We recently hosted a series of events with York St John University, offering social impact organisations in York an opportunity to have a fully-funded researcher in their organisation, exploring a theme or issue that would help you to grow or evolve. At these events, a number of questions arose, which we recorded and detailed below…
Thanks for making the process simple. Can we get a steer on what proposals you’re looking for so we don’t commit time on something that would never be considered?
York St John have researchers in numerous departments (Humanities, Arts, Sports, Technology, Health, Education, Business, Language, Psychology, Social Sciences), so as long as the proposal fits within one of those then there’s no idea that wouldn’t be considered. Don’t want to put a parameter on it. Research will be either subject based (arts, wellbeing etc) or methodology based (participatory, democratic methods etc). Don’t rule things out, put it in and see what happens.
There are many different research options we can consider. How many ideas can we put forward?
Within reason yes, but focus on the priorities for your organisation and which will make the most impact.
We want to tackle twin issues of loneliness and lack of engagement in the community. Sometimes people are experiencing both at the same time. Delegates today and organisations across the city are doing amazing work around this, is there an opportunity for a collaborative approach featuring a number of organisations?
Very happy with collaborative projects around a specific issue or theme. Our timeframes don’t allow for us to be a broker for relationships, but we’d welcome those happening.
Could you explain a bit more abut how it would work on a day-to-day basis, with researchers potentially embedded in our organisation. Would we be in the background or hands-on?
As an experimental project, we don’t actually know, and it will be different for every organisation, depending on what makes sense to undertake the project. Applications will be sent out to interested researchers, who will present how they would approach the piece of work. We’ll then match researchers with applicants to check the fit is right in terms of the proposal, personalities and delivery methodology. We expect it to be collaborative between organisation and researcher and wouldn’t expect you to be in the background.
Quite a lot of groups are not constituted, so the eligibility criteria may be excluding some groups.
Yes, we absolutely acknowledge that. There needs to be some due diligence with allocation of funds, but we are going to review the process to ensure it’s accessible as possible.
I represent the homeless sector, and there are issues which are local but also national. Is the research primarily Yorkshire-based or more generic. If more generic how does it dovetail with other larger pieces of research without duplication?
We are looking to support research that will benefit the organisations we are working in partnership with. Where appropriate this might include conducting a review of existing research to ensure there is no duplication. Equally, if research conducted locally has potential national use this is something that could be explored.
Could we have a chat through our idea before we go through the application process?
Yes, of course, email email@example.com
What are the timescales for project delivery?
Plans, matching and engagement May – July, delivery September – July 2023. Worth thinking about the available timescales in terms of ambitiousness of your project, and considering a pilot type approach that could be exploratory with potential to continue past the project end date
Could we submit more than one idea?
Yes, but maybe focus on which matters most to your organisation. We wouldn’t accept more than two proposals from one organisation.
If you get lots of applications around the same theme, would YSJ be able to match up potential collaborators?
There’s two stages this can happen. Firstly organisations can network and collaborate and put in a joint proposal. Secondly, after proposals have come in if there are natural synergies we can match people up. But we want to ensure it is equitable and everybody has the opportunity to apply and benefit in their own right, if they’re not wanting to collaborate.
Is there an Ethics Process in place around working with vulnerable people.
Yes there will be, before any research is conducted and also considerations around GDPR.
Can budget be spent on out of pocket researcher costs such as childcare, travel, room hire, refreshments etc
Yes, any costs that make the research happen.
Are there any parameters around length of track record?
No, purposefully vague to be able to hear more proposals. There must a degree of due diligence. At this stage we’re interested in proposals as opposed to exact parameters.
To apply, complete a few qualifying questions at: Community research grants | York St John University (yorksj.ac.uk)