Staff IT Innovation Challenge 2015-2016

From Stuart Lee, IT Services

[N.B. There will be an open briefing session on the challenge 12.30-1.30 on the 27th October. Book at:]

Challenge(s): The University Strategy seeks to increase innovation across our key activities (learning, teaching, and research). In the strategy also are a number of specific priorities and commitments. For this round of the IT Innovation Challenges we welcome project ideas from any University staff member for digital initiatives that would improve the academic experience at Oxford (the ‘Open’ category), but we would particularly welcome, for this round, ideas that would:

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

The site will close at midnight on 14 November for submissions, after which there will be a further week to discuss all ideas. Some ideas will then be selected to go to the next stage by the IT Innovation Group.


We would particularly welcome proposals for projects that focus on our undergraduate admissions and access activities. The University is committed to ensuring that we attract applications from students with outstanding academic potential whatever their background, and has set out ambitious targets (see Do you have a project that would assist in this? It could be repurposing existing content or creating new content in a way that would reach potential undergraduates, a new app for providing interactive tools that provide exciting academic challenges, or a new way of using technology to reach out to an underrepresented target area.

We are also interested in new ways to assist researchers. In terms of tools that can make research, or the administration of research easier; or allow researchers to collaborate internationally.

So …

Do you have any ideas for innovative digital projects that could assist in undergraduate admissions? [‘Undergraduate Admissions and Access’]

Ease the burden on researchers? [‘Making Research Easier’]

Allow researchers to collaborate more effectively internationally? [‘Research Collaboration’]

Or do you have any ideas for innovative digital projects that would just improve the academic experience of staff or students at Oxford? [‘Open’]

If the answer to any of the above is ‘Yes’ then please ‘Submit Your Idea’ [above], or read the ideas of others and add suggestions or offer assistance to work up the proposal.

Even if you don’t have a proposal then you can still take part in the discussion or offer assistance to projects that may go forward as we would also ideally like to see projects that emerge from collaborations across dispersed teams or units. For more information on the criteria by which projects will be assessed see the FAQs on the IT Innovation Challenges Sharepoint Site [requires you to log-in].

Rememberthis process is aimed at the open discussion of ideas to allow them to build and grow into a project. You are not being asked to submit your final bid in its complete form.  If the idea takes shape you will then be asked to submit a more formal proposal.

Also we are not necessarily looking for new tools or systems. You may be able to identify an existing product to adopt or adapt that would lead to improvements or innovation.

Further Details

Projects can be of any size starting from a few thousand pounds upwards but the maximum amount of funding per project is £60,000.

For further general information please visit the IT Innovation Challenges web site; for more specific details on previous projects, FAQs, etc please visit the IT Innovation Challenges Sharepoint Site [requires you to log-in].

Please note we hope that there will be a second IT Innovation Challenge for staff this year running in Hilary-Trinity term 2016.

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