The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) is a committee of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) created under the Higher Education and Research Act 2017 alongside eight other committees.

The ESRC Council has responsibility for making decisions on scientific, research and innovation matters relevant to administering social science research. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • the leadership of the social science discipline area, including prioritisation of budgets and the development of delivery plans
  • ensuring the future supply of skilled researchers and other specialists essential to the sustainability of the UK's research and innovation capacity
  • engaging with the community to develop ideas, raise awareness and disseminate strategic outputs
  • encouraging and facilitating collaborative work across the nine UKRI Councils to foster strategic relationships. 

Council advises the Executive Chair and UKRI Board on social science activity that contributes to economic growth, advances knowledge and improves the quality of life in the UK and beyond. 

Council membership

Council consists of the Executive Chair, Professor Jennifer Rubin and between five and 12 ordinary members. Where appropriate the Executive Chair may invite scientific advisers to observe on an ex officio basis.

Members of Council support and challenge the Executive Chair to ensure effective delivery of their responsibilities, and provide advice to the board of UKRI as necessary. 

Members must observe the highest standards of impartiality, integrity and objectivity in relation to the advice that they provide. 

Members from 1 April 2018 are: