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The University of Southampton
Public Policy|Southampton

The New Things Fund 2023/24

Applications for the New Things Fund 2023/24 are currently closed


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What is the New Things Fund?

The Centre for the South (CftS) New Things Fund (NTF) is a new award in support of the launch of the CftS earlier this year. The fund is an internally awarded programme designed to stimulate local and place-based policy engagement in Southampton and the surrounding region.

We aim to distribute ten awards of up to £7,500 each – for collaborative, policy-related projects – to be delivered across seven months, between 13th November 2023 and 14th June 2024. Extensions beyond this date will not be possible. The NTF is funded via the University of Southampton’s allocation of the UKRI’s Policy Support Fund. 


Policy Themes and Key Challenges

The CftS was founded to develop accessible and evidence-based policy insights; to build bridges between the University and non-academic partners; and to tackle local challenges and find pragmatic solutions for the central South. These efforts are in alignment with the new Civic University Agreement

Based on previous engagement with local authorities and the third sector, we have identified four (interrelated) themes which provide the context for our work: 

  1. Health 
  2. Environment 
  3. Community 
  4. Economy 

Further, the CftS commissioned New Local to conduct a series of interviews across the public, private and voluntary sectors in the region. These stakeholder engagements have borne six place-based challenges that the CftS and its partners are particularly interested in addressing. These strategic priorities bridge several of the aforementioned themes and offer a wide range of possibilities:

We encourage applications which align with these key challenges.


Possible Policy Activities 

Your project should support the overall aim of policy impact but could be shaped in numerous ways, for example:

If you have any other ideas which aren’t included in this list, please feel free to reach out and discuss them with us ( 


A CtfS NTF award does not have to bring about immediate policy impact, but your project should be actionable. It should be treated as a building block for wider initiatives that develop relationships with evidence users, create pathways to impact, or lay the foundations for future engagement by raising awareness.


*Note: it typically costs £23.87 per hour to hire a research assistant (Level 4). 


Support & Evaluation

If awarded, your project will be supported by the Centre for the South, with monthly meetings and guidance on achieving policy impact. This could include support with creating and editing policy briefs or executive summaries, providing guidance on stakeholder outreach, or offering connections and networks. We will also organise two open sessions (one online, one in-person) giving awardees the opportunity to network and gain insights from each other’s work. 

Six months (December 2024) and twelve months (June 2025) after your award has ended, we will contact you to learn about the impact which your project has had, and to find out how the award has supported your policy engagement journey. We are also keen to explore further ways in which the CftS can support your policy work beyond the completion of your project. 


Application and Funding Requirements

Application deadline: Thursday 19th October 2023 (11.59 pm) 

Your application can include several people and/or organisations but must include at least one academic and one non-academic partner. If you need help finding a project partner (either internal or external), please get in touch and we will help (! 

You may wish to include letters of support and any offers of in-kind contributions as part of your application. 
Please also consider how you will evaluate and monitor the progress your project, as well as your approach to equality, diversity and inclusion.  


If successful, we require you to complete a short end of project report in July 2024, followed by short impact reports in December 2024 and June 2025, after your project has ended. We will give you guidance as to how to complete these.


If you are looking for further guidance, we recommend this guide on Co-production in Regional Academic-Policy Engagement developed by CAPE and the Co-Production Collective to help you with your application. 

The academic lead will be the budget holder for the project, or someone in the University needs to act as the budget holder on their behalf. Please ensure they have support from any required authority (e.g. Head of School) before applying. 


If you wish to see all the application questions in advance, you can find a pdf version here (but please use the form below to complete your final application)

applications now open
Apply now for the New Things Fund 23/24
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New Things Fund Blogs

Previous Projects

2022/2023 Projects

Cultural strategies, compacts and futures

Click here to read about Dr Daniel Ashton project: Cultural strategies, compacts and futures: The role of local government in connecting culture with place, health and the environment.


Click here to read about Doctor Lisa Ballard's project: "HomeGrownSO14: University to Resident Skills & Knowledge Exchange".

Say no to smoking?

Click here to read about Doctor Rebecca Ward's project: Say no to smoking? Understanding the complexity of introducing smoking cessation programmes.

2021/2022 Projects

Government Prevent Policy

Click here to read about Dr Gillian Kennedy's project: 'New' Prevent Policy: How the Government's policy to prevent radicalism is being perceived by Muslim Youth.

Leading sustainable transitions

Click here to read about Dr Ajit Nayaks project: Leading sustainability transitions: Responsible leadership in the building industry

Digitising Democracy

Click here to read about Dr Stuart Turbull-Dugarte's project: Digitising Democracy: crises, integrity, support & trust

Safety of Small Fishing Vessels

Click here to read about Dr Matteo Scarponi's project: Outcome monitoring protocol in support of the 2021 Code of Practice for the Safety of Small Fishing Vessels.

CDF Communications

Click here to read about the Centre for Democratic Futures Communications project, led by Dr Valentina Cardo, Dr Silke Roth, and Dr Matt Ryan, directors of the CDF

Healthcare provision by drone

Click here to read about Dr Laila Ait Bihi Ouali's Project: Quantifying the welfare benefits of drone logistics: the case of healthcare provision by drone

Circular Economy

Click here to read about Dr Ian Williams and Dr Lanre Shittu's project: Circular Economy Thinking to develop Sustainable Electronic Products, Business Models and Designs

2020/2021 Projects


Research into Sight Loss

Click here to view ‘Policy Changes amongst stakeholders to increase awareness and funding for research into sight loss’, led by Dr Arjuna Raynayaka and Dr Jenny Dewing


Pandemic Preparedness

Click here to view the project 'pandemic preparedness' led by Dr Michael Head and Dr Ken Brackstone

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