Stirling Crucible is a development opportunity specifically created for researchers. We want to encourage you to think in new and different ways and gain inspiration! By participating in the Stirling Crucible, you will be:

  • Building an active and lasting research network at Stirling
  • Creating new collaborations/ideas with colleagues from other disciplines
  • Thinking in more innovate ways
  • Gaining a greater understanding of how you can communicate and promote your research
  • Enjoying yourself!

Stirling Crucible was created by three Stirling academics who participated in Scottish Crucible, and who recognised the value of having our own Stirling version.

We are pleased to announce that applications for the 2018 Stirling Crucible are now open.

Closing date: 20th December 2017

We are aiming to recruit a cohort of 20 staff from across the institution. We expect to select staff from across the range of disciplines represented at Stirling, at any career stage. We are particularly interested in staff who can demonstrate evidence of interests beyond their research, including but not limited to: contributing to shaping policy, engagement with industrial partners, engaging the public with your research, writing for non-specialist audiences, involvement in school outreach programmes, involvement with special interest groups. Most of all, we are interested in people who are open to incorporating new ways of thinking in their research and to working with those from other disciplines on innovative and challenging new projects.


Stirling Crucible takes place over three two-day labs, which will be held in April, May and June 2018.  These will all be based in the Stirling Court Hotel. All three labs will include activities and workshops, with some visits to University facilities. Please be willing to contribute and get involved!

At the end of the programme, participants will have the opportunity to bid for small grants to develop collaborative projects – please see below for previous examples.

2018 Lab events:

Lab 1 – Impact in Research  Tuesday 17 & Wednesday 18 April 2018
This lab will be led by Saskia Walcott, an independent consultant, trainer and facilitator who specialises in research communication and stakeholder engagement. She helps researchers and HEIs to create opportunities to generate social and economic impact from research. Saskia was Head of Communications and Public Engagement for the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) between 2003 and 2010, and most recently spent 15 months as Research Impact Manager, at the University of Bath.

Lab 2 – Collaboration  Tuesday 15 & Wednesday 16 May 2018

Our Collaboration lab will be led by Dr Sara Shinton, who has extensive experience in the academic environment and has led programmes delivered internationally for Universities and Marie Curie Innovative Training Networks. She is a member of the national Arts and Humanities Research Council Research Careers and Training Advisory Group and is currently Head of Researcher Development, University of Edinburgh

Lab 3 – Innovation and Leadership Tuesday 19 & Wednesday 20 June 2018

The final lab is led by John Willshire - the founder of Smithery, a strategic design unit. The Smithery help organisations make things that people want, rather than making people want things. Their works spans many disciplines, including strategy, design, culture, prototyping and innovation.

We would encourage Stirling Crucible participants to go on and apply for the Scottish Crucible, or other national Crucible events, including the Digital Economy Crucible amongst others.

You can see what happened at the last Stirling Crucible events via #stirlingcrucible.

Both cohorts have resulted in a number of research projects/activities funded via Stirling Crucible:

2016 Projects

2014 Projects

  • Investigating the formation of physical activity habits and their effects on health (Naomi Brooks, Gemma Ryde)
  • Mathematical modelling of microbial population dynamics depending on biogeochemical parameter feedbacks (Christian Schroeder, Rachel Lintott) 

Feedback from previous participants

“Extremely worthwhile and successful. We have already developed some long lasting collaborations and have learned a lot about collaboration, networking, impact, innovation and sustainability.”

Feedback from previous participants

“I particularly liked the first two events given the speaker insights. What the event as a whole has given me is more knowledge and insight into the impact agenda, which will allow me to be part of peer discussions at a national level.”

Feedback from previous participants

“Events such as the Crucible are vital for new researchers for many reasons. The training aspect is very important and the choice of subjects covered and the trainers employed for this were on the whole excellent.”

Feedback from previous participants

“Extremely useful exercise, it has created a new inter-school university research community. I have started a collaboration with somebody that was introduced to me by another member attending the Stirling Crucible so very useful also on that front.  The dinners were also a great opportunity to meet key people in the University.”

Feedback from previous participants

“I have found the whole event very useful and it has satisfied fully my expectations. I've learnt a lot of new things that will definitely help me to plan and develop my research, and it has given me the chance to meet other peers across the University. It's interesting to know that there are many researchers from other departments who work in areas of common interest.” 

Feedback from previous participants

 “This was a great opportunity to meet young, like-minded people from across the University and collaborate with them on different inter-disciplinary topics. We had the freedom to think freely, express views honestly, share experiences with each other.” 

‌Travel Costs

These will be paid for those staff normally based off-campus.


Overnight accommodation, in the Stirling Court Hotel, will be provided for all participants during the three labs.


Stirling Crucible is open to all research staff, impact fellows, and academic staff from all faculties.

Please note that you should be able to attend all three labs and associated evening activities.

 Stirling Crucible 2018 Application Form

Contact us

For further information, please contact Stirling Crucible

© University of Stirling FK9 4LA Scotland UK • Telephone +44 1786 473171 • Scottish Charity No SC011159
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