Academy Research Projects: frequently asked questions

For the purposes of this scheme interdisciplinary research is defined as:

"Interdisciplinary research is a mode of research by teams or individuals that integrates information, data, techniques, tools, perspectives, concepts, and/or theories from two or more disciplines or bodies of specialized knowledge to advance fundamental understanding or to solve problems whose solutions are beyond the scope of a single discipline or area of research practice."

“Successful IDR plans and supports research practices and outputs greater than the sum of their constituent disciplinary parts”

Can I use the funds to pay for my/my Co-I’s salary or time?

No. The project funds cannot be used to pay for the salary or for the time of either the PI or a Co-I. If you do want to include a contribution to salary costs for a research assistant or a consultant, they must be listed as an Other Participant.

I am not affiliated to a UK academic institution. Can I apply for funding?

Yes. Affiliation to a UK academic institution is not a requirement for Directors of Academy Research Projects. Rather these awards are open to all postdoctoral scholars ordinarily resident in the UK.

You can apply as an ‘Independent Scholar’ – this means you are applying independently from an institution.

I am on a fixed-term employment contract, can I apply through my institution?

We would recommend contacting your Research Office to find out if your institution is happy to support your application and administer any potential award. If your institution is not able to do so, then please apply as an Independent Scholar. A Project Director collaborating with a number of colleagues across different institutions does not need to have the funds paid to their employing organisation unless it makes sense for this to be the project base.

I am applying as an Independent Scholar. Do I still need to press the ‘Submit for Organisational Approval’ button?

Yes. Because you apply as an Independent Scholar, your application will be checked for eligibility in the way that it would be if you were to have access to an institution research or finance office. If your application is deemed eligible, the Academy will provide the ‘organisational approval’.

I am currently a Principal or Co-Applicant on another British Academy grant. Am I eligible to apply?

Duplicate applications for the same purpose to more than one Academy scheme will not be accepted. Please note, however, that applications to this scheme are not for personal research so the Director of a Project who already holds another British Academy award is likely to be accepted.

How many Co-Applicants can my research project have?

For the Academy Research Projects scheme each application can have a maximum of two Co-Applicants.

What do you mean by endangered or emerging subjects?

The definition around this is broad and typically endangered or emerging subject areas are those that are newly formed, becoming more prominent or those that are in danger of becoming lost.

Does my referee have to be based in the UK?

No. References written in English from appropriate overseas referees are welcomed by the Academy. The only stipulation is that your referee is not involved in the project in any way and is external to the institution from which you are applying.

What information will my referee have to provide?

Your referee is asked to respond to a series of short statements, commenting upon the importance and feasibility of the research project and the abilities of the applicant and project team to deliver the project successfully.

Can I include a bibliography/reference list and, if so, where should I place this?

It is not a mandatory requirement that you include a bibliographic reference list. If you choose to include this as part of your application, then it should be placed as part of the main text in your research proposal – you cannot upload this as an additional document.

Who can offer institutional authorisation for my application?

Institutional authorisation must be given by the registered approver in the British Academy Flexi-Grant® Grant Management System (GMS). This is variable at each institution and will often be the Research Grants or Contracts Office or equivalent. You should seek advice at your home institution.

If you apply as an Independent Scholar, the Academy will provide institutional authorisation.

Please ensure that you give enough time for your institutional approver, or the Academy if you are an Independent Scholar, to approve your application before the deadline.

Note: Independent Scholars should submit applications around 5 days ahead of the deadline. This allows the Research Funding Team adequate time to review your application and flag any queries, a function that would usually be fulfilled by a University funding department.

I am leading a project but I do not have a PhD. Can I apply for this grant?

We accept applications from those who have equivalent experience, for example an individual in an established post, and/or who has teaching experience, and/or who has a track record of publications in their relevant field, all of whom are eligible to apply.

The only restriction to this would be if you are currently registered as a PhD. student while in your academic post, as PhD. students are not eligible to apply.

I am currently studying a post-graduate course. Are there any funds I can apply to?

Unfortunately, the Academy does not have any funds available to provide funding for students. Funding is provided for research at post-doctoral level only.

I have just completed my PhD. Can I apply for a grant?

The Academy welcomes applications from recent postdoctoral scholars. In order to be eligible, you must have successfully passed your viva voce examination and completed any corrections.

I have another question, who should I contact?

If you cannot find the answer to your question in the FAQs, the scheme guidance notes or on our website, please email your query to [email protected] and a member of the team will respond.

What do you mean by Research infrastructure?

Within Universities, ‘research infrastructure’ often refers to labs, equipment, digital humanities facilities etc. The BA is not referring to physical kit/technology. Any queries regarding this, please contact us.

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