Academic staff at Essex are invited to participate in one of three intensive research sandpit events that will be taking place during April and May.

These in-person events will each be held over two days at Wivenhoe House Hotel on the Colchester campus, and will be externally facilitated. At each sandpit event, the first day will be a full day (9.30am - 5pm), followed by a networking dinner (optional, from 5.30pm - 8pm), and the event will finish at lunchtime (1pm) on the second day. Free overnight accommodation at Wivenhoe House Hotel will be available if needed.

The purpose of the sandpits is to bring together teams of researchers to develop major interdisciplinary grant applications on strategic priority themes. Participants will have the opportunity to pitch for up to £20k to support the development of their grant applications following the event, which can be used to cover, for example, engagement with stakeholders, research assistant time, or further exploratory work. Please note that the funds will have to be spent by 31 July. Further details will be available in due course.

Participant numbers for each sandpit are limited to a maximum of 20; places will be allocated through a light-touch application process and decisions taken by the PVC-Research and Faculty Deans Research to ensure representativeness and an appropriate mix of career stages, expertise and research interests. Applications can be made to attend one sandpit only.

The three sandpit dates and themes are:

  • 4-5 April: Human-environment interactions and sustainability: marine, coastal, and freshwater
  • 20-21 April: Responsible Use of AI
  • 3-4 May: Promoting mental health: data, technology, interventions, and policies

If you are interested in participating, please complete the application form (.docx) and return to Professor Chris Greer, cc Sue Hanshaw, by 4pm on 15 March.