Monday, 5 September 2011

I Predict(ed) a Riot (Research Funding Call)

Cast your mind back 26 days. Yes, I know, it seems like decades ago now. Before the holidays. Before the return to work. Even before the return to school. Well, 26 days ago I was trying to predict when the Research Councils would issue a call for proposals on the London Riots.

The piece led to a short Twitter exchange in which I discussed the possible timeframe for a call. I was thinking it would be about six months, but Catherine Baker noted that there was already a call for papers on Breivik, around 20 days after the events in Norway. In the end I have to give it to Kate Bradley who accurately suggested four weeks. I thought that was hasty, but lo and behold, the LSE today announced that it had been funded to look at 'the causes and consequences of the English riots last month.'

Fabulous! The only thing stopping me handing over a big, glittering prize to Kate for her shrewd insight that, frankly, borders on clairvoyance, is that it was the Joseph Rowntree Foundation funding the research and not the Research Councils. 'There have been no attempts to systematically speak to those involved in the riots', gushes the LSE press release. Well, it was just a month ago. Give them time.

Moreover, I don't remember seeing the call for this. Given the usually glacial timeframe for funders to issue a call and assess applications, the haste of this announcement borders on the unseamly. How was Professor Tim Newburn identified so quickly as the worthy recipient of Rowntree's largesse? Hmm, I'd love to know, so that I can be well positioned for the next big news story.

1 comment:

  1. Sadly I have only just come across this post, what are your feelings on further funding being made available? Still hovering around at Kent, I'm interested in funding opportunities to look at the social media dimension - I imagine this is something LSE will be involved with as they are working with The Guardian as I understand it...