Storytelling Fellowship

Our second cohort of Storytelling Fellowships is now open for applications.


The Storytelling Fellowship programme is a core element of the InterAct Network. It aims to harness the power of stories to learn from, and address, the human aspects of the diffusion of new technologies in industry. These human aspects include themes such as:

• Productivity
• Resilience
• Competitiveness
• Sustainability
• Levelling-up/inclusion
• Wellbeing

After participating in a digital storytelling workshop and creating their own digital story, Storytelling Fellows will act as advocates in their wider constituencies, facilitating their own workshops and gathering more digital stories that will be hosted on a dedicated online environment designed to provide actionable insights to businesses.


Cohort 2 applications open – launch date   Thursday 14 July 2022
Closing time and date for cohort 2 applicationsWednesday 31 August, 2022, 16:00
Notification of successTuesday 6 September, 2022
Phase 1 
Introduction to digital storytelling workshop series (6 x 2-hour sessions online*)Mid-September 2022
Facilitation and presentation skills workshop (online)End-Octber 2022
Phase 2 
Stakeholder engagement (recruiting storytellers within organisations)October – November 2022
Facilitating and collecting stories within organisationsNovember 2022 – January 2023
Phase 3 
Ongoing online peer review of storiesNovember 2022 – February 2023
Seminar seriesNovember 2022 – March 2023
Feedback interviewsDecember 2022 – February 2023
Phase 4 
Shaping the future – considering next stepsMarch 2023
Selective post-production and preparation for screeningApril 2023
Final review, screening and dissemination eventMay 2023
International Digital Storytelling conference (optional)June 2023

Storytelling Fellowships will last for 9 months, starting in September 2022.


Storytelling Fellows will:

• participate in a workshop to learn how to create their own digital stories that can be shared
• receive follow-up creative and technical support
• facilitate colleagues to create their digital stories for inclusion in a ‘story bank’ resource
• participate in collective review of stories
• reflect on learning from the process and from the stories
• plan how to take the work forward in their organisations/constituencies
• draw out key themes and insights emerging from the stories
• participate in a seminar series linked to the Storytelling Fellowships
• participate in dissemination events.

Storytelling Fellows can expect to spend an average of 3 to 4 hours per week over the course of the fellowship; a certificate of completion will be available.


Great leaders, great researchers and effective policy makers tell great stories. Stories enable industry leaders to share their visions and inspire people; policy makers to engage with stakeholders and influence behaviour; and researchers to share the fruits of their research in engaging and compelling ways. These important stories will provide actionable human insights and a continuous flow of stories between these three groups offers opportunities for knowledge exchange and community building, ensuring that evidence from academia and industry both feeds into, and is informed by, policy.

Storytelling is a core skill for researchers, policy makers and leaders in industry and is key to shaping the future of manufacturing. Advances in digital technologies need to be accompanied by an understanding of the human experience of working in the manufacturing industry.

Becoming a Storytelling Fellow will give you the opportunity to learn these skills while being part of an enthusiastic and engaged network of people who want to shape the future of the manufacturing industry.

Eligible applicants

Consider joining us if you:

  • are a researcher in the fields of economics or social science
  • are involved in creating policy for the manufacturing industry
  • work in the manufacturing industry or related sectors (e.g. logistics, supply chain, sustainability, digital technologies) anywhere in the UK
  • want to interact with a wide network of people from industry and academia
  • want to learn how to create, share and learn from inspiring, compelling stories
  • can commit 3-4 hours per week to Fellowship activities
  • have the support of your manager.

There is no cost to Storytelling Fellows, other than your time. However, it is important to commit to the whole programme, including all workshop sessions (the dates of which can be found in the guidance document).


IMPORTANT: Please note that the programme is now closed for applications.

  • The completed form and a short (2 page) CVs for applicants should be submitted in pdf format to this email address:
  • Queries and requests for additional information can also be directed to
  • UKRI has commissioned SQW, an independent research consultancy (, in collaboration with the survey company IFF, Frazer Nash and the Institute for Manufacturing (University of Cambridge), to evaluate the programme.

    The evaluation will continue to 2025. SQW will conduct a range of research activity for the evaluation including a survey of companies receiving funding from the programme, interviews with stakeholders and programme participants and analysis of secondary and monitoring data. By submitting an application for this InterAct ECR fellowship, which is part of the Made Smarter Innovation programme, you agree UKRI may share your contact details with SQW. SQW may subsequently contact you to discuss your involvement with InterAct.

    Any information you provide SQW will be treated in confidence and held securely. No information you provide will be attributed to you or your organisation. Aggregated and analysed responses will be used to prepare reports to UKRI. You can find SQW’s privacy notice here