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Research Operations Office


Published on 13 August 2010

Report on Wellcome Trust Visit

On Wednesday 28 July 2010, Dr John Williams from the Wellcome Trust delivered a presentation detailing their Strategic Plan 2010 – 2020 and the New Investigator Awards and Senior Investigator Awards. Applications for the new scheme open on 1 October 2010 and have a closing deadline of 22 November 2010. The first round of Expert Review for the new schemes will take place during February 2011.

The presentation highlighted a number of changes to these schemes compared with the traditional ones. To download the presentation slides go to:

Q&As about the Investigator Awards can be found here:

The Research Office are currently in close contact with the Trust to ensure that our administrative processes are appropriately amended to support these schemes and we will be providing further information on this over the next two months. For further details about the new awards go to:


Royal Society Research Fellowships - Salary Update

The Royal Society University Research Fellowship (URF) and Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowship (DHF) schemes aim to provide funding to outstanding scientists who have the potential to become leaders in their chosen field. They have recently announced changes to both fellowship schemes:

Linking indexation to on salary payments to HM treasury's GDP deflator

  • For 2010 - 2011, this has been set at 1.5%. Both new and existing awards will have this new rate applied to them. It will be reviewed annually by the Royal Society

Introduction of more stringent controls on salaries to ensure that these schemes continue to attract early career researchers

The following guidance will be applied in forthcoming rounds:

  • URFs are an early career fellowship and it is expected that requested salaries will be comparable to post-doctoral researcher or early stage lecturer
  • An annual spine point increase of 2% will be applied to the salary

A new sponsor has been set up in pFACT to account for the change in inflation - 'Royal Society (1.5 Inflation)' and all applications should be made using this sponsor. However, it is not possible or desirable to amend pFACT to account for the change in spine point percentage as it will distort the true cost. We have agreed with the Royal Society that our applications will be based on our current payscales but that they will award based on the reduced percentage.  The department will then have to decide whether they will be able to make up the shortfall.

The Research Office are in close contact with the Royal Society on this and other administrative issues in grant management and we will keep you up to date with any further developments. For further information about the changes go to or contact your School Team at the Research Office

Inflation on Overseas Funders

In light of the new foreign exchange policy, it has been agreed that the inflation index used within pFACT for calculating costs on applications to overseas funders will be reduced to 3.5% with effect from 1st October 2010.

MRC e-Val 2010 Question Set

e-Val is the MRC’s online system for gathering data related to the outputs and outcomes from MRC-funded research. In principle, the MRC try to maintain the same set of questions each year, however having reviewed the data, some updates have been made to this year's survey which will take place 4 October - 26 November 2010. These include:

  • Section 3 Further Funding – additional questions to ask when funding started and ended
  • Section 4 Next Destination - additional question to ask which country a staff member moved into
  • Section 5 Dissemination - the drop down options have been changed to describe how the research was disseminated
  • Section 6 Influence on Policy - has been renamed to Influence on Policy and Practice
  • Section 8 Intellectual Property - researchers are now asked to provide the patent publication number for all patent applications published or granted
  • Section 9 Products and Interventions - all the drop down menus have been revised and simplified
  • For NPRI/LLHW awards - sections have been added to replace the generic use of section 12

The complete set of questions can be found on the MRC’s website