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 before commencing an application or contacting the ISRF with a query.
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.
† There is no limitation on nationality- however, we are unable to consider applications from those whose home institution is not within Europe.
Innovative 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 RESEARCH PROPOSAL
All applicants will be expected to provide the following details as part of their proposal (maximum of 1750 words total; 250 words per section):
- The Research Idea: The innovative thesis of the project.
- Background: Current research reference points and their limitations.
- The Focus: How the research provides a fresh approach to real-life problems.
- Theoretical novelty: What conceptual innovation the research is aiming at.
- Methodology: How different disciplinary inputs will interact in empirical inquiry.
- Work Plan: How the work will be organised over the award period and what outputs are intended.
- Outcome: What further steps and what longer-term outcome are envisaged.
THE SUBMITTED APPLICATION
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:
A COMPLETED APPLICATION FORM, TO INCLUDE:
- An Abstract (300 words) of the research’s aims, methods, contribution to knowledge, and value in realising the goals of ISRF.
- A completed Research Project Proposal form (1750 words total; 250 words per section)
- A Budget comprising a full outline of employment costs. If matched-funded research expenses are included for consideration, an explanation should be given as to why these are deemed necessary.
A CURRICULUM VITAE
- Including a list of publications
A LETTER OF SUPPORT FROM A RECOGNISED SCHOLAR IN THE APPLICANT’S FIELD OF INTEREST, COVERING:
- The applicant’s status (personal academic reference).
- The research proposed (brief comment on how this meets the ISRF criteria).
- Why the research would not be funded by existing resources.
This must be sent from the nominated scholar direct to ISRF.
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:
- You will be granted the period and proportion of time requested in the Duration and Timing section;
- If replacement costs are requested, you will be in receipt of your normal salary during tenure of the award and the institution will provide cover;
- If research expenses are sought, this request has the support of the head of department/school and institution, who will confirm that these will be matched.
THEREFORE, IT IS ADVISABLE THAT YOU ENSURE THAT YOUR HEAD OF DEPARTMENT IS IN AGREEMENT WITH THE CONTENT OF YOUR APPLICATION BEFORE YOU SUBMIT.
Applicants are expected to submit their complete application electronically via the online application system, in English. Alternative methods of application (i.e. postal applications) are available in certain circumstances – please contact the ISRF to discuss this.
Completed applications must arrive no later than 4:00pm (UK Time) on 19th February 2016. Letters of Support must arrive, by email to the address below, direct from the supporter, no later than 26th February 2016.
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 July 2016.