TSRF has developed a number of resources on research collaboration:

TSRF resources on research collaboration

Other useful resources about third sector collaboration

Binks Hub and Citadel Youth Centre collaborate on youth-led research, intergenerational work, connecting academia with communities and how to involve youth people in research. Read more here.

The Scottish Third Sector Research Forum‘s case study report “Bringing the Third Sector and academic research together”  is a collection of case studies that show practical solutions collaboration challenges.  

Carnegie UK Trust‘s report on “How Can Academics And The Third Sector Work Together To Influence Policy And Practice” argues that to make an impact on social policy universities must work more closely with civil society.

Voluntary Health Scotland published “Broader Reach and Stronger Voice: Reflecting on the inclusivity of the COVID-19 vaccine programme and collaboration with the third sector” after conducting a qualitative study with both their member organisations and a wider network.

Collaborate for success with Edinburgh Innovations as part of the University of Edinburgh.

Find out more about quantitative social science skills with Edinburgh Q-Step Centre and Glasgow Q-Step Centre.

Host an intern with the The Scottish Graduate School of Social Science.

Scottish Enterprise may have some Research and development (R&D) grants available.

The University of Glasgow’s Scottish Graduate School for Arts and Humanities may have Applied Research Collaborative Studentships available.

Take a look at student placements with The Data Lab.

Social Enterprise Scotland have recorded this webinar on Universities and Social Enterprise Development.

The Research Excellence Framework (REF) is the UK’s system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions.

For academics: why collaborate with third sector?

Collaborating with third sector partners may be significant to evidencing your impact for the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

Find an academic for your third sector research

Information for third sector organisations (TSOs) who are seeking to undertake research and looking for a starting point to make contact with an academic researcher.


Interface is an organsation that links third sector organisations to academia. As examples see these case studies on Interface’s website: Timespan Museum & Art CentreEqual Adventure, and Albyn Housing Society.

Interface provide an innovation voucher scheme. For more information and how to apply.