ISRF Flexible Grants for Small Groups Competition 2017/18

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Deadline: September 1, 2017

The Independent Social Research Foundation (ISRF) wishes to support independent-minded researchers to explore and present original research ideas which take new approaches, and suggest new solutions, to real world social problems. Such work would be unlikely to be funded by existing funding bodies. The foundation intends to award on a competitive basis, to candidates of sufficient merit, a small number of grants providing flexible support (for instance: relief from teaching and/or administration, research and travel expenses, fieldwork and practical work) for a period of (up to) one year for the activities of a small research group.

Grant

  • The amount of an award depends on the nature of the work proposed and individual circumstances – the ISRF expects applications for grants up to a maximum of £5,000.

Eligibility

Applicants

  • Scholars from within Europe are eligible to apply as Principal Investigator(s) to lead a small group of 2-10 scholars (which may include graduate students). There is no limitation on nationality – however, the Principal Investigator(s) should be affiliated to a European institution;
  • Applicants should hold a PhD and will normally have a permanent appointment at an institution of higher education and research;
  • Applications may be made by those whose sole or principal post is a part-time equivalent. Independent scholars with an academic affiliation may also apply. The awards are intended as providing flexible support (for instance: relief from teaching &/or administration, research and travel expenses, fieldwork and practical work) for a period of (up to) one year, for the activities of the research group. Stipends are not provided.

Research

  • Innovative research which crosses established disciplinary boundaries and critically challenges incumbent theories and approaches, so as to address afresh empirical problems with no currently adequate theory or investigative methodology;
  • Innovation may also come from controversial theoretical approaches motivated by critical challenge of incumbent theories;
  • Projects ranging across the breadth of the social scientific disciplines and interdisciplinary research fields are welcome, and relevant applications from scholars working within the humanities are also encouraged.

Application Process

The Research Proposal

All applicants will be expected to provide the following details as part of their proposal (maximum of 1750 words total; 250 words per section):

  • The Research Idea: The innovative thesis of the project.
  • Background: Current research reference points and their limitations.
  • The Focus: How the research provides a fresh approach to real-life problems.
  • Theoretical novelty: What conceptual innovation the research is aiming at.
  • Methodology: How different disciplinary inputs will interact in empirical inquiry.
  • Work Plan: How the group’s work will be organised over the award period and what outputs are intended.
  • Outcome: What further steps and what longer-term outcome are envisaged.

Submitted Application

  • Applicants are expected to submit their complete application electronically via the online application system, in English. Alternative methods of application (i.e. postal applications) are available in certain circumstances – please contact the ISRF to discuss this;
  • Completed applications must arrive no later than 4:00pm on September 1, 2017;
  • Letters of Support must arrive no later than September 8, 2017. A candidate may submit only one application. Applicants can expect to be informed of the result of their applications by letter by the end of December 2017.
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