MASI Call for Proposals 23/24


MASI is Swansea University’s Advanced Studies Institute. We are a pan-University movement full of purpose, focused on the highest quality transdisciplinary research that makes transformative, tangible improvements to life and understanding.

Launched by the First Minister of Wales in February 2021, we are now seeking proposals for our third round of investment, with funded work beginning August 2023.

The Call this year invites you to address the theme:  “Out of the doldrums, with wind in the sails”. The world seems “stuck” regarding many issues be they the response to climate change, the “truth crisis” (and how AI is fuelling this) or scalable healthcare. There are too, of course, intellectual fields that have also found themselves in be-calmed waters and were new impetus is needed. We are looking for proposals that will move things forward with gusto!

Proposals should further address one or more of the following areas:

  • Resilient Futures
  • Equitable Futures
  • Sustainable Futures
  • Innovative Industrial Futures
  • Global South and Global North Futures

However, this list should not limit you. If your proposal responds to the core purpose of this Call to develop new research energies and trajectories, is transdisciplinary in nature and is ambitious and adventurous, please apply.

What we are looking for

If you are already working in an established interdisciplinary team on your proposed topic, this call is probably not for you. Rather, we are looking for emergent teams across the University and beyond who want an opportunity to explore agilely a highly promising area and approach. Teams must consist of members from more than one discipline and with co-leadership from at least two Faculties. The approach will be transdisciplinary (where entirely new forms of methods and thinking evolve through the coming together of established disciplines) and the outlook will be high risk, high reward.

Proposals should lead to specific, valuable outputs during the award timeframe and lead to external grant application possibilities.

Who can apply?

All members of our community from PhD Researcher level onwards can be involved in a proposal. We particularly encourage applications from early career colleagues. A member of staff whose contract extends beyond the end of the award must be a part of the proposal team. While led by a Swansea colleague, the team can include colleagues in other universities globally. All members of the proposal team must discuss their proposal intention with their line manager before submission to ensure the activity supports the wider work of their Faculty and the University.

If you have previously received a Basecamp project in the 2021 or 2022 Calls, you are not eligible to apply for a 2023 Basecamp. If you currently hold a 2021 or 2022 Summit award, you are not eligible to apply for a 2023 Summit.

Categories of funding

Basecamp Projects: these 1-year activities (Aug 1st 2023-end July 2024), will carry out research in a sprint-like fashion, producing clear outputs, building capacity, carrying out feasibility work for external grant applications and/or future Summit Projects. We expect to fund *TBD* Basecamps at a maximum of up to £5,000 per Basecamp.

Summit Projects: these 2-year endeavours (Aug 1st 2023-end July 2025), seek to “plant a flag” on a highly novel intellectual and impactful “summit”. That is, they will carry out significant research work with important outputs, defining agendas and creating visions that others will seek to follow. The projects will be expected to lead to at least one strategic external grant application. We expect to fund up to *TBD* Summits at a maximum of £15,000 a year per Summit (£30,000 total)

International Visiting Fellowships: we welcome proposals for inward Visiting Fellowships. Visitors to Swansea would be expected to commit approximately a month in Swansea and proposals should show how they will help build and strengthen transdisciplinary agendas. Fellows will be expected to give at least one public MASI Lecture (accessible to a general audience) and interact with Universities across Wales. We expect to fund up to 6 Fellows of up to £5,000 per Fellowship (travel and subsistence).

What we can fund

Basecamp and Summit projects can fund post-doc time/salaries, consumables, travel and subsistence.

How we will assess your application

Proposals will be assessed following UKRI-type protocols. All proposals will be reviewed by at least 3 non-conflicted colleagues drawn from the MASI Steering Committee, MASI Research Entrepreneurs and MASI Fellows. These reviews will be used as the basis of panel meetings that will rank order each proposal category. Proposals reaching the quality threshold will be funded until the resources are allocated.

Assessment criteria will include: 1) Quality (Novelty, Adventure, Ambition, Transformative Nature); 2) Fit to Call (specific and broad including the likelihood of future external grant funding); 3) Team; and, 4) Resources and Management. Criteria (1) and (2) are essential and primary criteria while (3) and (4) are important and secondary in nature.

How to apply

Proposals should be provided as a PDF, no more than 2 A4 pages in length (font no smaller than 11pt).  Please ensure your proposal demonstrates quality against all the assessment criteria. These PDFs should be uploaded via this online form:

If you are successful

MASI operates an “activist investor” approach – we will convene monthly meetings of all funded projects to encourage and nurture the work and to share best practice.

Important Dates:

Call Launched: April 18th 2023

Proposal Building Event: Wednesday 10th May 2023 12pm. Taliesin Mall Room, Singleton Campus

Deadline: Thursday 22nd June 2023, 4pm

Outcomes: By the end of July 2023

Projects Start: August 1st 2023