Knowledge Exchange

REAlab Knowledge Exchange is a programme for early-career academic researchers who want to engage with cultural partners and wider groups and communities to exchange ideas and expertise and increase the impact of research. It is a platform that allows PGRs and ECRs to develop and demonstrate leadership, creativity, project management and influencing skills through bringing research in contact with current challenges experienced within the broader community. As knowledge exchange and impact have become integral part of what it means to produce excellent research today, REAlab offers a comprehensive scheme through which researchers can receive high-quality tailored training, develop research into ideas and establish productive partnerships and professional synergies with major cultural players in the area.

REAlab participants will also develop interdisciplinary and cross-institutional connections through the team-work that is at the foundation of the programme. Applications to work on projects are open to teams (2+ members) and we invite individual researchers interested in applying who are not part of a team to attend the REAlab Training Course in April where they will have the possibility to team up with like-minded colleagues with common interests and ideas.

The training will also equip participants with skills and tools to devise a project proposal, which will be a central part of the process to apply for projects. Eligible project teams will present their proposals to partners and the REAlab Board at a final pitch in order to be accepted into the delivery stage. Successful pitches will see teams progressing to deliver projects over fifteen weeks (15 May- 30 August 2018) while being supported through further tailored training opportunities and mentoring until completion. All teams accepted in the project stage will have access to a Dissemination Fund (£200) to include any activity considered to be beneficial to disseminate their teams’ results (non-compulsory) as well as being considered for the REAlab Excellence Award of the value of £1000 (more information in the REAlab Projects Expression of Interest Form below).

What is on offer

In summary, by participating to REAlab 2018 researchers will access:

  • A three-day intensive professional training course (19-21 April 2018), led by experts in professional development, with a focus on strengthening all the skills required for effective project design and partner engagement within an interdisciplinary team-work environment;
  • Tailored one-to-one support for teams to develop a project proposal in preparation to the pitch;
  • A mentorship scheme, with further training opportunities for teams who have been accepted into the delivery stage (2 group training sessions, 1 individual team session and one-to-one extra support from a Relations mentor and a Business mentor, on-demand, any time during completion);
  • The opportunity to develop close professional synergies with fellow early career researchers working in different disciplines/institutions and with major cultural partner in the North West;
  • A dissemination fund (£200) for all project teams who want to celebrate their project successes with a final public event/activity of their choice;
  • The opportunity to be awarded the REAlab Project Excellence Award (£1000) as the project team that will have demonstrated outstanding quality in project delivery and partner engagement.

Our 2018 Projects

REAlab Knowledge Exchange invites applications to collaborate with our 2018 cultural partners on the following projects:

Future Everything: A study of artist-technology collaborations 

Museum of Science and Industry: Revolutionary Railroad

The National Trust: Mapping Archives

The National Trust: Widening Participation

These project outlines express ‘desired outcomes’ that project Teams will need to refine as part of the process of developing a project proposal for the pitch and agree with partners, both to tailor them to their team’s interests and approaches and to account for the time available for delivery. REAlab offers skill training, mentoring and the space to consult with partners to facilitate this process.

Alternatively, researchers can also apply to work on their own project idea within the REAlab Researcher-Led initiative.

Key Dates

19-21 April Training Course & Workshop
4 May Individual teams mentoring session
11 May Project proposals are pitched to partners/REAlab Board
15 May-30 August Project Delivery
22 June Mid Period Review – Group mentoring session (h 14-16.30)
27 July Individual Teams mentoring session (in person or via skype)
14 September Project Closing – Group mentoring session (h 14-16.30)
30 September REAlab Excellence Award (& team dissemination events/activities, if any)

Time that team members will need to commit for delivering projects will vary, depending on the specific project proposals that teams will put forward. Typically, individual team members work on REAlab projects between 3.5 and 7 hours per week during the delivery stage (15 May-30 August 2018).

See here for more information and guidance on how to apply.