The British Academy awards a record number of Small Research Grants to support UK SHAPE research

23 May 2022

The British Academy is awarding £2.2 million to support 208 research projects throughout the UK in its latest round of Small Research Grants.

The awards will support academics working at universities and research institutions across the UK – as well as five independent scholars – studying topics ranging from the democratic role of news media during COVID-19 to the use of artificial intelligence in mental health services.

Funding for the Small Research Grants 2021-22 is provided by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the Leverhulme Trust, the Society for Advancement of Management Studies, the British Accounting and Finance Association, the Albert Reckitt Fund, the Ministry of Science and Technology in Taiwan, the Sino-British Fellowship Trust and the Journal of Moral Education Trust.

The British Academy/Leverhulme Trust Small Research Grants funding scheme awards up to £10,000 to academics working in SHAPE disciplines (Social Sciences, the Humanities and the Arts for the People and the Economy) – including disciplines such as History, Philosophy, Linguistics, Sociology and Business and Management Studies – helping to cover the cost of expenses arising from a specific research project.

In this round, 88% of grants – up from previous years – were awarded to researchers based at institutions outside of the ‘Golden Triangle’ of Oxford, Cambridge and London. This round of applications saw a 14% increase in success rate compared to 2021.

Tenable for a maximum of 24 months, the awards meet a clear need among researchers in the humanities and social sciences as they provide seed funding for pilot and development stages of larger projects and frequently offer the first grant opportunity for early career researchers.

The full list of 2021-22 Small Research Grants is published online. Examples include:

  • "How Credible are Firms' Voluntary Climate Commitments? An Empirical Analysis of Corporate Climate Action" – Dr Patrick Bayer, University of Strathclyde
  • "Academic Research Responsiveness to Ethnic Minorites and Migrants in Northern Ireland" – Dr Dina Belluigi, Queen’s University Belfast
  • "Failures of Statebuilding: Understanding the Collapse of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan" – Dr Jasmine Bhatia, Birkbeck, University of London
  • Trust and its Consequences in International Negotiations: A Study of UN Negotiators – Dr Nicola Chelotti, Loughborough University
  • "The ‘Gender Wars’ Survey: A Case Study of Working Life in Academia" – Dr Laura Favaro, City, University of London
  • "The Dark Figure of Crime: Government Research Work and the History of the British Crime Survey (1970 to the present)" – Dr Julian Molina, University of the West of Scotland.

Professor Simon Swain, the British Academy’s Vice-President for Research and Higher Education, said:

“The British Academy/Leverhulme Trust Small Research Grants are an integral part of our collaborative efforts to bolster the UK’s world-leading SHAPE (Social Sciences, Humanities and the Arts for People and the Economy) research environment. This cohort of awardees continues an established tradition of supporting diverse and engaged research, from projects examining ‘Non-Fungible Tokens’ (NFTs) to sex, censorship and visual culture in inter-war Germany. These awards will encourage innovative research and demonstrate, to a wide audience, the value of our disciplines.”

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