CLOSED New Call for Agile Sprints

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The Agile Initiative welcomes Expressions of Interest for new Sprint research projects from Oxford University researchers

This Sprint Call is now closed.

The Agile Initiative at the Oxford Martin School started in February 2022, with funding from the Natural Environment Research Council. So far it has funded eight Sprints, with five concluded. The Sprints are producing significant interdisciplinary research on pressing policy issues related to environmental change. Sprints so far have spanned biodiversity loss, nature-based solutions, nutrient flows, green shipping, earth systems modelling, CO2 storage, and achieving Net Zero targets. Researchers working on Sprints come from many disciplines, including Biology, Geography, Earth Sciences, Engineering, Maths and Psychiatry.

We are delighted to announce a new round of funding for Sprint projects – please find the details about how to apply below. We are constantly experimenting with our approach. Using learning from the last two years, for this call we have collaborated with policy-makers to identify 10 pressing research topics.

Researchers with contracts at the University of Oxford are now invited to put forward proposals to develop Sprints on these topics. Expressions of Interest are welcome from teams or individuals looking to join a team. We hope that this will open up new opportunities for researchers from different backgrounds and disciplines to work together in new ways. We encourage early career and mid-career researchers to put themselves forward as Sprint leads. We particularly welcome the participation of researchers who are marginalised based on gender, race, ethnicity, and disability, for example.

Sprints are funded for up to 12 months maximum, with £150k-£400k of funding available per Sprint.

Research topics

  • Work on operationalising the Global Biodiversity Framework
  • Data science and global systems: addressing biodiversity loss, food, and society
  • Impacts and solutions to ash dieback
  • Impacts of multiple pressures on species
  • Ways to support the IPCC in becoming more action-focused
  • The resilience of net zero scenarios to future climate risks
  • Biomass supply chain standards
  • Quantifying the likelihood of halting the decline in biodiversity by 2030, and reversing by 2042
  • Strengthening localised decision-making in area based natural resource management


  • 15th February: Call launch
  • 28th February: Online briefing
  • 1st March: Deadline for Ash Dieback Expressions of Interest
  • 15th March: Deadline for all other Expressions of Interest
  • End of March: Outcomes announced to applicants
  • April-May: Sprint co-creation & thematic workshops
  • May-June: Full proposal submission
  • June-September: Start of Sprints

Online briefing

We hosted an online Webinar and Q&A about the Call on 28th February. You can watch the recording here:

How to apply

For more information on eligibility, the process, and how to apply, please fill out the following form and you will be emailed the Sprint Call documents in pdf and doc formats. Taking this approach allows us to monitor our reach across the research community.

Form to receive call documents: call no longer open.

If you would like to receive the call documents in another format, or have any questions, please get in touch: