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Targeted Rapid Research Call: Evaluation of Collaborative Leadership Pilots

Research Activites | Invitation to tender.

Evaluation Partnership Support – Police Scotland and Local Government Collaborative Leadership Pilots

As part of its Responsive Research Fund, the Scottish Institute for Policing Research (SIPR) is providing funding to support the evaluation of Police Scotland and Local Government Collaborative Leadership pilots.

Congratulations to Kirsty Docherty (Queen Margaret University) and Brigid Russell (Brigid Russell Coaching) who have been selected as the successful applicants to undertake an evaluation of the Police Scotland and Local Government Collaborative Leadership Pilot.

Intention and Parameters

The intention of the pilots is to offer a focussed learning experience on the theory and practice of Collective Leadership, including supported exploration of complex/wicked issues by participants.  In the first phase, we are working with three different locality areas and we plan to draw together the participants from across all three locality areas for the final stage of the Programme.

Participation in the Programme will provide the opportunity for learning in depth about the theories and practice of Collective Leadership, as well as a supported opportunity to deploy what has been learned in support of a real, complex work issue.  The focus is on practical leadership of issues that are important to participants.  It is therefore intended that the Programme should offer tangible benefits to participants, to those they work with and those they serve.

As we learn together, the Programme will also enable us to test and shape future delivery methods for this work.


Learning and Evaluation

We will build a clear and strong emphasis on self-reflection throughout the programme, regularly inviting participants to reflect on their learning and how this is influencing their actions and tracking this over the duration of the Programme.   This approach enables evaluation to be fully embedded in the Programme, and to relate directly to the changes that participants hope to see in their Collective Leadership practice.

We will use an Action Inquiry model for this, inviting reflection on learning for self, organisation and system.  This will be introduced from the first session and developed over each session.   All participants will then keep learning logs, reflecting on learning impact at each stage of the programme.

Participants will be invited to consider the following questions from the outset of the Programme and these will be tracked and reviewed as the Programme progresses:

Scottish Institute for Policing Research (SIPR)

The Scottish Institute for Policing Research (SIPR) is a strategic collaboration between 14 of Scotland’s universities and the Scottish police service: Supporting independent, multidisciplinary policing research to enable evidence informed policy and practice.

SIPR promote a collaborative approach to research that involves academics and practitioners working together in the creation, sharing and application of knowledge about policing and have been invited to partner with the delivery team for the evaluation of the Programme.  This partnership arrangement will seek to ensure evaluation is fully embedded in the programme through an Action Inquiry model which is introduced with participants from the first session and developed over each session.  All participants will be supported to keep learning logs, reflecting on learning impact at each stage of the programme.

Phase 4 of the programme is designed to bring the learning together for a fuller reflection across cohorts of learning for self, organisation and system.  Evaluation will be supported through a partnership with the Scottish Institute for Policing Research and Collective Leadership for Scotland


Invitation for Evaluation Partnership Support

SIPR has made funding available to secure partnership capacity to support the evaluation of the Programme, building from the embedded approach to learning and evaluation within the Programme, in the following areas:

• Work alongside the programme facilitators to support them to embed narrative data gathering throughout the programme and generate learning stories.
• Prepare a selection of learning stories which illustrate the experience of the programme and the emerging learning.
• Support/co-facilitate analysis and sense-making of the learning stories by participants and facilitators in Phases 3 and 4 of the Programme (noted below), identifying areas of learning for self, organisation, and system and around the tracked questions, including identifying how the group’s understanding and practice of collective leadership is changing.
• Conduct a small number of in-depth interviews with participants from each cohort, creating the opportunity to inquire more deeply into learning for self, organisation, and system.
• After all cohorts have completed Phase 3, prepare a draft summary learning update of the learning identified through participants, drawing upon the analysis of the participants and facilitators at the Phase 3 event and further evidence presented and gained from interviews, to inform the future development and delivery of the Programme.
• Share emerging findings at Phase 4 event and support further generation and co-analysis of new learning stories at the event.
• Write a full evaluation report based on the learning update and new material from the Phase 4 event. Share a draft with participants and facilitators for validation before finalising the report.

Information for Applicants


Applications are welcome from 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.



A total of £10,000 will be available to one successful team, and we welcome proposals which include co-funding from other sources.



Given the short turn-around required, applications will be subject to a review stage which will include assessment by an independent panel comprising of senior national and international academics, civil servants, as well as policing personnel. Reviewers will be asked to score against predefined criteria including:

• Suitability of investigative team (i.e. Principal Investigator and Co-Investigator’s experience and expertise in the field of study)
• Feasibility (i.e. a project’s ambition and ability to deliver outcomes to budget and within timescales)
• Potential benefits/impact (i.e. project legacy and potential to influence policy and practice); and
• Longevity (i.e. preference may be given to applications that articulate an intention to build on the funding provided from SIPR by through attempt to attract larger grants from external funding).

Application and Award Process

Due to the fast turnaround, applications are due 23:59 Friday 4th June.

A short application form is available to download in the above link.

Applicants are required to complete the relevant application form (download from above link) including the following information:

• Description of team – one paragraph per named investigator which details experience and expertise in the proposed topic including one for each named investigator);
• Details of the project including background, aims, objectives, partners/ collaborators, methodology, and timeline;
• Proposed budget including a brief justification of resources required; and
• Clear indication of the expected outputs and impact of the project.

A letter of support from Police Scotland (or the relevant external body) should be sought where the project will require access to personnel or data. Please ensure you contact Police Scotland’s Research and Strategy Team ( as soon as possible to ensure the project’s feasibility.



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

Only one application is permitted from the same applicant for this call. The PI can be included as a Co-investigator in one further application as long as the two applications are not linked.

This project is a rapid research Projects must be in place to commence the evlaution project no later Monday 21st June 2021.

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


Indicative Timetable

Below is an indicative timetable for key dates in the application, award and deliverable process.

Call open
Friday 21st May 2021
Application deadline
Friday 4th June 2021
Awarding panel meet
Monday 7th June 2021
Successful applicants notified
Tuesday 8th June 2021
Latest date to commence project
Monday 21st June 2021

Phase 3: Reflection and Review of Collective Leadership Experience – Virtual platform training event – 2 to 4 hours in single session (with cohort 1 scheduled for 23rd June 2021 and subsequent dates for cohorts 2 and 3 to be confirmed)

• Sharing learning stories from groups involved in Co-Inquiry and discussion of what they have learned.
• Pause, reflection and listening on co-inquiry experiences.
• Consideration of group process and the factors that enabled collective leadership to emerge.
• Prototyping and taking action in uncertainty.
• Participants work together on the complex/wicked issues they will now progress in their work in Phase 4.
• Complete learning logs.

Phase 4: Collective Leadership in Practice

• Participants seek to embed their learning on Collective Leadership in aspects of their work.
• Further sharing of learning stories from groups involved in Co-Inquiry and discussion of what they have learned.
• Review and reflection on learning.
• Regular journalling of collective leadership practice and experience.
• Invitation to bring groups together across the three localities to share learning and explore key themes together at the 6 month and 1 year point.

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