Grants and Research Funding

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[Note. An asterisk denotes a reference to a previously published or recurrent entry.]

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RESEARCH AND EQUIPMENT COMMITTEE

Joint Research Equipment Initiative (JREI) 1999

Eleven applications were submitted to the 1998 JREI by university departments, compared with twenty-two in 1997. The purpose of this notice is to alert departments that there will be another JREI competition in 1999. Details have not yet been confirmed but HEFCE has indicated that the timescale for next year's exercise should be similar to that of the 1998 JREI.

Departments may wish to start planning for next year's JREI now, given that another tight deadline for submissions of bids is likely. The Research and Equipment Committee hopes to provide funds to support JREI applications in 1999, subject to the outcome of its equipment funding bid for 1999–2000.

Details of the 1999 JREI will be disseminated by the committee as soon as they become available, together with the arrangements for internal consideration of draft bids. Once they have been decided, the competition details will also be included within HEFCE's Web site (see the JREI section under `Council-funded initiatives'): http://www.hefce.ac.uk/docs/initiat/current/jrei.htm.

Prospective applicants are also reminded about the rules relating to discounts for the 1998 JREI, which may well continue for next year's competition: discounts were not eligible as external sponsors' contributions unless applicants could demonstrate genuine collaboration with the external sponsor in the development of a product (i.e. all partners were expected to make a genuine contribution to the research project, and benefit from the participation, and the outputs/outcomes of the project, either academically or commercially; the project would therefore not be able to proceed without the involvement of the parties concerned).

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RESEARCH FUNDING FOR THE ARTS AND HUMANITIES

The following information has been received from the British Academy: `The British academy and HEFCE are negotiating to establish a new Arts and Humanities Research Board, which will replace the HRB. Once the AHRB is established, it is intended that the Academy and the new Board will develop complementary roles in the funding of research in the humanities. The AHRB will be solely responsible for the funding of research in the creative and performing arts, including matters that would in other subject areas fall to a learned society, and the Academy will not seek to develop a role in this area. In the humanities, the academy will concentrate on the support of individual scholars in providing small personal research grants for amounts up to £5,000; postdoctoral fellowships; research readerships and professorships; overseas exchange agreements and support for attendance at conferences. The AHRB will concentrate on the support of postgraduate study and on the provision of support for research in an institutional setting, including grants for the employment of research assistants and fellows, and of research leave. A principal aim will be to ensure that the division of responsibilities and activities is clear to the research community on the model of the complementary roles of the Royal Society and the Research Councils.

`Information about both continuing schemes and any new schemes will be advertised in July, along with invitations to apply for awards.

`Please do not contact the Academy direct, as no further details are known at present. New information will be placed on the Academy's Web site as soon as it becomes available, address http://britac3.britac.ac.uk.

`Please note that information and application forms will be sent automatically to research offices and Heads of Departments of Arts and Humanities, when available.'

Note. Although final procedures will obviously depend on the Academy and AHRB rules, please note that, as with applications to the research councils and other research funding bodies, applications for these new schemes should be submitted to the Research and Commercial Services Office (RCSO) in the first instance so that costings can be checked and all other relevant issues identified. The RCSO is available to give advice and guidance on the preparation of applications (telephone: (2)70247). Further information will be made available as it is received, on the RCSO's Web pages: http://www.admin.ox.ac.uk/rcso.

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