UNIC Opens Seed Funding Program for Engaged Research Initiatives

UNIC's Seed Fund offers support for "Engaged Research" project development

UNIC, the European University of Cities in Post-Industrial Transition, is announcing an open call for its Seed Fund to support "Engaged Research" projects.  This seed funding initiative, now in its second round, aims to support collaborative research projects across its coalition of 10 universities, including Erasmus University Rotterdam. Qualifying researchers can apply for up to 9 months of funding and support for research projects that tackle societal challenges in post-industrial cities. Initial deadline to apply with a brief letter of interest is 31 May 2023, with project proposals due by 28 July, 2023. 

Projects eligible for seed funding address societal challenges in transitory economies and places that constitute a shared socio-economic environment of post-industrial transformations.

This funding is open to faculty and research faculty members (professors (of all levels), postdoctoral researchers, and Ph.D. candidates who are working across at least two of UNIC's 10 alliance universities, and a societal partner. A full list of partners can be found in the full call documents below, along with timelines, application procedures, and the fine print. 

Background and Research Scope:

UNIC researchers tackle societal challenges by involving and engaging citizens, civil society, public/city authorities, and private businesses in research and innovation activities. Engaged Research offers an interdisciplinary approach and method for systematic knowledge production not only for society but also together with society. 

In order to increase the amount of collaborative engaged research initiatives within the UNIC consortium and provide support to researchers to coordinate those initiatives, seed funds are allocated to the members of the Alliance.

What We're Looking For:

Collaborative UNIC engaged research initiatives relate to the societal challenges of post-industrial cities in transition. Initiatives are recommended to touch upon a challenge defined by our UNIC Cities. These challenges are related to e.g., Diversity & Inclusion, Green Cities & Sustainability, Urban Resilience & Transformation, Health & Well-being, Aging Population, Digital Transition through engaged research and aims to co-create knowledge through engaged research.

This seed fund is intended as small-scale support for engaged research collaboration and project development across all disciplines. 

Researchers facing particular structural challenges for various reasons, such as being a first-generation academic, being a researcher after a career break, having a migration background, or coming from an underrepresented community, are encouraged to apply. There is special funding for inclusivity, allocated specially for the ‘non-traditional’ scholars. The UNIC consortium aims to enhance inclusivity and diversity. Applicants who think they are eligible for this special funding are advised to consult the UNIC Engaged Research Officers at their own institutions. Eligibility for this special funding is context-dependent, and applicants will be evaluated locally.

Application Procedure and Timeline

Approved proposals will be supported for at most 9 months with a budget according to the additional information provided by the university.

  • Call opens: 5 May, 2023
  • Deadline for Submission of a Letter of Interest: 31 May, 2023 (23:59 local time)
  • Project Proposal Submission Deadline: 28 July, 2023 (23:59 local time)

→ Depending on local holiday times, the deadlines might vary slightly.

For information about non-financial support mechanisms like project proposal consortium building, mentoring, trainings, and workshops provided under UNIC, please contact your local UNIC Engaged Research Officer at EUR by emailing unic4er@eur.nl.

A list of documents required, and other conditions, can be found in the full call document above, and on this resource hub here. The UNIC alliance looks forward to receiving many applications!

More information

For a list of documents required, full call conditions, financial rules, and other fine print — please refer to the resource hub for the Seed Fund call on the UNIC website.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 101035801.

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