Social Policy Association Opportunity Grants

The SPA invites applications from members of the Association for its SPA Opportunity Grants Schemes. The Scheme is designed to help fund seminars and workshops dealing with research and teaching that will benefit the UK social policy community.  Furthermore, grants can be used to fund events and establish networks to further the discipline of Social Policy and disseminate knowledge nationally or internationally. The focus should be on activities that will benefit a group or network rather than individuals and as can be seen from previously successful applications, the SPA is happy to fund different types of events and networks covering a wide variety of topics.

Grants are publicised and then allocated in Spring and Autumn; the maximum payment for a grant is £2000. Due to COVID-19 disruption to existing grants, the SPA has agreed to pause the Autumn 2020 round. The next round will be in Spring 2021.

View reports of previous grant awards

Eligibility and conditions: Recipients of awards will be expected to:

  • Publicise their seminar/workshop as widely as possible, including through SPA channels
  • Write a short report after the event for the SPA website
  • Use this as an opportunity to advertise the SPA to potential new SPA members (including marketing via other channels, distribution of SPA leaflets, use of SPA logo, etc.)
  • Make the event as inclusive as possible (attendance need not be limited to SPA members).
  • Raise the profile of the SPA to external agencies (government, independent sector, research centres, etc.) in the UK and other countries as appropriate

Applicants must be members of the Social Policy Association.

Application procedure

Applications should take the form of a letter (maximum two sides A4) and contain an outline description of the aims, rationale and nature of the proposed event. Applications should clearly demonstrate how it meets each of the above criteria. Applications must include a provisional budget providing a breakdown of anticipated costs, indicating how the award will be spent, and specify whether additional funding from other sources is being sought or has already been secured. Applications should include as much detail as possible about plans to ensure that the award will benefit SPA members.

View past examples of successful applications


It is expected that the applicant’s host institution will cover the cost of individual items involved in staging the event and will then invoice the Social Policy Association for this amount.  If this is difficult please contact the SPA grants officer prior to application.

Assessment procedure

The SPA Grants Officer will forward all eligible applications to the SPA Executive Committee, which is the body responsible for making the funding decision. Decisions will be taken at SPA Executive Committee meetings in April and September each year.

Please send your application or any enquiries to the SPA Grants Officer, Steve Iafrati via email.