The Institute of Alcohol Studies (IAS) is an independent institute bringing together evidence, policy and practice from home and abroad to promote an informed debate on alcohol’s impact on society. Our purpose is to advance the use of the best available evidence in public policy decisions on alcohol.

The IAS Strategy 2020–2023 is available here. One of the main initiatives detailed in the strategy is the launch of a small grants scheme intended to support novel research initiatives in the alcohol field, particularly proposals from early career researchers.

IAS Small Grants Scheme call for applications

We are inviting applications from researchers – especially early career researchers – to our small grants scheme. This scheme will provide funding for innovative research ideas that can help inform public policy debates on how to tackle alcohol harm. Priority will be given to proposals that align with our organisational objectives, as outlined in our Strategy 2020–2023.

Level of funding: Between £500 and £10,000

Duration of funding: Up to 12 months

Applicant eligibility: Applicants should normally have a PhD or equivalent professional qualification and be based at a UK university. Applications from researchers less than seven years (FTE) post-PhD are encouraged.

What will be funded: The small grants scheme is designed to support innovative research ideas relevant to UK alcohol policy and will fund the following types of project:

  • Systematic and/or rapid evidence reviews
  • Pilot and scoping studies
  • Preliminary data collection
  • Proof-of-concept studies

Projects designed to provide pilot data for submission as part of a larger grant proposal elsewhere in future are particularly encouraged.

The grant can be used to cover the following:

  • Salary, research management and support costs
  • Conference and meeting costs
  • Travel and subsistence, in accordance with the IAS Travel & Subsistence Policy
  • Access charges and equipment

We will not fund: Extensions or additions to existing projects, projects which are not relevant to our organisational objectives, course fees, computers/laptops, indirect costs or overheads, national insurance and pension contributions (please see AMRC website).

Application process

The application process has two stages.

Pre-submission enquiries are encouraged and should be directed to Dr Sadie Boniface (

Outline proposals

Outline proposals are invited for submission by Friday 13th May 2022 using the application form provided. Further guidance is available in our FAQ document.

The application should also include a two-page CV using the MRC format (for each applicant), and a completed IAS Conflict Of Interest declaration, and an optional list of relevant and recent publications (maximum one page of A4). Applicants should also complete IAS’ Equity, Diversity and Inclusion monitoring survey.

Outline applications should be submitted to

Outline proposals will be triaged by IAS staff and reviewed by members of the IAS Small Grants Scheme Research Review Committee* against the following criteria:

  • Potential for the proposed research to inform alcohol policy debates
  • Relevance to IAS Strategy 2020–2023
  • Track record of applicant(s)
  • Feasibility of proposed project and its likely outcomes
  • Value for money

One application is allowed per Principal Investigator.

Applicants whose outlines are shortlisted for further consideration will be informed by 4th July 2022 and provided with feedback from the review panel.

Stage 2: Full proposal

Shortlisted applicants will be invited to submit a more detailed proposal by 29th July 2022.

Full proposals will contain a response to reviewers’ comments, a case for support (up to four pages, using the headings from the outline application form), and an itemised budget.

Full proposals will be reviewed by members of the IAS Expert Advisory Panel. Additional opinions may be sought from external peer reviewers.

Applicants will be notified of the outcome of their applications by 12th September 2022. Feedback will be provided for all unsuccessful candidates.

Successful applications

Funding will be available from September 2022 onwards, and all projects and reporting must be complete by 31st March 2024. Upon awarding funding, we will mutually agree outputs for the project (eg journal article, IAS report, seminar).

Successful applicants will be required to provide a brief progress report six weeks before the end of their project. A template for this report, which is intended to be a brief summary of progress, outcomes and planned outputs, will be provided by IAS.

It is hoped that small grants will lead to future peer-reviewed publications, policy briefs or larger research proposals to other funders.

It is expected that IAS funding will be acknowledged in all published materials.


* The Research Review Committee comprises: Prof Linda Bauld, University of Edinburgh; Prof Jeff Collin, University of Edinburgh; Prof Gerard Hastings, University of Stirling; Prof Marsha Morgan, University College London; Prof Jonathan Shepherd, Cardiff University; and Dr Gillian Shorter from Queens University Belfast. Dr Gillian Shorter chairs the committee.