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Call for Research Project Proposals 2022-23

In 2018 the Hellenic Observatory launched an exciting research initiative to further fulfil and develop its mission and study of contemporary Greece in the field of the social sciences. The programme became possible due to new funding granted for the specific purpose of furthering the Hellenic Observatory’s research agenda. The Hellenic Observatory would like to acknowledge grateful and sincere thanks to the A.C. Laskaridis Charitable Foundation (ACLCF) and Dr Vassili G. Apostolopoulos for the provision of funding for this purpose. 

Research Themes & Level of Awards

The LSE’s Hellenic Observatory (HO) announced a new round of research project funding on January 2022. In line with the HO’s mission to promote high-quality social science research on contemporary Greece, this round of the scheme will fund up to three projects on three Research Themes (see below).  Under each of these themes, applicants may submit proposals lasting 24 months (with a budget of up to GBP£20,000) or 12 months (with a budget of up to GBP£8,000).  The HO reserves the right to adjust the length and level of any award.

The Hellenic Observatory would like to acknowledge grateful and sincere thanks to the A.C. Laskaridis Charitable Foundation (ACLCF) and Dr Vassili G. Apostolopoulos for the provision of funding for this Research Call. 

Applications were invited for projects that address one of the following Themes:

Political and Social Mobilisation in Greece in Response to the ‘Migration Crisis’

Over the last decade, Greece has witnessed exceptionally high numbers of migrants entering the country as refugees or asylum-seekers. This has represented something of a systemic-shock, as successive governments, wider society, and the European Union have struggled to manage and accommodate the flows of people.  Developments have seen great shifts in the migration landscape, whether this is related to refugee reception, migrant integration or the control of borders and migration deterrence. This has encouraged the proliferation and diversification of actors, actions, and mobilization processes involved in migration. The HO invites projects that aim to examine these developments by exploring how migration-focused mobilization is related to wider political dynamics.  We invite research projects that explore one or more of the following issues:

  • Variations in the levels or types and impacts of mobilisations between locations (e.g. across similar local communities facing comparable challenges; or similarities in mobilisations across different areas)
  • The nature and impact of such mobilisation across Greece and its implications for wider political and/or social engagement
  • Linkages between local, national and EU mobilisations and the significance of such linkages for social and/or political activity within Greece

There is no expectation that applicants must necessarily address more than one of these issues. The research question and its significance should be clearly elaborated. There is no preferred methodology, and we invite project proposals that are framed within one or more social science disciplines. Projects are expected to contribute to conceptual understanding, enabling cross-references to be made to wider literatures and other empirical studies.

Vaccine Hesitancy and Opposition to Lockdowns in Greece

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to social and political polarisation with regard to the measures adopted to curtail it. In Greece a minority of the population has adopted positions opposing lockdowns, face covering mandates and vaccines.

We invite research projects that analyse the factors underpinning such beliefs in the Greek context, exploring one or more of the following issues:

  • The levels of trust in relevant public institutions and their leaders
  • The structuring effects of medical literacy and of medical culture in Greece
  • The proliferation and impact of conspiracy theories and the role of the (social) media
  • The influence of religious beliefs and of religious authorities
  • Linkages between domestic and international networks and the significance of such linkages in Greece

There is no expectation that applicants must necessarily address more than one of these dimensions. The research question and its significance should be clearly elaborated. There is no preferred methodology, and we invite project proposals that are framed within one or more social science disciplines. Projects are expected to contribute to conceptual understanding, enabling cross-references to be made to wider literatures and other empirical studies.

Effects of the Pandemic on Vulnerable Populations in Greece

The COVID-19 pandemic and the measures imposed to tame it created unprecedented personal and professional disruptions and uncertainty to individuals and households in Greece and globally. While these measures were seemingly horizontal, their effects on different groups of individuals and segments of society may have been variable and asymmetric. 

We invite research projects that examine the short- and long-term effects of the pandemic and lockdowns on a range of aspects relating to the health (mental and/or physical), financial (incomes, risk of poverty, etc) and labour market position (job stability, career trajectories, etc) of more vulnerable populations, including the elderly; women, mothers, and other caretakers; individuals with disabilities or poor health; people from ethnic or other minority groups; the low-skilled; and critical workers.

There is no expectation that applicants must necessarily address all of these issues. The research question and its significance should be clearly elaborated. There is no preferred methodology, and we invite project proposals that are framed within one or more social science disciplines. Projects are expected to contribute to conceptual understanding, enabling cross-references to be made to wider literatures and other empirical studies.

 

Useful Information

Eligibility and Procedure

The Call was open to researchers with a university affiliation, who hold a doctorate (PhD degree) and normally have at least two years of post-doctoral research experience. This criterion does not apply to the research assistants appointed to the project.

Applications from groups of researchers were also eligible. The PI and lead members must fulfil the eligibility criteria.

Applicants who have previously been awarded funding from the Hellenic Observatory’s research calls could not reapply in the same academic year that the previous project finished.

Applications were limited to one application per person/group each year.

How to apply

Proposals were submitted electronically in Word format to Hellenicobservatory.Research@lse.ac.uk 

Proposals should not be longer than 2,500 words (Calibri font, size 11, justified alignment, 2cm margins, single spaced). Proposals have to address the five evaluation criteria laid out in the Selection Process below and to be structured under the following sub-headings:

  • Summary: project title, name of the PI (and other lead researchers together with a structure of the team and the allocation of tasks across its members), start and end dates, total budget figure
  • Research objectives and project outline (including literature review)
  • Methodology
  • Time-Line
  • Planned Publications (other than the Policy Brief and the Research Paper- see Deliverables below): format, content, publisher, date of submission
  • Impact
  • Annex 1: Personnel (including short biographies). Full CV’s should be attached as separate documents together with a listing of cited references.
  • Annex 2: Detailed Budget - see Budget below. Please complete the Excel budget template provided.

Budget

The budget should justify the costs identified for the project. Eligible costs include salaries, travel, research assistance, impact and knowledge exchange, and publications, in so far as they can be accepted as essential parts of the proposed research. Overhead costs of up to 15% of the total budget are allowed, but these should be included in the budget. The selection committee has the right to request additional information regarding budget costs and to award a smaller amount than the one requested or advertised. Awards must be used solely for the purposes set out in the application. An amount of up to 20% of the total budget can be transferred between budget headings without reference to the Hellenic Observatory. Requests for budget transfers in excess of this amount should be addressed to the Hellenic Observatory.

Selection Process

Proposals will be selected by the Hellenic Observatory and members of the Research Advisory Group according to the following criteria:

  • Originality, significance, rigour and impact of the research
  • Evidence that the individuals involved have the capacity to execute the proposed project and deliver on stated outcomes
  • Contribution towards policy-relevant challenges facing Greece 
  • Value for money
  • Compatibility of the research with the broader work of the Hellenic Observatory

The Hellenic Observatory and the Research Advisory Group are solely responsible for approving the eligibility of applications and reserve the right to request additional information from the applicants. Shortlisted applicants may be asked to participate in a video interview. In all cases, the decisions of the Hellenic Observatory and the Research Advisory Group will be final. The Hellenic Observatory and the Research Advisory Group reserve the right not to make any awards or to adjust the number of awards they make.

Deliverables

The successful researcher / research team is required to provide:

  • Progress Report: A Progress Report of up to 2,000 words (after 6 months where project run is 12 months and after 12 months where project run is 24 months)
  • Policy Brief: A Policy Brief of 2,000 words at the end of the project
  • Final Research Paper: A Final Research Paper of up to 10,000 words at the end of the project
  • Other: Scholarly publications and publications in other outlets, stemming from the research project (this will be a significant criterion for the evaluation of the applications submitted)

The researcher / or research team is obliged to give full acknowledgement to the Hellenic Observatory in all publicity and outputs related to the project, copies of which should be sent to the Hellenic Observatory. The Hellenic Observatory also retains the right to publicise a summary of the results, with full acknowledgement to the authors of the research, on its website and in its other publicity outlets.

Award of Funds

A collaboration agreement between LSE and the institution of the PI of each selected research project will be set up. All agreements should be signed by all parties by the beginning of September 2022. The successful applicant(s) must provide a relevant research account at their host institution for the transfer of the grant.

Funds will be transferred in two equal instalments - the first on commencement of the project and the second on completion of the defined outputs to the satisfaction of the Hellenic Observatory.

Timetable

Application Deadline                     29 April 2022 (23.59 GMT)

Successful Projects advised        July 2022

Contracts drawn up                      July - August 2022

Project Commencement              1 September 2022

Applications and Enquiries

Enquiries and proposals were submitted electronically in Word format to Hellenicobservatory.research@lse.ac.uk by 29 April 2022 (23.59 GMT). All applicants should have received a confirmation email upon receipt of their proposal.