Alcohol Change UK New Horizons Grant Programme Open for Applications

Aligned with its Research Strategy for 2020 to 2023, Alcohol Change UK has launched the New Horizons Programme to support innovative academic research on alcohol harm, with a focus on new topics, theories and domains and challenging orthodoxies. The New Horizons Programme will encourage and support researchers to work in complementary ways: sharing design ideas and emerging findings and working together to achieve impact with their work. The intention is to deliver fresh, innovative and forward-looking research, with encouragement for projects that bring together different academic disciplines and bring new perspectives, theories and methodologies to their work.

The first phase of the programme will run from 2020 to 2023 and will provide funding over two years for four projects.

The theme for the first call under the New Horizons Programme is ‘Groups, Communities and Alcohol Harm’. The call for proposals will support research that explores how people’s use of alcohol relates to their membership of, or identification with, or exclusion from groups and communities and how construction of meaning within a community may promote or prevent alcohol harm amongst its members. Proposals will be invited from all academic disciplines and may involve a wide range of methodological approaches.

The rational for the theme is based on the need to understand the specific cultural issues that affect the alcohol harm experience by particular groups and the cultural framings that can be used to catalyse change within these groups. While epidemiology is prevalent in alcohol harm research, Alcohol Change UK sees the potential for the work of anthropologists, cultural geographers, historians, sociologists and others to bring new perspectives to research on alcohol harm and how to reduce it.

Groups and communities are defined as those that create or inform either identify and/or a sense of belonging, for example cultural, ethnic, national, religious, political, professional, geographic or other social communities of interest and identity. Research exploring experience of diagnostic groups (i.e. people diagnosed with the same condition, disorder or disease) would also be considered, provided it goes beyond simply exploring patters of alcohol use, to explore how belonging to a group interacts with someone’s drinking, experience of harm and use of services.

Alcohol Change UK is particularly interested in studies that focus on:

Groups, sub-groups and communities that are subject to stigma, discrimination or structural disadvantage by society at large or by the dominant group of identity.

Newly emerging or atypical communities (such as gamers, neo-libertarians, ‘sober-curious’ movements).

Comparative studies exploring variation in alcohol use and harm across groups, sub-groups and communities, and studies that explore the effects of overlapping or intersecting group or community memberships and identities.

The intersection of identity groups, drinking norms and narratives about those norms.

Changes in dynamics, such as the emergence of alternative sub-cultures that reject the norms of the dominant group.

The discourses and framings that justify or promote unhealthy drinking practices and ways in which those framings might be adapted to encourage positive behaviour change.

Project grants will support interdisciplinary research teams, in any academic discipline, based at UK academic institutions. The principle applicant must be able to demonstrate sufficient knowledge, skills and experience to oversee the research.

There is a total programme fund of £250,000. Up to four projects will receive funding of between £20,000 and £65,000 to fund research over two years.

Initial proposals must be submitted by the closing date of 31 July 2020.

The earliest start date for successful projects is April 2021.

More information about this research funding opportunity and the application process is available on the RESEARCHconnect funding information platform. RESEARCHconnect provides up-to-the minute content, insight and analysis on research funding news and policy. To find out more about how RESEARCHconnect can keep you in the know, and subscription fees, contact us today.