IT Innovation – 2019 Staff Challenge

Photo by Robbie Brock CC BY-NC-SA

This 2019 IT Innovation Challenges call is open to all Oxford University staff* who have ideas for digital projects that could benefit the University, its staff or students. Successful ideas will receive funding of up to £40,000.


‘Innovation’ does not have to mean inventing something new or using the latest technology or newest equipment. For this round we particularly welcome ideas for projects using existing tools, knowledge, or technology in new and innovative ways, in new areas, or for new purposes.

As always, we also welcome other ideas for projects that bring benefit to the University, its staff and/or students through digital means.

To submit your idea, or view and comment on ideas submitted by others, go to the new Oxford ideas platform and register with your University of Oxford email address ( . Single sign-on not yet available). You can add or edit ideas until noon on Monday 4th February 2019 (comments and votes can be added until 11th February).

We are primarily looking for innovative digital solutions that stand a realistic chance of achieving their goals within the constraints of time and funding. The IT Innovation Challenges panel will decide on which ideas will go to the next stage using the following criteria:

  • it is innovative in its approach – by this we mean it utilizes an existing system or service in a new way to tackle a known problem, or develops an entirely new system or service from scratch. We recognize that, in some cases, small, simple changes can lead to really innovative developments so the background context will be taken into account.
  • it meets the challenges set for this particular round or (if part of the ‘open’ category) supports one or more of the University’s strategic aims.
  • the idea demonstrates the potential for a wide impact across the University or meeting one of the University’s strategic goals for external engagement.
  • collaboration is involved. For example, this could be projects involving two or more University units, or partnerships between students and departments
  • the project seems feasible in terms of approach chosen, start-up and completion.

Information about the scheme, the application process and more can be found at (see FAQ). For anything else, please contact

* Please note: IT Innovation Challenges are open to any member of staff within the University. Due to financial constraints we cannot fund college-only applications but we would encourage college staff to submit their ideas and to seek collaboration with University departments.

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