Proposal Brief & Guidelines

Research activities at level 1 (makespaces) may involve research activities that lead to the identification and testing of key technologies, people and skills, tools, materials, resources, cultures and methods needed in makespaces for them to support redistributed manufacturing and while doing so to move from linear economy practice to circular economy practice.

Research being a “process of investigation leading to new insights effectively shared” (Research Excellence Framework), which can be viewed as taking two approaches 1) identifying and responding to things we don’t know in order to find them out 2) testing things we suspect in order to prove them one way or another.


Your proposal should address one or more of the challenge areas at Level 1(makespaces). Please see workshop pdf for further info.

Technological – Manufacturing tools and technologies (with a focus on small-scale and flexible manufacturing equipment) // Manufacturing processes // Materials (utility and sustainability)

Social – The changing dynamics of work and communities (people and cultures within and using makespaces)

Economic – Business models // membership and access models (with reference to RdM)

Organisational – Management and distribution (materials, information, skills, services, products)

Educational – Training, skills and cultures.

Sustainability – How can this be an opportunity to move towards a Circular Economy? and what are the main challenges?


Guidelines on eligibility can be found here. Eligible organisations include all UK Higher Education Institutions that receive grant funding from one of the UK higher education funding bodies, along with research institutes for which the Research Councils have established a long-term involvement as a major funder. Other independent research organisations (IROs) may also be eligible and a list of such organisations is available here.


Costing for feasibility studies should be up to £25k at 100% full economic costing. The feasibility studies should be completed by 31st October 2015.

Budgets can include investigator/researcher time, travel and subsistence appropriate to delivery of the project, and small scale consumables. Equipment is eligible following EPSRC standard conditions:

As the grant holder, the Royal College of Art is responsible for allocating funding to successful proposals and will reimburse subcontracting organisations at 100% full economic costing.

Submitting proposals

Proposals should be submitted using the structure of the template provided here. Please try to limit proposal text to approx. 1200 words and maximum of 5 figures. This proposal should be accompanied by a completed budget template provided here.

Proposals for Level 1 (Makespace) need to be submitted to by 2pm on the 9th of April – Please title your email – Feasibility Project Proposal & your name – in the header.

Selection criteria

Proposals will be assessed by a panel comprised of members of the project executive group, with funding decisions based on the decision of this panel. Applicants should consider that the following criteria will be considered by the panel when assessing the proposal:

Research opportunity

Strategic importance: how well does the proposed study link to issues identified by policymakers?

Future potential and impact: what is the potential impact of conducting this study?

Opportunities for synergy: how well does the proposed study complement other projects and engagements?

Learning potential: how novel is the anticipated learning from the study?

Timing and relevance: how important is it that this study be conducted now?

Feasibility criteria

Quality: how well is the complete plan articulated?

Applicant’s domain expertise: how capable is the applicant in the proposed area of study?

Alignment with applicant’s existing research: how well aligned is the proposal with the applicant’s existing research?

Resources: does the applicant have the necessary researcher(s) available to complete the project within the first year of the network and submit deliverables by 31st December 2015?

Management: are clear management processes and responsibilities articulated in the proposal, as well as plans for reporting insights and results?