Good news for early career humanities and social science researchers! The British Academy Small Research Grants scheme has secured funding for at least the next three years following an intervention by the Leverhulme Trust.
Yesterday it was announced that the Trust has stumped up £1.5M to ensure the popular funding scheme’s continuation. This will provide welcome reassurance following a rather turbulent year for the Academy and small grants in particular.
You may remember the announcement by the British Academy in January 2011 that it planned to discontinue small grants. This was in the context of research councils such as the ESRC also terminating their own small grants scheme, and announcing a concentration of cash in longer, larger awards. Things looked bleak for the future of small grants in the humanities and social sciences, until British Academy reviewed their decision in July 2011. Now this latest announcement ensures more small grants will be available in these disciplines in the future.
Both the Academy and the Leverhulme Trust are keen to point out the benefits and impact of research funded by small grants, with the example given in the press release of Academy-funded work forming the basis of a recent BBC 2 series, Mixed Britannia. Leverhulme’s intervention will likely also take some pressure off their own funding schemes and those of the ESRC and AHRC by providing an alternative route for early career researchers and those who want to run a pilot research project.