Scottish Justice Fellows Process Q&A 2021

Below are some FAQs on the call:

Q. I worked in policy and so I do have some experience of working for and with Government. I would like to check given my experience if I am suitable to apply or whether the fellowships are intended for those with less experience of dissemination?
A. The Fellowships are intended to create opportunities for relevant research to be developed into forms that can most effectively be accessed by those in policy or practice. There is no particular advantage for those with more or less experience working with or writing for policy makers.

Q. I wanted to check about the level of commitment required. I understand this can be undertaken on a part-time or full-time basis, please can you clarify what the expectations would be for taking this on part-time? For example, number of hours per week?
A. There is no specific expectation of hours per week. Fellows will be matched with an academic mentor and there is an expectation that they will make time to meet with this mentor to assist development of dissemination. In addition, Fellows will be expected to make space, given due notice, in their diaries for the policymaker session and the writing workshop to support preparation of outputs, and to attend the end of Fellowship conference to present their work sometime in March or April. We are generally hoping the Fellows will also have some interaction with each other and form a supportive community. So while part-time working is perfectly acceptable, we would hope Fellows would welcome some interaction with other Fellows and the partners involved in this initiative.

Q. Can I apply even though I did not attend a Scottish University for my PhD. I have lived in Scotland for many years, did my Masters at a Scottish university on a topic within Scottish criminal justice, and currently work/volunteer with a voluntary sector organisation directly engaged in crime and justice issues in Scotland, and can see how my doctoral research could inform this. My PhD is from an English University.
A. Yes. The criteria is that the PhD research is of direct relevance to issues of crime and justice in Scotland, regardless of where it was undertaken.

Q. Parental/Maternity Issues: I will be having a child at a point falling within the period of funding for this initiative. Am I eligible to apply for this scheme?
A. Expecting a child is not necessarily a bar to applying to the scheme, and we would hope to make it possible for those in all kinds of family and caring circumstances to take part. There may be accommodations and adjustments we can make to support participation of new parents. The main thing would be for those applying to be in a position to meaningfully engage with the Scottish Justice Fellows programme, which includes both producing an agreed set of outputs and an experiential element of engaging with the other Fellows, an academic mentor, and the policy colleagues. So for example, it might be possible to extend the deadline for outputs, but for the Fellow to attend the end of fellowship conference and still have the opportunity of sharing their work. We are not able to shift the Fellowship to an entirely separate time period (e.g. following a period of maternity leave where that ends beyond the end date of the Fellowship) as an essential component of the scheme is the experiential part of working with other Fellows.

Q. I did not attend a Scottish university and am based outside of Scotland. Am I eligible?
A. The scheme is seeking to create opportunities for new empirical evidence to be brought to bear on policy debates in Scotland, and to support the next generation of researchers on crime and justice in Scotland. Applicants do not need to have attended a Scottish university but the focus needs to be of direct relevance to crime and justice in Scotland – the expectation would be that the thesis contained fieldwork or case study material relating directly to, or conducted in, Scotland.

Q. Should my potential mentor be from my PhD supervisory team and from the same institution that I am affiliated with or should it be a different supervisor hosted by a different institution?
A. The scheme is designed to help candidates take a step on from the PhD, so we encourage applicants to consider a mentor and institution that is different to their PhD supervisors. If however there is a good reason why the PhD supervisor is the best or only option, please offer a justification as to why this is required. Split mentoring arrangements will be considered.

Q. My PhD was carried out in Scotland but I now live overseas. Am I required to be physically present in Scotland to carry out the Fellowship?
A. Physical presence in Scotland is not a formal requirement of the Fellowship. Mentor meetings, and where relevant events, can take place remotely – and flexibility of activities in light of Covid restrictions is encouraged. It is however anticipated that Fellows will be available to attend in-person events that are scheduled.

Q: The mentor I want to contact is off on leave, can I wait until they return?
A: Ideally we would like mentors to give formal agreement to the arrangement prior to submission. If however there is a slight delay due to leave, please make this clear on the form and supply confirmation as soon as possible via email.

Q: How strict are the cut-off dates for PhD submission listed in the call (15 Dec)?
A: Fellowships are aimed to support candidates who have submitted their PhD, so the expectation is that thesis will have been submitted prior to commencing the Fellowship. If there is a situation where the submission is likely to be close to or just after this date, this may be allowable with suitable reassurance of timelines from a PhD supervisor.

Q: There is no word limit on question 4 – outputs. Should there be?
A: Yes – the word limit for this box should be listed as 1500 characters.