Spark Grant Scheme 2

20 July 2022

WWCSC is pleased to announce the launch of the second round of our Spark Grant Scheme. The purpose of this programme is to fund new and innovative research in children’s social care, conducted by researchers who might otherwise be underrepresented in the research community, and/or who might struggle to get funding through other routes. We encourage proposals from researchers from underrepresented, minoritised groups and/or Early Career Researchers (ECRs). 

We hope that these grants will provide opportunities for the next generation of social care researchers and act as a springboard for larger grants in the future, as well as supporting diversity in research. 

What kind of research projects are we interested in?

The purpose of this scheme is to fund new small-scale research in children’s social care. We are keen to facilitate projects that seek to do either of the following: 

  1. Analyse quantitative data to further our understanding of a specific issue within children’s social care, and/or to update previously conducted analysis.
  1. Seek to conduct new, small scale quantitative research projects which aim to answer ‘what works’ questions. For example, this might include small scale quasi-experimental projects using administrative data.
  1. Feasibility studies that seek to work with professionals and/or families and people with care experience to develop and pilot new programmes or interventions to support children and families. 

We will consider projects that aim to better understand how we improve outcomes in all areas of life for children with a social worker, but we’re particularly keen to receive applications in the following areas:

  • The children’s social care workforce
  • Children and young people’s mental health
  • Residential care
  • Domestic abuse
  • Risk and decision-making

What are the timelines?

The call opens on 20th July 2022 and closes on 19th September 2022. WWCSC will initially review applications internally and then progress applications to the next stage. Applicants will be provided an opportunity for rebuttal in October, before applications are submitted to an external funding panel in late October/Early November. 

We anticipate notifying successful applicants in early November, with projects beginning by January 2023.

We are pleased to extend the deadline to Wednesday 19 October 2022. Given the extended deadline, we anticipate appointing research projects in early February 2023, and would expect these projects to begin no later than early March 2023. Initial review of applications will take place in November and shortlisted applicants will have the opportunity for rebuttal in December, before applications are submitted to our external panel in January 2023.

Where can I find out more?

If you are interested in submitting an application, please head over to our Projects & Funding page, where you’ll find the relevant forms and be able to register your interest to receive regular updates on the call. 

If you have any further questions, please contact