Tuesday, 20 April 2010

'Responsive Mode' is Sooo Last Year...

Hot news over at EPSRC: 'responsive mode' funding has now become 'research base' funding. I phoned them to check whether this was a fundamental shift in their priorities: did it, for instance, indicate a crunching of tectonic plates, a la the Wellcome move to fund investigators rather than projects? After some confused, muffled discussion at their end (hand over the mouthpiece, shouting across to colleagues on the other side of Polaris House, you know the kind of thing), they said that no, but that there'd been an updating of the website and this 'must be part of that.'
Reassuring to know they're all on message with this change. If it's not a significant change, then why bother? If it is significant, then shouldn't their staff be better briefed?


  1. David Delpy and Lesley Thompson have been referring to "Responsive Mode" as "Research Base" for at least 18 months now (probably longer). So, perhaps the change in terminology isn't news to EPSRC staff?

    But I don't know why they changed the term.

  2. Not such hot news then! I guess I've just been accessing these grants through the particular streams (such as the maths/physical sciences), where they still seem to refer to them as standard grants, and I'd assumed that they were still known as 'responsive mode'. I guess 'research base' is just a banner that is intended to explain that they're funding the basic research that the sector is based on. Who knows. It obviously doesn't have too much currency within EPSRC itself.