Social Responsibility and Sustainability

Use your research to improve the University with the Living Lab approach

For us, treating the University as a Living Lab means using our own academic and student research capabilities to solve social responsibility and sustainability issues relating to our infrastructure and practices.

LL SRS living lab architecture studio

Collaborative Living Lab projects can provide answers and guidance for operations and professional services staff, real-life learning opportunities for students, and opportunities for research impact for academics.

We collaborate with researchers and students across the University, and partner with Edinburgh Living Lab, an initiative set up by a team of academics from Informatics, Social and Political Science, and Design.

What makes a Living Lab project?

A Living Lab project should aim to:

  • Solve a real life problem
  • Be based on a partnership among key stakeholders, often crossing disciplinary and/or sectoral boundaries
  • Use existing and newly generated quantitative and qualitative data, embracing digital technologies where possible
  • Trial and test ideas in real life settings – to further refine solutions proposed
  • Share data and analysis generated openly, for the Living Lab to continue

Living Lab project checklist

If you’re working with SRS on a Living Lab project, please refer to this checklist.

More information

To learn more about how to carry out a Living Lab project, see our toolkit, and browse the research priorities for project ideas.

For further background on the Living Lab approach at the University, read our 2015 report completed by postgraduate student Patrycja Graczyk:


Read our Living Lab toolkit

Browse our Living Lab projects database

Get in touch

We invite interested academics, students and operational/professional services staff to get in touch if you are interested in working on Living Lab projects, or would like to share project ideas.

Students are also encouraged to view our current placement and volunteering opportunities.


General enquiries

  • Social Responsibility and Sustainability

Contact details



Department for Social Responsibility and Sustainability
The Boilerhouse
High School Yards

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