Seedcorn Funding

Interdisciplinary Research (IDR) has an essential role in addressing the complex problems posed by global social challenges. It brings increased rigour to the understanding of the disciplines, and is a strong and valuable basis for developing the University’s research capacity, as well as the most innovative forms of its research-informed teaching.

To support IDR at Keele, we are delighted to announce that the Institute of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the Pro-Vice Chancellor for Research and Enterprise will provide seedcorn funding for research workshops focused on developing collaborative interdisciplinary research projects.

Funding is to be awarded through an open bidding process and researcher groups are invited to put forward their proposals for consideration. Full guidance and application details are available in the sections below.

We look forward to receiving your applications by the closing date Monday April 10th 2017.

Application Guidance

Background

IDR has an essential role in addressing the complex problems posed by global social challenges and brings increased rigour to the understanding of the disciplines, a strong and valuable basis for developing the University’s research capacity, as well as the most innovative forms of its research-informed teaching.

There is a growing interest in and funding for Interdisciplinary Research (IDR). Strong evidence for this exists in the range of recent reports into the topic and at Keele the Vice-Chancellor hosted a lively forum in June 2016. The research highlights a number of key considerations; more time may be needed in IDR for the initial groundwork, planning and team building, collaborators need space to develop their work and there must be flexibility and leeway to support projects which may evolve.  Institutional disciplinary focused structures can also be a barrier and limit innovative ID approaches. Cross-cutting funding mechanisms are needed to underpin IDR and seedcorn funding is the small investment required to foster the development of more ambitious projects.

Offer

To identify, nurture and support such interdisciplinary research activities at Keele, the Pro-Vice Chancellor for Research and Enterprise and the Institute of Liberal Arts and Sciences will provide seedcorn funding for activities which will underpin a grant proposal or application that will support a collaborative interdisciplinary research project.

Funding is available for research workshops focused on developing an interdisciplinary research proposal that will lead to substantial IDR grant applications (normally RCUK or EU); or, which have more ambitious plans that will follow from, for example, an innovative pilot network.

It is expected that proposals will be focused on areas

In 2016-17, funding is to be awarded for two applications through an open bidding process and researcher groups are invited to put forward their proposals for consideration to a panel comprising the PVC R&E, the Director of ILAS, and the three Faculty Associate Deans for Research, and one Faculty/RI Research Manager.

The research workshops are an opportunity to get together with colleagues in a neutral space removed from the everyday constraints of day-to-day disciplinary pressures. It is expected that an IDR team should comprise between 4-7 members, including external partners if proposed, with mixed disciplinary expertise. The group will be mainly Keele academics and the contribution of external expertise would, depending on group size, involve 1 or 2 external partners.

As IDR is about research capacity building, it is expected that participants will be at a variety of career stages and it is also possible to involve postdoctoral and PGR colleagues. For all of the team roles, the Lead Applicant must indicate the contribution and distinctive expertise that each member will bring to the enterprise (see IDR Workshop Application Form - sections 2 & 6)

In addition the teams will be provided with the support and input of a critical friend: that is, a Keele colleague with substantial experience and knowledge of IDR who will provide a sounding board, stimulus or advice as needed.

Workshop funding will cover

  • Two ‘away’ days in Keele Hall including accommodation, hospitality and administrative support
  • Travel and accommodation to enable the involvement of external UK academics or policy related partners

The application should describe how the two days will be used. It is anticipated that the ‘critical friend’ (see above) will be involved in the course of the second day, as the team moves towards delivering the outcomes identified by the application, however, we envisage flexibility here to enable researchers to achieve the best outcome for their proposal.

The Interdisciplinary Research Workshops Guidance document can be downloaded here: Guidance

How to Apply

Application Process

The ID Research Workshop Application Form should be completed by the research team Lead Applicant. This should be accompanied by a separate word document, the Research Workshop Proposal, outlining the proposed activity, the collaborators, internal and external, and the intended or potential interdisciplinary outcomes.  Please include details of the recent research activity of the proposed participants; either a webpage link, or a list of 5 most recent publications, and how the individuals’ research profiles will be strengthened through their involvement in the workshop.

The ID Research Workshop Application Form can be downloaded here: ‌Interdisciplinary Research Workshops Application Form

Anyone considering applying for workshop funding should feel free to discuss their plans with one or more Associate Dean for Research, and/or one or more Faculty/RI Research Manager. Applications will be received by the ILAS Manager Jo Flynn, and they will be evaluated by the panel described above.

Schedule
Opening date March 6th 2017
Closing date April 10th 2017

The outcomes of the process will be shared w/b April 24th 2017. 
It is expected that workshops will take place in May /June.

Applications should be submitted to the ILAS Manager Jo Flynn by email at e.j.flynn@keele.ac.uk to be received by Midday on Monday April 10th 2017