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Funding boost for next generation of humanities and social sciences researchers

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Researchers in the humanities and social sciences will benefit from £500,000 a year in small research grants for the next five years, thanks to the generous support of the Leverhulme Trust.

The Leverhulme Trust’s contribution to the British Academy’s Small Research Grant scheme will provide around 60 additional researchers each year with funding of up to £10,000.

British Academy/Leverhulme Small Research Grants are unique in their flexibility; researchers apply for assistance with research expenses, for example, to pay for a travel to a workshop or to pilot new ideas. They provide crucial support for early career researchers, allowing them to leverage in other forms of funding, as well as supporting more established researchers to test ‘proof of concept’ ideas.

Applicants come from a diverse range of backgrounds and from a range of UK institutions. In 2017, 57% of Small Research Grants were awarded to women. 11% were awarded to applicants from a BME background.

Supported by the Leverhulme Trust since 2012, Small Research Grants are the British Academy’s most popular scheme.

Professor Dawn Chatty received a Small Research Grant in 2013 for a pilot study into perceptions and aspirations of refugees from Syria in Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan.  She went on to be elected a Fellow of the British Academy in 2015.

Professor Chatty said: “The grant came at a critical time for me as I was eager to commence this research which I felt was extremely time-sensitive. The award gave me the opportunity to conduct a significant number of interviews in Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon. I was also able to combine the grant with several other grants and engagements in the region and thus collected much valuable data. I am still working on this topic and have applied for further funding from other sources to continue this research.”      

Alun Evans, Chief Executive of the British Academy, said: “The British Academy and the Leverhulme Trust share a commitment to funding the very best, wherever it is found, in the humanities and social sciences. Small research grants give outstanding researchers the freedom to undertake original projects of the highest quality and provide flexible financial assistance for early-career and established academics.

“We are grateful for the continuing support of the Leverhulme Trust and look forward to working together to support the next cohort of excellent academics.”

Professor Gordon Marshall, Director of the Leverhulme Trust said: “These grants recognise the importance of smaller awards for many researchers working in the humanities and the social sciences. They allow the British Academy to attract significant matching funds and have, over the years, provided the first step into research which has gone on to shape academic careers and whole fields of study. Working in partnership in this way helps the Trust to fulfill its ambition to provide a comprehensive suite of funding opportunities for talented researchers working in the UK.”

Small Research Grants are made up to the value of £10,000 and are tenable for up to 24 months. For more information, visit the British Academy website.

7 fascinating research projects made possible by the British Academy/Leverhulme Small Research Grants 

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