The grants are worth up to £10,000 and are open to researchers in all UK higher education institutions and other research centres, as well as to independent scholars.
They are highly flexible and have often been used by early-career academics, for example to carry out international fieldwork or to pilot new areas of research.
Though the academy announced last year that the scheme had been resumed with the agreement of the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills, levels of funding were lower than in the past.
Now, the Leverhulme Trust has confirmed funding of £1.5 million over three years to support the scheme, which will continue to be administered by the academy.
Announcing the investment, the academy cited as example the scheme’s previous success a project carried out by Chamion Caballero, senior research fellow at London South Bank University, and Peter Aspinall, emeritus reader in population health at the University of Kent, which brought together extensive first-hand accounts of people, couples and families from mixed racial backgrounds.
It later formed the basis for last year’s successful BBC 2 series, Mixed Britannia.