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2025/26 IAS Major Project Application

The IAS supports, promotes and grows new and creative interdisciplinary ideas that transform our perspectives in challenging and provocative ways. We provide time, space, and resources to exchange and integrate ideas, knowledge and skills. We are a home to an inclusive, diverse and supportive community of scholars from Durham University and across the world. 

The IAS is now launching its call for Major Projects – investment of up to £55,000 per project in major interdisciplinary research ideas across the University. We are inviting applications for Major Projects which should be genuinely interdisciplinary, innovative and ambitious. We encourage projects that have the potential to build towards research of the scale and ambition suited to large programme or centre type funding. All projects must be led by two academics in two different faculties with a wider team ideally involving collaboration across a broad range of disciplines.

MAJOR PROJECTS (to run in academic year 2025/26)

These will be ambitious projects working across at least two disciplines and across faculty boundaries. Successful projects will be supported with:

  • Two Durham Academic PIs awarded Christopherson-Knott Fellowships to buy out their time for one term to work on the project
  • Two high quality external IAS Fellows to visit Durham for a period of one term to work on the project
  • Financial support of up to £3500 for research activities during the project
  • Financial support to build activities in the year running up to the project term
  • Further financial support to continue the momentum of the work from the project term in the following year
  • Access to the facilities and resources of the IAS

Anyone considering applying is encouraged to discuss the process and their project with the Directors of the IAS. Please contact the for more information.  

A drop-in session will also be held at the IAS on Monday 11 December, 2.00 – 4.00pm for any colleague who wishes to come along to the IAS and discuss in person. No need to book a place.


An initial brief project outline should be submitted by email to Linda Crowe at by midday GMT Friday 12 January 2024 using the Outline Form attached below.

All applicants (PIs) will be invited to the IAS on either Tuesday 16, Wednesday 17 or Thursday 18 January (see schedule in the Outline Form for date preferences) to briefly discuss their project and ideas with the IAS Directorate. This affords the opportunity for guidance and support to each project proposal as they go forward to a full application.

Please be aware that Previous Major Project Investigators are ineligible to apply within five years (of their award), though they remain able to be part of the wider research team on a project.

If the application goes forward, the date for full project application is midday GMT Thursday 21 March 2024 using the application form noted below.

Applications will be selected based on the following criteria (these are equally weighted):

Novelty and ambition: to what extent does the project open new perspectives and create new inter-disciplinary synergies?

Rigour: to what extent does the project employ appropriate and state-of-the-art concepts and methods, and/or develop promising new ones?

Clarity and quality of objectives: how clear and realistic are the intended outcomes; what impact will there be on Durham University’s research capacity and international competitiveness; how well does it fit with University and Department research strategies?

Quality of the proposed research team: track record relative to career stage, including notable publications, awards, prizes and other esteem indicators, complementarity and suitability to the project objectives of team members’ expertise, evidence of interest in interdisciplinary perspectives; in the case of the PIs, evidence of intellectual leadership/leadership potential.

Decisions will be relayed to all applicants by Friday 18 April 2024


Form Title 

Submission deadline

202526 IAS Major Project Outline Form

midday 12 January 2024

202526 IAS Major Project Application Form

midday 21 March 2024

202526 IAS Fellowship Nomination Form

midday 21 March 2024

202526 IAS Fellowship Confirmation of Acceptance 

midday 21 March 2024

202526 IAS Fellowship Further Particulars

Information only 

202526 IAS Fellowship Nomination FAQs

Information only 

202526 IAS Major Project Application Guidance Notes

Information only