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CIOB launches £10k fund for innovative research

Photo of Paul Dockerill - CIOB trustee in whose name the CIOB research award was launched
Paul Dockerill, the CIOB fellow and trustee, whose life and work the research award commemorates.

The Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) has introduced a £10,000 award open to people looking to develop a research project focused on skills development, fire safety or resident engagement.

The Paul Dockerill Award is open to any UK resident seeking funding for an innovative safety project, such as developing a building safety app or platform for social housing residents to access information on safety and fire issues in their homes.

The deadline for submissions is 30 June 2024. Shortlisted applicants will be interviewed in July 2024, with the funding available to successful applicants for up to 18 months.

Possible projects for the award could include, but are not limited to:

  • renewable energy systems for residents;
  • a safety app to allow residents to communicate about fire risks and building updates;
  • a toolkit for landlord-resident collaboration;
  • virtual reality for building safety training; and
  • a real-time safety dashboard for housing.

The award is in honour of respected built environment professional and CIOB fellow and trustee Paul Dockerill, who died in November 2022.

Paul Dockerill

Dockerill was raised in a low-income household and leaving school without qualifications. In his younger years he became a carpenter and joiner before progressing his career within the construction sector. 

He worked in social housing for more than two decades and before his sudden death. He was director of energy and programme management at a non-profit housing provider. 

Following the Grenfell Tower fire, Dockerill worked closely with the fire brigade to ensure their response to a fire in a high-rise building was as quick, safe and effective as possible. He was fundamental to the development of the Twinnedit digital twin platform following the 2017 tragedy.

The idea of creating the award was inspired by his family, friends and colleagues.

Antonia Lanyiova, qualifications liaison manager at CIOB, said: “Paul believed that positive change could come from anyone, regardless of their background or professional affiliation, so we are thrilled to open this award to anyone with fresh and innovative ideas.

“Whether you’re a seasoned professional, a student, or someone with a unique perspective, we encourage you to submit your innovative project or idea for consideration. You do not necessarily need to work within the construction sector to be considered.”

CIOB Construction Innovation and Quality Scholarship

At the same time, applications are invited for CIOB’s Construction Innovation and Quality Scholarship. This is designed for aspiring construction management professionals by providing a platform to get involved with a research project or enterprising work experience activity.

Last year’s winner was Dr Don Samarasinghe MCIOB, a lecturer in built environment at Massey University, New Zealand. He was given funding towards a project titled ‘Pioneering Sustainable Future in Construction through Raw Earth 3D Printing Training’.

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