The Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and KTN are collaborating on an innovative new Design Exchange Partnership (DEP) pilot, in association with the Design Museum’s newly established Future Observatory.

The pilot offers the opportunity for early career researchers and research organisations to collaborate with UK non-academic partners including SME, micro, public, and third sector organisations. embed highly qualified arts and humanities-led design researchers on short-term, intensive placements.

The theme of the DEP pilot is Net Zero+. Proposals are invited which seek to employ design research in addressing related challenges, including but not limited to:

  • Decarbonisation
  • Environmental sustainability
  • Climate mitigation
  • Adaptation
  • Circular Economy
  • Waste reduction

DEPs have been designed to enable truly collaborative projects, with a low barrier to entry (£1,500 commitment from non-academic partners), rapid turnaround projects (eight months duration), and strong research associate involvement in both development and delivery.

Given the short timeframe for this pilot, the application process has been significantly streamlined and offers an excellent chance for early career researchers as a first AHRC research grant as well as the opportunity to develop hybrid research and enterprise skills.

The closing date for applications for the first round of Design Exchange Partnerships is 13th August 2021.

Further information including call guidance and recordings of application support webinars delivered by AHRC and the KTN can be found by registering on the Application Portal. 

For any further queries, please get in touch via

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