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New Generation Thinkers


2021 New Generation Thinkers

Workshop programme ideas with the BBC

Reach a huge audience with your research

Become an incredible communicator

Information about 2022 applications in July 2021

Since 2010 the New Generation Thinkers scheme has developed 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.

Download the magazine (PDF, 7.4MB)

Front cover of New Generation Thinkers magazine

Download our 24-page New Generation Thinkers magazine (PDF, 7.4MB) which lifts the lid on the scheme, featuring interviews with NGTs past and present who share their top tips in applying for, and being successful in the scheme.

Watch the documentary

Link to YouTube video

Watch our short film following the journey of the 2015 applicants and includes useful tips and advice from successful NGT finalists including what to expect from the BBC-led workshops.


Read the interview

Image of Dr Alistair Fraser

Read our interview between Dr Alistair Fraser (2017 NGT) and Dr Sophie Coulombeau (2014 NGT) as they discuss what the scheme’s like and how to be selected.

Listen to New Generation Thinkers

Image of microphone

AHRC/BBC New Generation Thinkers regularly talk about their research on Radio 3’s Free Thinking and the BBC ‘Arts & Ideas’ podcast. Listen online now


Discover previous generations of New Generation Thinkers

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.

Sign up for announcements about the 2022 NGT call

We’ll publish information about how to apply for the 2022 New Generation Thinkers scheme in July 2021. Sign up for announcements about the 2022 scheme and we’ll let you know as soon as we publish details.