The Co-pro Pilots are back! UCL Centre for Co-production funding is available for you!

The Co-pro Pilots are back! UCL Centre for Co-production funding is available for you!

This blog is brought to you by Niccola Hutchinson-Pascal with “help” from Guide Dog in training Viking!

It’s only been a few months since the last round of Pilot projects came to an end but we learnt a lot and so are keen to forge ahead and develop the Centre still further in time for the official launch in mid-2020. As such, the BIG news is that… we are excited to announce that applications are now open for the Co-pro Pilots Phase 2! The Pilots are brought to you by the UCL Centre for Co-production in Health Research, currently being developed with funding from Wellcome Trust.

For those that we involved in the Pilots last time around we hope you notice the changes made as a result of the input from you and all Centre collaborators to date. By the way, please don’t think that you can’t apply a second time, those that were involved in the first round of Pilots are also very welcome to apply!

Before we embark on the next series of Pilots though, we thought a recap was in order!

So, what have we achieved to date?

It’s been a really busy time! So much so that I have drafted in extra help from Guide Dog in training Viking! To be honest though I think he is more interested in distracting me!

Guide dog Viking is peering around the edge of a computer screen to see what is going on

Luckily, more dedicated help is on the way in the form of our second Centre employee, exciting times! If you are interested in applying for the post of Project Coordinator, there is still time, please do! Although… be aware the deadline is 1 May, you can find out more in our blog about the post.

So, what else have we achieved since we started out co-producing the Centre development in October 2017? Well, thanks to everyone who has collaborated and co-produced with us to date, masses! We now have a draft evaluation strategy and framework, the outline for an initial co-production training course, a map of resources available around the country to support co-production (ready to become an online resource bank) and… we completed our first phase of Pilot projects in 2018. To find about more about the Centre, what we are all about and our development work please have a read of our recent blogs.

What have we learnt so far?

Well, we have learnt lots since we started but it is important to say that we are only a small way down the road in terms of developing the Centre and definitely don’t have all the answers, as to what works and what doesn’t when it comes to co-producing research. We are always learning though and want to continue to do so whilst collaborating with you!

Group of people co-producing the Centre development. They are sat around a table covered with colourful post-its and drawings

Some of the things that we learnt last time around may come in useful when planning your application. The info shared here barely skims the surface but I don’t want to send you all to sleep by making you read pages and pages of my typing! We will share much more at the Pilots Kick-off Meeting in July.

Some useful learning to date includes:

• Be aware that a significant amount of time is needed for relationship building when co-producing – some teams felt that they didn’t factor in enough
• Constraints of those working full time need to be considered carefully when writing a proposal – some felt that they didn’t take enough time to think this through
• You need lots of time for thinking when co-producing
• Be aware that decision-making is different in co-production. Not everyone has to be involved in every decision but people need to know that they can influence direction if they choose to and can raise objections if needed
• Make sure you have regular clear and concise communication, this is key
• Be open to always challenging yourselves as a group to think differently and not do things in the standard way

In addition, reflecting after their Phase 1 Pilot project had finished one co-producer shared these thoughts:

“We developed new aspects of our programme and co-production helped us to build the evidence base for our interventions. We expect this to be key in helping us raise funding to extend the impact we have on local people. We have built a strong relationship with UCL directly, but also improved the relationship with the community, as they are aware of the positive impact of the work and of the pilot”.

Debbie from Engage Visually working on the Centre graphic illustration of progress to date

Where to next?

With the help of our new project coordinator (yet to be recruited) who will hopefully be in place sometime in May and Centre collaborators we will be focusing on support the Pilot projects, co-creating a brand and logo, a website for the Centre and an online version of the resource bank. At the same time, we will also focus on further developing the evaluation strategy and framework started in line with the first set of Pilots. In addition, we have some sessions with UCL senior management coming up where we plan to impress them with our progress, show them the benefits of co-production and discuss the importance of the long-term sustainability of the Centre; as a result, we will also be getting into the thick of business model development and planning for the Centre. Exciting times!

And, of course as I already mentioned the Pilots projects Phase 2 are NOW OPEN for applications! We’re looking forward to receiving yours very soon!

Still interested? Great!

How can you get involved in Phase 2 of the Pilot projects?

It is hopefully a relatively simple process to apply for funding for a Pilot project…

Do you have a passion for authentic co-production and or collaboration? Great! Tick!

Are you prepared to apply for funding as part of a team? Great! Tick!

Illustration of the different roles in a co-production team

By the way should you require support with potential collaborators or with a place to meet up please contact Niccola for help.

Next, you need to:
1. Have a read of the Key Documents outlined below and find out what the Pilots are all about
2. Form your co-production team
3. Work out if and how you meet the criteria for the Pilot projects
4. Develop an application in collaboration/as a team
5. And importantly… submit your application prior to the deadline of midnight on Friday 14 June – job done!

A Review Panel (a mixed group of Centre co-producers will then meet and assess all applications against a set of criteria (see Document 1: Pilot FAQs for further information).

Key documents required to apply for Pilot project funding

• Document 1: Pilot FAQs – as a pdfas a Word docx
• Document 2: Pilot Application Form – as a pdfas a Word docx
• A downloadable version of this blog

If you have any questions at all or would like documents in a different format please feel free to contact Niccola.

Not interested in working on a Pilot project but still want to help or just be kept up to date?

This is no problem at all! Please contact me (Niccola) – we would love to involve you or your organisation in any of the above-mentioned development plans or in whatever way works for you!