Researcher-led Projects

REAlab Researcher-led projects provide 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 professional synergies with researchers from other disciplines and non-academic partners.

Through this strand, we offer researchers the opportunity to participate in REAlab by forming a team (2+ members) and presenting a proposal to work on an idea or with a partner of their choice (any chosen partner should ideally be on board at the time of application). Eligible projects will demonstrate a strong social responsibility agenda, by presenting a project with a clear benefit for the wider community or engaging organisations that have a clear social mission or commitment towards creating social change in their community.

REAlab participants will 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 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 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.

Key Dates

19-21 April Training Course & Workshop (see details here)
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 past awarded projects here.

Download the REAlab Researcher-Led Projects Full Call Document

See here for guidance on how to apply.