Social Policy Association Opportunity Grants

Please find information below about the Social Policy Association’s Opportunity Grant programme.

Note: the next round of applications is due to open in Autumn 2022. The information below describes the previous round of applications, and may be subject to change.

The grant provides up to £2,000 to members of the SPA for projects and events. Typically, this has included workshops, round table events and seminars. Often, the grants have enabled SPA members to host events that bring together academics, practitioners, and other interested parties. This might be an opportunity to showcase your work, begin conversations, or put in place the foundations for future research.

We are now in a position where we are emerging from the social and economic confines of Covid, though many of us in the SPA are only too aware of the lasting impacts and implications that stretch before us. The grant is an opportunity to rebuild relationships as well as forge new partnerships to address new challenges.

In addition, the SPA is ring-fencing some of the money for the establishment of a social policy race and ethnicity network. We recognise that race and ethnicity remains an under-represented area in the discipline of social policy, whilst also being pertinent to a range of areas within social policy. This is an area where the SPA has commissioned research, produced an action plan (available on the SPA website) and made progress through the work of conference organisers and journal editors.

With this in mind, one of the ways forward is to fund a ‘race and ethnicity network’ within social policy. This might engage with areas identified in the SPA’s action plan, though we imagine it will also have other areas of interest. This will have a grant of £2,000, though we are prepared to be slightly flexible if necessary. The SPA is not prescriptive regarding the membership and focus of the network, though it is envisaged that it will outward facing.

Application and assessment 

When scoring the applications, our criteria are:

  • Well planned and deliverable
  • Evidence of the event’s need or demand
  • Lasting or ongoing benefits or outputs
  • Does the application fit with the SPA’s focus and strategic goals?
  • To what extent does the applicant offer value for money?

The next round of Opportunity Grant applications will open in Autumn 2022. If you have any queries in the meantime, please contact our Opportunity Grant portfolio lead, Steve Iafrati ( Previous applications have involved sending details of your project/plan which comprise no more than two sides of A4 and outline what you are going to do, and the costs involved. Applications are considered by the SPA executive.

View reports of previous grant awards

Eligibility and conditions: Recipients of awards will be expected to:

  • Publicise their seminar/workshop as widely as possible, including through SPA channels
  • Write a short report after the event for the SPA website
  • Use this as an opportunity to advertise the SPA to potential new SPA members (including marketing via other channels, distribution of SPA leaflets, use of SPA logo, etc.)
  • Make the event as inclusive as possible(attendance need not be limited to SPA members).
  • Raise the profile of the SPA to external agencies (government, independent sector, research centres, etc.) in the UK and other countries as appropriate

Applicants must be members of the Social Policy Association

View past examples of successful applications


It is expected that the applicant’s host institution will cover the cost of individual items involved in staging the event and will then invoice the Social Policy Association for this amount.  If this is difficult please contact the SPA grants officer prior to application.

Please send your application or any enquiries to the SPA Grants Officer, Steve Iafrati via email.