Overton Blog

Introducing Overton’s Policy Data grants

Overton has launched a micro-grant to fund academic research into policy. Here Overton’s founder Euan Adie explains our motivation and rationale for supporting researchers in this field. 


Why is Overton launching a micro-grant program?

Though policy citations aren’t completely new we are right at the start of being able to work with and study them at scale. And there’s lots of open research questions that would be valuable - or just cool or interesting - to be able to answer with them.

Some of those questions need lots of time and resources to answer, but others don’t - they just need a few weeks and a little support. We figured that we’re far too small to fund a PhD but we probably can help out in other ways beyond just supplying the data for free.


What would you like to see come of the work you fund?

Generally we’re interested in influence (can we use data to map out the ideas, evidence and politics behind policy?) and in impact (can you attribute change back to those influences somehow?). 

I’m also really interested in how policy data might be merged with other datasets - we finished a project recently to build ari.org.uk, which lists the UK government’s areas of research priorities… maybe there’s something there? 

But we don’t want to be prescriptive - we’re very open to new ideas.


Who is the Overton grant for?

Though we’re launching the grant at an academic conference, most of the people working with academic/policy data on a practical level are actually professional staff (analysts, librarians, research admins, repository managers etc) - so we’re keen to remove barriers for everybody to contribute.

The grant is open to scholars or staff at universities, think tanks and IGOs interested in expanding our shared understanding of the policy landscape and the role of research in shaping it.

You might use the Overton data, or you might not. It might be a data driven project or a more qualitative one. You might be an early career researcher or a more established one. We don’t have any restrictions at this point.


How much funding is available?

We have a pot of £10,000. Out of this, the maximum one applicant can receive is £5,000.  Every proposal will be vetted for suitability and then all approved applications will be ranked.

Funding will then be assigned in rank order - the amount allocated will depend on how much they’ve requested in their application form, so we’ll work our way through the list until the pot of money is gone. However, if the requested amount exceeds what’s remaining in the pot, the applicant won’t receive anything and we’ll move on to the next proposal. For this reason we’d recommend that applicants take a pragmatic approach to the amount requested in the proposals, to maximise their own chance of getting funding. 

Importantly, we also offer free access to Overton’s data for the duration of the project, to assist with your research.


When is the deadline?

Applications need to be submitted by December 1st. We’ll then assess the proposals across that month (with a small break for the holidays of course!) and the feedback on funding decisions by early January 2024. 


How do I apply?

Have a read of the full Call for Proposals and then fill out the application form at the end! You can then return this to us via email to grants@overton.io 

Learn more about the grant and find the application documents here.

What is Overton

We help universities, think tanks and publishers understand the reach and influence of their research.

The Overton platform contains is the world’s largest searchable policy database, with over 9 million documents from 30k organisations.

We track everything from white papers to think tank policy briefs to national clinical guidelines, and automatically find the references to scholarly research, academics and other outputs.