The SoGE Inspiration Fund was conceived in 2017 as an exciting opportunity for seed-corn funding for small projects.

It ran for three years (the last round in Trinity 2019) and was open to all staff. The aim was to encourage small research projects that did not 'fit' the criteria for other funding opportunities. There were no fixed rules about what the research could entail, as long as it was innovative and inspirational.

Interim reports from the last round will be coming soon, and we will be arranging an event at the beginning of Trinity term 2020 to showcase the activities funded in that round.

Previous Projects


Read reports from October 2018, summarising the following projects funded that year by the Inspiration Fund:

  • a programme of engagement to teach young people in Kwale County, Kenya about water science and management;
  • ‘Head-hunting: the Sheldonian Emperors’;
  • an online tool for participatory mapping of cultural ecosystem services; and
  • establishing the Oxford Heritage Network.


At the end of 2017, Inspiration Award winners were invited to each give a 7-minute talk on their 'innovative' project. From network-building and interdisciplinary collaborations with artists, web-tool and website building, to a public 'head-hunt' and environmental work with school-children, all our Inspiration Award projects proposed work that was totally new and might not normally have found funding by other means. Watch the bitesize videos below to find out more.

1. Introduction // Professor David Thomas
2. Heritage Network Scoping Study // Professor Heather Viles
3. An online tool for participatory mapping of cultural ecosystem services // Alison Smith
4. Global network on financial geography // Professor Dariusz Wójcik
5. Inspiring Kenyan schoolchildren with environmental research // Saskia Nowicki and Nancy Gladstone
6. Development of the Oxford Polar Forum Website // Dr Marc Macias-Fauria
7. Head hunting - the Sheldonian Emperors // Dr Martin Coombes (on behalf of Dr Katrin Wilhelm)
8. The Elephant in the Hedge // Dr Jamie Lorimer