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Cambridge Language Sciences

Interdisciplinary Research Centre
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The Language Sciences Incubator Fund is a small grants fund designed to foster innovative and interdisciplinary research in the language sciences. 

Funding for the current round will be announced in March 2024 and projects should complete by 1 April 2025. Please join our mailing list for updates on future funding opportunities.

Since the Incubator Fund was established in 2016, over £120,000 of seed funding has been awarded across 44 projects.

As well as the opportunity to develop new ideas, collaborations and approaches, Incubator Fund projects can provide proof of concept or evidence of collaboration for larger grant applications.

Other positive outcomes include knowledge exchange studentships, publications, fellowships and further career opportunities for researchers involved.

About the Incubator Fund

The Language Sciences Incubator Fund is an opportunity to: 

  • Develop new ideas and collaborations
  • Run pilot studies that could lead to larger grants  
  • Gain quick access to initial funding
  • Kickstart novel research ideas

We particularly welcome projects which:

  • Promote interdisciplinary exchange and collaboration
  • Address emerging themes
  • Develop novel methodological approaches or tools
  • Are likely to lead to the development of further research grant proposals

Travel costs, events, and the running of computational models such as large language models are not supported by this scheme. 

We gratefully acknowledge the support of the Isaac Newton Trust, Cambridge University School of Technology and Cambridge University Press and Assessment in supporting this programme. 

Who can apply?

The fund is open to all researchers at the University of Cambridge, and proposals should include co-applicants from at least two different research groups.

You will apply for this funding directly from Cambridge Language Sciences. You do not have to go through your faculty research office. 

Previous successful applicants include early-career researchers, established academics and graduate students from:

  • Education
  • Computer Science and Technology
  • Engineering
  • MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit
  • Psychology
  • Theoretical and Applied Linguistics
  • Archaeology
  • English
  • Law

We welcome external collaborators. However, the lead applicant should be Cambridge University based. Postdoctoral researchers will need a supporting letter from their supervisor.


Previous grant holders have said...

“The Incubator Fund fills an important gap between conceptualisation of an idea and a fully-fledged larger grant proposal or fellowship application.” - Dr Margreet Vogelzang, Theoretical and Applied Linguistics

“The Language Sciences Incubator Fund enabled us to make progress on an exciting project that would have taken much longer if we had pursued more traditional routes, such as UKRI funding.” - Prof. Andreas Vlachos, Computer Science and Technology

“The Language Sciences Incubator Fund has been key in kickstarting our research using machine learning and natural language processing to analyse court decisions.” - Dr Felix Steffek, Faculty of Law


What we do

Cambridge Language Sciences is an Interdisciplinary Research Centre at the University of Cambridge. Our virtual network connects researchers from five schools across the university as well as other world-leading research institutions. Our aim is to strengthen research collaborations and knowledge transfer across disciplines in order to address large-scale multi-disciplinary research challenges relating to language research.