Between October 2011 to September 2014 we received £2.25 million from the Wellcome Trust under their ISSF scheme. The University made a similar contribution making a total resource of £5,182,356 which has been utilised across a number of Medical Sciences infrastructure and support areas.
We have been working according to Athena SWAN principles, achieving Bronze compliance across our academic units.
Our bridging scheme helps us support the retention of our skilled researchers. This contributes to our commitment to meet the Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers. Since October 2011 we have supported 72 research staff: 50 have been retained on further grant awards, 12 have left our employment and the remainder have yet to complete their bridging period.
Our Fellowship Scheme was updated in 2011 to attract external applicants and incorporate mentoring as an essential element. Since spring 2012 we have appointed 11 Faculty Fellows for varying periods up to three years. In 2013-14 we piloted a new scheme to support post-doctoral research independence through start-up grants for 12 early career researchers. These grants provide:
- access to our shared scientific facilities
- small pieces of bench equipment
- conference attendance
In 2013-14 we piloted a scheme that enabled nine postgraduates to gain specialist expertise to improve their research and bring expertise into the team that supports them. A similar scheme opened in 2014-15.
Undergraduate research experience
Since October 2011, 61 undergraduates have been awarded funding for vacation research projects. This opportunity will continue to be made available. This research experience supports our objective to recruit high calibre postgraduates through the provision of relevant experience during the summer vacation.
Research leaders' development
We held a research leaders' development centre in May 2013 and six academic staff joined. The aim was to gather an understanding of their strengths, development needs and how they might best be supported in attaining leadership positions. A further development centre is planned.
Preliminary data gathering
We ran a scheme for 21 months from January 2012 which supported 61 researchers in gathering preliminary data to enable them to submit grant applications. We evaluated the scheme in June 2014 and found that it had been valuable for a range of reasons, in particular:
- acquisition of further data (50%)
- exploration of a novel approach (48%)
- a new collaboration between PIs (39%)
- a research technique tested (36%)
- completion of a research proposal (32%)
- support for a publication (30%)
- completion of an existing project (27%)
- support for a conference paper/presentation (27%)
A similar scheme opened in 2014-15.
Research seminars and lectures
The Faculty supports research group events and an annual programme of research lectures from world leading experts, and opportunities for visiting Fellows and Professors to come to Newcastle University.
Public and patient engagement
We are ensuring that engagement becomes embedded within research through the dissemination of good practice through our support team and local discipline-based champions.
The Faculty provides a range of specialist scientific facilities and expertise which have been additionally supported through this funding.
Translational research support
Our core translational research structure is actively supported by a specialist Funding Development Manager who project manages grant applications and interacts between study teams and funders.