Major Research Fellowships in the Humanities and Social Sciences

These awards enable well-established and distinguished researchers in the humanities and social sciences to devote themselves to a single research project of outstanding originality and significance, which can be completed within two or three years. Candidates should state explicitly what the proposed outcomes of the award will be. Fellowships are particularly aimed at those who are or have been prevented by routine duties from completing a programme of original research.

The Fellowships fund the salary costs of an individual to undertake the normal duties of the applicant for the duration of the Fellowship.

A Major Research Fellow may also request research expenses up to an annual maximum of £5,000. If such funds are required they must be requested as part of the application procedure.

The duration of a Fellowship is for two or three years, to start at the beginning of the 2016/17 academic year.

Closing date: 7 May 2015

For more information go to:


New Generation Thinkers


On Monday 6 January the Arts and Humanities Research Council and BBC Radio 3 are opening The New Generation Thinkers scheme for 2014, for early-career researchers with a focus on arts and humanities topics.

Emerging academics from the arts and humanities, who are currently in UK universities and who have a passion for communicating the excitement of modern scholarship to a wider audience are invited to apply for the opportunity to develop programme ideas and appear on air.

The New Generation Thinkers Scheme is intended to support up to sixty early career researchers who will have an opportunity to spend the day at the BBC to hear first-hand about the commissioning process and to develop their programme ideas alongside experienced BBC producers. Up to ten of the sixty researchers will become Radio 3’s resident New Generation Thinkers for 2014 and will have a unique opportunity to develop their own programmes for BBC Radio 3 across a year and a chance to regularly appear on air. This is the fourth year of the scheme. Previous participants have presented documentaries, taken part in on air discussions on BBC Radio 3, made pilot films for TV and spoken at public festivals.

The New Generation Thinkers scheme also works with BBC TV Arts who will be looking to develop New Generation Thinkers and their ideas into arts television.

Applicants do not have to be funded by the AHRC to apply. The scheme is open to all early career researchers based in a UK Research Organisation. This year, the call is being extended for researchers who work in areas of social sciences and medical science whose work intersects with the arts and humanities.

Further information will be available on the disciplines covered by the scheme in the New Year at the New Generation Thinkers call page.

To read the announcement of the scheme go to


Social sciences to get dedicated challenge in next EU Framework



 An additional societal challenge to fund social sciences and humanities research is to be added to Horizon 2020, the EU’s next funding research programme set to run from 2014-2020, officials from member states and the European Commission have said.

The Commission has made preparations to split the existing sixth challenge in Horizon 2020’s societal challenges pillar—inclusive, innovative and secure societies—into two, creating one challenge for humanities and social challenges and one for security research. The new sixth challenge will be called Europe in a Changing World, and will include research on “inclusive, innovative and reflective societies”, says a Commission official.

The seventh societal challenge will be called Secure Societies, and will cover the “freedom and security of Europe and its citizens”, according to the Commission’s proposal. This will include security and defence research, as well as some research related to politics and diplomacy.

Within the sixth challenge, three fields will cover research into media, history, culture, philosophy, European identity and linguistics, the Commission official says. “The Council of Ministers and the European Parliament both wanted this, so we have plans to turn the six challenges into seven,” he says.

There won’t be any extra money for social sciences or the humanities as a result, but the change is likely to be welcomed by researchers in these fields, some of whom feared that being grouped together with security research would skew research priorities towards counter-terrorism and other security-related problems.

Funding for social sciences across the other challenges will remain as previously proposed, says the Commission official, but the Commission is still undecided about how this will be done.

The European Alliance for the Social Sciences and Humanities called the proposal a “pragmatic proposition”, while saying that the creation of a special funding pot for such research would help scientists in the field to collaborate more and improve the circulation of ideas and people. Rüdiger Klein, a co-founder of the alliance, says the separation from security will increase the scope of contributions of social sciences and humanities research to Europe’s society and economy.

However, Klein thinks that the research dimensions within the Innovative Societies part of the sixth challenge need to be further clarified. This part includes funding for initiatives such as ICT support, international cooperation, Science in Society and links between structural funds and Framework Programme funding.

“The current lumping together, under this heading, of all sorts of components familiar from Framework 7 carries severe risks for diluting the research agenda of this challenge,” he says.

 Click on link to see the structure of the 3 Pillars of Horizon 2020

by Inga Vesper,, 16 Jan 2013



ORA – Open Research Area in Europe for the Social Sciences: third joint call for proposals is now open

ANR     DFG     ESRC (small 50x60)


Third round of the ORA in the social sciences is now open

The Open Research Area (ORA) partners are pleased to announce their third joint call for proposals. The current partners (ANR, DFG, ESRC, NWO) are delighted to welcome the United States National Science Foundation (NSF) to the 2012-13 round of the scheme.

This will establish the ORA plus scheme, allowing US researchers to collaborate in ORA projects. Through this expansion, thousands of new researchers will be available for cooperation in ORA applications, offering interesting opportunities to cooperate on a wider scale.

This change means that there are now five countries participating in the next call: France, Germany, the Netherlands, United Kingdom and the United States.

Proposals will be accepted for research projects in any area of the social sciences involving researchers from any combination of three or more of the participating countries.

Unlike previous rounds, ORA will not accept applications for proposals from only two countries. In this pilot phase of ORA plus, this is necessary to manage demand for what is already a very popular scheme, and to ensure proposals can be assessed in a timely fashion. The partners will continue to review the response to the scheme and consider what steps may be taken to support bilateral research collaboration in future through ORA or other mechanisms.

The closing date is 15 February 2013.

Call documents

For further information, contact