British academy

What is the British Academy?

British Academy Review of the Year 2014-15 cover

The British Academy is the UK's expert body that supports and speaks for the humanities and social sciences – that rich variety of disciplines that study peoples, cultures and societies, past, present and future.

It funds research across the UK and in other parts of the world, in disciplines ranging from archaeology to economics, from psychology to history, and from literature to law – producing knowledge, insights and ideas that help us to address the great challenges of our time.

And the Academy seeks to increase public understanding of how all these subjects contribute to our economic, social, cultural and individual well-being. 

The Academy receives around £30m a year in Government grants to support its work. But it operates autonomously as a Fellowship of more than 1,000 of the world's most eminent scholars in the humanities and social sciences, elected for their outstanding research.

The independence and the expertise of these Fellows make the Academy the 'go to' place for robust evidence and thoughtful policy analysis and discussion, and they spearhead the public engagement activities that champion the humanities and social sciences.

Click on the image to download the British Academy's Review of the Year.

What does the British Academy do?

The British Academy promotes and supports the interests of the humanities and social sciences, in the UK and internationally, in three ways:

As a Voice, the Academy we represent and promote the interests of the humanities and social sciences in the UK and internationally, offers independent advice about the needs of research and the health of our disciplines, and contributes evidence to strengthen policy making and enhance public understanding and debate.  

As a Fellowship, composed of distinguished scholars and researchers from all areas of the humanities and social sciences, elected by their peers, we promotes the work of its disciplines, and facilitates the exchange of knowledge and ideas through policy reports, forums, lectures, conferences, publications and public events.  

As a Funding Body, we support the best ideas, individuals and new research across the humanities and social sciences, wherever they are located, with a special focus on supporting the work of postdoctoral early career scholars.