Social Policy Association Opportunity Grants

The Social Policy Association recognises that these are difficult times for many of us as we attempt to juggle commitments at home and caring responsibilities with teaching and research in social policy. We hope that you are all coping as well as possible with the stress and anxiety that this may cause.

In the midst of these challenges, the Social Policy Association is committed to supporting our members and, with this in mind, we have decided to continue with our Opportunity Grants programme. The grant provides up to £2,000 to members of the SPA for projects and events. Whilst grants have previously been used for events and seminars that are not currently possible, we are happy to fund activities and projects that are ‘covid safe’.

We are keen to support postgraduate researchers, many of whom have been particularly affected by the pandemic, and also groups traditionally under-represented in social policy.

When scoring the applications, our criteria are:

  • Well planned and deliverable
  • Evidence of the event’s need or demand
  • Lasting or ongoing benefits or outputs
  • Does the application fit with the SPA’s focus and strategic goals?
  • To what extent does the applicant offer value for money?

If you would like to apply for an Opportunity Grant, please send Steve Iafrati details of your project/plan by 5pm on Thursday the 8th of April 2021. This should comprise no more than two sides of A4 and outline what you are going to do and the costs involved. Applications will be considered by the SPA executive and a decision will be made in early May.

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.

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.

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