British Academy Opens Call for Shared Understandings of a Sustainable Future

Funding available to support interdisciplinary analyses and fresh syntheses to achieve a transition to a net-zero economy.

The British Academy is inviting proposals to support interdisciplinary analyses and fresh syntheses to bridge two interrelated, but distinct challenges:

  • Achieving the goals of a transition to a net-zero economy that support wider goals of environmental sustainability;
  • in a way that mobilises and empowers a range of actors working across sectors and areas of society.

In this scheme, The Academy are seeking insight that bridges these challenges by inviting proposals from researchers in the humanities, social sciences, and the arts (the SHAPE subjects). Proposals should explore our central research question:

“How can collaboration across sectors (public, third sector, business and local communities), foster shared commitments to goals, values and programmes to deliver net zero as part of a sustainable future?”

In exploring the research question stated above, The Academy expect the following perspectives and insights to be relevant and may be drawn out (though these are not exhaustive):

  • An historically informed understanding of the drivers of grass-roots movements and local alliances to effect positive societal and economic change.
  • Interdisciplinary and intersectoral insights about language, structures, and processes of collective action and community initiatives to adapt to new challenges, and the kinds of social, cultural and physical infrastructures which might support such processes.
  • Understandings of how social, political and economic innovation can operate as a lever of change.
  • Analyses of the role of voice and trust in underpinning processes of collective action and change, and implications for governance.
  • Ideas which deepen our understanding of policy mechanisms based on exploring one or more of the dimensions and implications of place (locality, physical and social context), scale (individual, community, regional, national) and time (past, present, future; short, medium and longer term).

The Academy encourages proposals from multidisciplinary teams drawing on multiple insights and disciplinary framings. Applicants are encouraged to bring together different communities of expertise, for example, academic, professional, business, lay or community. In particular, we encourage responses from teams that include or are led by humanities researchers.

The lead applicant must be a researcher from the humanities or social sciences and be based at an eligible UK university or research institute.

The Academy expect to make up to six awards up to £20,000 each.

Awards will start in January 2022 for a duration of six months.

Funding can be used to support:

  • Research assistance
  • Travel, fieldwork and related expenses
  • Networking costs.

Projects must begin in January 2022.

Applications must be submitted online using the British Academy’s Grant Management System (GMS), Flexi-Grant® by the deadline of 8 December 2021 (5pm UK time).

(This report was the subject of a RESEARCHconnect Newsflash.)