January progress

The IT Innovation Challenges launched a new call for ideas in Micahelmas Term 2015. The call invited staff to submit ideas for projects that would:

  • assist in undergraduate admissions and access activities
    and/or
  • make research easier for researchers
    and/or
  • provide solutions for international collaboration in research

As before, students were encouraged to share their ideas for digital projects that can improve student life in general, and for this round a special call was made for projects that can assist with undergraduate admissions and access.

A total of 32 staff ideas and 18 student ideas were submitted by the deadline. These were viewed over 5,000 times, and comments, suggestions and votes were added by hundreds of contributors. The submitted ideas were reviewed by the Innovation Panel, and a subset of idea creators were invited to submit a project proposal where they describe how their ideas can be turned into a project.

The intention is to make the project proposal stage as straight-forward as possible. The proposals need to be carefully thought out, with a realistic budget and work plan, but the forms that are used are as simple as possible, focussing on the important questions what (what is your project about?), why (why is the project needed?), and how (how will you do it?)

In response to a suggestion from previous applicants, ideas creators that were invited to submit a project proposal were also offered an opportunity to meet with representatives of the scheme to talk about their proposal. In these informal meetings, applicants could ask about process and procedures, discuss aspects of their project, get advice on how to fill in the project proposal document, and raise any questions or concerns they had.

In addition to submitting a project proposal, idea creators are asked to present their project idea to the Panel at a ‘pitching event’ in February. The Panel will then select a number of projects to be given funding from the Innovation Challenges. We will be able to announce the successful initiatives as soon as they have accepted the funding offer.

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