Help shape future research at Nottingham: call for big ideas 


March 21st, 2024

Investing in exciting research and supporting our inspiring people means looking ahead. What will be the next big ideas that will drive change and transform society over the next ten years?  

The university wants to look beyond existing areas of research strength at Nottingham to find the next big ideas with the potential to change the world.

We also want to think differently about who leads major funding applications and initiatives, enabling new voices to come forward with ideas and ensuring they have access to the support they need to succeed.  

How can you get involved?

Please submit your ideas via this short online form or contact the Research Growth team via email. Once we receive your idea the team will contact you for a chat.  

What are we looking for?

We’re looking for big, long-term challenges and people who are trying to do something new and different.   

  • Your idea will appeal to people beyond your current research area or group and developing it further may require co-ordination across a number of schools or faculties  
  • Your idea won’t be “business as usual” – and ultimately its scale will be bigger than a single grant application or paper  
  • It’s an area where Nottingham isn’t already in a position of research leadership: you may have won some funding and published a number of papers, for example, but there’s no national/international research centre – yet! – in this area  
  • There’s potential for this research area to grow, for example through alignment with funder/government/international priorities, potential for external funding, and budding partnerships and impact activities  

How will my idea be supported?

Depending on your needs, we’ll provide support in:  

Building networks 

  • Linking to professional and support services  
  • Engaging with funders and partners  
  • Navigating the funding landscape, linking you to pump-priming funding to help initiate activities and helping plan a strategy for external funding  
  • Research development support to help with major funding applications  
  • Exploring mentoring, training and professional development needs  

Professor Tom Rodden, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research and Knowledge Exchange, said: “In my previous roles at the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, we ran a similar big ideas initiative, which identified exciting, adventurous and potentially transformative ideas.  

“I am sure our research community will also generate a number of big ideas to help shape the next generation of research and innovation priorities for Nottingham.” 

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