The TDE Research Support Office provides support for academic staff in the Faculty of Technology, Design and Environment to undertake high quality, high impact research and knowledge exchange activities. It also supports the faculty in the development and delivery of the strategies which lead to these activities.
Research Support Office
All applications for external research funding need to be costed and approved in accordance with the guidelines and processes outlined in the Guide to 'Applying for External Research Funding' before the bid can be submitted to the funder.
If you have a research project idea you would like to bid for, then please discuss it with your Research Lead and with us here at the Research Support Office! We can, for example, help you identify an appropriate funding call, or suggest colleagues who might be able to help you grow your idea! When you are ready to progress the project, please complete the TDE Grants Panel: Intent to Submit Form.
The office consists of 4 full time equivalent staff comprising:
- supports the Associate Dean (Research & Knowledge Exchange) in the organisation, implementation and promotion of the Faculty’s research and knowledge exchange strategies,
- advises the faculty’s Senior Executive Group on the implementation of and monitoring adherence to research and consultancy strategy, procedures and policies,
- maintains records for external evaluation of research, such as the Research Excellence Framework (REF),
- sits on committees and panels in both an advisory and decision making capacity,
- manages the Research Support Office, which comprises two Grants Officers and a Research Administrator.
Two grants officers who:
- provide support for bidding for external funding by academic staff including support with the university costing tool (pFACT) and seeing bids through the faculty and University approval processes to submission,
- liaise with the University Research and Business Development Office (RBDO) to support these activities,
- act as secretary to the Faculty Grants Panel, the Research & Knowledge Exchange Committee (RKEC) and the REF Strategy Committee,
- co-ordinate the appointment of visiting academic researchers,
- support faculty colleagues with using university research systems e.g. Converis.
Research administrator who:
- provides administrative support with all enquiries and application processes related to the research degrees programmes in the faculty,
- acts as secretary to the Faculty Research Degrees Sub-Committee (RDSC),
- liaises with the University Research Degrees Team to support these activities,
- co-ordinates the enrolment of visiting associate research students,
- manages studentship processes from advert or offer.
Research Grants Officers
The TDE Research Support Office is located on the second floor of the Abercrombie Building (Room AB 2.11) on the Headington Campus.
Core hours when the office is staffed are 9am-5pm, Monday to Friday. Please call in to see us, although if you want to see a particular member of the team, you may want to email or phone in advance.
In addition, the Research Support Office (Room R2.41) in the Wheatley Campus is open on Wednesdays 9am-5pm.
The TDE Research Support Office can provide advice and guidance to faculty staff on a range of issues relating to research and knowledge exchange. The following are common ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ which may help with your initial query.
If the answer to your question is not here, please email the team at email@example.com and we will aim to help you.
Finding information on potential funding sources
Q. How can I find potential sources of funding for my research?
A. Chat with your Department / School Research Lead and other research active staff in TDE and other Faculties about who they have applied to in the past. The University subscribes to Research Professional which is an extensive database of funding opportunities. You will need to register as an individual and you can then set up funding alerts tailored to your research interests.
The Research Support Office also issue to all TDE academic staff fortnightly funding bulletins including funding opportunities as advertised by Research Professional and as identified separately by Research Support Office staff.
In addition, as of April 2018, the office has been delivering grants drop-in sessions to all TDE academics. We can assist with writing grants applications, searching for an appropriate funding scheme and can comment on your grants application(s). Drop-in sessions are organised on a twice monthly basis, held once at Gypsy Lane and once in Wheatley. Dates are sent to all TDE academics in advance.
If you would like further advice, please contact the Research Support Office team on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Writing a good proposal for funding
Q. Where can I find guidance on how to write a good research proposal?
A. Speak with your Department / School Research Lead in the first instance. A number of the Research Councils and other funders provide guidance on how to write a good bid and of their bid approval process. A useful book with tips and suggestions is Aldridge and Derrington (2012) The Research Funding Toolkit: How to Plan and Write Successful Grant Applications, Sage Publications Ltd.
The TDE Research Support Office also runs a few lunchtime seminars per year, some on grant writing, including information on costings and impact and dissemination. The June-run Introduction to Grant-Funding for Early Career Researchers is specifically aimed at early career researchers. Lunchtime seminar and other event invites are sent in advance to all TDE academics.
Q. Is there someone who can help me put together a research proposal?
A. Your Department / School Research Lead should be your first point of contact: mentoring and peer review from experienced and successful bidders can be very valuable, and this can be arranged for you by your Research Lead. In funding organisations, bids are often evaluated by non-specialists. If you would like non-specialist feedback on clarity and readability, or someone to proof read your bid, please contact the Research Support Office ( email@example.com).
Please also see above information on grants drop-in sessions. We can help with commenting on grants applications at these sessions.
Process of applying for external funding to undertake research
Q. I’ve not applied for external funding before – where do I start?
A. Talk to your Department / School Research Lead about your idea and to which funder you would like to apply. Your Research Lead can help identify what support you might potentially need such as mentoring. Also contact the Research Support Office who can let you know what other support is available and guide you through the Faculty and University procedures.
Please Note: external funding bids need to be submitted to the Faculty at least a fortnight before the external deadline so that time can be given for the Faculty Finance and Management approvals. The bid needs to be with the University for approval and sign off at least one week before the deadline. Please contact the Research Support Office as early as possible.
Q. How do I work out how much money to apply for?
A.The Faculty uses an ‘off the shelf’ costing tool called pFACT to calculate the full economic cost of your proposed research/consultancy. All staff can have access to pFACT and cost their own bids, however, you may find it useful to seek the support and help of the Research Support Office to put the costing together in the first instance. If you do use the pFACT tool yourself you must also get approval for the costing before including it in your bid document. Please contact the Research Support Office as soon as possible for advice and guidance on your costing.
Q. If my bid is successful, I’ll do the work as part of my allocation of research hours. Do I still need Faculty/University approval?
A.Yes - all applications for external funding where University resources (including staff time) are committed and where the university enters a contractual relationship with the funder require Faculty and University approval. Please contact the Research Support Office as soon as possible for advice and guidance.
Q. I've found a call for funding but the closing date is in a couple of weeks - can I just submit the bid?
A. No - you need to get Department / School and University approval before submitting a bid. Talk to your Department / School Research Lead and the Research Support Office as a matter of urgency.
Q. I've seen a call for funding which asks for an Expression of Interest / Outline Proposal - can I just apply without having to tell anyone?
A. No - talk to your Department / School Research Lead and the Research Support Office who can guide you through the procedures.
I have been approached to be a partner in a bid being led by another Faculty or Institution - do I need to tell anyone?
Q. I've been approached as a possible partner in a bid - what do I do?
A. Talk to your Department/School Research Lead as soon as possible about who has approached you and what the potential project is about. Also contact the Research Support Office who can help explain what support is available and guide you through the Faculty and University procedures. For some funders (e.g. EU, Government) there may be specific requirements/conditions attached to the funding which it is important that the University agrees to in advance, even though it is not the lead partner. The timescale may also be very short for the submission of the proposal and it is therefore important that any ‘compression’ of Faculty and University approval timescales is agreed to in advance.
I've been notified of the successful outcome of my application for external funding - what do I do now?
Q. My bid was successful - what do I do now?
A.Congratulations! Let your Department/School Research Lead and Head of Department know the good news, along with the Research Support Office and the University Research and Business Development Office ( Sarah Taylor, Research Support Director). You are now in the care of the University Research and Business Development Office and the Faculty Finance Office to set your project up and get it running.
Q. My bid was not successful - I don't know what to do next
A. Please don’t get too down-hearted: competition for funding from research councils, charities and other funding bodies is fierce, so even good bids are often not successful. Let your Department/School Research Lead and the Research Support Office know the outcome and if you receive feedback from the funder please pass this on as it is useful to see if there are lessons that can be learnt. Also, remember that even if your bid wasn’t successful this time, this doesn’t mean it won’t be successful if it is revised and submitted to another funding organisation. For assistance with how to go about this, speak with your Research Lead and the Research Support Office.
Running continuing professional development training
Q. I am running a course aimed at professionals, not students. Should I involve the Research Support Office
A. Yes, if you are running non-credit-bearing continuing professional development training the budget for this bid should be prepared through pFACT costing tool and will require Faculty and University approval. Please contact the Research Support Office to discuss this further or if you are not sure whether your course comes under this category and you need clarification.
Hosting visiting academic researchers
Q. I’d like to arrange for a researcher from outside Oxford Brookes to visit me in my Department / School - how do I do this?
A. Contact the Grants Officer in the Research Support Office who will send you a copy of the procedure document and an application form. Please note: visits by external academics require Faculty (and in some cases University) approval. Depending on where the Visitor is coming from, there may be visa issues which need to be clarified so it is vital that the visit is approved well in advance of the visitor arriving.
Hosting visiting associate research students
Q. I’d like to arrange for a research student from outside Oxford Brookes to visit me in my Department / School, how do I do this?
A. Contact the Research Administrator in the Research Support Office. You’ll be sent a copy of the procedures and application form, which should be completed and the visit approved well in advance of the student arriving.
Q. I’d like to arrange for a student on a modular programme (undergraduate or postgraduate) from outside Oxford Brookes to visit me in my Department / School, how do I go about this?
A. The Research Support Office does not provide support in relation to visiting students who will be enrolled on a modular programme during their time at the University. In such cases you need to contact the Admissions Office in Student Central.