Funding Opportunities – 15/05/17

Funding Ops + 12th May 1967 and Wayne’s World = I’m coming to get you

In May 1967 The Jimi Hendrix Experience released their debut album Are You Experienced in the UK, and from this Foxy Lady is the focus of this weeks tenuous pop culture/funding opportunity. In Wayne’s World, Garth was too shy and nervous to try and talk with Dream Woman.

But with the right song (in this instance, Foxy Lady), he was able to move past his insecurities, mime, gesticulate and hip thrust his way towards his target. Some might call this highly questionable at best, but if you can do the same with the funding opportunity of your dreams, the pay off for your research plans could be significant, and we encourage it*.

To help, as usual below are just a handful of the opportunities currently available which might provide resources to take your research forwards. Many more are on our previous emails or through Research Professional – an online funding opportunities database and alert service, to which Keele is a subscriber. All staff have access on-campus and you can setup customised searches and alerts. Previously highlighted opportunities are also available on the Faculty Research Blog: https://keelehumss.wordpress.com/

If you would like to talk about these opportunities, any other funding that may be available, or would just like an informal chat about your research ideas please just get in touch.

*We do not encourage mimes (ever), recommend you only employ civil gesticulations, and that HR be consulted in advance of any hip thrusting. 
Many thanks. 
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The AHRC is launching its 2017 Film Awards to find new and emerging talent that straddle the worlds of both filmmaking and arts and humanities research. This award is designed to showcase, reward and recognise the best of the growing number of high-quality short films (defined as no longer than 30 minutes) that are linked to arts and humanities research. For the third year running, there is also the “Inspiration Award” which is open to members of the public, provided their film has been inspired by research in the arts and humanities.
Awards will be made in five categories and the winner of each category will win £2,000 to be invested in their future filmmaking activities. All applicants must accompany their submissions with supporting text which must detail how the film is directly linked or influenced by arts and humanities research.
Deadline: 4pm on 6 July 2017
The British Academy invites applications for its resilient cities and infrastructure call. This supports interdisciplinary, problem-focused research programmes that address the challenge of creating and maintaining sustainable and resilient cities in developing countries, recognising the need to interweave mitigation and adaptation. Interdisciplinary research from across the social sciences, humanities, natural sciences, engineering, and medical sciences which tackles the challenges of urbanisation and infrastructure development in an integrated way is supported. Expertise in planning and construction, housing, transport, health, social welfare, education, demographic change, climate change, air pollution, ecology, and the provision of public services,such as water, sanitation, and electricity, may be required.
Deadline: 7th June 2017 
 
The British Council, under the Newton Fund, invites applications for its researcher links trilateral workshop grants. These stimulate longer term links between the UK, Kenya and South Africa, as well as contribute to the personal and professional development of the participants. In particular, the trilateral workshops aim to build capacity across Sub-Saharan Africa for the establishment of Research Chairs and Research Centres of Excellence. Workshop proposals should include an explanation of the mutual benefits to the UK, Kenya and South Africa country researchers and institutions. They should also explore any potential longer term benefit that might arise, thinking about who might benefit and how, and describe the actions that will ensure that potential impact is realised. Multidisciplinary proposals may include natural sciences, social sciences and arts and humanities. The following research and innovation challenge areas will be prioritised:
•food security – a priority research area for South Africa;
•sustainable and renewable energy;
•health;
•environment and climate change – a priority area for South Africa;
•manufacturing for SMEs;
•governance and conflict resolution related to development;
•cross-cutting themes.

Deadline: 13th June 2017

Health Foundation: Tender: Research proposals are invited on the topic of young people’s future health prospects
The Health Foundation is beginning to implement a long-term strategy to improve people’s health in the UK. The Foundation are inviting proposals for research to further the understanding of factors that shape young people’s future health prospects, as part of a Health Foundation inquiry on the topic. The project requires a research partner with a track record of high quality policy and practice research in the field of young people (specifically between the ages of 12 and 24 years old and transitions to adulthood). The aim is to produce a quantitative picture of the factors that contribute to today’s young people having healthy lives, now and in the future, and recommendations for the actions necessary to improve future health prospects.

We anticipate bids of up to £180,000 for research completed over 18 months, by March 2019.

Deadline: The foundation will hold an information call on Wednesday 17 May 2017 with a closing date for applications at 12 noon on Monday 5 June 2017.

The Leverhulme Trust invites proposals for its research project grants. These support innovative and original research projects on a topic of the applicant’s choice. The trust welcomes applications for research in any academic discipline, however, the Trust does not fund: applied medical research; policy-driven research aiming to assemble an evidence base for immediate policy initiatives; research of which advocacy forms an explicit component; research which is aimed at an immediate commercial application; research in which the balance between assembling a data bank or database and the related subsequent research is heavily inclined to the former; research in which the main focus is on capacity building, networking, or the development of the skills of those involved.

Deadline: 3 review dates per year (speak to the FRO for more information)

Our digest of funding opportunities is provided by Richard Smith, Faculty Research and Enterprise Officer at Keele’s Faculty of Humanities and Social Science.

If you want more information on these, or other opportunities, Richard can be contacted via email at r.smith3@keele.ac.uk

HUMSS Faculty Writing Group


The Writing Group kindly organised by Dr Cora Linling Xu is a supportive space to set time apart for research article and grant application writing. The group write in structured intervals, i.e.  1 hour writing followed by 10-15 minutes’ break and so on. They set realistic goals at the beginning of each writing session and  discuss whether goals have been reached at the end of the session. The group usually meet from 9 am to 5 pm but you can join and leave any time as you see fit.
Venue information for July can be found below:

We look forward to seeing you there!

Please contact Dr Cora Lingling Xu if you have questions: l.xu@keele.ac.uk 

July 2017 Location Remarks
1  N/A   No Writing Group
2  N/A   No Writing Group
3  CBB0.010  Chancellor’s Building
4 CBB0.010   Chancellor’s Building
5 CBB0.010 Chancellor’s Building
6 CBB0.010 Chancellor’s Building
7 CBB0.010 Chancellor’s Building
8  N/A  No Writing Group
9 N/A  No Writing Group
10  CBB0.010 Chancellor’s Building
11  CBB0.010 Chancellor’s Building
12 CBB0.010 Chancellor’s Building
13 CBB0.010 Chancellor’s Building
14 CBB0.010 Chancellor’s Building
15 N/A No Writing Group
16 N/A No Writing Group
17 CBB0.010  Chancellor’s Building
18  CBB0.010 Chancellor’s Building
19 CBB0.010 Chancellor’s Building
20 CBB0.010 Chancellor’s Building
21 CBB0.010 Chancellor’s Building
22 N/A No Writing Group
23 N/A No Writing Group
24 CBB0.010  Chancellor’s Building
25  CBB0.010 Chancellor’s Building
26 CBB0.010 Chancellor’s Building
27 CBB0.010 Chancellor’s Building
28 CBB0.010 Chancellor’s Building
29 N/A No Writing Group
30 N/A No Writing Group

 

Reflections on the Falklands/Malvinas: 35 years on

Reflections on the Falklands/Malvinas: 35 years on is an international and interdisciplinary one-day workshop organised by Dr. Helen Parr and Ph.D candidate Eleonora Natale in the School of Politics, Philosophy, International Relations & Environment.

The event, also supported by the Keele University research fund, will be held at Keele University on Tuesday 30 May 2017 in the Claus Moser Research Centre, room CM0.12.

You can view the full programme and contact details below:

Can we trust the opinion polls in election 2017?

Matthew Wyman, Keele University

Political opinion polls have taken a bit of a battering in the past few years. There was wide agreement on the eve of the last UK general election that the outcome would be a hung parliament. Few pollsters saw Donald Trump winning the 2015 presidential election in the US. And almost everyone agreed that Brexit would not happen. So are opinion polls worth the paper they’re written on any more?

Polling made its entrance onto the political stage in the United States presidential election of 1936, at a time when various prominent American newspapers were confidently predicting victories for Republican Alf Landon on the basis of polls of their (rich, unrepresentative) leaderships. George Gallop realised that he could achieve much more accurate predictions reasonably cheaply by taking a random sample of the population, and by doing this successfully forecast a landslide victory for Franklin D Roosevelt.

The key words in this statement are “random sample”, and this is where modern day polling is running into trouble. When Gallop began building his market research empire, gauging public opinion was a complicated business. It involved sending trained interviewers out to randomly selected addresses to interview a specific named person. If they couldn’t get hold of them, they were asked to go back again and again until they found them. What pollsters call “response rates” – the proportion of people agreeing to be interviewed – were very high. So was the cost. You had to train your interviewers, send them out, and tabulate the results, which in the BC years (before computers) was done by hand using punched paper index cards.

However, overwhelmingly, results were good, politicians came to rely heavily on poll predictions, and newspapers got into the habit of using them in order to report politics as entertainment about who was winning.

Polling today

These days technology and changes in the ways political opinion polling is done allow market researchers to get answers much more quickly and cheaply. Polling can also be done by post, online, or by phone. Rather than genuinely random samples, it’s usually cheaper for market researchers to use what are known in the trade as “quota samples”. Interviewers talk to certain numbers of people in different demographic categories (by gender, income, social class, ethnic group and so on).

However, they face several increasingly difficult challenges. Some kinds of people are just harder to reach than others, especially people who work full time – a group who are still a bit more likely to vote for conservative parties. We are now asked our opinions about so much so pointlessly that response rates for polls are desperately low at around 25-30%. We all suffer from poll fatigue.

Theresa May launches her election campaign. PA

Respondents are also self-selecting. People who are interested in politics are more likely to be willing to share their views with a stranger, and also are more likely to be left wing. All of these factors mean that the samples used by the pollsters to make their predictions simply aren’t as good as they used to be, and they all tend to err in the same direction.

This doesn’t mean that polls are now redundant. Well-constructed surveys which are properly carried out still get representative results. For example, the sample used by the British Social Attitudes survey, carried out via face-to-face interviews and requiring revisits where the randomly selected individual was unavailable for interview, correctly forecasted around a six point lead for the Conservatives in the 2015 general election.

However, these high quality polls are expensive, and take a long time. Given that the mass media mostly wants poll numbers rapidly, and for entertainment, it hardly seems likely that they will want to make the extra investment.

Parties’ own internal polls do take the time and trouble and do get accurate results, ones which will no doubt have been part of the prime minister’s decision to go to the country. Current published polls show the Conservative Party has a 20 point lead over Labour, if not more. Is the true situation in the country likely to be anything other than a large Tory lead? Absolutely not: even cheap polls are not that inaccurate. As it stands, you’d be most unwise to take the 12:1 odds currently offered by some bookmakers on Labour being the largest party on June 8.

Matthew Wyman, Senior Teaching Fellow, Keele University

This article was originally published on The Conversation. View the original article here.

How to manage your time during the PhD: Balancing the thesis, writing for publications and gaining teaching experience

This post is written by Dr Cora Lingling Xu, Lecturer in Education at Keele. It was originally published here.

Dr Cora Lingling Xu

During my PhD career at Cambridge (September 2012 to July 2016), I spent around 95 per cent of my time in a magical sphere called the University of Cambridge Writing Group. In this space, I wrote nearly my entire thesis, published three peer-reviewed journal articles, won a Best Paper Award and landed a job as Lecturer in Education immediately after graduation. I now have friends who write to me from time to time to get my advice on time management, on job hunting and on work-life balance. While I keep emphasising to them that publication is the most important, I feel obliged to tell the ‘truth’ behind all these ‘hard facts’ or what some people would call ‘achievements’.

The truth is, when my current Head of School asked me how I found my experience at Cambridge, I told him that these have been the best four years of my life so far. This is the truth. Yet this is not all the truth. There were difficult periods throughout my PhD, moments of doubt, agony, and despair—this is no news to anybody pursuing or holding a PhD. What I want to share in this post, therefore, is how I have survived all the difficult moments. I want to offer three reflective moments.

Moment 1

Venue: Tea Room, Sociology Department, Free School Lane

Date: 31st December 2012

Attendees: Moira, Christine, Dee and Emma

Event: This was probably the second Writing Group session that I had attended. Moira, Christine, Dee and Emma were all senior PhD students finishing their PhD theses. These were the people that I later looked up to and often sought advice from. During one break, Moira made a comment about minding her ‘authorial voice’. This little phrase stuck with me ever since. I started to realise that the PhD experience (at least for social sciences) was really about developing an academic identity that is primarily represented by one’s written work.

Moral: This revelation was pivotal in that I made a conscious decision to frequent the Writing Group, because this was so much more than a writing space. It was a place for me to get inspiration, seek advice and develop friendship; it was my support network and my ‘security net’. I am not asking everybody who reads this post to join the Writing Group (although it is a worthwhile idea), but rather I am suggesting that buddies at the Writing Group were the ones who helped me survive all the self-doubts, agony and despair. It is essential for PhD students to feel secure and supported among like-minded friends. So, your first task is to seek such a space and grow with it.

Moment 2

Venue: Barbara White Room, Newnham College

Date: April 2014

Attendees: Writing Group buddies

Event: I received a notification from the European Educational Research Association (EERA) that my article had won the Best Paper Award and that it would be published in the European Educational Research Journal (EERJ).

Moral: Start publishing as early as you can. I learned about the EERA Best Paper Award competition when I attended the European Conference on Educational Research (ECER) in 2013. The prospect of publishing a paper at the EERJ was appealing. I carefully studied previous winning essays and prepared my article while I was conducting fieldwork. At that time, I only had some preliminary analysis of the first round of interviews. However, I wrote up my analysis and got helpful feedback from my supervisor Professor Diane Reay and my friends, including Dr Erin Spring, who was then a PhD student. This was my first article, published in early 2015.

When I nearly finished my first phase of fieldwork in March 2014, I wrote another article for a conference in Denmark. This article was based on more comprehensive analysis of the bulk of my empirical data. Although the analysis was relatively crude and broad-stroked, I gained some valuable feedback at the conference and my article was included in a special issue, published in October 2015.

As I was writing my findings chapters, I began to write my third article, which was submitted to the British Journal of Sociology of Education in early 2015. I received reviewers’ ‘ruthless’ feedback in July 2015, which, when I look back now, was hugely beneficial to strengthening the rigour of my analysis. I submitted my revised version in September 2015 and the article was accepted in February 2016.

To summarise, it is never too early to write for publications during your PhD. I began writing for publication as soon as I had some data at hand to analyse. I was constantly thinking about the next article and how I could make sure that I had a worthwhile message to communicate to readers of my targeted journals. My motto, which I have inherited from my wise Writing Group buddies, is that you write (a lot) to become a good writer and similarly, you write (a lot of articles) to become a good published author.

What I found most beneficial was that I had supportive but critical colleagues to comment on my drafts. At Cambridge I co-organised a reading group with Dr Selena Yuan in which we regularly critiqued on each other’s works and helped each other publish more effectively. Cambridge is a gold mine of talented and critical friends, so start building a network to support each other’s publication journeys.

Moment 3

Date: Some time in 2015

Venue: Origin 8 Café, FOE

Attendees: Elizabeth and Pu Shi

Event: I came out of GS4 and ran into Elizabeth and Pu Shi, who were having a meeting at the café. Upon learning that I was acting as a Teaching Assistant to facilitate a Master’s research methods class, Elizabeth commented that I was career-oriented.

Moral: Yes, I was quite strategic about gaining teaching experience during the PhD. Since 2013 I had been supervising Tripos Sociology papers and Research and Investigating projects. However, I ensured that such teaching did not take up too much of my time. Now that I think about it, I spent around ten to fifteen per cent of my time doing supervisions and acting as a teaching assistant. I also gave some guest lectures at different universities, such as the University of Northampton and the Open University of Hong Kong. These experiences proved instrumental for informing my pedagogical understanding and helpful in allowing me to construct a coherent narrative about my repertoire of teaching experience.

To return to what I set out to answer in this post: How did I manage my time during PhD in order to balance finishing the thesis, writing publications and gaining teaching experience? Firstly, I established an important network of support from which I gained inspirations, friendship, and a sense of security. Secondly, I began writing for publication as soon as the early stages of my data collection, and I kept writing for publications throughout the PhD journey. Lastly, I strategically sought opportunities to gain teaching experience, while ensuring that teaching did not take up too much of my time.

Dr Cora Lingling Xu graduated with a PhD from the Faculty of Education in 2016. Her doctoral thesis examined the identity constructions of tertiary-level border-crossing students from mainland China to Hong Kong. She is currently a Lecturer in Education at Keele University. You can follow Cora on Twitter @CoraLinglingXu and find out more about her research on Academia.edu and Research Gate.

On 2 May 2017, Cora is organising a British Sociological Association funded Early Career Forum event on Transnational Education Post-Brexit at Keele University. You can sign up for this event here.

With thanks to Dr Cora Lingling Xu for her kind permission to re-post this article. 

Funding Opportunities, 10th April 1968 & Cliff Richard = Is it Easter yet

On 10th April 1968 Cliff Richard hit the number 1 spot with his international smash Congratulations. With the songs charming and joy-joy tone, along with its proximity to an alleged international vote rigging saga ordered by Francisco Franco, it could have been written with grant applications in mind.

Maybe you think that applying for grant funding could never make you happy and contented, and that applying takes you to places where happiness hasn’t been invented. This song is a reminder and inspiration that perhaps one day, a funder might tell you that they can’t live without you too, and then you’ll want the world to know that you’re as happy as can be.

Of course to be in with a chance of this, you need to make the first move and apply.
To help, as usual below are just a handful of the opportunities currently available which might provide resources to take your research forwards. Many more are on our previous emails or through Research Professional – an online funding opportunities database and alert service, to which Keele is a subscriber. All staff have access on-campus and you can setup customised searches and alerts.

If you would like to talk about these, any other funding that may be available, or would just like an informal chat about your research ideas please just get in touch.
Please note that given the Easter bank holidays, there may be a break from funding news until at least 24th April.

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ESRC Festival of Social Science

ESRC are delighted to announce that our 2017 Festival of Social Science will take place from 4-11 November 2017 and the call for applications is now live, you can apply for up to £1000k.
In 2017 the Festival team is particularly keen to receive applications for events:
– to be held in London or the East of England
– run by or featuring Early Career researchers
– from first-time organisers
– that are aimed at specialist interest audiences
– that encourage participation from children or young people.

Events must:
– be held during the ESRC Festival of Social Science 2017 (4-11 November)
– fit with the aims and objectives of the Festival
– feature social science (ideally with a social scientist involved in the event)
– be free to attend
– not be aimed primarily at academic audiences.
Examples of previous events include Film screenings, Virtual activities, Hands on activities, Debates, Outdoor events, Seminars, Workshops, Exhibitions.
Deadline: 16.00 Friday 5th May

BA/Leverhulme Small Research Grants

These support primary research in the humanities and social sciences. Grants may be used to facilitate initial project planning and development, to support the direct costs of research and to enable the advancement of research through workshops or conferences, or visits by or to partner scholars. Applications for individual and collaborative projects are equally welcome. International groups of scholars may apply, provided the lead applicant is a UK-based scholar.
Grants are tenable for up to two years and are worth between £500 and £10,000.
Scheme Opens – 12 April 2017
Internal Deadline for 1st Draft – 19th April 2017.
We’ve flagged this opportunity repeatedly since February – if you plan to apply and have not been in touch, and we do not have a draft from you by the 19th April, we may be unable to support you.

AHRC Workshop on cultural heritage and rapid urbanisation in India

The AHRC and the Indian Council for Historical Research invite expressions of interest to attend a workshop on cultural heritage and rapid urbanisation in India. The workshop will be funded through the Newton Fund and will convene about 40 researchers from the UK and India to explore history of urbanisation and its current challenges for heritage, sustainability and social cohesion in India. The event will draw on a range of disciplinary perspectives including urban history, heritage, languages, the digital humanities and archaeology. The key objective is the development of longer term collaborative research projects. AHRC will pay for standard class transport, up to three nights’ accommodation, visa charges and subsistence
costs incurred during the event for about 20 researchers. The workshop will take place in Delhi on 24 and 25 May 2017.
Deadline: 26th April 2017

British Council / Newton Fund (mostly) applications for new grants are now open

Newton Fund Institutional Links Grants – Apply for grants of £50,000 – £300,000 for research and innovation collaborations, centred on shared research and innovation challenges. Partner countries: Brazil, Egypt, Indonesia, Kenya, Malaysia, Mexico, Philippines and Thailand.
Workshop grants – Newton Fund Researcher Links – Apply for a grant to run a bilateral research workshop for early career researchers. Bilateral workshops can be proposed between the UK and Brazil, India, Kenya, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam. This call is a part of the Newton Fund.
Travel grants – Researcher Links (non-Newton Fund)
UK/Israel Researcher Links Travel Grants are designed to strengthen links for future collaboration, build research capacity and enhance researchers’ career opportunities.
Travel grants – Newton Researcher Links
Early career researchers can apply for a travel grant to undertake an international research placement to strengthen links for future collaboration, build research capacity in developing economies, and enhance the researcher’s career opportunities. This call is a part of the Newton Fund. Partner country: Thailand
Deadlines: 13 June 2017

British Council / Newton Fund Researcher links workshop on poverty a by-product or a building block of prosperity

The British Council, via the Newton Fund invites applications for its researcher links workshop on poverty a by-product or a building block of prosperity. Funding enables early-career researchers to attend a workshop on trends in the economic development from Brazil and the UK, to be held in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, between 21 and 24 August 2017. This aims to engage both welfare reform in the UK and Brazil and economic development globally.
Early-career researchers and late doctoral students from the UK and Brazil, working in cognate areas, may apply. Grants cover travel, visa, and local travel and living expenses.
Deadline: 1st May 2017

Our digest of funding opportunities is provided by Richard Smith, Faculty Research and Enterprise Officer at Keele’s Faculty of Humanities and Social Science.

If you want more information on these, or other opportunities, Richard can be contacted via email at r.smith3@keele.ac.uk

Funding Opportunities Digest – Late March/Early April 2017

As ever, below are just a handful of the opportunities currently available which might provide resources to take your research forwards.

Many more are on our previous emails or through Research Professional – an online funding opportunities database and alert service, to which Keele is a subscriber. All staff have access on-campus and you can setup customised searches and alerts.

If you would like to talk about these, any other funding that may be available, or would just like an informal chat about your research ideas please just get in touch.

Directorate-General for Economic and Financial Affairs (EU) – Study on corporate profits in Italy

The Directorate-General for Economic and Financial Affairs invites tenders for a study on corporate profits in Italy. The tenderer will provide an understanding of the drivers of corporate profits and how these affect investment and employment decision. The project should cover as a minimum:
•a review of the theoretical and empirical literature on the drivers of corporate profits, in Italy and in other countries;
•an analysis of, in a cross-country comparative perspective, various indicators for profit developments at macroeconomic level and their drivers;
•an econometric analysis on Italy’s firm-level data to check for evidence on the main drivers of profits, taking into account firm, sector and macro-level factors, and assess how profits are related to the prospects of the firm, and its investment and employment decisions;
•a summary of the above analyses and to draw policy conclusions.
The study should focus on non-financial corporations and should include SMEs from 1990 to the most recent data. The contract is worth between €30,000 and €40,000 over 10 months.
Deadline: 7th April 17

BA/Leverhulme Small Research Grants

These support primary research in the humanities and social sciences. Grants may be used to facilitate initial project planning and development, to support the direct costs of research and to enable the advancement of research through workshops or conferences, or visits by or to partner scholars. Applications for individual and collaborative projects are equally welcome. International groups of scholars may apply, provided the lead applicant is a UK-based scholar.
Grants are tenable for up to two years and are worth between £500 and £10,000.
Scheme Opens – 12 April 2017
Internal Deadline for 1st Draft – 19th April 2017. Call Deadline: 24 May 2017
If you will be applying to this, please get in touch.

Joseph Rowntree Foundation – Using incentives to improve the private rented sector for people in poverty

This aims to improve the English private rented sector as a source of accommodation for people in poverty by presenting policy-makers with detailed proposals to incentives landlords to reduce costs or improve standards and stability within their accommodation. This is achieved through two elements:
•a policy-focused international review, which identifies policy interventions used elsewhere in the world to improve the private rented sector that may be transferrable to England, both within regulated and non-regulated private rented market;
•the development of three detailed, costed proposals.
Policy proposals must reduce costs or improve living standards within the sector for people in poverty. They should focus on the section of the Poverty Reduction Strategy likely to be affordable to those in poverty though proposals may wish to consider ways to bring more property into that part of the sector by improving affordability. Policies that would improve the sector as a source of accommodation for low-income families with children are particularly welcome. Proposals should include how they will address the different qualities strands within the study including issues of age, gender, ethnicity, disability, sexuality and family status. Collaboration with JRF is mandatory.
One project is normally worth up to £35,000 or £50,000 for exceptional proposals.
Deadline: 12th April 2017

Department for International Trade – Trade remedies research

Department for International Trade invites tenders for its trade remedies research. The tenderer will provide evidence that will help inform decisions around the design and implementation of a future policy framework after the UK leaves the European Union. The following areas are of particular interest:
•determination of injury;
•consideration of economic interest;
•review, monitoring and evaluation.
The contract is worth £60,000 between 24 April and 30 July 2017.
Deadline: 13 April 2017

***Pre-Call*** AXA Research Fund 2016-2017 Post-Doctoral Fellowship

The 2nd campaign of the AXA Research Fund 2016-2017 Post-Doctoral Fellowship scheme will open on April 14th, 2017. The following topics fall within the scope (please see each topic for specific sub-themes):
– Management of Life & Health Risks
– Management of Data & Technological Risks
– Management of Climate & Environment Risks
– Management of Finance, Insurance and Regulation Risks
Please be reminded that the Application Guidelines contain all the necessary information regarding the Selection process, including eligibility & selection criteria, geographical scope, comprehensive timeline for the campaign as well as legal details.

BA/Leverhulme Small Research Grants

These support primary research in the humanities and social sciences. Grants may be used to facilitate initial project planning and development, to support the direct costs of research and to enable the advancement of research through workshops or conferences, or visits by or to partner scholars. Applications for individual and collaborative projects are equally welcome. International groups of scholars may apply, provided the lead applicant is a UK-based scholar.
Grants are tenable for up to two years and are worth between £500 and £10,000.
Scheme Opens – 12 April 2017
Internal Deadline for 1st Draft – 19th April 2017. Call Deadline: 24 May 2017
If you will be applying to this, please get in touch.

Academy of Marketing – Research funding

The Academy of Marketing invites applications for its research funding. This aims to further the development of marketing knowledge, develop research and research capabilities in marketing, and inform marketing practice. Proposals may cover aspect of research in the broad area of marketing. The proposed work should be an original project and not be a part of any ongoing research. Applicants must be paid-up members of the academy.
Funding is worth up to £5,000 per project. Five awards are available, two of which are reserved for early career researchers. An amount equal to the conference fee for one person from each successful application will be provided for attendance at the 2018 Academy of Marketing annual conference.
Deadline: 5th May 2017

Academy of Marketing – Teaching research and development grants

The Academy of Marketing invites proposals for its teaching research and development grants. These support and encourage pedagogic research on evidence-based practices of innovative and effective learning, teaching and assessment methods related to marketing. Proposals should align with this year’s theme of freedom through marketing: looking back, going forward.
Proposals may be submitted by individuals or teams employed in departments of UK HEIs delivering programmes in marketing. Joint proposals from more than one institution are welcomed.
Grants are worth up to £3,000 per project to cover costs associated with time release, support and administration, travel and subsistence, materials and consumables, dissemination of findings. An additional £500 is available to cover the fee to attend the Academy of Marketing Conference in 2018. It is hoped that institutions will provide match funding for bids or support grant winners in other tangible ways.
Deadline: 5th May 2017

Academy of Marketing – Research Funding 2017

The Academy of Marketing invites applications for its research funding. This aims to further the development of marketing knowledge, develop research and research capabilities in marketing, and inform marketing practice. Proposals may cover aspect of research in the broad area of marketing.
The proposed work should be an original project and not be a part of any ongoing research. Applicants must be paid-up members of the academy.
Funding is worth up to £5,000 per project. Five awards are available, two of which are reserved for early career researchers. An amount equal to the conference fee for one person from each successful application will be provided for attendance at the 2018 Academy of Marketing annual conference.
Deadline: Friday 5th May

Academy of Marketing – Teaching research and development grants

These support and encourage pedagogic research on evidence-based practices of innovative and effective learning, teaching and assessment methods related to marketing. Proposals should align with this year’s theme of freedom through marketing: looking back, going forward. Proposals may be submitted by individuals or teams employed in departments of UK HEIs delivering programmes in marketing. Joint proposals from more than one institution are welcomed.
Grants are worth up to £3,000 per project to cover costs associated with time release, support and administration, travel and subsistence, materials and consumables, dissemination of findings. An additional £500 is available to cover the fee to attend the Academy of Marketing Conference in 2018. It is hoped that institutions will provide match funding for bids or support grant winners in other tangible ways.
Deadline: Friday 5th May

ESRC Festival of Social Science

ESRC are delighted to announce that our 2017 Festival of Social Science will take place from 4-11 November 2017 and the call for applications is now live, you can apply for up to £1000k.
In 2017 the Festival team is particularly keen to receive applications for events:
– to be held in London or the East of England
– run by or featuring Early Career researchers
– from first-time organisers
– that are aimed at specialist interest audiences
– that encourage participation from children or young people.

Events must:
– be held during the ESRC Festival of Social Science 2017 (4-11 November)
– fit with the aims and objectives of the Festival
– feature social science (ideally with a social scientist involved in the event)
– be free to attend
– not be aimed primarily at academic audiences.
Examples of previous events include Film screenings, Virtual activities, Hands on activities, Debates, Outdoor events, Seminars, Workshops, Exhibitions.
Deadline: 16.00 Friday 5th May

British Council – Researcher links workshop on employing information and communications technologies in homes and cities for the health and well-being of older people

The British Council, via the Newton Funds invite applications for their researcher links workshop on employing information and communications technologies in homes and cities for the health and well-being of older people considering the growing number of people with dementia. Funding enables UK early-career researchers to attend a workshop focussing on building up links for future collaborations with China, to be held 14 to 16 August 2017 in Bradford, UK. Applicants will have the opportunity to present their research in the form of a poster or short oral presentation and discuss this with established researchers from the UK and China.
Early-career researchers who have a research or academic position at a recognised research institution in the UK may apply.
Approximately 18 grants are available and cover costs related to the participation of the workshop.
Deadline: 20th May 2017

MRC-AHRC Global Public Health: Partnership Awards Call

The Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) offers a unique opportunity for the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and the Medical Research Council (MRC) to launch a global public health initiative that responds to the challenge of bringing together expertise in medical science and health interventions in developing countries, with an understanding of local knowledge and history, cultural dynamics, community engagement, and trust.
The overarching driver of this partnership building activity is to develop inter-disciplinary research capacity and capability in both the UK and developing countries, jointly and collaboratively and across career stages. The aim is to generate reciprocal benefits through integrating understanding of cultures and histories into medical and public health challenges in a global context and to equip the next generation of researchers to work collaboratively and blend scientific, cultural and policy research.
The activity should catalyse the creation of sustainable, balanced relationships between UK based research organisations and researchers with those in developing countries. Learning and knowledge exchange should be reciprocal with clear mutuality of benefit for all collaborators.
This call is designed to complement previous GCRF foundational awards calls, including the cross-Council calls led by MRC on Global Infections and Non Communicable Diseases (NCD) and by ESRC on Anti-microbial Resistance (AMR). It seeks to add distinctive value to those calls through focusing on the development of inter-disciplinary research capability and innovation which combines expertise in the medical and health sciences with research in the arts and humanities and which strengthens international collaboration and partnerships. This call is part of two consecutive partnership award calls that will run in 2017 with the second opening in Autumn 2017.
Deadline: 8th June 2017

**Pre-Announcement** – ESRC 2017 Open Research Area (ORA) for the Social Sciences Call

The Open Research Area (ORA) is a collaborative transnational funding agreement between four major European research agencies: ANR in France; DFG in Germany; ESRC in the UK; and NWO in The Netherlands. Its objective is to strengthen international co-operation in the social sciences through a common call for proposals to fund the highest quality joint research projects.
ORA has now announced that a fifth joint call for proposals will open in spring 2017. Proposals will be invited for research projects in any area of the social sciences involving researchers from any combination of two or more of the participating countries (excluding bilateral applications from French-German teams).
In this call, the Japanese core national funding organisation, JSPS, will also collaborate with ORA as an associate partner. Applicants to the ORA call are encouraged to seek partnerships with Japanese researchers, and JSPS will open a specific call for Japanese researchers. Japanese projects associated with the ORA proposals will be encouraged to submit proposals to this call for funding. Further information will be provided with the upcoming call for proposals.
The call for proposals will be published by the end of April. DFG will be the lead agency, and full details will be available on the DFG website.
Deadline: 5th July 2017

Wellcome Trust Small Grants in Humanities and Social Science

The Trust’s Small Grants in Humanities and Social Science are designed to support programmes of activities that enable researchers to establish and develop networks, explore new areas of research and increase the impact of their work. Programmes could include a combination of different activities such as:
– Organising conferences (including annual conferences), seminars, meetings or workshops.
– Carrying out developmental or exploratory research projects, including archival scoping or proof of concept work.
– Activities can involve policy makers, healthcare practitioners or other groups relevant to the research.
The scheme is open to humanities and social science researchers based in universities or other research organisations in the UK, Ireland or a low- or middle-income country. Grants are usually up to £30,000. They usually last for six to twelve months but the duration can be flexible, eg for a series of annual conferences.
Deadline: None

AHRC Networking

The Arts and Humanities Research Council invites applications for its research networking scheme. This encourages discussion and exchange of ideas on a specified thematic area, issue or problem through facilitating a short-term series of workshops, seminars, networking activities or other events. The aims of the scheme are:
•to support collaboration and the exchange of ideas across boundaries, primarily between researchers in the arts and humanities, as well as with colleagues in other disciplines and other stakeholders in order to explore a particular theme, issue or problem;
•to enable groups of researchers and other stakeholders to explore ideas which could lead to tangible projects and maximise opportunities for advances in creativity, insights, knowledge and understanding in the area to be explored, with results of value both to the arts and humanities research community and to wider contexts where they can make a difference;
•to encourage and enable researchers within the research community to involve new researchers and research students, as well as people or organisations from outside the
academic and research community, in the discussion and development of ideas;
•to foster international collaboration and the development of strong academic links with overseas researchers, in order to develop understanding through engagement with different cultures and parts of the world, and to enhance research standards;
•to provide a framework for the AHRC to learn of emerging areas of intellectual urgency and potential strategic importance, both within the UK and internationally, identifying key research challenges by building new collaborations as well as strengthening existing ones.
Deadline: OPEN

ESRC Seminar Series (Closed – But possibly returning 2018)

The Research Seminars Competition is run annually and seeks to award funding to UK research organisations to hold research seminar series. In the previous round funding was also available for eligible institutions to hold strategic networks.
Seminar groups meet regularly to exchange information and ideas with the aim of advancing research within their fields. Networks build collaborative systems and groups through a wider range of activities than seminars. They reflect the core aims set out in the ESRC’s Strategic Plan to promote innovation, risk-taking and multidisciplinary collaboration.
It is expected that seminar groups and network members are drawn from the public sector, commercial private sector, civil society and other relevant organisations, as well as from other UK research organisations.
Deadline: TBC.

British Academy Newton Schemes – None currently open, but check regularly for new calls.

Our digest of funding opportunities is provided by Richard Smith, Faculty Research and Enterprise Officer at Keele’s Faculty of Humanities and Social Science.

If you want more information on these, or other opportunities, Richard can be contacted via email at r.smith3@keele.ac.uk

Come on, Mr Trump – you can’t claim credit for another president’s successes

Image 20170310 3690 9wwkvq
Yes, but it wasn’t Donald Trump’s doing.
Twitter

Gabriella Legrenzi, Keele University

Since almost immediately after his inauguration as 45th president of the United States, Donald Trump has been claiming credit for what he sees as a miraculous recovery in the nation’s economy. Barely a day goes by without a tweet trumpeting a new jobs deal or the strength of the US stockmarket. The Conversation

But how much credit is actually due to his administration? Incoming governments have a tendency to claim merit for post-electoral improvements in the economy and to blame their predecessors for worsening conditions – but how long does it really take for any policy changes to work their way through the system?

In a recent tweet, Donald Trump emphasised the increasing strength of the US economy, based on different indicators.

 

Here, Trump is referring to the S&P 500 Index and the newly released February 2017 Consumer Confidence Survey. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (S&P 500) is commonly accepted as an accurate indicator of equity performance, being based on 500 stocks selected by analysts considering a number of factors such as market size and sector weight.

The S&P 500 has gone up by 3.8% since Trump took office. And that’s great – but the S&P 500 has been rising since before the November 8 election and, notably, was also rising when polls were favouring Hillary Clinton as the next US president. The most recent data on the very same index also shows that it is now moving downwards – after peaking at 2395.96 on March 1 it fell over the following days, closing at 2362.98 on March 8. Given its volatility, it is difficult to extract from this a clear signal of performance.

Consumer confidence is measured via the Consumer Confidence Index, which is published on the last Tuesday of every month. The analysis of the survey data shows that consumers’ confidence increased in February and remains at a 15-year high, reflecting improved expectations regarding the short-term outlook for business, and to a lesser degree jobs and income prospects. That said, the Consumer Confidence Index showed a moderate decline in January.

Jobs, jobs, jobs

Here, the president is referring to the March 2017 LinkedIn workforce report, showing that the “hiring rate” across the US was 1.4% higher in February 2017 than in February 2016.

Some caution needs to be applied here, as the “hiring rate” considered in this report is calculated as the percentage of LinkedIn members who changed the name of their new employer on their profile the same month they began their new job, divided by the total number of LinkedIn members. The report shows that this “hiring rate” has been on the rise since December – but it has fallen since January, and, considering the past two years, it has exhibited higher peaks during Obama’s term.

If we consider the Business Confidence Index (BCI) provided by the OECD and based on enterprises’ assessment of production, orders and stocks, as well as its current position and expectations for the immediate future, it’s clear that business confidence has been on the rise since the beginning of 2016.

Trump recently tweeted boastfully about Exxon Mobil’s plans to invest $20 billion over ten years in the US Gulf region to expand its manufacturing and export capacity.

 

But you need to take this with a pinch of salt. This investment actually began in 2013 and is motivated by the desire to take advantage of the American energy revolution – in fact, it began even before Trump’s announcement to contest the presidential election.

Time lags

Overall, some of these figures represent positive news for the US economy – and it is understandable that Donald Trump is keen to tweet about them, as tweets can move markets. But can he legitimately take the full credit for improved economic conditions?

Economic policy is subject to different types of lags: recognition lags, decision lags and implementation lags. These refer to the time necessary to learn about economic conditions, the time it takes to decide on an appropriate policy response, and the implementation period once the policy is chosen. Empirical evidence suggests that it takes policymakers and legislatures more than a quarter from learning about the economic conditions to deciding what fiscal measures are appropriate, passing them through legislature and actually implementing them.

Then there is the impact lag – the length of time from the implementation of an economic policy decision to when it has an observable effect on the economy. This is generally measured in terms of output.

The magnitude of policy multipliers – that is, the effects of monetary or fiscal policy on output – and the time required to observe the effects of a policy is still an open question for economists. But there seems to be an agreement that the multipliers peak after a considerable amount of time.

One influential study by British economist Andrew Mountford and US economist Harald Uhlig in 2009, which was based on data on the US economy, found that the maximum impact is estimated to occur only after five years.

So while it’s difficult to disentangle the effect of economic policies put in place under the Obama’s administration from the possible effect on business confidence associated with Trump’s announcements, the real test will be to consider the sustainability of such confidence after detailed policy plans are unveiled and implemented by the new president.

It will take patience realistically to assess the impact of Trump on the US economy. And patience is something that Donald Trump lacks, judging by his tweets.

Gabriella Legrenzi, Senior lecturer in economics, Keele University

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

The Annual Social Science Symposium 5th May 2017: Call for papers

We are now beginning preparations for the annual Social Science Postgraduate Symposium.  This will be held on 5th May 2017 in the Claus Moser Building.  We invite abstracts to present a paper or a poster or both.  There will also be a 3-minute thesis competition.

Both postgraduate (PG) taught and research students from the Social Sciences are welcome to present.  Abstracts are welcomed on any aspect of your research, regardless of the stage you are currently at.

Our deadline for receiving your abstract and/or 3-minute thesis application is 10th April 2017.

We will provide feedback by 20th April 2017.

Presentations should be no more than 15 minutes plus 5 minutes for questions and answers.

Posters can be submitted at any size suitable for the project. There will be an opportunity for questions and answers on the posters.  This will be on the agenda for the symposium.

Abstracts for presentations or posters should be about 200 words.

3-Minute Thesis Competition: Your thesis title and slide should be submitted by the deadline.  We will timetable 3 minute slots for the symposium.  A member of staff and 2 students (chosen on the day) will be appointed as judges.

Approximately two weeks before the symposium day we will hold a 3-minute thesis practice heat at a date and time to be arranged.  Feedback will be given and this may be used to select the final competitors for the symposium.

Why should I present at this Symposium?

This event gives you the opportunity to

  • gain experience in presenting your research in a friendly, receptive environment, before presenting at external conferences.
  • share ideas, experiences and guidance.
  • receive constructive feedback on your research.
  • build your confidence of presenting in front of an academic audience.
  • draw on perspectives and feedback from outside of your main academic discipline.
  • advertise your research to the rest of the Social Science community at Keele
  • learn about the research of other PG students.
  • network and discuss your research.

Why should I present a poster or enter the 3-minute thesis competition?

  • all of the above.
  • designing a poster or presenting your thesis in 3 minutes brings focus to your research thinking.
  • skill-building for national competitions.

All abstracts, applications and enquiries should be sent to :-

Stephen Meachem – s.j.meachem@keele.ac.uk  

All applications should be labelled with your name, centre affiliation, presentation type (poster and/or paper and/or 3-minute thesis), email address and proposed title. In the case of a 3-minute thesis application your slide should also be submitted.

Abstracts and applications will be reviewed and notification of acceptance will be sent out to the email address you have submitted.

We look forward to receiving your abstracts and/or 3-minute thesis applications by the deadline: 10th April 2017.

Broken families: what happens to couples torn apart by immigration rules

Ala Sirriyeh, Keele University 

Campaigners challenged Britain’s minimum income requirement for foreign spouses in the courts. John Stillwell/PA Archi

Campaigners challenged Britain’s minimum income requirement for foreign spouses in the courts. John Stillwell/PA Archi

Couples that I’ve spoken to who have been split apart by Britain’s immigration system are facing a huge legal, financial and emotional burden that is putting real stress on their family lives.

Irene Clennell, a woman who has lived in the UK for nearly 30 years and is married to a British man, was deported to Singapore on February 26 after falling foul of strict income requirements for a spousal visa. Her case has caused widespread anger and a crowdfunding effort to pay for her appeal has raised over £24,000.

In July 2012, new entry requirements were introduced making it much harder for UK citizens and residents to get their partner from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) to join them in the UK. These included the raising of the minimum income requirement that the UK-based partner, also known as a sponsor, had to meet from £5,500 to £18,600 per year.

On February 22, after a number of families challenged this through the courts, the Supreme Court ruled that the minimum income requirement was not against the law. However, the court also found that neither the “best interests” of the child, nor alternative assets beyond the sponsoring partner’s income, were being duly considered. From now on, this means that the Home Office will need to address the lack of protection currently given to children’s welfare and may need to consider including third party sources of funding, such as financial assistance from relatives and savings, in addition to the sponsor’s income.

The Home Office’s own impact assessment projected the £18,600 minimum income requirement would impact between 13,600 and 17,800 people a year. But the number of those affected to date is unknown. Analysis in 2016 by the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants indicated that 41% of the British population would not qualify under the new income requirement.

Although the ruling brings hope for families with children, many people have experienced considerable hardship as a result of the rules and are likely to continue to do so. In 2015, I interviewed people affected by the minimum income requirement as part of an ongoing study about the experiences of people in relationships with a partner living overseas. They explained how these rules had affected their emotional and financial well-being. One man observed that they were “being targeted for being working class or lower working class because if you are a millionaire another law applies.”

Big financial burden

Ironically, despite being affected because of their low incomes, one consequence of the rules was to increase the financial burden placed on couples. Couples had to maintain two residences – one in the UK and one abroad – and UK partners spent significant sums on travel overseas to visit partners not allowed entry to the UK (although not all could afford to do this). There were also legal bills from applications to reunite with partners. Altogether the financial burden was considerable, as another interviewee explained:

We had had enough, enough of trying to do this, of lawyers charging us all the money we had. All the credit cards maxed out. There was just nothing we could … we were backed into a corner.

Everyone had suffered mental or physical health difficulties. Another man I interviewed, who has a serious long-term health conditions, reunited with this wife and step-children in her country of origin, Uganda. But he had been unable to access the medication he needed there affordably and had to return to the UK in poor health.

Too many goodbyes. michaeljung/Shutterstock

Others spoke of the mental health impact of being separated from their partners. One man said that mentally, he was a “broken man” and that he didn’t see “where the future is leading me”. One woman said that she had become “highly strung” as a result of the rules. “Any little thing makes me stressed, makes me panic, makes me overthink things.”

Everyone I spoke to had used video-calling services to stay in contact. However, this was not a substitute for face-to-face contact and there were challenges in communicating this way. One man told me that Skype calls were not always of good quality and there could be concerns about discussing the finer points of something over a dodgy internet connection.

The Surinder Singh route

Faced with pressures of living apart, some families opted to reunite in another EU country before making an attempt to return to the UK at a later date through what’s called the Surinder Singh route.

In the 1992 Surinder Singh case, the EU Court of Justice ruled that under EU law Singh – an Indian national – was entitled to live in the UK with his wife, a British national. This was because she had previously exercised her right to free movement by working in Germany with her husband. The court ruled that an EU citizen who has travelled to another member state to work and returns to their home country has the right to be accompanied by their partner and children, whatever their nationality.

One man I interviewed, who is self-employed, decided to reunite with his partner in Ireland in 2015, even though this lost him business clients. His wife was able to obtain a visa to join him there. They have to reside there for at least three months before they can come back to the UK.

Others I spoke to also followed the Singh route and moved to another EU country as a way for their partner to eventually join them in Britain. One person I followed up has since been able to move back to the UK with their partner. But it’s not possible for everyone affected by the rules to follow this route, because they may not have the jobs, language skills and other resources that enable them to relocate to another EU member country. In light of the 2016 Brexit vote, this route to family reunification is now in jeopardy.

Transformations in labour markets and migration patterns, and complex residency and citizenship rules, mean families are increasingly being formed across nationality, immigration and citizenship boundaries. In both the UK and now in the US, immigration policies are leading to family separation. In order to protect people’s rights to family life, immigration policies must take account of the needs of mixed status families.

Ala Sirriyeh,  Lecturer in Sociology, Keele University

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.