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Internal Funding Opportunities

In addition to the schemes detailed below, the SRI may be able to help in supporting ideas for research projects, particularly in organising workshops to promote collaborative thinking around new research projects related to public policy, or seeking funding to support grant development. Contact the SRI Coordinator for futher details. 


ESRC has announced the ESRC Management Practices and Employee Engagement Call As part of ESRC’s commitment to a longer-term strategic, coordinated portfolio of productivity investments, ESRC are inviting proposals from researchers at eligible UK research organisations to carry out research on management practices and employee engagement, and their relationships with productivity.

Research projects to the call should sit across the following areas:

* Variation in management practices, employee engagement, drivers of that variation and relationship with productivity outcomes

* Exploring manager and employee engagement, including motivations, trust and absorptive capacity.

* Adopting, diffusing, scaling and sustaining beneficial innovations and changes in management practices.

* Opportunities for improvements in productivity, mental health, physical health and wellbeing through innovations in management practices.

Up to £4.5 million total (80% FEC) research council contribution is available for this call (subject to final HMT approval). Proposals can bid for up to £900,000 for up to three years. It is anticipated that up to five proposals will be funded under the call.

Call specifications can be found here.


Institutions can only lead on one application. Therefore, this call will be managed according to the University’s restricted calls policy.

If you are interested in leading an application for this call, please submit the attached internal selection form together with a support letter from the Head of the Department / Centre / Institute that will hold the grant, confirming their support for the project and agreement to host the grant to RESEARCHSTRATEGY@ADMIN.CAM.AC.UK by 28 AUGUST 2018.

If you are interested in contributing to an institutional proposal, please let us know and we will put you in touch with the PI of the bid after the selection process.

Funder deadline: 18 September 2018

If you have any queries please don’t hesitate to contact us at


Philomathia Research Programme: Call for Proposals [Deadline: 10 May 2018]

Since 2013 the Philomathia Foundation has generously supported a series of research projects throughout the School through the Social Sciences Research Programme. A second award from the Foundation will support a series of further projects from 1 October 2018, each led by a Principal Investigator and with a Philomathia Research Associate at its centre.

Proposals are now invited for the next phase of projects in the programme. Phase 2 funding has a broad focus on the following themes: Public Policy, Global Cultures and Diversities, Material Culture, Health, Medicine and Society, Digital Society, and Big Data. Applications are encouraged from all Departments/Faculties in the School.

Phase 2 is built upon the success of Phase 1 and is intended to sustain and grow the Social Sciences Research Programme. To provide an idea of the work undertaken to date, the projects funded by Phase 1 were:

  • (In)fertility, Education and Reproductive Health
  • The Measure of Inequality: Social Knowledge in Historical Perspective
  • The consequences of the politics of austerity in the European Union
  • Realising Genomic Medicine: Intellectual property issues Beyond the ‘Old’ DNA Patent Debates
  • The Law of Energy Transitions

Further information about these projects can be found here:


Each postdoctoral appointment will run for three years from date of appointment, with appointments starting 1 October 2018 or as soon as possible after. Candidature is normally restricted to junior scholars, i.e. not more than five years past date of PhD submission. The fund will cover the salary costs of the Fellow on the Grade 7 scale. The usual practice is to appoint at the base level of Grade 7 although a case can be made to appoint elsewhere on the scale.

Once projects have been awarded, the Philomathia Research Associates will be appointed through open advertisement using normal Faculty and Department recruiting procedures.

Selection criteria

Selection of projects will be overseen by a School Committee on behalf of the Council of the School, drawn from a competitive gathered field. The field is intentionally broad to elicit projects which will further the core values of the programme.


Faculties/Departments wishing to host a project are asked to form initial expressions of interest covering the following points:

  • Detailed research programme, with a clear line of independent inquiry for the postdoctoral researcher;
  • Explanation of how this project will develop and/or enhance existing research, in particular its potential to resonate with the University’s Strategic Research Initiatives or other thematic priorities;
  • Arrangements for mentoring and career development of the postdoctoral researcher;
  • Sustainability of the project beyond the duration of the postdoctoral appointment;
  • Confirmation that office space and other direct or indirect resources necessary will be made available;

Expressions of interest should be no more than 3 sides of A4 and should be sent to to arrive no later than 10 May 2018. Any questions about the scheme should be directed to



The ESRC have announced their New Investigators scheme. The call is open to high-quality candidates who have a maximum of four years’ postdoctoral experience. Proposals are welcome in any topic which falls within ESRC’s remit, including projects at the “interface with the wider sciences”, provided that social sciences accounts for at least 50% of the proposed research. The ESRC will award grants of between £100-300K at fEC, though as with other Research Council grants they will cover 80% of this cost. Awards will be for up to five years, though they will be typically three years in duration, with a special case being made for the need for five years’ worth of funding. For full details please see the call specification.

This call has a rolling deadline, and applications will be reviewed 3 times / year: in ESRC Panel meetings in March, July and November each year. Roughly 35 awards will be made per year.


The ESRC expect the University to run an internal selection process to ensure that we submit only bids from outstanding individuals with the potential to become the research leaders of the future. The University can submit only a limited number of applications. To meet these requirements, this call will be overseen by a cross-school Committee, as decided by University’s Research Policy Committee:

There will be 3 internal calls every year, ahead of the panel meetings in November, March and July. Only applicants whose proposals have been approved and selected through the internal selection process will be allowed to proceed with submission of their applications to ESRC.

The applicants who wish to submit an application ahead of the November 2018 Panel deadline, are required to submit to


The attached internal selection form;

A letter of support from your Head of Department. This letter is very important to the success of the application as it is needed to confirm that the project is supported by the Department, the applicant’s eligibility and details of any proposed departmental support (for example the provision of a mentor and a programme of research skills training).

 If you have any questions, then please write to


SRI PP Restricted call: UKRI CDTs in Artificial Intelligence

The UKRI has announced the Centres for Doctoral Training to develop UK's skills in Artificial Intelligence call. The call is expected to support 10 – 20 Centres for Doctoral Training (CDTs) focused on areas relevant to Artificial Intelligence (AI) across UKRI's remit. This is a cross-UKRI activity which builds on collaborative work between the Research Councils and Innovate UK to develop a clear picture of the training needs in AI, related technologies, their applications and implications. Therefore, bids are welcomed and encouraged from applicants working in areas across the remit of all seven Research Councils addressing UK training needs in the development, applications and implications of novel and existing artificial intelligence technologies.

This process is being delivered by the EPSRC on behalf of UKRI, but please note that this is a separate call to the EPSRC main CDT one.

As part of this UKRI CDTs in Artificial Intelligence call, Universities are invited to apply against two priority areas:

  • · Enabling Intelligence (a priority area within the EPSRC main CDT
  • call)
  • · Applications and Implications of Artificial Intelligence (AIAI), a
  • new priority area relevant to all Research Councils (bids for this
  • priority will not be required to include research training in EPSRC’s
  • remit).

 Further details of this call, including eligibility criteria can be found here.


 The PVC Research and the Heads of Schools have agreed to treat this call as restricted.

The University will submit 3 applications to this call and therefore it will be coordinated as per University's restricted calls procedure.

To apply to this call, please send the attached internal selection form together with a support letter from the Head of the Department which will host the Centre, confirming their support to the Centre to




The ESRC IAA  competition. For full details see the Research Strategy ESRC Impact Acceleration Account webpage.


Funding is available for 15 projects a year up to a value of £20,000 each.  Projects must be completed within 9 months of the award of the grant, though most projects are expected to be shorter.


Grants up to £20,000 from the ESRC Impact Acceleration Account

Application forms and guidance are available on the Research Strategy ESRC Impact Acceleration Account webpage.  The support of the Head of Department is required for all applications.  Applications will be reviewed by the Executive Steering Group, comprised of senior social science researchers.


Closing date: two awarding periods annually. See website for current deadlines.


If you have any questions, then please write to  

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About Us

We aim to support public policy research across Cambridge University, working with colleagues in science, social science, the arts and humanities, to apply new thinking to public policy problems and promote research and analysis into the public policy process. We hope to connect and raise the profile of existing public policy related work across the University and support collaborative research that includes policy development in a range of subject areas. 

Contact us if you are interested in joining the initiative or would like to know more.