Speculative Conversations Series

Bright star shaped sparks

This is a temporary replacement for the ‘Speculative Lunch’ scheme. Its aim is the same: to offer researchers in the arts and humanities the opportunity to discuss interdisciplinary research ideas at an early stage of formulation, with a view to establishing research collaborations around particular themes.

Meetings will take place online. They will be coordinated and led by at least two members of academic staff who are based in at least two different Schools, at least one of which should be in the Faculty of AHC. Participation is open to all staff, postdoctoral fellows, and postgraduate students across the University. Meetings will be advertised via University and LAHRI channels.

Due to the demands of online working, meetings will be no longer than one hour and will be attended by a maximum of 10 colleagues.
There is no expectation that Speculative Conversations will lead directly to particular outcomes; they are an opportunity for enjoyable and informal discussion of research ideas. Nonetheless, they may also explore potential collaborations leading to funding bids, or consider responses to Research Council themes. Coordinators are free to structure discussion as they wish and to set their own agenda.

This scheme is managed by the LAHRI Deputy Director, David Higgins.. He and the LAHRI Director, Jamie Stark, are available to chair/facilitate meetings for any conveners who would find that helpful.

The LAHRI Deputy Director and the event conveners will meet shortly after the conversation to discuss how LAHRI might offer further support.

How to apply to run a Speculative Conversation 

Please email lahri@leeds.ac.uk outlining:
• The proposed title.
• The names of at least two colleagues leading the meeting.
• Any indication of specific colleagues or research groups who might be interested in joining the meeting.
• A brief outline of how the topic is, or could be, related to a new direction for collaborative research.

The decision or further request for information will usually be returned within a week.

There is no deadline for the scheme, provided that there is sufficient time to arrange the meeting.

Examples of previous Speculative Lunches & Conversations

2020-21 Speculative Conversations Series:

2019-20 Speculative lunch Series:

2018-19 Speculative Lunch series:

2017-18 Speculative Lunch series: