School for the Creative and Cultural Industries


Recording oral histories: Call for proposals for the UCL Memory Bike

12 February 2024

We are delighted to open applications for the UCL Memory Bike! Submit a proposal to use our bicycle-mounted audio recording and archiving station, designed to support co-produced work and capture the rich history and stories of East London.

3 wheel black and white cargo bike with the orange UCL logo on it and next to large orange UCL sign

Deadline to apply: 22 March 2024. Successful projects will be notified in April 2024.  

About the Memory Bike

The UCL Memory Bike is an electric cargo bike with the capacity to house digitization and recording equipment from the UCL East Urban Room’s Memory Workshop. It is currently housed at the UCL East campus in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and managed by the School for the Creative and Cultural Industries. 

With a focus on oral history and sound recording, the bike enables researchers, students, and collaborators to travel around the four Olympic East London boroughs (Hackney, Newham, Tower Hamlets and Waltham Forest), and create a pop-up environment for co-produced digital archiving and audio-visual work. 

The Memory Bike provides a focal point for interactive and co-produced work, and users will have access to specialist equipment including digital cameras, sound recorders and microphones. If your application is successful, you will receive a short induction on using the Memory Bike equipment.

Row of high-spec technical equipment including SLR camera, audio recorder, microphone and memory cards
Find out more in the Memory Workshop and Bike handbook and webpage

Who can apply?

The Memory Workshop committee will review proposals from applicants whose work connects with arts, heritage, or urbanism. The call is open to staff and students currently affiliated with UCL, UCL collaborators, and external applicants working on projects relevant to our work and themes. We welcome applications from existing oral history and archiving/digital memory projects who would like to use the bike and equipment as a resource. 

Applications can come from anywhere, but the bike can only be used within the four boroughs surrounding the Olympic Park. 

All projects will need ethical approval, and support is offered through pre-recorded sessions and guidance for those who are not familiar with this process.

Examples of the types of projects we can support are: 

  • Engagement projects with a defined audience
  • Oral History projects 
  • Sound/digital/immersive and mobile technology projects
  • Citizen Science projects 
  • Participatory and social research projects
  • Arts and heritage projects

What support is available?

Each project can make use of a budget of up to £400. This money can be used to support projects with catering for events, publicity and call outs, to reimburse project participants or to pay for research and project materials. 

For projects external to UCL, please be advised that you will need to take out your own insurance to cover the bike and yourselves while using it. If your proposal is successful, we can help to support you with this. One example of cycling insurance can be found here

For all projects, we will require an end of project report, final budget summary with receipts, and project documentation for our archive.

Why apply?

Benefits of using the Memory Bike include:

  • Access to high-quality, specialist recording and archiving equipment
  • Connecting with UCL researchers, students and networks
  • Maximising the reach and impact of your work
  • Developing new, innovative formats and artworks
  • Archiving (for some projects) as part of the UCL Special Collections digital archive
  • Training covering the conceptual, practical, and ethical requirements for oral history and memory work, and how to develop interview questions and practice. 

How do I apply?

To submit your application, please complete this form. This includes a summary of your proposed project and intended audiences, an overview of any ethical considerations and evaluation activities, and a breakdown of your required budget.

The closing date for proposals is Friday 22 March 2024.

If you have any queries or problems with the booking form, please contact us at scci.enquiries@ucl.ac.uk.

Submit your proposal for the Memory Bike