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Pilot projects can take many forms.

We welcome approaches that offer novel mechanisms for engaging with our surrounding communities through working directly with public authorities, community groups, businesses and other stakeholders.

We set out below some examples of the types of project that you may wish to develop. More detailed guidance can be downloaded from the main Pilot Engagement Project page.

Partner ideas

Our external partners have provided some specific themes where they would particularly welcome University engagement. We invite you to consider these challenges and to design inventive approaches to meeting them. These ideas are indicative only, all actions will be funded on their individual merit.

  • Moving away from grants in the support of innovative businesses.
  • Developing new financing models, such as crowd funding arrangements, for non-statutory services.
  • Embedding entrepreneurial approaches within public sector organisations.
  • Developing a Continuous Professional Development approach to close the gap in educational provision.
  • Raising educational aspirations in communities.
  • Exploring the role of civic society enterprises in local economies.
  • Developing alternative Key Performance Indicators to inform social impact analysis.
  • Supporting those working with those not in education, employment or training.

Other examples

Further examples you can use as a to guide to developing your own Pilot Project ideas are:

  • Working directly with communities:
    • Student projects
    • Collaborative and collective research on a defined matter
    • Training and capacity building
    • Shared studies of good practice
    • Volunteering
  • Raising aspirations and awareness
    • Science and educational fairs in the community
    • Working with those not in education, employment or training
  • Mutual learning events
    • Events designed to introduce and share external knowledge
    • Facilitating ‘sandbox’ events, where new ideas can be developed and tested
    • Seminar programmes designed to develop skills and understanding
  • Development and provision of shared facilities or resource
    • Developing equipment or ‘kits’ that can be used and returned by community groups (which may include provision of specialist advice)
  • Actions supporting alternative means of public service delivery

These are examples only, and many other approaches may be equally, or more, suited to delivering Pilot Engagement Projects. Projects that bring together novel combinations of skills and opportunities, such as considering the role of Next Generation Access Broadband, will be positively considered.


Pilot Projects can include staff or students (undergraduate or postgraduate) of Cardiff University or a combination of both. There is no restriction on the nature of the engagement pilot supported. For example, a Pilot Project might be embedded in a degree programme, through coursework or volunteering; it might be related to providing the benefit of staff or student expertise working with wider communities, or it might involve the development of shared resources that will facilitate the actions of others.

The extended development of exploratory approaches initiated under other University engagement schemes (eg Engagement Seedcorn Fund, ESRC Impact Acceleration Account) will be eligible for support. Applicants should demonstrate how they build on this experience.