The Northern Network for Medical Humanities Research (NNMHR) has a strong national and international reputation as an interdisciplinary hub for researchers, practitioners and artists working in the critical medical humanities. Through a dynamic programme of events for early career researchers, and congresses held at Durham, Leeds, Sheffield and online in 2021, the NNMHR has been successful in engaging over two thousand researchers at all career stages and from all the disciplines contributing to the field. Collaboration and moving across disciplinary boundaries is increasingly important to generating new frameworks, scholarship and practices within critical medical humanities research.
Shifting the focus from small research projects and individual fellowships, the New Networks in Critical Medical Humanities Funding Scheme will enable the NNMHR to identify and support other networks of researchers committed to the innovative development, complication and expansion of the field. These networks will involve early career researchers in leading or coordinating roles, and will help catalyse new ideas, methodologies, collaborations and areas of further investigation within the critical medical humanities, nationally and internationally. We welcome proposals for new networks as well as applications from established networks seeking to support new activities or initiatives.
The New Networks in Critical Medical Humanities Funding Scheme is made possible by a Discretionary Award from Wellcome Trust [UNS128916].
We invite applications for grants of up to £2500 to support networking activities for up to two years.
Costed networking activity may include, but is not limited to:
- collaboration events and activities of core network members (including travel)
- collaboration and scoping events with relevant stakeholders
- scholarly outreach and public engagement initiatives
- core resources for collaborative research activity (including technological resources)
- costs associated with plenary speakers or keynote events
- costs associated with any publications emerging from the network in the duration of the award
- Staffing costs in the form of stipends or hourly payments for unwaged or precarious workers including but not necessarily limited to artists, activists, representatives from charities or similar organisations. If the ECR network leader named on the grant is not currently in full-time paid employment, funds may be requested to support their salary costs (on an hourly paid or fractional basis) for time spent coordinating network activities. Hourly paid staffing costs must be administered by the host institution in line with their own policies around casual employment.
Costs that are not eligible for funding include:
- teaching buy-outs, fellowships, or personal payments for individual or group research time
- technology and computing resources for individual use
Prospective applicants will be able to attend an online workshop to explore what makes a successful research network, to reflect upon the benefits and limitations of online working, to address barriers to access, and to share best practice.
The NNMHR will support successful applicants by offering them mentoring, helping them to establish the public profile of their network, and inviting them to showcase the activities of their network at the annual NNMHR congresses and through regular contributions to The Polyphony. The NNMHR will provide regular informal opportunities for the individuals running critical medical humanities networks to share their experiences and ideas, reflect on what is working and what is not, and identify areas of synergy and potential collaboration.
The NNMHR will agree with successful applicants an approach to evaluation prior to the commencement of funded activity. As they will engage and develop different constituencies and intellectual agendas, networks require space to experiment, as well as flexibility in the definition of what counts as ‘success’.
Applicants can come from any discipline or sector engaged in critical medical humanities research, working anywhere in the world. Applications will only be considered from groups of two or more individuals working collaboratively.
At least one applicant within the proposed network must be affiliated to an institution willing to administer the grant, should this be awarded. Contact details for this applicant (if someone other than the lead author) and their institution, as well as a letter of support from the institution concerned, must be provided.
In order to ensure that the network supports the career development of its coordinators, at least one applicant in this group must regard themselves as being early career (broadly defined as not having yet taken up a permanent post).
While a focus on critical medical humanities research is essential, the scheme recognises that research takes place in spaces beyond the academy and can be carried out within a wide range of professional, artistic and community contexts. Applications from researchers from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities and from people who identify as disabled or who have lived experience of illness will be strongly encouraged.
Applicants will be free to determine the nature and scope of network activity within the Wellcome Trust’s overall guidelines, and can use funds to cover the costs of network coordination. It will not be a requirement that networks generate discrete research outputs or applications for further funding; however, applicants must be able to identify some broader goals for the network beyond simply exchanging ideas, and to show how participation will benefit those involved in the network’s coordination and activity.
Applications will be assessed against the extent to which they:
- further a critical medical humanities approach to health-related research
- have the potential to impact positively on the people engaged, whatever their background, role, profession, status or career level
- involve early career researchers in coordinating or leading roles
- take intellectual risks or propose experimental ways of working
- are committed to inclusivity and have identified strategies to achieve this
- embrace interdisciplinarity as part of their approach to their chosen theme/s
- address the sustainability of the proposed collaboration and/or the topic at hand beyond the life of the grant (this could take a number of forms including ECR career development, or how the network might exist or evolve in the future)
Applications will be assessed by a panel made up of members of the NNMHR Steering group.
- While we will take into account matters like representation and diversity among the people and topics involved, the actual size of your network is not included in the assessment criteria. This is intentional. We want to see the best and most innovative ideas that the critical medical humanities have to offer. These might involve any number of people from any location/s in the world. Key questions addressed by these networks can impact local through to global settings and contexts, the most important thing is bringing the right people together to do that. Interdisciplinarity matters, but how you achieve this is up to you.
- Networks can work to broad or narrow themes: what matters is the furthering of knowledge and practice around approaches to thinking about health.
- The aims of individual networks might include the production of scholarly outputs but this is not essential. We are interested in bringing together new communities of thought and practice and how you seek to address issues within the field of critical medical humanities is up to you. We are happy to consider all types of activity that might positively impact the field.
Applicants should complete the application form (below), and email both the completed application form and institutional letter confirming support by 5pm (UK time) on Friday 6th May 2022 to Dr Christine Slobogin at . The NNHMR Steering Group will review the applications and notify all applicants of the outcome by early June 2022.
As described in Wellcome Trust’s Grant Conditions it is important to note that:
- NNMHR requires that all funded networks comply with the legal, ethical and risk-based processes of the institution administrating the grant. NNMHR also reserves the right to refuse any expenditure or event that does not meet adequate health and safety or ethical compliance standards
- Grant holders must inform NNMHR if planned activities and/or expenditure needs to change significantly within the duration of the award
- Any unspent funding must be returned to NNMHR at the end of the grant period.