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Research and Project Innovation & Development

RAPID is series of research ‘sprints’ conducted over relatively short periods (3-6 months). These sprints will typically comprise two academics (one subject expert and one Creative Technologist/Research Associate) and one external partner (for example a community, business or NGO).
RAPID will provide financial, human and technological resources to enable these partners to work together on user-driven real-world problems.
Required Outputs:

  • Intellectual property/patents –these may take the form of a prototype application or technology platform with potential commercial value
  • Conference paper/poster/exhibition or performance (depending on the experience of the applicant)
  • Material for development of a grant application (which will then be shaped by the Project Investigator, a specialist grant writer and FDS into a full application.)

Applications will be online and follow a ‘responsive’ mode commissioning model, which essentially means people can apply for as long as the money lasts. If you are unsure about your proposal, pop along to the Research Exchange.

Support and mentoring

There are a number of support mechanisms in place for those bidding, delivering and disseminating RAPID projects. These include short workshops led by people from central services and active researchers within College to cover a range of bidding topics.
The University’s central Funding Development and Support is also available to assist with a range of bid activities. These include costing proposals and seeking external follow-up funding to continue the work beyond the initial ‘sprint’.
Media Innovation Studio Mentors can support in a number of additional ways. Studio staff have experience in both bid writing and project delivery, particularly around inter-or multidisciplinary research. For example, support can be accessed on initial advice on bid concepts and continued support during the development phase. Mentors will also be on hand to advise during the delivery and write-up/dissemination phases.
Proposal review and funding decisions

The proposal review may include the Executive Dean of the College, College Directors, Heads of School, School Research and Innovation Leads, industry professionals and academic colleagues from across the university. Timeframes for review will vary depending on the size and scope of the proposal, and availability of the review panel. The Director of Research and Innovation will be in contact with applicants during this process, and will notify you of the final decision.
The College of Culture and the Creative Industries is under no obligation to fund a proposal. As part of the RAPID process, the panel may suggest alternative partners, or funding sources, such as RCUK/EU grants or venture capital investments.


Proposals are to be submitted online using the form at

Objectives: (350 words)
List the broad, long-term objectives and what the specific research proposed is intended to accomplish.

Background and Significance: (750 words)
Briefly sketch the background leading to the proposed work, critically evaluate existing knowledge, and specifically identify the gaps that the project is intended to fill. State concisely the importance and relevance of the proposed work by relating the specific aims to the broad, long-term objectives. Include reference to relevant preliminary studies or progress reports, if applicable

Research Design and Methods: (750 words)

  • Describe the research design and the procedures to be used to accomplish the specific aims of the project. Include how the data will be collected, analysed, and interpreted.
  • Describe any new methodology and its advantage over existing methodologies.
  • Discuss the potential difficulties and limitations of the proposed procedures and alternative approaches to achieve the aims.

As part of this section, provide a tentative timetable for the project baring in mind all work is to be completes as a research ‘sprint’ within the allotted 3-6 months of RAPID.

Resources, Facilities, and Collaborations: (350 words)
List individuals involved in the development or execution of the project and their qualifications.

Plans for Seeking External Funding: (750 words)
Describe the proposals that will be developed after the conclusions RAPID project. List the funding agencies and/or industries targeted, provide an estimate of the expected funding level and the potential for funding. State how the resources requested from RAPID will enable the development of these external proposals.

Budget and Budget Justification:
Include a budget that does not exceed £10,000 (Inc. VAT).

Include justification and explanation of how the expenditure of RAPID funds would assist in developing strong proposals for external funding agencies.

Other Support:
If relevant – include a list of current and pending support for all investigators.

Include a two-page curriculum vitae of the RAPID project lead. (attachment).

For the 2016 award period, RAPID proposals:

  • Must be based on the collaboration of two or more College members from at least two different academic units (for example, RAPID Lead + Media Innovation Studio Creative Technologist). The collaborators may be designated as Project Investigator or co-PI(s).
  • Must be multidisciplinary or interdisciplinary in scope.
  • Show substantial promise for developing a larger proposal for external funding. Each proposal must include strong evidence that the PIs have identified external funding agencies with potential interest in the proposal.
  • May not be used to supplement existing grants or contracts.

Additional proposal characteristics may include:

  • High risk or innovative ideas that need pilot funding at the pre-competitive stage; or
  • New initiatives for the development of patents, software licenses.


Below are the review criteria used for the evaluation of the proposals in general. Other factors affecting funding under the RAPID program include the current external funding level of the applicant(s), and the amount of funds available for RAPID


  • Does this study address an important and relevant problem?
  • What new knowledge will be created by this project?
  • Who will be the main external beneficiaries of your work?
  • Explain briefly how they will benefit.
  • What will be the effect of your project on the concepts or methods that drive this field?

Are the conceptual frameworks, design, methods and analyses adequately developed, well integrated, and appropriate to the aims of the project? Does the applicant acknowledge potential problem areas and consider alternative strategies?

Does the project employ novel concepts, approaches or methods? Are the aims original and innovative? Does the project challenge existing paradigms or develop new methodologies or technologies?

Are the investigators appropriately trained and well suited to carry out this work? Is the proposed work appropriate to the experience level of the applicants?

Media Innovation Studio, collaboration and resources.
Media Innovation Studio and its staff is available to assist the process of creative collaboration contribute to the probability of success? Can the proposed activities take advantage of the Media Innovation Studio facilities?

Is the budget appropriate to carry out the work proposed?

External funding potential:
Is the plan for seeking external funding appropriate?