Saturday, 18 February 2017


Deadline: 28th February 2018

The Independent Social Research Foundation (ISRF) and the Cambridge Journal of Economics (CJE) intend to award a prize of €7,000 for the best essay on the topic ‘What is the place of Digital Information Technology in the Economy?’ This is a topic, not a title. Accordingly, authors are free to choose an essay title within this field.

The impact of digital information technologies throughout society, and in particular the economy, is one of the most critical issues of our time. They are rapidly transforming practices of capitalist production and provision of services everywhere. But the impact is uneven and uncertain. Jobs are being lost while profits for many are increasing. And while technology advances rapidly, with anticipated exponential changes in areas like artificial intelligence and robotics especially, existing organisations are often able to adjust only slowly, whilst the acquisition of relevant skills can take time. What are the dominant trends? What really is going on?  Some say that ongoing developments herald a workless society. Others maintain that they undermine markets and herald the end of capitalism. Are these mere speculations? What can we discern from informed investigation and analysis? Essays are welcome that address these or a related theme.
More Information


In August 2016, the ISRF launched its first Political Economy Research Fellowship competition. Having received a number of strong proposals, the Selection Panel met in February 2017, and voted to make five awards.

The recipients were:
  • Dr Jurgen De Wispelaere (Independent Scholar) ‘Varieties of Basic Income: The Political Economy of Universalism in European Welfare States’ 
  • Dr David Elder-Vass (Loughborough University) ‘Constructing Financial Value’
  • Dr Emanuele Lobina (University of Greenwich) ‘Reorienting Industrial Organisation Theory: From Necessary to Possible Outcomes’
  • Professor Keir Martin (University of Oslo) & Professor Adam Leaver (University of Manchester) ‘A Theory Of The Financialized Firm’ 
  • Dr Gábor Scheiring (University of Cambridge) ‘The Political Economy of the Rise of Illiberalism in Post-Socialist Central Europe market reforms’


Launch: 23rd January 2017
Deadline: 3rd March 2017

The Independent Social Research Foundation wishes to support independent-minded researchers to do interdisciplinary work which is unlikely to be funded by existing funding bodies. It is interested in original research ideas which take new approaches, and suggest new solutions, to real world social problems. 
The Foundation intends to make a small number of awards to support original interdisciplinary research, across the range of the social sciences, to be held from a start date no later than the end of December 2018. Scholars from within Europe are eligible to apply.

The award is intended to enable a scholar at the early career stage to pursue his/her research full-time, for a period of up to 12 months. The amount will be offered to buy out the costs of replacing all teaching and associated administration in the applicant’s home institution, and will be considered to a maximum of £50,000 per successful applicant. Within that sum, reasonable support for research expenses may be considered on a matched-funding basis with the host institution.

Scholars from within Europe are eligible to apply – applicants should be within 10 years of PhD award, and they will normally have a permanent appointment at an institution of higher education and research. Career breaks may be taken into account.

Applicants should consult the Criteria as set out on the ISRF website and show that they meet them. Applicants should follow the Application procedure and should present their Proposal in the format specified there.