Funding opportunity: ADR UK welcomes applications for probation and criminal justice system Research Fellowships

The probation and criminal justice system Research Fellowship is being launched in partnership with the Ministry of Justice (MoJ). Together, we invite applications for Research Fellows to conduct research and analysis that aims to protect the public from harm, reduce rates of reoffending and improve life chances.

ADR UK will be providing funding for researchers to make use of this data for policy-relevant projects in the public interest and aligned with Ministry of Justice: Areas of Research Interest 2020.

Research topics that could be developed using the probation and criminal justice system data include, but are not limited to:

  • What factors affect the likelihood of different groups receiving different sentences?
  • How has the use of non-custodial and custodial sentencing changed over time?
  • Insights on end-to-end user journeys across the criminal justice system. For example, who are the ‘repeat users’ of the criminal justice system? What are their characteristics? How often do they return? How do outcomes change on each return to the criminal justice system?

This is by no means a restrictive set of research interests and applications exploring other topics are encouraged.

About the data

The new Data First ‘probation dataset’ is the most recent Data First product to be shared with the Office for National Statistics (ONS) Secure Research Service (SRS). It contains information on service users (offenders), offences, disposals, community order requirements, license conditions and post sentence supervision requirements. This probation dataset has been linked to other Data First products, including magistrates’ court, Crown Court, and prison datasets. This ‘probation and criminal justice system linking dataset’ acts as a lookup to identify where records in the various datasets refer to the same people.

The linking dataset enables records to be grouped by individuals and repeat appearances across the criminal justice system can be investigated. This has the potential to provide new insights on end-to-end user journeys across the system, including how offenders flow between key justice services.

In January, Data First project partners met with stakeholders to discuss the potential of this data. The main findings have been published in a short report.

Funding and eligibility

Researchers can apply for a fellowship grant of 12 months in duration, up to a maximum of £130,000 per annum at 100% full economic cost (FEC). ADR UK will fund 80% full economic costs subject to ESRC’s funding policy.

Proposals will be welcome from individual researchers from eligible research organisations, as per the Economic and Social Research Council’s standard eligibility criteria. This includes early career researchers, who will require a mentor. Researchers on fixed term contracts will be eligible to apply if their institutions are willing to extend their contracts to cover the period of the Fellowship.

We will be looking for demonstrable experience of working with large datasets coupled with a willingness to engage with other researchers across the ADR UK partnership as well as policymakers. Experience with MoJ data is not essential. The application process, including data owner approvals, will be coordinated by ADR UK.

Fellows will be expected to conduct public engagement as part of their work, and to participate in ADR UK stakeholder engagement events. They will also be expected to publish their research in accessible formats to increase its impact on policy and practice, as detailed in the funding opportunity specification.

Full details of how to apply can be seen on the Funding Finder - this and other relevant guidance documents can be accessed below.

On Friday 25 March we are holding an online applicant workshop in partnership with MoJ for those who want to learn more about the data, application process, and research priorities. Please register on the Eventbrite page.


ADR UK General Research Fellowship Specification

Joint Electronic Submission (Je-S) Application Guidance

Frequently Asked Questions

Application process diagram

How to write a good proposal

Find out more and apply

Share this: