Leicester gets EU research funding boost

Posted by rmt22 at Aug 09, 2018 09:48 AM |
Thanks to the hard work of our staff, Leicester has seen a huge increase in the number of EU research funding awards this year.

Our current EU awards total for the year stands at £6.7 million for 2017/18 (as at June 2018), an increase of 72% on the previous year to date (£3.9 million).

Post-referendum we realised that Brexit uncertainty would be a challenge to our research funding, so over the past two years we have put extra effort into securing funds from EU sources. Along the way the Government confirmed that Horizon 2020 funding would be available until the end of the programme and we have worked hard to ensure our researchers were supported in securing these funds.

This hard work saw a 40% increase in EU awards in the seven months post-referendum, compared to the seven months pre-referendum. In the past year, Leicester has climbed six places in the institutional UK EU funding rankings in terms of our number of participations (and 31 places for share of funding received), from 34th  to 28th, the largest increase of any UK institution in this period.

As was set out in the Vice-Chancellor’s recent presentation to staff, we still have a large proportion of unfunded research and need to work very hard to bring in more direct funding. The success of this initiative shows that through hard work and collaboration, it’s possible to do this.

The EU Team, a cross-RED group of EU funding experts, therefore wanted to celebrate these successes by holding a ‘Thank EU’ event last month. This celebrated those people who have supported their colleagues, either by talking at events, sharing bids, sitting on mock panels or just generally putting in time to help other applicants.

Victoria Hayward, who looks after our EU funding approach said: “I’ve worked as a European Advisor in Brussels and have visited dozens of UK institutions and can say that what we have at Leicester is really unique. I've never been in a more collegiate institution, the willingness our academics have to help others has been really fantastic.”

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