Talent Development Awards: frequently asked questions

Scheme Overview

What is the maximum grant amount I can apply for with the Talent Development Awards? And how long is the grant period?

The maximum grant is £10,000. Awards are to enable engagement activities to take place and are not intended as time buy-out for the award-holder. Awards can be held for a minimum period of 6 months and up to a maximum period of 12 months. Awards are expected to commence no earlier than 1 March 2024 and no later than 31 March 2024.

How do I apply?

Applications can only be submitted online using the British Academy Flexi-Grant® Grant Management System (GMS) via (https://britishacademy.flexigrant.com/). 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® GMS 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.

Applicant Eligibility

Who is eligible to apply for a Talent Development Award?

Eligible Lead Applicants must be ordinarily 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 (HEI or IRO). Applicants for the Talent Development Awards should be intending to pursue original, independent research in any field of study within the Humanities or Social Sciences. There are no quotas for individual subject areas and no thematic priorities.

Lead Applicants who do not have a doctorate may have equivalent experience, which they should define in the personal statement section. Co-applicants may be based in the UK or overseas. They may have a doctorate or equivalent experience, or other specialist knowledge as appropriate to the aims of the scheme.

N.B. Postgraduate students are not eligible to apply for grant support from the Academy, and Lead Applicants and Co-applicants are asked to confirm in the personal details section(s) that they are not currently working towards a PhD, nor awaiting the outcome of a viva voce examination, nor awaiting the acceptance of any corrections required by the examiners. Please note that applications from independent researchers cannot be accepted in this scheme.

I have just completed my PhD Can I apply for a Talent Development Award?

The Academy welcomes applications from recent postdoctoral scholars. In order to be eligible, you must have successfully passed your viva voce examination and completed any corrections. You must be ordinarily 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 institution (HEI or IRO).

I do not have a PhD Can I apply for a Talent Development Award?

We do accept applications from those who have equivalent experience, for example an individual in an established post, and/or who has teaching experience, and/or who has a track record of publications in their relevant field is eligible to apply.

The only restriction to this would be if you are currently registered as a PhD student whilst in your academic post, as PhD students are not eligible to apply.

I am not affiliated to a UK academic institution. Can I apply for funding?

No. Affiliation to a UK academic institution is a requirement for Talent Development Awards. Eligible Lead Applicants must be ordinarily 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 institution (HEI or IRO).

I am on a fixed-term employment contract, can I apply through my institution?

If your employment contract lasts the duration of your research project, or is likely to be extended, then you may apply via your institution if you wish to do so. If your employment contract will end before or during your research period, we would recommend contacting your Research Office to find out if your institution is happy to support your application and administer any potential award.

I am currently a Principal or Co-applicant on another British Academy grant. Am I eligible to apply?

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 grant awards at the same time; but it may be possible to hold a British Academy grant (i.e. Talent Development Award or BA/Leverhulme Small Research Grant) and a British Academy Fellowship at the same time, depending on the amount time required for the Fellowship.

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 or Co-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.


How do I find a Co-applicant/does the BA help me find one?

The British Academy does not help researchers find a Co-applicant. It is up to the Lead Applicant to find them. We suggest that you find people with relevant skills whose research or work clearly aligns with your own interest and to then reach out to them to see if they will support your application.

Does my Co-applicant(s) have to be based in the UK?

No, a Co-applicant can be based overseas, provided there is a UK-based Lead Applicant

I am not sure whether to list someone as a Co-applicant or other participant. What is the difference?

The Co-applicant(s) will be directly involved in the delivery of the activity that is proposed by the Lead Applicant. Lead Applicants may specify other participants who do not equate to being a Co-applicant. Other participants will be engaged in the activity proposed by the Lead Applicant, but will not be directly involved with the organisation of activity.

How many Co-applicants can my Talent Development Award have?

For the Talent Development Awards scheme, each application can have a maximum of two Co-applicants.

Nominated Referee

Does my referee have to be based in the UK?

No, references written in English from appropriate overseas referees are welcomed by the Academy. The nominated referee must not be based at the same employing institution as the Lead Applicant or Co-applicant(s), if any. The reference must be submitted in English. If a reference is not submitted in English, it will not be accepted and may render the application ineligible. Nominated references from the Lead Applicant’s former/current supervisor (including PhD supervisor) will not be accepted. The referee must not be a member of the British Academy’s Council.

What information will my referee have to provide?

Your referee is asked to respond to a series of short statements, commenting upon the potential of the award-holder to benefit from this scheme and the value that this award will bring to the award-holder’s current and future research direction and ambition.

Head of Department

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.

My Co-applicant is also my Head of Department, what do I do?

If your Co-applicant is also your 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. The statement should be dated and signed by the Academic or Head of Department.

Research Proposal

Can I include publications that are under submission?

You may include publications that are under submission, but you should make this clear in the application form.

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.

What do you mean by endangered or emerging subjects?

The definition around this is broad and typically endangered or emerging subject areas are those that are newly formed, becoming more prominent or those that are in danger of becoming lost.

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 your research proposal – you cannot upload this as an additional document.

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.

Use of Funding

Can I use the funds to pay for my salary or time?

No. Talent Development Award funds cannot be used to pay for the salary or the time of the Lead Applicant.

Can I use the funds to pay for my Co-I's salary or time?

The following is eligible: a salary contribution or payment of professional fees for the Co-applicant(s), only if they are providing consultancy for/guidance to the activity being proposed.


How do I invite a Co-applicant/referee/Head of Department?

To invite a Co-applicant/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 Co-applicant/referee/Head of Department. You will then be prompted to add the Co-applicant’s/referee’s/Head of Department’s details and they will be sent an automatic invitation email. N.B. The contributors will need to register for an account on the British Academy’s Flexi-Grant® Grant Management System (GMS) or have an account on Flexi-Grant, prior to being invited to contribute to the application.

My referee has not received their invitation, what should I do?

Please make sure that your referee 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.

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 application as research support is not necessary for this application form.

You should submit your application for approval by your employing organisation at least five working days before the closing date to allow for your employing organisation’s administrative procedures. You should also check whether your institution has its own internal deadlines. We strongly advise that you contact your referee 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 organisation.

British Academy Contact

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 the Research Funding Team will respond.

Sign up to our email newsletters