A message from Brigstow

You might want to know what Brigstow’s been up to and what our plans are going forward.  I think it’s fair to say it’s been a difficult time for everyone, both personally and professionally. So we thought it time to share some of our recent activities and future plans with you.

We knew this would be a challenging time for our seedcorn projects so we met with each of the projects shortly after lockdown to discuss how their research was affected, what could be changed and how we could help. Our approach was to be as flexible as possible – after all, the combination of people and research is never plain sailing!  We were hugely encouraged by the teams’ enthusiasm and determination to continue with their projects making use of digital methods of undertaking research and collaboration.

This particular September is quite a milestone for Brigstow – it will mark 5 years of Brigstow’s existence and the funding of 127 new engaged research partnerships and projects, and numerous events.   Sadly, our events have had to move online for the time being so we’re sorry we can’t offer tantalising conversations as well as a delicious lunch.  We did hold a number of events online though over the summer – if you missed our first Creativity and Policy meeting, you can catch it via Youtube. You can hear from two of our interdisciplinary and coproduced research projects discuss their different creative approaches to explore immigration policies from the perspectives of those directly affected.  Also available is a recording of the Hidden Histories meeting – two very different histories are explored: Ken Pryce’s 1970s landmark study of Caribbean people in Britain is revisited, & the role of C19th asylums as therapeutic spaces is tested using stitching.

We’ve also had to rethink how and what we might fund in the coming year – we’re still keen to support new, experimental research partnerships but the timeline for the seedcorn and Ideas Exchanges competitions will change to later in the academic year.  We hope to announce the details and deadlines for these in the coming weeks and to give teams more time for developing ideas and the applications.  Our current thinking is that the deadlines will be early February 2021 with a longer production period to September/October 2021.  There will also be lots of opportunities for people to come and discuss (virtually!) their potential ideas with us over the next few months.

In the meantime, we’ve got an exciting opportunity coming up in collaboration with the Bristol Photo Festival for one research team to work together on a short project that uses photography as a research tool/approach/method.  We’d like the project to be, ideally, both interdisciplinary and co-produced, and fit broadly within the Brigstow theme of living well. We are especially interested in projects that involve participatory photography.  You can view Brigstow Institute and Bristol Photo Festival commission details here and the deadline for applications is 21st October 2020.