The UAL Communities of Practice fund supports a number of staff who are members of existing communities of practice, or those who wish to develop a new community, to apply for funds to support the building of networks, the organisation of meetings or the hosting of events.
The Medium Term Strategy 2010-15 identifies the development of communities of practice in one of its aims:
To increase our institutional impact by encouraging and supporting the development ofcommunities of practice, fostering a culture of inclusivity both across the university and within the creative sector.
· We will ensure that organisational structures and approaches to communication support the building of seamless working relationships and communities of practice across College and disciplinary boundaries.
· We will collaborate with academics and organisations working in disciplines that complement our core subjects, and with professionals in the creative and cultural industries.
(Full text below Annex 1).
In developing the strategy it was noted that innovation, new ideas and approaches have tended to emerge from grass roots activity, and by working collaboratively and in cross disciplinary contexts. Our experience has shown that collaboration emerges from shared interests and purpose and that it is unlikely to be successful if imposed from above. It can flourish when activities are supported with small amounts of seed corn support, and where staff are given time and space to work outside their immediate arena.
A number of communities of practice have been supported in the past with significant results. Some of these have related to professional role or interest groups – one example would be the very successful Course Directors’ Forum. Others have related to subject or discipline such as Paint Club and Shaping Sculpture and the series of workshops on Performance.
In order to support further the delivery of this Strategic Aim a small fund of £20K has been created to provide pump priming for those wishing to develop a community and support to help maintain existing communities.
Resources and Support
Although in some circumstances little support is required to establish a community, the biggest drain on staff is often their time and the capacity to take on the arrangements for meetings and/or to support meetings by providing funds of catering. We are inviting groups to present a bid for administrative support (to be provided through ArtsTemps, current rate £13.60 per hour) and/or funding to support events.
Bids should identify:
· The rationale for the bid – why support is needed and how it links to the Strategic Aim;
· The anticipated benefits of developing the group, and/or outcomes of the activity;
· A request for a number of hours of administrative support, and/or pump priming funding.
As it is anticipated that bids will be for relatively small sums (circa £500), we do not wish to have a complex bureaucratic process and information should be presented on a single side of A4.
· Deadline for bids – Monday 6 March 2012;
· Bids should be sent to Jess Armistead (email@example.com);
· Recommendations for support will be considered by Executive Board;
· ADS will administer the scheme and engage staff;
· A brief report will be required on the expenditure.
Annex 1 University of the Arts London Strategy 2010-15
Priority: Communities of Practice
To increase our institutional impact by encouraging and supporting the development of communities of practice, fostering a culture of inclusivity both across the University and within the creative and cultural sectors.
We will ensure that organisational structures and approaches to communication support the building of seamless working relationships and communities of practice across College and disciplinary boundaries.
We will collaborate with academics and organisations working in disciplines that complement our core subjects, and with professionals in the creative and cultural industries.
We will achieve this by:
• nurturing creativity, enthusiasm and innovation at the grass roots of the University to generate new collaborative and cross-disciplinary activities and challenge and extend established practices
• exploiting digital technology to improve communications within the University and with potential collaborators from other universities, disciplines and sectors.
We will recognise success when we:
• increase the involvement of grassroots staff in leading University-wide improvement projects
• organise more high-profile seminars, conferences and exhibitions in our core disciplines which attract a growing number of staff and students from across the University as well as participants from other universities and the creative and cultural sectors
• offer more collaborative cross-College and cross-disciplinary courses
• increase the involvement of strategic partners in developing and delivering our curriculum and research
• increase the number of project and research bids in cross-disciplinary fields with external partners who are leaders in their disciplines.