Research beyond borders

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New call for British Council workshop grants to give early career researchers opportunities to build international connections

britishcouncil_researchlinkslockup_630x354The British Council has launched a call for workshop grant proposals as part of the five-year Researcher Links initiative to encourage international research collaboration between ambitious early career researchers from the UK and 18 countries around the world.  A ‘call to action’ has been issued for leading researchers to propose themes for bilateral workshops to be held in one of the 18 partner countries, which will bring together early career researchers to discuss their research and start to build international relationships.

Unless specified otherwise in the guidelines, all research areas are covered, including the natural sciences, humanities and social sciences. The call guidelines and application form can be accessed online.

The call will be open from 17/04/2014 until midnight (BST) of 09/06/2014.

Countries eligible for 2014 Workshop Call

The countries involved at this stage are; Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Brazil, Colombia, Egypt, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Mexico, Morocco, Nigeria, Pakistan, Qatar, Russia, South Africa, Thailand, Turkey and Vietnam.

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Humanities Opportunities in Horizon 2020

opportunityWhilst Challenge 6 ‘Europe in a Changing World’ is seen to be the most obvious place to look for thematic  Arts and Humanities Research funding opportunities,  the aim of embedding Social Sciences and Humanities (SSH) has resulted in other opportunities across the societal challenges and industrial leadership pillar.

Net4 society has published an analysis of these opportunities ‘Opportunities for Researchers from the Socio-economic Sciences and Humanities’ which lists these all.

Most of the work programmes now cover 2 years (with a caveat that the topics with a 2015 closing date may be amended).  A couple of things to note about the Net4Society document is that it currently  only covers the detail of 2014 calls (those with a closing date in 2014). The document just lists 2015 calls by title in the text and it is quite easy to miss potential 2015 calls of interest.  There is a heading ‘Topics with SSH relevance in 2015’ in every section and you can click on this to quickly review the headings. Clicking on the links will take you directly to that call on the European Commission website. The European Commission has included ‘SSH’ as a search criteria for all funding calls, but to note this isn’t infallible. For example 3d Modelling for Cultural Heritage is not currently flagged as SSH. You can also access the full Work Programmes on the Commission website if you want more a complete overview.

It is important to note that there is a difference in how these calls are now framed. They have moved away from the very prescriptive text and methods and left if broader to allow ‘bottom up’ suggestions from researchers.  With the caveat that these calls will be very competitive so any proposal needs to meet the call text, it does mean that there are opportunities for humanities dimensions to be incorporated into research proposals.

Some potential calls to highlight

  • Several topics under challenge 1: Health, demographic Change and Wellbeing contain references to behavioural, ethical, legal, regulatory and social implications aswell as equity and quality of life, cultural factors
  • Challenge 7 – Secure societies contains a topic on Better understanding of the links between culture, risk perception and disaster management. Other topics want expertise covering, architecture, anthropology, arts, law and linguistics
  • ICT – there are several topics under ICT to highlight: ‘Cracking the Language Barrier’, ‘Advanced Digital Gaming/gamification technologies’ and ‘human centric digital age’

If you want to find partners the National Contact Points (NCPs) can help.  Net4Society covers how partner searching works for challenge 6 and also directs you to the other partner searches . If in doubt contact the National Contact Point for the challenge/area you are interested in. All are listed on the European Commission Participant Portal.