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Global Challenge Crucible for PGRs and Research Staff


Are you a PGR or ECR wanting to know more about challenge-led research and how research is conducted in other countries?  We are running a pilot PGR and ECR Global Challenge Crucible programme, based on our popular early career academic Crucible. 

Crucible is an award-winning initiative which brings together talented and innovative researchers and develops each of them as a researcher, leader and collaborator.  

The aim of this Crucible is to bring researchers from all disciplines together to work on projects aligned to the Global Challenges.  It develops the competencies required to initiate and develop interdisciplinary working, knowledge exchange, innovative activity and creative thinking.  It includes a mix of facilitated sessions, inspiring speakers and time to collaborate. Researchers get to use their experience in their field and apply it to a different problem.  The programme ends with teams getting the opportunity to pitch their ‘project ideas’ to a panel to determine the winning idea. 

 If you are selected for the programme, you can expect to see the following benefits: 

  • To develop an understanding of initiating and maintaining collaborations  
  • To have space and time to think about yourself and your research skills  
  • To meet researchers from other disciplines and other global partner institutions  
  • To gain awareness of how research is conducted in different countries  
  • To introduce the concept of challenge-led research   
  • To demonstrate how working with other disciplines from the very concept of a project can lead to the identification of novel solutions to complex challenges 

Throughout the programme participants develop skills in collaboration, negotiation, research leadership, interdisciplinary working, communication and bid development which will equip participants with the know-how for managing relationships with stakeholders. 

How does it work?

Crucible will be run on Zoom and before applying you must ensure you can commit to attending all four ‘labs’ below.  Places are limited to 24.

  • Lab 1:  Tuesday 22nd June (1.30 - 4.30)  
  • Lab 2:  Tuesday 20th July  (10-4)
  • Lab 3:  Tuesday 17th August - Building your project and pitching it right (10-4)
  • Lab 4:  Tuesday 14th September - Project outlines and judging (10-1)
  • Between Labs 3 and 4 you will have the option to practice and get feedback on your pitch 

Programme Outline

Each lab is theme around topics -

Lab 1: Getting Started

  • Introduction to the Programme 
  • How to use this programme for maximum effect and get the most benefit 
  • Introduction to Challenge-led research and why it is important 
  • What does research look like in your institution and country.  What are the research priorities? Share experiences 
  • Introduce the project work and pitch competition – how this will benefit your research and the skills/experience you will get

Lab 2: Interdisciplinary working, building collaborations and thinking differently

  • Motivations and Challenges to Interdisciplinary Research
  • How do you work across disciplines, make those connections and find people
  • Ways to establish and maintain collaborations 
  • Introduce the Research Challenge Areas 
  • Idea storming or exploring 

Lab 3: Building your project and pitching it right

  • Funding in your area or country – how does it work? 
  • Overview of funding at a intro level, what is needed for a proposal? 
  • How to build projects 
  • How to build teams, networks and collaborations 
  • Collaboration time and idea planning 

Lab 4:  Project pitching and judging