Innovation Fellowships Scheme – Route A: Researcher-led

The Innovation Fellowships scheme is a dual-route scheme designed to enable researchers in the humanities and social sciences to partner with organisations and business in the creative and cultural, public, private and policy sectors in order to address challenges that require innovative approaches and solutions.
Funding status
Open for applications
Career stage
Early-career, Mid-career
Earliest start date
1 Feb 2023
Scheme opens date
13 Jul 2022
Deadline date
14 Sep 2022 - 17:00 BST
Duration of award
6 – 12 months
Contact details

grants@thebritishacademy.ac.uk

Scheme overview

The British Academy has been funded by the UK's Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to continue its support of a new scheme, the Innovation Fellowships. The Innovation Fellowships Scheme is a dual-route scheme designed to enable researchers in the humanities and social sciences to partner with organisations and business in the creative and cultural, public, private and policy sectors in order to address challenges that require innovative approaches and solutions. Both routes require an established researcher to work with a UK-based partner organisation on a specified policy or societal challenge that contributes to the aims of the scheme for a period of up to one year.

The Innovation Fellowships scheme has two routes:

Route A: Researcher-led

The British Academy is inviting applications for funding for researcher-led Innovation Fellowships (Route A), through which applicants must apply with a partner which they have identified. To learn more about Route A and apply, stay on this webpage.

Through the Innovation Fellowships, our researchers in the SHAPE community will be supported to create new and deeper links beyond academia, so enabling knowledge mobilisation and translation, as well as individual skills development. These Fellowships will forge innovative place-based partnerships to create new intellectual, cultural, community and economic opportunities that will address key societal challenges. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • developing new approaches for supporting innovation across the economy, regions, and society;
  • contributing to and leading on challenges targeted at increasing links with industry and business, broadly defined;
  • improving direct connection of researchers with policymakers, leaders and innovators at local and regional levels.

In addition to the aims outlined above, the Academy encourages researchers to indicate interest in the British Academy’s public policy themes, where relevant. The British Academy’s public policy themes address major policy and societal challenges, and build on the Academy’s Covid Decade evidence report and policy report (published in March 2020) which focus on understanding and addressing the long-term social impacts of COVID-19. The British Academy’s public policy themes are the following:

  • Sustainability for people and planet;
  • Social and cultural infrastructures;
  • Digital societies;
  • Governance, trust and voice.

Please note that further information about the British Academy’s public policy themes as above is available via our website.

The Academy is flexible in its approach to the Innovation Fellowships Scheme, and is open to researchers proposing ideas that either address challenges related to broader themes of the scheme or, more specifically, to the British Academy’s public policy themes, as outlined above. There is no advantage in choosing one theme or challenge over the others, as all are considered equally likely to be of interest and fundable if the quality of the proposal is sufficiently high.

Scheme opens date: 13 July 2022

Application deadline: 14 September 2022 – 17:00 UK time

Starting period of award: no earlier than 1 February 2023 and no later than 31 March 2023

Duration of award: awards can be held for a minimum period of six months and up to a maximum period of 12 months.

Level of award: Route A (researcher-led) awards are on a Full Economic Costing (FEC) basis. The British Academy will award up to £120,000. The Lead Applicant must commit between 0.4 and 0.8 FTE time to the Fellowship.

Eligibility: Applicants must be ordinarily resident in the UK 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 (HEI or IRO); and be at early or mid-career stage.

Applicants should apply with a named UK-based partner organisation outside the Lead Applicant’s employing institution. A partner organisation includes: business, charity and public sector organisations, community organisations, policy-relevant organisations, think tanks or voluntary organisations.

Route B: Policy-led

We recently invited applications for a policy-led Innovation Fellowship (Route B). It is expected that details of further policy partners for Route B will be released by the Academy in due course, along with specific funding calls for that route.

Scheme guidance notes and frequently asked questions

Innovation Fellowships Scheme 2022-23 – Route A: Researcher-led

For full information on the Innovation Fellowships Scheme – Route A: Researcher-led, please view our scheme guidance notes and frequently asked questions.

Further information

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