Communities across Devon and Cornwall are being invited to bring local issues in need of research to the University of Plymouth as part of a new partnership programme.
The ‘Get Involved Awards’ will offer community groups, charities and social enterprises the opportunity to work alongside researchers to better understand problems in their local area and to gain valuable insights.
Up to five selected projects from the PL postcode will receive funding of up to £8,000 to cover researchers’ time and project costs.
The Get Involved Awards are looking to build upon the success of an earlier groundbreaking project that has since been replicated by higher education institutions in other countries. The Community Research Awards supported scores of projects, including a community peer support service at the Spinal Injuries Association, and GP training in early dementia awareness for the Alzheimer’s Society, when they ran for several years around a decade ago.
Adrian Dawson, Director of Research and Innovation at the University, said:
“The Get Involved Awards are a genuine opportunity for local community groups to work with Plymouth researchers to co-design project ideas and benefit from the resulting research. We hope that they can become a cornerstone of the University’s civic engagement.”
The project team is inviting expressions of interest, which must fall into one of four categories: Environment; Marine; Arts and Heritage; and Health and Wellbeing. The submissions will be evaluated, and the successful ones matched to a researcher with expertise in the area.
The chosen projects will be supported by the University of Plymouth Public Engagement Team, and all will be completed before the end of the year, with a showcase event to be held in the autumn.
“We looked at the successes of the Community Research Awards and set about making them a more collaborative experience,”
said Allice Hocking, Head of Research Impact and Partnerships.
“Whether it’s a charity, social enterprise or community group, they will have the chance to work alongside our world-class researchers, gain new skills and insights, and then use the evidence produced to potentially strengthen future funding applications.”
The call for Expressions of Interest will be open until 23 February 2022.