Research in the Wild – Internet of Things 2013
Call type: Invitation for proposals
Closing date: 16:00 on 24
Related themes: Digital Economy
The Digital Economy Theme wishes to encourage user-driven research in the
emerging area of Internet of Things.
Internet of Things (IoT) describes a set of technologies, systems and
methodologies that underpins internet-enabled applications based on physical
objects and the environment seamlessly integrating into this information
Funding is available to support projects, up to 18 months in duration, focussed
on Internet of Things related research. Applications must demonstrate that the
(1) research challenge has been co-created with an end-user(s);
(2) the research will be conducted “in the wild” exposing the research to
(3) the potential impact of the research will be realised by the end-user(s)
and/or related beneficiaries.
The application process will take the form of full proposals. The assessment
process will be postal peer review and prioritisation panel.
Digital Economy Theme
The Research Councils UK Digital Economy Theme is supporting research to
rapidly realise the transformational impact of digital technologies on aspects of
community life, cultural experiences, future society, and the economy.
To achieve this we bring together a unique community of researchers (from
diverse disciplines including social science, engineering, computer science, the
arts and medical research) and users (people, business, government) to study,
understand and find solutions to real problems and have impact.
“Research in the Wild” is about enabling researchers, in the digital economy, to
expose and test their research ideas with potential beneficiaries – for example,
the individual, business and/or society – in order to get closer to achieving a
viable proposition with potential for transformational impact.
Internet of Things
The Internet of Things is an emerging area of interest and is a term that is
widely used for the set of technologies, systems and methodologies that
underpins the emerging new wave of internet-enabled applications based on
physical objects and the environment seamlessly integrating into this information
Some research estimates that the number of connected objects will reach 50
billion as early as 2020. The potential added value of services using IoT is likely
to reach hundreds of billions of pounds a year, with new business models,
applications and services spanning all sectors of the economy (such as smart
cities, intelligent transport, health monitoring and environmental control, to
name but a few).
Today the IoT landscape is already very complex and is typical of an emerging
technology area. It is characterised by a large number of proprietary, sector-
specific approaches, lack of interoperability and unclear business propositions in
all but a few application areas.
In recognition of the potential importance of internet of things the Technology
Strategy Board (TSB) formally established its Internet of Things Special Interest
Group (SIG) in August 2012. The IoT SIG seeks to act as a forum for
information and ideas for businesses working in, or looking to develop products
and services, in the emerging space of the Internet of Things. It has produced
an important set of publications
over recent months, highlighting the challenges
and opportunities facing business and research development for IoT in the UK –
IoT Challenges and Opportunities, April
A roadmap for Interdisciplinary Research in the IoT, March
Report of the TSB-funded Preparatory Studies on IoT Convergence,
The TSB and Research Councils recognised the opportunity that the Internet of
Things posed to the academic community both in terms of building upon existing
If you are unable to access any of the below reports please contact
research and future opportunities. As a result a joint workshop was organised
between the Technology Strategy Board, the Arts and Humanities Research
Council (AHRC), the Economic and Social Research Council, the Engineering and
Physical Science Research Council (EPSRC) and the UK Internet of Things Special
Interest Group which focussed on developing an interdisciplinary understanding
of the priorities for research and innovation in the IoT.
Following the recommendations highlighted in the report the Digital Economy
Theme wishes to harness the interest of the academic and user community and
the opportunities afforded by the internet of things to fund a series of ambitious
and potentially transformative projects.
Focus of the Call
The focus of the call is to support research addressing the emerging area of
interest commonly termed internet of things. For the purpose of this call we
are defining the internet of things as the term used for the set of technologies,
systems and methodologies that underpins the emerging new wave of internet-
enabled applications based on physical objects and the environment seamlessly
integrating into the information network.
The DET wishes to fund several projects that are each seeking to understand a
research challenge(s) in a specific domain that is using internet of things
technology, systems and methodologies.
Successful applications must describe:
• the specific context or real world scenario being addressed. Applicants
may wish to consider a design fiction or storyboard approach to create
• the internet of things technology, systems and methodologies. This
should include how the technology interacts or influences its environment;
• the research challenge(s) being addressed, including how the research
challenge has been co-created with the end-user(s);
• how the research will be conducted “in the wild” exposing potential
beneficiaries to the research challenge and potential impacts;
• potential risks associated with the project and options to mitigate this risk;
Activities could either cover the testing of new technologies and methods with
potential beneficiaries or in the user(s) domain or looking at new ways of using
A roadmap for interdisciplinary research on the Internet of Things TSB IOT Special
Both basic, fundamental research and product development are outside the
scope of this call. As such, applications should not aim to develop a technology or
methodology purely of commercial benefit to an individual company.
Research funded in previous rounds of this scheme can be found at
http://gow.epsrc.ac.uk/ by searching for “Research in the Wild” under “Panel
For more information about EPSRC’s portfolio and strategies, see our
Societal Implications and Ethical Issues
It is recognised that some areas of the Digital Economy have the potential to
raise societal, ethical, philosophical, legal and regulatory issues and risks.
Consideration of these issues is essential to ensure that the research carried out
is considered within a societal context and that any such issues that are raised
are fully explored as the research develops. For further information on ethical
requirements applicants are referred to the following guidance documents:
Up to £3.5M is available to fund approximately ten “Research in the Wild”
projects in 2013/14. Proposals should focus on early stage directed research
through to implementation, testing and iterative improvement of technologies or
methods with potential beneficiaries. A user partner (public, private or third
sector), who is actively engaged in the co-creation of the research from the start
of the project, is compulsory.
Please note: As this call is for short-term funding to test the practicality of ideas,
proposals will be limited to up to 18 months in duration.
Where possible, researchers are asked to make use of existing facilities and
equipment, including those hosted at other universities. If equipment is needed
as part of the research proposal, applicants must follow EPSRC’s rules for
requesting equipment over £10,000 in value. Individual items of equipment up to
the current OJEU (Official Journal of the European Union) procurement threshold
can be included on research proposals submitted through this call, but research
organisations will be expected to make a contribution to the cost. All requests for
single items of equipment above the current OJEU threshold will need to go
through a separate process which will assess the strategic need for the
equipment and how to ensure maximum usage. These proposals will be assessed
through the separate Strategic Equipment peer review process.
For more information on equipment funding, please
This call is being managed by EPSRC on behalf of the RCUK Digital Economy
For information on the eligibility of organisations and individuals to receive
EPSRC funding, see the EPSRC Funding
As this call is a targeted funding opportunity provided by EPSRC, higher
education institutions, and some research council institutes and independent
research organisations are eligible to apply. A list of eligible organisations to
apply to EPSRC is provided
How to apply
You should prepare and submit your proposal using the Research Councils’ Joint
electronic Submission (Je-S) System (https://je-s.rcuk.ac.uk/).
When adding a new proposal, you should select:
• Council ‘EPSRC’
• Document type ‘Standard Proposal’
• Scheme ‘Standard’
• On the Project Details page you should select the [RitW2013] call.
Note that clicking ‘submit document’ on your proposal form in Je-S initially
submits the proposal to your host organisation’s administration, not to EPSRC.
Please allow sufficient time for your organisation’s submission process between
submitting your proposal to them and the call closing date. EPSRC must receive
your application by 16:00 on 24
Guidance on the types of support that may be sought and advice on the
completion of the research proposal forms are given on the EPSRC website
(http://www.epsrc.ac.uk/funding/guidance/Pages/guidance.aspx) which should
be consulted when preparing all proposals.
Guidance on writing application
As well as the Je-S form, the following documents should be submitted:
• Case for Support: should be up to 10 pages in total, to include a two-
page track record detailing the relevant expertise of each investigator(s)
and main project partner(s) involved in the research project, and eight-
page description of the proposed research. This must include a
• the specific context or real world scenario being addressed.
Applicants may wish to consider a design fiction or storyboard
approach to create this;
• the internet of things technology, systems and methodologies.
This should include how the technology interacts or influences its
• the research challenge(s) being addressed, including how the
research challenge has been co-created with the end-user(s);
• how the research will be conducted “in the wild” exposing potential
beneficiaries to the research challenge and potential impacts;
• potential risks associated with the project and options to mitigate
• Pathways to Impact document (up to 2 pages), including User Engagement
Strategy. This should include:
o details on methodologies and resources needed to involve end
user(s) in the research project.
o details on how the research will be conducted ‘in the wild’ to
ensure beneficiaries are exposed to the research and potential
o details on methodologies and resources required to realise the
impact of the project. This can include training for staff,
professional services to visualise research outcomes, publicity,
public engagement activities, social media. For more details please
refer to the EPSRC website [http:\\www.epsrc.ac.uk]
• Justification of Resources (up to 2 pages)
• Work Plan (1 page)
• Project Partner Letter of Support
For advice on writing proposals see:
Any additional documentation provided will be discarded and not used in the
Resources that can be requested under this call include:
• Investigator and researcher time;
• Travel and subsistence appropriate to delivery of the project;
• Costs associated with the practicalities of carrying out research in the wild;
• Estates and indirect costs.
Resources to fund Project Partners are not allowable (this includes sub-
contracting to a Project partner).
User Engagement Strategy
All successful applicants are now required to develop and execute a strategy for
engaging with potential users of the research funded in the project. Resources
for this activity are to be requested as part of the Pathways to Impact and must
be justified in the application. This strategy should be reviewed and updated
regularly as part of the formal management of the grant.
Assessment of proposals will take the form of a 2 stage process: (1) postal peer
review and (2) prioritisation panel.
Stage 1: Postal peer review
Proposals will be reviewed both as per conventional peer review and also using a
batched approach, where selected reviewers assess more than one proposal to
allow direct comparison. If a proposal receives sufficiently supportive reviewers’
comments they will go forward to stage 2 of the assessment process.
Stage 2: Prioritisation Panel
Proposals will be assessed and ranked based on the reviewers’ and comments
and the applicant response, using the assessment criteria provided below.
Proposals will be reviewed and ranked according to the following assessment
Relevance to the objectives of the call, in particular:
o Demonstration of the importance of specific context or real world
scenario being addressed.
o Demonstration that technology, systems and methodologies
described fit with call description of internet of things technology,
systems and methodologies.
o Demonstration of research challenge(s) being co-created by end-
o Demonstration of research being conducted ‘in the wild’ and
exposure of potential beneficiaries to the research challenge and
• Quality of research, including:
o Novelty, relationship to the context, and timeliness
o The ambition, adventure and transformative aspects identified
o Appropriateness of proposed methodology
o Joint intellectual challenge
o Synergy and added value of proposed research strands
• National importance over a 10 to 50 year time frame including:
o Contribution of proposal to other research areas, societal
challenges, success of UK economy, emerging industry
• Potential research impact, including:
o Relevance and appropriateness of any beneficiaries or collaborators
(e.g. upstream engagement/co-design)
o Plans for dissemination and knowledge exchange
o Plans for promoting cross-disciplinary culture.
• Ability of applicant team to deliver the research, including:
o Track record of the team, the leadership quality of the Principal
o Balance of skills of the project team and integration of different
methodologies and approaches.
• Resources and management, including:
o Effectiveness of planning and resource management strategy
o Appropriateness of resources requested.
Information about the EPSRC peer review process and guidance for reviewers
can be found at: http://www.epsrc.ac.uk/funding/peerrev/review/
22 July 2013
Mrs Clare Williamson (née Bumphrey)
Digital Economy Theme
Tel: 01793 444306
If you experience any problems submitting the proposal through Joint Electronic
Submission (Je-S) System please contact the Je-S System
Helpdesk, JeSHelp@rcuk.ac.uk, 01793 444164.
We would also suggest applicants contact their University Research Office for
advice and guidance on writing their proposals, and would remind applicants that
clicking ‘submit document’ on your proposal form in Je-S initially submits the
proposal to your host organisation’s administration, not to EPSRC. Please allow
sufficient time for your organisation’s submission process between submitting
your proposal to them and the call closing date.
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