New Generation Thinkers 2016

Return to opportunities

Summary

The AHRC and BBC Radio 3 are looking for applications for the New Generation Thinkers of 2016.

This pioneering scheme aims to develop a new generation of academics who can bring the best of university research and scholarly ideas to a broad audience – through BBC broadcasting. It’s a chance for early career researchers to cultivate the skills to communicate their research findings to those outside the academic community.

Each year, up to sixty successful applicants have a chance to develop their programme-making ideas with experienced BBC producers at a series of dedicated workshops and, of these up to ten will become Radio 3’s resident New Generation Thinkers. They will benefit from a unique opportunity to develop their own programmes for BBC Radio 3 and a chance to regularly appear on air.

BBC Radio 3 and its programmes Free Thinking, the Verb, the Essay and the Sunday Feature have provided a platform for debate and commentary from scholars across the world. You can listen to current New Generation Thinkers delivering Free Thinking Essays online now. You could now join them on air.

To celebrate AHRC’s tenth anniversary year and five years of the New Generation Thinkers scheme, a short film has been produced which follows the journey of NGT applicants. This short film includes useful tips and advice from successful NGT finalists including what to expect from the BBC-led workshops: New Generation Thinkers Film

Applicants do not have to be funded by the AHRC to apply; the scheme is open to all early career researchers based in a UK Research Organisation (either Higher Education Institution or Independent Research Organisation [IRO]). We also encourage those people who have previously applied unsuccessfully to the scheme, even if they made it to the workshop.

We welcome applications from researchers working in all areas of the arts and humanities. This year we are again extending the call for researchers who work in areas of social sciences and medical science whose work intersects with the arts and humanities. There are a series of interfaces, and many areas of common ground between. This can be seen in both cross-council programmes, Connected Communities and Life Long Health and Wellbeing.

Aims of the scheme

The aim of the scheme is to provide a development opportunity for early career researchers to cultivate the skills to communicate their research findings to those outside the academic community. The scheme wants to find the new generation of academics who can bring the best of the latest university research and scholarly ideas to a broad audience.

Applications should demonstrate an engaging and stimulating programme but also demonstrate an ability to talk about other subjects areas within the arts and humanities in an accessible and refreshing manner, with awareness of the wider listening audience. We would recommend that you listen to the 2015 winners’ programmes on BBC iPlayer Radio.

Successful workshop applicants

Up to sixty applicants chosen to attend one of three workshops

  1. Delegates will gain a perspective from BBC staff on how they commission, produce and present both Radio and TV
  2. The delegates will workshop their programme ideas with the help of other delegates and producers
  3. They will take part in an interactive and practice sessions to showcase their programme ideas and demonstrate their ability to communicate with the listening audience

Final applicants

Up to ten successful applicants chosen from the workshops will become Radio 3’s New Generation Thinkers for 2016. They will:

  • Work with BBC Producers to develop their own Programme ideas for BBC Radio 3
  • Be invited to a winners event to showcase their research and trail their programme idea at the Hay Festival 2016
  • Appear regularly on air in BBC Radio 3’s New Generation Thinkers slots
  • Become a guest-speaker at a New Generation Thinkers event at Radio 3’s Free Thinking festival of ideas in November 2016, recorded for Broadcast
  • Have a chance to make a short taster film for BBC TV Arts
  • Have the chance to speak at AHRC events to both senior academics and the public and feature their research on the AHRC website
  • Be offered further media training and support from the AHRC
  • Have travel and subsistence reimbursed for the winners event and the first radio programme recording in accordance with AHRC policy

Who's Eligible?

To apply for the New Generation Thinkers scheme, you must be:

A UK resident over 18 currently working or studying at a UK Research Organisation.

You will be either:
a) Currently a PhD student. If you are a doctoral candidate you should have made considerable progress on your research, for example be within one year of submission.

OR

b) Within eight years of the award of your PhD (this duration should exclude any period of career break, for example, family care or health reasons)

OR

c) Within six years of your first academic appointment (this is a paid contract of employment, either full-time or part-time, which lists research and/or teaching as the primary function

Anyone who has applied for in previous years is free to apply again except the previously selected researchers who became the final 10 New Generation Thinkers in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015.

Employees of the BBC and the AHRC are not eligible to apply.

Closing Dates

Closing Date: 11/01/2016

In your application you will be asked for a timescale to include please use a start date of Monday 4th June 2016 to Monday 29th May 2017.

Applicants should be available to attend workshops:

  • Thursday 10th March 2016, Salford
  • Monday 14th March 2016, London
  • Wednesday 16th March 2016, London

If invited to attend the workshops you will be offered a date at one of the three workshops. We will offer you an alternative date if you are unable to attend the first one offered. If you can not attend any of the dates then your place will be offered to another candidate. Applicants that are successful in attending the workshops should be available during the dates of the Hay Festival, Thursday 26th May to Saturday 4th June 2016. As the winners will be announced during this period.

How to make an application

Applications should be submitted using the Research Councils’ Joint electronic Submission (Je-S) System https://je-s.rcuk.ac.uk/ at the latest by 4pm on 11th January 2016, and will need to go through the appropriate institution submission process.

To prepare a proposal form in Je-S:

  • log-in to your account and choose ‘Documents’ from the menu
  • then select ‘New Document’
  • ‘AHRC’ as the Council
  • ‘Outline Proposal’ as the Document Type
  • ‘AHRC Outline’ as the Scheme
  • ‘New Generation Thinkers 7 January 2016’ as the Call/Type/Mode and
  • ‘Create Document’

Je-S will then create a proposal form, displaying the section headings below. Using the ‘Help’ link at the top of each section will provide guidance relevant to that section of the form.

Further Information

Full details of the call can be found in the New Generation Thinkers 2016 Call Document (PDF, 247KB).

For complete terms and conditions please see the Conditions of Entry for New Generation Thinkers (PDF, 92KB).

Contacts

For queries on creating and submitting the application form please contact the Je-S Helpdesk on jeshelp@rcuk.ac.uk or 01793 444164 who are available 9-5 Monday to Friday.

Return to archived opportunities