Research Venturers

Research Venturers


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Supporting Innovation in the Social Sciences: the Oxford ‘Research Venturers Model’

In the current UK funding climate, innovation is becoming an increasingly important component of research activity. Oxford’s Social Sciences researchers are well-placed to respond to the growing emphasis on ‘innovation and impact’ and to maximise the benefits of research to society and the economy. Our aim is to nurture a culture of innovation across the Social Sciences by identifying ideas with potential and highlighting existing research projects that are already excelling in this area.

To do this, we need your help:

  • To keep an eye out for ideas with potential to grow beyond academia
  • To raise awareness of this initiative with your teams
  • To share opportunities with the Social Sciences Division's Research, Impact & Engagement (RIE) Team through the expression of interest form
  • To encourage people to get in touch with the RIE Team and Oxford University Innovation with questions

What to look out for?

  • Professional/practitioner innovation. Projects working with practitioner communities to provide transformative tools or executive education opportunities based on cutting-edge research to advance and improve their practice.

  • Innovation in public policymaking. Research exploring new thinking and innovation in public policymaking, improving regulation of financial systems and delivery of efficient public services (and cost savings) at local, national and international levels.

  • Interest from external parties. Engagement from organisations or individuals outside of academia is a strong indicator that a research project or area has innovative potential.

  • Organisational innovation. Ideas on transforming organisations and their strategies, policies and structures to improve corporate/ organisational governance and Corporate Social Responsibility. Perhaps enabling them to manage risk (environmental and actuarial) or improve management, accounting, and investment techniques.

  • Academic enthusiasm. If there is a will there is a way! Expressions of interest are all welcome, even if ideas are very early stage or someone just wants to find out more about innovation opportunities within the Social Sciences.

  • Digital technologies. Projects exploring new software, database management or algorithms lend themselves to commercialisation via practical usage.

By sharing any ideas or referring anyone to the RIE or OUI teams, there is no obligation placed on anyone to proceed. Information will be treated in confidence and with respect and all parties will be consulted before any next steps are taken.

Our support for social sciences innovation and impact

Research Impact and Engagement (RIE) Team

The Research, Impact and Engagement (RIE) Team are part of the Social Sciences Divisional team. The team provide support for business engagement and innovation/commercialisation as part of our holistic support for research and impact.


How can the RIE team help you?

We add value through diverse specialisms, expertise and experience.

  • Talk through and brainstorm your research and innovation ideas and plans 1:1
  • Advise on sources of funding and help with putting together applications
  • Signposting to specialist support on partnerships, IP and contracts
  • Support you in reaching out to OUI
  • Provide training and resources to support professional staff and researchers to better understand SHAPE innovation
  • Connect you with external support and advice through Aspect and the IAA
  • Help you navigate the process and to engage with partners along the way
  • Support your department to understand the process

Oxford University Innovation (OUI)

OUI is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the University of Oxford. They manage the University’s technology transfer and consulting activities. OUI works across all of Oxford’s divisions and departments to commercialise both Intellectual Property and methodologies, processes and know-how. They support innovation in the social sciences by providing a route to commercialisation.

How can OUI help you?

  • Product Development
  • Customer mapping
  • Branding
  • Technology Planning
  • Consulting services
  • Licensing and patents
  • Spin-out support
  • Social Ventures