For staff

Aspect Innovation Fellowship programme

We’re looking to fund Innovation Fellows to be ambassadors or demonstrators of social science innovation.

Are you a social scientist who is passionate about innovation and wants to encourage others to get involved?

  • Do you have experience of working with or creating innovative businesses or are you seeking seed funding to start your own social science-led venture?
  • Do you have experience of applying your expertise and creating impact for your research through consultancy?
  • Are you keen to link with other academic advocates for social science innovation, promoting business engagement, commercialisation and entrepreneurship for the social sciences both within the University and externally?

We are looking to fund creative and enthusiastic Fellows to be ambassadors or demonstrators of innovation to help drive an inclusive, supportive culture of innovation among social sciences researchers and support staff at the University of Edinburgh.



  • Fund a cohort of Fellows whose main objectives are to a) advocate for innovation, b) demonstrate innovation pathways, to create a step-change in innovation activities in the social sciences
  • Fellows will be expected to organise and/or lead activities to inspire and influence colleagues within the University and externally.
  • Funding can be used to seed fund your own business idea or innovation project provided you incorporate activities to share your journey or lessons learnt. This is a flexible opportunity, and we welcome creative approaches.
  • The new Fellows will work closely with those identified by some of our Aspect partner universities (Oxford, Glasgow, Cardiff, and Sussex) to form a cohort of Innovation Fellows. They will lead the development of a network of those interested in sharing good practice, and ideas around innovation across the Social Sciences.


Who can apply

Social science academics, (those whose research has a social science component of 51% or above), from any College and School are welcome to apply for up to £5,000.

The Innovation Fellowships will run until 31 March 2023 when all activities must be completed and all grant money spent.


Application process

Stage Deadline

Expression of interest

Short online form. Non-committal, designed to get a sense of demand.

The Edinburgh Innovations Team will check suitability for the scheme. will respond to discuss proposal and work with applicant and the school to develop the application including approximate costings.

As soon as possible before 13 June 2022

Full application deadline     

A panel drawn from the EI CAHSS account team will shortlist and select applications. Applicants may be invited for interview week of 30 May if further information is required.

27 June 2022

Selection and notification of award

By 1 July 2022


Please see the attached guidance for more information including eligibility, responsibilities, application details.


This call is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) ‘Commercialising Research of the Social Sciences’ (CRoSS) scheme and is being delivered by Edinburgh Innovations. The CRoSS scheme sits alongside ESRC Impact Acceleration Accounts round 2 funding 2019 – 2023 managed by the Edinburgh Research Office’s Knowledge Exchange and Impact Team.