South Korea produces significant volumes of high-quality social science, arts and humanities (SSH) research. Despite this quality and volume of output, the levels of collaboration with UK researchers are among the most under-represented of any leading research nation.
This networking funding opportunity has been commissioned to address the lack of connectivity and expand the level of engagement with South Korea. It aims to lower the barriers faced by UK SSH researchers seeking to collaborate with South Korean counterparts.
These networking grants are intended to provide flexible support for a programme of activity addressing the broad objective of establishing sustainable collaborations, leading to the development of joint research proposals.
Proposals may be submitted in any area of SSH, and on any topic. Interdisciplinary proposals across the breadth of the social sciences, arts and humanities are strongly encouraged.
The application must be principally focused within the ESRC remit or AHRC remit.
However, we encourage applicants to focus on areas where there may be particular value in collaboration between the two countries such as:
- post-pandemic recovery
- environmentally sustainable growth
- work and productivity
- healthy ageing
- global trade and security
- digital innovation and content
- ethics and technology
- urban development.
Other areas of focus that build upon the value of collaboration between the UK and South Korea are welcomed.
Furthermore, please note this networking funding opportunity is also intended to contribute to the UK government ambitions laid out in the 2021 Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy (GOV). This highlights the importance of enhancing the UK’s partnerships in the Indo-Pacific region.
The review also highlights the importance of research in addressing some of the key challenges shared by the UK and our international partners. Therefore, we would particularly welcome applications that contribute to the priorities identified in the Integrated Review such as:
- strengthening global resilience to challenges, risks and threats
- supporting open societies and defending human rights
- building a resilient and sustainable global economy
- strengthening global pandemic preparedness and health resilience.
Collaborations with disciplines outside of the social sciences, arts and humanities are also encouraged. However, proposals that are not identified as having a majority focus within ESRC and AHRC’s remits will be deemed ineligible.
Applicants should consider how their proposal makes the best use of available expertise in the UK and South Korea, together with the added value of new or existing collaborations.
The intention is that the networking activities supported through these connections grants will:
- enable new relationships between UK and South Korean researchers to be formed
- strengthen existing relationships
- enhance the overall level of connection between the UK and South Korean SSH communities.
This is intended to lead to the generation of new joint research agendas between the best researchers in both countries.
Grant start date must begin no later than 1 February 2022.
Specific objectives that underpin this funding opportunity are to:
- establish and enhance partnerships and networks between UK and South Korean SSH researchers
- promote the sharing of best practice and knowledge exchange between UK and South Korean SSH researchers
- identify and develop SSH themes or topics of mutual importance in the UK and South Korea and where enhanced bilateral collaboration would further world-leading standards in the respective areas
- support pump-prime collaborations between UK and South Korean SSH researchers.
Applicants are encouraged to develop innovative and creative programmes of activity. Examples of activities which might be involved include (but are not limited to):
- mobility, networking and travel for one or more investigators in either direction
- scoping studies
- workshops to explore future collaboration opportunities
- researcher exchanges
- visiting positions or fellowships (excluding salary costs) for early career researchers or staff exchanges
- website or digital costs
- other collaborative activities.
Please note this networking funding opportunity is not intended to support substantive research projects. Applications where the focus of the proposal is not clearly and primarily on networking projects will be rejected.
Collaborative activities should not be limited to the principal investigator and applicants must engage a network of researchers in both the UK and South Korea. There is an expectation that early career researchers will be included within proposed networking activities where appropriate.
Due to the ongoing uncertainty surrounding travel restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the funders recognise that the proposed programme of work may be subject to change.
We encourage proposals to consider how they might be flexible in delivery should regulations have changed when the time comes to implement activities.
ESRC and AHRC recognise that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused major interruptions and disruptions across our communities.
We are committed to ensuring that individual applicants and their wider team, including partners and networks, are not penalised for any disruption to their career(s) such as:
- breaks and delays
- disruptive working patterns and conditions
- the loss of on-going work
- role changes that may have been caused by the pandemic.
Panel members will be advised to consider the unequal impacts of the impact that COVID-19 related disruption might have had on the track record and career development of those individuals included in the proposal.
They will be asked to consider the capability of the applicant and their wider team to deliver the activities they are proposing.
Where disruptions have occurred, applicants can highlight this within their application, if they wish, but there is no requirement to detail the specific circumstances that caused the disruption.
This is a non-standard full economic cost opportunity, and therefore applicants should apply for 100% of the direct costs of the activities which they wish to undertake.
Travel and subsistence costs are eligible and are expected to constitute the majority of the requested costs. Conference costs, some consumables, costs for venue hire and setting up websites may also be included.
However, as this is a non-standard full economic cost opportunity, the grants are not intended to support substantive research projects and cannot be used to fund:
- salary costs
- investigator costs
- items of equipment
- other research costs.
This funding opportunity is aimed at supporting a programme of activity to build long-term sustainable collaborations. It is not intended to provide funding for individual travel grants or one-off visits.
Grant-linked studentship funding may not be claimed as part of any application. Such applications will be rejected.
To evidence the commitment of South Korean partners, applicants are encouraged to demonstrate and quantify an appropriate level of in-kind support from South Korean partners.
All applicants are also encouraged to seek institutional funding. This might include a monetary contribution from the international co-applicant’s institution or department, or an in-kind contribution such as venue hire or accommodation costs.
This forms part of the assessment criteria and therefore any co-funding or other contributions should be clearly specified in the application.