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Research Workshop. ‘Research Funding’ Dave Bustard 12 September 2001. Agenda. Stepping back from the problem The way forward. Systems Approach. A broad, holistic approach to problem-solving, taking all relevant factors into account, and recognising the inter-dependencies that exist

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Research workshop

Research Workshop

‘Research Funding’

Dave Bustard

12 September 2001


  • Stepping back from the problem

  • The way forward


Systems approach
Systems Approach

A broad, holistic approach to problem-solving, taking all relevant factors into account, and recognising the inter-dependencies that exist

  • Soft Systems Methodology (Checkland)

  • Organisational Learning (Senge)

  • … ‘Systems Thinking’

Change model
Change Model





Funding goal
Funding Goal?

  • Bring in as much money as possible

  • … individually, as an RAE group, and as a Faculty

  • OK?

Revised funding goal
Revised Funding Goal?

  • Undertake research of international standing

  • … measured against RAE metrics;

  • … operating efficiently and effectively,

  • … in balance with other activities;

  • … obtaining and using funding as required

  • OK?

Balancing the system
Balancing the System



Other Professional Activity

Private Life

Research achievement factors
Research Achievement Factors

  • Ability of staff & students (personal development; recruitment)

  • Motivation of staff

  • Time available to do research

  • Efficiency of approach (co-ordination; monitoring; avoiding waste)

  • Effectiveness of approach (being clever!)

  • Reputation (publicity; networking)

  • Role of funding?

Sources of funding
Sources of Funding

  • Externally funded projects/activities/infrastructure

  • Research strategy budget (block grant; project overheads, etc.)

  • Faculty/School funds

  • Research Office

  • Short courses?

Current position
Current Position

  • Reasonable income overall, but little from EPSRC and other research councils

  • Funding largely driven by a few individuals

  • Very little review of proposals, projects and outcomes (quality issue)

  • No overall tracking of applications (largely covert activity)

  • OK?


  • Most research funding needed by staff and students obtained from external sources

  • All staff, groups and centres developing annual plans, identifying funding needs and targets

  • Research applications largely group based

  • Everyone aware of funding opportunities

  • Funds requested and managed to good effect

  • All papers (and other outputs) tied to projects

  • OK?


  • How should RAE income be used?

  • How should research overheads be used?

  • What is (should be) the relationship between research centres, RRGs and groups?

  • How should funding be managed (for proposals and during projects)?

  • Others?

Way forward
Way Forward

  • Appoint a Research Director (RD)

  • Consolidate research groups and centres

  • Develop clear funding plans for groups and centres

  • Develop policies and processes, e.g., all research proposals approved by RD; all proposals reviewed before submission

  • OK?

Epsrc funding
EPSRC Funding


  • Pursue all possible fast stream proposals with senior support

  • Prepare a relatively small number of proposals annually, determined at Faculty level (number?)