5. Research funding opportunities and applications
OUCS has been successful in applying for research funding from a range of funders. These have included JISC, AHRC, EPSRC, Leverhulme, ESRC and the EU; but notably our major successes over recent years have been through the JISC or AHRC. It is important, therefore, to continually seek to widen the portfolio of funders, especially with applications to research councils and charitable foundations. This would increase the percentage of awards from sources other than JISC and hence improve sustainability and decrease dependency. A shared research strategy would enable targeting of specific research areas and for the increasing number of applications to be angled towards a future portfolio based on the key research themes. However, as always, the available research funding will need to be assessed against the key priorities of OUCS.
Funding and sponsorship from businesses/corporate sources is being investigated (Recommendation 11). Some sponsorship is already being undertaken by companies in supporting OUCS courses and conferences, and with some equipment manufacturers (e.g. Apple and CISCO). Knowledge Transfer Partnerships with IT companies are being actively encouraged and subjects under discussion include security issues, software development, risk assessment, and the educational benefits of gaming software.
There is an issue of how OUCS deploys research and development projects. This has now been tackled by the material generated by the Project Support Team (https://wiki.oucs.ox.ac.uk/pst) which sets out a clear project lifecycle, and presents key documents that should be completed at certain milestones. All projects should adhere to this process, but also recognise the needs of the external funders (if appropriate). The OUCS project lifecycle is crucial to the research process within OUCS.