Call for The Polish Academy of Sciences and The British Academy Knowledge Frontiers Symposium


Deadline: The deadline for submissions is Wednesday 13 May 2020 at
17.00 (UK time)

Venue: 16-17 October 2020, Warsaw (Staszic Palace), Poland

1. The British Academy and the Polish Academy of Sciences are inviting applications for early career researchers in the humanities and social sciences to attend a research collaboration symposium on the broad theme of Just Transitions. The symposium aims to incentivise and establish international engagement and collaboration between early career researchers from a broad range of disciplines within the humanities and social sciences, encouraging the exchange of ideas across both disciplinary and national boundaries.

Purpose and Focus
2. At the 24th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP24) in Katowice the ‘Just Transition’ Declaration was adopted. This symposium in the lead up to COP26 in Glasgow in November 2020 will focus on the theme of just transitions and how collaboration across the humanities and social sciences can be instrumental in understanding and facilitating the most profound social and environmental transformations in human history. The humanities and the social sciences, are central to defining and exploring just transitions, interrogating the challenges and trade-offs involved in change, and identifying ways forward.
3. The humanities and social sciences can bring key insights to the human, social,
economic and cultural challenges that may accompany the transitions to environmentally sustainable ways of living. The humanities and social sciences can bring light also to how just transitions can be experienced and understood differently across geographies, societies, and communities; how such transitions have been managed in the past and how they have been imagined and represented in the past, present and future; and how and by whom such  transitions should be designed, led and enforced.
4. These transitions may result in radical alterations to human and community
relationships, and people’s ways of living and beliefs. Humanity is fundamental to the understanding, experience of and realities of how the world will be able to respond to the environmental emergencies we face. The process for achieving these transitions is still to be fully realised, with those most vulnerable at risk of bearing the more negative effects of change.
5. The symposium invites participants to think of just transitions across different
timeframes, imaginations, ways of life and contexts, to explore and address the need for creative interventions and adaptations, and how societies might begin to manage the significant transitions towards a sustainable future, including the moral, ethical, political and practical implications that might flow from such efforts.
6. The symposium format will allow for extensive discussion and debate, with considerable time set aside for this and wider networking opportunities.
7. The symposium will also provide an opportunity for participants to learn more about the different programmes and activities of the Polish Academy of Sciences and the British Academy.

The Symposium
8. The symposium will bring together around thirty early career researchers from the UK and Poland (understood as up to seven years after obtaining a PhD) from across the humanities and social sciences to discuss key questions around the theme of the Just Transitions. The symposium is designed specifically to encourage collaboration and networking between early career researchers. In advance of the symposium, participants will be able to discuss their research and exchange ideas among themselves; begin to discuss the session themes; and make connections for possible future activities.
9. In order to incentivise long-term collaboration and networking, seed funding will be made available for which participants can apply. These collaborations must be
international in their makeup, and can be either partnerships or groups. Time will be set aside on the final day of the symposium for a ‘sandpit’ style session in which participants write up their proposed collaboration and submit applications by the end of the session. Over the course of the symposium there are further networking sessions set up to facilitate the development of collaborations and proposals. The application form for seed funding will be circulated in advance of the symposium to ensure participants are fully aware of the opportunity and requirements.
10. In addition to funding a number of collaborative proposals, the symposium will aim to provide opportunities for a range of other outputs. Participants, for example, could be invited to contribute to a publication focused on the symposium theme, either through individual papers or in partnership with other symposium participants, record audio outputs or write blog posts that will be compiled into a series dedicated to the symposium. Further information about such opportunities will be provided at the symposium.

11. For the purpose of this symposium, early career is defined as being within a seven-year period from the award of a doctorate.
12. Participants must be based at research institutions either in Poland or the UK.
13. The symposium will be conducted in English. Written and spoken fluency in English is required.
14. Participants must be able to travel on dates and times, and on flights or other modes of transportation chosen by the organisers.
15. Attendance is mandatory for the entire symposium. If this is not met it will result in a participant not being eligible for the seed funding available.
16. UK-based attendees may only participate in two British Academy Knowledge Frontiers Symposia in any 24-month period.

Selection Criteria
17. Applications will be assessed against the following criteria:
a. Proven research interest and/or experience in the symposium’s theme;
b. Commitment to interdisciplinary engagement and research;
c. Value of symposium to applicant’s career development.

Application Process
18. Applicants should provide a completed application form (including a CV which should not exceed two pages).
19. Applications must be submitted online using the British Academy's Grant Management System (GMS), Flexi-Grant®
20. We will seek to notify successful applicants by the end of July 2020.