Dear UKAN+ Member

Welcome to our May newsletter, a range of news from across our network reflecting and informing our community.

New Nature Portfolio Journal of Acoustics is open for submissions.

Aims & Scope

New Nature Portfolio Journal of Acoustics (npj Acoustics) is a new, fully open access journal that publishes the results of rigorous and novel research relating to the discipline of acoustics. We aim to publish high-quality papers that report significant advances in the field. Important areas of interest are the generation, propagation, sensing, manipulation, and perception of sound and the analysis of related acoustic phenomena. The npj journals are small but successful, typically publishing about 50 papers per year with impact factors between 5 and 13. We encourage our members to promote their high-quality acoustics related research among a wider community by publishing papers in the new journal run by Nature Portfolio.

Explore the journal website here: https://www.nature.com/npjacoustics/

EPSRC TERC Network Plus on Noise

Can you help us to build a successful proposal for a Network Plus on Noise?

The UK Acoustics Network (UKAN) set up in 2017 and led by Kirill Horoshenkov and Richard Craster, did excellent work bringing together researchers working in different areas of acoustics to enhance communication between groups, provide a focus for collaboration and innovation, and maximise the future impact of acoustics-based research in the UK.
Proof of its success was a subsequent UKAN+ network funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) in 2021. The aim was to create strategic connections between Acoustics Challenges and Grand Challenges, and to tackle these challenges, alongside industry, through pilot studies leading to large-scale grant proposals for research projects involving the wider community. We are now thinking about the future of the acoustics community in the UK, and the continuation of the excellent work done by UKAN/UKAN+.
Can you help us to build a successful proposal for a Network Plus on Noise?
The House of Lords Science and Technology Committee has recently reported that noise pollution is a hazard for health and the environment that has been ignored for too long. A recent letter from the Chair of the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee, Baroness Brown, has highlighted that much more work is needed to identify effective solutions to reduce the significant effects of noise pollution. We understand that solutions cannot be found considering acoustics aspects only, and therefore, we are proposing a highly multidisciplinary network on Noise. We are looking for connections with experts and organisations interested in all aspects of noise, including health, environment, societal, diversity, economics, policy, as well as engineering and acoustics.
In response to that, we are working on a research proposal for the recent funding call: EPSRC Network Plus – Tomorrow’s Engineering Research Challenges (TERC). In our multidisciplinary network we will explore new creative ways of working and radical solutions to address the challenges in the TERC report most strongly linked to noise
The TERC report summarises the agreed upon most important and urgent challenges in engineering over the next 10 to 15 years. These challenges are on three levels: (1) high level priorities, e.g., strengthening mechanisms to facilitate and fund multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary research, (2) cross cutting themes, e.g., achieving net zero and sustainability, and (3) technological challenges, e.g., designing sustainable, integrated and equitable transportation systems.
Let us know if you can help as an individual or can help to put us in contact with people outside of the UKAN community whom we should be talking to. We would be grateful if you could also send in other contributions via the form.

Dr Antonio J Torija Martinez on behalf of the current UKAN+ bid team: Prof Mark Plumbley, Prof Abigail Bristow, Dr Antonio J Torija Martinez, Dr Alan Hunter and Dr Simone Graetzer.

Dr Elaine Massung (Academic Smartcuts) and Professor Dan Allwood (Peak Writing) continue busting common proposal myths.

Ctrl-C. Ctrl-V. These two commands can save loads of time, but there’s one place you should be cautious using them: your proposal.

MYTH #10: Cutting and pasting large chunks of your proposal is fine.

It is not.

Space in a research council proposal is at a premium, and every section should be used as a way to demonstrate why your research should be funded. Repeating the same thing multiple times wastes this opportunity.

In particular, cutting and pasting typically cause problems for applicants in two areas.

The first is the summary. This part is often written last minute or seen as unimportant; why not just bung in something already written in a technical section of a proposal? However, summaries are typically the first part of a proposal to be read. This means they’re your opportunity to make a good first impression. You can do this by ensuring they’re compelling, clear, and understandable by a lay audience (non-experts).

The second issue often occurs in project partner letters of support. It is not uncommon for PIs to submit letters that they have clearly written themselves: each document is identical except for the name of the partner and what they offer to the project. This does not impress reviewers or panel members. After all, project partners are supposed to be genuine partners in research. Even if you have to write the letters yourself, try to make them sound different!

A word of warning: some funders may require sections to be repeated throughout the application and, in these cases, cutting and pasting is not a problem. However, it should be clear in the guidance documents when this repetition is necessary (in other words, don’t forget about Myth #3!).
UKAN+ Events

You can replay our various webinars via our YouTube, including UKAN+ Webinar. Living with Listening Machines: Design Research in AI for Sound

UKAN+ Final Event and IOA 50th Anniversary Celebration

12-13 September 2024 at Manchester Metropolitan University
An opportunity to have your input in shaping the legacy from UKAN.
Provisional agenda:
Morning: History of UKAN and key achievements
Afternoon: Presentations by UKAN+ grant holders
Future of UKAN and its relation to a wider research landscape

Poster presentations from UKAN members and SIG leaders will run throughout the day. £250 Amazon gift 1st Prize.

The session will be attended by representatives from the EPSRC, industry and IoA.
Get in touch!
If you have any news for our June newsletter do drop us an email before the 29th May 2024. 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.