The Leeds Living Lab is about tackling global challenges at a local scale, researching and testing sustainable and innovative ideas which are scalable, replicable and transferable, and driving us as an organisation to think and operate differently. It is about people, processes and infrastructure and focuses on the cultural and social sciences as well as STEM.

The programme is open to all staff and students across the University, whether academic or professional, undergraduate or postgraduate. We encourage staff and students from all Schools and Services to get involved.

Applying for funding

The Living Lab has a funding scheme designed to support projects which support the programme’s principles and purpose. We are particularly looking for projects that require seed funding to get off the ground, or match funding as part of a collaborative partnership between Schools, Services or external stakeholders.

The scheme has a rolling deadline and applications are accepted at any time. The usual limit is £2000 for interdisciplinary research projects and £500 for student curricular projects (although all applications will be considered based on planned outputs and outcomes).


Are you developing sustainability research? Are you looking for an opportunity to trial or test a research idea or an innovative solution? Applications are invited for interdisciplinary projects that address sustainability through scalable and transferable research here at the University.

Are you a student considering a sustainability dissertation or other assessed project as part of your studies? You could use the campus as your test bed, gather or analyse data that supports delivery of the University’s Sustainability Strategy, or work directly with operational staff to help identify sustainable improvements.

Are you a member of staff seeking an innovative, sustainable solution? Have you considered seeking expert advice from an academic colleague? Could student research help to solve the problem or address the challenge? The Living Lab can help you to collaborate with the right people across the University.

If you have an idea or proposal, you can apply to the Living Lab at any time by completing our application form below and sending it to

Living Lab Application_v2 (pdf version)

Living Lab Application_v2 (word version)


Living Lab Principles

Living Lab projects at the University of Leeds should meet some core principles in terms of their aim, focus and outcomes.

  • Be delivered in alignment with the key aims and themes of the University’s Strategic Plan and underpin delivery of the Sustainability Strategy
  • Formally support the University’s Global Challenges; be about people, processes and infrastructure, drawing on the cultural and social sciences as well as the STEM
  • Integrate sustainability-related research, student education and University operations to drive continual and sustainable improvement
  • Identify, test and embed transformational solutions to ‘real world’ sustainability challenges whilst being scalable, replicable and transferable to our cities and regions
  • Drive experimental learning, enhanced participation and opportunities for outreach and engagement through co-creation and co-implemented campus-based solutions
  • Be interdisciplinary and delivered in partnership with internal and external stakeholders for mutual benefit, to increase impact and to enhance shared knowledge and action
  • Build knowledge and capacity by playing a leading role in the global debate and development of sustainable living labs.