Archives for posts with tag: funding

If you are a researcher in the early stages of your career and you want to pursue a career in academia, you’ll need to start thinking about building your funding profile.  Starting off with small pots of money gives you the confidence to navigate the application processes and also gives you a track record of your ability to win money.  This will be of benefit to you in the future when you are looking to write larger grant proposals.

With this in mind I’d like to share with you how the Think Ahead: Sheffield Undergraduate Research Experience (TA:SURE) scheme can assist with enhancing your funding profile.  I’ve previously written about how the scheme is designed to give early career researchers the experience of managing a project from start to finish.  Part of this process is recruiting an undergraduate student and then working with the student to apply for externally funded vacation bursaries.  The student receives a valuable income over the course of the summer project and the ECR, in their role as supervisor, achieves funding which can be highlighted on their CV. Read the rest of this entry »

fsa_logo.pngRemember my Fellowship Ahoy! research project? Well it’s now been published. The summary of the project outcomes below is the press release from the Leadership Foundation.

The research paper itself is here on the LFHE website and has a lot of data in the fellows own words about how they got their fellowship funding.

You can find links, two online virtual workshops on ‘Network Building for Research Success’ and ‘Having Creative Research Ideas’, and a batch of videos of the Fellows talking about their experiences all branching from the FSA home page here. Read the rest of this entry »

30 Principles for Steps Towards Research Independence 

We hosted last week the STRI symposium ‘Steps Towards Research Independence’ for researchers from the Faculties of Science, Medicine, Dentistry and Health. Our ambition in hosting this symposium was to offer a packed day full of ideas, food for thoughts, strategies and shared experiences about the process of transitioning towards research independence. Our speakers included researchers who had just gained their first fellowships to academics who had held several, lecturers who had never had one as well as professors who had achieved great academic success and held senior fellowships. We also had talks from colleagues from Research and Innovation Services about different funding streams or researchers supporting colleagues with the integration of statistical good practice in research proposals and research design. We had over 90 participants who joined us on the day for a morning full of talks and an afternoon busy with 6 workshops on offer covering topics as diverse as leadership skills, demystifying the CV, incorporating ‘Person, Project, Place’ in fellowship applications, as well as very interactive and dynamic sessions with Vox Coaching on shining in job/ fellowship interviews. Read the rest of this entry »

Are you thinking of applying for a research fellowship award?

I’m currently running a research project called Fellowship Ahoy! that asks researchers who score prestigious research fellowships just how heck they did it. I have been zipping around the country (as you may have seen on the project Twitter account @fellowshipahoy), visiting other universities and collecting the intricate and interesting background stories that lead up to being awarded that rare and elusive fellowship award. I’ve now talked to twenty-five unique and very different fellows and really enjoyed it.


I am doing this project for a couple of reasons:

The first is intellectual curiosity – we just don’t know much about the professional lives, strives, small niggles and big decisions of this group of people, and the LFHE wanted to give me some money to do it.

Read the rest of this entry »

I had a re-read of all the blogs and a theme running through a good number is that, particularly for aspiring academics, there is a need to:

• Seek feedback
• Network
• Sell yourself
• Engage with employers / business
• Write
• Create a good image
• Have a (positive) reputation
• Lead
• Teach
• Gain income
• Get published
• (many more!)

Truth be told, this is the list for successful careers in academia but if colleagues in professional services or people looking for a career beyond academia had to write a list of all the things to do and be at once, they’d, I’m sure, have as many.

Read the rest of this entry »


Wired to go. Wire? Wire not? Image: Darwin Bell, Flickr

Where are your data? How would you feel if somebody contacted you and asked to see it? Public access to research data is an initiative being driven forward by big research funders, influential societies and government. In essence the aim is to ensure transparency and reflect the right to access information through the Freedom of Information Act.

Data Management Plans are now a common part of the application process for research funding and the EPSRC helped roll the ball by mandating that research organisations comply with EPSRC expectations. These include making metadata (the data about data) available online in a way that is visible, searchable and accessible and that accurately represents the underlying research data, in most cases, 12 months after its generation. If access to the underlying data is restricted then the metadata must include the reasons for restriction and conditions of access. Research data must be available for a minimum of 10 years. All publications resulting from RCUK funding require a statement detailing how underlying data can be accessed.

Read the rest of this entry »

This is a guest post from Suzy Firkin, an Associate Consultant for WISE on such topics as gender diversity, coaching and mentoring. WISE helps organisations to inspire women and girls to pursue STEM subjects as pathways to exciting and fulfilling careers. Their aim is to get 1 million more women into the STEM sector by 2020, boosting the talent pool to drive economic growth. 

Wise Logo Just recently research Fellowships have been tapping at my consciousness and I felt compelled to write a line or two about two excellent schemes that really aim to make a difference to the diversity of the STEM academic community.

At the recent WISE Awards Ceremony I was privileged to meet Dr Katie Perry of the Daphne Jackson Trust. (Daphne Jackson was the first female physics professor in the UK). Katie was being recognised at the ceremony for her inspirational leadership of the trust who offer unique fellowships designed to return scientists, technologists, engineers and mathematicians, who have had a career break of more than two years for family, caring or health reasons, back to research. During the last 10 years the Daphne Jackson trust has helped 250 STEM researchers return to their careers; 9 out of 10 have been women.

Read the rest of this entry »

Obligatory fishy picture. Image: Georgie Pauwels, Flickr

Obligatory fishy picture. Image: Georgie Pauwels, Flickr

Researchfish is the system that many funders require researchers to record outcomes of the research they fund. This is important because if you get funding and then don’t do what the funder asks you to do they are unlikely to fund your work again.

As of September 2014 Research Councils UK (RCUK) replaced the unpopular and under used ROS with Researchfish. Researchfish was designed for the MRC (approximately 7 years ago) who opted not to use ROS. Subsequently it is being used by 90 or so funders, and these now including all RCUK funders.

Read the rest of this entry »

PEYou wouldn’t think six letters could cause such confusion or in some cases, panic! As part of the Think Ahead team, my role enables me to be in a variety of settings both with researchers and professional services colleagues and frequently we end up talking about ‘impact’. The trouble is, it means different things to different people. When faced with that reality, in my opinion there’s only one answer –

  1. the striking of one thing against another; forceful contact; collision
  2. an impinging
  3. influence; effect
  4. an impacting; forcible impinging
  5. the force exerted by a new idea, concept, technology, or ideology

I don’t know about you but I’m not necessarily any the wiser. The best way I can think to express it, is that an ‘impact’ can be most thoroughly viewed as something that causes change (positive or negative). Simplistic perhaps but sometimes that is the easiest way to start. Upon reflection, I began to wonder if this conundrum is one being faced by our researchers across the university?

Read the rest of this entry »

Start small before trying this. Image credit: Jeff Rowley, Flickr

Start small before trying this. Image credit: Jeff Rowley, Flickr

Do you want funding for your research question? Of course you do. It’s hard to do though isn’t it, especially for ECRs with no track record. To get research funding you need a track record so how do you get that?

By starting small before you go big, and this is where Research Professional comes in. It’s a large database of research funding opportunities that is updated twice weekly and has extensive coverage of funding opportunities available in the UK and beyond. Users can search the database and stay up to date with email alerts using search terms and filters. Search results include information about the calls, funder and eligibility, relevant links as well as any notes and comments.

Read the rest of this entry »