Research is central to most philosophical careers, and research face a number of issues. These include publishing, and the UK-wide assessment exercise of publishing quality; career development and support; and securing funding and grant income. The subheadings contain useful information about all of these issues.
A very helpful site for links to research articles and books can be found at PhilPapers; for more information click here.
A general platform for sharing research is Academia.edu; for more information click here.
Research Excellence Framework
The Research Excellence Framework (REF) is the latest exercise for assessing research quality in the UK. Information about the REF, including assessment criteria, level definitions, and panel membership lists, can be found here.
There was a discussion of the REF at the BPA Heads of Department meeting in September 2012. Notes from this meeting can be accessed here.
Career development for researchers
- Improving Careers: Philosophers in Non-permanent Employment in the UK: Dawn Phillips’ original report for the BPA Executive Committee, upon which the above document is based
- Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers (to which Universities UK is a signatory; includes annexes to the Concordat)
- Further information on the Concordat. Includes links to how it works, what it means for HE professionals, and details of the executive groups.
- Research careers in the UK, a report for the Government by Nigel Thrift (VC, Warwick)
There are many organisations offering funding for various kinds of research activity, aimed at philosophers at different stages of their career. There is funding available for, for example, postdoctoral fellowships, short periods of research leave, overseas travel, running a conference, mid-career and senior research fellowships, and major research projects.
Below we list the major sources of funding, and give a brief description of the kinds of funding offered. (Please note that the list may not be fully up-to-date, and deadlines are subject to change.)
The AHRC offers a number of Fellowship and Research Grant Schemes. For their current application options, please visit: https://ahrc.ukri.org/documents/guides/research-funding-guide1/. Please note that the AHRC no longer operates deadlines for applications. However, you should normally apply at least 9 months before the intended start date of your project.
Small Research Grant:
Up to £7,500 ’to facilitate initial project planning and development; to support the direct costs of research; and to enable the advancement of research through workshops, or visits by or to partner scholars’. The grant is for ’a clearly defined, discrete piece of research, which will have an identifiable outcome’. Not fEC; mainly designed to cover the cost of travel, workshops etc. Two deadlines per year.
Research Development Award (BARDA):
£15,000-£150,000 in total, for a project lasting up to 3 years. Paid at 80% of fEC.
Overseas Conference Grant:
Fixed-rate grant of up to £900 to present a paper at an overseas conference. Two rounds per year. You must be able to provide an abstract of your paper. If your application succeeds, you aren’t allowed to apply again the following year.
Up to £20,000 to fund organising a conference. Two rounds per year.
Visiting Scholar Scheme:
Funding for overseas early-career researchers to visit for 2 to 6 months. Pays costs of up to £7,500.
For ’experienced researchers’ for a period of 3-24 months. Up to £30,000 to cover teaching buy-out and research costs (not fEC). Application deadline normally November for the following academic year.
Study Abroad Fellowships:
As above, but including travel and maintenances costs. Maximum £21,000.
Research Project Grants:
Up to £250,000 for a project led by an ’experienced researcher’, to cover postdocs, research students, teaching buy-out, secretarial support, conference attendance etc. (not fEC).
Academic Collaboration: International Networks:
Funding for workshops etc. involving named international participants for up to 3 years, including up to £20,000 per year salary costs for a ’facilitator’.
Funding for an ’internationally distinguished academic’ from overseas to visit for 3-10 months, paying for travel and maintenance.
Philip Leverhulme Prize:
£70,000 to ’outstanding’ researchers under the age of 36 on the application deadline, to pay for up to 2 years’ research leave and/or research expenses. Awarded in Philosophy every 2 years.
A block of money for your Department to pay for replacement teaching and administration to cover a term’s or semester’s sabbatical.
Up to £2000 for a Major Grant, and up to £600 for a Minor Grant, to fund a UK conference. The application deadline is several months before the start of the conference.
Up to £1000 to fund a UK conference. Deadlines are normally March and September.
Funding for organisers of conferences that are ’analytic in spirit’ to subsidise up to 50% of conference fee and accommodation costs for graduate students. Deadlines are normally January, April and October.
Other institutions worth pursing which offer various funding schemes include the John Templeton Foundation, the British Society for the Philosophy of Science, the British Society for Ethical Theory and the British Society of Aesthetics.