Our Spark grants (9K) aim to stimulate unusual collaborations to address societal challenges. The grants do this by offering initial financial support to start building a committed project team with whom to explore the potential of an idea and/or to test whether it can be taken further and developed into a project application, for an Unusual Collaborations grant (max 180 K). Spark grants are thus a low-threshold stimulus to support connection with others outside one’s own disciplinary background, to initiate collaboration around a research idea, to share knowledge and best practices, and to develop something together.

The way to apply for a Spark grant has recently been changed into a Spark Learning Journey. Within this journey researchers that would like to learn more about interdisciplinary collaboration are invited to join our training in order to develop interdisciplinary research competences and to find research team members (Spark phase 1). In the next phase participants will assemble a team and develop a project topic, supported by provided process coaches.  Upon meeting the eligibility criteria they will be supported with the €9,000 grant, which can be used, for example, to finance meetings and events, assistants or other support, facilitators, field trips and so on. Upon completion of phase 2 it is possible to apply for an Unusual Collaborations grant.

Corinne Lamain, director of the Centre for Unusual Collaborations: ‘after having organized a few Spark symposia, we found out that collaborating across disciplines and institutes needs more guidance and training, as it is not easy at all. Therefore we developed a new process in order to help researchers develop and use specific competences that are required within the complexity of interdisciplinary research. As we are part of the alliance with Eindhoven, Wageningen and Utrecht, we have the possibility to bring researchers with all different backgrounds together to collaborate.’ 

More information and registration

Are you interested to join our Spark Learning Journey, to obtain a Spark grant and to learn more about unusual collaborations with other researchers from Eindhoven University of Technology, Wageningen University & Research, Utrecht University and UMC Utrecht? Find more information and the registration form on the website of our Centre for Unusual Collaborations. Registrations for the Spark grant learning journey are now open until 5 September, do not hesitate to apply!