Rethinking Public Dialogue: A UKRI Experimentation Fund
Closing Date: 07/07/2022
Funding for pilot projects that test novel approaches and new possibilities for public dialogue. Applicants must generate evidence of the potential of new methods and work with the RSA to capture and share learning.
UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) has launched this opportunity in partnership with the Royal Society for Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) to support pilot projects that test novel approaches and new possibilities for public dialogue.
Projects can cover a wide array of topics that align with UKRI’s five strategic themes:
- Building a green future.
- Securing better health, ageing and wellbeing.
- Tackling infection.
- Building a secure and resilient world.
- Creating opportunities and improving outcomes.
Pilots should deploy innovative and creative techniques to extend reach, facilitate bottom-up, informal and inclusive engagement, and explore novel approaches to understanding online debate. Applicants must generate evidence of the potential of new methods and work with the RSA to capture and share learning from their project.
Each application must make clear what kind of innovation is being tested through their pilot and how their enquiry will contribute to, build upon, or address current gaps in the wider evidence of what works in public dialogue.
Applicants will likely design their pilots around one or more of the following innovation strands, although additional ideas are welcome:
- Scaled engagement – New tools that offer ways to scale engagement to encompass a wider range of ideas, perspectives and lived experience. This will involve testing new possibilities that involve large numbers of people from diverse backgrounds connecting, cooperating and exchanging viewpoints on research and innovation.
- Informal engagement – Innovative techniques and tools that take conversations into new spaces (virtual, online or physical). This will involve informal or unstructured forms of engagement that take place in wider public arenas beyond formal institutions and reach new audiences and help capture and represent people’s views in new and useful ways.
- Bottom-up engagement – Pilots that challenge the ways engagements involving the public are often activated (ie administered top-down according to a pre-determined scope and remit). This involves pilots that give people more influence in setting the agenda, are sensitive to power imbalances, and are conscious of not imposing framings or ways of thinking onto participants.
- Inclusive engagement – Pilots in this strand should actively test new ways to improve inclusion and build participation among people from different backgrounds, needs, and abilities. There is evidence that many existing methods and tools favour those with specific skills or resources, and do not take active steps to mitigate against pre-existing inequalities.
- Novel approaches to understanding online debate – This strand will capture and analyse people’s online behaviour (eg online search) and online discussions (eg on social media and online forums). Pilots should consider how this could be combined with more traditional engagement methods, to make them more responsive to public views.
Projects are anticipated to last a maximum of nine months and should be concluded by summer 2023.
|Funding body||UK Research and Innovation (UKRI)|
|Category||Economic and Social Research|
|Fund or call||Fund|