Research Community Update Newsletter - July 2018


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Research Community Update - July 2018

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Balancing Scales

Balancing Capability

Balancing Capability is a core strategy for EPSRC, as an approach to setting strategic priorities aligned to UK strength and national importance, and to maintain and develop the UK’s world leading position in engineering and physical science research within a finite budget. EPSRC has a proactive engagement approach to managing its portfolio of research in partnership with the research community and stakeholders including the academic community, business, charities, and other funders.  

From July 2018 EPSRC will be delivering its Balancing Capability strategy through an ongoing process of portfolio monitoring and evidence collection, in order to enable a more dynamic and responsive approach to managing our portfolio and setting strategies. Whilst this means there will not be a large scale refresh exercise in 2020/21, continuous engagement will enable EPSRC to regularly review and evolve strategies in response to a rapidly changing landscape.

To support this approach, EPSRC has launched an open Call for Evidence survey. The open Call for Evidence will provide an all year-round opportunity for engineering and physical sciences stakeholders, through their organisations, to provide input on research areas, and this will be in addition to the usual ways EPSRC gathers evidence which include:

  • Evidence that has been published in the form of a report or publication
  • Potential future opportunities e.g. horizon scanning
  • Community engagement activities e.g. workshops or university visits
  • EPSRC portfolio data e.g. submission rates, balance between research and training
  • Community engagement through theme Portfolio Managers

EPSRC values input from stakeholders to make evidence based decisions, this ongoing monitoring approach to Balancing Capability will ensure that EPSRC maintains its strong evidence based culture, making the UK the best place in the world to research, discover and innovate.

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Peer Review College Animation

Join the EPSRC Peer Review College

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Peer review is the single most important element in EPSRC’s grant assessment process, helping us ensure that only the highest quality proposals are recommended for funding. The college broadly represents the research community it serves, it contains a spread of expertise covering the full breadth of EPSRC remit. The college maintains an appropriate balance of age, gender, and ethnicity to reflect the wider research community, as well as a mix of academic and non-academic backgrounds, and geographic locations.

We are currently inviting researchers from business and academia to apply to join the EPSRC Associate Peer Review College. Members sit on assessment panels and provide independent reviews of proposals within their remit of expertise, and will receive full training, fees and expenses where applicable.

Plastic bottle tops

Plastics Research and Innovation Fund

In June, Science Minister Sam Gyimah announced a new £20 million Plastics Research and Innovation Fund (PRIF) which aims to explore new ideas and innovations in the UK’s plastics manufacturing and consumption.

The PRIF will be delivered on behalf of UK Research and Innovation by EPSRC and Innovate UK.

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Making a presentation

‘Please Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood’ – Making Sense of Science Twitter Chat

Interested in science communication? EPSRC will be holding an open forum on Twitter on Wednesday 15 August. Participants can discuss what makes great science communication and ask questions to a panel of experts. Simply join the conversation using #RISESTEM

Date for your diary: Wednesday 15 August 14:00-14:45

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Pile of question marks

EPSRC Insights

Brush up on your application writing skills this August with the EPSRC summer skills campaign. Throughout the month we will be bringing you myths and facts around the applications process, demystifying some of our terms of reference and sharing stories from some of our excellent researchers.

Follow #EPSRCInsights on Twitter!

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Calls closing soon

Creative Circular Economy Approaches to Eliminate Plastics Waste

Closes 16 August 2018 

Further information

Healthcare               Impact           Partnerships 

Closes 23 August 2018 

Further information

Collaboration in Advanced Functional Materials

Closes 23 August 2018

Further information

Other information

UKRI Future Leaders Fellowships

Launched in June, the inaugural UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship Scheme will receive £900 million over the next 11 years, with six funding competitions and at least 550 fellows awarded over the next three years.

The investment will provide up to seven years of funding for early-career researchers and innovators, including support for part-time awards and career-breaks, providing flexibility to researchers to tackle ambitious and challenging research questions. For the first time, the scheme will be open to businesses as well as universities, and will support international applications.

Further Information

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