Nick Kamenos 2019 Research Culture Prize Winner

Photo of Nick Kamenos‌‌‌‌Dr Nick Kamenos (School of Geographical and Earth Sciences) has led the development of two University-wide schemes to support colleagues applying for NERC-pointing Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP) and demand managed research award‌s. Nick initiated these schemes and identified areas that would benefit from collegiate support via sharing of best practice and expertise from external activities. His efforts go beyond his leadership and administration roles: he has identified support requirements, designed a strategy, compiled panels and led the schemes. His efforts are focused on supporting and benefiting colleagues, providing research accessibility, culture and drive.

In 2018, UofG was 1 of 9 partner institutions awarded a NERC DTP (£7.3M over 5 years), led by Dr Kamenos. While IAPETUS1 included the College of Science and Engineering, Nick supported the inclusion of the Medical, Veterinary Medicine and Life Sciences (MVLS) College in IAPETUS2 providing a much-needed MVLS route to NERC PGR training and strengthening IAPETUS2’s agenda-setting role in environmental training.  Nick developed a series of workshops and feedback sessions, providing support for developing PhD projects and candidate shortlisting strategy. He also provided personalized feedback on all UofG project applications (36 in 2018). 

In 2015 NERC implemented institution-wide demand management (DM) based on institutional success rates. UofG has been under DM with 2 or 3 submissions per round (9% success rates) since 2015. Many PIs have found this restrictive. Nick helped devise a structured and supportive UofG-wide approach for internal pre-selection to increase UofG success rates. That approach was introduced in 2018 and includes internal peer review and candidate interviews as a support mechanism. At the same time, Nick identified that NERC had not visited UofG during their regular institutional visits, leaving UofG with low visibility to NERC.  Nick has developed and implemented a strategy for liaising with NERC to increase UofG exposure and stimulate NERC-pointing research culture.

Evidence of impact
Nick’s support schemes have driven a marked increase in awards/accepted positions in the latest IAPETUS2 DTP round.

How this initiative promotes equality, diversity and inclusion 
Nick’s initiatives are tailored to help ECRs and flexi workers – workshops were repeated several times prior to submission within core hours to support colleague attendance. Personalised, one-to-one, support was also provided, ensuring accessibility. Internal review panels provide feedback and support on all proposals several months prior to deadlines, assisting with time management. This has helped to support the inclusion of all eligible colleagues that may find traditional grant schedules restrictive.