Funding Opportunities – 29/11/2016


In late November in 1985, Rocky 4 was released. This movie of course gave us its soundtrack which included Survivor’s fist clenchingly good Burning Heart. This song, like so many hits from the Rocky series, could have been written with grant applications in mind.

It is a reminder that if you are on a quest for answers with an unquenchable thirst, when there is so much at stake, you need to follow the warriors code where there’s no surrender.

As Rocky would go on to say in a later movie, “…it ain’t about how hard you hit, it’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward… That’s how winning is done”. Prof. Andrew Derrington has said, inside every successful grant applicant, is a very very unsuccessful grant applicant. So if you’ve had an unsuccessful grant application, if you’ve been knocked back – why not take a page out of Rocky’s book – get a montage going on, run through some snow, play some 80’s ballads – and never give up.

To help you be a contender, below are just a handful of current funding opportunities available. Many more can be found on the HumSS blog here, or through Research Professional – an online funding opportunities database and alert service, to which Keele is a subscriber. All staff have access on-campus.

If you are interested in these opportunities, any other funding, or would like a very informal chat about external funding (no matter how early or developed your ideas may be), please just get in touch.

Many thanks


ESRC – Secondary Data Analysis Initiative (SDAI) – open call
The Secondary Data Analysis Initiative aims to deliver high-quality high-impact research through the deeper exploitation of major data resources created by the ESRC and other agencies. Proposals are welcome at any time. Funding is provided for up to 18 months with an overall limit of £200,000 (100 per cent fEC) per grant.
Deadline: None

Sir Halley Stewart Trust – Social Theme
The Trust has a particular focus on supporting innovative research projects and new pioneering development projects, primarily through the provision of salary costs.  We fund Medical, Social and Religious projects, with Education being a theme that runs across all three grant-making areas. Our grants budget for the financial year 2015-16 is £850,000

The Trust welcomes proposals for Social research or development projects in the UK which attempt to:
– Prevent and resolve conflict, promote reconciliation, and/or encourage re-connection between family members.
– Help people to ‘move beyond disadvantage’.
– Help people who may be vulnerable and/or have been exploited, particularly the elderly.

Such projects might be concerned with the family and social aspects of:
– Crime
– Imprisonment
– Homelessness
– Migration
– Mental health problems
Deadline: March 2017

Leverhulme Project Grants
These awards are to support high quality and original research. Leverhulme are willing to support work that crosses boundaries and has an element of risk.
The grants provide support for the salaries of research staff engaged on the project, plus associated costs directly related to the research proposed, and the award is paid directly to the institution at which the applicant is employed.
Proposals must reflect the personal vision of the applicant and demonstrate compelling competence in the research design. The Trust favours applications that surmount traditional disciplinary academic boundaries and involve a willingness to take appropriate degrees of risk in setting research objectives.
Deadline: None (3 review periods a year – Leverhulme’s website isn’t the most clear on this, so please ask the FRO for further information)

Wellcome Trust – Collaborative Awards (in Humanities & Social Science)
Collaborative Awards provide flexible support to excellent research groups with outstanding track records. Proposals must address important, complex health-related questions in the humanities and social sciences that need a collaborative team effort. Funding can be used to coordinate and integrate activities, build networks, and carry out large-scale potentially interdisciplinary research.
Eligibility: Proposals will be considered from applicants who meet Wellcome’s eligibility criteria and have outstanding track records in their fields, relative to their career stages. Teams will normally consist of two to six principal applicants. Your full application must be accompanied by a statement of commitment on behalf of each host institution, from the most senior authority in the relevant faculty, school or division.
Deadlines: 16th January 2017+ 1 more later in 2017 (TBC)

Newton Fund: Reciprocal Schemes
Under the Newton Fund, the British Academy’s international partners in Brazil, Mexico, South Africa, Turkey, and Vietnam, have opened up further opportunities for research funding for collaborations with the UK. Many of these schemes are directly aimed at researchers based in the UK. Applications for these schemes are submitted directly to the country partner.
Deadline: Variable – See specific country calls, or ask the FRO for more information

Many thanks.

Our digest of funding opportunities is provided by Richard Smith, Faculty Research and Enterprise Officer at Keele’s Faculty of Humanities and Social Science.
If you want more information on these, or other opportunities, Richard can be contacted via email at

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