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Arts Humanities and Social Sciences Research


Research funding comes in many forms: if you're unsure what you're looking for, the information further down this page may be a good starting point. For all applications, the timeline below gives a general outline of the major steps involved.

Getting your research funded - an interactive timeline

(Click to enlarge)


Varieties of research funding

Most research funding comes under three general types: research grants, fellowships and networking grants. An overview of the main funding types is summarised in this table:

type of scheme research mode Research costs Teaching replacement
Grant Collaborative Most research costs Not necessarily
Fellowship Individual Some research costs Up to 100%
Network Collaborative Mainly workshops and coordination No


Internal processes

For all funding applications, check with your Departmental Research Grant Administrator regarding internal deadlines and sign-off procedures. Don't forget that the Research Operations Office operates an internal deadline in advance of the funder deadline.



research grant will usually cover a percentage of your research time for working on a specific research project and will, depending on its size, often involve collaboration with colleagues and/or other team members. Research grants are not necessarily designed to cover or buy-out any teaching and/or administrative duties you might have. Although teaching buy-out is often allowed by the funder, it is an internal arrangement between you and your faculty. Some grants will allow you to employee postdocs or other researchers, and may also fund research costs including travel, fieldwork, equipment and consumables.

Research Grants available for AHSS researchers.


Fellowships are usually for individuals and are designed to cover 100% of your time - both research and teaching - with the money you receive mainly being used to replace your teaching duties. This is designed to allow you enough time to complete a significant research project and will often be for a shorter duration than research grants. If your research doesn't require a big team or expensive equipment, but does require that you have some time to dedicate to pursuing it, this might be the form of funding for you.

Fellowships for early career researchers

Fellowships for established researchers

Networking grants

Networking grants are aimed at covering the costs of various types of meetings that are held under a central research topic. Funds will not cover your research time nor your teaching, being wholly centred on getting researchers together so as to answer certain key research questions. Networking grants can be a great way of preparing applications for larger collaborative grants, allowing you to make links and build consortia.

Networking Grants available for AHSS researchers.

Small-scale funding

Smaller-scale funding for accessing archives, collections, and libraries can also prove to be an invaluable resource. A useful tool for searching for these (and indeed all) types of funding is the Research Professional database. This is a comprehensive funding opportunities database that offers researchers the opportunity to search for research funding in all disciplines from a wide range of sponsors in the UK and overseas. You should have access to the website as a member of the University. There are also several internal funding streams within the University, largely aimed at pump-priming for subsequent larger bids.  

Internal funding streams for AHSS researchers.


It's crucial to check funder eligibility before starting the application process.  

Commonly, funder eligibility criteria refer to

  • time since PhD (please note that some funders make allowances for career breaks or parental leave);
  • whether or not you presently have a University affiliation;
  • whether you have a permanent or temporary contract.

This table gives an overview of some of the most popular funding schemes in the arts, humanities and social sciences and a starting point for checking your eligibility. Please also check all eligibility criteria in the funder's most recent scheme notes. 

If you're a College employee, please check the specific guidance provided.