2021-22 Brigstow Institute seedcorn fund: Application Guidelines

Closing date: Monday 6th December 2021 at 15:00

This is an opportunity for mixed teams of researchers to carry out risky, experimental, and exploratory projects to take the first steps in developing and pursuing new research questions. We especially welcome applications from teams that might find it difficult to find early-stage funding because of the novelty of the ideas, methods or approaches. 

Key bits: 

  • Closing date: Monday 6th December 2021 at 15:00 
  • Funding limits: £4,000-£7,000 per award 
  • Number of awards: up to 10  
  • Outcomes: w/b 20th December 2021 
  • Initial meeting of all awarded projectsWednesday 9th March 2022 
  • Period of research/making: March-October 2022 

What Brigstow is looking for in a seedcorn application: aims and values 

Funds are available to initiate and develop partnerships to undertake early-stage, experimental research pilots. This funding is also suitable if you received Ideas Exchange or network funding from us before and are now ready to embark upon testing those ideas through a seedcorn research project. 

We expect all seedcorn projects to be driven by a research question that is co-created by everyone involved in the project. Depending on the research question, the research may need a range of disciplines in the university (interdisciplinarity) and/or might require diverse partners within and outside the university working together (co-production) to bring their different knowledge and expertise to bear. Projects should be co-created, co-designed and co-led, and wvalue co-making as a part of the research process. We encourage project teams to aspire to equity amongst team members with everyone’s expertise respected, and trust and open communication across the team. 

The following outlines what Brigstow means by interdisciplinary and co-produced research that involves critical making as part of its process: 
  • Co-produced research values that knowledge takes many forms and lies within different areas and people. With co-produced research, the framing of the research question is driven equally by the needs of the external partner and university partners. It recognises that multiple expertise is necessary to undertake research, and that this is especially the case within the ‘Living Well’ remit that characterises Brigstow. Here lived knowledge is as important as academic knowledge (for example social and literary historians and a community arts charity in Telling Stories about Learning Difficulties, or public health researchers, sociologists, medical educationalists, community groups and individuals in How do you Move?). 
  • Interdisciplinary research (or trans-disciplinary, multi-disciplinary or omni-disciplinary research) brings together people with different knowledge, expertise, skills and ideas.  We are particularly interested in bringing university researchers from different schools or faculties together for the first time to undertake seedcorn projects (for example literary scholars and mathematicians in Maths Poems, or vets and social scientists in Poo Patrol). 
  • We like creative processes and critical making because it moves beyond talking together, to making together as a process in the research projectIt invites people to think creatively and value the process of making over and above what is made. Don’t underestimate the value of using an object or space to elevate beyond language and to communicate ideas within and beyond the project group. It also offers something tangible at the end of the project for all partners. 

Further examples of the projects that Brigstow has funded so far can be found at www.bristol.ac.uk/brigstow/projects/.  

About this funding 

A total of ~£60is likely to be available to share between projects under this call. This will be distributed between the highest-ranked projects (assessed by the Brigstow Steering Group). 
Typically £4,000-7,000 per grant, although larger bids of up to £10k will be considered. Funding can be used to buy in expertise, pay for researchers, hardware costs, consumables or travel needed to work together. Unfortunately, the funding cannot be used to buy out full-time academic staff time. Further information about eligibility and assessment criteria can be found within the 2021-22 Brigstow Institute seedcorn fund: Application Guidelines. 

How to apply 

All information on how to apply is in the Brigstow Seedcorn application guidance for 2021-2022 (PDF, 426kB).‌
Closing date: Monday 6th December 2021 at 15:00 


A bit about the Brigstow Institute

Brigstow brings researchers from different disciplines together with a range of partners across the city and beyond to experiment in new ways of living and being. Brigstow research focuses broadly on how we can live well in the 21st centurycentred on the human experience. We’ve supported research into a broad range of topics: from eating well to living well with the past; from dying well to robotics in our everyday lives. Our research is underpinned by a commitment to a distinctive way of working that foregrounds co-produced research with – and not just for – external partners, interdisciplinary research and an emphasis on creative processes and ‘critical making as research methodologies

Do you have a project idea?

You can meet and discuss potential projects with Brigstow colleagues at an online drop-in session:  
If you are new to research and want to find out more about identifying a research question, pulling together a research team and thinking about relevant methods, then we’d love you to join us for a short online workshop exploring this on Wednesday 20 October 10am to 11.15am.
If you can't make it to a drop-in session or workshop and would like to discuss your project idea, you can contact either Gail Lambourne, Brigstow Institute Manager or Tim Cole, Brigstow Institute Director for a conversation.

Brigstow Seedcorn Application Guidance for 2021-2022

Find out more about the Brigstow seedcorn funding and application process here: Brigstow Seedcorn application guidance for 2021-2022 (PDF, 426kB)

Accessible version: Brigstow Seedcorn application guidance 2021-2022. (Office document, 254kB)

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