The IAS continues to offer enthusiastic support for major projects, but we also recognise that there is also a need to facilitate more iterative forms of research development. Therefore, as well as aiming at major project proposals for 2022-23, we are also inviting people to propose earlier stage project developments, for example small endeavours to build interdisciplinary research groups and explore new ideas, or ‘starter’ projects aiming to initiate new collaborations. It may be possible for us to fund some smaller developments next year, alongside the 2021-22 major projects, or to consider these for 2022-23. We invite colleagues to submit applications for proposed research developments accordingly.
The IAS will select projects based on their quality and interdisciplinary research potential, and the contribution they will make to the University’s strategic aims. It will assign funding in direct relation to such potential and to the scale of activities proposed. We have yet to receive confirmation of our budget for 2022-23, and can therefore only proceed provisionally, but it is hoped that the IAS will resume its normal activities at that time. As well as funding smaller-scale activities, we anticipate an annual investment of substantial funding in major projects. Where appropriate, project proponents can seek teaching buyout for project PIs, or funding to bring Distinguished Visitors to assist in earlier stage research developments. To maintain a rational relationship between investment and outputs, applicants are asked to submit budgets that reflect the scale of their proposed activities. Guidance on funding and other details are provided with the Project Proposal Pro forma.
Following the submission of outline ideas for research developments, the IAS will host a project scoping meeting. Colleagues will be invited to attend follow-up research conversations/development meetings with the IAS Directors before submitting final proposals. The timetable and deadlines are set out below, and we note that due to delays in the process this year, it will not be possible to extend the call for projects.
With a view to developing some thematic research clusters over time, the IAS will also host a research scoping meeting on the topic of Pollution. Arising from enthusiastic responses to our earlier consultation about this topic, some preliminary ideas about how it might be considered have been collected. Colleagues may also want to consider developing and requesting support in developing other topic-based project clusters. In addition, the IAS will seek to develop synergies between individual projects.
To assist colleagues embarking upon interdisciplinary research developments, the IAS now has a web page collating resources from its reflexive work on interdisciplinarity. This includes guidelines and other publications that we hope people will find helpful.
All colleagues proposing research developments are warmly encouraged to nominate leading international scholars for IAS Fellowships or as IAS Distinguished Visitors. There is additional potential, within the programme, to invite more junior researchers to participate in projects as IAS Visiting Scholars. Proponents seeking major project funding should ensure that their nominations (and external references for nominees) are submitted with their project applications, using the Fellowship Nomination Pro forma. The success of the IAS depends upon being able to bring to Durham the best international scholars – people who will bring transformative creativity into joint research. We therefore encourage Durham host PIs to be proactive in engaging with potential Fellows and developing collaborative endeavours.
While the IAS has achieved a good gender balance in appointing international Fellows, and is working steadily to improve cultural and ethnic diversity in its Fellowship cohorts, we note that research leadership within the University, particularly of major projects, remains somewhat uneven. We would therefore particularly like to encourage women and BAME colleagues to take a leading role in IAS project submissions.
The IAS hopes to reinstitute an open Fellowship scheme in 2022-23. Applicants will be required to seek a Durham sponsor/collaborator, and to articulate joint plans for collaboration. This person should provide a statement of support using the fellowship pro forma below. Resources permitting, the Fellowship offer will include the provision of teaching buyout where needed: for example to assist practitioners who do not have a University salary, or academics without access to paid research leave. This is particularly intended to support greater diversity in our Fellowship cohorts, enabling the inclusion of Fellows from less advantaged parts of the world. Further details about IAS Fellowships can be found here.
Call for project proposals and Fellowship nominations
from 11 February 2021
Deadline for outline of project ideas to IAS Directorate
4 March 2021
Project scoping meeting
between 8 and 11 March 2021
Research development meetings with IAS Directorate
between 11 and 26 March 2021
Deadline for submission of final project proposals and Fellowship nominations
midday 30 April 2021
Review of applications
3 - 10 May 2021
Project applicants notified of outcome
11 May 2021
Call for Fellowship applications and further Fellowship nominations
12 May 2021
Deadline by which applicants should have agreement from a DU academic to peer review research proposal
4 June 2021
Deadline for Fellowship applications (full applications including references; research proforma and 2 external references)
25 June 2021