British Academy/Leverhulme Small Grants Now Open

The British Academy has recently announced that its popular small grants scheme is open for another round:

British Academy/Leverhulme Small Grants 2012

You may recall that the Leverhulme Trust announced their support for the small grants scheme earlier this year. Small grants support humanities and social science research projects between £500 and £10,000. Funding is available for:

  • initial stage project planning and development, e.g. pilot studies
  • direct costs of research, e.g. library and archive visits or data collection
  • advancement of research through workshops and conferences
  • visits by or to partner scholars

Note that grants are not intended solely to support conference organisation, except where the conference is to disseminate research carried out as part of the grant.

If you’re interested in applying you need to act now: the deadline for applications is 30th May 2012, although there will be another call opening in September. Please contact RBS at an early stage for support with your application.


Newton International Fellowships: 2012 Round Open

Are you an early-career researcher based outside of the UK? Is your research in the natural, physical, social sciences or humanities? Do you want funding to undertake research at a UK-based institution for two years?

The 2012 round of the Newton International Fellowships opened at the end of January and the deadline for applications is 16th April 2012.

The scheme is a collaboration between the British Academy and Royal Society and has been running since 2008. Fellowships provide a grant of £24,000 per annum for subsistence, plus £8,000/annum for research expenses and a one-off £2,000 relocation allowance. In addition successful fellows may be eligible to receive follow-up funding for up to 10 years after the award to support ongoing networking and collaboration with UK researchers. The awards are not funded on a FEC basis, but they do provide a fixed contribution to overheads for the host institution amounting to 50% of the total value of the award.

The scheme aims to ensure that the very best researchers internationally have an opportunity to carry out a research project hosted by a UK institution. In the longer term, the priority is to facilitate access to international networks of excellence for UK-based researchers in the relevant disciplines.

Full details on eligibility and how to apply are available in the guidance notes. Since the last round there have been two changes to the scheme which emphasise the importance of working with researchers outside the UK: all applicants must be working and based outside the UK when applying; and applicants who completed their PhD at a UK university will normally not be eligible to return to that same university.

Northumbria University staff can contact Research & Business Services at an early stage to discuss potential candidates and for advice and support with an application.


Leverhulme Trust steps in to fund British Academy Small Grants

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.

British Academy and Leverhulme Trust announcement

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.