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Institutional Strategic Support Fund

The Institutional Strategic Support Fund (ISSF) is a Wellcome initiative providing financial support to enhance institutional strategies for biomedical sciences. The LSHTM is among the institutions that have been awarded ISSF support since the scheme’s inception in 2011. Under this scheme, Wellcome funds are matched by funds from the School.

ISSF aims to enhance the generation of new knowledge, to promote innovation, collaboration and knowledge exchange, and to accelerate the application of research to achieve improved health outcomes.

Current ISSF award

The School’s third ISSF (ISSF3) award runs over the five-year period: 1 October 2016 to 30 September 2021, with Wellcome investing £500k per annum, and the School providing at least £500k per annum over the same period. It focusses on the support of individuals, public engagement and in stimulating greater cohesion and interaction between School staff, wherever they are based, and between staff and their collaborators.

Funding opportunities

The below funding opportunities are available for staff at the School to consolidate their research independence, pursue new areas of research and reach new audiences. Open calls for applications are advertised via School newsletters and on the relevant web pages.

LSHTM Fellowships
These Fellowships aim to support the career development of researchers at the mid-career transition, offering 18 months’ salary support, up to £10,000 towards research expenses and tailored career development support. A call for applications was held in February 2018, with awards to be announced in Spring 2018. The next call for applications will open in Summer 2019.

Pump Priming Grants
These small, discrete grants of up to £10,000 are available to early career researchers to catalyse new research projects and collaborations. The next call for applications will open in 2019.

Public Engagement Small Grants (currently open for applications)
The scheme offers grants of up to £1,000 each year for staff and research degree students to undertake a public engagement project linked to their research. See the Small Grants page for more details on how and when to apply.

ISSF3 Governance

The School’s Senior Leadership Team acts as its ISSF Management & Oversight Committee, giving final approval for all budgets and expenditure under the ISSF.

Academic lead: Professor John Edmunds, Dean of the Faculty of Epidemiology & Population Health and member of the School’s Senior Leadership Team
Administrative lead: Hannah Whiteman, Head of Strategic Research

ISSF3 Themes

ISSF3-supported activities focus on three themes of strategic importance to the School:

Theme 1: Investing in talent and excellence
Activities under this theme focus on supporting our staff to achieve their full potential.

Thanks to ISSF3, we continue to expand the research advice and support available to academic staff, particularly early and mid-career researchers, through the Strategic Research Office (intranet). This includes advice on where to seek funding, assistance in preparing grant applications and organising mock interviews. ISSF also provides funds for the LSHTM Fellowship programme supporting postdoctoral researchers to make the transition towards independence.

The fund supports a multitude of equality, diversity and inclusion activities throughout the School for awareness around disability, ethnicity, gender and sexual orientation. From bullying and harassment training, to a welcome event for LGBT+ student and staff, and events and activities for Black History Month - the fund is used to celebrate the diversity of our staff and students and the communities we work with locally and around the world.

Theme 2: Strategic research initiatives
This theme comprises activities fostering international partnerships and supporting the initiation of novel research projects and collaborations.

ISSF funds have enabled the creation of a dedicated International Partnerships Officer role at the School. Global partnerships are key to achieving our mission to improve health and health equity in the UK and worldwide. We are working to build on existing relationships and to facilitate further collaborations by supporting interactions between LSHTM staff and colleagues at partner institutions.

The fund also supports a Pump Priming Grant scheme offering small flexible grants of up to £10,000 to early and mid-career researchers to pursue new research ideas and collaborations.

Theme 3: Public engagement
Activities under this theme seek to broaden the public’s understanding of our research, establish a dialogue that can shape the research agenda and support staff in finding effective ways of interacting with the public.

ISSF funding has enabled the School to support a full-time Public Engagement Coordinator since 2012 to manage the strategic and operational delivery of public engagement across the School. The funding has also allowed us to expand our innovative Public Engagement Small Grants scheme – which originated in the Faculty of Infectious and Tropical Diseases in 2015 – across all three Faculties. The scheme offers small grants of up to £1,000 for staff and research degree students to undertake a public engagement project linked to their research.

We will soon launch Public Engagement Awards using ISSF3 support to recognise and celebrate high quality public engagement by staff and students from across the School.

ISSF3 supported projects

2017 Public Engagement Small Grants
The joint ISSF/School Faculty funded 2017 Public Engagement Small Grants Scheme made awards to 14 projects across all three School faculties. Please visit our public engagement page for summaries of the funded projects.

Please see the ISSF case studies pages for examples of past LSHTM Fellowships and pump priming grants undertaken under previous ISSF awards.

Updates

April 2018
The ISSF Pump priming grants are now open for applications (intranet) until Friday 25 May 2018. The scheme awards up to £10,000 for up to 12 months for early to mid-career researchers at the School to support work that would lead to external funding applications (e.g. personal fellowships) at the School.

March 2018
The School’s Public Engagement Small Grants scheme is now open for applications (intranet) until Friday 15 June 2018. The scheme awards up to £1000 for School staff and Research Degree students in any Faculty to plan and deliver public engagement projects about our research. Those interested to find out more about the scheme and hear from past award holders are invited to register for the launch event on Wednesday 21 March 2018.

February 2018
We welcomed spoken word poets Bethany Rose and Dean Atta to kick off LGBT+ History Month at the School at a celebratory event attended by students and staff. The theme of this year’s LGBTHM is ‘Geography: Mapping the World’ and we have marked the event with rainbow ‘LSHTM includes me!’ lanyards to promote the visibility of LGBT+ people and allies throughout the School.

January 2018
The LSHTM Fellowships are now open for applications until Monday 26 February 2018. The School is seeking to appoint up to four LSHTM Fellows at the Assistant Professor level. The call is open to experienced postdoctoral researchers who are working towards applications for prestigious mid-career fellowships to be based at the School.

 

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