British Academy Knowledge Frontiers: International Interdisciplinary Research Projects Frequently Asked Questions

How much is a Knowledge Frontiers: International Interdisciplinary Research Projects award worth?

This year, the total funding available for each Knowledge Frontiers: International Interdisciplinary Research Project award is £300,000 over 24 months. This amount is awarded at 80% FEC. This means that the British Academy will provide a maximum of £300,000, but the total project value at 100% FEC may not exceed £375,000.

Please note that 80% FEC is understood in the following manner:

Cost Category FEC Contribution
Directly incurred staff costs, including PI and team salary
Other directly incurred costs, including travel and consumables. 100%
Directly allocated costs, including estate costs, and indirect costs. 80%

When completing the application form, please ensure that you are only entering the 80% FEC figure in the budget table. Applicants will not be required to detail the costs covered by the host institution (i.e. the remaining 20%).

Please note that all British Academy awards are inclusive of VAT. Host institutions are not able to apply for further funds from the British Academy to cover VAT and these costs will need to be considered at the budgeting stage. Further information on the value of funding for this call can be found in the scheme notes.

How do I budget for international collaborators?

International Co-applicants who demonstrably do not use and would not use FEC modelling are exempt from the 80% FEC above.

For these partners, the costing regime used should be at 100% for direct costs and a flat rate of 25% for indirect costs. UK-based institutions expected to use FEC may not use this costing regime.

Partners in non-academic settings, including both in the UK and international, may also use the above costing regime.

Please note that institutions costed using this regime must be costed separately in the application budget table and clearly explained in the ‘Justification’ field.

I am currently applying for another British Academy grant. Will I be eligible to apply for the Knowledge Frontiers: International Interdisciplinary Research Projects award?

The British Academy does not allow award holders to hold two or more grants of a comparable nature. If you think this may apply to you, get in touch with the International Team at [email protected] and we will be happy to help.

Duplicate applications, which have been submitted to a previous round, are not eligible.

Please note that an individual cannot be the PI on more than one bid under the British Academy’s Knowledge Frontiers: International Interdisciplinary Research Programme. Nor may a PI be additionally a Co-Applicant on more than one other project.

What disciplines are considered within the humanities and social sciences?

Please find a list here of disciplines which we consider to fall within the Humanities and Social Sciences.

This list is not necessarily exhaustive, and we welcome enquiries if you are unsure whether your discipline falls within the remit of the British Academy.

What qualification is required for Principal Investigators and Co-Applicants?

For the Knowledge Frontiers: International Interdisciplinary Research Projects award, both Principal Investigators and Co-Applicants are required to have a PhD. Applicants who are awaiting the outcome of their viva or the submission of corrections will not be considered eligible.

Equivalent research experience may be sufficient where an applicant does not hold a PhD. This will look different in different contexts and will be assessed on a case-by-case basis. You should contact the International Team at [email protected] to check your eligibility before applying if you do not have a PhD but feel you can demonstrate equivalent research experience.

What qualifies as an Early Career Researcher (ECR) for this award?

This year, the Knowledge Frontiers: International Interdisciplinary Research Projects award is open to early career researchers in any discipline across the humanities and social sciences.

All proposals must include a Principal Investigator who is an ECR, as well as at least one international Co-Applicant who is also an ECR.

For this call, an applicant will be classified as an ECR if they are 7 years post-PhD (not including any career breaks). This is dated as 7 years from the deadline for this call (01/11/23), i.e. November 2016.

I am an ECR, but I took a career break – am I still eligible to apply?

The British Academy recognises that individual researchers will have had different opportunities to balance their research with other commitments during their career (e.g. parental or medical leave).

If you believe that particular circumstances apply in your case, applicants are recommended to contact the British Academy in advance of applying to discuss their eligibility as an ECR: [email protected]

Do I need a contract to apply for this award?

All PIs and Co-Applicants to the Knowledge Frontiers: International Interdisciplinary Research Projects programme are expected to be employed and hold a contract for the duration of the award. PIs must be employed by a university or similar research institution.

Please note that we are not prescriptive about the nature of this contract, and it can be part-time, honorary, etc. This means that, for example, emeritus professors would be eligible to be included as part of applications.

In cases where researchers’ contracts are due to end before the end date of the award, the British Academy will require a letter from the respective institution confirming that, if the project proposal is successful, they will extend the researcher’s contract to cover the duration of the award. If an application is successful, then the British Academy will require to see proof of the contract being in place before any award can be offered.

Can the PI and a Co-Applicant be from the same institution?

The British Academy welcomes applications with PIs and Co-Applicants from the same institution. Applicants will, however, wish to take note of the call requirements to demonstrate international interdisciplinarity, new thinking, and novel research.

At least one of the 6 potential Co-Applicants must be an early career researcher who is based overseas.

Does a Co-Applicant’s university or institution need to be registered on Flexi-Grant?

For this programme, the British Academy only requires the PI’s host institution to be registered on Flexi-Grant. The host will be required to act as the approving institution for the application prior to submission to the British Academy.

Co-Applicants have space to detail their home institution in the application form, but these institutions will not need to be registered on Flexi-Grant.

How do I register my institution as a PI?

If you are the PI for a Knowledge Frontiers: International Interdisciplinary Research Project application and your home institution is not registered on Flexi-Grant, please contact the International Team: [email protected]

Please note that certain colleges or institutions may be located under broader institutional classifications.

Will the British Academy put me in contact with a UK institution?

The British Academy is not able to assist with locating or facilitating contact with UK host institutions.

Can I include Co-Applicants who are not early career researchers?

Provided that the project includes at least one Co-Applicant who is an early career researcher based overseas, proposals may include other researchers at all career stages.

Does the international Co-Applicant in my application need to relocate to the UK as part of a successful application?

There is no requirement for international Co-Applicants to relocate to the UK as part of successful Knowledge Frontiers: International Interdisciplinary Research Projects applications.

Please also note that only Co-Applicants based in a UK institution would be eligible to take over the leadership of a project if the PI were to leave their role.

Can a Knowledge Frontiers: International Interdisciplinary Research Projects application include partners from non-academic backgrounds?

Applications for the Knowledge Frontiers: International Interdisciplinary Research Projects award may include any number of ‘Other Participants’ who can be used to support the project alongside the PI and Co-Applicants. These can be a variety of different stakeholders relevant to the project, including in terms of networking, dissemination events, academic and/or policy advisors, or industry representatives etc.

Please note that these other participants may also be budgeted for, as indicated by page 22 of the scheme notes: “Applicants may apply for short-term consultancy or salary costs for expert staff, or short periods of research assistance”.

Academic partners in the project who do not have institutional affiliation should also be included under this heading.

How do I share an application on Flexi-Grant?

Applications for this award must be started by the PI. Other contributors – such as Finance Officers – can be invited to complete the relevant sections of the application. These contributors will need to be registered in the British Academy’s Flexi-Grant system. Once you have their registered Flexi-Grant email address you will be able to share the application with them.

Please note that all sections of an application must be marked as complete before it can be submitted.

How should I plan a two-year research project?

The British Academy acknowledges that these are substantial projects and, whilst we are looking to fund ambitious projects, feasibility is an important element of assessment. We recommend discussing your planned timetable of work with your research institution, particularly making account for the administrative processes involved in the set-up of international research projects.

What provision is allowed for parental leave and long-term sickness?

The British Academy aims to be flexible in managing awards around parental responsibilities, childcare, long-term sickness absences and disability. Please see point 20.c of the scheme notes for more information.

Further funding for applicants who have additional needs, or face barriers to application, can be applied for under the British Academy’s Additional Needs Funding scheme.

Are childcare costs eligible as part of this award?

Childcare costs are eligible as part of this award. Please see point 20.d of the scheme notes for full details.

If there is a need over and above what is provided by the budget for this award, applicants are welcome to apply for further support through the British Academy’s Additional Needs Funding.

Will International partners in my application require a visa to participate?

All non-UK nationals, except for Irish citizens, are subject to UK visas and immigration rules. Visa applications are an eligible cost for this award.

Please discuss with the relevant department of the UK host institution if you have specific queries relating to visas.

What costs are eligible as part of a Knowledge Frontiers: International Interdisciplinary Research Projects application?

Eligible costs are outlined in points 31 and 32 of the Knowledge Frontiers: International Interdisciplinary Research Projects scheme notes, and you should refer to these in the first instance.

If you would like to discuss a cost that you believe is not covered by in the scheme notes, then please contact the British Academy: [email protected]

Are creative outputs eligible as part of the Knowledge Frontiers: International Interdisciplinary Research Projects award?

Outputs involving creative practice are welcome but will be considered to fall within the Academy's remit only when they form part of an integrated project of critical or historical significance.

I have forgotten my Flexi-Grant account details.

If you have forgotten your login details for Flexi-Grant, or are having difficulties accessing the platform, please email the British Academy International Team: [email protected]

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