School of Social and Political Science

British Academy Postdoctoral Research Fellowships


Application Process and Deadlines

BA follows a two-stage application process for its postdoctoral fellowship scheme involving both an outline and second stage.  The 2021-22 round will open on the British Academy's website in August 2021, with dates and information. However, applicants should be aware that this Fellowship opportunity involves a separate School process that begins before this funder deadline date (17th August 2021). Further information is given below.

NB: To be eligible to apply BA requires that applicants completed their PhD viva voce between November 2018 and April 2022. Exemption from this criterion may be granted for reasons occurring after the date of the viva voce examination such as: maternity leave, illness, family commitments etc. 

SSPS Key Stages and Dates for an Outline Application - 2021-22 round

1. Mentor Identification

Applicants should be aware that SPS requires a mentor (SPS core staff) for all early-career fellowships. Applicants retain the responsibility of first identifying, contacting and securing an agreed mentor for a proposed project application. We strongly encourage all applicants to contact prospective mentors as soon as possible, and work closely with them in developing their application.

2. Notification of Expression of Interest to School

Once you have a mentor in place, you must let the Research Office know:

3. Submission to School Panel Process

In order to ensure proposals are as strong as possible, the School will be conducting a review of draft proposals. The School deadline for consideration for the 2021-22 round is 17 August 2021.

If you wish to apply for this scheme then you must send an abbreviated CV (2 page max) and a 1-2-page project proposal (minimum font 11, 2 cm margins for both please) to by 17 August 2021.

The project must also have Head of Subject Area approval at this stage - your mentor can help to obtain this endorsement via email before submitting your application for consideration by the School Panel.

4. Development and Submission of Outline Application to BA

The review panel will decide whether the School will support applications and provide feedback to successful candidates in order to strengthen their proposals. Please be aware we are restricted in the number of applications and the panel process is likely to be competitive. The panel will feed back to potential applicants by the end of August / early September 2021, allowing them sufficient time to proceed to the next stage. Applicants will receive research office support to develop and submit their proposals for the funder's deadline in October. This page will be updated when more information is available.

General Scheme Timetable for current round, 2021-22

First Stage: Outline 2021-22

  • SPS panel deadline: Tuesday, 17 August 2021 (abbreviated 2 page CV and 1-2 page project summary)
  • scheme Opens on BA website: July 2021
  • comments back from panel: the end of August / early September 2021
  • final draft of BA Outline stage application from selected candidates to SSPS Research Office (PDF of BA Flexigrant application): 23rd September 2021
  • British Academy Outline Stage application submission deadline for applicants, referees and institutional approval: 14th Oct 2021
  • result of Outline Stage Announcement: January 2022
  • second Stage: Full application submission

Second Stage: 2022

  • scheme opens: estimated January 2022
  • deadline for applicants: estimated February 2022
  • result of second stage announcement: estimated end of May 2022

Guidance for Applicants on BA Requirements

The outline application includes information on past academic experience, publications and the research proposal, but does not include financial information. Institutional approval is needed. You will need to register with the British Academy Flexigrant system to complete the Outline Stage application.

A budget is not needed at outline stage, as the application contains no financial information but we do ask candidates to liaise with the SPS Research office to work out a draft budget. An ethical review and School approval are still required at this stage. Please note the mentor should complete an ethical review in collaboration with the applicant at least 2 weeks before the October funder deadline.

Candidates who successfully pass the initial selection stage will be invited to submit full proposal via the online submission system Flexigrant. This includes the financial information, as well as a sample of academic work (article, chapter of PhD thesis, etc). The applicant can also then update information on publications, research experience, contact details etc.

Further information on the scheme and applicant eligibility is available from the British Academy Website.

Please inform the School Research Office as soon as you hear back from British Academy that you have been invited to the full stage so that you can receive the necessary support.