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Rapid Evidence Assessment Call: Tri-Service Collaboration

Research Activites | Applications due 23:59 Sunday 22nd August 2021.

Rapid Research Project Tri-Service Collaboration

The Scottish Institute for Policing Research (SIPR) in partnership with the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and the Scottish Ambulance Service is providing funding to support a Rapid Research Project which will explore collaboration between Fire, Ambulance and Police Services. We are seeking an exploration of the how cross-service collaboration, including placed-based approaches, can help improve community safety and wellbeing and help reduce social and health inequalities. The assessment should include the costs and benefits arising from such working. The study should encompass primary research, which will be directly supported and facilitated by all three services, and a review of the existing knowledge base of how the three services integrate, share resources, and work collaboratively to achieve these ends. This work will help inform a ‘Collaborative Improvement Model’ for the Reform Collaboration Group (RCG) which is delivering on the ambitions set out in the Scottish Emergency Services Collaboration Strategy.


We are looking for both primary research and a comprehensive literature review. A plan for both aspects of the call will be expected in the application for funding.


The primary research will be conducted through a case study methodology supplemented by interviews of relevant personnel from the three organisations and related partners.  The identification of an appropriate case study will be supported by all three services. 

We are also seeking an assessment of the existing published academic research and ‘Grey Literature’ i.e. policy reports and/or self-published material from countries/organisations where relevant work has happened.

Timeframe for the literature: preference would be for an assessment of literature from the past 10 years. However, if there was a significant event in the field prior to this date, that literature could also be included.


The following four areas will be the focus for both the Literature Review and the case study:

• Strategic, e.g. achieving improvements in community safety and wellbeing and reductions in social and health inequalities

• Best Value e.g. securing maximum public value in the joint use of organisational resources

• Prevention, e.g. the services working together in a preventative capacity to improve wellbeing and reduce inequalities

• Operational, e.g. how national government policy and funding streams contribute to enabling and creating the right conditions to deliver the ambitions to deliver collaborative benefits and improved outcomes situations.


• Across the UK and internationally, what does the evidence say about collaboration between the three Blue Light emergency services (Fire, Police & Ambulance) in the three focus areas above?

• What is the existing academic evidence around the success or otherwise of tri service collaboration?

• What Grey literature/policy documents are there?

• What methodology & frameworks are there for successful tri-service collaboration?

Information for applicants


Applications are welcome from all researchers with priority given to staff based at one of the 14 SIPR member universities.

We encourage interdisciplinary partnerships and proposals can be submitted by a single institution or across member institutions (and can include national and international academic and non-academic partners). Additionally, creative ideas which engage practitioners with research are particularly encouraged. Applicants must have a contract of employment for the duration of the project.



A maximum of £12,000 (including VAT) is available to one successful application. We welcome proposals which include co-funding from other sources.



All applicants must be able to commence the project by Monday 20th September 2021 with an aim to have the project completed and the final report submitted by Friday 21st January 2022.

It is a requirement of this project that all work has been completed in time for the meeting of the tri-service Reform Collaboration Board in mid-February 2022 which is the Chief Officers and Board Chairs of the three Blue Light Services.

The successful team will be expected to present a summary of findings to the board at this meeting. The timetable below reflects the milestones that must be met in order for this deadline to be achieved.

Call open
Tuesday 13th July 2021
Closing Date
Sunday 22nd August 2021
Award panel meets
Week beginning 6th September
Successful candidates notified
Week beginning 20th September 2021
Latest project completion date
Friday 21st January 2022
Findings presented to board
Mid-February 2022


All applications will be considered by the SIPR Executive Committee and will be assessed against the following criteria:

• Suitability of investigative team

• Appropriateness of scope of proposed methodology (i.e. to effectively explore research questions posed); and

• Feasibility (i.e. ability to delivery outcomes within timescales);


Application Process

Applicants are required to complete the SIPR application form including the following information:

• Proposed team information (including host institution, collaborators, and a summary of experience and expertise in the proposed topic. You may include a two-page CV per named investigator);

• Details of the project including background, research questions, literature to consider, and proposed methodology; and

• Brief overview of timeframes.

• Budget information


Preference will be given to applications where the host institution is one of the 14 SIPR universities. We welcome applications which collaborate with non-SIPR institutions (national and international) as partners.

Successful applicants will be required to enter into a funding agreement with SIPR. Half of the funding will be provided on commencement of the project with the balance payable on Executive Committee approval of the final report. The final research report will be published by SIPR and SIPR will be acknowledge in all media and publications resulting from the project.

Applicants will also be required to report where SIPR funding has enabled the generation of external income as well as where SIPR funded research has been included as an impact case study.


SIPR – Monica Craig ( or Dr Megan O’Neill (

Police Scotland – PPCW Reform Collaboration (

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