This document outlines
- NIHR Aims
- Research Priorities
- What the NIHR funds
- Research Design Service
Please note in the attached statutory instrument, which came into force on 1 June 2014, the introduction of the new s29A (copies for text and data analysis for non-commercial research) of the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988, which makes provision for the copying of material in order to carry out a ‘computational analysis’ of all the materials contained within the copyright work for the purposes of ‘non-commercial research’.
This provision covers all types of copyright work for the purposes of section 1 of the 1988 Act, including literary dramatic, musical or artistic, and for the purposes of section 29(4). This is part of the Government’s policy to permit copying of copyright material for educational and research purposes, and to be used in line with modern and innovative teaching methods.
New sections 32, 35 and 36 of the 1988 Act are substituted; the new section 32 is a fair dealing permission with a copyright work for the sole purpose of illustration for instruction (including acts done in the ‘setting and answering of examination questions’ – section 32(2). Again, the dealing must be for a ‘non-commercial purpose’ and be by a person giving and receiving the instruction.
The new section 35 permits educational establishments to make copies of recordings of broadcasts which have been made for non-commercial educational purposes of the establishment and communicate them to staff and pupils. There is an added proviso for communication off premises, that the communication is by means of a secure electronic network accessible only to staff and pupils.
There are other changes including copying and the amount of a work that may be copied in any 12 month period; and the reader is referred to the attached Statutory instrument for the main amendments to the 1988 Act. The references to required licences from copyright owners, including commercial licences, where they could be validly put in place, would be reviewed and negotiated by Universities and the Contracts Officer in the usual way. Any advice required in relation to the same should be sought in each case.
The Statutory Instrument: Copyright Rights in Performances (Research, Education, Libraries and Archives) Regulations 2014 No. 1372:
In R (Rotherham Borough Council et al) v Secretary of State v Business and Skills  EWCA 1080 it has been very recently reported that the Councils in the appeal, had disappointingly suffered a defeat in the Court of Appeal (on 28 July) in their claim for judicial review. That much is true.
However on 30 July (yesterday), the combined Councils’ expedited appeal, including the assertion that the Government owed a public sector equality duty pursuant to section 149 of the Equality Act 2010 has won favour in the UK Supreme Court and is due to be heard on 22 October.
The combined appeals included breaches of UK and EC law directed at the Government’s failure in duty by producing discriminatory and disproportionate cuts in ERDF funding cuts for their regions – as found at first instance by Stewart J.
This appeal will be of great interest and importance to Universities for a host of reasons, not the least of which being:
1. Novel arguments related to the macroeconomic funding including ERDF will be passed through the prism of high level EU principles of equal treatment and proportionality in the Department of Business Innovation and Skills failure to treat the Regions in the same way as other regions – the Court of Appeal indicated that the Commission had not imposed a legal standard as to how to allocate funds to transition or any other regions, and even if one were found a very high threshold of unreasonableness would need to be reached.
2. The public sector equality duty (the PSED) pursuant to section 149 of the Equality Act 2010 will also be relied upon in a very novel way to assert equal treatment, and to uphold the decision at first instance that the PSED was breached by the Government – Stewart J paragraph 93.
3. The wide margins of discretion and the broad discretionary brush wielded by Government in making political economic and social choice in allocation of funding had to involve exercise of broad discretion; pursuing objectives including ‘a target for improving conditions for research and development’ and a target for reducing greenhouse gases and emissions and increasing energy efficiency, was described as ‘classic territory for affording the decision maker a wide margin of discretion’ (at paragraph 57 of the Court of Appeal decision – Dyson MR)
4. The equal treatment principle, which requires that ‘comparable situations must not be treated differently and different situations must not be treated in the same way unless such treatment is objectively justified’. The principle was put more shortly: ‘Has there been a failure to treat like cases alike (and unlike cases differently)?’ The entire appeal was summarised to be about how the equal treatment principle should be applied; and what margin of discretion should be afforded to the Secretary of State when deciding whether different categories are alike or unalike – whether Liverpool could be compared with Highlands and Islands, or Northern Ireland in a meaningful sense (the ‘comparability question’). There is (apparently) no authority as to the issue as to the exercise of margin of discretion of the decision maker (in this case of the Secretary of State for Business Innovation and Skills) on the question of ‘comparability’ – and there lies the rub.
5. The Court of Appeal set out the comparators of the economic performance of the different regions, and they are the list that would be familiar to Universities in ERDF funding: general economic performance of different regions, respective employment rates for aged based groups, and significantly ‘conditions for research and development’ and respective greenhouse gas emissions (cf. the Energy Efficiency funding stream etc). The Court of Appeal perhaps rightly emphasised that the comparison exercise between regions was ‘multi-factorial’ – and then decided that the ‘decision maker is entitled to a wide margin of discretion in making such a decision’ – which should only be interfered with if a high standard of unreasonableness was met. It is difficult in my view to take sides on such an argument, but the University sector (indeed any party receiving ERDF funding) ought to be watching the progress of the appeal closely.
6. There was concern expressed in the appeal that the Councils’ domestic appeals (to be heard in October this year) would prejudice recipients in Funds in other regions, if not derail the entire ERDF funding stream itself. It was evident that the Commission’s position regarding the lawfulness of the Government’s policy was not formally known, and the parties were advised to obtain information and advise on further appeal as to the Commission’s position vis a vis the parties – central and local government. However, an expedited appeal, resulting from a permission hurried into the Supreme Court on the last day of term, is at least a first brisk step towards clarity. The issue as to whether following the forthcoming appeal there could be a reference to the European Court also remains open, and much would depend on the general position the Commission takes, which is currently unknown.
The decision of Justice Stewart:
the decision of the Court of Appeal on 28 July 2014:
Useful Local Government Article by Mark Smulian on the Court of Appeal defeat:
The document outlines:
This case was the subject of a previous Blog; the hearing of the appeal being heard 17 to 19 June 2014, which was available for viewing on the live feed of the UK Supreme Court.
In the above decision, Lord Neuberger has confirmed at paragraph 7 (page 4 of the judgment) that a principal has a right to an account and equitable compensation for a bribe or secret commission. It was also recognised that where an agent acquires a benefit in breach of fiduciary duty, the relief is primarily restitutionary or restorative, rather than compensatory. As previously explored, restitutionary responses (as here) involve the agent giving back the enrichment received at the expense of the principal, as opposed to merely confining the principal to a claim for compensation for loss – probably by way of the personal claim only. This decision is much more expansive remedially.
The basic rule, according to FHR European Ventures’ should now be that an agent who obtains a benefit in breach of his fiduciary duty to his principal holds that benefit on trust for his principal. Equity for the present day (common law and equity having been fused since the Judicature Act 1873) has recognised the existence of a new proprietary right against agents in receipt of bribes or secret commissions.
At paragraph 7 of the Judgment it was further emphasised that the agent’s duty to account for the bribe or secret commission was a personal remedy in favour of the principal, against the agent.
The second important clarification made at paragraph 7 concerned the ‘equitable Rule’, which was stated to be that where a benefit is acquired by the agent as a result of his fiduciary position:
‘…the equitable rule is that he is to be treated as having acquired the benefit on behalf of his principal, so that it is beneficially owned by the principal. In such cases, the principal has a proprietary remedy in addition to his personal remedy against the agent and the principal can elect between the two remedies.’ (end of paragraph 7).
What are the practical implications? The practical implications for Universities
The Judgment covers much more of interest than what follows of course, however some of the general commentators have drawn out the following significant practical implications:
Firstly, the rule is not confined to agents and principals per se. The net is cast over other recognisable fiduciary relationships – employer-employee, company director, and persons acting in an official capacity, and of trustees acting under a formal trust. Universities are not uniquely affected by this change, but should audit transactions that involve potential conflicts of interest including any parties in transactions receiving commissions.
Secondly, full blown proprietary claims, coupled with the process of tracing (tracing as the process identifying the enrichment, which is now proprietary, and following substitutions of the property, in whatever form that substitution might take) can be made in the usual way, including tracing into the hands of third parties; subject to the usual defences for recipients of bona fide purchase. The proof of the existence of a proprietary base, following an agent’s receipt of a secret commission, would include the concurrent liability of the agent to a personal claim. Claimants could opt for making either a personal or a proprietary claim, depending upon the particular facts of the case.
All the usual remedies will remain, including Freezing orders, but would now be used in tandem with remedies for preserving proprietary interests.
Finally, agents in light of the confirmation that there is a proprietary base (inferred from the agent’s fiduciary status) in bribes and commissions, will need to inquire thoroughly into conflicts of interest that could arise from payments, or where possible, seek formal consent from principals to the receipt of any commissions. This is not a change unique to Universities, but highlights the need for parties to make detailed enquiries as to potential conflicts, and whether consents have been granted regarding commission payments. This would include enquiries from parties along the line of any transaction in which a University is involved where there is likelihood of commission payments. Once tracing has done its work, a Claimant wronged party can now hook the property or its value back from any party in the chain or into whose hands the property or its value has been traceably and survivably received – subject to defences.
The concern (‘traceable’ all the way back to Lister v Stubbs and further) that a proprietary claim against an agent was wrong and was never part of the law, for it would mean that unsecured creditors claims against an insolvent agent would be trumped by the proprietary claim of the principal; has been rejected. Lister v Stubbs, for good or ill, has been overruled.
FHR European Ventures Press Summary:
FHR European Ventures v Cedar Capital: Judgment
Keele University, Dr Alannah Tomkins
Northumbria University, Dr Geoff Walton firstname.lastname@example.org
Project Researcher: Dr Jackie Reynolds
Unique Media Productions
A team of creative practitioners: Maria Whatton, Deborah McAndrew, Dave Reeves, Chrissie Hall.
|Project /Scheme title||AHRC Research Networking Grant: ‘And the Doctor Said…..’|
|‘And the Doctor Said….’ is an innovative research project, which uses creative writing as a way of exploring people’s experiences of healthcare in North Staffordshire. A series of workshops led by creative writers, playwrights and storytellers took place during 2013 in four different community venues in and around Stoke-on-Trent. Through creative writing, the participants shared, reflected on and wrote about their health experiences. The activities and writing drew upon their own personal experience and local knowledge. It is a ‘Connected Communities’ project, a cross-Council programme designed to help us to understand the changing nature and contexts of ‘community’ and the role of communities in enhancing and sustaining quality of life.|
|When did it run||February 2012-February 2014|
This project is highly participatory, directly involving participants in both the production and the dissemination of the research. This has been valuable and has also presented a range of interesting dilemmas and challenges to be addressed. The learning from these challenges is being shared in the project dissemination.
|Future / ongoing activities as a result of this project||We continue to disseminate this project at a wide range of events and conferences.Planned publications include a methodological journal article and a co-authored chapter in an edited book about creativity in the context of primary care and mental health and ageing.We are also developing a funding bid for AHRC follow-on funding, in order to further develop the impact of this work, particularly in relation to the training and professional development of medical staff. The follow-on project will focus on developing two-way dialogue between health professionals and research participants.|
|Top tips for working with this funder –||
|How easy was the application process?||Applications are quite lengthy and time-consuming. Support from colleagues in ECD is invaluable, especially if you are new to the J-es system.|
|Think this project looks interesting? What Next For further support from the External projects team contact: email@example.com or call 01785 353774|
External Projects Team: Enterprise and Commercial Development
|Staffordshire University, United Kingdom (Lead Partner)
Prof Tarik Al-shemmeri, T.T.Al-Shemmeri@staffs.ac.uk
Funding body/ amount received
ARBOR budget is €7.361.958
ARBOR has received European Regional Development Funding through INTERREG IVB
In relation to what is generally referred to as ‘Pre-publication research’please note that the Intellectual Property Act 2014 (which is enacted but not yet in force – coming into force on 15 July 2014), by section 22A, has created a novel exemption from the Freedom of Information Act 2000, for pre-publication research. The exemption obtained in the course of, or derived from a ‘programme of research’ will amount to exempted information if the following conditions are met:
(a) the programme is continuing, with a view to publication by a public authority (cf. Universities are public authorities pursuant to Schedule 1 Part IV clause 53 of the 2000 Act), of a report of the Research…and
(b) disclosure of the information under the 2000 Act before the date of publication would or be likely to prejudice: (i) the programme (ii) the interests of any individual participating in the programme (iii) the interests of the Authority (cf. the University) which holds the information, or (iv) the interests of the Authority mentioned in paragraph (a) if it is a different authority from that which holds the information.
Commentators have remarked that in all the circumstances of the case, the public interest in maintaining exemption must be balanced against and outweigh the public interest in disclosing the information, and that each case would be decided on its own merits. The writer knows of no provisions referring to this balancing exercise, however it is generally recognised that the new exemption would allow Universities as Researchers to consider and validate their research work before putting it into the public domain.
Section 22A(2) is a new provision whereby the Authority (cf. the University) would not be obliged to ‘confirm or deny’ whether they hold exempt information, if by doing so this prejudices the above factors listed (i) to (iv) above.
When the writer comes across further elucidating commentary on the new section 22A Research exemption they will be posted further in this blog.
The link to the new Intellectual Property Act 2014 (adding the new section 22A to the Freedom of Information Act 2000) can be found at:
Wider Outlook – Funding, Policy updates and Research
Welcome to July’s Wider Outlook—the team have chosen the theme of Research Matters and interdisciplinarity for this month’s theme. There is no shortage of encouragement to engage in interdisciplinary research and the need to do this is widely recognised – in order to begin to answer the big research questions – but how do you make a start and what are the institutional and other barriers? Who does it well – and how could we approach research differently?
Horizon 2020 recognises this too – and has posed research questions around challenges, societal challenges, climate change, health and food security. Explicitly highlighting the multidisciplinary dimensions to these ‘wicked problems’ by including the Social Sciences and Humanities as key collaborators.
We have identified a number of articles related to this topic -and for the first time we have not included funding opportunities in Wider Outlook – to keep current these are now blogged daily, or sent out to small relevant groups as a bespoke service,
RCUK’s plans for 2015-16
Collaboration and efficiencies top RCUK’s 2015-16 plans; Research Councils UK will develop an innovation strategy, improve researcher training and career development and review its support of interdisciplinary research, according to its 2015-16 delivery plan.
The plan, published on 16 June, splits RCUK’s aims into two themes: delivering excellence with impact and enhancing efficiency.
Delivering excellence with impact
To address the first, RCUK says it will produce an innovation strategy that takes into account increasing collaboration and the UK science and innovation strategy, to be delivered in the autumn.
RCUK will also refresh its shared strategic objectives with the Technology Strategy Board, and improve work with partners such as the National Centre for Universities and Business. More interdisciplinary training will be provided for researchers, and RCUK says it will develop more robust evidence on the impact of training on the wider economy, as well as establishing an improved professional development agenda.
In addition to the review of the support of interdisciplinary research, which has been prompted by recommendations in the triennial review of the research councils, RCUK says it will continue working on cross-cutting areas, such as big data.
RCUK also sets out its international collaboration plans, working with government to deliver the £375-million Newton Fund, and helping UK researchers benefit from Horizon 2020.
On the efficiency side, RCUK confirms its plan to appoint an executive director to improve harmonisation in internal operations and says that it will continue making efficiency savings up to 2016.
At the same time, each research council has published its own delivery plan for 2015-16, which sets out the areas of investment for that time as well as committing to further collaborative working, efficiency savings and improving training for researchers. Most of these plans are continuations of earlier delivery or strategic plans. – See more at:
Report calls for better inclusion of Social Science and Humanities in H2020
Horizon 2020 should include more opportunities for interdisciplinary research to ensure that societal challenges and humanities have sufficient space in the programme.
A report by Net4Society group, an advisory group on social and economic sciences funded by the European Commission, found that 37 per cent of the topics in the first Horizon 2020 work programmes include elements of social sciences and humanities. It is important for this work to be properly supported and made more visible in the wider approach to solving the Horizon 2020 societal challenges, the group said.
All Horizon 2020 advisory groups should contain members with a background in social sciences and humanities to ensure that these disciplines are included when projects are implemented, says the report.
When the original proposal for Horizon 2020 was issued in 2012, no provisions had been made for the inclusion of social science and humanities. After prolonged lobbying by social sciences and humanities researchers, the Commission decided to split the programme’s sixth challenge into two, creating a special budget for SSH work.
– See more at:
Academics Anonymous: breaking down barriers between disciplines
Big problems require thinkers who can transcend the traditional boundaries between subjects. In an era where the speed of progress in e.g. biosciences is accelerating, it’s true that specialisation is necessary just to keep up with the data being produced. In fact, a whole new specialism, bioinformatics, has emerged to do just that. But the rebuttal to this is that we desperately need generalists to unify the specialist niches.
The really big problems of climate change, for example, can only be addressed by unifying thought from meteorologists, oceanographers, glaciologists, social scientists, behavioural scientists, political research, economists and so on. Some ideas:
• Hire and judge people on the quality and impact of their research, not on the journal they have published in.
• Anonymise job and grant applications.
• Allow interdisciplinary grants as standard that are reviewed by people from multiple disciplines.
• Provide funding for pump-priming new collaboration attempts and risky “what-if” projects.
• Bring experts from other institutions and industries into universities to provide specialised training to students while allowing academics to guide students in critical thinking and core skills.
• Give students free choice of modules so they can graduate as generalists.
For more see:
Interdisciplinary research is the future at Sussex University
An extract of a recent interview with Michael Farthing vice-chancellor of Sussex University
“Development studies are still very strong in this university, and we are very concerned about the inequalities that could be driven further by climate change, by migration. We now have a medical school, so we’re fully engaged with health issues, not just local but global,” says Farthing. “There is a sense that the things we do here have got to be important, they’ve got to have impact, they’ve got to be relevant to the world outside.”
While some universities are still struggling with the idea of interdisciplinarity, it has been part of Sussex’s make-up from the start, and the return to a flatter, school-based structure will, Farthing believes, help it to flourish. The university’s neuroscience centre, for example, includes specialists in the fields of medicine, psychology, life sciences and informatics and engineering, while the Sackler centre for the study of consciousness science, built on philanthropic donations, brings together, among others, psychiatrists and computer scientists. A new interdisciplinary centre for Middle East studies is in progress.
In 1961, Sussex was a small university, alive with promise and opportunity. Farthing is aware that the expansion has, to some extent, changed the character of the university. But growth, he argues, has enabled the university to increase the breadth and depth of its research and to offer a wider range of courses. He is clear that he doesn’t want to lose “those very distinctive features” of the university, such as its commitment to interdisciplinarity. “Everybody here lives, breathes, eats, sleeps, drinks interdisciplinarity. And that is as alive as it was 50 years ago,” he says.
Horizon 2020 – European Parliament input
Much of the credit for Horizon 2020 being simpler and more cohesive than its predecessors can got to the European Parliament, says Fiona Hall MEP.
Research is becoming more complex and interdisciplinary, and companies, institutions and governments are finding it difficult to fund increasingly costly projects. Modern research requires a high level of coordination and cooperation, freedom of movement for talent and ideas, and the ability to leverage large sums of money.
This is the main rationale for having an EU-level research policy. A bloc of 28 countries, representing more than 500 million people and a large resource pool, is well placed to respond to the challenges involved in research and innovation.
EU programmes provide an additional stream of financing to complement national efforts at a time when national budgets are under pressure. According to the UK Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, for example, almost one-fifth of all funding for UK higher education institutions now comes from the EU.
UK researchers are disproportionately successful at obtaining EU funds, having received more than 15 per cent of the total funding from Framework 7 (second only to Germany) and been involved in more projects than any other country. But in general, across member states, money from Framework 7 has helped to bridge the funding gap and enable many projects and international collaborations that would otherwise not have happened.
For full article see:
Ethics in Horizon 2020
Ethics research must be conducted in all parts of Horizon 2020 to ensure research and innovation is undertaken responsibly, according to the League of European Research Universities (Leru).
Leru states that the intention to solve societal challenges under Horizon 2020, such as health and food production, relies on assumptions about human values that must incorporate ethics. Ethics research can help to address questions such as what makes a good society, and how responsible governments and businesses should behave. According to Leru, ethics should play a central role in Horizon 2020 research. This could include improving research design to incorporate ethical issues at an early stage, as well as using ethics research to ensure scientific research is trusted and accepted by the public. It will also be important to ensure ethics is incorporated in conjunction with other disciplines, rather than remaining isolated within the programme, says Leru. The paper, published on 25 April, was written by ethics scientists to continue Leru’s efforts to ensure the social sciences and humanities are fully incorporated within Horizon 2020.
In previous framework programmes, ethics research was incorporated at too late a stage in research projects, which meant it was mostly used to formulate constraints on scientific developments or assess problems with public acceptance, says the position paper.
Five Top Tips for Knockout Bid Submissions
Keep an eye on progress and don’t be reluctant to send polite BUT persistent reminders as deadlines loom because when the bell goes your time is up, ready or not!
If you require bid writing support for commercial bids then please contact me at N.Arblaster@staffs.ac.uk or if you require support for research bids including Horizon2020 then contact the external projects team at firstname.lastname@example.org