The Leverhulme Trust has announced the launch of a second competition for Leverhulme Research Centre funding. This represents a commitment to each Centre of up to £1m per annum over a period of between five and ten years. The Trust’s aim is to encourage new approaches that may establish or reshape a field of study and so achieve a significant step-change in scholarship.
Professor Gordon Marshall, Director of the Leverhulme Trust, said: ‘We hope that this significant financial investment in UK universities will stimulate bold thinking and perhaps bring new disciplinary mixes to bear on an emerging topic of societal significance. The centres should have the capacity to become internationally recognised for excellence in their chosen area.
‘Those familiar with the Trust will know that it has a reputation for supporting higher-risk research, which is often fundamental or curiosity-driven - so-called 'blue skies' - and pan-disciplinary.
‘The hope is that this new round will result in bids that fold the social sciences and humanities more authentically into the mix, as compared to the pattern of the first round, in which many proposals were encouragingly multi-disciplinary but framed primarily in physical and life science terms.’
The first round of funding for Leverhulme Research Centres took place in 2015. Four universities bid successfully, resulting in the establishment of the Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence at the University of Cambridge; the Leverhulme Centre for Forensic Science at the University of Dundee, the Leverhulme Centre for Functional Material Design at the University of Liverpool and the Leverhulme Centre for Climate Change Mitigation at the University of Sheffield.
The application process for the next round of the Leverhulme Research Centres funding scheme opens on 4 September 2017. Each UK university will be permitted to make one bid as the principal applicant institution, and applications will be assessed via a two-stage process. The closing date for outline applications will be 9 January 2018.
Full details of the scheme are available at www.leverhulme.ac.uk/funding/grant-schemes/leverhulme-research-centres