The AHRC’s New Generation Thinkers 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 working with the media and public engagement. 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 60 successful applicants have a chance to develop their media skills, including programme-making ideas with experienced BBC producers at a series of dedicated workshops. Of these up to 10 will become New Generation Thinkers and benefit from a series of unique opportunities such as media and public engagement training with the AHRC and developing their own programmes for BBC Radio 3 including a chance to regularly appear on air. There will also be the possibility of working with BBC TV, putting on events for the Being Human Festival and the chance to become a regular blogger. Applications need to be able to propose an engaging and stimulating programme idea as well as show an ability to talk and write about other areas within the arts and humanities in an accessible and interesting manner, with an awareness of a wider listening audience.
Who can apply?
To apply for the New Generation Thinkers scheme, you must be:
a UK resident, and
Over the age of 18, and
Currently working or studying at a UK research organisation that is eligible to receive funding from UK Research and Innovation (see ‘Your organisation’s eligibility’, within the application guidance), and
Studying a relevant area of research (see ‘Your research’, within the application guidance available here ).
You must also be either:
A current PhD student who has made considerable progress on your research, for example within one year of submission, or
Within eight years of the award of your PhD, excluding any period of career break such as parental leave, caring responsibilities or health reasons, or
Within six years of your first academic appointment, excluding any period of career break such as parental leave, caring responsibilities or health reasons. This must be a paid contract of employment, either full-time or part-time, which lists research and/or teaching as the primary function, including research assistantships.
You do not need to have a permanent contract of employment to be eligible, as long as you meet the conditions above. You can apply if you have applied to the scheme before, as long as you weren’t selected as a final New Generation Thinker. You can’t apply if you work for the BBC, the AHRC or UK Research and Innovation.