BA/Leverhulme Senior Research Fellowships 2019-20 guidance notes
Guidance notes for the BA/Leverhulme Senior Research Fellowships 2019-20. Please read these scheme notes carefully. Any incorrectly submitted application will be ineligible for award.
Aim of the scheme
The purpose of these Fellowships, funded by the Leverhulme Trust, and administered by the British Academy, is to provide a period of research leave for one year for established scholars during which they will be able to concentrate on bringing a major piece of research towards completion while their normal teaching and administrative duties are covered by a full-time replacement. The Fellowships are tenable for one year and must be taken up in the autumn of 2020. The earliest start date is 1 September 2020 and the latest start date is 1 January 2021.
These awards are not covered under the Full Economic Costing (FEC) regime and no research expenses for the Fellowship holder are available. The only cost payable will be the salary of a replacement lecturer, who should normally be at an early career stage and appointed at the usual starting salary for first-time appointments, together with associated employers’ costs of NI and USS (and London Allowance where applicable). No other directly incurred, directly allocated or indirect costs can be met by the British Academy or the Leverhulme Trust in connection with these Fellowships. Providing it is for the same project, it is acceptable to apply for a BA/Leverhulme Small Research Grant scheme at the same time, and to hold both awards if successful in both schemes, as there will be no duplication of costs.
The Academy invites applications from serving members of academic staff employed in UK universities or other UK scholarly institutions. It is expected that up to 8 Senior Research Fellowships will be available to be taken up in the autumn of 2020, seven funded by the Leverhulme Trust plus one Thank Offering to Britain Fellowship.
These Fellowships are intended primarily to provide opportunities for scholars who have already published works of intellectual distinction and who have been hampered in their efforts to accomplish a major piece of research by heavy teaching and administrative duties over a lengthy period, with little prospect of relief from any source. The British Academy is looking particularly therefore to help mid-career scholars. The principal purpose of the Fellowship is to enable concentrated effort to be directed towards completing a major piece of research, which will not only be an important contribution to knowledge and understanding but will also help to enhance the future career and career prospects of the Fellowship-holder. If the projected work involves collaboration with other scholars, applicants are asked to explain their individual contribution to the project, which should be clearly identifiable. The British Academy takes no account of an applicant’s physical age or current status (e.g. Professor, Lecturer) in determining eligibility for these awards. Rather, in all cases Fellowship-holders are expected to be able to disseminate the results of their research not only through publications, but also through feeding into their future academic career after the Fellowship ends.
Applicants for the Senior Research Fellowships should be intending to pursue original, independent research in any field of study within the humanities or social sciences.
The remit of BA funding schemes does not include primarily practice-based outputs such as in musical composition and performance, visual practice, creative writing, and film-making. Such outputs will be considered to fall within the BA's remit only when they form part of an integrated project of critical or historical significance.
Applicants should note that these Fellowships do not provide research expenses to the successful candidates. Applicants may therefore also apply to the Academy’s Small Research Grants scheme at any time during the course of the Fellowship to assist with additional costs of their research programme.
Applicants who have applied to the British Academy’s Mid-Career Fellowship scheme should note that they are not permitted to apply to this scheme in this round.
The deadline for application approval by your employing institution is 5pm (GMT) 27 November 2019.
Applicants are required to nominate one referee (from outside their own employing institution), who is as independent from the applicant as possible. The referee is not intended to be an advocate for the applicant – rather their role is expected to be to help provide a rounded assessment of the proposal indicating both strengths and weaknesses. The applicant should ensure that the supporting statement from their chosen referee is submitted on the British Academy Flexi-Grant® Grant Management System (GMS) as early as possible, to allow enough time for applicants to meet any internal deadlines set by their employing institution. The deadline for employing institutions to approve applications and submit them to the British Academy is 5pm (GMT) 27 November 2019 – and this deadline is final as no late applications can be accepted.
The reference must be submitted before the application can be approved. Any application without a supporting reference will not be able to be submitted. Your referee must be drawn from outside your own employing institution and can be from overseas. However, before listing the referee on your application form you should seek their permission that they are happy to provide the reference.
It is essential that you enter the correct email address for your referee otherwise your referee will not receive the automated messages delivered from the British Academy Flexi-Grant® GMS. If your referee has more than one email address, you must check which address they are using to ensure they can access your application. We strongly advise that you complete your application as early as possible to allow your referee enough time to provide their reference in the system and to allow for any unexpected delays. Please note that references must be provided through the Flexi-Grant GMS, they cannot be provided as an email attachment nor sent by post in hard copy.
Applications assessed as being worthy of funding will be submitted to the Academy’s Research Awards Committee for final decision on awards.
There is likely to be strong competition for the available Fellowships. Initial assessment of applications is made by peer reviewers, shoes comments and recommendations are considered by the Research Awards Committee which makes the final decision on the Fellowships to be offered. There are no interviews prior to offers being made. The flow chart below, illustrates this process:
Applicants may wish to note that the following summary is given to selectors to form the basis of their judgements on the applications submitted:
(a) Has the applicant already published work of intellectual distinction?
(b) Is the proposed research project of outstanding academic merit?
Please note that academic merit is the primary basis on which assessment will be made. Assessors will evaluate the proposal taking into account its originality, its relationship to, and the volume of, research already done in the field, the scholarly importance of the research proposed, the suitability of the methodology, the feasibility of the research programme, the specificity of the scheme of research, its timeliness, and the impact of the intended outcomes. Assessors may take into account evidence of language competence where the understanding of material in a foreign language is crucial to the achievement of the research objective. Assessors will also evaluate the ability of the applicant to undertake the proposed research, taking into account their track record in terms of publication, their academic age and stage of career. Backlogs of publication (including any reasons given by applicants) may also be taken into account in assessing the current proposal.
Only at the final stage of selection, with reference to applicants who are all felt to be of equally outstanding academic merit, will the subsequent considerations play a bigger role in the decision-making process.
(c) How pressing is the applicant’s need for the research leave applied for?
(d) What is his/her entitlement to sabbatical leave, what are existing leave prospects and how do these affect the applicant’s need for an award?
Code of Practice
The Academy has adopted a Code of Practice: for assessing research applications, setting out the principles of equity, integrity and confidentiality governing the treatment of all applications for research support. Regrettably, feedback is not a feature of the BA/Leverhulme Senior Research Fellowship scheme. The Academy is unable to discuss the decisions of the awarding Committee, which are governed by the Code of Practice. Submission of the application form constitutes the applicant’s agreement to all terms, conditions and notices contained in the Scheme Notes.
Applications can only be submitted online using the British Academy’s Grants Management System, Flexi-Grant (https://britishacademy.flexigrant.com/). Applications cannot be submitted on paper or in any other format.
Applicants should be aware that this application form will be considered by appropriate assessors. The application will be treated as confidential at all times.
When completing your application on the British Academy Flexi-Grant® Grants Management System, it is recommended that you take particular note of the following points:
Personal details: When registered in the British Academy Flexi-Grant® GMS, a user has the option to add or update personal information such as contact details, log-in details (including email address and password), interests, research and employment details, at any time. This does not form part of the specific application form for any individual scheme but represents a personal record of your account in the system. Please keep this information up to date.
Automatic log-out: You are strongly advised to save your work regularly to prevent accidental loss of text. The Flexi-Grant website will automatically log people out if no activity is detected. It is recommended that you work offline in a separate word processor and copy and paste completed text online once complete.
Multiple sessions: Do not have multiple browser windows/tabs of your application open at the same time as this may cause information to be lost. Only one user should edit an application at a time. Word limits: If you exceed the word limit, you will not be able to save the page you are working on. Longer-length text should be completed separately and backed up in a word processor.
Plain text: If entering plain text, please avoid using symbols as some may not be accepted by Flexi-Grant: This includes the following symbols: < >
PDF documents: If asked to upload PDF documents, please add your name and a heading at the top of every page to show what the document is (e.g. CV or list of publications). Please avoid uploading documents containing illustrations with fine details or colour as this can cause problems when creating a PDF of the application.
Email addresses: It is essential that you ensure your email address is up to date and actively monitored, or you may miss important notification emails.
Submission: You will not be able to submit your application until you have completed each section in full. You should submit your application for approval by your employing organisation at least five working days before the closing date to allow for your organisation’s administrative procedures. You should also check whether your institution has its own internal deadlines.
Application sharing: You can invite other contributors to join the application. All contributors must be registered on the Flexi-Grant grants management system and mark their work as ‘Complete’ before you can submit your application.
Application deletion: You can delete your application at any time although it is often a lot easier to just re-edit your existing application. We will be able to recover a deleted application for a period of seven days after deletion. After this, it will be permanently removed from the system.
Application returned for editing: The Organisation Approver can return your application to you for further editing, but the original deadline remains in place. If your application is returned to you for editing, then you must resubmit it again before the deadline and allow enough time for your employing institution to approve it.
Guidance: In the tables below, you will find in the left-hand column each question as set out in the application sections and in the right-hand column useful guidance on its completion.
Further clarification: If any of this advice is unclear, or you need further information, please do not hesitate to seek clarification from the British Academy’s Research Funding Office (contact details at the end of these notes).
Please note that it is essential that you create a pdf of your completed application (click ‘print application’), and check it thoroughly, including email addresses and uploaded pdf files, before submitting it for approval by your employing organisation. It may not be possible to rectify mistakes in time for the deadline.
Word limits apply to plain text only. page limits apply to pdfs only.
All fields marked with an asterisk* are mandatory and you will not be able to submit your application if these fields are not completed.
You should not have multiple browser windows/tabs of your application open at the same time as this may cause information to be lost. Only one user should edit an application at a time, otherwise changes might be lost.
The application can be completed by using the navigation tabs on the application summary page, with each page categorised as follows:
Page 1: Eligibility criteria
Page 2: Applicant details
Page 3: Applicant career summary
Page 4: Research proposal
Page 5: Financial details
Page 6: Equal opportunities
Page 7: Nominated referee
A full list of question fields to be completed as part of the application can be found in the following table. Each box in the table represents a page of the application form: the left-hand column contains the questions within each of these pages as set out in the form; the right-hand column contains useful guidance on its completion. An asterisk (*) indicates which questions are mandatory and therefore must be complete before the application can be submitted. Please read the guidance notes carefully before completing the form.
When your application form is complete, the status for each page on the application summary page will say: ‘Complete’. However, only after all invited contributors to your application have clicked the ‘Submit my contribution’ button will your ‘Submit for organisation approval’ button appear.
Please confirm that you meet the eligibility criteria as stated on page 1 of these guidance notes. On this page you will start to answer questions about your eligibility.
Primary and secondary subjects
Your application must be relevant to the Humanities and/or Social Sciences and you will need to select the most relevant subject areas and fields from the drop-down list.
If your proposal is especially interdisciplinary, please use this field to explain the nature of the relevance to different fields of research. This field is optional and if used, we recommend no more than 500 words.
Time period, audiences, regional interests
These fields provide the opportunity to give further indications of the relevance of your subject area. They are mandatory fields.
Please enter the organisation at which you are employed.
Please be aware that it is your responsibility to ensure that you complete your application in time for your employing institution
Most appropriate establishments are registered in the system. If your organisation is not there, please contact the institution’s research support services, or equivalent, and ask them to provide the British Academy’s Research Funding Office with the contact details of an appropriate person in the organisation to act as an approver.
All applications must be approved by the employing organisation authorities e.g. research office, finance department, etc. The approving department will receive email notification once you have completed your application and submitted it. They will be asked to provide approval and then submit the application to the British Academy. It is strongly recommended that the applicant maintains an open dialogue with the approving department at their institution as the British Academy cannot be held responsible for emails being caught in spam filters or not being received.
It is recommended that you allow at least five working days for this process. Once they have checked your application, they will contact you if any changes are required. Please note, if changes need to be made these must be done before the deadline otherwise you will not be able to ‘resubmit’ your application.
Lead applicant contact details
Please take care to review and complete your personal details accurately. Errors in this section can cause difficulties in the processing of your application.
You can update your personal details by checking ‘my account’ and selecting the link to ‘my contact details’ and ‘my organisation’ and ensuring the relevant details are up to date.
Please state your nationality. Up to 3 choices may be selected.
Statement of qualifications and career
Please give details of up to four relevant qualifications, in particular the award of PhD (if you hold one), which must be entered in the first box. A brief CV must be uploaded as a PDF document in the later field ‘curriculum vitae’.
The curriculum vitae must be uploaded as a PDF file. It should be kept brief and it will not be necessary to include details of research grants held, prizes/awards won, conferences attended or external examining.
Publications, unpublished research
Please list principal publications to date in reverse chronological order under publications. In the case of planned, unpublished research, please give details of planned publication dates, or explain why the research has not yet been published. Assessors may take backlogs of publication into account.
Present appointment, employing institution and present department
Please give details of your current appointment.
Applicants must be employed in an established academic post (in which they have teaching or related commitments) from which they need to be relieved in order to concentrate on research.
Applicants working towards a PhD or awaiting the outcome of their viva/submission of corrections are not eligible to apply.
Please answer 'yes' if you have been awarded a PhD, and 'No' if you do not hold a PhD but have suitable equivalent experience (and explain this in the field below under personal statement). If you do not have a PhD, but are employed as a Lecturer etc., you are still eligible to apply.
Applicants are invited to include any information relating to their professional career, which they may wish to be taken into account in assessing this application. This field can also be used to explain eligibility for applicants who do not hold a PhD or for providing information regarding interruptions to an academic career. This is an optional field and the limit is 150 words.
Next period of research leave; dates of research leave in the last five years; sabbatical arrangements; current commitments
These fields call for details of the next period of research leave already granted, research leave already enjoyed in the recent past (sabbatical leave, unpaid leave and leave resulting from other research awards) as well as the normal leave entitlement offered by the applicant’s employing institution; and information about current teaching, (including numbers of PhD students supervised), administrative and publication commitments, giving a clear indication of those from which the applicant would not be able to be released in order to work on the proposed programme. Details of current teaching and administrative load should specify undergraduate and postgraduate courses taught, numbers of MA (or equivalent) and doctoral students supervised, and specific offices giving rise to administrative and other duties.
An application may not be eligible for consideration if there is a report outstanding on any previous award from the Academy to the applicant. Failure to follow this guidance may result in your application being withdrawn from this round of competition.
Please give details of any applications submitted to the British Academy within the last five years.
Please note that a full report and statement of expenditure for any previous grant must be submitted, before further funding can be considered.
Please select the subject from the drop-down menu that is most relevant to this proposal.
Title of research proposal
In this field, please avoid using any unnecessary quotation or other punctuation marks (e.g. do not use quotation marks round the full title simply to indicate it is a title). Consider the presentation by checking the ‘print application’ option to ensure that the title appears as you wish it to.
Please provide a short abstract summarising your proposed research in terms suitable for an informed general audience, not one specialised in your field. This is a mandatory field and the limit is 150 words.
Proposed programme/plan of action
The proposed programme and plan of action should detail, in up to 1500 words (programme) and 800 words (plan of action), the programme of research to be followed if a Fellowship is offered, the methodology to be used and the timetable for its accomplishment. Applicants should keep in mind the timescale of the Fellowship (twelve months only) and propose a plan of action that is achievable.
Planned research outputs/plans for publication/dissemination
Please state the type of output expected under ‘planned research outputs’ and give more detail about potential publishers etc. under plans for publication. This is a mandatory field. The limit is 300 words for the planned research outputs and 500 words for publication/dissemination.
The Academy attaches importance to the dissemination of research, and assessors will take into account how far the plans for publication or other dissemination have been developed. In regard to this, please note, however, that the Academy does not undertake to publish or assist with the publication of the results of work accomplished during the tenure of these awards.
Digital resource and deposit of datasets
It is a condition of award that digital resources created as a result of research funded by the British Academy are deposited in an appropriately accessible repository. Of course, we do not expect confidential data to be readily available and neither do we expect all research to produce digital resources.
However, if applicable to this application, applicants need to provide details of how and where any electronic or digital data (including datasets) developed during the project will be stored, along with details on the appropriate methods of access. The limit is 500 words.
Applicants should ensure that any necessary technical advice is obtained before commencing work that involves the creation of digital resources.
Please confirm whether the primary product of the research will be a digital resource, and if so how and where it will be deposited.
Start date and end date
To select a date in the future using the calendar feature, click on the month and year in between the two arrows at the top of the box. To change the year keep clicking on the box – a second click will produce a decade. Use the arrows to move back or forward in time. To change the month, a second box will appear where you can select the month you wish and then you can type the year you require in the box provided. Click on the date and the calendar will take you to the month and year you have selected where you can select the relevant date for display.
Fellowships must be taken up between 1 September 2020 and 1 January 2021.
Overseas travel - country, institution
If your proposal will involve travel abroad, please indicate up to 3 countries to be visited during the Fellowship, and any specific institution(s) to be visited or with which you will be collaborating.
Support of British International Research Institute required/granted
This field not only refers to support that might be sought from British International Research Institutes, but to all appropriate links with them.
The British Academy provides Government funding for the British Institute at Ankara, British Institute in Eastern Africa, British Institute of Persian Studies, British School at Athens, British School at Rome, Council for British Research in the Levant and Society for Libyan Studies.
All applicants with research interests in these parts of the world are invited to consider making approaches to the relevant School or Institute. More information can be found on the Academy’s website.
If your proposal is relevant, please indicate in this field in what ways your programme could benefit from, or contribute to, the work or life of the relevant Institute. This is an optional field, and the limit is 700 words.
Endangered or emerging subject areas
Applicants for the Senior Research Fellowship should be intending to pursue original, independent research in any field of study within the humanities or social sciences. There are no quotas for individual subject areas and no thematic priorities.
All applicants are invited to state how they see their particular programme, whether directly meeting current challenges or not, contributing to the identification of future priorities and challenges. To amplify this final point, the Academy does not set thematic priorities to which all applicants are expected to relate their proposal. Rather the onus is on the individual to indicate if, and how, their research will contribute to meeting national challenges. The primary factor in assessing applications will remain the excellence of the proposal.
This is an optional field and the limit is 300 words.
The Academy expects that applicants will have any language skills necessary to conduct the programme. If relevant, please state the level of language competence of the applicant and other participants, or otherwise explain how the objectives of the programme will be met.
It is expected that most ethical issues will be covered by standard codes of practice. It is only necessary to indicate here in detail any non-standard issues. Please note the Academy’s ethics policy described in the Code of Practice. Approval to undertake the research must be granted by the relevant authority before any work requiring approval begins.
The only permitted cost that can be applied for is the directly incurred salary (including NI and superannuation) of the replacement lecturer. It is not necessary to know the name of the replacement lecturer and their specific salary point when first applying for the Fellowship, but the employing organisation should take particular note of our recommendation that the request for funding should reflect the expectation that an early career opportunity is expected to be created by appointment as a replacement for a BA/Leverhulme Senior Research Fellow, and that the starting salary should therefore be at a level commensurate with a new lecturer appointment. The total salary requested should represent the upper limit on expected funding – the actual value of the award may be reduced once the real costs are known at a later stage, but the total value of the award, once agreed, cannot be supplemented.
Please do not use ‘£’ signs in the amount box.
This section is optional; however, the Academy would greatly appreciate it if you can complete the details to assist us in our diversity monitoring.
The British Academy is committed to its policy of Equal Opportunity in the provision of its grants and awards. Please help us to monitor the effectiveness of this policy by providing the following information concerning your age, gender, ethnic origin and disabilities (if any).
This information will be kept separately from the rest of your application and will not be seen by those involved in making decisions in the selection process, including referees etc.
Date of birth
To select a date in the past using the calendar feature, click on the month and year in between the two arrows at the top of the box. To change the year keep clicking on the box – a second click will produce a decade. Use the arrows to move back or forward in time. To change the month, a second box will appear where you can select the month you wish and then you can type the year you require in the box provided. Click on the date and the calendar will take you to the month and year you have selected where you can select the relevant date for display.
Applicants are required to nominate one referee and ensure that the supporting statement from their chosen referee is submitted on the British Academy Flexi-Grant Grants Management System in good time before the deadline. Please note that the reference must be received before you can formally submit the application for approval, and you are strongly advised to ensure that your referee submits the reference well in advance of the final deadline for this round of competition,which will be 5pm (GMT) on 27 November 2019. Please note this deadline is the final approving deadline.
Your referee should be familiar with your project and able to comment on its significance and feasibility, and on your abilities, and be as independent from you as possible. The referee is not intended to be an advocate for the applicant – rather their role is expected to be to help provide a rounded assessment of the proposal indicating both strengths and weaknesses.
The reference may be supplied by a scholar based outside the UK if you wish. Your referee must be drawn from outside your own employing institution.
Before listing your referee on your application form, you should seek permission from them that they are happy to provide this before the deadline. It is essential that you enter the correct email address for your referee (especially if they are using more than one email address) otherwise your referee will not receive the automated messages delivered from the British Academy Grants Management System.
We strongly advise that you submit your application as early as possible to allow your referee enough time to provide their reference in the system before the deadline for submission.
An application cannot be considered unless the reference has been submitted on time. Please note that the reference must be provided through the British Academy Grants Management System, it cannot be provided as an email attachment nor sent by post in hard copy.
THE ACADEMY WILL ONLY PROCESS APPLICATIONS THAT HAVE BEEN APPROVED AND SUBMITTED CORRECTLY
Once you have submitted your application for approval by your employing institution, an automatic email will be sent to the Organisation Approver for your employing institution. The Organisation Approver will either: approve and submit your application, ‘send back’ your application for edits/corrections or decline your application. You must complete your application with enough time for your institution to review and approve it. They must record their approval by 5pm (GMT), 27 November 2019.
It is recommended that you allow at least five working days for this process. Please check with your employing institution as their internal timetables may require earlier submission. If your employing organisation approver requests modifications, they can return your application to you for editing. Once an application has been approved by the Organisation Approver, it cannot be returned. Please note that if your application is returned to you for editing, then you must submit it again to your Organisation Approver.
Please note that once the closing date has passed, approvers cannot approve applications and submit them to the British Academy. Unapproved applications are removed from consideration. No late applications can be accepted.
It is recommended that you check that your application is submitted in time. To see the details of the Organisation Approver and to check the status of your application, you should log into the British Academy Flexi-Grant GMS and click on the link to the Application Portal where a summary of your application will be displayed.
Assessors will evaluate the proposal on the basis of its academic merit, taking into account its originality, its relationship to, and the volume of, research already done in the field, the scholarly importance of the research proposed, the suitability of the methodology, the feasibility of the research programme, the specificity of the scheme of research, its timeliness, and the impact of the intended outcomes. Assessors may take into account evidence of language competence where the understanding of material in a foreign language is crucial to the achievement of the research objective. Assessors will also evaluate the ability of the applicant to undertake the proposed research, taking into account their track record in terms of publication, their academic age and stage of career. Backlogs of publication (including any reasons given by applicants) may also be taken into account in assessing the current proposal.
Only at the final stage of selection, with reference to applicants who are all felt to be of equally outstanding academic merit, will the subsequent considerations play a bigger role in the decision-making process:
- How pressing is the applicant’s need for the research leave applied for?
- What is his/her entitlement to sabbatical leave, what are existing leave prospects and how do these affect the applicant’s need for an award?
- Assessors may take into account evidence of language competence where the understanding of material in a foreign language is crucial to the achievement of the research objective.
- Comparative judgements about value for money may be taken into account at the final stage of assessment. Any special case made for endangered or emerging fields may be taken into account at the final stage of assessment.
Once your completed application has been submitted, you will not be contacted again by the British Academy until the decisions have been made (around late March 2020). You will not be required to do anything further in the Flexi-Grant GMS system. You can track the progress of your application by clicking on the link to the Application Portal where a summary of your application will be displayed. Please note that the eligibility stage is an internal British Academy process and you do not need to do anything for this. Applicants will be notified of the outcome of their application in late March 2020 by email to the email contact address given on their application form.
Applicants in any doubt about any aspect of their application are advised to contact the Research Funding Office at the British Academy.
Tel: 020 7969 5217
Deadline for applications: Wednesday 27 November 2019 (5pm GMT)
Please note: This deadline is the official deadline for employing institutions to submit applications to The British Academy. Applicants are advised to check with their Research Office (or relevant department) whether internal deadlines have been set by their own institution.
Results announced via email to address the applicant gave on the application:
before 31 March 2020.