Funder: Office for Students & Research England 

Total award: £800,000

Timeline: June 2020 to May 2022

Project aims

Affectionately known as ISIKLE, with this ambitious project we will demonstrate and evaluate effective models of knowledge exchange for students and external partners and communities.

Our involvement

The community research initiative is a knowledge exchange activity available to any master's student at UCL. Students and voluntary sector organisations are supported to develop a research project which both meets a knowledge need for the latter and forms a dissertation for the former.

In year 1 (2020-21), we are focused on scaling up our service from its pilot format; increasing staff capacity, developing a website, listening to key stakeholder groups, developing processes for participants, and reflecting on successes and challenges. The intended outputs from this work are (1) a graphical representation of our learning following the scaling work and (2) an adapted service that can meet the needs of more students and voluntary sector organisations in a better way for 2021-22. 

During year 2 (2021-22), we will launch and deliver the scaled and improved community research initiative and evaluate its impact on students' and partners' economic and social outcomes.

Our colleagues 

The project team is diverse and expert in knowledge exchange, itself is an opportunity for peer learning and knowledge exchange between disciplines and institutions.

David Gough, Janice Tripney, and Deborah Buck are carrying out a comprehensive review of the knowledge exchange literature and student impact.

Jerry Allen, Ruth Weir and Hannah Williams are working on a strand where students engage in entrepreneurial and start-up training activities.

Lynn Sheppard and Fatemeh Salehi from University of Manchester's Masood Enterprise Centre.

Gemma Moore and Ruth Unstead-Joss are working on a strand where PhD students work with a voluntary sector organisation over 6 months on an evaluation problem identified by the organisation itself.

We are supported by Andy Green who leads the overall project and Kiran Dhillon as well as statistical expertise from Lindsey Macmillian and Gill Wyness.

2020-21 Participation

Students who sign up to CRIS have the opportunity to also take part in the research study as a participant. Please watch this short film with the supplementary Participant Information Sheet:

When you sign up, you’ll be offered the opportunity to consent to ISIKLE.

Remember to sign up here.