CREST Sandpit 2017 – Apply by 4 October

The first CREST Sandpit, or Match Event, aims to inspire the sharing of ideas between colleagues who work in a variety of sectors and disciplines and between researchers and practitioners.

The Sandpit has been designed by CREST in collaboration with the NCCPE (National Coordinating Centre for Public Engagement)  to create a stimulating two days for all participants with real, tangible outcomes.

It will take place 9-10 November in Loughborough. We invite you to join us.

What is a Sandpit?

A Sandpit, or ‘Match event’, is designed to bring together a group of participants from different disciplines and sectors to think, develop, and work collaboratively to approach challenges in new and innovative ways. The event will provide the opportunity for participants to engage in two days of partnership building, rigorous thinking, and project development away from the distractions of the everyday working environment.

Why should I take part?

  • Meet and work alongside academics with a broad range of research interests
  • Expand your network of community, business, and public sector partners and explore common interests
  • Have the opportunity to think big and explore many different possible collaborations with the help of mentors
  • Develop ideas with new collaborators and pitch for initial funding to forge viable 2projects
  • Be in the running for a share of £12k to fund project activity in 2018

Is there a theme for the event?

The overall theme is societal or industrial challenges within communities and how they can be addressed at a UK wide level. We are particularly interested in how to apply and generate knowledge within communities to lead to broader change and how (local) challenges can be addressed through academic, nonprofit and businesses working together

We have drawn inspiration from the 10 Pillars of the UK Government’s Industrial Strategy and anticipate the associated funding to be a source of ongoing resource for projects.

Our primary focus is on enabling collaboration and relationship development between the different attendees. The theme is deliberately broad to give applicants the chance to put forward more specific topics that they wish to explore; we will consider synergies between applicants’ expertise and areas of interest during selection.

Who is this event for?

We are seeking participation from academics from CREST institutions and from individuals from all types of non-academic organisations such as charities, businesses, and public sector organisations.

Participants are not expected to have a predefined project but rather a willingness to share their expertise and engage with others they have not met before to develop something new.

What are the expected outcomes?

CREST have funds to allocate to the best projects resulting from the event. This funding will support activity for twelve months from March 2018. The allocation of these funds will be determined through the following process:

  • Towards the end of the event, participant groups will pitch for seed funding to work up their ideas, and support further thinking time to flesh out the concept.
  • Groups wishing to pitch for the full twelve months of support will re-present their projects to the judging panel in December 2017
  • Successful projects will be announced by the end of January 2018

We envisage that a major funding bid to the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, or other similar ‘grand challenge’ funding streams, will also result from the collaborative process begun by the Sandpit. CREST will be supporting project teams to reach this goal.

A report and participating in a knowledge-development event when the projects finish are additional expected outputs of the event.

Are there any fees involved?

Academic participants will have their fees covered by their institution as agreed with CREST.

We are able to cover accommodation and catering costs for all non-academic participants due to the generous support of CREST institutions. We hope this encourages a wide range of non-academic organisations to apply and participate in this unique experience.

Am I eligible?

Academics who wish to participate must be based at one of the CREST institutions funding the sandpit. A list of eligible institutions is included in the full call details.

Individuals from any charity, business, public sector or other non-academic organisation may apply.

How do I apply?

Complete the application form.

Submit your application by 17:00 on 4 October. Successful applicants will be notified by 16 October.

Full call details

Download Call for Participants – Academics CREST Sandpit 2017

Download CREST Match Event Call for Participants – Non Academic Partners

Spread the word – download our CREST MATCH EVENT 2017 Flyer