Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Notes from HERA Cultural Encounters Information Session


Last Thursday my colleague Lynne Bennett attended a HERA Cultural Encounters Information Session in London.  The Slides from the event are available here.
If you are planning to make an application to this call (either as the Project Leader or as one of the Principal Investigators), it is important that you contact Lynne asap.  The deadline is 4 May but costings for these are complicated and may take much longer than you anticipate.

Lynne provided the following notes from the event. A few of these would apply equally to all large applications – so even if you’re not planning a HERA application, it’s worth having a look at the following:
  • Large collaborative projects should be managed by a steering committee.  Your application should include plans for the committee to meet regularly to review progress against milestones (associated travel costs can be included in the budget);
  • All large collaborative projects should include costs for an Administrator at an appropriate level.  In the case of a HERA application, where there are several European partners, it would be reasonable to have 2 or 3 administrators working on different aspects of the project;
  •  Project management should include regular team meetings and have a robust internal reporting system 
  • For any large AHRC application, knowledge exchange should be embedded throughout the project and should not be added as an afterthought.  (The AHRC are VERY keen on ‘mutually-enriching’ collaborations with non-academic partners.);
  • Non Academic Partners can be included but the AHRC will not pay for their time (only travel and subsistence);
  • Interdisciplinarity means ‘challenging the familiar and conventional’ and ‘moving the boundaries of the discipline’;
  • Collaboration means that you can address familiar questions in new ways that would be impossible for a lone researcher;
  • Read the rules – AHRC and the other funders are continually surprised at how many applicants fail to do this;
  •  The Project Leader must demonstrate in the application that he/she has the experience and skills to lead the project.
Thanks very much to Lynne for these.

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