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Internal funding

We are lucky to have available an impressive range of schemes designed to provide you with financial support for your research, none of which, however, are intended  as a substitute for the more substantial amounts available from external sources.

Within the School we have: 

Personal research allowance

SALC will annually offer all eligible current staff (see below) a research allocation, with the specific amount announced at the start of the academic year (£1,000 for the current year).

This can be spent on a broad remit of activity (in addition to research-related travel).

Note: the PRA is subject to fluctuation in value from year to year. Staff who make future commitments to the full amount of a current PRA value cannot be reimbursed for funds in excess of the future PRA value, where the future PRA value is lower than the current PRA value.  

Eligible staff

Due to the increase in the personal allocation and the limited nature of the budget, the eligibility criteria remain strict and include only the following:

  • current academic staff on permanent or fixed term lecturing contracts, and for whom research is part of their contract;
  • current externally funded research fellows - excluding Simon & Hallsworth fellows and all other post-doctoral fellowships which have separate research expenses attached to them, eg British Academy post-doctoral fellowships, Leverhulme post-doctoral fellowships, Marie Curie, etc.

If you have any uncertainty as to whether or not you are eligible for the basic allocation, please check with your Research Coordinator in the first instance prior to incurring any research-related expenses for which you may later wish to claim.

The definition of eligible fellows is below:

1. Research fellows are current members of academic staff who hold specific awards on the basis of their own research record or research proposals. Examples of such fellowships are Research Council Fellows (senior, advanced and post-doctoral) and Royal Society Research Fellows and Professors.

2. A fellowship should be awarded to a named individual in recognition of independent research achieved or proposed, rather than being awarded to the research project on which an individual is employed. Fellowships should only be recorded as such when they are periodically subjected to significant expert peer review (including competitive review), generally involving an input from outside the institution. Fellowships are often for a fixed term, typically three or five years. Funding for these awards comes from a range of sources outside the institution but can be channelled through it so that the individual remains an employee of the institution. 

Staff will be allocated the amount as per their contract entitlement eg a 0.5 FTE member of (eligible) staff will be entitled to one-half of a full basic allocation.

Those not eligible for the basic allocation

  1. Teaching assistants (GTAs) and others who hold small contracts with the School/University, postgraduate students or recent research graduates.
  2. Externally funded research staff on grants/projects (Research Assistants/Associates). RAs research expenses would be included in their project budgets.
  3. Teaching Fellows and lecturing staff for whom research is not part of their contract.
  4. Honorary staff.
  5. Emeritus staff.
  6. Visiting fellows.
  7. Any Research Fellows working on or supporting a project are not eligible for PRA.

NB The Research Directorate reserves the right to make all final decisions on eligibility. Any appeals will be heard through the formal channels.  

New staff  

New (eligible) members of staff are entitled to a pro rata amount of the basic travel allowance depending on when in the year they were appointed (ie in Semester 2, one-half of the full basic allocation will be available).

The Research Office will have a list of all eligible staff in its possession at the start of the academic year. The names on these lists have all been checked with the relevant Research Coordinators. If you have any uncertainty as to whether or not you are eligible for the basic allocation, please check with your Research Coordinator in the first instance prior to incurring any research-related expenses for which you may later wish to claim.

Purposes of fund

  • The purpose of the School’s Personal Research Allowance basic allocation is to support colleagues wishing to attend scholarly conferences or to carry out research visits to libraries, galleries, museums, archives or research sites OR
  • For colleagues who require support to complete a publication or requiring small amounts of teaching relief or research assistance to complete a project OR
  • For colleagues wishing to organise a conference* at Manchester and who wish to pool their basic allocations. (e.g. three colleagues may decide that they can use the combined amount to fund a small-scale conference/seminar/workshop)* OR
  • For colleagues who require support towards the costs of performances, installations, recording, etc. of research works OR
  • For colleagues who require specialist software or research equipment not otherwise available through University support** 

* All conferences must be costed and planned in liaison with the School Conference Office.

** Please note the funds may NOT be used to purchase books, laptops or iPads etc.

Eligible costs

Eligible travel costs:

  • All forms of research travel are eligible for support from this fund, including conferences, visits to museums, archives, galleries, libraries, archaeological and other sites, live performances, and networking, provided in each case that there is a clear benefit to the traveller’s research.
  • Costs covered include travel, accommodation, meals and appropriate fees (e.g. at conferences).  IT IS NOT POSSIBLE TO CLAIM FOR EXPENSES NOT LISTED IN THIS POLICY.
  • PLEASE ENSURE THAT ALL CLAIMS FOR EXPENSES RELATING TO BASIC ALLOCATION ARE SUBMITTED TO THE RESEARCH OFFICE WITH ALL CORRECT AND RELEVANT RECEIPTS WITHIN ONE MONTH OF THE ACTIVITY TAKING PLACE. THERE IS NO GUARANTEE THAT CLAIMS SUBMITTED AFTER THAT DATE WILL BE REPAID.
  • It is the individual’s responsibility to keep track of their PRA expenditure and their remaining balance. Any overspend will have to be paid back to the School. Any late receipts/expense forms will not be able to be processed.
  • Ensure your expenses incurred and to be claimed are eligible for PRA and is incurred within the same financial year. 

Eligible research support costs: 

  • Publication costs, including reproduction/copyright costs, procurement of translations, indexing.
  • Small amounts of research assistance, such as reference-checking, proof-reading, large-scaling photocopying of articles, etc.
  • Contributions towards the costs of performances/installations etc. of research works.
  • Specialist software not otherwise available.
  • Small amounts of replacement teaching.
  • Any other reasonable purpose.

Eligible conference costs: 

  • Costs associated with the conference venue (room hire, media equipment, portering).
  • Delegate fees, accommodation and travel for plenary speakers.
  • Publicity, refreshments, conference packs etc.

Conference hosting

  • For staff wishing to use some or all of their basic allocation towards hosting a conference, the Research Office will require a code from which the basic allocation amount can be transferred into. It will not be possible to claim for any conference expenditure without a specific code.
  • Staff wishing to host a conference should contact Abigail Saffer (abigail.saffer-2@manchester.ac.uk) in the first instance and from there they will be directed as to how to get a code for the conference created by the school Finance Office.
  • Once the code for your conference has been generated, please contact Abigail Saffer in the Research Office via email indicating the code and the amount of the basic allocation due to be transferred.
  • Abigail will then liaise with the Finance Office regarding the transfer of the basic allocation into the conference code.
  • All conference-related claims should be submitted via the Conference Administrator and NOT the Research Office.

Procedure for claiming funds awarded  

  • For reimbursement of expenditure from the Personal Research Allowance basic allocation, staff should complete the university online claim form, which can be found by logging into MyManchester and following the ‘my expenses’ link under ‘Finance’. You will need to know the relevant project code or account code your expenses are going to be charged to. Please indicate the relevant academic year in the ‘Reason for Claim’ section of the claim form before sending it - together with original receipts - to the Research Office for authorisation and onward transmission to Finance for payment.
  • All claims (reimbursement forms) must be received by the Research Office within 1 month of the activity taking place.
  • All monies allocated to an individual member of staff will have to be accounted for, and their expenditure will be monitored by the Research/Finance Offices. An annual report of expenditure on research travel will be produced and presented to the Research Committee.
  • All conference-related claims should have their own individually generated code – see above under ‘Conference hosting’.
  • All conference-related claims should be submitted via the Conference Administrator and NOT the Research Office.
  • Any expenditure relating to travel or any other research activity due to take place in August CANNOT be claimed from the budget of the previous academic year. Instead, it will have to come from the following year’s entitlement, the amount of which will be unknown until announced at the first Research Committee of that academic year.
  • For further information relating to submitting claims please contact the Research Office and a member of the team will be able to provide advice and guidance.
  • All monies allocated to an individual member of staff will have to be accounted for, and their expenditure will be monitored by the Research/Finance Offices.  An annual report of expenditure on research travel will be produced and presented to the Research Committee.

It is not necessary to inform the Research Office of your intention to use your basic allocation and instead it is expected generally that all eligible staff will make use of it. However, if for whatever reason you know that you will not be using yours then please notify the Research Office at the earliest opportunity. Any staff who have not submitted a claim for their basic allocations by March of each academic year will be written to asking if they intend to spend it, and, if sufficient funds remain, the Research Committee may put out a second call for applications.

Finally, please note that the fund is only available for activity and expenses occurring up to 31 July of each academic year.

Research support fund

The Research Support Fund is intended to foster and enhance external income generation and impact beyond the academy by individual staff engaged in research. It cannot be used to pay for the kinds of expenses covered by the Personal Research Allowance and unrelated to research income generation, nor for the running of seminars, or for group-led networking initiatives (see Research Networking Fund). The deadline for applications is normally in July. You can apply for up to £2.5K per year for pilot project funding leading to external grant applications, or for enhancing non-academic research impact.

Criteria

This fund operates on a competitive basis. Preference will be given to projects that clearly and convincingly demonstrate how the funds applied for will enhance an existing externally funded project, or lay the ground for a new application for external research funding. Eligible costs could include (but are not restricted to):

  • pilot projects and feasibility studies designed to strengthen future bids to external funders (project development includes the development of IT systems/tools and associated equipment/software.)
  • funds to bridge postdoctoral research fellows doing externally supported research between one project and another;
  • activities relating to externally funded projects that enable a PI to cover unanticipated additional expenses, or to extend a project outcome in a new, unforeseen direction;
  • career-building conference visits undertaken by funded postdocs to give papers on topics not included within the project remit;
  • individual participation in research networks intended to prepare the ground for bids to European funding schemes, or to build links with other Faculties at Manchester in anticipation of joint funding initiatives
  • activities which enhance the non-academic impact of existing research, whether externally funded or not (if the research to which the activities relate is externally funded then those activities should be distinct from anything planned under the ‘pathways to impact’ section of the original application)

Eligibility

All research-active staff (that is those with research listed in their employment contract as an expectation), including postdoctoral researchers. Two or more individuals may combine forces and submit a joint application. However, in the case of projects involving collaboration with individuals from other Schools or institutions, we will expect to see evidence of matching funding.

Amount and number of awards

The maximum amount for which you (or your team) can apply is limited; the maximum for teaching relief as an element in a bid is also limited. The current limit is set at 2.5K.

Exceptions

In addition to paying for seminars, or for expenses incurred by a School strategy-led research team, the Fund cannot be used to cover:

  • School-sponsored study leave (departments should organise teaching and administration in such a way as to accommodate the absence of a colleague on study leave without additional resource).
  • running conferences (funds available via departmental seminar allocations)
  • the purchase of material for the University Library, or books.
  • equipment (the School’s Equipment Fund administered via the School Office should be approached).

Examples of uses for funding

  • teaching relief – this needs to be justified, with an explanation specifically referencing why the project work needs to take place during term-time
  •  travel and subsistence associated with the project (except conference travel)
  • specialist printed or recorded resources needed on site in addition to University Library provision, where justified
  • hourly paid research assistance

Form of application

Applications should take the form of a letter to the Research Support Services Manager and include:

  • a description of the project’s aims, objectives and outcomes (500 words maximum) (Research Coordinators and professorial colleagues can be expected to advise on drafting).
  • a brief account of how the appropriate criteria are met
  • a clear statement of project costs (advice on costs and the overall drafting of applications is available via the School Research Support Office)

An electronic copy should be emailed to salc.research@manchester.ac.uk and copied to the Research Co-ordinator of the relevant unit (in the case of formally constituted Research Centres/Institutes through the Director in consultation with relevant Research Co-ordinator(s))

Selection process

Applications are assessed by the School’s Research Committee.

Spending/Reporting

Spending should be completed by 31st July 2018. Also, a brief report (no more than a side of A4) should be submitted within one month of the award end date. It should specify how projects have enhanced existing externally funded projects or prepared the ground for new bids, and explain how the RSF support has contributed to that process. We intend to use selected reports as the basis for a section of the SALC Research web pages designed to publicise the benefits of the RSF.

Research network fund

You can apply for up to £2.5K per year to cover expenses relating to the setting up or consolidation of a network of researchers in your field.

The current budget for the School of Arts, Languages and Cultures includes a sum for each academic year set aside for the purpose of raising the profile of research groupings (existing and putative) within the School. In the spring semester, the Research Directorate invites bids from groups of researchers (including, but not restricted to, current centres and institutes) for initiatives that will enhance national and international research networking capabilities. This may, for example, mean building and/or consolidating networks of international scholars in a particular research area (given that such networks are likely to be of future benefit in securing European and other international funding). It could also mean establishing links with actual and potential research users (reflecting the growing importance of ‘impact’ to the School and the University). The establishment of bilateral links with one other significant research partner is as eligible as multi-partner networks, provided that the case for added value is made appropriately. Other possibilities will also be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Lead researchers within SALC groups interested in applying for these funds should submit an application to the SALC Research Office in July (the precise date differs slightly from year to year). These applications will be considered by the SALC Research Committee. They will be ranked on merit against criteria based on the extent to which they (a) improve the chances of securing external funding for the group in question (b); enable a new grouping to establish itself; (c) increase the academic and/or non-academic impact of the group’s research, and (d) provide good value for money.

Applications should include:

  • the name and contact details of the lead researcher(s)
  • a brief account of the work of the research grouping (in no more than 100 words)
  • a narrative of no more than 500 words explaining how the bid meets the criteria and the added value the proposed network would bring to the research grouping and the School
  • a detailed budget with costings for all activities; eligible items include, but are not limited to, travel, accommodation and living expenses; room hire and equipment; communication costs; dedicated part-time administrative support.

Funding decisions will be announced by the end of September each year. All expenditure on successful bids should be completed, and a report on spending submitted, by July 31st 2018. Also, a brief report (no more than a side of A4) should be submitted within one month of the award end date. It should describe progress towards establishing/extending the network in question; identify specific benefits and outcomes resulting from network activities, and outline plans for further network-related developments and initiatives.

 

UoA support fund

The School runs a Unit of Assessment Support Fund. This fund operates on a competitive basis and welcomes applications both from individuals and from REF Units of Assessment as a collective. Applications must clearly and convincingly demonstrate how funds will support the enhancement of research environments (as defined by HEFCE), or that support the progress and completion of identified research outputs by REF-eligible staff members, for submission to the Research Excellence Framework 2021.

Eligible costs include (but are not restricted to):

  • UoA-led training workshops specifically designed to enhance the UoA Environment by (for example) supporting equality and diversity or fostering interdisciplinary research
  • UoA-led training workshops specifically designed to assist the completion of identified outputs
by REF-eligible staff members
  • One-off research events (such as workshops, symposia) with aims directly and explicitly linked to the production of identified outputs by REF-eligible staff members
  • A research trip directly and explicitly linked to the production of an identified output by a REF-eligible staff member. (NOTE: attending or giving a paper at a conference is explicitly excluded from eligibility: use Personal Research Allowance.)
  • Obtaining research materials directly and explicitly linked to the production of an identified output by a REF-eligible staff member.
  • Obtaining photographic images, figures, or other materials for inclusion in an identified output
by a REF-eligible staff member
  • Employment of research assistants or technical professionals in order to enable the completion of an identified output
by a REF-eligible staff member.
  • Editorial and publication costs (e.g. translations, reproduction rights, publishers’ subventions) related to an identified output
by a REF-eligible staff member. (NOTE: indexing and proof-reading are explicitly excluded as eligible cost: it is expected that staff undertake these as part of normal duties.)
  • Costs incurred in producing identified outputs that result from practice-based research, such as audio or audio-visual recordings of REF-eligible music compositions 

In instances where the Personal Research Allowance can be used to fund any of the costs applied for, applications may only be made for sums in excess of the current Personal Research Allowance total of 1K: i.e. if your total costs are 1.75K, then you may only apply for 0.75K. Partial exemptions can be made in exceptional circumstances (please specify these in your application).

Eligibility

The fund is open only to UoAs as a collective or to current staff members on permanent contracts where research is included as part of the expected duties.

Amount of awards

The maximum amount for which you (or your team) can apply is currently 1.5K. There will be two Calls for Bids each year.

Exceptions

The Fund cannot be used to pay for the kinds of expenses covered by other funds available across the School, except where they exceed the level of the Personal Research Allowance, as outlined above. Funds cannot be used (e.g.):

• for attending or giving a paper at a conference (see Personal Research Allowance)

• for running general conferences (see Personal Research Allowance)

• for the running of divisional or subject area research seminars (see SALC Research Seminar fund)

• for group-led networking initiatives (see SALC Research Networking fund)

• for grant-winning activities (see SALC Research Support Fund)

• for Impact activities (see the Impact Support fund)

• for teaching relief (general grant-winning activity).

Form of application

Applications should take the form of a letter (maximum 2 pages) to the Research Support Manager and include. Applications must be accompanied by a statement of support from the Research Co-ordinator of the subject area, who must also certify that the beneficiaries of the application are REF-eligible members of staff on open-ended contracts that include research as part of the expected duties. Applications are assessed by the School’s Research Committee.

Spending/Reporting

Spending should be completed by 31st July 2018 and a brief report (no more than a side of A4) should be submitted within one month of the award end date. It should specify how the objectives of the application have been met in relation to the identified REF outputs or UoA Environment.

There is also a divisional Research Seminar Budget held at the divisional level and designed to support your division in organising research seminars and paying for external speakers.

In addition, you are strongly encouraged to co-organise events with CIDRAL (Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Arts and Languages, directed by Jackie Stacey), which has quite a generous external speakers’ budget.

At Faculty level, there is a Humanities Strategic Investment Fund (H-SIF) which operates on a bi-annual basis (with deadlines currently for September 2017); the research strand (which includes provision for early-career researchers and for impact enhancement), as well as social responsibility, large, collaborative research bids and PGR strands. Currently, this fund is designed, where the applicants are from SALC, to support collaborations with international partners, particularly the University of Melbourne.

At the University level, the University of Manchester Research Institute (UMRI) runs an annual competition to support pump-priming projects designed to build major interdisciplinary research networks and other initiatives. It is able to make up to 50K available to research groups, though awards are generally lower than this.