Research News & Events

1. News from the Faculty and Division

New Awards

  • Dr Luke Treadwell was awarded £ 485,296 by AHRC for the project 'Early Islamic Hoards from Northern Europe'
  • Sir Fergus Millar was awarded Emeritus Fellowship worth £16,727 by the Leverhulme Trust for the project ' Empire, Church and Society in the Late Roman Near East'
  • Professor Jeremy Johns and Mr Michael MacDonald were awarded £702,694 by AHRC for project 'Online Corpus of the Inscription of Ancient North Arabia' 
  • Professor Emilie Savage-Smith was awarded £346,495 by the Wellcome Trust for a collaborative research titled 'A literary History of Medicine: "The Best Accounts of the Classes of Physicians" by Ibn Abi Usaybi`ah (d. 1270)'
  • Dr Jacob Dahl was awarded £10,466 by AHRC for a collaborative 'Reflectance Transformation Imaging follow-on Funding project'

2. News from RCUK:

AHRC Peer Review College Call for Nominations

AHRC has issued a call for peer review college membership. The external deadline is 11 December, and the Division is asking for nominees to be in contact as soon as possible, to provide a draft nomination by 4 December for feedback, and to have a completed nomination ready by 9 December.Oxford Humanities is currently under-represented, and this is an opportunity to gain experience in how grant applications are assessed, and to see submitted applications in your research area.

The key points are that the nominees must

  • have a two-page CV and a one-page major publications  from the last 5 years,
  • fit the AHRC’s essential selection criteria plus (if possible) address at least one of their themes and/or priority areas,
  • a Je-S account, and finally
  • be able to draft (with help/advice) a 500 word nomination.

The full AHRC guidance notes are here:

AHRC and ESRC: changes to grant-linked studentships (wef 1 November 2013)

Over the past year Research Councils have been working to harmonise aspects of their doctoral training support. In light of these discussions, AHRC and ESRC have agreed to adopt the same approach as the other Research Councils and only support project students in strategic areas from 1 November 2013. More details are available on AHRC and ESRC websites.

Changes to research grant terms and conditions

Some changes have been made to the core terms and conditions of Research Council grants, affecting grants announced from 1 October 2012. These are:

GC7 (Extensions) – grants may now be extended for up to 12 months, in total, as a result of maternity, paternity or adoption leave.

GC2 (Research Governance), under Misconduct and Conflicts of Interest – inclusion of a requirement that the Research Organisation has in place procedures for governing good research practice, and for investigating and reporting unacceptable research conduct, that meets the requirements set out in the 2012 Concordat to Support Research Integrity (as well as the RCUK Policy and Guidelines on Governance of Good Research Conduct).

Funding for publication costs

Following the publication of a revised RCUK policy on open access to research outputs, and Councils' decision to provide specific block funding for publication costs, Councils are to cease funding such costs in individual research grants. From now on, Research Councils will not include publication costs in grants with an announced start date on or after 1 April 2013 – which is when the block grant funding begins.

However, grants that have already been announced, or are in the process of being announced, will not be revised; nor will grants with an announced start date earlier than 1 April 2013.

3. News from Other Major Funders

ERC Investigator grants 2014: call publication and deadline dates announced

The draft European Research Council (ERC) Work Programme for 2014 has been published on the European Commission's Horizon 2020 website. This document is not the finalised ERC Work Programme, which is expected to be published on 11 December 2013, however it is expected to closely resemble the final official version.
The draft Work Programme describes the ERC's funding schemes and rules of operation for 2014, including details of indicative budgets and deadlines for each scheme. There are also profiles for the type of applicant the ERC are targeting for each scheme, including the expectations on career achievements.
The planned call publication and deadline dates in 2014 dates are:
  • Starting Grants: call published on 11 December 2013, deadline on 25 March 2014
  • Consolidator Grants: call published on 11 December 2013, deadline on 20 May 2014
  • Advanced Grants: call published on 17 June 2014, deadline on 21 October 2014
  • Proof of Concept: call published 11 December 2013, deadlines on 1 April 2014 and 1 October 2014
There will be no Synergy Grants call in 2014.

ISSF scheme deadlines announced for 2013-2014

The Wellcome Trust supports Oxford with £1.5m per year for its Institutional Strategic Support Fund (ISSF). The ISSF for 2013-2014 is currently accepting expressions of interest, with a deadline of 27 January 2014. Details of the call for expressions of interest are available on the Call Details page. 

Two calls are open for the current year:

  • An open call to support early career researchers or those returning to research after a career break;
  • A strategic priority call for research in one of eight specific areas.

Activities that can be supported by the fund include (but are not limited to):

  • Seed funds and start-up costs for new academic hires
  • Salary support for contract staff (including postdoctoral researchers)
  • Studentships
  • Translational research
  • Shared infrastructure, including equipment, databases, and libraries
  • Public engagement, education and training.

Directly incurred costs and directly allocated staff costs are the only eligible costs. Overheads are not supported, and ISSF grants do not generate any JRAM charity overhead or QR funding.

All funding from the ISSF must have a 50% match component. This can come from Departmental funds or resources, or can be obtained through partial or full application to central University funds such as the John Fell fund. We anticipate that 25% of the match should be sought from the hosting Department in the first instance. This match funding must be established prior to submission of a full application; proposed sources of matched funds can be suggested on an expression of interest form.

For 2013-14, the total available is £2M (£1M from the Wellcome Trust, £1M in matching funds). The open call will be 25% of this total, with a maximum ISSF contribution of £50K. The remaining 75% will be disbursed through the strategic priority call.

Wellcome Trust extends open access policy to include scholarly monographs and book chapters

The Wellcome Trust announced on 30 May 2013 that it will extend its open access policy to include all scholarly monographs and book chapters written by its grant holders as part of their Trust-funded research.

More inforamtion is avialable at

Leverhulme Trust: changes in publications

The Leverhulme Trust will no longer be producing the following publications:

  • Awards to Individuals
  • Guide for Applicants

Grants awarded by the Research Awards Advisory Committee (RAAC) will be listed in the Leverhulme News section later in the summer.

Updated Scheme Leaflets for the 2013 application rounds of Research Fellowships, Study Abroad Fellowships, Study Abroad Studentships, Emeritus Fellowships and Early Career Fellowships will be available on the Leverhulme Grant funding web pages from 1 September 2012.

British Academy-ASEASUK/BASAS ECAF Visiting Fellowships 2013-14

Short Fellowship opportunities are available to enable scholars to make research visits to field-centres operated by the European Consortium for Asian Field Study (ECAF). The purpose of the fellowships will be to advance the scholar’s personal research in Asia, build his/her wider networks and enable scholars to contribute to the academic life of the centres.The closing date for applications is 20 December 2013. More information is here: BASAS