Imperial Festival weekend

Imperial's new Societal Engagement Seed Fund will support staff and students to engage the wider public with our research and education, for mutual benefit. 

Imperial's objectives for launching a new Societal Engagement Seed Fund

The Societal Engagement Seed Fund has been introduced to:

  1. Encourage and enable a wider range, and greater number of, Imperial staff and students to develop and deliver new societal engagement initiatives.
  2. Enhance the diversity of engagement initiatives across Imperial. In particular encouraging two-way engagement – where participants are involved in the engagement process and/or involved in the research process.
  3. Engage a range of patients, publics, schools and local communities with Imperial’s research and/or education in a mutually beneficial way.
  4. Increase the number of collaborative approaches to engagement.
  5. Fund initiatives that have potential to strengthen research impact; leading to new applications for external funding and supporting Imperial’s strategic goals. 

Desired Seed Fund proposal outcomes

Seed fund proposals could include a discrete project or a pilot activity to be further developed, and ideally will include one or more of the following outcomes:

  • Develop high-quality engagement with research activities that strengthen research impact.
  • Extend previous successful societal engagement activities (e.g. reach a new audience group or develop a new collaboration).
  • Undertake pilots of pioneering engagement activities to evaluate what works, ideally with a view to future development including securing external funding.
  • Develop the engagement skills and learnings of the wider Imperial College Community. 

Funding and eligibility 

Up to £10,000 will be awarded in December 2017. We expect to fund five proposals in the region of £2,000, but we can be flexible to accommodate larger or smaller proposals for exceptional projects.

Eligibility

  1. The Principal Applicant must be an Imperial staff member, but proposals can involve a team made up of students and/or external partners as well as the Principal Applicant.
  2. Proposals can have international reach and can involve international collaborators, partners and/or audiences.
  3. Existing engagement activities will not be eligible for funding, unless the proposal demonstrates that a significant new/different element is being introduced, such as a new collaborator, audience or approach.
  4. Exhibiting at the Imperial Festival and Fringe should not be the sole objective of the proposal, although proposals can incorporate the Festival or Fringe events as one output among others.
  5. Projects need to engage one or more of the following audiences – schools, local community groups, patients and the wider public*.
  6. Projects can involve the engagement of other stakeholders, such as from industry, government or the media, however projects that only engage these stakeholders and not the audiences listed in Eligibility Point 5, would not be eligible.

 *In this context, the public includes "individuals, groups, young people and their families, who do not currently have a formal relationship with a HEI through teaching, research or knowledge transfer, but who may have an interest in these activities or upon whom the research or its application could impact.” – Research Councils UK.

Use of funds 

Eligible costs Internal External 
 Staff costs  Not eligible   Students and/or freelancers are eligible costs (i.e. a day rate)
 Travel Eligible   Eligible 
 Subsistence  Eligible Eligible
 Consumables/equipment Eligible Eligible
 Training costs  Eligible Eligible
 Indirect and estate costs Not eligible Not eligible
 Bench costs Not eligible Not eligible
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How to apply 

Please download and use the Seed Fund Application Form provided at the top of this page.

One supporting document is allowed per application (no more than one page in length) that either provides images or diagrams, or provides details of a previous similar project, to help illustrate your proposal.

For examples of previously funded engagement projects, read about the recipients from the first round of our Seed Fund

Application Forms and supporting documentation (if any) are to be sent to societal_engagement@imperial.ac.uk by the deadline.

For any questions, please contact Emelia Gobbe or Vicky Brightman on societal_engagement@imperial.ac.uk

Deadlines 

Applications open 20 September 2017 
Closing date for applications  8 November 2017
Applicants are informed of the Awarding Panel's decision  1 December 2017
Project delivery phase  1 December 2017 – 31 July 2018
Project completion and final reports due  31 July 2018
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Review of applications 

This award is offered by Academic Partnerships, led by the Associate-Provost Professor Maggie Dallman. Applications will be considered by a selection panel chaired by the Associate-Provost (Academic Partnerships), with representation from across the College.

Applications will be judged against the following six criteria: 

 Quality   

The engagement activities encourage two-way engagement. For example, audiences and/or collaborators are involved in the development of the engagement process and/or involved in an Imperial research process – rather than solely being a recipient of the dissemination of our research and/or engagement activity.

 Targeted  

Targeting of specific audiences with a clear rationale for why those participants, collaborators, and/or partners have been targeted, and evidence that there is sufficient means to reach those audiences. Detailed descriptions are encouraged rather than broad terms such as ‘the general public’ e.g. specific research beneficiaries, ethnic minorities, socioeconomic groups, school key stages, geographically isolated communities, independent adults, families with under 5s.

 Impact

 

What is the need for the project and how will it benefit all those involved. For example participants, audiences and collaborators, as well as meeting Imperial’s research and strategic goals. Relevance of the project or research to the target audience(s). The potential to impact research and/or researchers. Timeliness – Why is this needed now? E.g. linking to external events or agendas e.g. National Science Week, local festivals, or anniversaries of key people/events.

 Evaluation Evidence of realistic evaluation commensurate to the project.
 Achievability

Clear and realistic objectives and timelines with a clear plan for delivery of the project and the right expertise involved to make the project a success.

 Legacy

The extent to which the project leaves a legacy beyond the life of the project. This could be skills developed (internally and/or externally), relationships/collaborations developed and/or maintained, new avenues for funding being sought or lessons learnt to inform future engagement projects. 

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Accessing funds and reporting 

  • A degree of evaluation commensurate to the project scale will be required from you.
  • A brief final report will be required to summarise achievements and findings from your evaluation. Final reports should be sent to societal_engagement@imperial.ac.uk on or before 31 July 2018.
  • Project activities will need to be documented in some way e.g. by photography or AV, to capture the process and the outcome, which may be shared with the wider College community through the Societal Engagement webpages and/or internal news stories. 
  • For successful projects, please contact your Finance Officers for advice on setting up an internal G account code linked to the relevant departmental cost centre. Once your code is established, please inform societal_engagement@imperial.ac.uk and Ellie Smith (eleanor.smith@imperial.ac.uk) who will arrange for the funds to be transferred to you. All funds must be spent by 31 July 2018.