Accessibility statement

Impact workshops and sandpits

York has found that bringing academics together to work on specific challenges and topics, with resource to build emergent ideas further, is a productive mechanism to generate new ideas and projects. These workshops often include external partners. The previous IAA enabled several such workshops: York’s EPSRC-funded TARGeTED project into anti-microbial resistance (and associated development of a new and continuing capability within the institution) arose by this mechanism, and a significant EPSRC grant to progress commercially-viable photonic sensors (Krauss, £1.1m) also came about directly from this programme.

Academic groups are encouraged to submit applications to develop impact workshops and sandpits with the aim of co-developing challenge-led projects in collaboration with industry, charities and non-governmental organisations.

The impact-led workshops will allow academics to form internal and external collaborations, explore specific challenges, and devise solutions.

Where suitable, external participants will be invited to these sandpits to provide ‘challenges’ or focus topics that aid the prioritisation of knowledge exchange activities.

Activities could include:

  • identifying academic groups (potentially multidisciplinary) to develop credible impact driven offerings for industry where a clear need has been identified (academic-led with focus on future industry collaboration)
  • identification of challenge areas with industry (industry-led ideas)
  • devising and conducting workshops (including facilitation where required)
  • running a series of meetings to develop new collaborations
  • pump-priming for small development projects arising from workshops.

A variety of applications is encouraged, whether you are targeting working with industry charities or non-governmental agencies.

Workshops should aim to develop relationships with external partners ultimately leading to potential translational projects. Strategic partnerships developed at workshops are welcome to apply for other relevant IAA funding to progress their ideas.

Indicative size of funding

We would expect a typical sandpit to cost between £1,000 to £5,000 depending on facilitation costs, etc. Applicants could run a series of meetings to allow flexibility with regard to workshop spend. Up to £10,000 will be made available for follow up projects aimed at developing larger scale translational bids.


The current call is now open and applications may be submitted at any time until 31 December 2020 (should funds run out before then, this funding strand will be closed). Applications will be assessed and a decision communicated to applicants within one month of receipt.

Call guidance and application forms are below.

EPSRC Impact Acceleration Account (IAA) Workshops and Sandpits application form (MS Word , 47kb)

EPSRC Impact Acceleration Account (IAA) Workshops and Sandpits funding guidance (PDF , 620kb)