Funding opportunity

Funding opportunity: Social sciences, Humanities and Arts for People and the Economy (SHAPE) Catalyst

The SHAPE Catalyst will run from 2023 to 2026. Working in partnership with the ARC Accelerator, we will be looking for individuals or teams with innovative, ambitious ideas from arts, humanities and social sciences disciplines that can sustain economic or non-economic impact through the commercialisation of research.

The ESRC and AHRC SHAPE Catalyst is delivered in partnership with the ARC Accelerator, run by Aspect. ARC will use their four-stage programme, the ARC Pathway, to guide arts, humanities and social scientists on the SHAPE commercialisation journey.

You will receive £62,000 at 80% full economic cost (£50,000 from UK Research and Innovation) and a unique package of expert-led training and dedicated mentors to help you build ventures from your research and deliver impact at scale.

Who can apply

You must:

  • have a PhD or similar research or innovation experience
  • be based at an eligible UK research organisation

For further information please see ESRC’s research funding guide.

Check if you are eligible for research and innovation funding.

What we're looking for

We are looking for innovative research ideas that can be transformed into ventures to deliver impact at scale.

Researchers who want to grow and sustain the impact of their research through bringing an idea to market should see the full opportunity details on the ARC Accelerator website.

How we will assess your application

Contact details

Charis Cook


Additional info

Award holders will receive:

  • up to £62,000 from the SHAPE Catalyst programme to fund commercialisation activities
  • a virtual training bootcamp, led by industry experts, to develop key entrepreneurial skills
  • specialised, sector-specific training
  • access to experienced entrepreneurs, investors and networks
  • dedicated mentorship support to help validate their idea, develop the business model and support their pitch for further funding or investment
  • 1:1 pitch practice and coaching
  • lifelong support of alumni and events to network and support the growth of their venture
  • the chance to do all of this in a peer group full of like-minded researchers

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