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Early careers scheme, Future Research Leaders

The ESRC have announced the first call for proposals for the new early careers scheme, Future Research Leaders. This scheme will support outstanding early career researchers to carry out excellent research and to develop all aspects of their research and knowledge exchange skills. The scheme is open to high-quality candidates from anywhere in the world who have a maximum of four years' postdoctoral experience and the support of an eligible UK research organisation.

Awards will be for a maximum of three years with an overall limit of £215k (at 100 % fEC). The ESRC will pay 60% of the salary costs but Lancaster University must commit to the other 40% for the duration of the grant. To ensure that the best proposals are supported by Lancaster there is an internal deadline for applicants and potential applicants should discuss their proposal with the relevant HoD and also forward the following documents to the RSO by 5pm Friday 19th August 2011: Draft pFACT costing – please provide the JeS submission report from pFACT Draft Case for Support – 3 A4 sides CV – 2 A4 sides Confirmation email from HoD of departmental support.

All the applications will be reviewed by an internal panel selected from the research committee members and those chosen to go forward will be notified as soon as possible after the deadline to allow the proposal to be finalised in time for the ESRC deadline – 4pm on 15 September 2011 The ESRC application process will be a two-stage peer-review process. Applicants are required to submit an outline proposal that addresseshe points detailed in the call specification electronically using the Research Councils' Joint electronic Submission (Je-S) form.Detailed guidance on the procedures for completing the outline proposal form is available in the Je-S guidance notes for applicants. Outline proposals will be assessed and shortlisted by a pool of external assessors. If shortlisted, applicants will be invited to prepare and submit full proposals by 1 February 2012.

Horizon 2020 - the Framework Programme for Research and Innovation

We are pleased to inform you that Mrs. Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, European Commissioner for Research and Innovation, has announced on 21 June 2011 the new name for the future EU funding programme for research and innovation: "Horizon 2020 - the Framework Programme for Research and Innovation". It will enter into force on 1 January 2014, after the end of FP7 on 31 Dec 2013.

"Horizon 2020 - the Framework Programme for Research and Innovation" is not just a new name for the same Framework Programme. It is the name for the new, integrated funding system that will cover all research and innovation funding currently provided through the Framework Programme for Research and Technical Development, the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP) and the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT). These different types of funding will be brought together in a coherent and flexible manner. Research and innovation funding will focus clearly on addressing global challenges. Needless red tape will be cut out and access to programs and participation will be made easier and simpler.

More details can be found in the press release as well as the website of the European Commission: . Many thanks for your attention and please disseminate this information to partners in your project, if applicable.

Leadership development for principal investigators

A new resource to support principal investigators (PIs) was launched last week at the Vitae Policy Forum. Leadership Development

The Leadership development for principal investigators webpages are hosted within Vitae’s Supervisors and managers section and provide new and aspiring PIs with information and guidance on the following key themes:

  • * What is expected of a principal investigator?
  • * Research environment
  • * Impact
  • * Managing people
  • * Project management
  • * Networks
  • HEFCE’s Leadership, Governance and Management (LGM) fund supported this collaborative project, which involved the universities of Nottingham, Loughborough, Cambridge, Newcastle, Sunderland, UCL and Leicester, as well as Vitae, Research Councils UK, Leadership Foundation for Higher Education, Association of Research Managers and Administrators, and Universities UK.

    The content was developed following consultation with PIs during an earlier LGM-funded project. This identified a need for specific support in people management skills, research impact and managing a research team. The resources will also help PIs and research leaders to address their responsibilities with respect to supporting their research staff and implementing The Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers.

    The Economic and Social Research Council

    has published its Delivery Plan for 2011 2015 Delivery Plan 2011 -2015

    The Plan sets out an ambitious programme of social science research which will have important benefits for the UK economy and society. This follows the announcement of the Council s settlement from the 2010 Comprehensive Spending Review. Our budget for 2011/12 is 174,637 million reducing to 166,186 million in 2014/15 (excluding running costs which will be announced separately). Responding to the budget announcement, Professor Paul Boyle, the ESRC s Chief Executive, said: "The relatively favourable settlement is very welcome in the context of a tough fiscal environment. The Settlement demonstrates the value that research brings to the UK, and is also a vote of confidence in the social sciences. However it does represent a real-terms reduction of around 12 per cent in the ESRC s budget over the next four years which will affect our activities." Potential applicants should note that some changes to the Council s funding schemes are announced in the Plan. These are: The termination of our existing Small Grants, Postdoctoral Fellowships and Mid-Career Development Fellowships Schemes on 1 February 2011. All applications received by the Schemes closing date will be processed. The increase in the lower threshold for standard grants to 200,000. Applications for standard grants up to 200,000 will only be accepted until 1 February 2011. The introduction of a new Future Research Leaders Scheme for early-career researchers in spring 2011. These funding changes are designed to meet the Council s commitments to funding more ambitious social science whilst continuing to support researchers in the early stages of their careers. Please keep an eye on the website in the early part of next year as further details are announced.

    UKRO visit

    Following on from the success of the recent UKRO visit please find here the slides from the presenationlancaster\101102_lancaster_fp7_erc_distribution.pptx

    . There is also further information available about proposal writing events for advanced grants documents\UKRO.pdf and the various information and services UKRO provide publications about EU Research & Policy can be found through the European RTD Insight monthly bulletin


    New calls for the Advanced Investigators Grant have now been released .Please ensure that any proposals are fully costed and approved on pFACT before submission to the European Commission.


    From April 2010 all Research Council finance services have been transfered to a central operation called SSC Ltd. From procurement activities alone they are on target to achieve savings of £25m this financial year and these savings are being reinvested into the core business of the Research Councils in supporting excellent research. With the current pressure on public spending, the Research Councils need to ensure their administration costs are as efficient as possible by harmonising the administration functions of the seven organisations.

    Inclusion of unnamed researchers in grant proposals

    New research staff appointed to Grade 6 are offered LGO pension rather than USS, and costs in pFACT are calculated on this basis. However, researchers on Grade 6 who were in post before August 2006 may already be members of USS. If you are including an unnamed RA (Grade 6) in your proposal and you think there is a possibility that the post will be filled by an internal candidate please contact RSO. The costs can then be corrected to ensure that the funds requested are sufficient to cover the USS pension contributions. If you intend to recruit a researcher with several years experience you may want to consider costing the post on Grade 7 rather than towards the top of Grade 6.

    Human Tissue Act

    The Human Tissue Act, regulating the use and storage of human tissue, came into force on 1 September 2006 and in order to ensure the University complies with this legislation research involving human tissue should be undertaken on the basis that:

    Human tissue can be defined as material that has come from the human body and consists of, or includes, human cells. If your research involves human tissue, or you have tissue stored from past research and you have not yet discussed it with RSO please contact Sarah Taylor as soon as possible. Please pass this information to colleagues if you believe it to be relevant.

    Timesheets reminder

    As you may be aware there is now a requirement for timesheets to be kept on Research Council FEC grants. Timesheets must be completed for any Directly Incurred staff who are working less than 100% time on the project.

    There is also a requirement for all staff who are paid from European Commission grants to complete timesheets. As the funding rules have changed under FP7 this may now include academic staff.

    Timesheets are needed for audit requirements in both these cases and failure to provide them may result in costs being rejected by the funder. A sample timesheet can be downloaded here.

    If you have any queries about timesheets please contact the Research Support Office.

    Wellcome Trust Guidelines on Good Research Practice

    The updated Guidelines PDF is now available from the Wellcome Trust website. This was first published in January 2002 and has been updated to take account of the Trust policy statement made jointly with MRC and BBSRC on managing risks of misuse associated with grant funding activities.

    Last updated: 29.06.2011

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