Innovation Fellowships Scheme 2022-23 Frequently Asked Questions – Route B: Policy-led (Governance, Trust and Voice)
On this page, you will find the answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) relating to the Innovation Fellowships Scheme 2022-23 – Route B: Policy-led (Governance, Trust and Voice) funding call. Please read this page and the Scheme Guidance Notes carefully.
How long is the grant period and what is the latest date I can apply to start my project?
Awards can be held for a period of 12 months. Awards are expected to commence no earlier and no later than 31 March 2023.
What is the maximum level of award paid by the British Academy for the Innovation Fellowships Scheme – Route B: Policy-led?
Route B (Policy-led) awards are on a Full Economic Costing (FEC) basis. For further guidance on FEC, please contact your organisation’s Finance or Research Office, they will be able to assist you with your application.
Applicants must enter the costs in the application form, Financial Details section, at 100% FEC. The maximum that can be claimed is £150,000 at 100%, of which the Academy will pay 80% (i.e. up to £120,000 if the full sum is requested).
There are four elements to the Full Economic Costing. The Directly Incurred Salary Costs are the costs of the time of the Lead Applicant as this is a Fellowship award. Directly Incurred Research Expenses include costs of travel and subsistence, as well as project costs. Note that there is a minimum spend expected on this research expense element of at least £12,500 at 100% FEC (£10,000 at 80% British Academy contribution). The other elements are Directly Allocated (Estates) Costs and Indirect Costs which cover costing for space, central support services and other necessary costs incurred by the employing institution in supporting the Fellow.
How do I apply?
Applications can only be submitted online using the British Academy’s Flexi-Grant® Grant Management System (GMS). 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.
Will the Innovation Fellowships Scheme (Routes A & B) be run again?
Yes, our current expectation is that this scheme will be offered annually following the successful pilot run in 2021-22.
How do you define being an ‘early-career/mid-career researcher’?
For the Innovation Fellowships Scheme, we welcome and encourage applications from researchers who consider themselves to be early-career or mid-career researchers. Applicants do not have to fit within a certain time-frame since their PhD in order to prove their career-stage. However, applicants must self-define their career stage and demonstrate this accordingly in their applications. Typically, it can be defined as within 15 years of being awarded your PhD (although this will be interpreted flexibly to accommodate any career breaks, parental/caring leave or non-traditional career trajectories). However, this typical definition is a guide only. Applicants may self-define their career stage as they see fit.
I have just completed my PhD. Can I apply for a Fellowship?
The Academy welcomes applications from recent postdoctoral scholars. You must be resident in the United Kingdom with a current long-term appointment that will continue for at least as long as the period of the award at a UK-based institution (e.g. a Higher Education Institution [HEI] or Independent Research Organisation [IRO]). If your organisation is not currently registered on the Academy’s grant management system, Flexi-Grant, please contact us via [email protected] to discuss possible registration. Please note that applications from independent researchers cannot be accepted in this round of the scheme.
I am an early-career/mid-career researcher in an established post at a UK institution, but I do not have a doctorate. Am I eligible to apply for an Innovation Fellowship?
If you are able to make a case that your career experience is equivalent to that of PhD level and you are in an established position at a UK-based institution (e.g. a Higher Education Institution [HEI] or Independent Research Organisation [IRO]), then you will be eligible to apply. However, we recommend that you make reference to this under the ‘Personal Statement’ part of application form so that the assessors are fully informed.
I am employed at my university on a part-time contract – am I eligible to apply for an Innovation Fellowship or are only full-time researchers eligible?
Applications are accepted from researchers currently employed on both full and part-time contracts (i.e. anything less than 1.0 FTE). An applicant who works part-time would need to be supported by their employing institution to be able to devote sufficient time (a minimum of 0.4 FTE) to enable the purposes of the award to be fulfilled.
I am on a full-time contract but only wish to dedicate and charge part of my time to the Fellowship. Can the overall cost of the award be shared with funding from another body on a part-time basis?
Yes, providing there is no duplication of costs. We are only expecting to pay for the time of the award holder between 0.4 and 0.8 FTE, and therefore for the remainder of the time the applicant is able to carry on other duties. It is not expected that funding from another body will be required to add to the British Academy’s contribution.
If a member of staff is on a fixed term contract which covers the proposed period of the Fellowship, would such a person be eligible to apply for the scheme?
Yes. It is essential, however, that the period of the contract covers the whole proposed period of the Fellowship. The purpose of the scheme is to allow successful applicants to obtain time freed from their normal teaching and administrative commitments. If the member of staff’s current contract ends during the proposed Fellowship period, or before it starts, but there is a commitment from the University or other organisation to renew the contract, then also, yes, the applicant would be eligible.
Is the salary element of the Innovation Fellowship funding intended for the award-holder or for teaching replacement?
The basis of the Innovation Fellowship is that the Fellowship is offered on the Full Economic Costing model, under which costs are calculated on the basis of the salary of the Innovation Fellows themselves. The Innovation Fellow must commit between 0.4 and 0.8 FTE time to the Fellowship, providing justification for the time percentage as part of the application, especially if the time commitment is below 0.5 FTE. In agreeing to support the award, the institution is agreeing to enable the Innovation Fellow to have the time to concentrate on the programme of knowledge exchange or communication set out in the original application. How the employing institution uses the money awarded for the Fellowship is up to the institution. The Academy is not paying specifically for a replacement, so we cannot insist on a full-time teaching replacement being appointed, but it would be good if an opportunity (albeit a short-term one) was opened up for an early-career appointment as a result. All the Academy needs to be assured about at the end of the Fellowship is that the programme of knowledge exchange and activity has been carried out as planned, and that teaching and other commitments did not impact the Fellowship.
I have applied for an Innovation Fellowship, but I will be taking up a new post at another institution shortly. Are these Fellowships transferrable, and if I was offered a Fellowship could I take it with me?
Yes, these Fellowships are transferrable and if your application is successful then we will advise you on what you need to do in order to take the Fellowship with you to your new institution.
Am I eligible to submit applications to more than one Academy scheme at the same time?
There must be no duplication of funding for the same purpose. Applicants may not hold more than one British Academy award of a comparable nature at any one time. For example, it would not be possible to hold two British Academy Fellowship awards at the same time; but it may be possible to hold a British Academy Fellowship and a British Academy grant (i.e. Talent Development Award or BA/Leverhulme Small Research Grant) at the same time.
Please note that an application cannot be accepted if there is a report outstanding on any previous research grant awarded by the Academy to the Lead Applicant 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.
I have submitted an application for Route A (Researcher-led) of the Innovation Fellowships Scheme and am waiting for the result/have been unsuccessful. Am I permitted to apply for Route B (Policy-led) of the Innovation Fellowships Scheme?
Yes, you are permitted to apply through both routes, but you cannot be successful via both routes, i.e. hold an Innovation Fellowship for both Route A and Route B at the same time.
Can I only select one partner (ONS/DLUHC) for the Route B: Policy-led (Governance, Trust and Voice) funding call?
Applicants are advised that they may only apply to work with one partner (either ONS or DLUHC). Their current expertise may be relevant to more than one of the relevant areas of interest in which their chosen partner is inviting applications, but they are advised that they must pick at least one topic from one partner to indicate their relevant expertise in this field. If they wish to indicate secondary interest in another of that partner's interests that is possible, but not essential.
Which levels of security clearance are needed for each partner (ONS/DLUHC) and who can I contact for more details about nationality queries?
For security reasons, and in line with ONS and DLUHC policy, successful applicants will have to be security cleared before the final arrangements for a Fellowship can be confirmed. The level of security clearance required for the ONS Fellowships is ‘Security Check’. The level of security clearance required for the DLUHC Fellowships is ‘Counter Terrorism Clearance’ level. This will need to be processed once an offer has been made to the successful candidate and the formal confirmation will be contingent on the person obtaining this level of clearance. UK nationality is not required, but applicants will need to have a minimum of two years residence, including 12 months of continuous residence in the UK in the preceding five years. Successful applicants must have permission to work in the UK and undertake all work while in the UK. Applicants who are not UK nationals can find more information on nationality requirements on the gov.uk website, and must contact the Department they wish to work with before applying since there may be country specific security limitations that would prevent access to the necessary material and make a successful Fellowship impossible. For ONS, applicants may contact Sheila Powell at [email protected]. For DLUHC, applicants may contact Maria O'Beirne at Maria.O'[email protected]. Loss of clearance during the Fellowship period, for example, due to personal conduct, will risk termination of the secondment. All security clearance decisions are personal to the applicant and depend on a range of factors.
What happens after my application is submitted with regards to security checks by the government partner organisation (either ONS or DLUHC)?
We will explore with the Lead Applicant when the award is offered, the start of the award and the security check required by the partner (ONS/DLUHC); with offering the maximum flexibility for us, the award-holder and the partner organisation.
Does my referee have to be based in the UK?
No. Your reference may be obtained from a person based within or outside the UK, but must be submitted in English. If a reference is not submitted in English, it will not be accepted and may render the application ineligible.
I am the Head of Department at my UK institution (HEI or IRO), what do I do?
If you are the Lead Applicant and also Head of Department at your HEI or IRO, another suitable individual is required to provide the statement of support, e.g. Deputy Head or Head of School.
I am unable to provide a letter on the requested letterheaded paper; what should I do?
We realise that not all applicants or academics will have access to the requested letterheaded paper. As long as the reference is provided by an easily identifiable Academic or Head of Department and contact details are provided, we will accept these references on a non-letterheaded paper.
What kinds of activities and outputs can I include?
Successful candidates will be selected on the basis of the quality and relevance of the activity and outputs proposed in the application. Award-holders will be expected to play a role in promoting the approaches and methods that are the focus of their award in their own academic environments and the Government Department they are working in. Expected activities and outputs will be specific to the policy areas and departmental teams the Fellow will be working with and can involve, but are not limited to:
- Evidence notes/policy briefings – reports, notes and responses to key challenges/approaches for developing connections with policy leaders or innovators;
- Data analysis – identifying and analysing datasets that may be relevant to enhancing understanding and framing new solutions;
- Case studies – exploring practical or policy-orientated solutions, engagement between academic and non-academic environments and the wider benefits to individuals/communities/regions;
- Briefings/blogs/presentations /podcasts/videos and other outputs to reach a variety of policy audiences and environments;
- Conferences/workshops/webinars/toolkits and other training opportunities which enable knowledge exchange with a wider academic and policy audience.
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 the ‘Research Expertise in Chosen Area of Interest’ question – you cannot upload this as an additional document.
Can I include publications that are under submission?
Yes. You may include publications that are under submission, but you should make this clear in the application form.
Where does the ownership/intellectual property of this award reside?
Unless stated otherwise, the ownership of British Academy-funded intellectual property (IP), and responsibility for its identification, protection, management and exploitation, rests with the employing institution.
I am unable to obtain ethical approval for this project until funding for this award is guaranteed, is this an issue?
No, this not an issue. The Academy will be in touch with you in due course to follow-up. Appropriate ethical approval will need be obtained before the award can proceed.
Do I need to have a partnership agreement in place?
It is good practice to have a partnership agreement, and the Academy strongly encourages applicants to have a partnership agreement in place, i.e. to clarify roles, responsibilities and intellectual ownership/IP. The Academy is not able to provide a template or provide further guidance on partnership agreements, but encourages applicants to seek further assistance from the institution's Research Office about this.
When I apply for funding through any of the schemes 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 costs of publication are not eligible 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.
Is Apprenticeship Levy an eligible cost?
No, this is currently not an eligible cost and should not be included in the Final Expenditure Statement.
How do I invite a Referee/Head of Department?
To invite a Referee/Head of Department, go to the summary page of your application, click into the ‘Contributors’ tab (next to the ‘Application’ tab). In this section you then need to click ‘Invite’ next to Referee/Head of Department. You will then be prompted to add the Referee’s/Head of Department’s details and they will be sent an automatic invitation email.
My Referee/Head of Department has not received their invitation, what should I do?
Please make sure that your Referee/Head of Department is logging into the email address to which you have sent the invitation. The email may have gone into their spam folder. If these steps do not work, please log back in and send another reminder to your Referee/Head of Department. We advise that all contributors and supporting participants submit their contributions at least five days before of the application deadline, 16 January 2023 (12:00 GMT).
I am unable to see the submit button on the application form, what should I do?
You will not be able to submit your application until you have completed each section in full. All of your contributors will need to complete and submit their sections. You will be able to see whether they have submitted their sections by looking at the “Contributors” tab; if they have submitted their sections, it will say “Complete” next to their name. Once all sections have been completed, a “Submit for Organisation Approval” button will appear on your application form.
Another issue can be that the research support is not completed and can be revoked in order to submit the application as research support is not necessary for this application form.
You should submit your application for approval by your employing institution at least five working days before the closing date to allow for your employing institution administrative procedures. You should also check whether your institution has its own internal deadlines. We strongly advise that you contact your Referee/Head of Department as early as possible to avoid any last-minute issues before the submission deadline.
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 employing institution.
I have another question, who should I contact?
If you cannot find the answer to your question in the FAQs, the Scheme Guidance Notes or on our website, please email your query to [email protected] and a member of the team will respond.