Dear UKAN+ Member

Welcome to our July newsletter, a range of news from across our network reflecting and informing our community.
UKAN+ Annual Conference 2023: Maximising the funding of acoustics
14th September 2023

The day long event brings together expertise from across the breadth of the acoustics community.
Interested in networking with the likeminded individuals from across the acoustic community? Save your seat and register today.

Funding Call 3

Call 3 will be launched at the Annual Event on the 14th September and close 2nd November 2023 .

A one hour webinar provides prospective applicants with information on what UKAN+ is looking for in its funding call and to also provide information on the application process. There will be two separate application forms: (i) for pilot research projects; and (ii) for knowledge transfer projects. More info about key differences between these projects in the webinar.

We are keen to see applications as PI reflecting the diversity of the membership of UKAN+. Particularly, we are keen to attract applications as PI from women, who were under-represented in the last round compared to their representation in the wider UKAN+ membership.

Full details available on our website.

Call for Call 3 reviewers

We are looking to you to blind review a small selection of the proposals received. Each selected reviewer will be given no more than 5 applications and reviewed using a simple streamlined reviewer form. We are looking to secure reviewers who are early career, senior academics and those in industry.

Details will be issued to selected reviewers no later than the 9th November. The absolute deadline for the forms to be returned is the 21st November but earlier would be welcomed.

If you are intending on applying for the call please do not volunteer to be a reviewer. If you are included in any of the other stages of assessment you will not be issued proposals to review.

If you are able to support us or if you have any questions please contact us.
Dr Elaine Massung (Academic Smartcuts) and Professor Dan Allwood (Peak Writing) continue their busting common proposal myths.

Based on the drafts of proposals we have seen over the years, there is a general belief that they are intended to be read by someone who is exactly like the PI. This brings us to our second myth …
MYTH #2: You are writing a proposal for yourself.

Cognitive biases are systematic errors in thinking or judgement. For example, the confirmation bias is one in which people will seek out information that reinforces their existing beliefs and ignore evidence that contradicts such beliefs.

A common cognitive bias that many researchers suffer from is known as the Curse of Knowledge. This is the idea that once you know something, you forget what it’s like not to know it. In other words, you assume that other people already know what you know.

But the reality is that the reader cannot see inside your head. Your audience doesn’t know what you know, such as why your idea is important or how your methodology is feasible … unless you tell them. There is a need to make what is implicitly understood by you explicit for the reader.

On top of this, you can have multiple audiences for the same document, each of whom is looking for different information. For example, a standard EPSRC proposal has three audiences:
  • Portfolio managers: They do not assess the quality or fundability of the project but instead ensure that it’s in the right place (with regards to council, theme, and research area) and determine who would make the most appropriate reviewers. Reviewers are chosen based on how the portfolio manager has interpreted what you’ve written in your proposal: ensure that you stay focused on the research areas, disciplines, or communities that you would like your reviewers to be drawn from.
  • Reviewers: In turn, reviewers are assessing how well the proposal meets the assessment criteria. As the PI, you need to make it clear within the proposal how your project meets the criteria: don’t assume it will be obvious to them. Checking your proposal against the reviewer form and guidance documents is a simple way to ensure you’ve included what’s needed.
  • Panel members: Although they technically do not have to read a proposal (their evaluation is based on the reviewers’ comments and the PI response), panel members will usually skim the summary to better understand the project. As a result, it’s important to ensure the summary is understandable to someone who is not an expert in your area: writing it in plain English is the simplest way to make sure it’s understood.
There is no way to guarantee a funded grant application, but breaking the Curse of Knowledge and putting the reader front and centre is another way to take you one step closer to a competitive proposal.

ABOUT: Dr Elaine Massung (Academic Smartcuts) is a former EPSRC portfolio manager, and Professor Dan Allwood (Peak Writing) is a former EPSRC Fellowship holder and successfully funded researcher. They both now provide communication and proposal training for those in higher education and research.

Women in Acoustics (WiA) special podcast series

Read Hasina Begum, Research Fellow and UKAN+ EDI champion blog on her collaboration with The Rest is Just Noise team.

Hasina has been in contact with some remarkable women in acoustics. Her first guest was Prof. Eleanor Stride, specialising in Biomaterials and the fabrication of nano and microscale devices for drug delivery. Listen to the episode here

Upcoming episode guests include Angela Lamacraft and Helen Sheldon - watch this space . .

Acoustical Society of America (ASA) Announces Winners of Science Communication Awards
On the 28th June, ASA announced the winners of the Science Communication Awards, recognising excellence in the presentation of acoustics related topics to a popular audience.

The winners of the 2023 Acoustic Expert Multimedia Winner - The Rest is Just Noise, a podcast UKAN+ have supported for a number of years.
The Rest is Just Noise Podcast stands out as a remarkable audio journey into the realm of acoustics. With deep knowledge and captivating storytelling, co-hosts Dr. Andrew Mitchell, Dr. Francesco Aletta, and Dr. Tin Oberman explore various acoustical phenomena and their impact on our lives. Through interviews with experts and immersive soundscapes, this podcast educates and entertains listeners, creating a space where the beauty and significance of acoustics are celebrated.

The full ASA Science Communication Awards are available here
UKAN+ Summer School (UKANSS23)
26th to 28th September 2023
The next UKAN+ Summer School is a three day non-residential school to be held at 170 Queen’s Gate, Imperial College London. We’ll be providing training on Digital Signal Processing (DSP) with applications to Acoustics, and a custom-designed course on preparing research fellowship applications. The DSP training will be provided by Professors Jordan Cheer, Filippo Fazi and Paul White from the Institute of Sound and Vibration Research, University of Southampton, while the fellowship application training will be provided by Dr. Elaine Massung and Prof. Dan Allwood. UKAN+ Deputy Director and Dean of the Faculty of Natural Sciences at Imperial College, Prof. Richard Craster, will deliver the opening address.

Limited places will be available. More information here
UKAN+ Mathematical Acoustics Paper Prize and Workshop
The Mathematical Analysis in Acoustics SIG is offering a prize for the best research paper in the broad area of Mathematical Acoustics written predominantly by a candidate who has not yet secured a permanent academic position. The deadline for submissions is 12 noon on 1st of August 2023. For further details and to submit your entry please see here. Shortlisted candidates will be invited to present their research at the UKAN+ Mathematical Acoustics Workshop held at University College London from 18th to 19th September 2023. The workshop is open to everyone and attendance is free of charge though places are limited. The event will feature an exciting selection of invited speakers in addition to the paper prize finalists. For further details about the workshop and to apply for a place please see here.
Connecting SIGs event on the Future of Acoustics for Wellbeing and Health
22nd September 2023
As a satellite of the Basic Auditory Science 2023 meeting in London, we will be running a Connecting SIGs event on the Future of Acoustics for Wellbeing and Health on the afternoon of Friday 22nd September.

The aim of the event is to enable members across all special interest groups (SIGs) to learn more about the research conducted in other SIGs and to connect with other researchers. You may meet a potential collaborator!

The event is free for BAS2023 attendees and is open to all, regardless of career stage or sector. More information available here
4-8 December 2023
International Convention Centre, Sydney, NSW Australia
Abstract Submission and Registration Now Open

The Acoustical Society of America (ASA) is joining with the Australian Acoustical Society (AAS), the Western Pacific Acoustics Conference (Wespac) and the Pacific Rim Underwater Acoustics Conference (PRUAC)to co-host Acoustics 23 Sydney.
This is a unique opportunity to participate in this international conference held in Sydney, Australia.

Over 60 Special Sessions are offered across the spectrum of Acoustics.
Special events include two Keynote Lectures, Opening Ceremonies, a technical tour, and an exhibition. Opportunity for attendees to network and socialize with old and new friends include Exhibit Opening Reception, a Social Hour, and The Jam. For Student attendees a Student Meet and Greet and Student Reception will be held. The ASA Technical Committees will hold open meetings during the week.

24 July 2023 Deadline for abstract submission

For information on Abstract submission follow the links from acoustics23sydney.org

Silenzi in Scotland: Soundscape Workshop in Braemar and Soundwalk in Glen Lui, Aberdeenshire on 28th May.

The event took place in Braemar area, Aberdeenshire, on Sunday the 28th May, supported by UCL Global Engagement Fund and UKAN+. The event was part of the UCL Global Engagement project Silenzi in Scotland, which is about the collaboration between the UCL Institute for Environmental Design and Engineering, Silenzi in Quota (silence in the highlands), EURAC and University of Trento. The soundwalk and the workshop were led by Tin Oberman (University College London) and Simone Torresin (University of Trento).

25 people of various backgrounds joined the walk and were able to enjoy the beautiful weather and the subsequent workshop. The participants were acoustics and noise consultants, PhD students, academics, sound engineers, local residents and people working for National Parks, amongst the others. The soundwalk was conducted as per ISO/TS 12913-2 with the Method A questionnaire. There were 6 measurement points and the walk eventually took slightly longer than 5 hrs. Many ambitious participants were taking their own recordings too, some even with a binaural head and torso simulator.

The subsequent workshop in the Braemar Village Hall featured the following talks:
  • Tin Oberman, Institute for Environmental Design and Engineering, UCL (UK): Soundscape ISO 12913 series in the context of National Parks
  • Simone Torresin, University of Trento and the Silenzi in Quota Team (Italy): Silenzi in Quota: “measuring” soundscapes in the Dolomites
  • Jan Dick, Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, CEH, Bush Estate, Penicuik, Edinburgh (UK): Soundscape as cultural ecosystem service
Very positive feedback was observed on social networks and it was especially nice to hear from the park staff and the professional park’s guide how their awareness of the environmental sounds increased and that they will start implementing some of the tricks they observed during the walk and the workshop in their own practice.
UKAN+ Events
Acoustics related grants
As a part of our annual review of acoustics related research UKAN+ have produced a document which lists all the live grants in acoustics. This document can be found here. Please let us know if any of your grants are not listed in this document or any listed information is incorrect.
Get in touch!
If you have any news for our September newsletter do drop us an email before the 30th of August. We are interested to hear a range of news, perhaps you have a recent publication, or you would like to offer a blog for our community or maybe you know of some industry news we could share.