EU Prize for Women Innovators

The European Commission has launched the second edition of the EU Women Innovators Prize to reward three women who have achieved outstanding innovations and brought them to market. The Prize aims to raise awareness of the need for more female entrepreneurs and to inspire other women to follow in their footsteps.

The contest is open to all women who have founded or co-founded their company and who have at some point in their careers benefitted from the EU’s research Framework Programmes (FP) or the Competitiveness and Innovation Programme (CIP).

Three prizes will be awarded in total:

  • First prize: EUR 100,000;
  • Second prize: EUR 50,000; and
  • Third prize: EUR 25,000

An independent panel of judges from business and academia will examine and select the three winners who will be announced in spring 2014. Full details of the eligibility and evaluation criteria are available through the competition website, which is indicated below.

The deadline for applications is 15 October 2013.

For full information please visit this link.

Update on ERC Calls for Proposals (2014)

The ERC Scientific Council has released a statement containing an indicative scenario as to how things will work from 2014, when FP7 closes and Horizon 2020 begins.

As the EU’s Seventh Research Framework Programme (FP7) will finish at the end of this year, the main ERC calls for proposals within FP7 are now closed. The next ERC calls will be made under the future programme, ‘Horizon 2020’, that will take over from FP7 for 2014 to 2020.

However, ‘Horizon 2020’ has not yet been adopted. As is normally the case during the transition from one framework programme to another, the schedule for the next ERC calls (and ERC Work Programme) is very likely to differ from previous years.

The ERC Scientific Council has discussed the issue and, based on the current state of play, it can provide the following possible scenario on a purely indicative basis:

  • Publication of the provisional schedule for the new calls (ERC Work Programme 2014), late in 2013;
  • Opening and submission deadlines of new ERC calls throughout 2014: – Opening and submission deadline for Starting grants; first and second quarter of 2014 – Opening and submission deadline for Consolidator grants; second quarter of 2014 – Opening and submission deadline for Advanced grants; fourth quarter of 2014
  • No further calls for Synergy grants in 2013 and 2014;
  • Normal schedule for Proof of Concept grants (one call with two deadlines in 2014). Although no final decision has yet been taken by the EU, the ERC Scientific Council provides, without any commitment, this provisional information for the convenience of the scientific community.

The ERC will do its utmost to make the transition as smooth as possible and provide the necessary continuity for the research community.

No further information is available at this stage on the calendar, budget or rules of the next calls. Stay informed on the ERC website and the Participant Portal.

Leverhulme Visiting Professorships

The Leverhulme Trust has announced a call for it’s Visiting Professorships.

The objective of these awards is to enable distinguished academics based overseas to spend between three and twelve months inclusive at a UK university, primarily in order to enhance the skills of academic staff or the student body within the host institution. It is recognised that Visiting Professors may also wish to use the opportunity to further their own academic interests. The over-riding criteria for selection are first the academic standing and achievements of the visitor in terms of research and teaching, and secondly the ability of the receiving institution to benefit from the imported skills and expertise. Priority will be given to new or recent collaborative ventures.

Regarding the value of the award, the sum requested should reflect the individual circumstances of the visitor and the nature and duration of the proposed activities. A maintenance grant up to a level commensurate with the salary of a professor in the relevant field at the receiving institution may be requested. Economy travel costs to and from the UK will also be met. Requests for associated costs, if justified by the programme, may include, for example, travel within the UK, consumables, and essential technical assistance.

Full call details can be found at this link.

The official deadline 4pm 16 May 2013 (internal deadline 9 May 2013) OR 4pm 10 October 2013 (internal deadline 3 October 2013).

As always, let me know if you intend to apply.

EPSRC: A step towards an intelligent information infrastructure

EPSRC have announced a call for outlines for “A step towards an intelligent information infrastructure”, which has been issued as part of the ‘Towards an intelligent information infrastructure’ (TI3) priority.

Proposed projects should focus on no less than two sub challenges identified within the priority:

Protocols for a 21st Century Internet

  • Energy Efficient Communication and Data Systems
  • Building Context and Content Aware networks
  • Extracting Understanding from Data
  • Seamless mode adaptive communications

Research projects are expected to be speculative, look well beyond current or developing solutions, and be potentially transformational in nature. Up to £5M of funding is available for this call, and collaborations with industry or other users is encouraged, although not mandatory. The usual costs can be sought, including staff, travel and subsistence, visiting researchers and public engagement activities.

The call document can be found at this link.

The call opens on JeS on 7th May and closes on 18 June (internal deadline 11 June), which gives plenty of time to consider an idea. There are no details yet on expected project length or cost unfortunately which does restrict preparations somewhat – I expect these will be released when the call is opened on 7th May.

If you intend to apply, please let me know well in advance so I can manage my workload, and help RS to manage theirs.

The Guardian is running a live chat this Friday on writing a successful grant proposal:

Money is tight across all areas of the higher education sector, not least for research councils, which have faced significant budget cuts in recent years. But obtaining grants is essential for the future of research projects. So join our live chat Friday 12 April from 12-2pm BST to share your experience, advice and tips for writing a proposal that gets rubberstamped.”

Topics covered will include:

• Funders and funding options
• Balancing workload and timing
• Structure, purpose and tone of voice
• Standing out from the competition
• Teamwork and collaboration
• Common mistakes made
• How to bounce back from rejection
• Value of grant proposal tutorials

You can also follow the live web chat on Twitter using the hashtag #HElivechat