Funding opportunity

Funding opportunity: T-AP funding opportunity on democracy, governance and trust

Apply for funding to deepen and widen our knowledge and understanding of opportunities, challenges, and crises relevant to democracy, governance and trust (DGT).

You will identify how conditions for DGT to flourish can be maintained, fostered, rebuilt where needed and nurtured through a range of interventions and initiatives based on basic research or empirical evidence, or both.

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) is providing this funding opportunity under UKRI’s ‘creating opportunities, improving outcomes’ strategic theme as part of T-AP

Your partners must be from other countries taking part in this funding opportunity and you must apply as part of a transnational partnership of at least three participating countries.

The UK part of the proposal must be primarily within ESRC’s or AHRC’s remit. However, we welcome interdisciplinary and crossdisciplinary proposals which investigate the themes of this funding opportunity from a variety of perspectives.

The maximum UK funding per awarded project is £400,000 at 100% full economic costs (FEC). We will fund UK partners at 80% FEC.

Projects start in September 2024 and will last 24 to 36 months.

Who can apply

Proposals may only be submitted by research organisations who are eligible to apply to UK Research and Innovation.

Standard ESRC and AHRC contractual eligibility guidelines apply for this funding opportunity.

This funding opportunity is supported through UKRI’s strategic theme creating opportunities, improving outcomes, through which UKRI is seeking to improve outcomes for people and places across the UK by identifying solutions that promote economic and social prosperity.

What we're looking for

This funding opportunity aims to deepen and widen our knowledge and understanding of opportunities, challenges, and crises relevant to DGT.

The framing of this funding opportunity recognises that many disciplinary perspectives and methodologies may be brought to bear on these questions and that proposals are strengthened by inclusive and innovative collaborations across disciplinary and national boundaries.

We are specifically keen to identify how conditions for DGT to flourish can be maintained, fostered, rebuilt where needed and nurtured through a range of interventions and initiatives based on basic research or empirical evidence, or both.


We invite interdisciplinary (understood here as the integration of information, data, techniques, tools, perspectives, methodologies, concepts, or theories from two or more disciplines or bodies of specialised knowledge) and innovative research proposals that promise advances in one or several of the following ways:

  • improve and innovate our conceptualisation and theorisation of DGT
  • address topics aimed at collective responses to global challenges for DGT
  • empirically define and describe the opportunities, challenges and crises relevant to DGT from a historical, contemporary, or prospective perspective
  • offer diverse methodological, disciplinary, and cross-national perspectives on these topics
  • study or test interventions (meaning improving outcomes and making a difference) aimed at enhancing democratic processes, improving governance, and rebuilding trust in formal and informal political systems, economic structures, cultural associations, education and public institutions
  • advance knowledge through co-developing work programmes with communities, educators, and key stakeholders in civil society, education and government
  • examine the role of digital media, tools, and technologies in eroding or strengthening DGT and the roles of education, cultural institutions and the law in shaping, facilitating and restraining this role of digital media

These objectives aim to leverage expertise from social sciences and humanities, and relevant related disciplines, to tackle prominent challenges facing societies today. They may make use of theoretical and empirical insights and recognise the value of co-production and practice fostering initiatives and projects conducive to supporting democratic experimentations and experiences, governance improvements and trust.


The DGT funding opportunity will focus on areas derived from the following nine cross-cutting themes of democracy, governance and trust:

  • concepts, understandings and models of DGT
  • education
  • media, information, and communication
  • economies and economic systems
  • identities, discrimination, marginalisation and inequalities
  • ecosystems and environments
  • epistemologies, knowledge, and expertise
  • history and culture
  • power, authority and conflict

For more detailed information on the funding opportunity scope see the full opportunity details on the T-AP website.

How to apply

The Sao Paulo Research Foundation is running the application process on behalf of T-AP and are accepting applications through their system SAGe.

For further information, see the full opportunity details on the T-AP website.


Please note that to apply to this funding opportunity, teams must submit a notice of intent to apply form by 29 September 2023 at 4:00am UK time.

Submit a notice of intent to apply form.

Eligible teams will then be invited to submit a full application by 6 November 2023.

Within the notice of intent to apply, please identify whether the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI)-funded component of the project falls under AHRC or ESRC’s remit.


At the full application stage, UK applicants requesting funding from UKRI must prepare a budget detailing costs and the requested amount in an UKRI budget template. The template should be submitted as an attachment to your proposal.


To foster the participation of many and to ensure that teams have sufficient time to dedicate to their projects, individuals may participate as a co-principal investigator on only one application to this competition.

Further information

The UKRI addendum provides further details on UKRI-specific requirements within the application process.

How we will assess your application

Notice of intent to apply

Notices of intent to apply will be used for administrative purposes to assess the indicative eligibility of the project team, and to compose the international, interdisciplinary experts’ panels.

Full application

Proposals submitted to the DGT funding opportunity will be reviewed, evaluated and ranked by international, interdisciplinary experts according to the following criteria:

  • intellectual merit: what is the potential for the proposed activity to advance knowledge and understanding and new insights within its own field or across different fields?
  • relevance to the funding opportunity: does the project promise to meet the objectives of the DGT funding opportunity?
  • quality, innovation and feasibility of the research plan: is the proposed project addressing new questions or new approaches, or both? Is the research plan well-specified and feasible? Does the research team have the appropriate resources to successfully complete the project? Does the project provide value for money?
  • broader impacts: does the proposal demonstrate the contribution that this project will make to society or to the pursuit of advancing academic inquiry, or both? Where relevant, does the proposal describe the sustainability of any resulting tools or other research outcomes beyond the life of the project?
  • partnership and planning: does the proposal describe an effective and balanced transnational partnership? Is the partnership well-coordinated and does the partnership have appropriate plans in place to address collaboration, data management, project planning and dissemination?

For further details on the selection criteria and scores see the full opportunity details on the T-AP website.

Funding decisions are expected to be communicated to applicants in July to August 2024.

Contact details

Ask about this funding opportunity


Additional info

About T-AP

T-AP is an unprecedented collaboration between humanities and social sciences research funders from South America, North America and Europe.

T-AP is delighted to announce its fourth joint research funding opportunity on DGT.

The following funding organisations are participating in the T-AP DGT funding opportunity:

For further information, please consult the T-AP website.

Supporting documents

UKRI addendum (PDF, 138KB)

UKRI budget form (DOCX, 53KB)


  • 8 September 2023
    Notice of intent to apply deadline changed from 15 September 2023 4:00am to 29 September 2023 4:00am

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