In the summer of 1999, the SLSA Grants Scheme was announced in the Socio-Legal Newsletter. From the start, it was a great success and has continued to attract applications from across the breadth of socio-legal studies from both junior and senior academics. The Fieldwork Grants – with separate selection criteria – were added in January 2013 under the general umbrella of the grants scheme – in response to the number of applications from postgraduate students. The scheme's aim in both cases is to support work for which other funding sources are not available and to encourage socio-legal research initiatives in a practical way. Originally amounting to £5000 per year, the total fund now stands at £15,000.
- Roll of honour: full list of past grantholders and project titles.
Applications for the 2020–2021 scheme are now open.
Applications to the scheme are considered only from those who are fully paid-up members (or registered as free student members) of the Socio-Legal Studies Association, wherever they live, by 31 October in the year of the application.
Applications must be made using the Grant Application Package or the PhD Fieldwork Grant Application Package. The Application Packages are subject to change (last updated 17 March 2021).
Subject to the section above, SLSA members interested in applying for a grant are reminded that the deadline is 31 October each year. Individual awards are up to a maximum of £1500. The Grants Subcommittee takes the following elements into consideration when judging applications:
- clarity of the aim(s) and objective(s) of the research; originality, innovativeness and importance of the research; methodology (including coherence with aim(s) and objective(s), practicability and, if applicable ethical considerations); budget; and potential impact;
- funding will not normally be provided for conference attendance or to subsidise postgraduate course fees;
- funding will not be provided via this scheme for one-day conferences or for seminar series;
- PhD students seeking assistance with fieldwork costs may apply for a PhD Fieldwork Grant but not for a Small Grant;
- feedback will be given to unsuccessful applicants;
- no member will receive more than one grant per year;
- Board members are not eligible for the scheme.
Decisions for each round of grants are made no later than 31 January each year.
You must use the prescribed forms for your grant application and you are advised to look at the titles, reports and summaries from past grantholders to help you decide whether your project is appropriate for a grant.
One condition of receiving a grant is that grantholders are required to supply a summary of their project aims on commencement and a report of their findings on completion. Both will be published in the Socio-Legal Newsletter. Please see back issues for past examples of these.
In summer 2017, the then chair of the Grants Subcommittee, Jess Guth, wrote an article for the Socio-Legal Newsletter SLN 82:5 to help future applicants polish up their proposals.