Category Archives: Funding bids

OFS funding competition to improve access and participation for BAME groups in PGR study

Research England and the Office for Students (OFS) have launched a joint funding competition for project proposals to ‘improve access and participation for black, Asian, and minority ethnic groups in postgraduate research (PGR) study in the English higher education sector.’

Details of the scheme can be found on the OFS website and the deadline for bids is noon on 28th January 2021.

If you are interested, please contact Dr Lindsay O’Dell, OU Graduate School Director, with any queries.

Plan S – a primer

What is Plan S?

Plan S is a radical proposal regarding open access (OA) to research publications.

It was created by cOAlition S, a group of research funders co-ordinated by Science Europe. It includes UKRI (UK Research and Innovation), Wellcome, the European Research Council (ERC), the European Commission and The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

What does Plan S propose?

The crux of Plan S is that peer-reviewed research publications resulting from grants that the coalition allocate:

“must be fully and immediately open and cannot be monetised in any way”

cOAlition S believe they have a duty of care towards research as a whole. Thus they favour OA because it helps research function more efficiently and have greater impact on society. They feel there is no justification for keeping research publications behind paywalls and that progress towards OA needs accelerating.

More specifically, Plan S requires that all peer-reviewed research publications funded via calls posted from 1st January 2021 must be:

  • Published in an OA journal where the content is OA immediately (gold OA)

OR

OR

  • Published in an OA repository where the content is OA immediately (green OA with no embargo)
      • At The OU, authors could comply by depositing their work in ORO, as long as the work meets all other Plan S requirements

Making research data and other outputs OA is encouraged and a statement clarifying policy regarding monographs and book chapters is expected by the end of 2021.

Other headlines include:

  • Publication in hybrid journals (i.e. subscription-based journals that charge a fee to make articles OA) will not be supported…
    • …unless the journal moves towards becoming fully OA within a defined timeframe under a “transformative arrangement”
  • Authors or their institutions must retain copyright
    • CC-BY is the preferred license
  • Publishers should charge reasonable fees for OA and make the structure of these fees transparent
    • Funders may even standardise and cap the fees they pay
  • A commitment to the responsible evaluation of research when allocating funds
    • The coalition states it will judge research on its own merit and not on things like the journal it was published in or metrics such as Journal Impact Factor
  • Compliance with Plan S will be monitored and non-compliance will be sanctioned

However, the devil is in the detail – there are a lot of elements to Plan S and we recommend reading it yourself to see which aspects might impact you.

What are people saying about Plan S?

There have been a LOT of reactions to Plan S and these are, predicatably, mixed. Some of the themes I have noticed are:

  • Many people support the aims of Plan S
  • There is concern it is too STEM-focused and will negatively affect AHSS researchers
  • There is concern regarding some of the implementation detail
    • e.g. the technical specifications regarding publications, OA repositories and other OA platforms
  • Some believe it will impinge academic freedom
    • i.e. to choose where and how to publish
  • There is concern about the effects it will have on smaller publishers and learned societies
  • The timescale is too ambitious
  • We have been here before
    • There have been statements, reports and policies made in the past which did not push through the radical change anticipated

 

What is next for Plan S?

There is still a lot of uncertainty regarding the detail and implementation of Plan S, so all concerned will need to keep a watching brief.

Applying for AHRC funding? Get to know your DMP

The Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) has changed how it wants funding applicants to tell them how they will manage and share their research data. Previously, a Technical Plan was required, which would then be reviewed by members of the Technical College, but AHRC now requires a Data Management Plan (DMP) to be submitted instead, which will be assessed by members of the Academic College as part of the whole proposal.

A DMP will be mandatory for all Research Grants, Follow on Funding and Leadership Fellows proposals, and harmonises AHRC with other Research Councils, most of which require a DMP.

Plans should give information about:

  • Types of data
  • Proposed methodologies
  • Short and long term storage
  • Data sharing
  • Ethical and legal considerations

AHRC has updated its Research Funding Guide to include guidance about what information to include for these sections, the format to use (no more than 2 pages of A4 at font size 11!), and how to name your plan.

The funding guide also describes that when submitting, applicants confirm that their institution has considered and will meet a number of points which support and facilitate good data management. These services and information about them are all available at the OU, so if you have any questions please get in touch.

DMP Online has also been updated and now has an AHRC DMP template with relevant guidance, making it easy to structure and format your plan.

As usual, we are very happy to review DMPs before they are submitted (you can email them to library-research-suppotr@open.ac.uk), and, as we do for other funders, we will add examples of completed plans to our website as soon as we have them. If you’re happy to share yours, please let us know!

Ps. You might want to check out the recording and slides from our recent online training session on Writing Successful Data Management Plans

New Wellcome Trust policy for research outputs

Last week, the Wellcome Trust announced an update to their policy on managing and sharing research data, which is now a Policy on data, software and materials management and sharing.

Researchers applying to Wellcome in future will be required to prepare to share other outputs of their work, such as original software and research materials like antibodies, cell lines or reagents.

As David Carr, from Wellcome’s Open Research team, writes in their announcement:

 “As a global research foundation, we’re dedicated to ensuring that the outputs of the research we fund – including publications, data, code and materials – can be accessed and used in ways that will maximise the resulting health benefits. 

Making outputs available can spark new lines of discovery and innovation, and helps to ensure that findings can be verified and reproduced.”

Once the new policy is put in to place, applicants for Wellcome funding will have to complete a broader outputs management plan (rather than a data management plan) to address how other research outputs will be managed and shared.

The requirement for the new outputs management plans will be added to application forms over the next year. Guidance already exists on which kinds of work will require one:

Examples of applications that require an outputs management plan

Wellcome have long been champions of ‘open’, being one of the first to require those they fund to make their publications and data openly available, and this update reflects a move towards an Open Research approach, something they have been developing with their Open Research Pilot Project and Open Research publishing platform.

Would it be a surprise if other funders followed suit in expanding their requirements to explicitly consider other research outputs?

Questions about the policy can be put to the Wellcome Policy Team or feel free to get in touch with the us in the Library Research Support team, now or when you are writing your outputs management plan.

New! Guidance on costing research data management

Please note: all links in this post are internal only.

Making Money by 401(K) 2012

Did you know that Research Data Management is an allowable cost in grant bids for a number of research funders, including RCUK?

This is great news for anyone worried about the extra time and money needed to effectively curate, share and preserve their research data, but it can be difficult to work out where costs will arise and how much they will be.

To help you to discover costs for RDM and apply these to your bid, I have just added some new guidance to the RDM intranet site, available here. This will help you to identify the data management costs involved in your research project by asking a number of questions about the type of data you will be collecting and how it needs to be processed.

If you need further advice on how to cost RDM into your funding bid, ask your faculty research manager or email rdm-project@open.ac.uk.

Updated ESRC Research Data Policy

This month the ESRC (Economic and Social Research Council) has released an updated version of its Research Data Policy.The policy consists of nine core principles that align with the RCUK Common Principles on Data Sharing.

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Click to download

The updated policy provides clarification on these nine core principles and detailed guidance on roles and responsibilities for research data at a project, organisational, funder and archive level.

Read the policy on the ESRC website.

To help OU researchers to understand the ESRC policy and find university services to assist with compliance, we have also created a handy flyer. Please share this with your colleagues!

If you have any questions about how this policy affects you, please email rdm-project@open.ac.uk