Small Grants for Pandemics, Cities, Regions and Industry Open for Application

The Regional Studies Association (RSA) is a learned membership association and global forum for city and regional research, development and policy.

The RSA works with its international and interdisciplinary membership to facilitate the highest standards of theoretical development, empirical analysis and policy debate of issues at a sub-national scale, incorporating both the urban and rural and different conceptions of space such as city-regions and interstitial spaces. Its interests are multi-disciplinary, covering issues of economic development and growth, conceptions of territory and its governance and equity and injustice.

The RSA launched the Small Grant Scheme on Pandemics, Cities, Regions and Industry in 2020 to support its global membership base in pursuing research and disseminating evidence on how regions, cities and industry are addressing the impact of the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic. Grants of up to £4,000 (or euro or dollar equivalent) are available to individual researchers or research teams based at higher education institutions to conduct projects over a maximum duration of nine months. Applicants can be current members of the Regional Studies Association or can apply for membership at the same time as applying for a grant.

Proposed projects should involve a discrete piece of regional studies and/or regional sciences research and could cover economic, environmental, social, political, cultural, behavioural and technological change, and address conceptual, methodological and empirical or policy impacts.

Topics could address specific countries, regions or cities, providing that wider implications for global audiences are addressed.

Project topics could include, for example:

The impact on small businesses, including new or emerging consumer behaviour, trading patterns and times, deliveries/logistics, and changing retail footfall.

Changing patterns of air pollution and noise pollution in cities.

The importance of access to green and blue space for health and wellbeing purposes.

The impacts of lockdown on households caused by housing density and house space standards of recent building.

The impact on the gig economy, and employment security, including new patterns of where people work now and in the future.

The geography of production of health-related medical supplies and innovation in science and engineering.

Regional differentials in employment and lockdown impacts and the future of smaller cities and towns, particularly in disadvantaged areas.

Changing patterns of transport use, changing mobilities, and the future of rail and air.

The impact on specific sectors of the economy (e.g. tourism) and the challenges to pre-existing business models.

Alternative democratic futures including virtual governmental working and scrutiny, and public engagement in decision-making.

The opportunities to ‘reset’ policy, the economy and society in nations and regions for regional policy or industrial policy, or welfare.

A comparative assessment of different responses by individual nations, including differences between decentralised and centralised states.

The creation of new emerging social contracts through street and community level engagement and self-organisational support.

The emergence of new relational geographies and a need to revisit firm/innovation cluster theory and agglomeration economies.

The hollowing out of manufacturing and the rethinking of global supply chains.

Applications are now invited for the second application round of the Small Grant Scheme on Pandemics, Cities, Regions and Industry.

Applications should be submitted by the deadline of 30 June 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.