Funding for activities to explore 'What comes after the UN Sustainable Development Goals?'

Does your research intersect with culture, global governance, transformative technology, global health or decolonisation? 

This is a funding opportunity to develop activities to explore ‘What comes after the UN Sustainable Development Goals?’ using these five themes as a focus. 

For more information about this funding opportunity, and how to apply, please read the following information. 



The Horizons Institute’s headline theme, starting in 2023, is ‘What comes after the UN Sustainable Development Goals?’ The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are at the heart of the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. These act as a framework for all UN member countries to promote prosperity while protecting the planet.

The University of Leeds has a strong reputation in SDG-related research, but can we do better at connecting up how research at Leeds relates to the SDGs and to any frameworks that follow it?

What we are seeking to do

Horizons Institute has launched it’s headline theme with three panel discussions in May, June and July, and will launch a podcast series in the autumn. Alongside the panel discussions and podcasts we want to offer a series of additional activities to further explore this theme and support deeper engagement and exploration of the issue. 

There are five areas of focus: culture, global governance, transformative technology, global health and decolonising agenda 2030. These areas were identified through crowdsourcing and focus groups. 

Funding is available to develop and deliver activities that engage other researchers, and potentially people beyond campus, with the theme ‘What comes after the UN SDGs?’ using one or more of the areas identified as a focus. 

Each activity will be designed to engage a range of people with the theme and area(s) of focus. This may be through generating new ideas, opening up new perspectives, bringing different areas of focus together or bringing potential new collaborators together. The activities will be designed to share and elicit views, spark collaborations, identify new areas of interdisciplinary research and ultimately look ahead to what will come next. 

Between September 2023 and July 2024, this programme of activities will provide a series of interventions through which to better understand existing research, offer ways to connect across campus, and beyond, and to see how the research can have global significance.

We anticipate that some of the activities carried out here may contribute towards the development of future Challenge Theme Network ideas and help to bring people together to explore early ideas for potential future networks and capacity building.

Call for ideas of activities

This is a call for ideas for activities that will explore and engage people with ‘What comes after the UN Sustainable Development Goals?’ using one or more of the five areas identified as a focus. 

We are particularly interested in ideas for activities that will go beyond campus and seeks to engage others in addition to researchers. These might include the local community, charities and NGOs, industry, business or policymakers.

The activities might include, but are not limited to, ‘how to’ workshops, videos or podcasts, theatre performance, hands-on activities or demonstrations, pop-up exhibitions, discussions, museum-based events or interactive Virtual Reality workshops.

The activities mentioned above are suggestions only, we are keen to receive proposals for any innovative and creative activities that will engage people, from a range of research disciplines, with the headline theme in an interdisciplinary manner.

A planned activity does not need to address all five areas identified, it may only address one, but it should support engagement with the theme using the area as a focus.

Funding available and timings

Up to £5,000 is available per activity. Horizons Institute will fund up to six activities.

For staff who are on part-time contracts, we will explore with you the possibility of additional funding to ensure you are not prevented from getting involved. 

The activities should take place between September 2023 and July 2024. There will be an end of year exhibition in September 2024 when all the activities will be showcased.


There are a number of requirements for the activities:

  • The activity should have cross-disciplinary appeal and be designed to connect people to the theme of ‘What comes after the UN Sustainable Development Goals?’ using one or more of the five areas of focus that have been identified.
  • The activity should take place between September 2023 and July 2024.
  • At least one output should be produced; this will feature in the end of year exhibition (scheduled for September 2024). The output could be a video, model, zine, report, blog or similar.
  • The activity must align with the HI ambitions and ethos.
  • Equity, diversity and inclusion should be considered, and must be addressed in the submission.
    • Inclusion funding should be considered to ensure that minoritised or less privileged groups do not encounter financial barriers to involvement – this can be in addition to the £5,000 available per activity, please contact us to discuss further.
  • Wherever possible the activity should be hybrid to allow people to engage in person or online. 
  • You will work with the Horizons Institute team who will provide support with scheduling, promotion and branding, as well as supporting the activity to be run in a hybrid manner.
  • You should also be open to working with the organisers of the other activities to ensure best practice is shared across all the planned activities, that they are presented as a coherent programme and to carry out light-touch evaluation.


Who can apply?

This is open to all members of staff at UoL, including postgraduate and early career researchers and professional support staff.

We encourage colleagues at the university to involve external partners either in contributing to or co-leading the activity (however the application itself must come from someone based at UoL)

25 May, 11.00–12.00: online informal information and discussion session with anyone interested in applying. This is an opportunity to ask questions, share ideas, find out who else is interested and possibly explore or develop collaborations. You do not need to have a fully worked up idea. To attend, please email the Horizons Institute team at for joining details.

15 June, 14.30–16.00: hybrid workshop to test and develop your ideas, speak with other potential activity leads and share good practice and suggestions. This workshop is designed to support you to develop your ideas so you will need to have some clarity about what activity you are considering and what you seek to achieve. To attend, please email the Horizons Institute team at and provide up to 100 words describing your area of interest and activity idea and any co-leads working with you.

28 June: submission of activity descriptions for panel assessment (see details below about what information is required).

Mid-July: panel to select activities for funding – you will be notified of the outcome shortly after this.

Date tbc: workshop to meet other activity leads and share best practice. Issues to be considered include planning and organising to support EDI, good practice in engaging audiences and how to carry out evaluation. 

September 2023: activities launch 

How to apply

Please apply using this Microsoft Form, submitting the information outlined in the following list, by 17.00 on 28 June 2023. If the form is inaccessible for you, please email Poppy Leeder on about alternative formats.

Include the following information in your application:

  • outline of the proposed activity 
  • aims and objectives 
  • how equality, diversity and inclusion has been considered
  • who is involved (please include lead, co-lead and mention any groups outside of the university who will be involved)
  • brief outline of the planned output (for the end of year exhibition)
  • if the activity is time-bound/linked with another event in the calendar please indicate the date(s)
  • if it will cost more than £5,000 to deliver this activity, please provide details of where the additional funds will come from.

How we will select the activities

Assessment criteria used to select activities: 

  • the extent to which the activity will encourage and support cross-university collaboration and exploration of the theme through the different areas and disciplines
  • the extent to which the activity will engage people beyond campus, for example the local community, charities and NGOs, industry, business and policymakers
  • the extent to which equality, diversity and inclusion have been considered in developing the idea to ensure a broad and diverse range of people can engage with the activity (and where relevant, have been involved with developing the idea)
  • willingness of the team to work with other activity leads and the Horizons Institute team to develop a well-rounded programme and share best practice
  • we will also consider the fit with other proposed activities to ensure that we have a range of activities and all the areas within the theme are covered in the final programme of activities.

You will be notified of the outcome and which activities have been selected for funding by 21 July 2023.

The activity leads (the lead and any co-leads – including co-leads who are not based at the University) will be invited to take part in a short workshop to discuss the whole programme of activities and share best practice. The date for this will be agreed with activity leads once they are selected.

Useful resources

As part of the application process, the Horizons Institute have recommended the following resources for anyone who would like to apply for funding through this programme. 

National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement: Working with Local Communities and EDI resources

Mind: Co-design (with people with lived experience)

LSSI: Co-production Research Toolkit

Further information

If you would like to find out more about this call, discuss your ideas or find out more about the headline theme, please email Poppy Leeder at or the Horizons Institute team at