interdisciplinarity innovation independent thought



Contributions to topics & debates across the social sciences


ISRF-supported Fellows & Projects since 2010


Supporting individual Fellowships & Small Group Projects


Platforms for research dissemination and contributions to wider debates

The Independent Social Research Foundation is a public benefit foundation funded by a group of private philanthropists with interests in academia and social science, founded in 2008.

The ISRF is dedicated to advancing the social sciences through the promotion of new modes of inquiry and the development of interdisciplinary expertise and methods, and through better understanding of social entities and processes.

What We Do

To achieve this objective the ISRF provide a series of funding opportunities, enters into partnerships with academic institutions and supports research activities that promote development across the social sciences and humanities.

How We Do It

The ISRF is an endowed foundation – the endowment, and any additional donations, are directly used to promote and support the objectives of the ISRF. Oversight responsibility for the Foundation’s endowment lies with the ISRF Investment Committee.

The Executive Team are responsible for the implementation and monitoring of the annual budget, as approved by the Foundation Board. The Foundation is advised by an Academic Advisory Board comprised of leading international academics from across the social sciences.

The Foundation subscribes to a code of ethics covering its governance, its adherence to legal and good practice requirements including equality, confidentiality and financial control, and its academic values of fairness, transparency and independence

As a Netherlands-registered Stichting, the ISRF is required to maintain a policy plan which draws together the objectives and activities of the Foundation. It is also required to produce an Annual Report, to have its own remuneration policy, and to publish both a financial statement for the most recent financial year and an ANBI Form.

The Independent Social Research Foundation 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.

ISRF funding is awarded competitively through a series of Grant Competitions – individual Fellowships and flexible, small group awards.

Award recipients are invited to present their work at ISRF Congress events, to participate in ISRF Conferences, and to contribute articles to the ISRF Bulletin.

Existing or previous ISRF Fellows may apply to the ISRF Dissemination Fund for a grant of up to £500 towards the cost of, for example, holding an event at which a book (or a book to which they have contributed significantly) is launched.

The ISRF also hosts its own regular Book Launch events, celebrating the published work of ISRF Fellows past and present.


The ISRF Conference provides a platform for interventions, conversations and provocations around a theme.


The ISRF Congress provides a platform for ISRF Fellows to report on, and discuss, their research projects.


The ISRF Book Launch series celebrates the publication of books by current and former ISRF Fellows.


Beginning with a pilot series in 2024, ISRF Lectures will provide a platform for ISRF Fellows to present their research to a wider audience.


Held annually between 2013 and 2019, the ISRF Annual Workshop provided a platform for ISRF Fellows to report on their research projects, and also to contribute to conversations and discussions around a theme.

Beginning with the inaugural Annual Workshop in May 2013 event, the ISRF has run and funded a number of events with the aim to provide a platform for ISRF Fellows to report on their research projects, and also to contribute to broader conversations and discussions across the social sciences.

Since launching in 2013, the ISRF Bulletin has provided information on the interdisciplinary research of ISRF Fellows.

Recent posts include:

After Time

In this contribution to Bulletin 30, Eva van Roekel explores the messiness and multiplicity of different cultural experiences of time in the face of climate disasters and a sense of impending apocalypse.

Read On…

Read More interdisciplinary articles in the ISRF Bulletin.


Dr Lars Cornelissen
Academic Editor


Despoina Livieratou
Academic & Administrative Assistant

Independent Social Research Foundation

62 Bayswater Road
London W2 3PS

Please note that the ISRF does not respond to unsolicited grant applications.

If you are considering an application to one of our Fellowship competitions, please check the Frequently Asked Questions before contacting us directly.