Mash up using Francis Pringle's Notes of David Gregory's lectures (c1694-c1705)

Rapid Prototyping Sandpit


Rapid Prototyping: the first step in any digital project; a process of quickly creating a preliminary model of a digital object or product. It enables you to test the feasibility of ideas and helps clarify a project’s requirements.

Sandpit: a place for playing, for building things up and knocking things down, for learning and for fun.

The Centre for Data, Culture and Society aims to build capacity for data-led research and support digital research projects.

We are looking for humanities and social science researchers who want to explore early stage digital research projects with the support of our experienced team of researchers and technologists.  

Our team includes research software engineers and academics with experience across a range of project types from large scale text mining, to building interactive maps, to creating linked data, to network visualisations.  We want to support our community to experiment with digital methods and tools, and to develop ideas into realistic projects. It might be a completely new research project, or part of an ongoing project, something you think would be quick and easy, or the beginning of a grand plan.  You don’t need to have everything fully worked out, just an initial idea which we can help you develop.

Deadline for project proposals: 13th February, 2023 

The process

Whether you are creating a database, building a tool for analysis, developing an online exhibition or app, a key first step to any digital project is understanding technical feasibility and defining core requirements. 

Our rapid prototyping sandpit will offer opportunities to explore your idea with technical experts. Each round is designed to offer participants valuable feedback and increased clarity on next steps for their project, so even if your project isn't selected for further development this time, you'll have a much better idea of how to take it forward. 


Round 1

We’ll discuss all proposals at an initial pitching event, and decide together which ones to take forward to prototyping. You'll get feedback on your idea, and a chance to get the insights of experienced researchers and technologists. The most feasible projects will be taken forward to Round 2.


Round 2

Projects will be supported through a ‘paper prototyping’ exercise where we'll map out the basic structure and key requirements together. Again, only the most feasible projects will be taken through to the next round, but all projects will get their paper prototype and guidance on how to move the project forward.


Round 3    

We’ll then set to work on basic digital prototypes for the most feasible projects: you’ll get to test your concept, get feedback from the team on the work involved—what it entails and where the challenges lay—and have a chance to consider next steps for the project.


Mash up using Francis Pringle's Notes of David Gregory's lectures (c1694-c1705)

key dates


  • Call for projects closes: 13th Feb

  • Round 1: pitching event, with working lunch 10.00 to 13.00 on Monday 20th Feb

  • Round 2: paper prototyping: w/c 27th Feb

  • Round 3: digital prototyping: March - May