UKRI Policy Fellowships Launch for 2023

Funding for applicants to conduct collaborative research projects with UK national or devolved governments or What Works Network centres to address significant national and global challenges.

The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), and UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) have launched a policy fellowship opportunity with support from Administrative Data Research UK (ADR UK). Fellows will collaborate with a UK or devolved government host or What Works Network centre to conduct research activity addressing pressing national and global challenges.

Applicants will co-design research with the host organisation to inform policy on a priority area in order to help improve the exchange of knowledge between policy/government and academic institutions. A total of 49 fellowships will be awarded, covering a wide range of government partners and the devolved administrations.

Fellows will:

  • Scope and lead research-related activity with the host.
  • Work closely with hosts to ensure alignment of priorities and that analysis is as robust and useful as possible in driving decisions.
  • Provide advice and peer review to other aspects of the host’s work.
  • Support capability building within host in their area of expertise.
  • Strengthen engagement between government and academia through activities such as:
    • Connecting with related UKRI research portfolios, acting as a pipeline for knowledge exchange between them and hosts.
    • Publishing outputs from analysis produced, subject to clearance processes.
    • Knowledge exchange activities with academic institutions and other analytical and policy teams within government and intermediaries.
  • Supporting hosts and funders of this funding opportunity in the evaluation of the fellowship programme and improvement of future schemes.

Funding will be available for 18 months and will cover:

  • Inception phase for project set up, up to 3 months.
  • Main placement with host, 12 months.
  • Knowledge exchange phase, up to 3 months.

Applicants must:

  • Be based at an eligible UKRI research organisation.
  • Have a PhD or equivalent experience. Experience of working in a policy and knowledge exchange context is beneficial.
  • Depending on the funding opportunity, be either a researcher in the economic and social sciences, the arts and humanities or in the biotechnology and biological sciences, or be able to demonstrate how they could generate interdisciplinary insights through combining these disciplines with other recognised academic disciplines.
  • Meet the individual eligibly requirements of the specific fellowship to which they are applying.

UKRI will fund 80% of the full Economic Cost (fEC) of the fellowships. For fellowships with a Whitehall or devolved administration host the fEC is £170,000. This is inclusive of funding of up to £15,000 to support:

  • Additional placement-specific travel and subsistence costs.
  • Placement-specific mentorship.
  • Specific training requirements that are identified during the fellowship (including the inception phase).

For fellowships with a What Works Network host the fEC is £210,000 (inclusive of additional £40,000 budget for research and collaboration costs).

Applications should be submitted by the 20 April 2023 (16:00) deadline.

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