Calling all Books & Print applicants!

With two weeks to go until the Sandbox deadline, REACT Producer Jo offers some post-surgical advice.

I have spent the last few weeks knee-deep in Books & Print and I'm very excited. Running surgeries at the Pervasive Media Studio has been a real pleasure; reflecting on what we learned from Heritage Sandbox, seeing new relationships blossom and above all talking about ideas. I can't wait for the application deadline. You may not be feeling the same way.

So, to respond to some of the most common issues raised and to offer a bit of advice to those who couldn't make it in person. Here are my headline things to remember as you settle down to write your bid:

  • Sandbox should be the start of your journey. Tell us what you will do in three months and your vision for the immediate outcome but also tell us what might happen next. What will the impact be beyond the sandbox timeframe? REACT is comfortable with risk and uncertainty so the details can change but your application should clearly demonstrate why we wouldn't be funding a one-off project. There are some super helpful new FAQs on what we mean by impact here.

  • Be clear about where the innovation lies. We don't imagine that everything you do will be radically new but we do want to know how, taken as a whole, your project would differ from existing work. Ask yourselves; What is out there that is a bit like this? What do we think of it? How would we do things differently?

  • Make Sandbox count. When you have a clear argument about where the innovation lies, make sure that your R&D will test that thing. If you do that, the space, time and support you get with sandbox will really make a difference.

  • Think about how you use the space wisely. The brief tells you exactly how we will be asking our reviewers to assess your proposal so make sure you give them all the information they need. By all means paint them a picture but a lot of contextual detail about the problems of the publishing industry or the contents of an archive probably won't help your case.

  • Talk to your University. Each of the REACT partner Universities has specific people to help you with your application. They can help with budgets, planning your work, getting sign off etc but they need time so let them know your plans (contact details below).

That is it from me. It should go without saying that I am here to help so give me a call (0117 3708877) or drop me a line ( if you need to. Good luck!

University of the West of England: Patrick Lansley (

University of Cardiff: Cinzia Yates (

University of Bristol: Andrew Wray (

University of Bath: Sarah Jones (

University of Exeter: Anka Djordjevic (