSB facilitate and support it?

Put simply, innovation is the process of turning ideas into money. Sounds easy enough, but innovators face a number of problems:
  • Investment is often too little or too late;
  • Innovation is inherently disruptive, and change has to be effectively managed;
  • Long term trends aren't always apparent;
  • Infrastructural support is often complex or inefficient;
  • For better or worse, the government is a huge player and needs to help rather than hinder.
The TSB, then, was founded four years ago to help overcome these challenges by:
  • fostering a better environment for innovators;
  • reducing the financial risk;
  • signposting market trends;
  • facilitating collaboration and networking;
  • feeding back to government.
Since its foundation it has developed into a body with around 130 staff, who between them have some 1700 years of business experience. So they're commercially focused, and understand the needs of business. The TSB has around £300m to distribute annually, and rather than identifying surefire winners it identifies areas of potential growth and capacity.

How? Well, predominantly by talking to government and analysing the needs of the market. Based on this, the TSB's priorities are:
  • Low carbon vehicles;
  • Assisted living;
  • Low impact buildings;
  • Detection and identification of infectious agents;
  • sustainable agriculture and the food chain;
  • stratified medicine.
In practice, it distributes its funding as follows:
  • Through consortia, via a standard (2 stage) or fast track (1 stage) funding scheme. Neither of these should be as time consuming as those for the Research Councils, and David suggested a 2-3 month turnaround was the norm. They also fund feasibility studies, workshops and sandpit events;
  • Through individuals, via Knowledge Transfer Partnerships and grants for research and development.
  • Knowledge Transfer Networks;
  • Missions, to spread the word about innovation in the UK;
  • Centres.
If you want to find out more about the TSB and whether it's right for you, contact my colleague Brian Lingley in Kent Innovation & Enterprise who can answer your questions and support you in developing a proposal for them.

ESRC-DFID Joint Call on International Development

The Department for International Development (DFID) and Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) have announced a call for development research. The purpose of the scheme is to provide a more robust conceptual and empirical basis for development, and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). £7 million is set aside for this call. ESRC and DFID have identified three thematic areas for this call where work will be of particular interest. These areas are:
  • Resource Scarcity, Growth and Poverty Reduction;
  • Information and Communication Technology and Development;
  • Measuring Development.
The deadline for applications is 16.00 on 27 September 2011.
Applications are invited for projects with a fEC value of between £100,000 and £500,000.
To apply, see the step by step application guidance and instructions.

More detail here, or get in touch with me.

Monday, 4 July 2011

2 Weeks to Go: Get Reading!

There's just over a couple of weeks until the majority of the 2011-12 FP7 Cooperation funding calls will be announced. If you're thinking of getting involved, you have to get your skates on. Yes, I know it seems crazy to do so before the calls are even announced, but by now you should have a good idea of who you would like to work with (your consortium), and have read the various iterations of the draft work programmes that have been made available by UKRO and others. If you've not do so, I've rounded up links to the latest versions I can find:
If I haven't listed your area, get in touch and I'll dig out the relevant work programme. Otherwise if you want more advice on what you should be doing in the run up to the calls, or just want to talk about the project you have in mind, get in touch.