Innovation Fellowships Scheme 2023-24 Route B: Policy-Led (Local Policy and Innovation Partnership Strategic Coordination Hub) Scheme Guidance Notes

The following Scheme Guidance Notes set out the eligibility and application process of the British Academy’s Innovation Fellowships Scheme – Route B: Policy-led (Local Policy and Innovation Partnership Strategic Coordination Hub) 2023-24 competition, in partnership with ESRC, AHRC, Innovate UK, UKRI and the Local Policy and Innovation Partnership Strategic Coordination Hub located at the University of Birmingham.

Please read these Scheme Guidance Notes carefully. Any application which is incorrectly submitted will not be eligible.

Aims and purpose of the scheme

The British Academy has been funded by the UK Government, Department for Science, Innovation & Technology (DSIT, formerly known as BEIS) to continue its support for the Innovation Fellowships scheme.

The Academy’s Innovation Fellowship scheme provides funding and support for established early-career and mid-career researchers in the Humanities and Social Sciences (the SHAPE disciplines) to partner with organisations and businesses in the creative and cultural, public, private, commercial, or policy sectors that have a base in the UK, to address challenges that require innovative approaches and solutions that are relevant to the UK. Through the Innovation Fellowships, our researchers in the SHAPE community are supported to create new and deeper links beyond academia, enabling knowledge mobilisation and translation, as well as individual skills development.

The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), Innovate UK, and UK Research and Innovation have supported a £23 million Local Policy Innovation Partnerships programme, designed to support local and national policymakers in tackling levelling up challenges, driving sustainable and inclusive economic growth, and reducing regional disparities in the UK. The Local Policy Innovation Partnerships (LPIP) scheme will build cross-sector partnerships that aim to address policy challenges that matter to local people and communities by: generating insight and understanding into local challenges and opportunities, and working with stakeholders to implement evidence-informed, actionable solutions. There are two components to the LPIP scheme: Local Policy and Innovation Partnerships (the LPIPs) across the UK as well as a national, LPIP hub. The LPIP Strategic Coordination Hub is a national consortium, led by the City Region Economic and Development Institute, at the University of Birmingham. The LPIP Strategic Coordination Hub will work with the LPIPs to understand and solve local challenges around the UK through an innovative and effective service-driven approach to place-based policy making and public service delivery. It will also act as a gateway for national policymakers and government bodies to gain local insights from the LPIPs and interact with them.

ESRC, AHRC, Innovate UK and the British Academy are now collaborating to provide a 12 month Innovation Fellowship in support of the LPIP Strategic Coordination Hub. The British Academy Policy Innovation Fellowship offered under this call will focus on how the UK can develop effective multi-level governance structures which encourage participation, engagement and cooperation to strengthen our capacity to identify and respond to local, regional and national needs and the major policy challenges ahead. The Strategic Coordination Hub will work with the British Academy to shape the requirements and participate in the recruitment of the Fellow. Successful applicants will work within specific policy areas set out by the LPIP Strategic Coordination Hub. Further details about the scheme and the Hub are provided below. The closing date for applications is 28 February 2024.

Features of the scheme

The Innovation Fellowships scheme is a dual route scheme, consisting of Route A: Researcher-led and Route B: Policy-led. This call is for the Innovation Fellowships – Route B: Policy-Led (Local Policy and Innovation Partnership Strategic Coordination Hub). Route B: Policy-led Innovation Fellows will work with policy partners specified by the British Academy, which in this case is the LPIP Strategic Coordination Hub based at the City-Region Economic Development Institute (City-REDI) at the University of Birmingham.

Applying to the Scheme

For Route B: Policy-led Innovation Fellowships, applicants should set out how their experience and proposed work meets the requirements of the LPIP Hub, and how it relates to and would help bring innovative ideas to the policy area successful applicants will be working on.

The researcher’s employing institution must be a UK-based Higher Education Institution (HEI) or Independent Research Organisation (IRO). The policy partner, as outlined above, must be separate to the researcher’s employing institution. For this call, applicants who already work with City-REDI are ineligible – applicants who work for another part of the University of Birmingham, however, are eligible. If successful, the relationship with the policy partner will be managed by the researcher, i.e. the Lead Applicant, with responsibility for the success of the award residing with the Lead Applicant’s employing institution, and be conducted in line with the Terms and Conditions of Award. Only one application for this Route B: Policy-led call may be submitted. Applicants are permitted to apply for both Route A (Researcher-led) and Route B (Policy-led) Fellowships, but they cannot hold an Innovation Fellowship for both Route A and Route B simultaneously.

Person Specification

Applicants must be an early or mid-career researcher. Applicants must self-define their career stage in the application, providing further details about career breaks or other circumstances, if relevant. Applicants must be based at a UK institution (e.g. a Higher Education Institution or Independent Research Organisation) with expertise in a Humanities and/or Social Science discipline. A range of methodological approaches or perspectives may be appropriate – the requirements of the LPIP Hub are listed below.

Through the Innovation Fellowships scheme, you will have the opportunity to work in a deeply embedded way with policy and analytical teams at local, regional and national levels, across the breadth of the LPIPs, which will enable you to develop outcomes that enhance our understanding of, and response to, societal challenges, and offer solutions to shape policy and practice. You will be able to draw on the expertise and insights of policymakers, researchers across disciplines and practitioners across sectors, and benefit from their continued engagement in the project. This is an opportunity for all participants to form new collaborations and draw on the insights these bring to inform and influence future policy and research.

Applicants should be open-minded, and willing to explore new perspectives and innovative approaches. They will have an appetite for working across academia and policy. They will be challenge-driven and receptive to integrating the perspectives, needs and priorities of the LPIP Strategic Coordination Hub.

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