Dear UKAN+ Member

Welcome to our October newsletter, a range of news from across our network reflecting and informing our community. A jam packed edition including information on funding opportunities, details on the work our members have been up to recently and an opportunity for some freebies!
Funding Call 3 - NOW OPEN, closes 02.11.23
Full details available Funding Information - The UK Acoustics Network
Call for Call 3 reviewers
Thank you to those who have come forward and volunteered to be a potential reviewer. Further details will be forwarded in the coming weeks. If you are haven't and you are able to support us please sign up, deadline 8th October 2023.

To support our reviewers we are offering the opportunity to attend an online course Constructive, Honest, and Kind: How to Review which helps participants learn how to write reviews that are helpful to the PI, the panel, and the funder, with a specific focus on the forthcoming UKAN+ funding call. The sessions will run online on the 17th and 31st October, 10:00 am - 1:00 pm. It is optional and free to anyone signing up to be a reviewer.
Dr Elaine Massung (Academic Smartcuts) and Professor Dan Allwood (Peak Writing) continue busting common proposal myths.

Shakespeare wrote that a rose by any other name would smell as sweet: its characteristics remain intrinsically unchanged regardless of what it is called. While this may be true in botany, it’s inaccurate when it comes to funding.
MYTH #4: All proposals should be treated in the same way.

This is perhaps one of the biggest myths along the path to funding success. We have seen Fellowship proposals written as if they were standard mode grants, with the PI giving the impression that they are going to disappear into a lab for five years if they successfully become an EPSRC Fellow. Yet Fellowships are personal awards: they are about demonstrating leadership, ambassadorship, and advocacy. This must come across in both the proposal and the interview.

Or perhaps a New Investigator Award proposal grows into an overly ambitious project rather than focusing on only one or two key objectives. Without taking the time to identify the key features that set funding schemes apart, it can be almost impossible to ensure your proposal is in alignment with the given criteria.

Beyond scheme differences, each funder is going to have a different approach. These are the key aspects to be aware of:

  • Remit: What area of research does the funder look after? Your proposal has to be within remit to be accepted. For the UKRI research councils, make sure to use their remit query service if you think your project will cross council boundaries.
  • Risk: What is the funder’s appetite for risk? Are they looking for incremental change or is it all about high-risk, high-reward research? Sometimes funders are looking for both!
  • Strategy: What does the funder want to accomplish? How do they intend to do it? Please note that strategy is not about trying to trick or outwit the funder!
  • Criteria: What assessment criteria will be used to evaluate your proposal? For UKRI research councils like EPSRC, these criteria should be listed on the reviewer form and within the reviewer guidance, both of which can be found online.
  • Guidance: What instructions are provided? What formatting is required? Following the guidelines to the letter can help prevent a proposal being returned to you for revision or, even worse, a proposal being rejected due to a technicality.
  • Finances: Is there a cap on the funding? Is there a deadline for the spend? What resources are ineligible for funding? Please note that standard computers/laptops and PhD students/MSc students are not eligible expenses on UKRI grants.
  • Process: What system is used to evaluate your proposal? At EPSRC, standard mode proposals are sent out for expert peer review; proposals with at least two supportive reviews are then sent onward to be moderated and put into a rank order list by a prioritisation panel.
Taking the time to understand these differences before you start to generate ideas or write a grant proposal will help you avoid getting stung by potential thorns.

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.
A world of Sound
2020/21 was the first International Year of Sound, initiated by the International Commission for Acoustics, in response to UNESCO resolution 39C/49, as a celebration of sound and how it enters our lives in so many ways.

To celebrate the year of sound, here you will find a collection of articles written by experts from the UK Acoustics Network (UKAN) and the International Year of Sound team. These articles explore the fascinating world of sound and how it benefits and causes problems to people, other animals, and our environment.

You can join 430,664 (as at 26.09.23) others and view it on the webpage, or download the eBook - a fantastic resource. Congratulations to the collection editors and UKAN members Francesco Aletta, Naomi Curati, Gianluca Memoli and Chris Sumner.
This year the IOA STEM Committee have signed up to support the WES Lottie Doll tour (WES Lottie Tour - home) for Tomorrow’s Engineers Week Tomorrow’s Engineers Week - Tomorrow's Engineers Week (teweek.org.uk)). This means taking lots of pictures of our Lottie dolls out and about in interesting places, as well as in the office/in house facilities.

It’s really easy… we send you a doll and you take pictures of her being an acoustics professional. She has already arranged to go to some really amazing places, and would love to keep her busy for at least another month. The tour is annual and so if you can’t help this year there are opportunities to help in the future.

We are super keen to hear from someone that works with hearing, plus any other jobs that are a bit unusual or if you have an exciting trip coming up. Each Lottie is slightly different and we can make sure she has relevant accessories, like hearing protection, headphones, mini sound level meters (thanks ANV) and PPE, plus one has snorkelling gear and a boat.

Please get in touch if this is something that you’d like to get involved with (
stem@ioa.org.uk). All pictures will be posted WB 6th November for Tomorrow’s Engineers Week. If you aren’t able to offer Lottie Work Experience, please support the tour on Social Media by following #TEWeek23 and especially our hashtag #AcousticianonaMission.
Third Underwater Acoustics PhD Symposium Day
The UK Acoustics Network (UKAN) Special Interest Group for Underwater Acoustics (SIGUA) will be holding its third one day symposium on 13 December 2023 at the National Oceanography Centre (University of Southampton).

The aim of the day is to allow PhD students to present details about their research to like-minded colleagues and promote feedback and discussion. We are inviting short lightning-style talks, which may be suitable for new PhD students, plus longer talks to describe your research and would like to attract students at all stages of their PhD, including people who may have completed their PhD in the last couple of years, as well as PhD students that have started this year. The day will include a series of invited talks from senior researchers and we will be showcasing the entries to the Research Soundings Early Career Competition. Everyone that attends will be invited to vote for the winning audio clip and winners will be announced on the day.
The event is free to attend and should be of interest to all researchers, practitioners and users of underwater acoustics in government, industry, and academia. SIGUA members are encouraged to attend to support the PhD students presenting their research.

Full details Third Underwater Acoustics PhD Symposium Day (updated) - The UK Acoustics Network

During the day we will be showcasing the entries to the Research Soundings Early Career Competition and everyone that attends will be invited to vote for the winning audio clip during the lunch and networking break. Competition details here.
STEM Substitute Teaching- Making a Contribution After Retirement?
Steven L. Garrett
After retiring from his academic position at The Pennsylvania State University, Steven Garrett writes in Acoustics Today about some of his experiences as a substitute teacher in the hope of inspiring others.
Thinking about neurodiversity? With one in seven people worldwide thought to be neurodivergent, and an estimated 820,000 neurodivergent engineers working in the UK alone, neurodiversity in the engineering community is something we should all be talking about.

This webinar is an opportunity to harness our community for change, to draw from expertise, experience and positive initiatives to address diverse needs and to better understand the contributions that a neurodiverse community makes to engineering.
We know that the voices of the Engineering Academics Network members have the power to address inequality in, and exclusion from, engineering education for those who think differently. If you want to be part of a ground swell for change, come along, share your experiences, be inspired and unleash your passion. This webinar is only the start of EPC’s neurodiversity in engineering commitment. Help us design an inclusive campaign with, not just for, the community.
New Scientist Live 2023 takes place Saturday 7th and Sunday the 8th October at ExCeL London. As valued previous contributors UKAN+ has 5 pairs of complimentary tickets for any member to attend the show and research it for 2024 where we hope to showcase once again.

Its first come first served, email info@acoustics.ac.uk
UKAN+ Events

You can replay our various webinars via our YouTube, including UKAN+ Aeroacoustics Webinar - Aerodynamic Noise Control via Bio-Inspired Features
Underwater Acoustics Data Challenge Workshop 2023
The UKAN Special Interest Group in Underwater Acoustics held their second Data Challenge ‘hackathon’ workshop on 11 and 12 September. The event was held at Guyers House, in the lovely surroundings of the Cotswolds. It was sold-out with 29 delegates attending from academia, industry, and government. These included a number of international delegates from Canada, the Netherlands, and France.

The workshop was supported by data and challenges contributed from Thales, Ultra Maritime, and the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult. The industry challenge leaders briefly presented their challenges in the morning of the first day and then delegates selected their preferences and self-organised into 8 groups. The groups quickly got to work on tackling the challenges. Work continued throughout the day and into the evening (and in some cases well into the night), and then onto the following day. At the end of the second day, each of the groups summarised their efforts in a brief 10 min presentation and Q&A. There were some really impressive outcomes that have the potential to lead towards new research ideas and projects, academic papers, and future collaboration.

This year’s workshop was even more successful than the last one, and we intend to run it again next year with further improvements. Please get in touch (underwater@coustics.ac.uk) if you would like to lead or support one of next year’s challenges.
UKAN+ Annual Event 2023
The UKAN+ Annual event held in Sheffield on the 14th September was a great success. Attended by a diverse collection of individuals from across academia and industry all with a shared passion for acoustics.

The day was filled with thought inspiring presentations from Paul Edward, Head of Hub from Innovate UK, Dominique Kleyn, Co-Founder and COO Orthonika Ltd and Tryfon Antonakakis, Multiwave Technologies AG. They set the scene for a group discussion on How to maximise the impact of research and the commercialisation of acoustics?

The second section was on Unmet Industry needs, framed by Russell Richardson, Director RBA Acoustics and Chair, ANC, Orchisama Das, Senior Audio Research Scientist, Sonos Inc and Valerie Pinfield, Professor Ultrasonic & Complex Materials.

Luke Boldock, Portfolio Manager at EPSRC, Hasina Begum, Research Fellow, University of Warwick and Alistair Somerville, President of Institute of Acoustics wrapped up the day. Their inspiring talks led discussion into the Future of UKAN+.

The UKAN+ management team would like to thank all of our speakers for the valuable contributions to the day.

These discussions have generated a wealth of ideas which will be collated, shared with our members and acted upon by the UKAN+ management team.
Get in touch!
If you have any news for our November newsletter do drop us an email before the 29th of October. 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.