BA/Leverhulme Small Research Grants: frequently asked questions

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 Ph.D. 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 do not have a Ph.D. Can I apply for a grant?

We do 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 is eligible to apply.

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

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

No. No Small Grant funds can 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 salary costs for 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 Small Research Grants, 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?

If your employment contract lasts the duration of your research project, or is likely to be extended, then you may apply via your institution if you wish to do so. If your employment contract will end before or during your research period, 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.

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 the following:

  • A Newton Fellowship co-applicant can apply to this scheme providing there is no duplication of costs.
  • You can apply to both this scheme and the Mid-Career Fellowship Scheme but cannot be successful in both as the Mid-Career Fellowship Scheme includes some research expenses and buys 100% of your time.
  • You cannot apply for a different project as the Mid-Career Fellowship Scheme buys 100% of your time.
  • You can apply to both this scheme and the Postdoctoral Fellowship Scheme providing there is no duplication of costs.
  • Providing it is for the same project, it is acceptable to apply for a BA\Leverhulme Senior Research Fellowship at the same time, and to hold both awards if successful in both schemes, as there will be no duplication of costs.

I was unsuccessful in applying to the Academy in a previous round. Are resubmissions accepted?

Yes, a resubmission of the same proposal may be made once in the Small Research Grants scheme. An applicant is eligible to re-apply with a revised or different proposal so long as they meet the eligibility criteria.

Does my Co-Applicant(s) have to be based in the UK?

No, a ‘Co-Applicant’ can be based overseas, provided there is a UK based Principal Investigator.

I am not sure whether to list someone as a Co-Applicant or other participant. What is the difference?

A ‘Co-Applicant’ is a joint director of the project with equal responsibility for the academic management of the project. An 'other participant' can be anyone else actively associated with the project.

How many Co-Applicants can my research project have?

For the BA\Leverhulme Small Research Grants scheme each application can have a maximum of two Co-Applicants.

My project is due to start before the decision date. Can I apply?

No. The scheme notes will specify the earliest date that research may commence for each round of competition.

What is the latest date I can apply to start my project?

Please look at the scheme notes which will specify the latest date that research must have commenced by.

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 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 proposal and the applicant’s abilities.

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 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 aim to 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.

When I apply for funding through any of the awards offered by the British Academy, can I include in the application the cost of APCs (Article Processing Charges) to enable any articles that may arise from the research to be published in learned journals that offer a ‘Gold’ open access option?

No. Currently the Academy’s position is that publication costs are not eligible.

Is the Apprenticeship Levy an eligible cost for this scheme?

No. This is not currently an eligible cost. Please see the scheme guidance notes for a list of eligible and ineligible costs.

Does the Academy require the outputs of the research it funds to be made available in any open access format?

No, this is not currently a stipulation of any Academy award.

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 and a member of the team will respond.

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