The PSA Research & Innovation Fund is a new initiative for the Political Studies Association (PSA). With the time and resources available for academic research both under increasing pressure, the PSA has decided to create a new source of support for individuals and groups in pursuing high-quality research or innovative engagement exercises that further our discipline.

Access to this fund will be exclusive to PSA members


The Application and Assessment Process


PSA members have the opportunity to apply for funding (for 2021) as follows:


  • Applications open: 30th October 2020
  • Deadline for applications: Noon, 20th November 2020
  • Feedback to applicants: w/c 07 December 2020.


Depending on the popularity of the first round, PSA members may get an additional opportunity to apply for funding in May 2021. Payments will be subject to the PSA’s expenses policy.

Applications will be judged by a panel of PSA Trustees and staff.

Applications can be for high quality research projects, digital events or other engagement exercises, and other innovative endeavours. Projects may relate to any area of political science and international relations and involve the use of any recognised methods and theoretical approaches. Projects relating to the pedagogy of the discipline are also welcomed. Each application will be judged according to:


  • The quality of the proposed research or activity
  • The thoroughness of the application in terms of realistic and justified costs; and clear, deliverable, and desirable outcomes
  • The potential of the funded project to make a significant contribution to advancing knowledge or understanding in important ways
  • How well they support the PSA’s strategy and aims, including its commitment to making the discipline more diverse and reflective of society
  • How innovative it is including outreach beyond academia to the public, media, and policy-makers


The panel will also need to be satisfied that no research ethics concerns will arise from the project, and that proper ethical procedures are being followed.

Bids for funding will be accepted from individual members of the PSA, or from any of the PSA’s specialist groups, Teaching and Learning and Early Career networks. Applications from, or prominently featuring, early and mid-career scholars, or that show collaboration between or with PSA specialist groups or networks, are particularly welcomed.

Applications will normally be for funding up to £2000, although applications for larger amounts may be considered for proposals which are highly collaborative or innovative, on an exceptional basis. As the fund is finite, we may not be able to support all the applications submitted but may hold these over for consideration in a future round.

All successful applicants will be required to write up an evaluation of their project and what it achieved for PSA trustees and for communication with members. If you have questions or would like any advice on your application, please contact us via