SHAPE Involve and Engage

We are delighted to announce the call for applications for a pilot programme for innovative public engagement from the British Academy.
Career stage
Early-career, Established researcher, Mid-career, Postdoctoral or equivalent research, Senior researcher
Scheme opens date
10 May 2023
Deadline date
28 Jun 2023 - 17:00 BST
Duration of award
Any length, provided activity is delivered between October 2023 and October 2024
Contact details

If you have any questions about the application process, please contact the Events Team:

Email: [email protected]

Phone: +44 (0)20 7969 5340

For technical questions about Flexi-Grant, you can also contact: [email protected]

The British Academy is pleased to launch a pilot funding scheme to support ambitious projects to engage the public with the humanities and social sciences.

These awards, up to £8,000, offer an exciting opportunity for humanities and social sciences researchers to push boundaries and seek imaginative new ways to engage with the public. We are looking for researchers from across the UK to deliver innovative public engagement projects working in partnership with a gallery, archive, library or museum (GLAM organisation).

About the scheme

This pilot programme offers the opportunity to think outside the box, test a new approach and be ambitious in your approach to engaging a public audience with your research.

As part of the programme, a ‘community of practice’ workshop will be hosted for successful applicants in early September. Alongside sessions on evaluation and working with your audiences, award holders will have the opportunity to share their plans with other workshop attendees. You will act as critical friends and sounding boards, sharing ideas, giving feedback and troubleshooting possible challenges, and forming a network of support through the duration of the project development and delivery.

Why should you apply?

The programme will:

  • Act as a catalyst to get a project or idea up and running.
  • Be an opportunity to try a new approach or work with a new audience to gain new perspectives on your research.
  • Offer the chance to build a new partnership with the cultural sector or try a new idea with an existing collaborator. The chance to work with a partner who truly adds value and makes a meaningful contribution to your project through their expertise, connections, skills or collections.
  • Allow you to make contacts and find networking opportunities with others in the research community who are interested in exploring new and innovative approaches to public engagement.

About you

We are searching for creative academics who want to experiment with their engagement work and find new ways to share their research with a public audience.

The call is open to any researcher based in the UK who meets the conditions of the call. You do not have to have received funding from the British Academy previously. Successful award recipients are expected to have some prior public engagement experience, but we welcome applicants from a diverse range of backgrounds, experiences, expertise and career stages.

Please note that if you will hold a Mid-Career Fellowship or Wolfson Fellowship which will be active between October 2023 and October 2024 you are not eligible to apply, because these awards include support for public engagement and your engagement activities should be delivered using the funding from your existing award.

Level of award

Up to £8,000.

This is a pilot programme with generous funding from the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology and is funded for 2023-24 only, though we hope to continue the scheme into the future, subject to evaluation and funding availability.

Please note that the funding provided through this scheme cannot be used to cover the cost of replacement teaching, payment in lieu of salary or computer equipment or hardware. The scheme is not covered within the FEC regime – the £8,000 awards are available to the award holder only for direct expenses to deliver the public engagement project. For full details of eligible costs, please see the scheme guidance notes, Flexi-Grant application instructions and terms and conditions.

Duration of award

The duration of the award is flexible. Proposed activities could range from a one-off event, to an ongoing series of engagement activities taking place over a number of months. However, all activities should take place between October 2023 and October 2024.

Application process

Applications can only be submitted online using the British Academy’s online Flexi-Grant® Grant Management System (GMS) system.

Please refer to the scheme guidance for more information about the awards scheme. You can also find detailed instructions for completing the application form in the Flexi-Grant application instructions. Further details about the terms of scheme, including eligible costs, can be found in the scheme terms and conditions.

Application deadline: Wednesday 28 June 2023, 17:00 GMT

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