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Impact Hub

The Impact Hub works very closely with the other C-DICE strands to show the value and the impact of this unique collaboration. After analysing the results of the innovative approaches being trialled in the project, the Impact Hub will disseminate the findings, aiming to transform the research culture and to act as a catalyst for the creation of novel, interdisciplinary postdoctoral development pathways setting transformative research agendas and utilising the unique capabilities of world-class capital investments of the UK Collaboratorium for Research on Infrastructure and Cities (UKCRIC) and the Energy Research Accelerator (ERA).

The Impact Hub will coordinate the definition of a roadmap for postdoctoral talent to achieve their full potential in professional and personal development, and in research by making innovative contributions towards net zero carbon in the infrastructure, cities and energy domains. Co-created with partners and researchers, this roadmap, which will be a key legacy of the project, will inform policy developments for UK research funders, from business and Government.

Flagship activities

Policy workshop

Engagement with policymakers can enable researchers to use their expertise to contribute to the policy issues facing decision makers in the UK and across the globe. Demonstrating impact is becoming an increasingly important part of the REF Assessment, so future career development and success may require closer working with policymakers.

Aiming to address this developmental need, and in response to requests from many of our postdoctoral researchers, C-DICE organises workshops that enable postdoctoral researchers to have a better understanding of the types of bodies that influence or form policy and how they work, and how to engage with policymakers.

The first policy workshop was held on 20 January 2022, in collaboration with the Institute for Government.

Dragons’ Den

Working closely with the Midlands Innovation Commercialisation of Research Accelerator (MICRA) in 2022 we will create a series of Dragons’ Den events where postdoctoral researchers individually or working as a team, can explore ideas for starting an enterprise and pitch their business ideas to a panel of dragons as they competed for a share of the cash prize.

Our first Dragons’ Den event, Thinking of Yourself as a Product, is designed to equip postdoctoral researchers with the tools they need to set up their own consultancy business. The second event will be happening later in the year focusing on Gamifying the Net Zero Challenge.

More details can be found here.

Annual conference

One of the flagship events of C-DICE programmes is an annual conference. In 2021 C-DICE combined forces with the Energy Research Accelerator to provide a unique conference for doctoral and postdoctoral researchers whose work contributes to the government’s target of Net Zero Carbon emissions by 2050. Net Zero Futures: Skills and Talent Development in the Journey towards Net Zero was a hybrid conference held at the University of Birmingham on 27 October 2021.

More details about the speakers who joined us on the day and photos are available here.

Panel discussion at Net Zero Futures conference, 27 October 2021

Sandpits

C-DICE is working to support the development of postdoctoral researchers whilst accelerating progress towards research and innovation towards net zero carbon. C-DICE will be running a series of at least 8 developmental sandpits to create innovative approaches to net zero carbon research and innovation in the area of infrastructure, cities and energy, providing a unique developmental opportunity for postdoctoral researchers to gain multidisciplinary and cross-sector skills and expertise.

Sandpits 1 and 2 were held virtually in November and December 2021. Details about Sandpits 3, which will take place in May 2022, are available here.

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

In order to realise the full transformative potential of the C-DICE programme, EDI is embedded and foregrounded in all activities. We aim to ensure that an inclusive culture, grounded in the nine protected characteristics, is created and that other challenges to participation are also considered in our events and activities.

More details can be found here.