Innovation Fora: Open call

NCRM aims to stimulate imaginative developments in research methods and to be responsive to new methodologically-related needs and opportunities as they arise within the social science community and beyond. We are delighted to invite applications for funding of up to £3000 for collaborative Innovation Fora.

These events focus on bringing together a diverse group of experts to share knowledge and best practice on a topic with a view to achieving clear objectives producing one or more outputs. Previously, these events have ranged from producing a position paper to the development of training or online resources. Fora can be either face-to-face or online. When in-person, they typically last one or two full days, when online they tend to run over consecutive weeks, and are always intended to generate a substantive contribution beyond a single workshop.

The awards are intended to provide flexible support for an event with the objective of advancing methodological understanding and practice in the social sciences. There are no topic restrictions, but applications should address methodological innovation in one or more social science disciplines.

Aims and scope

NCRM’s overall mission is to provide a strategic focus for the identification, development and delivery of an integrated national training and capacity-building programme aimed at promoting a step change in the quality and range of methodological skills and techniques used by the UK social science community.

Proposals should be characterised by a common focus on method or topic rather than discipline. This may be reflected in the interdisciplinary composition of networks, the methodological outputs and/or in the demonstration of transferability of methods to other disciplines or substantive contexts. Applications that foster relationships outside of academia and beyond the social sciences are particularly welcome.

NCRM has a remit to ensure the involvement in its activities of social scientists from across the different regions and countries of the UK. It is important that applicants take this into account in their proposals. Applications must clearly show how this funding support will add value to UK social science methodology and facilitate longer-term collaborations.

Eligible costs

The funding limit is a maximum of £3,000. A full cost breakdown will need to be provided with the application.

The scheme is non-FEC, therefore investigator time, estates costs, indirect costs, etc., are not eligible costs. Travel and Subsistence (UK and Overseas), consumables, costs for venue hire and marketing may be included. Fees for keynote speakers will be considered but should be fully justified in terms of the intended outcomes. Online events can include costs for supporting software or tools where necessary.

Full event administrative support will be provided by NCRM (free of charge) and will be agreed in advance of the event.


Applications will be assessed against the following criteria:

  • The methodological focus of the event and, if known, the expertise of the main attendees.
  • The expected outputs of the event (for instance, possible development of joint proposals, joint publications, training materials etc).
  • Potential for input into NCRMs training and capacity building programme.

Application process

Please download and complete the expression of interest form (Word document).

  1. Expression of interest

    Please complete the expression of interest form and email this to This will be reviewed by an expert panel to assess the suitability of the proposal.

  2. Informal interview

    This will take the form of a discussion with the NCRM deputy director. The goal is to learn more about the nature of the intended event and scope of the activities. This may also lead to suggestions about development of the idea.

  3. Decision on the proposal

    You will be sent feedback on the proposal and, if successful, an informal statement of intent to fund including any conditions of the funding and an outline of expectations (on both sides).

Further enquiries

We are happy to have conversations about ideas that you may have prior to submitting expressions of interest. We may also be able to help connect you to others who maybe working along similar lines or have interest in the event that you are envisaging. Please contact the Training and Events Co-ordinator at