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Research ideas form

A form to submit ideas for potential research.

The Modern Slavery PEC has launched a research ideas form. Please use it to tell us the areas in which you think would benefit from further research.

What is the research ideas form?

The research ideas form is a form where people and organisations can submit themes and questions, which they think deserve more research and evidence. The ideas submitted from this form will inform the research we commission and feed into our ongoing review of our research priorities.

We aim to make research accessible to the wider community of people who work within the field of addressing modern slavery or just are interested in it. Therefore we particularly welcome ideas from people with lived experience of modern slavery and communities at particular risk of exploitation. We also welcome ideas from users of research, for example policymakers, businesses or those delivering frontline services.

We are running this online form as a pilot until the end of 2021, in order to understand whether it is a useful format for obtaining research ideas.

What is a research idea?

A research idea means a theme, topic or a gap in evidence, which could create a basis for a research project. Research ideas do not need to be a fully formed research question.

Some previous research ideas, which have led to funding calls from the Modern Slavery PEC, include:

  • What are survivors' experiences of accessing legal advice?
  • How can identification of adult survivors be improved?
  • What is the impact of providing survivors with phones and data?
  • How can businesses effectively map complex supply chains?

A research idea can lead to the Modern Slavery PEC developing a call for research, which is where we ask researchers to submit a proposal for a research project answering a research question contained in the call. The Modern Slavery PEC will work with our partners to turn successful research ideas into funding calls and projects.

Ideas must sit within the Centre’s guiding principles for research of effectiveness, equity and survivor involvement. The Centre will then assess ideas against three broad criteria: their alignment with the Centre’s research priorities; the potential of research informed by the idea to have an impact on laws and policies designed to address modern slavery; and the Centre’s resourcing capacity. Further details on the PEC’s research priorities are set out in our strategy.

Who can submit research ideas to this form?

This form is open to any organisation or individual based in the UK who is working to address modern slavery or is interested in the subject. We particularly expect to receive applications from the following groups: people with lived experience of modern slavery, civil society, policymakers and businesses.

Researchers are able to submit ideas to this form, however, this form should not be seen as a route to obtaining research funding. Should an idea lead to a funding call, submissions to the call would be assessed through fair and open competition. This means that any call developed as a result of an idea submitted through the form would be open to any eligible research organisation. Submitting the idea which led to the call does not give you an advantage and all applications will be scored against the same criteria, which will not include the generation of the theme of the research as a component.

What happens once a research idea has been submitted?

  • The Modern Slavery PEC will assess the research ideas submitted through the form to decide whether to develop the idea further. Please note that once your idea has been submitted, you are giving the Modern Slavery PEC permission to develop the idea independently.
  • As part of the assessment process, the Modern Slavery PEC may develop the idea in any way that we see fit. This may involve narrowing or widening the scope of an idea or developing the idea to align it with the Centre’s research priorities. The Centre might also invite research user groups, such as policymakers or businesses, to collaborate on developing the idea, subject to conflicts of interest considerations, outlined below. Where we share any ideas, this will be done anonymously.
  • Ideas that pass the assessment process will be worked up into full funding call that researchers can apply to, or to a piece of work that will be carried out by one of our consortium partner organisations within one of our strands for research.
  • The Modern Slavery PEC aims to ensure a balanced portfolio of research across all of our priority areas, and has a finite amount of resource to deliver research, therefore it is likely that we will not be able to take forward all ideas submitted through this form.
  • The Centre will aim to respond to all research ideas within six weeks.

Potential conflicts of interest in developing research ideas

We acknowledge that there are risks of any real or perceived conflicts of interest arising from an individual or organisation submitting ideas through this form, which subsequently result in the Centre launching a funding call for research, and the submitter or their organisation then bidding for this funding. In the form, we ask you to indicate whether you would intend to bid for research on your idea, this would be as either as lead researcher or a partner on a project.

Should an idea lead to a funding call, submissions to the call would be assessed through fair and open competition. This means that any call developed as a result of a submitted idea, would be open to any eligible research organisation. However, submitting the idea which led to the call does not give you an advantage, and all applications will be scored against the same transparent criteria, which will not include the generation of the theme of the research as a component.