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British Academy secures additional funding for the next generation of scholars

Press release •

An additional £10m of Government funding announced today will further outstanding research in the humanities and social sciences from the very best researchers in the UK and overseas.

£10m of the Government’s Global Talent Fund will support 40 additional British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowships for early career academics in the humanities and social sciences over the next four years.

In addition, an allocation from the Government’s Rutherford Fund will support the opening of a new round of British Academy Visiting Fellowships this year, which will allow world-leading overseas academics to study at UK institutions and forge international partnerships.

For over thirty years the British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship scheme has enabled early career academics to undertake a piece of outstanding research and develop their experience in UK universities.

For every £1 invested in this research, on average a further £4 is generated from other sources. Postdoctoral Fellowships ending within the last two years have gained a minimum of £12m in additional extra funding. 70% of the scheme’s alumni are now in permanent academic posts.

The new funding will increase the number of Postdoctoral Fellowships offered by the British Academy this year from 45 to 85.

Welcoming today’s announcement, President of the British Academy Professor Sir David Cannadine commented:

“This funding recognises the critical role that researchers in the humanities and social sciences play in understanding the global challenges of our time, from Brexit to climate change; boosting productivity to an ageing society. Addressing these issues relies on the very best research and innovation from collaboration across disciplines.

“Talented researchers across all subjects and from around the world will help drive the productivity this country needs. Some of the flourishing sectors and success stories of our economy are within the creative, innovative and professional services, which rely heavily on the humanities and social sciences. Our research base is world class and this funding is critical to maintain this position.”

The British Academy offers a range of other international research funding schemes, including through the Government’s Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF), which harnesses the power of UK research to tackle issues such as sustainable development and building sustainable cities and infrastructure.

Notes to Editors

  1. For information about the Global Talent Fund, contact the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy: Alastair Clifton, Tel: 020 7215 5937/07880 504275.
  2. The British Academy is the UK's national body for the humanities and social sciences – the study of peoples, cultures and societies, past, present and future. We have three principal roles: as an independent Fellowship of world-leading scholars and researchers; a Funding Body that supports new research, nationally and internationally; and a Forum for debate and engagement – a voice that champions the humanities and social sciences. For more information, please visit www.britishacademy.ac.uk.
    Follow the British Academy on Twitter @britac_news.
  3. For further information, images and interviews please contact the British Academy Press Office on press@britac.ac.uk or 020 7969 5273.
  4. British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowships offer outstanding early career researchers in the humanities and social sciences the opportunity to strengthen their experience of research and teaching in a university environment, which improves their prospects of obtaining permanent lecturing posts by the end of the Fellowship. The primary emphasis is on completion of a significant piece of publishable research.
  5. The British Academy’s Visiting Fellowships will provide world-leading academics in the humanities and social sciences at all career stages the opportunity to study at UK institutions and work with colleagues based here in order to develop new collaborations and deepen existing partnerships across the whole world. The Fellowships illustrate the Academy’s profound commitment to international engagement and ensuring that the UK remains an attractive and welcoming place for academics globally.
  6. On average, the value of subsequent awards won by British Academy Postdoctoral Fellows is four times that of the original funding from the Postdoctoral Fellowship.