Unique Management School event funds seven new research projects

Winners of the LUMS Perfect Pitch event cheer, clap, and hug each other as their success is announced.

Satellite-inspired artworks, modern slavery reporting apps, and a travelling horsebox exhibition capturing the experiences of people with a disability. These myriad projects are all one step closer to reality after a pioneering Lancaster University Management School (LUMS) event.

Researchers working on topics including sustainability in business schools, Generative AI-created social media and community-engaged student dissertations also came out as winners as close to £110,000 of funding was handed out at the inaugural Perfect Pitch.

The new event saw 10 teams present three-minute pitches to LUMS academic and professional services staff, each seeking between £10,000 and £20,000. Time limits were strictly enforced, and audience members questioned each team on their proposals and voted on which would be funded.

“With Perfect Pitch, we wanted to support our experts across LUMS by giving them the chance to explore their passions, further the reach and impact of their work, and investigate new avenues,” said LUMS Associate Dean for Research, Professor Katy Mason.

“What we saw was a demonstration of the vitality of ideas that we encourage within the School. It is wonderful that we have been able to fund projects that promise to deliver exciting results for ourselves, our students, and wider business and society.”

Six projects were successful in the audience vote – with extra money from LUMS alumni philanthropic donations allowing a seventh scheme to be funded which had just missed out. Funding is going to the following bids:

  • Co-creating Sustainable Communities: Dissertation in Place (£19k, led by Dr Radka Newton)
  • The Sketchbook Library (£19k, led by Dr Leighanne Higgins)
  • The Effect of Social Media on Cryptocurrency Pricing and its Economic Consequences (£13.5k, led by Shantanu Banerjee)
  • B-School to ESG-School (£18.9k, led by Dr Marian Iszatt-White)
  • Space as Place (£10k, led by Phil Devine)
  • Measuring and Improving Modern Slavery Reporting (£18.3k, led by Professor Steve Young)
  • Innovative Communication: How Consumers Evaluate Social Media Created by Generative AI (£10k, led by Dr Hina Khan)

All 10 projects addressed LUMS’ three research pillars of Sustainability, Social Justice, and Innovation in Place, as well as the emerging themes of Cyber, and Health Futures.

LUMS Executive Dean Professor Claire Leitch said: “I have always known that we have a brilliant range of research taking place here in LUMS. Perfect Pitch showed me just how broad our expertise is, and how innovative our academic and professional services staff can be when it comes to exploring exciting new avenues of interest.

“It was real encouraging to have such a positive response to this first Perfect Pitch event. All the teams who took part put a great deal of effort into their three-minute pitches – managing to summarise their proposals in concise and effective ways that engaged the audience. It was also wonderful to see so many colleagues taking part in the voting, helping to ensure the voice of the School was heard in our choices.

“I look forward to seeing how the winning projects progress over the coming 12 months – and hope that we can help those teams who were not successful on this occasion with exploring other avenues for funding their work. I would like to thank our philanthropic alumni donors, whose contributions to LUMS have already allowed us to fund one extra project.”

Perfect Pitch was part of a community celebration day in LUMS, which also included a BBQ and a School Quiz. The School intends to repeat these events next year.

Dr Radka Newton gives her Perfect Pitch presentation while holding an opera glasses prop. Colleague Dr Jenni Carter stands watching holding a yellow rubber chicken prop.

Professor Katy Mason speaks into a microphone to announce the Perfect Pitch winners

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