interdisciplinarity innovation independent thought


Flexible Grants for Small Groups Competition (FG7)

Our seventh Flexible Grants for Small Groups competition launches on 17th August 2020, aiming to support original interdisciplinary research, across the range of the social sciences, to be held from a start date no later than the end of December 2021.

The awards are intended as enabling one or more short periods of face-to-face joint group work such as workshops, working-in-pairs, or short academic visits over a period of up to one year, with grants up to a maximum of £5,000 or €5,500*.

Deadline: 5pm (GMT), 9th October 2020


Contributions to topics & debates across the social sciences


ISRF-funded Fellows & Projects since 2010


Grant and Essay Competitions for Early- & Mid-Career Academics and Independent Scholars


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.

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 a financial statement for the most recent financial year.

Grant Competitions

For Early- and Mid-Career Academics, Independent Scholars, and Small Groups

Essay Competitions

In Economics & Social Theory

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 – individual Fellowships and flexible, small group support – and essay competitions.

Award recipients are invited to present their work at ISRF Workshops, 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.

2020 Annual Workshop

Regrettably, due to uncertainties around the ongoing Coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak, we have taken the precaution of postponing our annual workshop scheduled for 3-5 April in Athens, Greece.

Annual Workshops

The ISRF Annual Workshop provides a platform for ISRF Fellows to report on their research projects, and also to contribute to conversations and discussions around a theme.

Other Events

The ISRF also runs other events in partnership with Fellows past and present, and with institutional partners in the UK & Europe.

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:

Race-Blind: Rethinking a French-American Conversation

Digital technologies, in the form of social contact tracing apps, look like they are going to play an important role in tackling the Covid-19 crisis. This intervention argues that while liberating us in the short-term, such technologies could contribute to the growing power and influence of surveillance capitalism over our lives.

Read On…

How Do We Stop Calling the Police?

What would help 2020’s Black Lives Matter protests fix root problems? Lasting change will mean building non-police social institutions in anti-racist ways, with everyday democratic affect as a key ingredient.

Read On…

Read More interdisciplinary articles in the ISRF Bulletin.


Dr Lars Cornelissen
Academic Editor


Stuart Wilson

Independent Social Research Foundation

62 Bayswater Road
London W2 3PS

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7262 0196

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.