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News article

University launches £40,000 scheme to support community research

Published: 28 February 2022

  •   Community
Students doing craft at table

Community groups in York could gain valuable evidence about their impact, thanks to a new scheme that connects groups to university researchers. 

York St John University has made £40,000 available to its Institute for Social Justice (ISJ) to develop community engaged research.   

The Institute for Social Justice (ISJ), established in 2020, aims to promote research that exposes and addresses inequalities across society. 

This new scheme of Community Research Grants will support valuable partnerships between the University and community-led organisations in the voluntary, charity and social enterprise (VCSE) sector. VCSE’s should apply to the scheme with the aim of commissioning a piece of research that addresses something of direct interest and benefit to their organisation. Successful proposals will be matched with university-based researchers to develop a project together. 

The grants are a new way of building the ISJ’s ongoing community-based research. It will build on previous work, such as a commission from children’s theatre company Hullabaloo.  

Commenting on the experience of working with the ISJ, Miranda Thain, Chief Executive & Artistic Producer at Hullabaloo, said:Theatre Hullabaloo worked with the team at ISJ to develop and implement an evaluation framework for the Hullabaloo Baby Play Packs, a programme of play aimed at parents and carers of babies born during the pandemic.  

“The research team’s creativity and rigour made a massive contribution to the shape of the project and the final report has proven to be a valuable tool for communicating the impact and value of the programme to a wide range of stakeholders.”  

Other community-based research has focused on areas such as early years’ education, children and families, learning disabilities, sport, health and wellbeing and social inclusion and much more.  

Matthew Reason, director of the ISJ said: “We have some amazing voluntary organisations making a difference to people’s lives here in York. We are excited to see projects develop, and to offer our support for these organisations that have a real impact. 

“This is a fantastic opportunity for community groups to work with our academics and to gather new knowledge that will enrich each VCSE, as well as building upon our University’s positive impact within the community.” 

Applicants can submit a proposal online from Friday 1 April until Friday 22 April 2022. 

And, in anticipation of the applications period, the ISJ are hosting briefing events for interested groups to best prepare bid writing and proposals from potential applicants. On Tuesday 8 March, 10am to 11am via Zoom, VCSE groups can learn more about the scheme and the process. This will be followed up on Thursday 31 March, 10am to 11am, with the opportunity to ask more questions and tips on how to finalise proposals. 

The ISJ will work with York based consultants Social Vision to gain input on all stages of the process from the perspective of a VCSE organisation.   

Find out more about the Institute for Social Justice.  

Find out more about the application process, criteria and briefing events: 


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