Talent Development Awards: frequently asked questions

Scheme overview

What are the Talent Development Awards?

The aim of the Talent Development Awards is to promote the building of skills and capacities for current and future generations, including in core areas like quantitative skills, interdisciplinarity, data science, digital humanities and languages. This scheme aims to promote the acquisition and advancement of skills in relevant areas by UK based researchers in the humanities and social sciences, promoting innovative research methods, be that through skills development, collaboration or dissemination. The awards will in particular be valuable to researchers wishing to pilot new methods and approaches in order to apply for larger grants in the longer term or develop new international partnerships. Intended applicants are encouraged to be creative in their thinking about how these awards can best help advance their research ideas, including through collaborative, partnership working.

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. The awards are for a fixed period of one year, starting from no earlier than January 2022.

What is the latest date I can apply to start my project?

The award must start between 1 January 2022 and 31 March 2022.

How do I apply?

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

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.

NB Postgraduate students are not eligible to apply for grant support from the Academy, and 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.

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.

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. The scheme is intended for established researchers with a permanent or long-term contract at a UK HEI or IRO. Eligible applicants must be ordinarily resident in the United Kingdom.

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?

Duplicate applications for the same purpose to more than one Academy scheme will not be accepted.

Please note the following:

  • A Newton International Fellowship co-applicant can apply to this scheme providing there is no duplication of costs (e.g. if the co-applicant or research partner was the Newton International Fellow).
  • You can apply to both this scheme and the BA/Leverhulme Small Research Grant but cannot be successful in both as the purposes for which the funding might be awarded are similar.
  • You can apply to both this scheme and the Mid-Career Fellowship Scheme but cannot be successful in both as the Mid-Career Fellowship Scheme includes some research expenses. You cannot apply for a different project as the Mid-Career Fellowship Scheme buys 100% of your time.
  • You can apply to both this scheme and the Postdoctoral Fellowship Scheme providing there is no duplication of costs.
  • Providing it is for the same project, it is acceptable to apply for a BA/Leverhulme Senior Research Fellowship at the same time, and to hold both awards if successful in both schemes, as there will be no duplication of costs.


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 academics whose research 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 Principal Investigator.

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. Other participants will be beneficiaries of the activity proposed by the lead applicant and 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. Your referee must be drawn from outside your own employing institution and from outside the employing institution of your co-applicant(s), if any.

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?

In the current situation, 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.

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.

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.

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 PI.

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

If they are providing consultancy or guidance as an active part of the award, the funds can be used as a salary contribution for the Co-applicant(s).

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.


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.

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

You should submit your application for approval by your host organisation at least five working days before the closing date to allow for your host 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 home institution.

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 grants@thebritishacademy.ac.uk and a member of the team will respond.

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