UoL Research Roundup

The University of London Research Services Newsletter - Research Roundup

July 2022 Issue:

Newsletter – July 2022

Introduction

Welcome to the July issue of the UoL Research Newsletter. As we wind down another academic year and start to look ahead to another, we’d like to thank all of our colleagues for their hard work and cooperation over the past year. We hope everyone has a chance to enjoy some of the warmer weather over summer.

Table of Contents

Changes to the Research Services

Research Cultural Forum

Case Studies:

MetCong (EU-Funded)

Research Policies

Green Research Data Management

UKRI Open Access Policy (Request for Comments)

Ethics reminder

Annual Data Collection exercise

ORCiD Numbers

Pre-Award & Post-Award Protocols Reminder

Funding Opportunities

Research Professional

 

Changes to the Research Services team

The School is very pleased that we can finalise the restructure commenced in 2019 with a reorganisation of the University’s Research Services team, currently managed and situated in SAS. There are a number of changes which we hope will enhance the research function and allow ourselves to be more closely aligned to strategy.  This will be done by increasing capacity, filling vacant posts; clarifying the division of responsibilities, and playing to individual’s skillsets. Colleagues may have seen that a new role - Head of Research & Research Partnerships was advertised recently.  Interviews were held on Wednesday 27 July. Many of you attended the presentation from candidates.  Thank you to Joe Ford who chaired these.

We are pleased to say that we did agree on a preferred candidate and this will be announced shortly.

Sitting below the Head of Research post is a new post – a Research Services Manager who will manage the service and a post entitled Research Support Officer which handles grant finances. Jaimie Henderson will continue to coordinate the pre- and post-award administration as the Research Operations Officer.

A new Research Finance role is also being created and will sit within the finance department, working closely with the Research Services team, strengthening cross-departmental support. Recruitment for this role will begin shortly.

Sandrine Alarçon-Symonds, who established and ran the University Research Services since 2013, will be leading on University-wide research policies and compliance as well as business intelligence from October 2022. We thank all members of this team for their patience and hard work undertaken, and we look forward to working with enhanced resources. 

Any questions on this element of our restructure please direct them to Elaine Walters.

 

Research Culture Forum

The Research Culture Forum was established earlier this year. The Forum is led by Professor Charles Burdett and is designed to provide a space to discuss issues relating to research in the most open, enjoyable, and useful way possible.

It’s been great to see all attendees engaging with strategic and operational issues of undertaking research and everyone’s willingness to contribute, share views and make it work. The second workshop on Academic Publishing took place in early July, face to face. Another meeting is planned to be organised online for colleagues who could not attend.

If colleagues have any topic that they would like the forum to cover, please contact Jaimie at Jaimie.henderson@sas.ac.uk

Dates for your diaries will be sent out soon.

 

Case Studies

MetCong (EU-Funded)

ERC Project: Metacognition of Concepts
PI: Nicholas Shea

Nicholas Shea (Institute of Philosophy) has been leading an ERC-funded project researching the philosophy and psychology of concepts. Concepts lie at the heart of the extraordinary power of the human mind. They are the building blocks of thought, the tools with which we think. The project investigates how concepts function in cognition. It is particularly interested in the way we turn our thinking inwards, monitoring the operation of our conceptual system and reflecting on it.

The research team has carried out theoretical work on these issues, developed a series of detailed empirical hypotheses, tested them in psychological experiments, and drawn the results together into a better picture of how concept-driven thinking works.

Theoretical work has been published in several leading philosophy journals. Last year, two of the top three most downloaded papers at the leading journal in the field, Mind & Language, were outputs from the project:

Quilty-Dunn, Jake. 2021. "Polysemy and thought: Toward a generative theory of concepts." Mind & Language, 36: 158–185.

Shea, N. (2020), ‘Concept-Metacognition’, Mind & Language, 35(5), pp. 565-582.

Interdisciplinary work by the PI has been published in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B (twice) and Trends in Cognitive Sciences (twice). The main experimental results were published in Cognitive Science.

Earlier this year the PI published a paper on the fast-moving field of artificial intelligence, contrasting the kinds of computations involved in the current generation of high-performing deep neural networks with the computational principles that are distinctive of human reflective intelligence.

A paper by project postdoc Jake Quilty-Dunn won the Association for the Scientific Study of Consciouness’s William James prize: Quilty‐Dunn, J. (2020) "Is iconic memory iconic?" Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 101 (3): 660-682. The prize is awarded for “the most outstanding single published contribution to the empirical or philosophical study of consciousness” published by a graduate student or postdoctoral researcher.

In public engagement, the Project put on a demonstration experiment and explained the Project to members of the public during the ‘Self-Impressions’ event at the Tate Modern gallery in London (24/03/18). 95 people took part in the demonstration, and over 1200 people visited the space and talked to researchers during the course of the day. In media coverage, the PI was interviewed for and quoted in an article in New Scientist on Difficult Concepts – Consciousness (27/6/18).

 

Research Policies

This is a gentle reminder of the University research policies, which can be viewed here: https://www.sas.ac.uk/research/research-policies-and-protocols

It’s very important that all researchers, staff, fellows and students embed these policies within their methodology and approach to undertaking research and engage with the research services if they require any support or have any questions.

To support researchers in understanding and complying with these policies, more training content is being developed and training platforms are being created. For example, to support colleagues understanding and compliant with the new Research Data Management Policy, a thorough guidance has been developed and will be shared soon. An online training platform is being developed to help visualise all the intricacies of data management in research and a toolkit which will aim to support researchers and their particular circumstances when managing research data is being created.

 

Green Research Data Management

In a vital piece of work, Dr Christopher Ohge from the Institute of English Studies is leading a working group to produce a larger ‘tool-kit’ for green digital practices in the humanities.

We look forward to sharing more resources with you in the coming months, but in the meantime, Christopher has provided the following link:

A Researcher Guide to Writing a Climate Justice Oriented Data Management Plan:

https://zenodo.org/record/6451499

 

UKRI Open Access Policy (Request for Comments)

UKRI announced its new Open Access policy in August 2021. Since then, a lot of institutions have been trying to make sense of, and operationalise, what is a dramatic change to Open Access for Journal Articles and Monographs, including UoL.

While the policy only covers UKRI-funded outputs, this is applicable to the 70% of the University’s research funding which comes from the UK Research Councils. Work has been ongoing between the Research Services, ISDT, Senate House Library, the Publication team to establish whether the University policy adopts the UKRI mandate in its entirety or adopts its own policy appropriate to its framework, while making allowance to support UKRI funded projects and their outputs to ensure compliance with the UKRI policies.

To support this investigation, the Research Services launched over month ago a survey seeking colleagues’ comments on the UKRI Open Access Policy. Specifically:

  • What difficulties have you experienced, do you currently have or envisage in the future as a result of the new UKRI policy?
  • What institutional support do you need in this area?
  • Do you understand both the University of London (internal) and funder (external) requirements when it comes to Open Access?

We’d also like to hear your comments on SAS-Space (http://sas-space.sas.ac.uk/) and its role as the institutional repository. Does it cover your needs?

Please send any comments to research@london.ac.uk – comments received will inform revisions to the University’s Open Access Policy, expected to be in place by the end of 2022.

 

Ethics reminder

This is another gentle reminder to all researchers, staff, fellows and students to ensure that research ethics approval is sought as early as possible, a minimum of 2 months before fieldwork begins, using the paperwork available here:: https://www.sas.ac.uk/research/research-policies-and-protocols/research-ethics. All travel plans must also be recorded using the travel risk assessment form, which is also appended in the ethical form and must be sent through too at research.ethics@london.ac.uk .

 

Annual Data Collection exercise

We’d like to ask all researchers to ensure that their online profiles are kept up to date and regularly maintained. Researchers’ Publications will be collected to support the annual data collection exercise of the School, which in turn will inform the performance reports submitted to Research England in the Autumn. The information collected will focus on activities and outputs undertaken between 1st August 2021 and 31st July 2022.

Colleagues are asked to ensure that their details and publications are up to date by 9th September.

Online profiles can be updated via the Directory of Research and Expertise (http://research.sas.ac.uk/). Activities, including publications, research projects, supervisions, professional affiliations, events and knowledge transfer, are expected to be publicly listed there.

If you have any open-access publications, these should be deposited on our institutional e-repository SAS-Space http://sas-space.sas.ac.uk/ and they will automatically appear on your provide on the Directory. (there is therefore no need to re-enter the output on the Directory if it is on SAS-Space.)

Please contact research@london.ac.uk if you require any assistance with the Directory. Please contact SAS-Space.Info@london.ac.uk if you have any queries regarding SAS-Space.

 

ORCiD Numbers

NEW: ORCiD Numbers are now a mandatory requirement for your Directory profile.

The ORCiD number is used as a unique identifier for academic authors and contributors. It’s becoming a mandatory requirement for an increasing number of funders, and it allows both us as a host institution, and you as a researcher, keep track of the publications and outputs that you produce during your career.

On the Directory of Research and Expertise this is now a mandatory field, which is recorded in the third box of the ‘Publications’ section of your record, under ‘SAS-Space Integration’.

If you haven’t already registered for an ORCiD number, you’ll need to log in to https://orcid.org/register and sign up. In order to register you just need to enter your first name, surname and email address; it’s incredibly straight forward – but please contact Jaimie at Jaimie.henderson@sas.ac.uk  if you’re having problems.

 

Pre-Award & Post-Award Protocols Reminder

You can find the University of London Pre- and Post-Award Protocols here. These provide the process and timeframe for putting together an application (and outlining the expectations of both Researchers and the Research Services team), and the next steps for a successful award.

Tips:

  • Everything we need to know is in the scheme/call guidance produced by the Funder.
  • Directorial approval and the Dean/PVC’s approval will first be sought in principle before any substantial work can begin and will then be reconfirmed once the proposal is ready to submit, five working days before the deadline.
  • Financial viability on all grants will be reviewed before a final comprehensive risk assessment of the project will be undertaken.
  • It is important to think of all resources, including digital, and their sustainability beyond the end of the project;
  • Collaboration does require due diligence and clarity of share of responsibility, legal, operational, financial. Their own internal approval processes may need to be taken into account.
  • All of this takes time. Depending on the size of the award, we may need to begin the process about 4 months ahead of the submission deadline (for larger grants) and a minimum of five weeks (in the case of the smallest grants);
  • Any question, just contact the research services.

 

Funding Opportunities

The current funding opportunities can be found here:

For any calls that are managed by the Research Services at institutional level, Institute Directors must be contacted directly, CCing research@london.ac.uk

 

Research Professional

The University has an institutional subscription to Research Professional which has up-to-date news on the Research landscape and a broad listing of funding opportunities. Select ‘School of Advanced Study’ from the drop-down list and log in using your ‘firstname.surname’, and usual SAS password. Email research@london.ac.uk for assistance.