Research voucher scheme for third sector organisations

Understanding Society works with third sector organisations to help further their mission and drive social change through the development of a research base to inform policy, support social innovation or improve services.

The 2018 research voucher scheme is now closed for applications. 

The voucher is designed to support high quality and innovative research ideas using Understanding Society. There are a number of ways in which the voucher can be used, for example, uses could include investigating a policy relevant topic through data analysis or setting up a trends report or policy monitor. An informal discussion with the Understanding Society Policy Unit prior to an application is highly recommended.

The scheme is designed to look beyond the research project and facilitate wider impact generation. As such, the voucher cannot be used for methodological (e.g. constructing and testing new questions) or academic research.

What does the scheme involve?

The scheme will bring together the expertise from the Study and the third sector organisation to:

  • Exploit the full potential of Understanding Society and its unique features.
  • Co-produce knowledge, through data analysis and drawing inferences for policy and practise from the findings.
  • Generate impact through outputs, events and other activities aimed at policymakers.

How does the scheme work? 

  • Successful applicants will work with the Policy Unit to produce a joint outline project plan. This plan will set out the scope of the project; it’s likely timings and outputs; it will take account of resources for both parties.
  • As a guide, the voucher will provide the organisation with 20 days hands-on expertise and research support, to be completed over a three-month period, with dissemination and other aspects of the project to be completed within a further six months.
  • The Policy Unit will discuss emerging research findings; but your input will be crucial to shaping the analysis. This ongoing dialogue will help to develop the narrative around the findings, which is important for outputs.
  • In order to further science, facilitate knowledge exchange and promote learning, publicly available outputs will be produced. You will be expected to develop a creative dialogue about the evidence and promote your findings to wider audiences.
  • Previous applicants such as the Young Women’s Trust have secured media coverage. Read the final report: Young, Female & Forgotten? The Final Report. Please note: This is not a cash grant – researchers from the Understanding Society Policy Unit will provide expert input and collaboration which will be reflected in the value of the voucher. (£10,000)

How can I apply?

Applications are invited once a year. The 2018 scheme has now closed. To be notified of the next call for applications please join our mailing list.  

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