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01 The AHRC and Funding Opportunities


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01 The AHRC and Funding Opportunities

  1. 1. Arts and Humanities Research Council The AHRC Funding Opportunities V2, Jan2016
  2. 2. Please note that the slides in this presentation are highlights. We recommend referring to the Research Funding Guides for full details.
  3. 3. The Arts and Humanities Research Council aims to: •promote and support the production of world-class research in the arts and humanities. •promote and support world-class postgraduate training designed to equip graduates for research or other professional careers. •strengthen the impact of arts and humanities research by encouraging researchers to disseminate and transfer knowledge to other contexts where it can make a difference. •raise the profile of arts and humanities research and to be an effective advocate for its social, cultural and economic significance. Our Mission
  4. 4. The AHRC seeks to promote and support high quality arts and humanities research through a variety of funding opportunities across its schemes from postgraduate studentships to large scale collaborative research grants, specialist training schemes to strategic programmes, fellowships to research networking. Research funding is available through the AHRC’s responsive mode schemes (high quality research in any subject area within the AHRC’s remit) and through themes (funding for high quality research in specific areas of intellectual urgency and allowing research to be set in a wide context and enabling the pursuit of broader objectives). What does the AHRC fund?
  5. 5. GRANT PROPOSALS KEY FEATURES There are three key features that a grant proposal must fully address in order to be considered eligible for support.
  6. 6. A Grant proposal must define a series of research questions, issues or problems that will be addressed in the course of the research. It must also define its aims and objectives in terms of seeking to enhance knowledge and understanding relating to the questions, issues or problems to be addressed Key features - 1
  7. 7. A Grant proposal must specify a research context for the questions, issues or problems to be addressed. The applicant must specify why it is important that these particular questions, issues or problems should be addressed; what other research is being or has been conducted in this area; and what particular contribution this project will make to the advancement of creativity, insights, knowledge and understanding in this area Key features - 2
  8. 8. A grant proposal must specify the research methods for addressing and answering the research questions, issues or problems. The applicant must state how, in the course of the research project, they will seek to answer the questions, address the issues or solve the problems. They should also explain the rationale for their chosen research methods and why they think these methods provide the most appropriate means by which to address the research questions, issues or problems. Key features - 3
  10. 10. Main research routes: •Research Grants (RG) •Leadership Fellows (LF) •Networking •Themes More details on RG and LF applications, including assessment and peer review, can be found in the presentation ‘How to write a good grant application to the AHRC (RGs and LFs)’
  11. 11. AHRC Schemes • Research Grants • Leadership Fellows • Research Networking • Doctoral Training Partnerships • Centres for Doctoral Training • Collaborative Doctoral Partnerships and Collaborative Doctoral Awards • Follow-on Funding for Impact and Engagement • International Placement Scheme • AHRC and POST Fellowships • Policy Internships • New Generation Thinkers (with the BBC) (Please note that this is a sample and that routes will change with schemes closing and new schemes coming on-line). For current schemes please go to the AHRC web site)
  12. 12. Research Grants: Routes • a standard route, and • a route for early career researchers • intended to support well-defined research projects enabling individual researchers to collaborate with, and bring benefits to, other individuals and organisations through the development of high quality research. a route for early career researchers • not intended to support individual scholarship; however, projects may include elements of individual research if it can be shown that there will be added value from bringing these elements together within a jointly developed research framework. Research Grants - standard route - accepts proposals with a total full economic cost of between £50,000 and £1,000,000 and lasting up to a maximum of 60 months. The AHRC expects the Principal Investigator and any Co-Investigators to devote an average of at least 4 hours per week to the project. The AHRC is piloting a policy to allow international researchers to act as Co-Investigators on Research Grants. Detailed information about eligibility, costs and application guidance can be found within the relevant sections of the Research Guide.
  13. 13. Research Grants: Aims • to assist researchers in all areas of the arts and humanities to improve the breadth and depth of our knowledge of human culture both past and present • to support well-defined research projects of the highest quality and standards that will lead to significant advances in creativity, insights, knowledge and understanding, of interest and value both in the research community and in wider contexts where they can make a difference • to enable arts and humanities researchers to pursue, and to bring to completion in due time, collaborative research projects of the highest quality that require leadership from more than a single scholar. Applicants are required to include a principal investigator and at least one co-investigator jointly involved in the development of the research proposal, its leadership and management and leading to significant jointly authored research outputs • to provide opportunities for less experienced researchers to develop their expertise and their careers by working collaboratively with senior researchers on well-defined projects and by leading projects themselves • to maximise the value of research outcomes by promoting their communication and dissemination with individuals and organisations outside academia; where appropriate, to facilitate the knowledge transfer of those outcomes to both the research community and other contexts where they will make a difference.
  14. 14. Research Grants - Early Career Researchers • scheme limit: applications may be submitted for proposals with a full economic cost between £50,000 and £250,000 and for a duration of up to 60 months. • aims: – same aims as the standard route – to assist new researchers at the start of their careers in gaining experience of managing and leading research projects. • eligibility: applicants should briefly explain how they meet the route for early career eligibility criteria • success rate: the AHRC will aim to ensure that the success rate for proposals to this route is slightly higher than proposals to the Research Grants standard route. For full information on Research Grants please consult the Research Funding Guide .
  15. 15. Leadership Fellows: Routes • a standard route, and • a route for early career researchers • The AHRC’s Leadership Fellows scheme provides time for research leaders, or potential future research leaders, to undertake focused individual research alongside collaborative activities which have the potential to generate a transformative impact on their subject area and beyond. In addition to demonstrating support for high quality, world leading research and associated outputs, proposals must include collaborative activities to support the development of the Fellow’s capacity for research leadership in the arts and humanities • Leadership Fellows awards are supported as a partnership with Research Organisations. Applicants should discuss any potential application with their Research Organisation at an early stage, as strong evidence of institutional support for the proposed Fellow’s career and leadership development is required as part of the application process.
  16. 16. Leadership Fellows: Aims The aims of the Leadership Fellows Scheme are to provide time and support for researchers: •to develop their capabilities as research leaders •to carry out excellent individual research which has the potential to generate a transformative impact on their discipline, and which is of exceptional intellectual scope and importance •to develop and undertake innovative and collaborative leadership activities which are connected to their research and which will result in benefits for their own discipline(s) and beyond. It should be noted that the Leadership Fellows Scheme is intended to support projects of research and leadership which cannot effectively be supported through routine provision of sabbaticals or other forms of research leave commonly funded through QR.
  17. 17. Leadership Fellows: • scheme limit: The Leadership Fellows Scheme accepts proposals with a full economic cost of between £50,000 and £250,000. • duration: For applicants on a full-time contract, the minimum duration of a Fellowship is six months and the maximum duration is 18 months for Standard applications and 24 months the maximum duration for early career proposals. The limits for applicants on part-time contracts are pro-rata • level of commitment: Fellows can commit 100 per cent of time to a Fellowship for a maximum of 12 months. Fellowships over 12 months in duration must include a part-time element to the proposal. During part-time periods of the Fellowship, the non-AHRC funded part of time should include active engagement with the research culture of the Fellows’ Research Organisation. A Fellow’s time commitment may vary over the duration of the Fellowship but the minimum average over the life of the Fellowship must be at least 50 per cent of the Fellow’s normal contracted hours (based on a standard working week of 37.5 hours per week (100 per cent time) or pro-rata for individuals who work part-time). For full information on Leadership Fellows please consult the Research Funding Guide - Leadership Fellows Scheme.
  18. 18. Leadership Fellows – Early Careers Researchers: Additional Aims • to develop the leadership experience and capabilities of early career researchers in a crucial phase of their careers as they establish themselves and develop beyond doctoral and immediate post-doctoral work • to enable the production of high quality innovative research that moves significantly beyond doctoral projects. This route is intended to support the development of emerging research leaders. Proposals will need to demonstrate the commitment and support of the Research Organisation not only through the Head of Department statement, but also through the completion of the Mentor statement.
  19. 19. Research Networking Scheme • The Research Networking Scheme is intended to support forums for the discussion and exchange of ideas on a specified thematic area, issue or problem. • The intention is to facilitate interactions between researchers and stakeholders through, for example, a short-term series of workshops, seminars, networking activities or other events. • The aim of these activities is to stimulate new debate across boundaries, for example: disciplinary, conceptual, theoretical, methodological, and/or international. • Proposals should explore new areas, be multi-institutional and can include creative or innovative approaches or entrepreneurship. • Proposals must justify the approach taken and clearly explain the novelty or added value for bringing the network participants together. • Although the Research Networking scheme is primarily aimed at the development of new networks and interactions, existing networks can also apply where they are addressing a new or novel area. For full information on the Research Networking Scheme please consult the Research Funding Guide and the scheme guidance.
  20. 20. Research Networking Scheme: Aims • support collaboration and the exchange of ideas across boundaries, primarily between researchers in the arts and humanities, as well as with colleagues in other disciplines and other stakeholders, to explore a particular theme, issue or problem • enable groups of researchers and other stakeholders to explore ideas which could lead to tangible projects and maximise opportunities for advances in creativity, insights, knowledge and understanding in the area to be explored, with results of value both to the arts and humanities research community and to wider contexts where they can make a difference • encourage and enable researchers within the research community to involve new researchers and research students, as well as people or organisations from outside the academic and research community, in the discussion and development of ideas • to foster (where appropriate) international collaboration and the development of strong academic links with overseas researchers, in order to develop understanding through engagement with different cultures and parts of the world, and to enhance research standards • provide a framework for the AHRC to learn of emerging areas of intellectual urgency and potential strategic importance, both within the UK and internationally, identifying key research challenges by building new collaborations as well as strengthening existing ones.
  21. 21. Research Networking Scheme Deadlines: •This scheme operates without formal deadlines. Applicants can submit proposals at any time of the year and we will aim to inform you of the outcome within five months of submission.. •The proposed start date of your project must be at least six months from the date of submission. For example, if you submit a proposal on 15 January, the earliest possible start date would be 15 July. Costs: •The Research Networking scheme will meet the salary costs for a principal Investigator and a Co-Investigator for the time spent overseeing and providing intellectual input to the activities, the cost of setting up and coordinating the activities (for example, the salary costs of a coordinator) along with associated Indirect and Estates costs, although Indirect and Estates costs will not be eligible for any international co-investigators. •Research Assistants are not an eligible cost under this scheme. •Time spent by the PI on the co-ordination of the activities is not expected to form the majority of the cost of the proposal. •The salary costs of participants may not be included.
  22. 22. Research Networking Scheme – Case for Support - 1 Applicants must outline clearly the rationale for the activities, approach and the research context in which they will operate by answering the following questions: •What is the central theme of the proposed activity? •Why is it important that this theme be explored? •What is new and novel about the network? •How will the questions be addressed? •How will the proposed activities generate genuine and novel interaction across boundaries and so lead to advances in understanding? Applicants should also give details of: •the aims and objectives •the timetable for any activities proposed •proposed participants and key speakers •plans for management and co-ordination, including the membership of any proposed advisory group or steering committee.
  23. 23. Research Networking Scheme – Case for Support - 2 Applicants should structure their case for support using the following headings: •rationale and research context •aims and objectives •timetable of activities •key speakers or participants •justification of resources Technical Plan: not required for this scheme. Principal Investigator response: no PI response stage for this scheme.
  24. 24. Research Networking Scheme – Assessment Criteria The following additional criteria will be taken into account: •the extent to which the proposal meets the specific aims of the Scheme •the quality of the research process outlined, including: research agenda, participants, sustainability and appropriateness of methods to foster interactions •the level of genuine collaboration proposed across boundaries and the value that this will add to the development of research in that area •the significance and importance of the thematic area to be explored •the extent to which the proposed activities will generate genuine and productive interaction across boundaries (e.g. disciplinary, conceptual, theoretical, methodological and/or international), including the potential for them to lead to advances in knowledge and understanding in the fields concerned and/or new high quality cross-disciplinary research projects •the level of involvement from different organisations and interaction between participants (creative techniques for fostering interactions are welcomed). Please consult the Research Funding Guide for additional criteria for RN proposals requesting additional funds for international collaboration
  25. 25. Research Networking Scheme – Assessment and Peer Review • Where the peer reviewers’ grades agree, as long as their comments are consistent with the grade given, the AHRC will allocate this as the final grade for the proposal. • Where the grades differ, or the comments are inconsistent with the grade, the proposal and peer reviews will be moderated by a nominated member of the Peer Review College. • All proposals will be allocated a final grade and the moderator will rank all applications in order of priority for funding. • Final funding decisions will be made by the AHRC.
  26. 26. Funding and Training Opportunities
  27. 27. Funding and Training Opportunities - 1 Training Grants and Training Grant Funding The AHRC offers a variety of funding and training opportunities and Research Organisations (RO's) should familiarise themselves with the terms and conditions of the available awards. The AHRC have assembled all necessary information on Training Grants and Training Grant Funding within three important guides. Doctoral Training Partnerships DTPs are block grant awards made to either individual (ROs), or consortia of ROs, to support postgraduate studentships across the breadth of the AHRC’s subject remit. DTPs provide innovative training environments for doctoral level research, with the opportunity for PhD students to undertake broader training or development opportunities. Individual awards to students in this scheme are administered and made directly by a Research Organisation. Centres for Doctoral Training CDT awards are block grants made to consortia of ROs to complement the Doctoral Training Partnerships and provide further capacity for postgraduate funding in priority areas: Design, Modern Languages and Heritage. Individual awards to students in this scheme are administered and made directly by a Research Organisation. For more information please go to the AHRC website and the Training Grant Funding Guide.
  28. 28. Funding and Training Opportunities - 2 Block Grant Partnerships BGPs were made to ROs to support five cohorts of students between 2009 and 2013. Postgraduate studentships were supported in specific subject areas and schemes. Block Grant Partnerships - Capacity Building The BGP: CB scheme was open to all ROs that did not receive a BGP award. Awards were made for postgraduate studentships in specific subject areas and schemes. Collaborative Doctoral Partnerships Collaborative Doctoral Partnerships support larger non-academic organisations, or consortia, to manage the selection of three annual cohorts of collaborative doctoral studentship projects. This provides opportunities for doctoral students to gain first-hand experience of work outside an academic environment. Individual awards to students in this scheme are administered and made directly by award holding ROs. Collaborative Skills Development Scheme The AHRC’s Collaborative Skills Development call is aimed at supporting the development of innovative, collaborative training packages for PhD students and early career researchers in the arts and humanities. For more information please go to the AHRC website.
  29. 29. Funding and Training Opportunities - 3 International Placement Scheme This scheme supports and encourages the placement of UK postgraduate students and early career researchers on short-term fellowships at specific overseas research institutions. Individual awards to students in this scheme are administered and made directly by Research Organisation AHRC and POST Fellowships Scheme The scheme provides an opportunity for 2 AHRC funded postgraduate students to be seconded to the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST) to assist in producing objective briefing materials for MPs and Peers. Policy Internships NERC, in collaboration with BBSRC and AHRC, organise internship placements for current NERC, BBSRC and AHRC funded PhD students to work in one of eight host organisations on a policy topic relevant to both the student and the host. The student will be expected to produce a briefing paper, participate in a policy inquiry and/or organise a policy event. For more information please go to the AHRC website.
  30. 30. Themes, programmes and highlight notices
  31. 31. Themes Most current themes provide a funding focus for emerging areas of interest. Interdisciplinary and collaborative research often requires specialist support to achieve its potential; themed funding calls support developmental activity, partnership- based activities, and innovative approaches. Cross-Council programmes Arts and humanities research is an essential part of many cross-council themes. Novel, multidisciplinary approaches are needed to solve many, if not all, of the big research challenges over the next 10 to 20 years. To achieve this, RCUK co-ordinates the delivery of multidisciplinary research in several priority areas which includes: Connected Communities - a cross-Council programme led by the AHRC; designed to help us understand the changing nature of communities in their historical and cultural contexts, and the role of communities in sustaining and enhancing our quality of life. Highlight notices Highlight notices are intended to stimulate proposals under specified themes /strategic priorities in order to rapidly advance thinking or collaboration in these areas and are offered as opportunities within existing AHRC research schemes; therefore they are assessed under the same criteria and assessment process. Highlight notices are applied for a set period of time, for example 12 months, and the descriptions are usually intended to guide inquiry rather than prescribe individual research topics.
  32. 32. Knowledge exchange and partnerships
  33. 33. Putting Knowledge Exchange at the very heart of its strategy the AHRC works to ensure that arts and humanities academic interests are diversified and enhanced through opportunities to engage in knowledge exchange and partnership work across our entire funding portfolio; to encourage co-creation and co-production of research agendas; to have a significant and transformative effect on the creative and cultural life and health and well-being of the nation; and to enlarge the contribution to the arts, public engagement and policy formation. Given that much of the work it supports feeds into the creative economy the AHRC is committed to concentrating the majority of its knowledge exchange funding into centres of excellence - Knowledge Exchange Hubs – to facilitate interaction between arts and humanities research and the Creative Economy, and to translate and create significant benefit. In addition the AHRC also supports Innovate UK’s Knowledge Transfer Partnerships scheme and offers Follow-On Funding for Impact and Engagement to exploit unexpected opportunities from previous research funding. We also have strategic partnerships with other funders and organisations such as the BBC, the Scottish Funding Council, Nesta, the Arts Council and the Design Council to foster engagement strategic or priority areas and offer joint funding calls. More information about the Follow- on Funding for Impact and Engagement Scheme (FoF) will follow on the next slides. Other partnerships can be found via these links: •Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTP) •Knowledge Exchange Hubs for the Creative Economy •Knowledge Exchange with Policy Makers
  34. 34. Follow-on Funding for Impact and Engagement Scheme The AHRC Follow-on Funding for Impact and Engagement Scheme (FoF) provides funds to support innovative and creative engagements with new audiences and user communities which stimulate pathways to impact. Funds will be awarded for knowledge exchange, public engagement, dissemination and commercialisation activities that arise unforeseeably during the lifespan of or following an AHRC-funded project. The scheme does not support supplementary funding for continuation of research activities. Proposals must clearly demonstrate both a well-defined non-academic need for the work and engagement with potential users and stakeholders in developing their project. Proposed activities must enhance the value and wider benefit of the original AHRC-funded research project, and clearly demonstrate how they will deliver significant economic, social, cultural and/or policy impacts.
  35. 35. Follow-on Funding Scheme - Aims • to explore unforeseen pathways to impact either within the lifespan of an AHRC research project or resulting from a completed research project • to enhance the value and benefits of AHRC-funded research beyond academia • to encourage and facilitate a range of interactions and creative engagements between arts and humanities research and a variety of user communities to include, business and commercial, third sector and heritage sector, public policy, voluntary and community groups and the general public.
  36. 36. Follow-on Funding Scheme Scheme limit and duration The FoF Scheme offers awards of up to £100,000 (fEC) for a maximum of 12 months either full- or part-time to support emergent or supplementary knowledge exchange, public engagement, active dissemination or commercialisation/proof of concept activities. Smaller awards of up to £30,000 (fEC) are encouraged for shorter, higher risk activities, for example testing the feasibility of an idea, exploring new partnerships for knowledge exchange, testing the market or investigating a new business model. Decision making times are reduced for these smaller awards.
  37. 37. Follow-on Funding Scheme Deadlines This scheme operates without formal deadlines and proposals may be submitted at any time of year. Applications over £30,000 fEC The AHRC aims, where possible, to complete the assessment process within 14-16 weeks and the earliest start date for a project should be no earlier than five months after submission and no later than 9 months after submission. Applications under £30,000 fEC: The AHRC aims, where possible, to complete the assessment process within six weeks and the earliest start date should be no earlier than three months after submission and not later than nine months after submission.
  38. 38. Follow-on Funding Scheme – Eligible activities Types of activity supported: •knowledge exchange, public engagement or active dissemination activities which must engage new user communities and audiences •commercialisation or proof of concept •activities that build upon knowledge exchange and pathways to impact already undertaken but which take those activities in a new direction and to new audiences •conferences and seminars for a policy/practice audience •pursuit and development of new user contacts •feasibility studies to test the potential application of ideas emerging from the research in different business, policy or practice contexts The scheme does not support pathway to impact activities that have already been taken into account of (i.e. included as part of the original projects outputs and impacts and funded as such), neither is it for use to simply extend an existing grant or award or to continue similar or existing activities, undertake resource enhancement type activities or support primarily academic outputs and where this appears to be the case an application will be deemed ineligible.
  39. 39. Follow-on Funding Scheme – Eligibility Criteria - 1 The Follow-on Funding scheme has been developed to support innovative and creative engagements with new non-academic audiences and user communities. This is the main criterion for funding support. Proposals must: •be based upon either previously or current research directly funded by the AHRC, with the exception of research conducted under Masters, Doctoral or Collaborative Doctoral (CDA) and Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs). •be based upon research that has been co-funded with or fully funded by another UK Research Council or under an RCUK supported programme but only where the FoF proposal falls within AHRC’s remit •support innovative pathways to impact opportunities that could not have been foreseen at the application stage and/or that have not already been taken account of in the original award. The proposal needs to demonstrate how it will add significant value to pathways to impact activities that were already identified within the original research proposal.
  40. 40. Follow-on Funding Scheme – Eligibility Criteria - 2 • exploit creative and innovative ideas rather than repeating, continuing or extending existing activities or conducting substantively new research projects. • be focussed towards non-academic audiences and relevant user communities and applicants must demonstrate engagement with potential users and stakeholders throughout the projects definition and development processes • be led by the original PI from which the project derives. However, where it is more appropriate to the nature of the proposed activity another member of the original research team may lead the FoF project. In such cases the original PI would be expected to be named as CO-I at least in an advisory capacity. This would need to be justified in the Case for Support.
  41. 41. Follow-on Funding Scheme – Non- Academic partners • Universities, colleges, further education institutions, related departments or spin-out companies may not participate as non-academic partners. University museums and galleries, however, may participate as project partners providing that they are working with a Research Organisation other than or in addition to the Research Organisation with which they are formally linked. • Where appropriate, non-academic partners are required to commit to a financial or in-kind contribution (this will not constitute part of the fEC of the project). There is no minimum contribution; however, value for money will be considered in the assessment of proposals. • Non-academic partners should submit a Letter of Support as an attachment to the application and this should detail the reasons, motivations and commitment to participating in the project. If there is more than one non- academic partner then each should provide a Letter of Support. If appropriate, the Letter of Support also provides an opportunity for non- academic partners to state their financial and/or in-kind contributions to the project.
  42. 42. Follow-on Funding Scheme – Case for Support Applicants should structure their case for support using the following headings: •aims and objectives •context •proposed activities •timetable •project management •collaboration •outcomes and impact •Technical Summary: All FoF proposals are now required to complete a Technical Summary and in some cases attach a Technical Plan. Please see the Technical Summary text in the Application Guidance section for more information.
  43. 43. Follow-on Funding Scheme Assessment and Peer Review •Applications over £30,000 fEC will be subject to two specialist peer-reviews by members of the AHRC’s Peer Review College followed by a PI Response stage. The application, reviews and the PI Response will be moderated by a review panel who will make funding recommendations to the AHRC. •Applications under £30,000 fEC will be reviewed directly by the panel and will not be offered a PI Response. •In addition to the general criteria outlined in the Funding Guide, additional criteria under the following will be taken into account for the Follow-on Funding for Impact and Engagement scheme: – quality and importance – management of the project – value for money – outputs, dissemination and impact
  44. 44. Follow-on Funding Scheme - Outcomes Proposals will be awarded one of the following outcomes: •Successful: An application to be funded. If the award offered is different to the amount requested, feedback will be provided. •Successful (Conditional): An application that could be funded, if specific conditions are met. The applicant will be asked to respond to the conditions identified in the outcome letter. If the information provided is considered satisfactory, the award will be confirmed. If it is not considered satisfactory, the award offer will be withdrawn and feedback will be provided. •Unsuccessful: An application which cannot be funded, either because it does not fully meet the eligibility or the aims of the scheme and it is not considered a priority for funding. The application cannot be resubmitted at a later date.