Jessica Corner

April 26, 2021, by Rob Ounsworth

Research strategy consultation: join our town halls and share your thoughts

Update from Professor Dame Jessica Corner 

I am delighted to announce a series of town halls to update you on the development of our five-year research strategy.  

We encourage our whole community – colleagues from all job families as well as researchers and staff who support research – to join us and help shape our vision for the future of research. 

The virtual town halls follow the first steps of our university-wide consultation, where we are asking colleagues to  respond to a simple set of questions on the future of research at Nottingham.    

The closing date for your responses is 5pm on Friday 14 May

If you have not already done so, please spare a few minutes to add your thoughts, and encourage colleagues to take part. Your input is invaluable as we seek to create a new strategy for research and prepare for new opportunities and  challenges ahead.  You can respond individually, or as a group.  

Respond to our consultation survey 

Discover more about the consultation 

The town halls will update you on the consultation so far, how to get further involved and plans including a series of workshops that will help shape how we prioritise and achieve our ambitions for research. There will also be an opportunity to ask a question. 

There are five events, each geared towards one of our faculties. If you are unable to attend your faculty’s event, please feel free to express an interest in attending one that best suits you. 

The town halls take place on: 

Monday, 17 May 11am-noon – Faculty of Social Sciences 

Tuesday, 18 May 10.30-11.30am – Medicine and Health Sciences 

Tuesday, 25 May 11am-noon – Arts 

Wednesday, 26 May 4-5pm – Science 

Thursday, 27 May 3.30-4.30pm – Engineering 

Please register your interest (before 5pm, Friday 7 May 2021). A Teams link will be sent to you during week commencing 10 May.  

I will be joined by the relevant faculty Associate Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research and Knowledge Exchange at each of the town halls. Each faculty will also be contacting colleagues about the town halls.  

We look forward to welcoming you, and also to your responses to the consultation survey. Thank you for taking the time to help shape our future. 

 MRC’s pandemic support for researchers 

The Medical Research Council (MRC) has established further procedures to mitigate the impact of the pandemic. Funding applicants who faced delays to their research or are affected by changing work patterns will be able to outline the impact of the pandemic on their research career and track record, using their CV and the case for support, should they wish.  

MRC has also issued new peer review guidance and assessment criteria, advising reviewers to take this impact into consideration and to consider the capability of the applicant and their wider team to deliver the proposed research. Further information can be found here. 

Research institutions have also raised concerns over our ability to provide matched funding for capital equipment. For the next financial year, from 1 April 2021, MRC will increase its funding for equipment from 50 to 80% FEC (or exceptionally 100% with prior agreement). For applications already submitted, if the funding panel is on or after 1 April 2021the MRC contribution to any funded equipment will be increased to 80% before award. 

MRC has contacted Research and Innovation with the new guidance. Questions can also be addressed to 

Tanvir’s ceramics could send us to Mars 

Engineering’s Dr Tanvir Hussain has been awarded a five-year fellowship worth more than £2.1m from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council. Tanvir will use artificial intelligence and advanced chemistry to develop new aerospace coatings that could cut jet plane CO2 emissions and help spacecraft venture further into our solar system. The long-term vision is to build a Centre of Excellence in Ceramic Coatings at the university. 

Understanding human cooperation 

Professor Simon Gaechter of the School of Economics has been awarded a prestigious €2.5m, (£2.15m) Advanced Grant from the European Research Council (ERC)Simon’s project will combine insights and methods from economics, sociology, and moral and social psychology to increase understanding of human cooperation. ERC Advanced Grants reward ground-breaking, long-term projects led by exceptional research leaders and this is Simon’s second such award. Congratulations! 

Sharing knowledge 

Nottingham Research Fellow Dr Kate Law (History) is co-organising a 12-week seminar series on feminism in the Global South. The exciting programme features academics from around the world. Find out more and sign up. 

Also from History, Dr Richard Gaunt discusses the 3rd Duke of Portland in a podcast series commemorating the tercentenary of the British Premiership. 

From English, Professor Louise Mullany was a guest on BBC Radio 4 Woman’s Hourdiscussing misogyny as a hate crime, while Dr Andrew Harrison contributed to the Sky Arts television documentary D.H. Lawrence: Sex, Exile and Greatness. 

The Postgraduate Researcher Experience Survey 2021 

All registered doctoral students based at our UK campuses are invited to add their voices to the Postgraduate Research Experience Survey. This national survey provides an opportunity for PGRs to give detailed feedback on their experience. This year’s survey includes additional questions about their experience of being a researcher during Covid-19. The survey is open until 17 May. 

Complete the survey 

5-star rating for Malaysia research 

The University of Nottingham Malaysia has once again received a MyRA 5-star research rating from the Ministry of Education, which confirms UNM as one of the highest rated international universities in Malaysia. Congratulations to Professor Andy Chan, Vice-Provost (Research and Knowledge Exchange), and all involved.  

Our commitment to research integrity and ethics 

Please visit our Research Ethics and Integrity pages for refreshed resources aimed at research ethics committees in schools, departments and faculties. These now include dedicated Code of Practice for Research Ethics Committees for projects involving human participants. We have also produced guidance on ethics for research projects involving animalsAll staff and students will find these codes and guidance will benefit them immensely in planning research projects and by providing a clear understanding of the review criteria used to assess research projects.  

Find out more 

REF: special delivery 

As postscript to our REF2021 submission, REF and Social Policy Manager Soma Mukherjee personally delivered 313 physical copies of outputs to Research England’s REF warehouse in Bristol. Soma and I once again thank all involved, not least Sarah Davies in Libraries and her team, who packed and labelled the 24 boxes that were squeezed into Soma’s Volvo. Soma reports a lovely, sunny drive, all the more enjoyable after many months of lockdown! 

Watch Jonathan Van-Tam’s lecture 

Our own Professor Jonathan Van-Tam took a break from his duties as Deputy Chief Medical Officer to deliver an inspirational lecture as part of the university’s medicine and nursing anniversary celebrations. JVT reflected on his remarkable career and gave fascinating insights into the UK’s pandemic response. Watch a recording of his lecture. 

My thanks and best wishes 

Jessica Corner's signature

Professor Dame Jessica Corner
Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research and Knowledge Exchange 


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