What is REALab?

REALAB with strapline

REALab provides a platform for interdisciplinary teams of early career researchers and cultural partners to collaborate in producing projects that contribute to social wealth and the distribution of knowledge within the wider community. We do this by i) offering researchers funded opportunities for high-quality professional skill training in project design and management and stakeholder engagement ii) providing partner organisations with access to multidisciplinary research expertise tailored to their aims iii) offering researchers the opportunity to team up to work on a project or a partner of their own choice.

Partners are invited to identify specific challenges or desired outcomes to which a dedicated Researcher Team will respond by ideating solutions. REALab offers Partners the opportunity for bespoke researcher interventions to strategically enhance their existing programming or develop new areas of interest (e.g. accessibility/engagement for particular groups of audience, tailored research, digital development and so on). We are particularly keen to support multidisciplinary projects that call for interventions across different disciplines and fields of expertise and that include elements of co-production, creativity and collaboration.

Researchers receive rigorous training to master the skills necessary to succeed in professionally managing a project as research consultants (rather than interns) and in working in a collaborative, cross-disciplinary and trans-institutional environment. The programme provides an opportunity 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  tailored training, develop research into ideas and establish productive partnerships and professional synergies with colleagues and cultural players in the North West and beyond.

In 2018 REAlab is supported by the North West Consortium DTP, offering several streams of funded opportunities:

  1. a three-day intensive professional training course
  2. knowledge exchange projects in response to our partners’ challenges
  3. researcher-led projects.

For researchers looking to engage in projects we offer a comprehensive professional development scheme including:

  • Tailored one-to-one support to develop a project proposal for the pitch
  • A mentoring scheme and further training opportunities during project delivery
  • A dissemination fund (£200) for all project teams
  • The opportunity to be awarded the REAlab Team Project Excellence Award (£1000)  

Applications for training and projects will open on the 21 March 2018 and close at 12PM, 5 April 2018. We offer training+projects and training-only places. Travel and accommodation bursaries for out-of-Manchester delegates are available to attend the training in April.