Announcement of opportunity: call for proposals

As part of the Net Zero Digital Research Infrastructure Scoping project, we invite researchers and practitioners to come together in two ‘sandpit’ style events. These sandpit events will be used to allocate the funding for involvement of the community in proof-of-concept studies and workshops.

The full announcement of opportunity and how to apply can be found here. Registration is now closed.


The aim of the sandpits is for participants to network and leverage their experience and expertise to design collaborative proof-of-concept studies and community engagement workshops. Evidence gathered from the studies and workshops will be used to inform recommendations and map a pathway for the implementation of the UKRI Net Zero strategic ambitions within the Digital Research Infrastructure.

The sandpit events are for allocating funds to both the proof-of-concept studies and community engagement workshops. Funding of £500k (80% FEC) will be available for up to 5 proof-of-concept studies, and £210k (80% FEC) for up to 8 community engagement workshops.


There will be two sandpit events:

  • Sandpit A from 10am-1pm on the 9th and 11th of May
  • Sandpit B from 10am-1pm on the 23rd and 25th May

Sandpit A will focus on community and organisational challenges such as: user facing services, data management, behaviour change, training, proportionality of energy use, who are the winners/losers, and monitoring and driving change.

Sandpit B will focus on technical and operational challenges such as: hardware procurement, design and architecture of infrastructure, cloud platforms, consolidation, power management and efficiency, end-of-life, and carbon capture and offsetting.


The sandpits will be online activities, taking place on Zoom, and participants will be expected to attend both days of the sandpit.

On the day:

Successful applicants will collaboratively develop ideas for proposals during the sandpit and submit outline proposals for the consideration of a panel of experts. Those invited to submit full proposals will be required to finalise the applications within a few weeks of the sandpit.

Application process

The sandpits are open to researchers who are qualified to hold UKRI research grants and their associates and collaborators. The full announcement of opportunity and how to apply can be found here.

Deadlines to apply:

  • Sandpit Application: 4pm on 25th April 2022 Extended to 1pm on 28th April 2022
  • Full Proposal: 4pm on 13th June 2022

Further details:

The sandpit events are managed by the Centre for Environmental Data Analysis (CEDA) on behalf of UKRI as part of the UKRI Net Zero Digital Research Infrastructure Scoping project.

For all enquiries, please contact and put “Net Zero Sandpit” in the subject line.