Neil Crout

February 15, 2023, by Rob Ounsworth

International Research Collaboration Fund is now open

Research update by Professor Neil Crout

The aim of our research strategy is to encourage excellent research and knowledge exchange. We know that international collaboration leads to high quality research and KE outcomes. Therefore I am pleased to confirm that applications are now open for our International Research Collaboration Fund. The IRCF particularly welcomes applications from colleagues seeking to establish or grow links with world-leading research groups and institutions that will lead to excellent research outputs.

For the Academic Year 2022/23, the IRCF will fund:

International mobility grants of up to £5,000, prioritising support for established researchers to initiate and deepen international research and knowledge exchange partnerships (Open to all R&T and R staff); specific support for Early Career Researchers to establish and grow international research partnerships (open to independent research fellows and Level 5 R&T).

Partnership accelerator grants of £10,000-£20,000, prioritising the support of more substantial activity that will demonstrably accelerate international research and knowledge exchange partnerships with high-quality research groups and institutions with a global reputation for excellence in their field.

The ICRF, supported both by the university’s Research Strategy Delivery Plan and announced in-year Government funding, has been revamped and expanded in consultation with Faculties and colleagues across the university.

Find out more and apply.

Nottingham and Tübingen strengthen partnership

The universities of Nottingham and Tübingen are expanding their cross-border partnership to cooperate more closely on cutting-edge research. A delegation led by Vice-Chancellor Professor Shearer West visited Germany to sign a strategic partnership agreement with Tübingen, which builds on several years of mutual investment into research, teaching, learning and innovation.

Tübingen networking funding call

To support this growing partnership, a new networking funding call for seed/basic research with the University of Tübingen is offering awards up €50,000, with a total pot of €250,000.

Interdisciplinary applications are particularly welcomed, and existing award holders are eligible to apply for further funding – however must demonstrate clear advancement on their original project.

The deadline for applications is 19 March 2023, with awards to be confirmed by the end of March.

Please direct any enquiries to or

Applications themselves to be submitted to and

Find out more

Public engagement and the university: tell us how we are doing

Our university has an excellent track record in public engagement with our research. In order to demonstrate to staff, students, partners, communities and funders the university’s commitment to public engagement, we are applying for a Public Engagement Watermark.

These awards are administered by the National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement (NCCPE) and provide compelling evidence to underpin funding applications, KEF and REF submissions, and the myriad of quality assurance processes we have to undertake.

To help secure this prestigious recognition, we are asking everyone to complete a short survey to share how well you think we support public engagement.

Take the survey 

I know it is yet another survey – but it really will help us make our case for the Public Engagement Watermark.

£1m funding available to support research culture: share your ideas

The university is also asking you to share ideas to inform our application for £1m funding from the Wellcome Trust to support our ambition to build a positive and inclusive culture for the delivery of research.

The Wellcome Trust has invited 42 universities, including Nottingham, to apply for up to £1m over two years through its Institutional Funding for Research Culture scheme.

Nottingham is inviting colleagues from all job families to submit ideas to inform its application. Please note: this is not a funding call for individual research projects but for proposals that may shape the university’s institutional application.

Find out more about Institutional Funding for Research Culture scheme

The deadline for documentation to support internal proposals is noon, Friday 3 March 2023.

Please contact (cc if you intend to apply, with a brief summary.

Update on Digital Nottingham

Professor Paul Grainge has shared an update on Digital Nottingham, a civic initiative where university researchers are working with city and regional stakeholders to apply the latest digital and data expertise to help solve local challenges and provide opportunities for growth and regeneration.

This autumn, a collaborative hub will open at the university’s new Castle Meadow Campus. It will give Digital Nottingham a real-world presence in the heart of the city, providing a base to further engage with the community and create partnerships.

Digital Nottingham’s ‘City as Lab’ projects are meanwhile pioneering collaborations such as Hello Lamp Post, where people in Nottingham have found themselves talking to lamp posts, benches and even bins to help gather views on what climate change means to the city.

£10m clean aviation funding 

Projects led by the Institute of Aerospace Technology are receiving a share of £10m to fund research into securing net zero aviation. The funding is from the Clean Aviation Joint Undertaking, the EU’s leading research and innovation programme for securing a green aviation industry, and will support partnerships with more than 20 other leading organisations across Europe to develop world-leading solutions at the pace needed.

Leverhulme Trust Research Leadership Award

Dr Nina Hatch of the School of Physics and Astronomy has been awarded a Leverhulme Trust Research Leadership Award, worth just under £1m, for a five-year project to explore how orphan stars – those existing between galaxies – could shed light on dark matter and dark energy, which are invisible and mysterious yet make up most of the cosmos. The Research Leadership Award is one of Leverhulme’s most prestigious schemes, with calls only every three years and with only one proposal permitted per university. Nina’s success means that Nottingham candidates has been among the winners in the last three rounds. Many congratulations to Nina and everyone who supported her bid.

Blavatnik Awards

Another dark energy researcher from Physics, Professor Clare Burrage, has received a £100,000 young scientist award from the Blavatnik Family Foundation and the New York Academy of Sciences. The Blavatnik Awards, the largest unrestricted prize available to UK scientists aged 42 or younger, aim to expand the engagement and recognition of young scientists.

BBSRC Discovery Fellowship

Dr Lorna McAusland from the School of Biosciences has been awarded a £500,000 BBSRC Discovery Fellowship for her research examining novel ways the wheat flower can tolerate rising climate temperatures. The fellowship supports researchers who have demonstrated potential to become future leaders in their field.

Academic staff profile update

In March, the project to replace e-staff profiles with academic profiles goes live and over the next 12 months e-staff profiles on the university webpages will be replaced.

The new academic staff profiles will sustainably integrate existing data on people and outputs in a way that reduces duplication of effort and enhances discoverability.

This is a welcome development, improving the connectivity and profile of researchers on the university’s website. It will make the access and sharing of research outputs easier, allowing outputs from the repository to be fed through to our webpages.

Extreme e-staff profile frustration is more or less a recognised condition within the university and affects many colleagues conscientiously trying to present their research outputs on the website. Of course, other causes of frustration persist, but we are starting to chip away at them.

Best wishes

Neil Crout signature

Professor Neil Crout

Interim Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research and Knowledge Exchange



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