Funding opportunity

Funding opportunity: Fellowships to inform policies for culture and heritage capital

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Apply for funding to inform policies for culture and heritage capital.

You must:

  • be based at an organisation eligible for UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) funding
  • have a PhD or equivalent experience
  • meet AHRC’s early career researcher status.

You will:

  • co-design research with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport to inform policy on a priority policy area
  • help improve the exchange of knowledge between policy and academic institutions
  • bring a breadth of knowledge and apply your learning to policy challenges.

The full economic cost of your project can be up to £135,000. AHRC will fund 80% of the full economic cost.

Your fellowship award will last up to 13.5 months.

Who can apply

This opportunity is open to early career researchers who hold a PhD or have equivalent research experience. As well as relevant subject matter or methodological expertise, experience of working in a policy and knowledge exchange context is beneficial.

Detailed below are the full details on eligibility and other requirements for the fellowship, including security clearance.

You must ensure that you are able to meet these requirements when submitting an application.

Person specification

You must:

  • be based at an organisation eligible for UKRI funding
  • hold a PhD or equivalent research experience
  • be an early career researcher.

In addition, we welcome applications from individuals who can demonstrate:

  • qualifications or experience in a quantitative discipline for example economics, statistics or operational research
  • knowledge of applying economic valuation techniques
  • experience of using econometric methods and large datasets
  • the ability to explain complex analytical concepts in an easily understandable way through both written and verbal communication
  • excellent stakeholder engagement and collaboration skills
  • insight into working in a policy context
  • the ability to design and lead on knowledge exchange activity between research, policy and funder communities.

For funding purposes, AHRC defines an early career researcher as someone who is either:

  • within eight years of the date of successfully completing a PhD viva (or equivalent professional training)
  • within six years of their first academic appointment (where some or all of this period was a paid contract of employment to work part-time, the duration may be adjusted accordingly).

These durations should exclude any period of career break. For example, for family care, health reasons or reasons consequent upon the COVID-19 pandemic such as home schooling or increased teaching load. Further information can be found in the AHRC research funding guide.

DCMS is committed to creating an open, fair and diverse environment for all.

Through the diversity and inclusion strategy, the ambition is to be the most diverse and inclusive department in the UK government by 2025.

We encourage candidates of all backgrounds to apply for this role. We particularly welcome applications from ethnic minority, disabled and underrepresented groups.

Nationality and residence requirements

The opportunities are broadly open to:

  • UK nationals
  • nationals of Commonwealth countries who have the right to work in the UK
  • nationals of the Republic of Ireland
  • nationals from the EU, European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland with (or eligible for) status under the European Union Settlement Scheme (EUSS)
  • relevant EU, EEA, Swiss or Turkish nationals working in the civil service
  • relevant EU, EEA, Swiss or Turkish nationals who have built up the right to work in the civil service
  • certain family members of the relevant EU, EEA, Swiss or Turkish nationals.

Read more about the civil service nationality rules.

This opportunity may require counter-terrorism clearance that would normally require you to have been resident in the UK for the last three years. This is not an absolute requirement, but supplementary checks may be needed where individuals have not lived in the UK for that period. This may mean your security clearance (and therefore your appointment) will take longer or, in some cases, not be possible.

Opportunity requirements

All fellows will be required to:

  • sign a secondment agreement between AHRC, DCMS (the partner) and the relevant research organisation (the employer)
  • meet the security checks and other clearance and declaration of interest processes required by DCMS
  • observe the provisions of the civil service code and the Official Secrets Act 1989
  • complete a ‘conflict of interest’ form before being appointed. It is a condition of the secondment that the secondee ensures to the best of their ability that in the course of their duties for the department or government there will be no conflict of interest or perception of such that will or may cause either embarrassment to, or difficulties for, the employer or the department.

Your research organisation must:

  • provide mentorship support for early career researchers, including but not limited to generic project development, engagement and dissemination support, and (if necessary) project-specific thematic, methodological or data support
  • commit to supporting any additional costs agreed as part of the inception phase and for knowledge exchange activities through an appropriate full economic cost contribution.

What we're looking for

This opportunity aims to develop your career and enhance your understanding of applying research in policy contexts, through a secondment based with DCMS.

It aims to create deeper engagement between academia and policy, and it is expected that the benefits will flow to the wider academic community through fellows’ engagement with their home research organisation, students, and wider research communities.

As an AHRC-DCMS policy fellow, you will:

  • provide research and expert advice on the policy priority areas, including co-designing and delivering research projects and activities
  • engage in knowledge exchange activities across government and academia
  • build longer-term networks across research and policy.

The fellow will be uniquely positioned to build connections between the policymaking and research communities, as well as to generate and share new knowledge and insights on effective policy collaboration with the wider research community.

Scope

AHRC and DCMS would like to invite applications for an important fellowship to develop and improve methodologies for valuing the benefits of culture and heritage capital to society.

DCMS has an ambition to develop a formal approach to value culture and heritage assets called Culture and Heritage Capital (CHC). The programme’s ultimate aim is to create publicly available statistics and guidance that will allow for improved articulation of the value of the culture and heritage sectors in decision making.

Valuation of benefits and costs play an important role in deciding how the government should spend taxpayer’s money. The estimates should be used alongside other information, both quantitative and qualitative to create a robust evidence base for decision making.

Economists at DCMS and its partners Historic England and Arts Council England are right at the start of this journey. This fellowship therefore offers a unique opportunity to influence the evidence base that will be a key component in decision-making for culture and heritage into the future.

Valuing culture and heritage, whether social, cultural, economic or environmental, is particularly challenging because of the lack of market prices available. Until now, stated preference techniques have dominated the literature, however, these methods come with their own biases and limitations.

This research will therefore focus on:

  • improving accuracy of existing techniques used in the culture and heritage sector
  • employing methodologies from other sectors and mould them to accurately measure culture and heritage
  • developing new methodology taking advantage of the range of data available including new and novel sources
  • taking forward recommendations from the culture and heritage capital scoping study.

The fellow will co-design projects and activities with DCMS and produce analysis to inform government decision making across a range of policy priorities.

If successful, during the inception stage of the fellowship, you will work with DCMS to refine the focus and priorities for your placement. Alongside these specific activities, during your placement you will also engage across DCMS, building effective working relationships and supporting wider knowledge exchange with researchers. This will be supported through your embedded role within DCMS, including line management support.

Objectives and expectations of fellows

The fellow will:

  • scope and lead research-related activity with DCMS
  • work closely with DCMS 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 DCMS’s work
  • support capability building within your area of expertise
  • strengthen engagement between government and academia through activities such as:
    • connecting with related UKRI and AHRC research portfolios, acting as a pipeline for knowledge exchange between them and DCMS
    • publishing outputs from analysis produced, subject to clearance processes
    • undertaking knowledge exchange activities with academic institutions and other analytical and policy teams within government
    • supporting DCMS and funders of this opportunity in the evaluation of the fellowship programme and improvement of future schemes.

Benefits for fellow

As a successful fellow, your benefits will include:

  • undertaking cutting edge research, further knowledge and potentially accessing new and novel data
  • the opportunity to inform decision making on the most pressing policy problems of our time
  • developing a deep, broad and practical understanding of government analysis, operations, policymaking, data usage and priority areas for research
  • developing the ability to build your network of policy and analytical professionals within government
  • the potential to influence future policy-academia collaborations
  • the opportunity for publication across policy and academia, subject to clearance processes.

During your placement you will have line management and support from DCMS and throughout your fellowship you will also regularly engage with and receive support from AHRC.

In addition, as an early career researcher you will benefit from funded mentorship support from a more senior researcher in your organisation.

Duration and milestones

Your fellowship award will last up to 13.5 months and cover:

  • inception phase for project set up, three months
  • placement with DCMS, between six and nine months
  • knowledge exchange and impact phase, up to six weeks.

Inception phase

The inception phase will commence in February 2023 and will last for up to three months. This time will be used to co-produce your final fellowship scope with DCMS, other preliminary activity required to support this such as data access and accreditations, and for security clearance.

Your expected time commitment during this period is up to 0.2 full-time equivalent (FTE). During this period, you will remain based at your home institution but will join in-person or virtual inception meetings with DCMS and AHRC as required, subject to COVID-19 restrictions.

Through close collaboration with DCMS, you will:

  • develop full project or activity proposals for your main placement
  • prepare and submit applications for and receive the necessary level of security clearance (please note that in some cases obtaining security clearance may take longer than the inception period)
  • apply for additional costs up to the value of £10,000 (full economic cost) that are specific to your placement.

Placement with DCMS

The fellow is expected to start the main placement with DCMS in May 2023, once the project scope has been agreed and the opportunity requirements met (including security clearance).

We will consider full or part time (0.5 FTE minimum) placements for up to nine months. Further details on time commitments and duration of each placement are included in the specific opportunity descriptions.

Line management and support will be provided by DCMS who will have their specific requirements in regards to place of work.

During this period, you will also be expected to take up opportunities for connection with AHRC.

Knowledge exchange and impact

After the placement completes, you will return to your home institution, and will be supported for an additional period to maximise knowledge exchange and impact through agreed wider engagement and publication activity. You can apply for funding to cover a period of up to six weeks at up to 0.2 FTE maximum commitment, to undertake this activity.

Your plan for activities for this period will be further defined and agreed with DCMS and AHRC. During this later stage of the fellowship you will be able to apply for up to £5,000 (full economic cost) additional funding to support these activities. Further details will be shared with successful applicants.

During this period you will also be expected to take up opportunities for connection with AHRC and other fellows. After your fellowship award completes, you will join an alumni network to support ongoing opportunities for networking and knowledge exchange.

Location of your fellowship

This role will be based in any one of DCMS’s regional hubs. Hubs are currently based in London and Manchester, with further regional hubs set to be established in the near future.

Depending on the team and role, candidates will be expected to adopt a hybrid working pattern, with some attendance at the office, and some home or remote working.

Travel to and from the candidate’s base office will not be funded by DCMS and should therefore be factored into your application. In the application, please base your commuting costs on the location of your preferred hub.

Funding available

The AHRC-DCMS policy fellowship will provide up to 13.5 months of justified funding.

The full economic cost of your project can be up to £135,000. AHRC will fund 80% of the full economic cost. The host institution is expected to fund the remaining 20%.

Applications should be costed in accordance with normal full economic cost rules.

The nature of the scheme means that only the following costs can be requested:

  • salary costs of the fellow
  • salary costs of other staff, in addition to the applicant themselves, only the following justified staff costs are eligible:
    • a small amount of justified administrative support for the fellow
    • mentorship support is required (justified costs can be requested to support the mentor’s contribution to the fellowship)
  • indirect costs, including indirect costs associated with the fellow
  • travel and subsistence costs related to attending the DCMS Office
  • estates costs, as the fellow will be seconded to DCMS for the duration of the placement phase, this should be taken into consideration when calculating estates and indirect costs.

The scheme does not support the undertaking of research, and therefore costs of research assistants and research-related costs cannot be requested. Project students are not eligible for this opportunity.

During the inception phase, once the final focus of the placement is agreed you will also be able to apply for up to £10,000 (full economic cost) in further funding to support additional placement-specific:

  • travel and subsistence costs
  • mentorship or specific training requirements that were not included in your original application.

During the placement phase you will also be able to apply for up to £5,000 (full economic cost) to support activities in the knowledge exchange period.

Guidance on costs is set out in the AHRC research funding guide.

How to apply

You must apply using the Joint Electronic Submission (Je-S) system.

You can find advice on completing your application in the Je-S handbook.

Your host organisation will also be able to provide advice and guidance.

Submitting your application

Before starting an application, you will need to log in or create an account in Je-S. During account set-up, an account type of ‘An applicant on a Fellowship proposal’ must be selected.

We recommend you start your application early.

When applying, select ‘new document’, then:

  • council: AHRC
  • document type: fellowship proposal
  • scheme: AHRC fellowships
  • call/type/mode: AHRC DCMS Policy Fellowship 25 August 2022.

Once you have completed your application, make sure you ‘submit document’.

You can save completed details in Je-S at any time and return to continue your application later.

Deadline

AHRC must receive your application by 25 August 2022 at 16:00.

You will not be able to apply after this time. Please leave enough time for your proposal to pass through your organisation’s Je-S submission route before this date.

You should ensure you are aware of and follow any internal institutional deadlines that may be in place.

Completing your proposal

Within the Je-S proposal document the following sections need to be completed by all applicants.

Project details

Application titles should be prefixed ‘AHRC DCMS Fellowship’ followed by the applicant’s name. The start date must be 1 February 2023 and the duration up to 13.5 months.

Applicants

Enter details of the fellow, their research organisation and department.

Summary

Please copy the standard text provided below into the summary section of your proposal. Do not enter any additional text.

The fellowship will last up to 13.5 months to cover a three-month inception phase for set up activity, followed by a six to nine month placement with DCMS, and concluding with an impact phase lasting up to six weeks.

The fellow will co-design projects and activities with DCMS and produce analysis to inform government decision-making across a range of policy priorities. The fellow will also engage across DCMS, building effective working relationships and supporting wider knowledge exchange with researchers. This will be supported through their embedded role within DCMS, including line management support.

Objectives

Please copy the following standard text into the objectives section of your proposal. Do not enter any additional text.

The AHRC-DCMS policy fellowship scheme aims to create deeper engagement between academia and policy by offering researchers the opportunity to undertake a secondment at DCMS.

The AHRC-DCMS policy fellow will:

  • provide research and expert advice on the policy priority areas, including co-designing and delivering research projects and activities
  • engage in knowledge exchange activities across government and academia
  • build longer-term networks across research and policy.

The fellow will be uniquely positioned to build connections between the policy making and research communities, as well as to generate and share new knowledge and insights on effective policy collaboration with the wider research community.

Academic beneficiaries

Please copy the following standard text into the summary section of your proposal. Do not enter any additional text.

The benefits from the fellowship for the UK research environment will include:

  • opening up new research agendas across disciplines
  • an understanding across UK academia of what impact is and how it is generated
  • higher levels of mutual trust between government and academia that will lead to improved access to the extensive networks of government at home and abroad.

Proposal classifications

Please select up to five subject classifications that provide an indication of your disciplinary research interests, expertise and knowledge.

Staff

Please ask your research or finance office to assist you with completing this section. All staff involved must be included.

‘Directly allocated staff’ are those who will be working directly on the project, but whose involvement on the grant can only be based on an estimate of the time the work will take (for example mentorship costs).

‘Directly incurred staff’ are those whose time on the project is actual, auditable and verifiable (for example administrative support).

As your time commitment will vary depending on the phase of the fellowship you are in, you should include your average FTE in this section. You should then provide your time commitment for each phase of the fellowship within the case for support.

Resources

All resources must be fully justified in the justification of resources attachment.

Travel and subsistence

Travel to and from the candidate’s base office will not be funded by DCMS and should therefore be factored into your application. In the application, please base your commuting costs on the location of your preferred hub.

Enter the details of your anticipated travel costs, noting the rules stated in the ‘eligible costs’ section. As well as your anticipated travel costs, please budget for three joint meetings with DCMS and AHRC (to be held in Swindon or London).

Other directly incurred costs

Eligible costs under this heading include any additional costs associated with the requirements of the inception and placement phases of the fellowship.

The successful applicant will be able to apply for additional project related costs identified during their fellowship, up to a maximum value of £15,000 full economic cost funded at 80%.

This includes costs identified during the inception phase as required for successful completion of the placement phase of the fellowship (for example, travel and subsistence costs linked to accessing data and additional project-specific mentorship requirements or specific data training requirements), as well as costs to support knowledge exchange and impact related activity during the placement and impact phases.

Full details on how these costs will be requested and approved will be shared with the successful applicant. Therefore, such costs must not be requested at this stage.

Other directly allocated costs

Including support staff salaries and a share of the costs of departmental support staff.

Estates and indirect costs

Enter the estates and indirect costs associated with the fellow. As the fellow will be seconded to DCMS for the duration of the placement phase, this should be taken into consideration when calculating estates and indirect costs.

Attachments

As well as the Je-S application form, the following documents must be submitted, unless it is indicated they are optional:

  • case for support
  • justification of resources
  • applicant CV
  • mentor CV
  • publication list
  • head of department statement.

General guidance on attachments is provided in the AHRC research funding guide. Any guidance specific to this opportunity is provided below and takes precedence.

You should attach your documents as PDFs to avoid errors. They should be completed in single-spaced Arial 11 font or similar-sized sans serif typeface.

Case for support

The case for support should be a maximum of five sides of A4. Please use the following headings to structure your case for support.

Opportunity applied for

In this section please state clearly the name of the fellowship you are applying for.

Motivation in applying for this opportunity

In this section please outline:

  • why you are interested in becoming an AHRC-DCMS policy fellow
  • what you would hope to gain from the opportunity
  • how you see it fitting into your long-term research career.
Expertise relevant to the specific opportunity

In this section please outline your particular expertise in and experience relevant to what is listed as required for the specific opportunity you are applying for.

Communicating complex information and analysis

In this section please outline your experience and insights on translating complex information and analysis into meaningful narrative for a non-academic audience, verbally and in writing. For example:

  • public policy engagement within or outside government and politics
  • provision of expertise to non-academic users
  • writing reports or giving presentations for the third sector.

The examples given are purely for illustrative purposes and are non-exhaustive.

Using expertise in a non-academic context

In this section please outline your experience and insights on using your expertise in a non-academic setting. This includes the challenges and opportunities of co-production and collaboration between research and non-academic partners (for example, public policy, third sector and business).

You are also invited to share your understanding of the analytical needs of the specific opportunity host and how research expertise may be relevant to these.

Designing and leading knowledge exchange activity

In this section please briefly outline:

  • your experience or insights into the challenges of effective knowledge exchange between research, policy and funder communities
  • your initial ideas for how to address the fellowship’s objectives through knowledge exchange activity during the placement and impact phases
  • your initial thinking on how you would approach refining and prioritising knowledge exchange opportunities during the first half of your placement.
Early career researcher status and mentorship

In this section please provide a description of how you meet AHRC’s criteria for early career researcher status. It is a requirement that early career applicants are provided with appropriate mentorship by a more senior academic with relevant experience from within their institutions.

In this section the mentor should be identified and mentorship arrangements summarised, including support towards generic fellowship development, engagement and dissemination activity. A CV should also be attached for any mentor included on the proposal.

Mentors are not subject to government security clearance and will not be able to access all resources and documents available to the fellow.

Justification of resources

The justification of resources should be a maximum of two sides of A4. Please provide a justification for costs requested to undertake the fellowship.

Applicant CV

The applicant CV should be a maximum of two sides of A4.

Mentor CV

The mentor CV should be a maximum of two sides of A4.

Publications list

The summary list of publications should be a maximum of one side of A4.

Head of department statement

The head of department at the host research organisation must complete a statement in support of the proposal of no more than one side of A4. This statement must be on headed paper, signed and dated within the period that the opportunity is open. The statement should:

  • confirm that the applicant would be accepted into the department for the purpose of undertaking the fellowship (if the applicant is not currently hosted at the research organisation)
  • explain how the proposed fellowship would fit in with the department’s wider research programme
  • confirm commitment to provide (if applicable) appropriate mentorship support for early career researcher applicants, including but not limited to generic project development, engagement and dissemination support.

How we will assess your application

Assessment will have two stages. All applications will be assessed and shortlisted by a panel of academic and non-academic experts. A shortlist of applicants will be invited to attend an interview with expert panel members.

Interviews are expected to take place in November 2022 on an online communications platform. When the opportunity closes, all applicants will be informed of the final interview dates and when we expect to inform you if you have been shortlisted.

We expect the funding decision will be communicated in early January 2023.

The panel will assess the quality of your written application and your interview performance against the following criteria:

  • understanding of the analytical needs of DCMS and an ability to grasp and respond to these effectively at pace
  • subject matter or methodological expertise relevant to the requirements of the specific fellowship
  • the ability to translate complex information and analysis into meaningful narrative for a non-academic audience, verbally and in writing
  • an understanding of the challenges and opportunities of co-production and collaboration including with non-academics
  • the ability to design and lead activity that supports effective knowledge exchange between research, policy and funder communities
  • value for money across all budget areas requested, including where relevant for wider institutional mentorship and support.

Contact details

Get help with developing your proposal

For help and advice on costings and writing your proposal please contact your research office in the first instance, allowing sufficient time for your organisation’s submission process.

Ask about this funding opportunity

Email: enquiries@ahrc.ukri.org

Get help with applying through Je-S

Email

jeshelp@je-s.ukri.org

Telephone

01793 444164

Opening times

Je-S helpdesk opening times

Additional info

Supporting documents

AHRC research funding guide

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