Researcher-led Initiative awards

Would you like funding to design professional development here at the University of Exeter?

The Researcher Development and Research Culture team has an annual fund to support the development and cascading of personal, professional and career management skills by and for postgraduate research students and early career research staff across the University of Exeter.

These Researcher-led Initiative awards are intended to enable postgraduate research students and early career research staff to be creative, proactive, and empowered, through the process of initiating, designing, managing, and delivering new professional development activities for their peers that will develop the skills and experience needed to progress their careers.

The awards support short-term, well-defined initiatives that develop and deliver transferable skills training experiences and/or resources to the applicants’ peers across departments. Collaborative applications are encouraged. Applications will be reviewed on a case by case basis and all applicants will receive feedback after the awards have been allocated. Applicants are advised to fully check the funding criteria before starting their application. 

Funding is available for applications of up to £1000 per award.

We welcome applications that are broadly centred around one of the following themes:

  • Non-academic career development
  • Academic career development
  • Professional development of researchers in the Humanities and/or Social Sciences
  • Promoting the development of women in the sciences 
  • Enhancing discipline specific training opportunities
  • Establishing or enhancing research culture

 

Overview of criteria (2019/20):

  • Lead applicants must be Postgraduate Research Students or University of Exeter staff on Research Only contracts, grades E, F or G
  • Beneficiaries of the initiatives must be Postgraduate Research Students and/or University of Exeter staff on Research Only contracts on grade E, F or G. NB: Applications from Postgraduate Research Students must include other Postgraduate Research Students as beneficiaries and applications from Research Staff must include other University of Exeter staff on Research Only contracts on grade E, F or G as beneficiaries.
  • Applications must not have previously received more than 3 consecutive years of funding (for example if you/your co-authors or the activity have been awarded money from RLIs for the previous 3 years you will not be eligible for this round.  These awards are designed to help start initiatives, not act as continued funding).
  • Applications will not be accepted to support Early Career Research Networks, if you wish for funding to support ECRNs please email researcherdevelopment@exeter.ac.uk who have separate funding available for this.
  • The initiatives must be completed by the 30th June, 2020.
  • Successful applicants must agree to fulfil the responsibilities outlined in the Award Holder Responsibilities‌ document including a commitment to responsibility for suitable appropriation of the funding.
  • The proposed activities must directly benefit parties beyond the named applicants.
  • We cannot fund activity that is essential for any already-funded project’s success – activities must be additional to that planned for existing funded activity.
  • Activities should not replicate those which are already offered by the University.
  • We would welcome activities that are inter-disciplinary in nature.
  • Funding for internal room bookings, travel to conferences or individual professional development are outside the scope of these awards. An example of various internal costings can be viewed here- Examples of RLI costings
  • Any materials or resources produced from the RLI activities must be available from the University of Exeter websites.

Applications must be made on the Researcher-led initiative application form by 12:00 GMT on Monday 25th November 2019. 

If you have any issues with the form or any questions please email: researcherdevelopment@exeter.ac.uk

Item/event Date
RLIs open for applications 30 September 2019
RLI applications close 25 November 2019 (12 noon GMT)
RLI Awarding panel to decide successful applications 3 December 2019
Decision to RLI applicants 9 December 2019
‘Award Holder Responsibilities’ meetings with successful applicants and funding agreements signed

16 December 2019

19 December 2019

Start RLIs

2 January 2020

RLIs need to be completed

30 June 2020

Final reports from award holders submitted to Researcher Development and Research Culture

31 July 2020

Exclamat!on

A new postgraduate journal supported by the University of Exeter’s College of Humanities and Doctoral College’s Researcher Development team.

Our decision to start a new peer-review journal for Postgraduate Research and Taught students in the disciplines of English, Creative Writing and Film at the University of Exeter. We named it Exclamat!on: An Interdisciplinary Journal, and set no thematic constraints for the first issue, so as to appeal to the widest range of contributors possible. Our initial mission for the journal was simple. We sought to create an innovative space in which PGRs and PGTs could engage in current debates and interdisciplinary discussions; we wanted to bring together divergent and creative ideas, and fundamentally showcase work via a new publishing platform within the Department of English. We have recently published the second volume of Exclamat!on, which successfully builds on the success of the first volume. Read our blog to find out more.

Institute of Health Research focus days 2017 & 2018

Words of wisdom were thrown out like sweeties to attendees at the Institute of Health Research Early Career Researcher Network’s recent Focus Day. The theme being “Things the University is Doing that you Don’t Know About, that you Might Want to Know About, that Might Help you Progress your Career. Plus Helpful Career (and Life) Advice from People who’ve Been Where you are and Survived”. Or something like that.

On arrival to the Focus Day, attendees were given a copy of “Self-care for academics: a poetic invitation to reflect and resist” by Siobhan O’Dwyer, Sarah Pinto and Sharon McDonough. After a gentle start to the day, with colouring and refreshments, the thirty-five attendees were inundated with useful advice on a range of career-related topics, including: The Exeter Academic and how it relates to progression and promotion, the University of Exeter Doctoral College and how it supports development for early career researchers, the purpose and achievements of the Positive Working Environment Board and how to get the most out of mentoring and other one-to-one career support.

But equally valuable was the insight into the somewhat stochastic and unexpected career paths of those who have, somehow, navigated the world of the early career researcher and made it to the heady heights of mid-career researcher or even senior academic.

For more details of the Focus Day and the Institute of Health Research Early Career Researcher Network, see our blog post.

Machine Learning

Recent technological advances, such as high-throughput sequencing and remote sensing, provide life scientists with large and complex data sets. This data require several layers of computational processing, from data cleaning and preparation to employing rigorous statistical modelling and machine learning.

Typically, such analyses cannot be performed using off-the-shelf software. Instead scientists need to write custom code to create and automate their data analytical pipelines.

Python is a scripted high-level programming language that is arguably becoming the de facto standard for exploratory and interactive scientific research. The “swiss army knife” for researchers, Python is an easy-to-learn and versatile language that can be used to perform a wide variety of tasks: numerical computations, statistical analysis, data visualisation, image processing, video analysis and more. Moreover, Python is open-source and cross-platform, making software projects easy to disseminate and reproduce, without the need for expensive licences.

We are organising a series of workshops that introduce life scientists to Python. We will present the core aspects of the language and draw examples from a variety of life science applications to show how biological data can be analysed using simple scripts.

All the supporting workshop material has been publicly uploaded onto GitHub., for more details please contact j.j.valletta@exeter.ac.uk 

The Academic Woman

‘The Academic Woman’ is a global network for all women in higher education and has been instrumental in bringing women together across the whole of the university with our ‘Inspiring Women’ seminar series which ran during last term from March – June 2018. We held 6 sessions which were lunchtime sessions with refreshments from 12-1pm starting with the newly appointed Head of Department for Management, Prof Alex Gerbasi and finishing with a talk from Dr Sawsan Khuri, Associate from the Medical School. All of the seminars were well attended and created lively discussions around issues affected women in academia in both their personal and professional lives. Attendees came from varied disciplines and included senior management and UG students.

Events were promoted via social media where we now have nearly 2000 followers, through our Facebook page and LinkedIn site. For more details, see our webpage.

Winners of the 2018 funding

We are delighted to announce that in 2018 there were 41 applications made to the Researcher-led initiative awards, with 20 being successfully funded. Thanks to all of those who applied for an award and congratulations to our new award holders. 

Lead award holder Title of their Researcher-led Initiative Discipline
The Business School
Gemma Delafield ExeterEnergy Seminar Series Economics
College of Engineering Mathematics and Physical Sciences
Tinkle Chugh Workshop on Multiple Criteria Decision Making (MCDM) Mathematics
Charlie Kirkwood How to share your code: an introduction to the Git ecosystem for early career researchers Mathematics
Bob-Dan Lechner Negative results: not junk, but an opportunity to learn Physics
Penelope Maher Careers in Climate (hosted by Women in Climate) Mathematics
College of Humanities
Lisa Berry-Waite Conceptualising statehood in the age of Brexit History
Ashley Gannicott Borders, Boundaries and Margins - Exclamat!on: An Interdisciplinary Journal's Annual Conference 2019 English
Veronica Heney and Zaina Mahmoud Sensitive Interview Training Wellcome Centre for Cultures and Environments of Health
Adrián Oyaneder Rodríguez First South American Meeting at Exeter (SAAME) Archaeology
Jessica Tyner-Mehta An Introduction to SEO for Researchers and Creatives English
College of Life and Environmental Sciences
Hazel Knipe Postgraduate Mental Health Workshop Biosciences
Benjamin Sherlock Version Control Systems Living Systems Institute
College of Medicine and Health
Ben Lee Gene Expression and Synthetic Biology Symposium Medicine
Daisy Parker Doing Quality Qualitative Analysis Medicine
Liz Shaw Creative Communications: has your research gone far enough? Medicine
Tristan Snowsill Linking with discipline specific cross-university early career researcher networks Medicine
Joana Viana Reproducible and Open Science Workshop Medicine
Sarah Walker ExeCTU: A Focus on Statistics in Regulated Clinical Trials Medicine
College of Social Sciences and International Studies
Jingya (Elaine) Liu Creative Interviews in the Social Science Education
Virginia Thomas The Academic Woman Politics and International Relations

We are also pleased that we are able to financially support some aspects of the following initiatives:

Lead award holder Title of their Initiative Discipline
College of Engineering Mathematics and Physical Sciences
Oluwanfunmilola Ola International Women in Engineering Day 2019 Engineering
College of Humanities
Matt Beebee The Humanities Postgraduate Research Conference 2019 History
College of Medicine and Health
Ruth Gwernan-Jones St Luke’s Volunteer Garden Medicine