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Birkbeck celebrates success in research grant applications

Birkbeck has third highest success rate in research council funding applications

New analysis by the Times Higher Education magazine shows Birkbeck’s strong record in successful applications for research grant funding from the UK’s research councils.

The data, obtained from the six research councils, shows that of those institutions submitting at least 10 bids in 2013-14, Birkbeck had the third highest success rate at 45%. In terms of the value of the funding awarded, Birkbeck was 47th out of 148 institutions. In 2013-14, Birkbeck’s success rate in grant applications across all funding bodies increased by 20% from the previous year (to £11m).

In the sciences this included a Wellcome Trust award that only institutions who are in the top 25 in terms of the amount of funding they receive from the Trust in other areas can apply for. Under this funding stream the College was awarded £600,000 over the next two years to fund PhD students to spend additional time writing papers once they have submitted their thesis, to support early careers researchers in applying for Fellowships and additional funding and to establish a programme of public engagement in science, including medical humanities.

In the arts and humanities, the College received the fifth highest amount of funding among UK institutions form the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC). Professor Hilary Fraser, Executive Dean of the School of Arts, said: “The high success rate in our applications to the AHRC is testament to the quality of the research that is carried out within the arts and humanities at Birkbeck. This funding has enabled ground-breaking research projects to be developed across the College.”

Professor Stephen Frosh, Pro-Vice-Master for Research, said: “For Birkbeck to achieve a 45% success rate in funding applications to the research councils and a 20% increase in funding year on year is very impressive, especially in a time when research funding is getting tighter. For a comparatively small institution, we consistently submit a significant number of bids across the research councils and other funders. Our high success rate shows that the quality of our research is widely recognised. As we look forward to the results of the Research Excellence Framework in December it is heartening to see the results of this analysis, showing that Birkbeck is in a strong position with regards to its standing within the research community.”

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