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Eligibility and How to Apply for a Sandpit

Eligibility criteria for a C-DICE sandpit

  1. Applicants must have either a PhD or at least four years experience as a postdoctoral researcher in a relevant field. 
  2. Applicants must be employed as a researcher, not an academic, by a C-DICE partner university or funded by the Faraday Institution or Alan Turing Institute. The list of C-DICE partner universities is available here. Applicants from other universities can apply, however, only team members from C-DICE partner universities will be able to act as PI (principal investigator), for contracting reasons.
  3. PhD students can apply but will only be eligible to join the sandpit if they have passed their viva fully or with minor correction before the start of he sandpit.

If you are a postdoctoral researcher at a UK university that is not a C-DICE partner, or work in industry, but would like to join a C-DICE sandpit, please contact the C-DICE team to arrange for a preliminary meeting to discuss the alignment of interests. You can apply if this is indicated after the meeting.

How to apply

The application form is available via Inkpath, our researcher development platform.

Step 1

If you already have an Inkpath account, please go to the call for applications for the sandpit of your choice – Towards Net Zero in the Water Industry Sandpit or Small Modular Reactors (SMR) Sandpit

If you do not have an Inkpath account, you need to create one. Click the button below for guidance on how to. After you create the account, please go to Call for applications – Towards Net Zero in the Water Industry Sandpit or Small Modular Reactors (SMR) Sandpit on Inkpath.

Please get in touch, if you have any problems accessing the activity or registering with Inkpath.

Step 2

Book onto the activity on Inkpath. After booking is submitted, you will receive a link to fill the application on Microsoft forms.

Step 3

Fill in the Microsoft application form. You will be asked to:

  • describe your primary research area for a non-expert (about 100 words)
  • describe your eligibility for a C-DICE sandpit and explain how you meet the assessment criteria (maximum 300 words)
  • identify what aspects of this C-DICE sandpit topic are of interest to you (about 100 words)
  • identify what skills and expertise you have which you think will be relevant to the C-DICE sandpit (about 100 words)
  • identify how you might incorporate Equality, Diversity and Inclusion aspects in this C-DICE sandpit topic (about 100 words)

If you need to access the application form in a different format, please get in touch with the C-DICE team.

Session 2 of the Hydrogen Sandpit, 2023

How we will assess your application

Applications to attend the sandpit will be anonymised before being assessed. As a sandpit is predicated on an ethos of innovative collaborative working, applicants must demonstrate both enthusiasm and appropriate personal attributes for cross-disciplinary collaborative research, and a willingness to engage in professional development.

The assessment criteria for participant selection are:

  • An interest in developing new, adventurous, and highly original research ideas.
  • An interest in partaking in innovative research at the interface between disciplines.
  • The ability to attend both sessions in person.
  • The ability to work in a team.
  • The ability to communicate research to a wide audience.
  • Support from your institution to take part.

The selection panel will look to ensure a mix of discipline and experience. It is therefore important to give evidence of how you meet the criteria listed above in your application. We are not defining the disciplines that should be represented but asking potential participants to indicate how their expertise can address the challenge.

Applicants need not have worked on the problem before. However, emphasis will be placed on working across disciplines to foster new collaborations and bring new thinking to resolve a problem.

In the event of this opportunity being substantially oversubscribed, C-DICE reserves the right to modify the assessment process.

Please note that we will not be able to give individual feedback to unsuccessful applicants, however we will provide some general points of feedback.

Post-sandpit assessment

Stage 1

Following the sandpit, investigators involved in those projects recommended for seedcorn funding will be tasked with writing a full proposal covering their intended activities as identified at the sandpit.

The deadline for submission of full proposals will be around five weeks after the close of the sandpit, to be advised in the sandpit.

Successful proposals will demonstrate:

  • novel, highly multidisciplinary research projects, clearly reflecting the distinctive opportunity for creating such projects that the sandpit provides
  • clear evidence that the team have the capability to deliver their project as a high-quality multidisciplinary activity, provided both through the proposal and their activity during the sandpit
  • clear relevance to and the potential to make a distinctive and novel contribution to addressing the research challenges in this area

Stage 2

As part of the assessment process, the teams submitting full proposals will present their project to C-DICE members.

It is anticipated that participants will be provided with funding decisions within nine weeks of the end of the sandpit, although these will be conditional upon the subsequent receipt of a fully, worked up proposal document.

Any collaborative project funded through the C-DICE programme must have a signed collaborative agreement between the partners before the start of any grant.

Please note that attendance at the sandpit does not guarantee C-DICE funding.

Support available to sandpit participants

If you are interested in participating in a research sandpit, C-DICE can support you through our travel grant and caring support fund. There are also additional recommended online webinars for participants that are essential for the process of creating their research proposal. Find out more below: