New Generation Thinkers

2018 New Generation Thinkers


Now in its ninth year, the pioneering New Generation Thinkers scheme develops a new generation of academics who can bring the best of university research and scholarly ideas to a broad audience through the media and public engagement. It’s a chance for early career researchers to cultivate the skills to communicate their research findings to those outside the academic community.

Each year, up to 60 successful applicants have a chance to develop their media skills, including programme-making ideas with experienced BBC producers at a series of dedicated workshops.

Of these, up to 10 are selected as New Generation Thinkers, which includes working with BBC Radio 3 and benefiting from a unique opportunity to develop their own programmes for the station and a chance to regularly appear on air. The AHRC also provides media training for Thinkers, and offers the possibility of working with BBC TV, speaking opportunities, involvement with the AHRC-funded Being Human Festival and more.

We announced the winners of the 2019 scheme on 1 March 2019. Applications for the 2020 scheme – the 10th anniversary of New Generation Thinkers – will open in June 2019.

Download PDF

Download this 24-page magazine which lifts the lid on New Generation Thinkers, featuring interviews with NGTs past and present who share their top tips in applying for, and being successful in the scheme.

Download - New Generation Thinkers magazine (4MB)

Free Thinking Festival logo

Free Thinking Festival

Every year, the latest cohort of New Generation Thinkers have their first public appearance at the BBC Radio 3’s Free Thinking Festival at the Sage Gateshead in March. It’s also where the last year’s New Generation Thinkers will record their essays for the BBC.

Listen to the programmes recorded from this year’s festival

BBC Radio 3 logo

About our partnership with Radio 3

New Generation Thinkers was launched in November 2010 at Radio 3's Free Thinking Festival of Ideas. Since 2010, more than 100 academics from across the UK have presented documentaries on Radio 3, the BBC World Service and also taken part in discussion programmes and made taster films for BBC Arts Online. There is also an opportunity for some of the New Generation Thinkers to develop TV programmes with BBC Four.

Ways to listen

All Free Thinking episodes are available to listen to on the BBC website.

Experts list

Former New Generation Thinkers continue to work with the AHRC and BBC as experts in their field. Our Experts List includes their research specialisms and contact details.

Feature: New Generation Thinker - What to expect

Here's an interview between Dr Alistair Fraser (2017 NGT,  Senior Sociology Lecturer, University of Glasgow) and Dr Sophie Coulombeau (2014 NGT, Lecturer, Cardiff University). Read the full interview in our Features section.