We are inviting applications from early career researchers across the humanities and social sciences to participate in a Knowledge Frontiers symposium on the theme of “Just Transitions” to be held in November and December 2021 in partnership with the Polish Academy of Sciences. The symposium will seek to bring cross-regional and multi-disciplinary insights to bear on the issue of “Just Transitions” and provide seed funding opportunities to help create new networks and long-term collaborations.
Call for Applications
The Polish Academy of Sciences and the British Academy
Knowledge Frontiers Symposium
1. The British Academy and the Polish Academy of Sciences invite applications from early career researchers in the humanities and social sciences to participate in a virtual Knowledge Frontiers Symposium on the broad theme of Just Transitions. The Academies are keen to ensure that the diversity of the humanities and social sciences are represented at the virtual Symposium.
2. The virtual Symposium will take place over a series of dates in November and December 2021. There will be two sessions of an hour each per day on Tuesday 23 November, Wednesday 24 November, Tuesday 30 November, Thursday 2 December, Wednesday 8 December, and Thursday 9 December.
3. The Symposium will encompass a range of virtual research activities that will facilitate cross-disciplinary and international discussion, networking, knowledge exchange, and cooperation.
4. The Symposium aims to encourage international engagement and collaboration between early career researchers based in Poland and in the United Kingdom. This is supported through the possibility for participants to apply for seed funding at the close of the Symposium.
5. This call is for applications to participate at the Symposium. It is not an application for funding. Participation at the Symposium is not a guarantee of funding.
6. At the 24th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP24) in Katowice the ‘Just Transition’ Declaration was adopted. This virtual Symposium will directly follow the 26th UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow between 1-12 November 2021 and will focus on the theme of just transitions and how collaboration across the humanities and social sciences can be instrumental in understanding and facilitating the most profound social and environmental transformations in human history. The humanities and the social sciences, are central to defining and exploring just transitions, interrogating the
challenges and trade-offs involved in change, and identifying ways forward.
7. The humanities and social sciences can bring key insights to the human, social, economic and cultural challenges that may accompany the transitions to environmentally sustainable ways of living. The humanities and social sciences can bring light also to how just transitions can be experienced and understood differently across geographies, societies, and communities; how such transitions have been managed in the past and how they have been imagined and represented in the past, present and future; and how and by whom such transitions should be designed, led and enforced.
8. These transitions may result in radical alterations to human and community relationships, and people’s ways of living and beliefs. Humanity is fundamental to the understanding, experience of and realities of how the world will be able to respond to the environmental emergencies we face. The process for achieving these transitions is still to be fully realised, with those most vulnerable at risk of bearing the more negative effects of change.
9. The virtual Symposium invites participants to think of just transitions across different timeframes, imaginations, ways of life and contexts, to explore and address the need for creative interventions and adaptations, and how societies might begin to manage the significant transitions towards a sustainable future, including the moral, ethical, political and practical implications that might flow from such efforts.
Aims of the Symposium
10. The virtual Symposium is designed to be an interactive and free-thinking experience where a diverse range of participants and perspectives will be brought together. The idea is to develop an immersive and intensive opportunity to develop dialogue across disciplines and international collaborative thinking.
11. The Academies wish to:
• Foster discussion and engagement between early career researchers across the humanities and social sciences;
• Provide opportunities to listen and speak to different perspectives, terminologies, experiences and methodologies;
• Cultivate international networking and relationship building between early career scholars based in the UK and Poland;
• Provide opportunities for participants from the UK and Poland working together to apply for funding for seed projects.
12. The Symposium will have twelve one-hour sessions over six days: Tuesday 23 November, Wednesday 24 November, Tuesday 30 November, Thursday 2 December, Wednesday 8 December, and Thursday 9 December. Participants will need to be available for these sessions.
13. The virtual format will allow for extensive dialogue and debate, discussion of works-in progress, exploratory roundtable conversations and less structured opportunities to discuss participants’ ideas for collaboration related to seed funding, as well as allowing time for feedback and presentations on those ideas to the wider group.
14. The virtual activities will bring together around thirty early career researchers from the UK and Poland (understood as up to seven years after obtaining a PhD) from across the humanities and social sciences to discuss key questions around the theme of the Just Transitions. The virtual activities will be designed to encourage collaboration and exchange between early career researchers.
15. In advance of the Symposium, participants will also be able to discuss their research and exchange ideas among themselves; begin to discuss the session themes; and make connections for possible future activities.
16. In order to incentivise long-term collaboration and networking, seed funding will be made available for which participants can apply. These collaborations must be international in their makeup, and can be either partnerships or groups. Time will be set aside for participants to share and discuss their ideas for collaboration over the course of the virtual sessions as well as receive feedback on their ideas. The application form for seed funding will be circulated in advance of the Symposium to ensure participants are fully aware of the opportunity and requirements.
17. This call is for applications to participate at the Symposium. It is not an application for funding. Participation at the Symposium is not a guarantee of funding.
18. In addition to funding a number of collaborative proposals, the Symposium will aim to provide opportunities for a range of other outputs. Participants, for example, could be invited to contribute to a publication focused on the Symposium theme, either through individual papers or in partnership with other Symposium participants. In addition, the British Academy has been working on a series of outputs in relation to COP26. Further
information about such opportunities will be provided at the Symposium.
19. The Symposium will also provide an opportunity for participants to learn more about the different programmes and activities of the Polish Academy of Sciences and the British Academy.
20. For the purpose of this Symposium, early career is defined as being within a seven-year period from the award of a doctorate.
21. Participants must be based at research institutions either in Poland or the UK.
22. The activities will be conducted in English. Written and spoken fluency in English is required.
23. Participants must be able to participate in at least 75% of the virtual sessions. If this is not met it will result in a participant not being eligible for the seed funding available.
24. UK-based attendees may only participate in two British Academy Knowledge Frontiers Symposia in any 24-month period.
25. Applications will be assessed against the following criteria:
a. Proven research interest and/or experience in the Symposium’s theme;
b. Commitment to interdisciplinary engagement and research;
c. Value of Symposium to applicant’s career development.
26. Applicants should provide a completed application form (including a CV which must not exceed two pages).
27. Applications must be submitted online using the British Academy’s Grant Management System (GMS), Flexi-Grant®. The deadline for submissions is Wednesday 21 July 2021 at 17.00 (UK time).
28. We will seek to notify successful applicants by the end of September 2021.
29. Further information is available from Emily Zerling, firstname.lastname@example.org
About The Polish Academy of Sciences
The Polish Academy of Sciences (PAN) is a state scientific institution functioning as a learned society. It is acting through an elected corporation of top scholars and as a research performing organization through its numerous scientific establishments. It has also become a major scientific advisory body through its scientific committees. PAN as a leading national scientific organisation is comprised of a network of 68 research institutes and 20 auxiliary scientific units. The mission of the Academy is the development, promotion, integration and dissemination of science as well as contribution to the development of education and
enrichment of national culture.
About The British Academy
The British Academy is the UK’s national body for the humanities and social sciences – the study of peoples, cultures and societies, past, present, and future. The British Academy’s purpose is to inspire and support high achievement in the humanities and social sciences throughout the UK and internationally, and to promote their public value. We have three principal roles:
• A Fellowship of distinguished scholars from all areas of the humanities and social sciences, elected by their peers, that facilitates the exchange of knowledge and ideas and promotes the work of our subjects.
• A Funding Body that supports the best ideas, individuals and intellectual resources in the humanities and social sciences, nationally and internationally.
• A Forum for debate and engagement that stimulates public interest and deepens understandings, that enhances global leadership and policy making, and that acts as a voice for the humanities and social sciences.