Understanding Society Policy Fellowships

Institute for Social and Economic Research

Funding is available for short term (6-12 month) Fellowships to undertake a social science project that uses Understanding Society data and which has the potential to make a substantial contribution to informing and influencing public policy. 

The Policy Fellowship scheme aims to enhance researcher-led impact among government departments, business and/or the third sector by producing evidence that supports policy makers to diagnose social, economic and health problems and evaluate or prescribe solutions. Projects that exploit the data’s longitudinal panel framework are particularly encouraged.

Understanding Society is one of the largest household panel studies in the world and a major infrastructure investment for UK social science. By allowing researchers to track individuals over a long period of time, the data can be used to assess the causes and consequences of change in individuals’ circumstances (such the birth of a child, marriage, separation, retirement) for themselves and their families (e.g. poverty, income, health, parenting). It also allows researchers and policy makers to gain a deeper understanding of issues such as poverty, unemployment or mental health, by allowing researchers to analyse whether conditions are persistent or transitory.

Policy Fellows will be expected, with the assistance of the Policy Unit, to engage widely with policy makers, including the Understanding Society Co-Funder Group or other relevant government departments. They will also be expected to work with the Policy Unit and our Co-funders to disseminate their findings and generate impact. The findings from the project should also be submitted to a peer review journal and presented at a minimum of one academic conference in 2018/2019.

Research must be completed by 30 September 2019, with dissemination of findings within a further six-month period.

Applications will be assessed on the basis of their scientific merit and potential for policy impact.  Any researcher based in a UK higher education institution, or at eligible research organisation is eligible to apply. We welcome applications from early careers researchers (<3 years post PhD) who should also identify a mentor in their own institution. 

Funding will be provided for salary and on costs for up to 12 months (full or part time). The planned project must be achievable in the timescale of the project, and the application should demonstrate this. The total budget should not exceed £60,000.

For more details and the application form please go to https://www.understandingsociety.ac.uk/2018/02/06/understanding-society-policy-fellowships

The deadline for applications is 9 April 2018.

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South East England