Research Networks Annual Competition
The Research Networks are the engine room of CRASSH’s intellectual project. This programme supports groups of Cambridge graduate students, Cambridge based academics (CTOs/UTOs) and postdoctoral researchers working together with a common interdisciplinary research interest, bringing together early-career researchers, established academics and guest speakers on particular research topics for a year of collaborative work. Groups range in size from reading groups to full-scale symposia. Experimental forms of engagement are encouraged. Since its inception in 2006, the programme has hosted 68 Networks.
The annual competition for the academic year 2020 – 21 is now closed.
The next competition will be available around January 2021
Current Research Networks 2019 – 2020
- Archives of the Disappeared: Discipline and Method Amidst Ruin
- Byzantine Worlds
- Critical Approaches to "Vulnerability" in Empirical Research (CAVER)
- Health, Medicine and Agency
- Risk and Renewal in the Pacific
- The 'Re' Interdisciplinary Network
- Solidarity Across Difference: Theory and Practice
- Writing Dance Workshop
Apply for Funding
The Networks funding competition for the academic year 2020 – 21 is now closed.
The next competition will be available around January 2021
Through the Research Networks CRASSH is keen to support exciting and new ideas, wide-ranging activities, and to encourage new collaborative initiatives that reach across disciplinary boundaries, including those between the sciences and the humanities.
Networks must come from more than one faculty or department and they must have an interdisciplinary question at their core. Some Networks meet for several years and may go on to produce e.g. a new MPhil course, a publication, or successful grant applications. Network meetings can take many forms and we positively encourage experimental formats. Some groups have been very small – a dozen people; others have grown to be major seminars. Some networks host formal papers; others combine reading groups and discussions.
Each Network session must have at least one hour for genuine discussion. Each Network is supported administratively and financially to meet fortnightly through the academic year at CRASSH to enable intellectual development and growth of collaborative skills. Above all, the intellectual work of the network must provide a stimulating forum for a cutting edge question.
The CRASSH package includes funding, in-kind contribution in the form of administrative support, and a venue for one academic year.
Financial support of up to £1,500 per academic year is offered for relevant activities (can be used for speaker travel, hospitality and accommodation).
Administrative assistance with events, publicity, website, budgets.
Free venue (a regular bi-weekly, two-hours slot in one of the seminars rooms in the Alison Richard Building during term time for their sessions), see facilities.
We allocate funds for networks only during the academic year (from October 2020 to June 2021).
Activities may include seminars, reading/discussion groups, short visits by guest speakers to Cambridge. Networks may also apply for one-day workshops, conference, symposia or colloquia. A webpage on the CRASSH website is created for each Network, which includes a brief summary of the group, convenor information and the events programme for the academic year.
We like the events to be open, inclusive and held at the Alison Richard Building. However, we can accept exceptions to hold one or two sessions in a different venue.
Lead applicants should be Cambridge graduate students, Cambridge CTOs/UTOs and/or postdoctoral researchers from at least two different disciplines. Each group should also be supported by at least two faculty advisors from two different disciplines.
Your connection to the University of Cambridge must still be in place during the application process and by the time the Research Networks take place. Unfortunately, this does exclude Visiting Fellows (as the main convenor) who are based at the University for one academic year. However, Visiting Fellows can participate as co-convenors of the Network.
In all cases, support will not normally be given to Networks whose activities could be supported within a single Faculty. Details of activities funded so far and links to previous groups/networks may be found on our Past Networks page. Research Networks will be selected by a panel led by the Director and Deputy-Director of CRASSH. The Research Networks Programme Manager will co-ordinate the selection process and inform the applicants of the result by the end of May.
How to Apply
Please apply online (the application portal is now closed, it will be opened in January 2021). Do not send applications by post or email. Only online applications will be accepted.
Proposals should give an account of the interdisciplinary nature of the research project and its contribution to disciplinary development. In addition, applicants should provide information about previous activities (if any), plans for future activities with a preliminary budget outline, and evidence of an existing network/constituency across University departments.
Interested applicants should discuss their plans with relevant teaching and/or research faculty in the areas involved, and are also invited to discuss proposals with the Director, Professor Steven Connor, or the Deputy Director, Dr Jan-Melissa Schramm. Proposals should be accompanied by two letters of support from referees, at least one of whom should be from Cambridge, and one of whom may also serve as the Network's Faculty Advisor in the event that the proposal is successful.
Referees must submit their comments via the online system by the deadline.
If you have any other questions about the competition, eligibility or process please email Esther Lamb, Research Networks Programme Manager.
Networks coming to the end of their funded period are welcome to re-apply by completing the application form and submitting it, along with their early Yearly Report 2019/20 (download the form here). Please include your report as part of the application on the online Application System.
For more information please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
In Focus: CRASSH Research Networks
Watch the Research Networks trailers find out about some events, publications and collaborations that have arisen out of the programme.
Networks produce a wide variety of events, from reading groups to seminars and from small workshops to full symposia. Many events are recorded and can be found in this media collection. A few highlights:
Some Research Networks give rise to books and publications. Here are a few Q&As with some of the authors:
Translation and Multimodality book launch at CRASSH, Cover of 'The Bad Trip' by James Riley
Photo by Esther Lamb
A sample of blog posts by Research Networks:
Left to right: Decolonising the Curriculum Network, Networks Welcome lunch at CRASSH, Writing Dance Workshop event, The Politics of Economics Network
Photos by Imke van Heerden and Judith Weik
Being able to run regular seminars was of great benefit to the development of our research. We were also able to build our network and base of contacts. A number of the outputs we have completed thus far are directly linked to the connections we made via the group. Mud and Flame (2019), an edited volume on the film Penda’s Fen featuring a long essay by Yvonne Salmon is the most recent. The Bad Trip (2019), a cultural history of the late-1960s by James Riley also benefitted greatly from the forum provided by regular Alchemcial Landscape seminars. We will soon be publishing Territories (2020), a prose collection based on the events we have mounted thus far under the aegis of the project. Later in the year we will also release the text and sound collection Headlands (2020) a publication which, again, was developed while the project was hosted at CRASSH.
– The Alchemical Landscape (2016 – 2019)
CRASSH’s financial support enabled us to invite two guest speakers a term, and the talks proved very popular with a broad audience. Aside from this, CRASSH afforded us a visibility that helped to attract students at the undergraduate as well as the graduate level, and researchers from a broader base of disciplinary fields than we had previously thought possible – in particular outside of the fields of arts and visual culture. During the year, we broadened our participant base to departments such as History and Philosophy of Science, Sociology, Social Anthropology, Philosophy, and Classics. Having a platform to publish regular blog entries also enabled us to reflect further on the discussion which had taken place in a seminar setting, to keep track of the research goals achieved, and to share them more widely.
– Digital Art (2017-2019)
The 'Things' seminar series provides a stimulating and sociable meeting place for scholars interested in material culture, and interdisciplinary research inside and outside of Cambridge. The funding CRASSH provides offers us the opportunity to compensate for travel expenses of nearby scholars, thereby allowing us to bring cutting-edge 'Things' research to Cambridge.
– Imaginative Things: Curious Objects (2011 – 2018)
The CIPN Network has enriched and expanded our personal research projects in Cambridge. It has provided an excellent opportunity to become aware of diverse voices within the spectrum of performance and theatre and their applicability to human life in general. We hope that the Network continues being a space for intellectual curiosity and inquiry within the realm of Performance studies.
– Cambridge Interdisciplinary Performance Network (2013 – 2019)
The views, thoughts and opinions expressed on the CRASSH blog belong solely to the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of CRASSH or the University of Cambridge.