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  • Meghann Ormond

Centre for Unusual Collaborations & the Spark grant

Starting 1 July, I'll be on the Centre for Unusual Collaboration's (CUCo) board on behalf of Wageningen University and Wageningen Young Academy. It's such an inspiring and timely initiative, and I'm really excited about what's to come.

How to get involved in CUCo

CUCo came into the world as an initiative developed by the Young Academies from the four Strategic Alliance universities (TU/E, WUR, UMC Utrecht & UU). And it needs you, both as organisers of and participants in its events and grant schemes and as allies and advocates for strengthening recognition of unconventional research collaborations! The next CUCo event is on 6 July and it promises to be super-interesting! Here's where to find info about CUCo events: https://www.unusualcollaborations.com/upcoming-events


CUCo's new Spark interdisciplinary learning journey

CUCo's new Spark interdisciplinary learning journey replaces the earlier version of the Spark grant: https://www.unusualcollaborations.com/spark-grants The Spark comprises two phases.

  • In Phase 1, Spark fellows take four half-day training workshops (September-October 2022) in which they: i) get familiarised with and reflect on a set of key interdisciplinary competences and ii) get to meet and connect with an array of other scholars from diverse disciplinary backgrounds across the 4 alliance universities.

  • In Phase 2, Spark fellows pair up with someone they 'clicked' with during Phase 1 and create their own team together, receiving EUR 9000 to together explore and develop an interdisciplinary project, making use of the insights from Phase 1 and benefiting from process coaching along the way.

How to become a Spark fellow

We are now looking for participants (especially mid-career academics) in the new Spark grant scheme. The full call and application can be found here as an easy-to-fill-in Word doc: https://www.unusualcollaborations.com/s/Call-for-participation-Spark-2022.docx The deadline for applications is 27 July 2022.


Unlike the previous version of the Spark, to participate in the Spark, you don't need to have a clear idea about a project in order to get involved! That's the point of Spark Phase 1, where you'll get to share and explore passions and curiosities with other scholars to begin to come up with something together. If you want to be part of the Spark, all you need is to have a PhD, an open mind, a desire to collaborate, and the willingness and capacity to be involved throughout the Spark journey.


Questions and dissemination

Interested? Got questions? Ideas? Don't hesitate to get in touch with me or the CUCo team! And please help us out by sharing news about this initiative with folks in your networks at UU, UMC Utrecht, TU/E and WUR!

Useful links

Full Spark call: https://www.unusualcollaborations.com/spark-grants

Registration form: https://www.unusualcollaborations.com/s/Call-for-participation-Spark-2022.docx

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