BA/Leverhulme Small Research Grants 2021 guidance notes
Guidance notes for the BA/Leverhulme Small Research Grants 2021 competition. Please read these scheme notes carefully. Any incorrectly submitted application will be ineligible for award.
In January 2018 the British Academy announced the continuation of the partnership with the Leverhulme Trust to support the funding of the Small Research Grants scheme. The awards are co-sponsored by the Leverhulme Trust with funding for five years adding to the public funding deriving from the grant made to the Academy via the Department of Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy. In addition, the Academy continues to be able to offer some awards derived from funds generously donated by other funders including the Society for the Advancement of Management Studies, the Sino-British Fellowship Trust, British Accounting and Finance Association, Journal of Moral Education Trust, Philosophy of Education Society of Great Britain and the Honor Frost Foundation.
Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS)
The British Academy has partnered with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) who will co-fund two Small Research Grants for this round.
- UK applicants should submit an application for a British Academy Small Grant and ensure that their Chinese co-applicant submits an application to CASS in English and Chinese (on its prescribed application form) at the same time.
- China-based applicants must be of postdoctoral (or above) status and have a permanent position (spanning the duration of the project) at a CASS institute.
- China-based applicants must first submit an expression of interest, together with a written recommendation letter issued by their CASS institute to the Bureau of International Cooperation of CASS (http://www.bic.cas.cn/) before submitting a proposal to the British Academy in the same year.
- Applications will be considered by each side, who will jointly agree the final list of successful applicants to receive co-funded awards.
- The application to the British Academy must indicate the total cost requested (up to £10,000) and if the award is recommended for co-funding, the British Academy will cover costs of the participants from the UK side (up to £5,000) and CASS will cover costs of the participants from the Chinese side (up to RMB 50,000).
Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences (SASS)
The British Academy has partnered with the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences (SASS) who will co-fund two Small Research Grants for this round.
- UK applicants should submit an application for a British Academy Small Grant and ensure that their Chinese co-applicant submits an application to SASS in English and Chinese (on its prescribed application form) at the same time.
- China-based applicants must be of postdoctoral (or above) status and have a permanent position (spanning the duration of the project) at a SASS institute.
- China-based applicants must first submit an expression of interest, together with a written recommendation letter issued by their SASS institute to the Bureau of International Cooperation of SASS before submitting a proposal to the British Academy in the same year.
- Applications will be considered by each side, who will jointly agree the final list of successful applicants to receive co-funded awards.
- The application to the British Academy must indicate the total cost requested (up to £10,000) and if the award is recommended for co-funding, the British Academy will cover costs of the participants from the UK side (up to £5,000) and SASS will cover costs of the participants from the Chinese side (up to RMB 50,000).
All successful applicants will be clearly informed of the source of the funding of their grant when an award has been offered and will be expected to include due acknowledgement of the funder and the Academy when disseminating the results of the research funded under this scheme.
Grants are available to support primary research in the humanities and social sciences. The first recourse for funding should be to your own institution (where applicable).
The maximum grant is £10,000 over two years – applications will not be considered for less than £500.
Applications for collaborative or individual research projects are equally welcome under this scheme. Applications from international groups of scholars are welcome, provided there is a UK-based scholar as lead applicant.
Funds are available to facilitate initial project planning and development; to support the direct costs of research; and to enable the advancement of research through workshops or visits by or to partner scholars. Applicants may seek support for any combination of eligible activity and cost up to the overall limit of £10,000. The Academy will assess applications equally on their merits, with no preference as to mode of enquiry.
Grants are not intended to support interchange between UK and overseas scholars where there is no planned programme of activity to meet a clearly specified research objective (dissemination of results of research conducted under the aegis of the project for which funding is sought is a permitted purpose, but applications purely to organise an international conference, whether held in the UK or overseas will not be considered); nor are grants intended solely to support attendance at open conferences organised by a third party or international organisation.
All applications should demonstrate that funds are sought for a clearly defined, discrete piece of research, which will have an identifiable outcome on completion of the Academy-funded component of the project.
NB - 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 demonstrable critical or historical significance.
Applicants must meet the following eligibility criteria:
- Grants are available for research, at postdoctoral or equivalent level, in the fields of the humanities and the social sciences. Equivalent experience may include holding, or having held, an established post, having a record of publications in the field and/or having teaching experience.
- Postgraduate students are not eligible to apply.
- Applicants must be ordinarily resident in the United Kingdom, the Isle of Man or the Channel Islands (that is, classed as ‘ordinarily resident’ for tax purposes) or currently employed overseas by a recognised UK overseas research organisation.
- UK research organisations based overseas may apply to be recognised by demonstrating that they satisfy both the following conditions:
- Organisations which are, or which are constituent parts of, charities registered with the Charity Commission; and
- which must be able to demonstrate an independent capability to undertake research in the field or discipline in which they wish to be funded, and to lead the research for which funding is received.
- Awards will not be made retrospectively: this means that the work for which support is requested must not have commenced before the award is announced.
The Academy offers awards in this scheme in two rounds of competition each year.
Please note the earliest point at which research can commence, and to help regulate the flow of applications, the latest starting date also. The Academy is inviting proposals in this round with the closing date noted below.
7 April 2021
2 June 2021
(5pm UK time)
Research to commence
No earlier than 1 September 2021
No later than 31 March 2022
Result notified by
By 31 August 2021
Funds may be sought to cover the direct expenses incurred in planning, conducting, and developing the research, including:
- project planning and development costs (cost of travel for discussion in the UK and overseas; initial workshops with potential partners)
- travel and maintenance for UK scholars; including travel to disseminate results of the research at conferences held either in the UK or abroad
- travel and maintenance for overseas scholars engaged in collaborative research activity with UK partner(s)
- research assistance (based in UK or abroad)
- workshops or conferences to advance the programme of research (principally the costs of travel and maintenance for key participants, though organisational costs may be considered)
- specialist software
- costs of interpreters in the field
Bids for the cost of child or parent care may be considered if the carer is conducting research away from home and it is not possible to make alternative arrangements. The costs of normal regular childcare whilst at home are not eligible for support. Consumables include the purchase of datasets, photocopies, microfilms, etc, and any other minor items that will be used up during the course of the project. Applicants may apply for short-term consultancy or salary costs for expert staff, or short periods of research assistance. Provided they are central to the research process and an adequate case is made, the costs of preparing illustrations (including photography, acquisition of images, draughtsmanship and cartography or other bespoke illustrative material) may be considered. The cost of reproduction rights for text or images may be considered provided there is a contract for publication in place. Costs associated with deposit of digital material in an appropriately accessible repository may be considered. Costs related to conservation may be considered provided there is a clear research context to the work that falls within the remit of the Academy; if an application is purely for technical or practical work with no research objective, it is not eligible for funding. Incidental translation expenses may be considered.
The following items are not currently eligible for funding (applicants registered with special needs may consult the Academy about possible exceptions): institutional overheads, or any element that should properly be ascribed to institutional overheads; computer hardware including laptops, electronic notebooks, digital cameras, etc; books and other permanent resources; the preparation of camera-ready copy, copy-editing, proof-reading, indexing, nor any other editorial task; subventions for direct production costs (printing, binding, distribution, marketing etc); costs of publication in electronic media; payment to the principal researcher(s) in lieu of salary, or for personal maintenance at home; replacement teaching costs; travel and maintenance expenses for purposes such as lecture tours or to write up the results of research.
Applicants should not apply for expenditure that will take place over more than 24 months. (Note that if application includes an element for dissemination of results of research at conferences, the timing of such a conference must be within the 24-month limit and the end date of the award calculated accordingly to include this element).
There is no bar to reapplying for further funding, providing the conditions of award relating to the preceding grant have been satisfactorily fulfilled. Please note, however, that once a pilot project has been successfully completed further applications relating to the main project may be more appropriately directed elsewhere for funding (ESRC/AHRC). There is no guarantee that a re-application will be successful, so applicants with longer-term projects in mind should ensure that their research is so designed that a single phase will have an appropriate and worthwhile outcome, even if further phases are not funded.
Please note that only one British Academy Small Research Grant or other similar Academy grant may be held, or applied for, at any one time.
An application cannot be accepted if there is a report outstanding on any previous research grant awarded by the Academy to the principal investigator or co-applicant(s) named in the current proposal. Failure to follow this guidance will result in your application being withdrawn from this round of competition. 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.
- 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.
The Academy will accept one resubmission of a previously unsuccessful application. A fresh proposal must be prepared, and a new statement of support supplied by a referee (who may be either the same or different from that named on the first application). Applicants should clearly demonstrate how the proposal has been modified.
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® Grant Management System (GMS) by the application submission deadline. Please note this deadline is final.
The reference must be submitted before the application can be approved. Any application without a supporting reference will not be able to be submitted. Please also note that the reference must be submitted in time to allow you to submit the application for approval by your employing organisation for the same deadline.
Your referee has to be drawn from outside your own employing institution and from outside the employing institution of your co-applicant(s), if any.
Before listing your referee on your application form you should seek permission from them that they are happy to provide this by the deadline. 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. 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. An application cannot be considered for an award unless the proposal and reference have been submitted on time.
Please note that references must be provided through the GMS, they cannot be provided as an email attachment nor sent by post in hard copy. Any references received after the deadline, or outside of the system, or by another academic at the same institution as you or a co-applicant(s) will not be accepted, and your application will be withdrawn from this competition.
The Academy has 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. The Code of Practice also covers data protection, the Academy’s ethics policy and the appeals procedure.
Feedback is not a feature of the Small Research Grants scheme and the Academy is, regretfully, unable to enter correspondence regarding the decisions of the awarding Committee, which are governed by the Code of Practice. Please note that by applying in this scheme, applicants undertake to accept the terms under which applications are assessed.
Applications can only be submitted online using the British Academy Flexi-Grant® Grant Management System (GMS). Further information about the Flexi-Grant® GMS is available. If you have not previously used the British Academy’s Flexi-Grant® GMS and were not previously registered in the e-GAP system, please follow the registration process from the Flexi-Grant® homepage. Applications cannot be submitted on paper or in any other format.
Before completing the online form, all applicants should check that they comply with the eligibility requirements and ensure all necessary information is presented in the application. These requirements are strictly adhered to, and applications without all the necessary information, or evidence to show the assessment criteria are met, will be rejected.
Registered approving organisations will be available in the search bar. If your organisation is not listed, and is not affiliated with any organisations already in the system, then please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to request the addition of the organisation.
Applicants should be aware that this application form will be considered by appropriate assessors who will be subject specialists. Applications assessed as being worthy of funding will be submitted to the Research Awards Committee for final decision on awards. The application will be treated as confidential at all times.
When completing your application, it is recommended that you take 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 the Flexi-Grant: This includes the following symbols: < >
PDF documents: When uploading PDF documents, please add your name and a heading at the top of every page to show what the document is. Please avoid uploading documents containing illustrations with fine details or colour as this can cause problems when creating a PDF of the application. Each PDF cannot exceed 3 Mb in size.
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 host organisation at least five working days before the closing date to allow for your host organisation’s administrative procedures. You should also check whether your institution has its own internal deadlines. We strongly advise that you contact your referee as early as possible to avoid any last-minute issues before the submission deadline.
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 – including the referee.
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.
Please note the following:
It is essential that you create a PDF of your completed application (by clicking ‘print application’), and check it thoroughly before submitting it for approval by your host 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.
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: Lead Applicant details
Page 3: Lead Applicant Career Summary
Page 4: Co-Applicant details/career summary
Page 5: Second Co-Applicant details/Career Summary
Page 6: Research Proposal
Page 7: Financial Details
Page 8: Equal Opportunities
Page 9: 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. A red 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, all sections on this summary table will be marked as ‘Complete’. The ‘Complete’ status will only appear when all the mandatory fields in that section have been completed. All mandatory fields are marked with an asterisk ‘*’. Only then will a ‘Submit’ button appear for you to be able to submit your application.
Primary and secondary subjects
Your application must be relevant to the Humanities and/or Social Sciences and you will need to select the relevant subject areas and fields from the drop-down list
Time period, audiences, regional interests
These fields provide the opportunity to give further indications of the relevance of your subject area. They are optional fields.
Please be aware that it is your responsibility to ensure that you complete your application in time for your employing institution to process it and provide their approval by the closing date.
Please select your current employing organisation (or independent scholar if appropriate). The majority of appropriate establishments are registered in the system. If your employing organisation is not there, however, please contact the institution’s research support services, or equivalent, and ask them to provide the Research Awards Department with contact details of an appropriate person in the organisation to act as an approver on its behalf.
All applications must be approved by the employing organisation authorities e.g. research grants 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. The deadline for this round is the deadline by which approval must be given. Remember that the application cannot be submitted for approval before the referee has submitted their reference, so it is essential to obtain the reference well before the deadline.
It is strongly recommended that the applicant maintains an open dialogue with the approving department at your employing 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 will have to be done before the deadline as they cannot be done afterwards.
Please note that all applications must have one lead applicant, although applications on behalf of more than one person are welcome. Please note that all correspondence is sent via the system only to the individual in whose name the application is submitted on the British Academy Flexi-Grant® GMS.
The applicant is responsible for notifying any other parties. If there is more than one applicant, or the research involves other partners, please complete this section, and the relevant sections of the co-applicant personal details and co-applicant career summary. A ‘co-applicant’ is a joint director of the project with equal responsibility for the academic management of the project.
For the Small Grants Research grants scheme up to a maximum of two co-applicants can be named.
Postgraduate students are not eligible to apply for grant support from the Academy, and applicants (and co-applicants) are asked to confirm in the personal details section(s) that they are not currently working towards a PhD, nor awaiting the outcome of a viva voce examination, nor awaiting the acceptance of any corrections required by the examiners.
Other participants in a project, whose involvement does not equate to being a ‘co-applicant’ should be named in the relevant section (other participants) in the Research Proposal section.
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.
Statement of qualifications and career
Please give details of up to 4 qualifications in reverse chronological order.
Present appointment, employing institution and department
Please give details of your current appointment.
Applications are welcomed from independent or retired scholars, and such applicants should indicate ‘independent scholar’ here and select this as their ‘organisation’ in the eligibility section. ‘Approval’ of their application will be given by the BA as appropriate
Applicants working towards a PhD or awaiting the outcome of their viva/submission of corrections are not eligible to apply. Please therefore confirm that you have a PhD by answering yes. If you are an established scholar with relevant equivalent experience, but no doctorate, please select 'no' and indicate in the 'personal statement' field why you should be eligible for consideration.
This field is optional, but may be used, for example, in providing information regarding interruptions to an academic career. The limit on this field is 150 words.
Publications, unpublished research
Please list up to 6 relevant publications to date in reverse chronological order under publications; and any unpublished studies previously funded by any agency, including but not restricted to the British Academy. 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.
Previous support dates
An application will not be eligible for consideration if there is a report outstanding on any previous research grant awarded by the Academy to the applicant or any co-applicant. Failure to follow this guidance will result in your application being withdrawn from this round of competition.
Please give details of any research applications submitted to the British Academy within the last five years. In the case of a further application for continuing research which has received previous Academy support, please note that a full report and statement of expenditure for the previous grant must be submitted before further funding can be considered.
Where did you hear of this scheme?
This field is optional. It helps the British Academy to target appropriate resources towards the promotion of the scheme to know where an applicant hears about it. As appropriate please state BA website; BA literature; PhD supervisor; University Research Office; Twitter, other colleague etc.
In this scheme up to a maximum of two co-applicants can be named.
Your co-applicant(s) will need to register themselves on the British Academy GMS before they are able to complete this section.
If applicable, please enter all the details of your co-applicant(s) by clicking ‘Contributors’ tab on the Application’s ‘Summary’ page. Please click on the ‘Invite’ button, enter the co-applicant’s email address and then click ‘Send Invitation’. If necessary, it is possible to enter additional co-applicants by repeating the instructions above.
Once you have clicked on the ‘Send Invitation’ button, your co-applicant will be able to view your application amend the relevant co-applicant career summary page.
Please select the Subject Area from the drop-down menu that is most relevant to this proposal
Please select a Subject from the drop-down menu. This can only be done once the ‘Subject Group’ has been selected
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.
Start date/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.
Please note that awards may be held over a period of up to 24 months from a starting date not earlier than 1st September 2021 and not later than 31st March 2022.
Proposed programme/plan of action
The proposal must;
- clearly specify the context, and research objectives of the proposed study,
- describe the methodology to be used, and
- set out a realistic research programme, describing the activities that will take place, and explaining how they will contribute to the achievement of the research objectives
Applicants should give an account of their research which is complete of itself and should not depend on material facts being provided by their referees, nor rely on special prior knowledge on the part of assessors.
Where the bulk of funding sought is to finance a workshop(s) or conference(s), applicants should give a clear account of the overall research programme, provide a justification of the contribution of the event(s) to the achievement of the research objective, and give an account of the onward research planned.
It is essential that applicants clearly state the reasons why funds are needed. For example, it is not sufficient to state that the applicant will visit a particular archive: adequate details must be provided of sources to be consulted, and the length of visit must be clearly justified. The applicant should briefly explain why alternative access to material, such as microfilm or internet access, is not appropriate.
Grants are intended only for the planning and conduct of primary research. They are not available to cover the costs of spending time at another institution for purposes such as the writing up of primary research. All applications must clearly itemise the research programme to be undertaken at any location. Convenience is not a justification.
If support is sought for visits between UK and overseas scholars, applicants should clearly explain the purpose of the meeting(s).
If a research assistant is to be employed, applicants should provide a brief job description, clearly stating the nature of the work to be undertaken by the research assistant, and the arrangements for ensuring adequate supervision. If the research assistant has already been identified, details should be given under ‘other participants’, otherwise, applicants should state the skills and qualifications sought.
Applicants should justify the period of employment (or number of hours) for which funding is sought (e.g., has a pilot study or sample been conducted to show how long it will take the assistant to achieve the task in question?). Please note that PhD candidates employed as research assistants on projects funded by the Academy should work for no more than 10 hours per week on projects outside their own PhD research. British Academy research grants may not be used to fund work by PhD candidates that is directly related to their PhD thesis.
If the study will involve the use of a questionnaire as a research tool, a sample of the questionnaire (in English) should be submitted, if available at the time of application. Please note no other attachments can be uploaded. The PDF cannot exceed 3 Mb in size.
Independent researchers, not affiliated to an institution, should provide evidence of access to relevant facilities and resources.
If applicants wish to include a reference list/ bibliography then this should be included as part of the main text – you cannot upload this as an additional document. Please note it is not a mandatory requirement that you include a list of references.
The limit for the proposed programme field is 1500 words, and for the plan of action is 800 words.
Planned research outputs/plans for publication/dissemination
Under ‘planned research outputs’, please only state the type of output expected. Please give more detail about potential publishers etc. under plans for publication, for which the limit is 500 words. In assessing value for money, the assessors may consider the intended outcome as compared with the amount of money sought, although it is fully appreciated that some modes of research are more expensive than others and proposals will not be discriminated against on grounds of cost alone.
Digital resource/deposit of datasets
Digital resources created as a result of research funded by the Academy should be deposited in an appropriately accessible repository. Of course, we do not expect confidential data to be readily available.
If applicable to your project, you will 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.
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.
Overseas travel (country/institution)
Where overseas travel is to be undertaken, please list the most significant country (up to three can be chosen) to be visited under “Overseas travel – country”; and if your research involves working in a particular overseas institution, and/or working in other countries to which you will travel in connection with this application, please give details under ‘Overseas travel – institution’.
This information is used for monitoring purposes and may be provided to sister Academies or other organisations which have agreements or links with the British Academy, or the British International Research Institutes. Relevant information about the proposal, including, with the consent of the applicant, contact details, may be shared with the sister Academies or Institutes where this is part of the assessment process, or where joint funding is available.
Research Leave granted/permission obtained
If it is necessary for you to obtain research leave in order to undertake this research project, has this already been granted?
Support of BA school or institute required/granted
Please note that scholars may not apply for cash support from both the British Academy and the British International Research Institutes. There is no bar to applicants seeking cash support under the Small Research Grants scheme, and logistical, permit-related, or other non-cash assistance from an Institute or Society. If the project is funded by an Institute or Society, an application may not be submitted under the Small Research Grants scheme. If your research will take you to a country or region in which one of the British International Research Institutes operates, you are strongly encouraged to make contact with them before completing this form so that you can take account of any relevant expertise, facilities and logistical advice.
The Academy expects that applicants will have any language skills necessary to conduct the research. If relevant, please state the level of language competence of the applicant and other participants, or otherwise explain how the objectives of the research will be met.
Other participants/role of other participants/added value of collaboration
Under ‘Other participants’ please give the names, appointments and institutional affiliation of any other participants in the proposed research. If detail is not known yet, please indicate numbers and status of people who might be involved. Please describe the contribution to the project to be made by other participants, citing any particular specialisms and expertise, under ‘role of other participants’; and under ‘Added value of collaboration’, please provide any comments you wish to make on the particular relevance, timeliness or other aspects of the collaboration, and the benefits envisaged.
Endangered or emerging subject areas
Applicants for the Small Research Grants 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.
The primary factor in assessing applications will remain the excellence of the proposal. The Academy will however, where appropriate, take into account the aim of providing particular support for certain important fields, either emerging areas of scholarship or areas of research that are endangered or under threat.
This is an optional field and the limit is 300 words
This field is mandatory and must be addressed by all applicants.
Are there any special ethical issues arising from your proposal that are not covered by the relevant professional Code of Practice? Have you obtained, or will you obtain, ethical approval from your employing institution or other relevant authority?
It is not expected that any special ethical issues will arise that are not already covered by relevant professional Codes of Practice. The normal expectation, therefore, will be that applicants should answer the pair of questions with the answers no and no.
If there are any special issues arising, but they have already been cleared by approval from a relevant authority, please answer yes and yes.
If any special issues arise and approval has not yet been obtained, please answer yes and no, and provide more explanation.
Source of funding
Please provide details of other support given or applied for in connection with the current proposal.
Please indicate whether any other grant applications relating to this project have been submitted, either to the British Academy or to any other funder. Applications submitted to the Academy by separate applicants will not be accepted if it is considered that both (or all, if more than two) applications relate to the same project, whose components would not be viable as independent pieces of research.
The Academy has no objection to its grants being held in conjunction with awards from other bodies, if there is no duplication of expenditure. Applicants are requested to keep the Academy informed of the outcomes of any other applications by email to email@example.com. Failure to do so may jeopardise the application’s prospects of success. In cases where simultaneous applications to the Academy and to another funding agency covering the same elements of a project are both successful, the applicant will be asked to choose which award to accept.
Only if there is no duplication and no unnecessary inflation of a project will an applicant be permitted to retain both awards (subsequent requests to alter the plan of research simply to allow the applicant to retain both awards are unlikely to be considered favourably).
Financial details/ justification
(If you include ineligible costs your application will be withdrawn from this competition. Please see Table 1 in the Appendix for a list of eligible costs.)
Please provide details of funding in the relevant fields.
Applicants should prepare accurate costings for the proposed research expenses and should be particularly careful not to overestimate the resources required. Applicants are advised that competition for funds can be fierce, and proposals on the margin for award may have a greater chance of success if they are modestly costed.
Costs should be clearly itemised and justified in terms of the research programme. If the Academy is being asked to support only a proportion of the total costs, please explain this clearly under proposed programme on the proposal tab.
It is advised that travel costs should be clearly justified; that the length of time for which subsistence is sought should be justified in the application; that per diem rates should be explained; that hourly or monthly rates of research assistants should be specified; and that the period of employment needed for a research assistant should be fully justified. If a claim for child or parental care is included, please supply sufficient justification for the case to be assessed.
Per diem rates: The Academy will normally offer no more than £2,000 per month for subsistence away from home, or a maximum daily rate of £100 for shorter visits, to include food, accommodation and local daily travel. If you are going to be requesting more than this, we ask that you make your case and explain the reasons for this. Applicants are asked to quote realistic daily rates, bearing in mind that the Academy reserves the right to reduce the amount requested if it is thought excessive. In all cases the Academy is looking to ensure value for money.
In cases where funds are sought for the costs of illustrative material, please note that if there is an agreement for commercial publication, further information may be sought about the general finances for the volume(s). Requests for reproduction fees (for text or image) will only be considered if a publishing contract is in place.
Please note that no payments can be made to the principal investigator or co-applicant(s) either for their own salary costs or for replacement teaching.
Please note that grants are cash-limited, and there is no scope for supplementation of an award. Projects should be fully costed from the outset.
Please do not use ‘£’ signs in the amount boxes.
The British Academy has established partnerships with a number of other funders (both government and other organisations) to provide support for specific areas of research. This support is delivered through the Small Grants programme. If your research is relevant to one of these areas, you can indicate the relevance of your proposal to the appropriate fund by entering the name in this field.
Please note that all applications are considered on their merits equally, and it is not guaranteed that awards will be made simply because of the suitability of the subject area.
In this round of competition for BA/Leverhulme Small Research Grants, all applicants will automatically be considered for funding either from the public funding or the Leverhulme Trust funding, and no preference need be expressed by the applicant. The funding is expected to be equally available from both sources and no advantage may be obtained by indicating any preference.
The other funds available to be distributed in addition to these main sources of funding include the following special funds:
- Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences (SASS) – collaborative research in any field of humanities or social sciences between a UK-based scholar and a Chinese-based scholar. Please note it is essential that intending applicants for support under the partnership also submit the application to the Bureau of International Cooperation of SASS
- Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) – collaborative research in any field of humanities or social sciences between a UK-based scholar and a Chinese-based scholar. Please note it is essential that intending applicants for support under the partnership also submit the application to the Bureau of International Cooperation of CASS.
- British Accounting and Finance Association – research in the fields of accounting finance, broadly interpreted to cover all aspects of historical and contemporary research in relevant subjects.
- Honor Frost Foundation– research in the fields of maritime archaeology and cultural heritage.
- Journal of Moral Education Trust– research in the fields of moral education, moral psychology, moral philosophy and ethics, civics and citizenship education and subjects bearing on how human beings engage or disengage with moral life.
- Philosophy of Education Society of Great Britain – research in the fields of philosophy that bears on educational questions and issues.
- Sino-British Fellowship Trust – funds individual or collaborative projects in Britain or China with preference applications that will help to achieve sustainable development regarding environmental issues and pollution.
- Society for the Advancement of Management Studies – research in the fields of management and business studies.
- The Wellcome Trust – research on health and wellbeing-related themes.
The following endowed funds also provide support in this round
- 44th International Congress of Americanists – research involving travel to/from Latin America.
- Ancient Persia Fund – research in the study of Ancient Persia and related areas in Central Asia in the period before the coming of Islam.
- Elisabeth Barker Fund – research in the field of recent European history, particularly the history of central and eastern Europe.
- Browning Fund – research, or its publication, in the field of British history in the early modern period and particularly the 17th Century.
- Gertrude Caton-Thompson Fund – archaeological research, in the field or in publication, by a Fellow of the British Academy.
- Neville Chittick Fund – archaeological research and discovery.
- Marc Fitch Fund – research in any area of the humanities or social sciences.
- William Hepburn Buckler Memorial Fund – research in the history and antiquities of Asia Minor and Cyprus in the classical Greek, Roman, or Byzantine periods.
- Elie Kedourie Memorial Fund – research in the study of Middle Eastern and modern European history, and the history of political thought.
- Moir Fund – research in the field of scientific archaeology.
- Albert Reckitt Archaeological Fund – archaeological exploration and excavation of ancient sites in any part of the world.
Please also continue to refer to Special Funds as it is possible that further private funding may become available in future.
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 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® GMS well in advance of the deadline for the submission of your application.
Please enter all the details of your referee by clicking ‘Contributors’ tab on the Application’s ‘Summary’ page. Please click on the ‘Invite’ button, enter the referee’s email address and then click ‘Send Invitation’.
Please note that the reference must be submitted into the British Academy Flexi-Grant® GMS 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 formal deadline for the submission of your application.
Please be aware that the deadline as it appears to the referee is the same deadline as the submission of your application, and you also need to allow time for approval to be given by your employing organisation. Please note this deadline is final.
Your referee should be familiar with your project and able to comment on its significance and feasibility, and on your abilities. 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 and from outside the employing institution of your co-applicant(s), if any.
Before listing your referee on your application form, you should seek permission from them that they are happy to provide this by the deadline. 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.
We strongly advise that you alert your referee as early as possible to allow them enough time to provide their reference in the system. Note that the deadline shown to the referee is the deadline for the whole application to be submitted. The application needs to be approved before the same deadline, and it cannot be submitted for approval before the reference is submitted.
An application cannot be considered for an award unless the proposal and reference have been submitted on time.
Please note that references must be provided through the British Academy Flexi-Grant® GMS, they cannot be provided as an email attachment nor sent by post in hard copy. Any references received after the deadline, or outside of the system, or by another academic at the same institution as you or a co-applicant(s) will not be accepted, and your application will be withdrawn from this competition.
The Academy will only process complete, submitted applications.
Once you have submitted your application for approval by your host organisation, automatic emails will be sent to your host organisation approver asking them to log on to the system. You will not be able to edit your application after it has been submitted to your host organisation for approval. The host organisation approver will either: approve and submit your application, ‘send back’ your application and contact you to request modifications or decline your application and contact you.
Please be aware that it is your responsibility to ensure that you complete your application in time for your host organisation to process it (including requesting changes) and provide their approval by the closing date. It is recommended that you allow at least five working days for this process, but please check with your proposed host institution as their internal timetables may require earlier submission.
If your host organisation approver requests modifications through the British Academy Flexi-Grant® GMS email facility, they can unlock your application, allowing you to edit it. They can do this by selecting ‘Return to Applicant’. An automatic e-mail will be sent to you alerting you of this fact. Once you have completed and saved the requested changes, please re-submit your application for approval by your host organisation.
Once your host organisation has approved your application and submitted it to the British Academy it will not be possible to make any changes.
Please note that once the closing date has passed, host organisation approvers cannot approve applications and submit them to the British Academy; unapproved applications are removed from consideration. No late applications will be accepted.
It is recommended that you check that your application is submitted in time. To see the details of the host 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.
Assessment criteria: 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 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, the presentation, and intended outcomes.
Assessors will evaluate the ability of the applicant(s) 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 be taken into account in assessing the current proposal.
The primary assessment of quality will be based on the specific research objective of the proposal, and whether the methodology and research programme outlined are likely to lead to successful achievement of the objective. The details of how the objective will be achieved - whether through research visits, use of research assistance, workshops, or any combination of eligible activities/costs - will be assessed only in relation to each individual application. No preference will be shown between individual or collaborative modes of research. There are no quotas for different types of application, and no comparisons will be made across applications on the grounds of their operational and financial specifications. For projects involving partners from other countries, assessors may take into account the availability of partner funding: in cases where partner funding is likely to be scarce, assessors may give priority to those projects which are likely to contribute to capacity building and lead to benefits for the wider scholarly community.
Assessors may consider 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 considered 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.
NB. The administration of the scheme is undertaken solely by the British Academy and all aspects of the application process, assessment process and award management is undertaken by the Academy.
The British Academy is undertaking an academic trial of random allocation of awards in parallel to the normal peer review assessment of applications for this round of Small Grants. By submitting an application in this round you will be deemed to have given consent for data from your application (excluding personal identifying information) to be shared with the academic partners working with the Academy on this trial. We would like to emphasise that the decision on whether or not an award will be offered at the end of the assessment process will be decided by the Academy’s Research Awards Committee on the basis of the full normal assessment process as laid out in the flow chart. The parallel study of random allocation of awards is being undertaken purely as an academic exercise and will not play any part in the assessment and decision process. This is being undertaken in order to inform the British Academy’s future understanding of such approaches and the findings of the academic study will be published after the trial has been completed. Any applicant who has questions about this should contact the Head of Research Funding at the British Academy, Dr Ken Emond, using the email address firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please see the flowchart below for an overview of the application to award process.
Once your application has been submitted, complete with the reference, and it has been approved, you will not be contacted again by the British Academy until the decisions have been made. You can track the progress of your application by logging in again to the Flexi-Grant system at any time. Results are issued by email.
Applicants in any doubt about their eligibility or any other aspect of their application are advised to contact the Research Funding Office at the Academy, where staff will be pleased to assist.
The British Academy
10-11 Carlton House Terrace
London SW1Y 5AH
Due to remote working we recommend contacting us by email only
Deadline for application submission and organisation approval: 5pm (UK time) 2 June 2021
Results announced by email to address on application: 31 August 2021
Table 1: items eligible for funding from Small Research Grants (the case made must be explicitly approved by the Academy)
Travel and maintenance away from home
Consumables (i.e. purchase of datasets, photocopies, microfilms, etc., and any other minor items that will be used up)
Specialist software (excluding commonly available office packages)
Costs of interpreters in the field
Organisation of workshops to advance the research (if part of the approved programme of work)
Short-term consultancy or salary costs of expert staff
The costs of preparing illustrations
Yes ( The case made must be explicitly approved by the Academy.)
Incidental translation expenses
Yes (The case made must be explicitly approved by the Academy.)
Attendance at conferences either in the UK or abroad to disseminate results of research
Small scale participant incentives e.g. vouchers
Care for children or other relatives where this is unavoidable
Computer hardware, including laptops, electronic notebooks, digital cameras etc.
Books and publications
Permanent resources and equipment or any elements that should properly be ascribed to departmental or university overheads
The preparation of camera-ready copy, copy-editing, proof-reading, indexing, or any other editorial task
Subventions for direct production costs (printing, binding, distribution, marketing etc.)
Costs of publication in electronic media
Payment to the principal/ co-researcher(s) in lieu of salary, or for personal maintenance at home
Replacement teaching costs
Travel /maintenance expenses for purposes such as lecture tours, or writing up results of research