Tuesday, 30 August 2011

BA Reinstates Small Grants

Well, fresh back from my hols, I'm ploughing through the emails and finding out what I've missed. Firstly, good news from the British Academy: it has reinstated its Small Grants scheme. Hurrah! God bless the BA for swimming against the tide and backing a popular scheme that plugs that small grant-sized hole in national research funding provision.

I spoke to Ken Emond, Head of Research Awards at the BA, to check whether this would be a one off, or whether it would continue to fund the grants. He said that the intention was that it would be on-going, and that they would make 'strong representations and arguments' to BIS to do so. Whilst this is excellent news, it's still uncertain if it will run twice a year as it has in previous years: it might be reduced to an annual round.

So, good on the BA Fellows and Officers, who - very unfairly - I always imagine as inhabiting a private members club in Piccadilly, complete with leather wing back chairs and a grandfather clock ticking away in the distance somewhere. A few of the older members might be slumbering under their copies of the Times and dreaming of steamed sponge puddings, along the lines of Rowley Birkin QC. Please, if you work for the BA, don't shatter my dream and tell me it's all beige offices and power suits.


  1. It's excellent news, but one of the things I liked about the BA SGS was the (relatively) high success rates - it'll be interesting to see if they're maintained or not. Obviously this is partly a function of the amount of money available, and partly a function of the number of applications we throw at it!

    I must admit that I've always had a similar mental image of the BA. When I first signed up to Twitter, I looked for funders to follow, and was almost relieved to see that the British Academy didn't have a Twitter feed. If they did, I'd have to take it as definitive proof that the barbarians are at the gates, and the end of days is upon us.

  2. Yes, I agree Adam: at one stage the success rates were a delicious 70%, but I can't imagine that continuing. Nevertheless it's great to see the Small Grants back. And I'm glad I'm not the only to picture them mutton-chopped and communicating solely by cleft stick.

  3. Adam: as a Fellow of the BA I have been trying to get them on Twitter, with no success so far!