Researcher-led Intiatives Competition launched at the Research Staff Conference

Those of you who made it to this year’s Staff Conference last week, will already have heard about the Researcher-led Initiatives Competition that was announced. For everyone else, here are the details (don’t forget, the deadline is May 11th!)

Researcher-led initiatives competition 2012

This competition is intended to support the personal, professional and career development of Research Staff across the University of Manchester. It aims to encourage Research Staff to initiate a development opportunity which will help them to influence or inspire their colleagues, and which will have an impact on the career development of themselves and others.

Applications are invited from Research Staff for funding (of up to £1,000) to support short-term, well-defined projects to bring Research Staff from different Faculties together to engage in some form of professional, personal or career development activity.

Successful applicants will be expected to actively consider how to engage researchers from different Faculties with the activity. It is not sufficient to assume that the activity will appeal across Faculties.

The criteria for this award are below; please ensure you read these fully before applying. Funds are awarded on the condition of the applicant(s) providing a short report and/or responding to a questionnaire to assess the success of the initiative.

Applications close on May 11th 2012.

Contact Claire Stocks ( if you have queries regarding eligibility or other aspects of application.

Who is eligible?
The beneficiaries should be Research Staff (Post-docs, Research Associates, early-career Research Fellows) from more than one Faculty. Applications will be accepted from individual researchers, groups of researchers, research groups, and Schools. Projects which also involve other groups will also be considered (e.g. public engagement).

What activities are eligible?
Anything which supports the general professional development or career development of Research Staff from Schools/disciplines/research areas in at least two of the four Faculties. Relevant skill areas include public engagement, communication, inter-personal skills, media work, teaching and learning, knowledge transfer, intrapreneurship, creativity, leadership and management, career planning/management, research methods or IT skills/knowledge.

Types of activities could include:

  • Setting up a new workshop, training event or development scheme
  • Bringing in guest speakers or trainers
  • Running a forum for researchers, which addresses their development
  • Team and leadership development activities
  • Away days which cover the above skill areas
  • Using social media and Web 2.0 technologies
  • Events to share research or expertise with groups outside of your Faculty
  • Events to promote understanding and dialogue between researchers from different Faculties
  • Developing proficiency in teaching and learning through the sharing of practice/resources/approaches across Faculties
  • Research into how and why researchers engage with the above activities, and what they gain from cross-Faculty collaborations or exchanges

This fund is not for discipline-specific activities, since one of the main aims of the competition is to encourage interactions between researchers in different Faculties within the University. It cannot be used to fund research conferences or to present research at other institutions (unless eligible as above). It cannot be used to duplicate activities already available.

What is covered?
This fund will cover necessary costs to create new development opportunities for researchers, including consumables, publicity materials, catering at events, room hire, fees and expenses of guest speakers/trainers, within the usual University procurement and expenses guidance.

Your commitment
Administration of successful projects will be the responsibility of the lead-researcher. You may be asked to write a short report on the success of the initiative and/or complete an evaluation questionnaire if you are awarded funding.

How to apply

  • Read the guidance notes on this page
  • Check whether similar opportunities are available at the University of Manchester, via STDU, other Faculties, or other training providers. If so, it is unlikely that your application will be successful.
  • Discuss your proposal with your PI (line manager), and any other stakeholders, to ensure they support it. By submitting your application, you confirm that your line manager supports your idea and the time commitment involved.
  • Complete and submit the application form by 11th May 2012 to:

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