SPA Opportunity Grants: Applications Open for Autumn 2023 Round (Deadline 29 September)

The Social Policy Association’s Opportunity Grants programme for Autumn 2023 is now open for applications.

Deadline: 29 September 2023 (decisions to be communicated by 20 October).

As previously, this scheme is designed to enable events to happen which promote social policy by – for example – helping to showcase research, exploring issues in learning and teaching, beginning conversations, making connections between different academic perspectives, and bringing together academics, students, practitioners, service-users, policymakers and others with a stake in social policy.  They may be UK-focused, or comparative between different national contexts.[1]

For the Autumn 2023 round, the grants will again be split into two tiers:

Category A

Grants up to £1000

Category B

Grants up to £5000

Splitting them in this way is designed to help maximise the range of events, and – through Category A – to make it easier for smaller, early-stage exploratory projects to take their place alongside those whose scale necessitates a greater level of support (Category B).

Each of these can play a differently vital role in forging partnerships, sharing knowledge, setting agendas and bringing together different perspectives.  Hence we regard both categories as being of equal value.

Category B applications may involve a series of events rather than a single one – or (for example) the establishment and initial stages of a network. The amount of funds provided under either category will depend on the distribution of applications received.

[1] Applications from members outside of the UK may (because of the requirements of UK charity law) be required to involve a co-applicant based in the UK.



Any member of the Social Policy Association may apply.  You may join the SPA for the purposes of applying.  We encourage applications from people not based in universities.



The subject-matter of the programme is open.  Events addressing any issue in social policy broadly construed will be considered.  However for this round, we have identified two priority areas:

  • Participation by early career researchers
  • Involvement of the third sector

While neither is a strict condition, preference may be given to applications which clearly incorporate these aspects.  Clearly third sector involvement will be more pertinent to some themes and topics than others.  We would suggest that all research-related applications would benefit from having reflected on how best to involve ECRs in the events they propose.



Read full information on application requirements and assessment criteria on the SPA website here.

Please send your  enquiries to the SPA Grants Officer, Gideon Calder, via email.  Gideon will be very happy to discuss ideas and give feedback on what may be most suitable for the scheme, as well as receiving applications.