Call for research network bids

Posted by crm28 at May 12, 2017 03:45 PM |
Following the launch last year of four new Research Institutes, the University today is issuing a call for research networks which are intended to support and grow ambitious and more interdisciplinary research at Leicester.
Call for research network bids

The University hopes to establish a number of "tiger teams".

Recent significant shifts in the research funding landscape mean that there is more demand for ambitious multi-partner research that may be more challenge focused and/or interdisciplinary. We can expect the Global Challenges Research Fund and Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund in particular to evolve in this direction and each provides multi-billion pound opportunities which we must position ourselves to influence and respond to, building on our successes so far. Interdisciplinary research is also a consideration in our preparations for the next Research Excellence Framework in 2021.

Developing such interdisciplinary approaches will take effort and may need some modest institutional funding as well as overt recognition. The University therefore wants to support researchers coming together and forming networks that have real research ambition. In some cases, what might be appropriate is to bring together researchers to develop one off bids or proposals over a fairly short duration. The term “tiger team” is in common usage for these teams of specialists working on specific focused tasks. Alternatively, what might be needed is a broader research network which incubates cooperation over a longer timescale and a wider range of possible projects.  The University wants to support each of these approaches.

Applications can be centred on any interdisciplinary theme and should build on existing University strengths. Successful bids are likely to span more than one field.

Research Networks will operate for up to two years having clear aims and measurable success factors. While these may be research groups at a developmental stage, they will still be expected to give a clear statement of aims, objectives, likely outcomes and outputs.

Tiger Teams will develop discrete outputs (grant bids, new areas of scholarship, breakthrough publications) over a shorter time period (3-6 months), with no renewal. It is possible, however, that a tiger team may develop and submit an application to a future network call.

Three networks will be selected to commence at the beginning of 2017/18. Another call will be issued in March 2018 for a 2018/19 start.

Three tiger teams will be selected now to start as soon as possible and a further call will launch later in 2017, for work commencing from January 2018.

A research network can apply for up to £15,000 per year for two years and tiger teams for a total of £5,000. Initial funding for these schemes has been committed for three years.

All applications will be considered by a panel which will review bids for both networks and tiger teams. Membership of the panel will comprise the Pro-Vice-Chancellor Research & Enterprise (Professor Iain Gillespie), College Directors of Research and a senior member of the Research and Enterprise Division.

The lead applicant should seek approval from their Head of Department before the application is submitted and all co-applicants should also agree their participation. Proposals from groups rather than individuals are expected to be the norm. Completed application forms should be sent by the lead applicant to Lynne Parsons no later than 9am on Monday 3 July.

Charters will be drawn up for each successful network, which agree responsibilities, KPIs and targets, in line with practice for current Research Institutes. Progress will be reviewed quarterly and annual reports made.

Tiger teams will be subject to lighter touch monitoring.

Further information about the schemes and applications forms is available here.

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