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.
Please read these details carefully – and consult the FAQs – before commencing an application or contacting the ISRF with a query. Applications must be submitted before 5pm (BST) on 1st July 2022. Applicants are strongly advised to submit applications well in advance of this deadline. If you have any technical issues, please notify Stuart Wilson immediately.
PLEASE NOTE: A Political Economy Fellowship (PERF5) competition is running concurrently. Eligible applicants may submit an application for each competition, each containing a discrete project proposal (i.e. not the same proposal). Such applications will be considered individually – however, multiple awards will not be made to the same applicant. Political Economy applications should not be submitted for MCF6.
Scholars from within Europe† are eligible to apply. Applicants will normally hold a salaried position at an Institution of Higher Education and Research. Candidates should be 10 years or more from the year of their PhD award. However, a shorter time from PhD award may exceptionally be considered, if the candidate has other qualifications to be considered as mid-career (these might include: length of appointment to permanent post, seniority, teaching responsibilities). Career breaks may also be taken into account. The awards are intended as providing full relief from all teaching duties and all associated academic administration for a period of (up to) one year; applications may be made by those whose sole or principal post is a part-time equivalent.‡
PLEASE NOTE: Eligibility for ISRF funding opportunities is unaffected by Brexit. We continue to encourage applications from scholars working within Europe (geographically defined – so, including those at UK institutions).
† There is no limitation on nationality – however, we are unable to consider applications from those whose home institution is not within Europe.
‡ Independent Scholars may apply, and should contact [email protected] for further information.
Research which breaks with existing explanatory frameworks 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. Interdisciplinarity in the generation of new investigative initiatives may be achieved by combining, cross-fertilising, and so transforming empirical methods and theoretical insights from the social sciences. 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.
The awards are intended as providing full relief from all teaching duties and all associated academic administration for a period of up to one year, and must commence no later than end of December 2023.
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 £75,000† to buy-out the cost of all teaching and associated administration in the applicant’s home institution for up to 12 months. Within that sum, reasonable support for research expenses may be considered on a matched-funding basis with the host Institution.
† PLEASE NOTE: Applicants based in the UK must apply in GBP (£), up to the limit of £75,000. All other applicants must apply in EUR (€), up to the limit of €89,500 (this will not be adjusted in the event of GBP/EUR currency fluctuations).
The ISRF reserves the right to extend the deadline for the competition. A short final report will be required. Award holders may be invited to present their findings in person to the Foundation’s academic representatives. ISRF’s support to be acknowledged in all public presentation of research. Full Terms & Conditions governing awards will be provided to successful applicants in their formal offer, based on the draft general terms and conditions available on the ISRF website. Formal acceptance of the award must be completed by the end of June 2023.
The ISRF accepts joint applications for this competition. Joint applications can come in two forms. Applicants can decide to apply as Co-Investigators, whereby separate applications are submitted for discrete contributions to an overall project. Each person should submit a separate application and clearly demonstrate what their specific contribution to the project will be. Each application will be treated on its own merits, and applicants should be aware that one, both, or neither of the projects may progress to the Selection Panel and award.
Alternatively, applicants can decide to apply as Co-Applicants, whereby one application is submitted for a single project, with a total budget up to the limit set out above, wherein two applicants would work on the same project. In the event that the application is successful, both applicants would be awarded ISRF Fellowships. For further details, please consult the FAQs.
Applicants may apply without prejudice to other funding bodies. If applications for identical projects were successful it would be expected that only one award (i.e. either the ISRF or another) would be accepted. If applications for either wholly or partly different projects are successful there should be no duplication in the budget headings funded by the ISRF and another body.
All applicants will be expected to provide the following details as part of their proposal:
This will be read by academic evaluators who are social scientists but not necessarily in the applicant’s own field; applicants should bear this in mind when writing their application.
In order to be considered for the award, all applications must comprise the following:
Applicants must confirm that their home institution is aware of their application, and should provide the contact details for the relevant Administrative Officer. Should your application progress, this Officer (Institutional Approver) will be asked to confirm, on behalf of your department and institution that:
It is therefore advisable that your Head of Department be aware of your application before you submit.
Applicants are expected to submit their complete application electronically via the online application system, in English.
Completed applications must arrive – via the online application system – no later than 5:00pm BST on 1st July 2022.
A candidate may submit only one application.† Applicants can expect to be informed of the result of their applications by email by the end of December 2022.
† A Political Economy Fellowship (PERF5) competition is running concurrently. Eligible applicants may submit an application for each competition, each containing a discrete (i.e. different) project proposal. Such applications will be considered individually – however, multiple awards will not be made to the same applicant. Political Economy applications should not be submitted for MCF6.
Please consult the FAQ’s before contacting us directly.
Academic queries (including questions of eligibility) should be directed to Dr Lars Cornelissen (Academic Editor) at [email protected].
Queries relating to the Terms & Conditions of award, or about the online application system, should be directed to Stuart Wilson (Administrator) at [email protected].