Activity resulting from our inaugural round of community funding is now well underway, and we wanted to keep you abreast of what has happened so far.
The four research communities were launched collectively on the 17th September last year, swiftly followed by individual launches for Health Innovation and Wellbeing (HIW), Diversity and Inclusion (DI), Sustainable Cities and Urban Environments (SCUE) and Arts, Communication and Culture (ACC) at the start of October.
There were two strands of funding on offer, one for research development (RDF) and one for public engagement with research (PERF). Applicants considering applying for funds in either category were encouraged to meet with the respective community leads in advance of submitting their proposals, and 80 such conversations took place over the course of a few weeks.
A total of 59 applications for funding were received across the two streams (78% for RDF and 22% for PERF). All applications were scored by the community leads and two further reviewers using a common scoring framework agreed for each community that prioritised fit to scheme, future funding potential and alignment to research community. Community leads used the reviews to rank projects in funding priority order and present these ranking and the rationale for each decision at a panel meeting in November. The panel, chaired by PVC Research Prof Andrew Linn, confirmed the selection of funding projects. Of those, 30 submissions were successful with a total of £220,221 being awarded between all research communities. Four proposals are being co-funded, with community leads agreeing to pool resources in supporting projects that work across more than one community.
Of course, the research communities are not solely focused on money. No amount of funding can build a strong community without commonality of interest and shared experience. To this end, community leads have been working with the facilitators from the Research Office to arrange a series of events ranging from a fascinating talk on interdisciplinary approaches to health and arts to exploring public-facing research spaces at the University of Westminster. Hopefully many of you have had a chance to visit the Regent Street Café Gallery where the ACC community have been holding a series of exhibitions showcasing images from practice-based researchers.
We have published our first Communities Report which details all the facts and figures. It can be downloaded from here:
Following on from the success of the initial scheme we are looking forward to running a second round of funding with the call set to open next month. We will publish details soon. In the meantime, we would encourage interested parties to sign-up to our communities mailing list here:
Enquiries may be directed to the two Research Community Facilitators:
For Arts, Communication and Culture and Sustainable Cities and Urban Environments contact Alan Yabsey, firstname.lastname@example.org
For Diversity and Inclusion and Health Innovation and Wellbeing contact Rafaela Tripalo, email@example.com
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