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Call for research: prevention of modern slavery in the UK

Rapid research call: assessing the potential of interventions to prevent modern slavery in the UK.

Published: 21st May 2021

The Modern Slavery and Human Rights Policy and Evidence Centre (the Modern Slavery PEC) has issued a targeted call for rapid research proposals focused on assessing the potential of interventions to prevent modern slavery in the UK.

With prevention of modern slavery being a priority research area for the Modern Slavery PEC, confirmed by the consultation on our research priorities, there is a desire for work in this area that can establish the effectiveness of interventions as well as their equity, include perspectives of those with lived experience and make better use of data.

Although there have been many modern slavery prevention interventions delivered at all levels, many have not been evaluated meaning that there is very limited evidence to establish definitively ‘what works’ in preventing modern slavery. There is therefore a pressing need for new research that can deliver a robust and nuanced analysis of the potential for different interventions to prevent modern slavery that can help policymakers in their decision-making.

The Modern Slavery PEC will use the findings of this research to influence ongoing policy development, such as how prevention could be factored into the Government’s planned review of the 2014 Modern Slavery Strategy, and the Home Office’s ongoing consideration around establishing a Modern Slavery Prevention Fund.

About the call

This call is part of the Modern Slavery PEC Responsive Research mechanism that has been created to fund responsive and agile research projects. It is led directly by the PEC, but is funded and actively supported by the Arts and Humanities Council (AHRC).

The Modern Slavery PEC seeks research that will improve understanding of the potential for different interventions to prevent modern slavery in the UK. This will include assessing interventions to prevent modern slavery in its each form as recorded by the UK’s National Referral Mechanism.

The analysis should include the interventions’ wider impacts, focusing in particular on the equity of outcomes, and including an assessment of cost-effectiveness. It should also examine the extent to which people lived experience have been included in all aspects of design and delivery. The research should consider evidence about interventions delivered to prevent related issues, such as violence against women and girls, to understand how relevant evidence could be applied to modern slavery prevention.

In accordance with the Modern Slavery PEC’s strategic objective of facilitating collaboration, successful teams will work cooperatively with the Modern Slavery PEC throughout the project to ensure alignment with our objectives and to maximise impact. This will include developing the research methodology and developing outputs such as the full report and summary briefing, as well as their dissemination.

The Modern Slavery PEC has allocated a maximum budget of £70,000 at 100% full economic cost (FEC) for this project. We expect to fund one project for this work. The project must be led by a UK higher education institution or approved research organisation eligible to receive UKRI funding, and it must be carried out in collaboration with at least one UK based third sector organisation.

You can find the full details and specification of the call in the application pack below.

Application process

The applications to this call must be made through our online form.

All applications will be reviewed by an assessment panel convened by the Modern Slavery PEC that will include external independent reviewers.

The deadline for applications is 4pm on 18 June 2021.

The decision on the award of the funding will be made by Friday 9 July 2021, with the project due to start by 15 July the latest, and final outputs to be delivered by 31 October 2021.

Call Webinar & FAQs

We held a webinar for prospective applicants to provide them with the opportunity to hear more about the Modern Slavery PEC and its strategic objectives and principles, offer an overview of the call, and give more information on how the successful bid team will collaborate with the Modern Slavery PEC during the research. The webinar took place on Monday 7th June and you can view a recording here:

You can download an FAQ document from the link below.

For any additional information, you can contact us by emailing office@modernslaverypec.org. Please allow two working days for a response.