Grant Balances 2010 - University of Leeds

Lead Research Organisation: University of Leeds
Department Name: Research & Innovation Services


Cross-disciplinary research, wherein skills and knowledge from different scientific or technological domains is brought together to address problems that are insoluble on their own, plays an increasingly important role in underpinning new technological advances. It has been widely recognized, however, that there can be significant barriers to establishing new cross-disciplinary collaborations. One barrier can be the difficulty in persuading funders that the techniques or skills in question really can be translated between different disciplines. In this context, pump-priming funding that allows workers to trial their collaborative ideas and generate proof-of-principle results can be extremely beneficial. The proposed research grant will bring leading EPSRC-funded researchers at the University of Leeds together both across the EPSRC remit and between EPSRC and other research council with workers from other domains, to develop new collaborations. The output of the research is intended to be the demonstration of the basic concept such that sustainable follow-up funding can then be sought from appropriate bodies, including but not limited to, EPSRC.

Planned Impact

The nature of this grant will be to support the pump-priming of new cross-disciplinary research ventures and, as such, the outcomes are likely to include, inter alia: an improved understanding of the potential contributions from each discipline; an assessment of the feasibility of the potential avenues being considered, and; the development of an improved understanding of the potential non-academic research partners and the potential non-academic beneficiaries of the research. Consequently, the primary pathway to impact within the grant will be through the formation of new research teams that will involve academics from different disciplines as well as non-academic partners and potential end users. These broad research teams will ensure that the novel science/engineering that is developed is not only aligned to University strengths and EPSRC priorities, but is also undertaken within an environment that takes account of non-academic and end-user perspectives from the outset. The manner in which these perspectives are taken into account will vary between the pump-priming projects but the principle of building multi-disciplinary teams with a wide range of perspectives will be maintained as a core feature.


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