UKRI launches Rethinking Public Dialogue fund

Multi-ethnic crowd applauds the speaker.

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) has partnered with the Royal Society for Arts, Manufacturers and Commerce (RSA) to launch a Rethinking Public Dialogue fund.

UKRI is committed to listening to and acting on diverse views to shape research and innovation priorities, through processes like public dialogue.

Public dialogue brings a wide range of insights, expertise and perspectives to bear on decisions, making research and innovation outcomes more relevant to people, more impactful and more trusted.

Producing evidence through experimentation

In recent years we’ve seen a wave of innovative approaches, such as digital and creative techniques that offer promising new ways to involve people in decision making.

However, there’s a lack of evidence about the effectiveness of many of them.

By funding pilots explicitly focused on testing and evaluating new possibilities for dialogue, we hope to capture evidence about their effectiveness that can help de-risk these approaches for:

  • policy makers
  • research funders
  • public engagement practitioners.

Projects will be able to bid for a share of £480,000 of funding, with up to £60,000 available per project.

Connecting research, innovation and society

UKRI’s Head of Public Engagement, Tom Saunders said:

UKRI wants to see a much deeper connection between research, innovation and society, as this will make it easier to reap the benefits of our investments and to identify and prioritise the challenges and opportunities people really care about.

Dialogue between researchers, innovators, policy makers and the wider public is one way that we can do this.

With this fund we are committing to exploring new methods that enable us to understand public aspirations and concerns for research and innovation in a more systematic way, to build evidence, share lessons and support the spread of effective approaches.

Supporting innovative engagements

RSA’s Director of Research, Alice Mathers said:

Public dialogue is about connection, collaboration, and harnessing collective intelligence to unlock ideas and inspiration on issues that affect us all.

Research and innovation are critical to the stability of our society and our economy, as we’ve seen during the COVID-19 crisis.

We’re thrilled to be working with UKRI to support new innovations and experimental approaches that will shape and stretch the next steps for research and innovation.

Apply for funding on the RSA website.

Top image:  Credit: dlewis33, E+ via Getty Images

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